rich mountain culture, savory Italian food, and a diverse menu of adventure for all levels
The Dolomites are a feast of delights for trekkers. Along the way options for other experiences, such as biking, via ferratas, or a swim in a high mountain lake are at your fingertips. Geologically, we trek the wonders of a UNESCO world heritage site. Historically, we walk the literal paths and front lines of World War 1 — with ladders, cables, tunnels right before our eyes. Culturally, we discover the hidden paradise of the south Tirol — a blend of Teutonic efficiency and north Italian warmth. And the culinary journey starts with Austrian steins of lager and apple strudel and finishes lakeside amongst Italian vineyards with local wine and fresh pasta. There is a reason the breathtaking scenery, excellent mountain huts, comfortable trails, and sunsets over unique landscapes make this the gem of the European Alps. It’s a journey linking cultures, histories, and nature unlike anywhere else on earth.
This trip will be led by world-class Mountain Madness guide Mara Larson, who established this trip with meticulous detail. Being the first American woman to get the highest level of international accreditation, Certified International Mountain Leader, you will be getting top-notch leadership. Her expertise will shine through as she immerses you into the other-worldly beauty and sublime trails of the Dolomites. Comfortable lodging, incredible food, friendly locals and the life affirming joy of walking among the spires make this trip a must-do!
The Dolomites are a bit of mountain paradise combined with the warmth and hospitality of Italy. We will follow trails that lead in and around the soaring limestone peaks and their rich history of climbing as well as being part of the front lines in World War I. The rock cliffs rise as much as 1500 meters above their base and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world. Rising abruptly above talus slopes and more gentle foothills, in some locations standing isolated, in others forming sweeping spectacles, the Dolomites are often considered among the most dramatic landscapes in the world.
In the valleys between the peaks there are charming small villages and towns while higher up the occasional weathered farmhouse stands testament to the extremes of mountain weather. Hikers and climbers utilize the mountain huts throughout the range. These huts provide more than just a shelter. Comfortable beds, great food, amazing views and the comraderie of fellow mountain travelers combine to make hut life exceptionally memorable.
Each day’s hike will lead into a new area of the range offering participants new vistas and to experience the historical landmarks and locations. Moderate daily mileage and altitude gains and losses will provide plenty of physical activity to challenge hikers and to work off the previous night’s strudel!
This is a classic example of a Madness-style adventure featuring world-class hiking led by an amazing and personable guide, great food and charming, comfortable huts, where you can relax after the days walk with a glass of local wine or beer and pastry while enjoying the incredible views. In addition to hiking participants can can add experiences at at an additional cost to bike ride through the Cadore Valley or climb a classic Via Ferrata route on Tofana di Rozas, all while enjoying the astonishing culture and astounding scenery of this mountain paradise.
UNESCO World Heritage site
Natural beauty, cultural heritage, war history, and so much more contributes to this status. To learn more about this World Heritage site click HERE
Dolomites Multi-Sport Trek
$5,675 – 11 Days / Includes travel time
- Ground transportation starting on day 3
- Non-refundable hut deposit fees
- Scheduled hotel and hut accommodations starting day 2 and including the night of day 9
- Scheduled gondola fees
- Meals included demi-pension at scheduled hut stays (breakfast and dinner) and sack lunch
- Scheduled dinner evening of day 2 and 9
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare
- Guide/Staff gratuities
- Transportation at start of trip to Sexton
- Transportation back to airport at end of trip from Lago Di Garda on day 10
- Extra activities, such as bike rentals, via ferratas, and so forth
- Lunch and dinner day 5 & 8 at Cortina- this is a free day
- Refund at time of registration for hut reservations
- Alcoholic and bottled/canned beverages
- Personal gear and clothing
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, room service, extra meals, etc.)
