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Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • A local English-speaking leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option).
  • A single, timed group transfer to/from the airport on arrival and departure
  • All other baggage transfers as per the itinerary
  • 2 nights 3* hotel accommodation...

Dolomites Circuit Trek

Walking & Trekking

Venice, Italy | Walking & Trekking

Dolomites Circuit Trek
  • Grade:

    Vigorous

  • Duration: 8 days from the UK
  • On trek: 6 days
  • Private Departures Available

Flight inclusive from £2605, Land only from £2415

A fully supported trek through the heart of the Dolomites, staying in delightful mountain rifugios.

Highlights

  • Explore the heart of the region on this exhilarating 6-day trek, starting at the foot of the Tre Cime
  • Walking amidst the pillars, pinnacles, and colossal rock walls of the Dolomites
  • Stay in comfortable and welcoming rifugios
  • All your baggage will be transferred for you between mountain huts – walk with just a daypack

Reviews          

From the outset an immaculate and smart Mercedes taxi collected us. Our guide Michele was excellent in every respect, his immense knowledge of the mountains, spoken English, sense of fun and humour all made for a great guide throughout the trek. He thought to book ahead for lunch stops which was essential. The Rifugios were all of a high standard as was the food and wine offer, certainly way...

Mr M R, Cumbria

Next

Just back from MK trip trekking in Dolomites - absolutely superb. A simply amazing holiday. I was extremely happy with every aspect of this trip. It was for me, hugely enjoyable.

Ms T, Herefordshire

Next

I do appreciate the level of accommodation that MK provides – it was a great trip.

Ms S, Yorkshire

Next

Holiday was excellent. Excellent route, weather, views, food and great bunch of fellow travellers. And the guides were outstanding.. We chose this holiday over other similar treks because it promised time spent exploring the military history and the trip exceeded our expectations with an alternative descent down a WW1 tunnel network.

Mrs F, Hampshire

Next

The best one week walking trip I have ever been on. Whatever you do add the Dolomites Circuit to your "bucket list". The scenery is stunning, the route well planned and the mountain Refugios all had a bar with ice cold beers to salute the end of the day.

Mr P Schulz, Berkshire

Next

The trek was a very enjoyable week in spectacular mountain scenery. It was a small group of 5 people. The guide Marco was excellent and the itinerary involved quite demanding but manageable days mostly on pretty good paths. The accommodation and food and drink was good- better than those on other treks I have been on. I feel very fortunate to have been able to visit the high mountains again after...

Anonymous

Next

The trek was a very enjoyable week in spectacular mountain scenery. It was a small group of 5 people. The guide Marco was excellent and the itinerary involved quite demanding but manageable days mostly on pretty good paths. The accommodation and food and drink was good- better than those on other treks I have been on. I feel very fortunate to have been able to visit the high mountains again after...

Anonymous

Next

The trip was without equal and simply exceptional in every way. The natural topography is stunning, the trails we followed magnificent, the family run Refugio’s with their clean and well equipped bedrooms/dorms and culinary delights could not have been bettered. And to top it all our guide was simply terrific. His infectious knowledge of the Dolomites, its history and their wildlife and flora...

Mr R Dyson

Next

Holiday was excellent. Excellent route, weather, views, food and great bunch of fellow travellers. And the guides were outstanding.. We chose this holiday over other similar treks because it promised time spent exploring the military history and the trip exceeded our expectations with an alternative descent down a WW1 tunnel network.

Mrs L Fletcher

Next

We were with a mixed group of people who were of mixed ability and age and everyone enjoyed it and felt good about the challenges and their own personal achievements. The area was breathtakingly beautiful the whole way around and we would do the whole thing again.

Mrs E Rothera

Next

Trek greatly exceeded my expectations, the mountains although not particularly high are incredibly dramatic and the scenery changes at almost every turn. Excellent route. At this time of year the spring flowers are stunning. The Rifugio's are superb, food and accommodation was exactly right for a week in the mountains, very comfortable and the staff exceedingly friendly. The trek guides were...

