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Alta Via 1 Rifugios

Learn everything you need to know about mountain huts in the Dolomites, and check out all the Alta Via 1 rifugios that you will stay at during your hike.

Rifugio Lagazuoi

The highest point of the Alta Via 1 trail above the Falzarego mountain pass.

Rifugio Lagazuoi is the highest-lying mountain hut around Cortina d’Ampezzo and on the Alta Via 1 hut-to-hut route. It decorates a ridge above the Falzarego mountain pass and lies above the famous Lagazuoi tunnels from WW1.

The restaurant can welcome up to 100 people inside and 200 outside, while their sleeping quarters include private rooms and dormitories. Although the comfort is relatively basic, and the rooms are traditional, the rifugio also features a Finnish sauna, the highest one in the Dolomites.

The Lagazuoi area is especially famous for the remains of World War 1 combats, including tunnels and bunkers. It is a popular hiking destination due to being next to the Falzarego mountain pass and offers a 360° panoramic view of the Dolomites.

Rifugio Averau

Idyllic rifugio located near the famous Cinque Torri.

Located in the shadow of the commanding Averau mountain, Rifugio Averau lies close to the famous Cinque Torri and Rifugio Nuvolau. It offers more comfort than its higher-lying counterpart, including a laundromat to wash and dry the hikers’ sweaty clothes.

Sleeping quarters include family suites with balconies overlooking the mountains, dormitories, and double rooms. All of them are incredibly clean and offer above-average comfort at this altitude.

As for the cuisine, it does not leave its visitors disappointed. The hut serves authentic local dishes prepared from fresh ingredients by the rifugio’s own chef and sommelier, Matteo. Staying at Averau is much more than just spending the night. It is an entire gastronomic experience.

Rifugio Vazzoler

A stony hut below Monte Civetta with its own alpine garden.

Rifugio Vazzoler is a comely stone building located below the towering rockfaces of Monte Civetta on its southern side. It features an alpine garden, and hikers can enjoy it from June to July when the flowers bloom.

The rooms are simple and rustic. Trekkers can choose between twin rooms, shared rooms, or dormitories. A hot shower is available, and there is also wi-fi.

Rifugio’s cooks are well-versed in preparing dishes following the tradition of the Dolomites area. People do not leave Rifugio Vazzoler hungry. That is a given.

Rifugio Nuvolau

Small and rustic mountain hut with the longest tradition in the Dolomites.

Rifugio Nuvolau is the oldest refuge in the Dolomites, dating back to 1883. It is perched at the top of the Nuvolau mountain and boasts a panoramic view of Cortina d’Ampezzo and Cinque Torri.

The hut is relatively small and rustic, offering only shared rooms with single and bunk beds. Although it has free wi-fi, it features no showers and only shared bathroom facilities. Its location makes for several logistical nightmares, so electricity and water are luxury features that are not always available.

A rifugio at the mountain top is not a regular sight, making a night at Nuvolau a unique experience.

Rifugio Carestiato

A mountain hut with a view of Passo Duran.

Rifugio Carestiato lies atop Col dei Pass above Passo Duran. Initially, it was built to relieve Rifugio Vazzoler of Alta Via 1 hikers by providing another option to spend the night nearby.

The hut’s interior is traditional and rustic, featuring shared bedrooms with bunk beds. Rifugio is also well-known for its special Carestiato cakes, a secret recipe of the chef. And they go well with a cup of coffee on a chilly morning in the mountains.

Rifugio Biella

First rifugio on the Alta Via 1 route.

The first hut on the Alta Via 1 route, Rifugio Biella, used to be military property. Built of stone, it fits well with the dynamic of the surrounding scenery, and its visitors can sense the weight of the lodge’s rich historical background.

Rifugio Biella features 46 beds, 4 toilets, and 6 washbasins. Their dishes are homemade and traditional, meaning they serve local specialties. When the hut is closed during winter, there is a bivouac 100 meters away to shelter mountaineers in the case of extreme conditions.

Aside from the Alta Via 1 route, you can also climb up the Croda del Becco mountain peak after stopping at Rifugio Biella.

Rifugio Lavarella

Relatively luxurious rifugio with a sauna and cozy private rooms.

Rifugio Lavarella is one of the more luxurious rifugios on Alta Via 1. It is located on the shore of the picturesque Le Vert lake on an elevated plateau above Rifugio Pederu.

Accommodations include private rooms with 2-3 beds and washbasins and dormitories with 5, 7, or 10 beds. Showers and toilets are shared, but their main upsell is a rare one in the Alps: a Finnish sauna. Assembled in a small separate lodge, the visitors can enjoy a magical sunset above an altitude of 2000 meters while sweating off the dust from the kilometers they put behind.

There are numerous hiking destinations in the vicinity, making Lavarella a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

Rifugio Sennes

A scenic mountain hut located on a cozy green mountain meadow.

Rifugio Sennes was built in the late 1930s in the Fanes-Senes-Braies National Park. Surrounded by several mountain peaks reaching over an altitude of 3000 meters, its visitors can catch glimpses of Croda Rossa, Cristallo, Sorapis, and Tofana.