- Travel insurance with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation policy
- All expenses associated with non-scheduled departure
- $700 deposit at time of registration, which includes a $500 non-refundable registration fee
- Balance due 120 days prior to departure
- The balance may be paid by check, wire transfer, ACH or credit card with a 3% convenience fee
Dolomites Trek 2023
- Aug 2, 2023 — Aug 12, 2023 - 1 Spots Remaining
Cancellation / Refund Policy
- MMI strongly recommends trip cancellation/interruption and evacuation insurance for all trips. Our insurance partner, Ripcord, offers comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation, as well as rescue/evacuation policies and can assist in answering any questions. In addition, Participant is expected to have sufficient medical insurance as prescribed by their country of origin. Participant understands that MMI does not include any type of insurance with the cost of the trip.
- If you decide to cancel your trip or change your itinerary, MMI must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date written notice is received. If proper written cancellation notice is not received, amounts paid and reservations made will be forfeited.
- Non-refundable fees may apply for certain trips in order to secure permits and other services. MMI must strictly adhere to cancellation policies outside MMI’s control.
- Due to the personalized service we offer on our trips, MMI reserves the right to waive any fees. We will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations, waiving certain fees when feasible.
- Circumstances outside the control of MMI and its partners, may require amended cancellation/refund policies. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to COVID-19, natural disasters, wildfires, terrorism and so forth.
- Full refund, less the non-refundable registration fee, will be provided 121 days or more before the departure date
- No refunds will be provided 120 days or less before the departure date
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel cancellation insurance to protect you from the unexpected. You aren’t likely to think of it now, but people do get ill, break a bone, have a family emergency or get assigned to a last-minute business trip. If you are in remote areas, please note that emergency rescue & evacuation can be very expensive.
We also strongly urge you to consider rescue and evacuation insurance if your own policy does not provide the coverage needed. Services available may include, but are not limited to, helicopter evacuation, medical care, etc.
If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. We are not the experts and therefore ask that you please consult our travel insurance partner directly with any specific questions.
To protect against losses due to illness, accident, or other unforeseen circumstances, Mountain Madness strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance as soon as possible after making a deposit. Mountain Madness has partnered with Redpoint Resolutions as our preferred travel insurance provider. Redpoint’s Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ is designed for adventurers.
For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ or call +1 – 415-481‑0600. Pricing varies based on age, trip cost, trip length, and level of coverage.
Critical benefits of Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance include:
- A completely integrated program with a single point of contact for emergency services, travel assistance, and insurance claims
- Evacuation and rescue services from your point of injury or illness to your hospital of choice
- Comprehensive travel insurance for trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, baggage loss or delay, emergency accident and emergency sickness medical expense, emergency dental, accidental death and dismemberment, and more
- Optional security evacuation coverage in case of an unplanned natural disaster or other security events
- Waiver for pre-existing conditions (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
- Optional “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
The total number of days for your trip includes all travel to and from your destination, with some exceptions. Dates listed on the website start with a departure date from the U.S. and include the day you arrive home. For this trip you will need to arrive at any number of airports in Europe on Day 2 anytime during the day, and take a train to Sexten, Italy. If you are traveling from Europe it’s possible you can eliminate one day from the itinerary as long as you arrive on Day 2 of the itinerary. Return flight is scheduled for Day 10 of the trip for an evening flight home or overnight (not included) and flight on day 11.
Please contact our office for any help needed with your flight schedule.
Dolomites Trek Day by Day
Depart from home and travel to Italy.
Overnight: Hotel, Sexten
Arrive and transfer to the northern entrance to the Dolomites from the picturesque Sud Tyrolean village of Sexten. We arrive to views of the sweeping Sesto mountain range literally out of our back door. Free time to explore and relax and meet the team post flight.