Martin

Next

View All

The circuit commences in the Sesto Group of mountains that encompass the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. These are bisected by the administrative border between Italy’s German-speaking south Tyrol and the predominantly Italian Veneto region – the frontier between Hapsburg, Austria and Italy until 1918. The entire range was involved in the First World War, and wherever you turn you’ll see evidence, like trench systems gouged by hand out of the rough dolomite surface and defensive barricades of stones heaped up by platoons of soldiers. The circuit continues, crossing the Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park with a spectacular traverse beneath the blood red Croda Rossa massif and then onto the beautiful Altopiano di Fanes, climbing to rifugio Valparola, close many wartime remnants. From here you head south, and then east, concluding the circuit beneath the dramatic Croda da Lago massif, before returning to elegant Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The food and accommodation is a real highlight on this trek, with the delightful family-run rifugios offering an excellent mix of Italian, Ladin and typical mountain fare. A rifugio menu may offer various crispy salads from their own garden, handmade pasta dishes such as homemade tagliatelle with a venison sauce, as well as Tyrolean specialties such as barley soup and tutres (pancakes filled with ricotta cheese, canederli (bread dumplings) with goulash (stew) or in broth and pressknödel (crushed canederli) with sauerkraut. For the sweet-toothed there are delicious cakes and desserts including sweet strudel, kaiserschmarrn (an Austrian crepe-like pancake covered with powdered sugar and jam), and tyrolean sacher torte.

Whilst this trip is graded Moderate, you will be walking between 4-7 hours each day, with optional additional ascents or circuits on the shorter days. You will trek on average 6-10 miles per day on a variety of surfaces, including rugged single-track trails, uneven gravely surfaces, and scree slopes, and some are very steep. Having good balance and being sure footed on trails is important. We walk at a comfortable pace and there are ample stops for water/ snacks to keep you going. Trekking poles are recommended.

Please note that this itinerary and daily walks may vary based on weather condition, group members and/or the recommendations of your guide.

Private Departures

Kirsty and Adam on Kala Pattar close up 800x750

Dolomites Circuit Trek - Private Departures

If you would prefer to travel just with your partner, friends or family, we can arrange a private departure of this holiday. You follow the same itinerary, but travel on dates that suit you. Alternatively we can include elements of this holiday in a bespoke Tailor Made itinerary. Contact our friendly team for details and prices, and to make a booking.


At a glance

Grade:

Vigorous

Duration: 8 days from the UK

On trek: 6 days

Max. Altitude: 2,413m / 7,917ft, Rifugio Averau, Day 6

Private Departures Available

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 8

Land only joining city: Venice

Accommodation types: Hotel, Mountain refuges

Meal arrangements: Breakfasts and dinners included; lunches are not included.

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1 Fly to Venice Marco Polo airport. Group transfer to Cortina D’Ampezzo.
2 Drive to Lago Landro and trek to Rifugio Prato Piazza.
3 Trek to Rifugio Fodara Vedla – ridge traverse under the Croda Rossa Massif.
4 Trek to Rifugio Fanes the morning. Afternoon optional walk.
5 Trek to Rifugio Valparola.
6 Trek to Rifugio Averau.
7 Trek under Croda da Lago to Ponte Federa. Drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
8 Group transfer to Venice Marco Polo Airport. Fly to London.
Leader: Local leader, Dolomites

Our holiday in the Dolomites are led by a passionate, experienced mountain enthusiast who will speak good English in addition to at least one of the principal languages of the region – Italian, German or Ladin. They will have a professional outdoor leadership qualification, know the area well and most importantly, be great fun to trek with. Our leaders are all fully qualified UIAGM/IFMGA guides, all speaking good English.

Local leader, Dolomites

Holiday Itinerary

Download a detailed itinerary
Day 1 - Fly London to Venice (Marco Polo Airport). Group transfer to hotel.

On arrival at Marco Polo Airport, Venice, there will be a single group transfer to your hotel in Cortina. This is timed to fit the group flight, please contact us for further information.

When you arrive in Cortina you will have time to stroll the streets of this elegant resort before dinner.

Overnight icon Overnight: Hotel Beppe Sello Or Similar, Cortina

Day 2 - Drive to Lago Landro. Trek to Rifugio Prato Piazza, 2,040m/6,693ft - 4-6 hours walking.