The rifugio is family-run and features dormitories and private rooms, some even with a private shower and a WC. The culinary repertoire is similarly impressive, comprising traditional Tyrolean, Italian, and international dishes.

Its picturesque, relatively remote, yet easily accessible location attracts numerous mountaineering and hiking enthusiasts from across the globe every year. From Rifugio Sennes, you can climb up many mountain peaks, such as Monte Sella de Sennes, Croda del Becco, and Croda Rossa Pizora.

Rifugio Fanes

Scenic mountain hut with origins in the Ladin culture.

Rifugio Fanes has a long tradition, being around since 1928. Renovated in 1996, it offers an above-average service to its customers by mountain hut standards.

It features everything from an 11-bed dormitory to private rooms for couples with a king-sized bed and a luxurious private bathroom. Although it breathes authenticity, the hut compares to some mid-range luxury accommodations in the valleys.

The same goes for their restaurant as well. Their menu is influenced by Ladin cuisine, but it also features national and international dishes, meaning everyone will find something for their belly.

Rifugio Passo Duran

A small rifugio located on a scenic mountain pass.

Rifugio Passo Duran lies on a mountain pass of the same name, which connects the valleys of Zoldo and Cordevole. It can be reached by car along a steep asphalt road popular among cyclists.

The guests can choose between rooms with private bathrooms and dormitories. A hot shower is also available. Their menu features many local delicacies, from traditional Italian dishes to the more local specialties of the Dolomites.

Passo Duran is one of the most popular starting points for hikers and climbers venturing into the Civetta mountain range.

Rifugio Citta di Fiume

An authentic mountain hut sitting on a meadow below Monte Pelmo.

Rustic and simple, Rifugio Citta di Fiume is located directly below Monte Pelmo. The hut is one of the most recent additions among Alta Via 1 rifugios, dating only as far back as 1964. Before that, the building used to serve as a cowshed.

The hut’s comforts are limited, with only shared rooms of 5-6 beds available to its visitors. During summer, they can also accommodate additional 10 guests on camp beds. There are internal bathrooms with hot showers for an extra charge and two external bathrooms.

It might not seem like much, but Rifugio Citta di Fiume offers an idyllic experience of sleeping in the mountains, only providing you with the bare necessities and not spoiling you inside out.

Rifugio Pian de Fontana

The last rifugio on Alta Via 1, located on a grassy slope below Cima de Zita.

Rifugio Pian de Fontana is the final post on Alta Via 1. Located in the middle of meadowy slopes, it is a part of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park.

The hut is small and built of stone. Its facilities offer showers, although hot water is not always available, so some hikers have to grit their teeth and practice the Wim Hof method for a few minutes.

There are two Alta Via 1 variants between La Stanga and Pian de Fontana — Via Ferrata del Marmol or the classic route, which is the one our Alta Via 1 hut-to-hut tour takes.

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About Alta Via 1 Rifugios

The Dolomites boast an extensive network of mountain huts, or as Italians call them — ‘rifugios’, which is Italian for refuges. Some have been around since WW1, serving as warehouses or posts. Therefore, they are an essential piece of the local culture.

They are particularly significant along the popular Alta Via 1 route, where hut-to-hut hiking has become a bucket-list-worthy experience. Alta Via 1 rifugios are strategically located to offer hikers a much-needed respite.

Nowadays, they serve as a place where hikers can rest their tired legs after strenuous days in the mountains, either stopping for a meal or spending the night. Recently, with hut-to-hut hiking gaining popularity, sleeping and eating in the huts became an experience in itself.

Most mountain huts in the Dolomites are located high up in the mountains, and the only way to reach them is by foot or helicopter. Therefore, comfort and necessities are basic. They are very cozy and give you a feeling of authenticity, but they are incomparable to the hotels and resorts in the valleys.

Some offer private rooms and dormitories, while others offer only the latter. They provide you with blankets and pillows, but you require your own sleeping liner for an overnight stay. Mobile reception varies from hut to hut, while wi-fi is virtually a luxurious addition. Their water supply depends on rain and melting snow, so you should not expect drinkable tap water or showers, either. Some Alta Via 1 rifugios have them, but not all, and especially not at all times.

Nonetheless, the food is delicious. Most huts in the Dolomites serve pasta, polenta, goulash, and other local delicacies. Breakfasts are usually laid out in buffets, while dinners include three courses. As for lunch, you can order it to take with you, or you can stop at one of the huts you will pass while hiking and order something a-la-carte.

Due to snow conditions in the high passes, most huts are open between late-mid June and late September or early October.

If you plan to stay in a mountain hut in the Dolomites, keep in mind that many hikers want to do the same, and more of them every year. Therefore, booking in advance is essential, possibly even half a year before your hike if you want a private room.

Booking one of our Dolomites hiking tours rids you of that stressful assignment as we ensure all your Alta Via 1 rifugios are booked well in advance.


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