Lavaredo/Tre Cime National Park
Hike: 10 km, 770 m elevation gain, 3 hours
Overnight: Zsigmondy Hut
We’ll take the morning for a welcome brunch together and a final gear check before setting out for our first day into the magical Sesto Dolomiti. A bus takes us to the top of the valley where we bid farewell to foothills and enter the remote limestone towers of the northeastern range. Today we escape from the busy tourist route and into a wilder hiking variation beneath the Croda dei Toni rock formations. Nestled just along the Austrian/Italian border, we’ll settle in for Tyrolian classics of steins and strudels this evening, toasting to our first night in an alpine hut.
Hike: 10 km, 976 m elevation gain, 5 – 6 hours
Overnight: Locatelli Hut, Lavaredo
Today we hike into the famed crown jewel of the Dolomites – the Tre Cime. A true gem of the range, we continue our less-trodden approach, taking in remote huts and stunning trails along an east-west crossing. Hiking through this Lavaredo region, the landscapes are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to their exceptional geological beauty. The sensation is almost that of walking on the moon. We arrive to a night at the fantastic Locatelli Hut overlooking the Tre Cime and settling into our routine of afternoon coffee and desserts, following by sunset light setting on the majestic towers.
Hike: Depends on hike – approx 15 km, 278 m elevation (935 m descent, 6 hours)
Overnight: Lake Misurina
No tour of the Dolomites is complete without taking in the postcard mountain lakes. So today we complete the circuit tour of Tre Cime and for those that like, an easy transfer down to our lakeside destination. Those happier for a longer day can enjoy a hike the full descent down to Lago Misurina, our recovery spot for the night. Our favorite restaurant of the Sud Tyrol awaits here – a cozy blend of German beer house and Italian family hospitality. A true blend of both worlds. Free time for recovery lakeside and the dramatic views of the limestone faces of Mont Antelo, known as “The King of the Dolomites”. One of the best of the trip.
Alta Via 1 — WW1 Battlefronts
Hike: 6 km, 340 m elevation gain, 5 hours.
Overnight: Rifugio Scoiattoli
Leaving Misurina, a short transfer thru the Dolomiti pine forests and picturesque alpine meadow farms takes us into the heart of the historical battle fronts of World War 1. Here history is alive with bunkers, trenches, and iron ladder ways all across the frontlines of the Austrians and the Italians during the Great War. Our trailhead begins at the sweeping Paso Giau and we spend the next two days hiking the most interesting sections of the “Alta Via 1”. This is the most famous North-South hiking trail across the Dolomites, spanning 75 miles.
The next two days take us through historical landscapes and the world famous viewpoints of this route. We arrive for a lunch at the heart of the Italian front atop the plateau of Auronzo for the best regarded strudel of the Alta Via 1, and then descend to the Cinque Torre range for the night. Here, we’re in the heart of battle history as well as nestled beside legendary rock climbing. It’s an evening of hearty creamy pasta and wine while watching climbers scale the vertical towers just outside our door. We overnight at Refugio Averau or Cinque Torre and take a side climb up to the airy hut of Refugio Nuvolau for those interested in a rocky but wide and lovely ridge walk. The views from this ancient refuge are spectacular.
Alta Via 1 — Lagazuoi and the Tofana Range
Hike details: 10.5 km, 770 m elevation gain, 5.5 hours
Overnight: Lagazuoi Refuge
This morning we descend to the valley floor and then up across the narrow pass to the high point of the Alta Via 1 hiking trail. Here at Lagazuoi, we can tour the remnants of tunnels, cannons, and iron ways constructed on the battle fronts of the war, and then take in the 360 views of the Dolomite range, all while perched on the legendary Tofanes massif. Truly this leg allows you the most legendary panorama across all of the central Dolomites including the Marmolada, “Queen of the Dolomites”. Tonight we stay in a family-run hut that has been in the same spirited hands since 1965.
Hike details: Depends on group choice. Up to 20 km cycle day. Via ferrata climb to 10,580 feet / 3225 meters. 4 hours.