Today you will be transferred to Lago Landro, 1,409m/4,622ft, close to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Tre Cime di Lavaredo means the 'three peaks of Lavaredo', also called the Drei Zinnen in German and these three distinctive battlement-like peaks from east to west, are Cima Piccola/Kleine Zinne (little peak), Cima Grande/Große Zinne (big peak) and Cima Ovest/Westliche Zinne (western peak). You begin your hike on Route 34 winding up the trail to a saddle at 2,200m/7,218ft. From here you will ascend Monte Specie, 2,307m/7,569ft, for a fantastic view of the surrounding peaks. You will then return to the saddle and descend to Rifugio Prato Piazza for a late lunch. This will also be your home for the night. Here you will enjoy fantastic views of the Croda Rossa (Red Wall) Massif, 2,818m/9,245ft, and the Cristallo group.

In the afternoon you can choose to take an excursion to the top of the Pico di Vallandro, 2,838m/9,311ft. This is a straightforward climb, except for the final narrow exposed track which is fitted with a hand-rail cable. On top, with breath-taking 360° views, you will be able to survey most of the northern Dolomites, from the spectacular eastern Sesto formations, south across the famous Cortina mountains and beyond.

800m/2,624ft ascent, 200m/6,56ft descent.

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Prato Piazza

Day 3 - Traverse beneath the Croda Rossa Massif, crossing the Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park to Rifugio Fodara Vedla - 6-7 hours walking.

Today you enjoy a panoramic crossing of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Park with good wildlife spotting opportunities along the way. Look out for chamois, marmots and ibex. Highlights en route are the spectacular section below the northern face of Croda Rossa Mountain and Prato Piazza, set in an idyllic high-altitude pasture valley.

The walk will take you through forest, lunar landscape and beautiful high alpine pasture land. There is one section with a 500m cable; this is not an actual via ferrata that you clip in to, but asentiero attrezzato - a handrail for your protection.

As you descend towards the end of the day's walk, the landscape will increasingly shift from rock-strewn paths to lush meadows and the vistas of the Sennes and Croda Rossa will become increasingly impressive. Croda Rossa is named for its blood red rock, caused by the presence of iron oxide. According to legend though, the mountain blushes in sympathy with Princess Moltina, who as a timid newlywed, was subject to spiteful ridicule when a jealous noblewoman exposed her humble origins as she had been brought up by marmots.

Distance: 14-16 km/8.5-10 miles. 240m/7,87ft ascent 144-290m/472-951ft descent. (Distance and altitude gain/loss depends on the trail followed).

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Fodara Vedla

Day 4 - Altopiano di Fanes - 4-5 hours walking. Optional ascent of Col Bechei or Fanes Alpe Circuit in the afternoon.

Departing Rifugio Fodara Vedla this morning, you descend on a steep dirt road, tarmacked in parts. To reach the valley bottom will take about 40 minutes (the last part of the road approaching the valley bottom has a 1:5 slope. If you prefer not to walk this steep downhill section, it may be possible to take a transfer instead. When you arrive at Rifugio Fodara Vedla, ask your guide to arrange this with Arthur, the owner. You will need to pay for this locally.

From Rifugio Pederù, it is a steep climb back up again in the direction of Lago di Limo. When you reach Lake Lé Piciodel, the landscape softens with little lakes and rounded mountain tops along the Ru d'Al Plan River, finally opening out below Rifugio Fanes, 2,000m/6,562ft, your home for tonight. Rifugio Fanes sits just beneath the Limo Pass, 2,172m/7,126ft, offering a splendid view of the Tofane Mountains. Once you arrive at the rifugio, there is ample opportunity to enjoy additional walks from the hut and we recommend an ascent of Col Bechei, or a circuit on Fanes Alpe.

7 km/4 miles. 417m/1,368ft ascent, 512m/1,680ft descent.

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Fanes

Day 5 - Trek from Rifugio Fanes to Rifugio Valparola - approximately 5 hours.

The Fanes Group - Fanesgruppe in German and Gruppo di Fanes in Italian - east of the Val Badia valley stretches until the Braies Dolomites in the north-east and until the Cortina - Falzarego Pass - Livinallongo - Arabba - Campolongo Pass line in the south. Much of the impressive mountain group is located in South Tyrol and is part of the strongly protected Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park.