After a couple of tough days, we enjoy an easier day today to give our legs a much needed recovery! We return by cable car and transfer to the capital of the Dolomites – the Italian village of Cortina d’Ampezzo. A little slice of heaven returning to civilization on the sunny valley floor. The afternoon is free for a bike ride down valley or a day of lounging, shopping, or strolling the cobblestone streets of town for more Italian coffees and desserts. Your guide will discuss options with the group, and arrange plans that suit everyone’s interests.
Biking takes us along the gently descending Cadore Valley to the south, passing peaceful Italian villages and lunching along the way, followed by a transfer ride back up to town to fully rest the legs. A further option to climb the classic Via Ferrata route to the summit of Tofana di Rozas is an add-on for anyone with airy, vertical ambitions. We overnight at a quaint village hotel shared by the Swiss Olympic team in the winter months. A great garden with lots of space to relax with a glass of wine or even something fizzy.
Lago di Garda
Hike details: 6 km, 300 m elevation gain, 3 hours
Overnight: Lago di Garda
Who could imagine leaving these mountains without some final relax and rejuvenation alongside Italy’s legendary lakes? On our final day, we enjoy an easy, low-level hike to stretch the legs across the foothills of the Sella range, descending now to birch forests and greenhills laden with grape vines above Bolzano. Here we bid farewell to the high peaks and have the option in the afternoon to visit Otzi, the world famous iceman discovered on a nearby Tyrolean pass. The museum is a can’t miss. Then, a final train journey out of the peaks and across the Italian countryside takes us to our final night together, basking in the warmth of an evening alongside Lake Garda. Tomorrow morning, it’s a paradise of kayaking, stand up paddle board, climbing, or just relaxing and stretching the legs before an onward journey home. For those continuing on to tour other Italian cities, it’s a perfect recovery place for a day or more as you see fit.
Morning breakfast and activity lakeside. Trains back to local airports for onward flights. Arrive home Day 11.
Note on Itinerary: Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, this itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, or other reasons beyond our control and in the guide’s best judgement.
Equipment for Dolomites Trek
Day pack (30-45L)
With padded shoulder straps and waist belt; used for carrying personal gear such as water bottle, extra clothing, snacks, camera, etc. Individual loads will be between 10 and 20 pounds. A pack with a volume between 1800-2500 cu. in. (30-45 liters) serves most people’s needs well
will be transported to Cortina and Lago Di Garda
Small padlock for duffel bags
Makes identifying your bags easy at airports or hotels
Sleeping Bag Liner
to be used in huts
Head and Face
Fleece or wool hat
It must cover the ears
Shade hat or baseball cap
A visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the sun
Mountain Madness trucker hat
Bandanas or neck gaiter
Various uses, i.e. cleaning glasses, sun protection when tied around the neck, etc. We have our own Mountain Madness neck gaiter available for purchase!
Mountain Madness neck gaiter
Sunglasses or Glacier glasses (w/hard case)
Essential eye protection whether in the tropics, at high altitudes or by the water. Sun glare off the snow can be intense so polarized 100% UVA/UVB glasses work best. Consider bringing a spare pair
Lightweight gloves to use while trekking and hanging around camp
thin lightweight waterproof glove
Thin socks (2 pair)
Two pairs of synthetic or wool socks to wear under heavy wool socks to help prevent blisters and keep feet dry
Smartwool or Cool Max
Thick socks (3 pair)
Three pairs of synthetic or wool socks, medium to heavyweight. Check boot fit with thin and thick socks on
Smartwool or Thorlo
One pair light to medium-weight hiking/backpacking boots, waterproof, large enough to be comfortable with one thin and one thick sock
Salomon Quest 4D
Tennis shoes or sandals
Lightweight to wear in camp after a long day of hiking
Two synthetic or merino wool t-shirts. No cotton!
Long-sleeved Base Layer
Two lightweight to mediumweight, pull-over is best
Two, synthetic, no cotton!