You'll begin today's hike by taking path 11 until you reach Dolomitenhöhenweg, where you will follow and hike south on gentle curves out of a steep valley to Passo di Limo, 2,172m/7,126ft. Passing an old military building and a wooden cross, you hike down to Malga Fanes Grande, 2,104m/6,903ft, a cheery converted farm offering light meals and basic accommodation. You’ll encounter several river crossings with breathtaking views of the peaks surrounding you. As you continue south, you’ll increasingly be surrounded by high, jagged peaks. The path conturines to the west on your right and the Cavallo and Lagazuoi on your left. At a crossroads, you head left through the beautiful high meadow and karst formations you’ve been seeing from a distance. You next climb to the Forcella del Lago, a narrow and dramatic gap in the mountain that descends through steep talus on the south side. At the base of the slope is the lake called Lago di Lagazuoi whose green waters are framed by pines with a backdrop of the sheer walls of the Cima del Lago and the Cima Scotoni. Reach rifugio Scotoni, where you can stop for lunch. From here, follow path route 18B until the Forcela de Salares, then 20A towards your destination - Rifugio Valparola - your home for tonight.

Distance 13.2 km/ 8.2 miles, 877m/2877ft ascent, 771m / 2332ft descent

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Valparola

Day 6 - Walk to Rifugio Averau, 2,413m/7,917ft - 2-3 hours walking.

Your walk today is relatively short but you'll enjoy some of the most spectacular views for which the Lagazuoi mountain range is famous. This part of the Dolomites is also known for the extensive tunnels that were built by the Italians and Austro-Hungarian soldiers here during the great war, to wrest control of the Dolomites region, and you will come across many remnants of this period as you walk.

From Rifugio Valparola, you take the path following alongside Lago di Valparola, then on to the Tre Sassi Museum where they have the most fascinating and varied collection of objects used during the great war in the Dolomites (entrance fee payable locally). From the museum, you take path 424 until you reach Passo Falzarego. From the pass, change, and follow path n.441, which is slightly uphill and overlooked to the north by the imposing Tofane group, you'll pass the small but enchanting Limides Lake. From here, the hike becomes a little steeper, however, it continues to be very panoramic, and after a short, slightly exposed, easy stretch, you reach the Forcella Averau and the Averau mountain hut, 2413m/7,917ft. The panorama that opens to 360° is truly outstanding! There is an option to continue for about half an hour to get to the Nuvolau Mountain Hut at 2,575m (your guide will discuss this with you).

Distance: 6.4 km/3.9 miles, 370m/1,213ft ascent, 137m/449 descent

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Averau

Day 7 - Trek under the Croda da Lago Massif to Malga Federa or Ponte Fedra - 6-7 hours walking. Drive to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

For your last day on the trail you will enjoy a beautiful hike around the Croda da Lago massif, 2,236m/1,389ft.

Leaving Rifugio Averau you descend on path 464/452 to Passo Giau, 2,236m/7,336ft. This will take around 1.5 hours with roughly 70m of ascent and 240m of descent. From Passo Giau you follow path n.436 past a chapel, and begin to hike uphill to the rear of grassy Col Piombin, that takes its name from a past mining activity. The trail leads over the Forcella Giau, 2,360m/7,742ft, with plenty of ups and downs. From here the views of the Tofana and Lastoi de Formin are inspiring, not to mention the mountains on display to the south: Monte Fromin, Cernera, Pelmo and the upswept flank of Monte Mondeval. The path drops to cross streams, and then gains the earthy saddle Forcella Ambrizzola, 2,277m/7,470ft. At Forcella Ambrizzola you take the left hand path 434 to Rifugio Croda da Lago G Palmieri, 2,042m/ 6,699ft, and enjoy the descent to Malga Federa, where a private taxi will take you to your hotel in Cortina. This section will take around 4-5 hours to complete covering a distance of 9km/5.5 miles, with 303m/994ft of ascent, 695m/2,280ft of descent.

A good alternative to the descent on the dirt road is the new path 'Gores de Federa'. The path is not marked on the maps as it was created in June 2019. Look out for the sign by the fencing at Malga Federa. The new 'Gores de Federa' path follows the course of the Federa river, passing by natural waterfalls and suspended wooden bridges. Soon you'll reach Ponte Federa where you'll meet your private transfer to your hotel. This descent of less than a mile will take an additional 30 minutes, taking you 660m downhill.

Overnight icon Overnight: Hotel Beppe Sello Or Similar, Cortina

Day 8 - Group transfer to Venice Marco Polo Airport for your flight to London.

After breakfast, there will be a group transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport which is timed to fit the group flight. Please check with the office for details.

Map

Map Key

  • Airport Airport
  • Point of interest Point of interest
  • Mountain Peak Mountain Peak
  • Day walk in this area Day walk in this area
  • Flights Flights
  • Internal Transfers Internal Transfers
  • Trek Trek

2023

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
Sun 11 Jun - Sun 18 Jun 2023 Available £2415 Book £2605 Book
Sun 3 Sep - Sun 10 Sep 2023 Available £2415 Book £2765 Book

Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on +44 (0) 1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

Optional supplements
  • Single room hotels
    From £85
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £66
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

Booking your holiday
  • Deposit
    From £400

For the majority of our holidays, a deposit payment of £400.00 per person is required to secure your place(s), however a small number of holidays require a higher deposit - please refer to the holiday itinerary for more details. If the holiday departs within 60 days, a deposit of £1,000.00 per person is required.

Book now!
  1. Book your small group holiday securely online – click the ‘Book’ button next to your chosen departure or visit our How to Book page
  2. Complete and return a Booking Form available to download here.
  3. Call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 and one of our travel specialists will talk you through the booking process.

What’s included

  • A local English-speaking leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option).
  • A single, timed group transfer to/from the airport on arrival and departure
  • All other baggage transfers as per the itinerary
  • 2 nights 3* hotel accommodation in Cortina, d'Ampezzo, twin share
  • 5 nights in mountain rifugio - shared accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners included
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • A free Mountain Kingdoms Water-to-Go bottle

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Optional cable car ascents / descents
  • Entrance fee for Tre Sassi Museum (approx 8 Euros)
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Locally paid bar bills and laundry
  • Optional trips
  • Tips


Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 11 reviews)

Spectacular mountain scenery          

The trek was a very enjoyable week in spectacular mountain scenery. It was a small group of 5 people. The guide Marco was excellent and the itinerary involved quite demanding but manageable days mostly on pretty good paths. The accommodation and food and drink was good- better than those on other treks I have been on. I feel very fortunate to have been able to visit the high mountains again after three years when I have not been able to.

Dolomites Circuit Trek          

The trip was without equal and simply exceptional in every way. The natural topography is stunning, the trails we followed magnificent, the family run Refugio’s with their clean and well equipped bedrooms/dorms and culinary delights could not have been bettered. And to top it all our guide was simply terrific. His infectious knowledge of the Dolomites, its history and their wildlife and flora made our holiday one of - if not the - most memorable treks my companions and I have enjoyed in all the years we have spent in the Alps. We will be trekking with you again soon.

Dolomites Circuit Trek          

Holiday was excellent. Excellent route, weather, views, food and great bunch of fellow travellers. And the guides were outstanding.. We chose this holiday over other similar treks because it promised time spent exploring the military history and the trip exceeded our expectations with an alternative descent down a WW1 tunnel network.

The trekking holiday was excellent          

We were with a mixed group of people who were of mixed ability and age and everyone enjoyed it and felt good about the challenges and their own personal achievements. The area was breathtakingly beautiful the whole way around and we would do the whole thing again.

Accurately reflects holiday          

Trek greatly exceeded my expectations, the mountains although not particularly high are incredibly dramatic and the scenery changes at almost every turn. Excellent route. At this time of year the spring flowers are stunning. The Rifugio's are superb, food and accommodation was exactly right for a week in the mountains, very comfortable and the staff exceedingly friendly. The trek guides were exceptional and made the week very interesting and fun, they did everything possible to look after us so well. A marvellous week in an exceptional area with a lovely client group.


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