Softshell Jacket w/ hood
This is what you will be wearing while hiking at higher altitudes or while kicking around camps at lower altitude. This jacket should be full-zip
Outdoor Research Ferrosi
Hardshell jacket w/ hood
A good jacket made of Gore-Tex (recommended) or waterproof nylon, roomy enough to fit over multiple layers
Outdoor Research Foray, Patagonia Triolet
This piece with a high SPF rating and lightweight fabric offers protection from high altitude sun
Down or synthetic jacket w/hood
This is your most important piece of warm gear and will mean the difference between an enjoyable climb or a miserable one. A warm, full zip jacket with hood is recommended and ideal
Helly Hansen Vanir, Feathered Friends Volant, Marmot Guide’s Down Hoody, Outdoor Research Virtuoso Hoody
Adequate supply for the entire trip
One pair of quick-drying shorts. Good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain
Long base layer
Two pairs light or mediumweight
Softshell pants are water resistant, yet highly breathable and durable. Great for colder conditions over a pair of long underwear or tights higher on the mountain or summit day
Outdoor Research Voodoo, Mountain Hardwear Touren, Patagonia Guide
waterproof and breathable with side zips (minimum of ¾ zips recommended) Gore-Tex or equivalent
Outdoor Research Furio, Arcteryx Beta AR
Stuff sacks/ditty bags/plastic bags
To organize gear in your duffle and pack. All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large heavyweight plastic bags (trash compactor bags work great)
Toothbrush and paste, comb, tampons, biodegradable soap (small amount), etc. Bring enough for the entire trip
1 – 2 rolls stored in a plastic bag
Bring plenty of sun block with SPF of 40 or more. It's easy to underestimate the amount necessary for your trip!
Must have SPF rating of 20 or more. Bring two just in case!
To block out snoring and other noise to ensure a good night's sleep
Water Bottles/Water System (Trekking)
Two one-liter, wide-mouthed plastic bottles. If you use a collapsible water bottle or hydration system you are welcome to bring it along for drinking water. However, bring at least one hard plastic bottle.
Steri Pen, Potable Aqua, Polar Pure crystal iodine. Purifies drinking water while on the trip.
Powdered additives like Gatorade or NUUN tablets make treated water taste better
Bring extra batteries!
Pocket knife or multitool
Simple Swiss Army type with scissors. Make sure you transport in checked bag, not carry-on!
Personal first aid and drug kit
small personal first aid kit with ample bandaids and moleskin
Pepto Bismol tablets; Maalox, Gelusil M or Mylanta antacid tablets. Donnatal for stomach cramps. Probiotic capsules taken daily may help keep your gastro-intestinal system working smoothly
For wash up in camp
A small pack or two anti-bacterial are great for general hygiene
Spare contacts and glasses
Contacts can be a problem in dusty conditions, so make sure you have your back-up glasses with you. Glasses wearers should have a spare set
Protection from rain and sun; compact and light weight
Bring your favorite snacks and power/energy bars or if there is something else you particularly like to eat while hiking and climbing
A poncho is great for lower down on the mountain when it is raining. Rather than having to wear your hard-shell jacket and overheat, just throw the poncho over yourself and your pack and you will stay dry as a bone
Phone with camera, and/or separate camera. Bring extra batteries and memory!
If you want to charge your electronics along the way, a small, lightweight solar panel to charge batteries or portable charging device may be a good addition
Travel power adapter
Most come in kits with all the plugs you need. Double-check to make sure you’re taking the correct adapter/plugs
Comfortable clothing for travel before and after the expedition
Dolomites Multi-Sport Trek
11 Days / Includes travel time
10,580 ft / 3225 m
Trekking involves 4-5 hours of walking per day with an elevation gain of up to 1,000 feet / 305 meters. You should be in good physical shape and participating in 3-4, 1-hour minimum cardiovascular workouts per week before the trek. Participants are encouraged to walk several hours or more a week leading up to the trek.