Walking in the Dolomites

25 multi-day routes in Italy's Dolomites

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24 Jan 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm

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Guidebook to 25 multi day walks in the Dolomites mountains of northeast of Italy. The walks are mostly circular and 2 to 4 days long, and take in the Marmarole, Marmolada, Civet, Sella and Cortina Dolomites among others. Includes notes on accommodation, wildlife, transport, equipment, a glossary and other practical information.

Seasons Seasons
Mid-June to late September, when the majority of the refuges are open. Peak Italian holiday time is August, especially around 15th August.
Centres Centres
Main centres for the Dolomites include Cortina, Belluno, Selva di Cadore, Arabba, La Villa, Selva, Bressanone, Dobbiaco, Canazei.
Difficulty Difficulty
Moderate and challenging routes, including some mountain traverses involving scrambles and exposure.
Must See Must See
Spotting your first chamois, marmot or Ibex. The majestic Marmolada and Pelmo, the towering Civetta, and the Cinque Torre (now only four of them!).
24 Jan 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook describes 25 hut-to-hut treks in the Dolomites of northern Italy, covering 15 regions including Cortina, Sella, Sesto, Marmolada and Latemar. Ranging from 11.3km to 40.8km and from two to four days, the graded routes are suitable for walkers with a reasonable level of fitness and experience of mountain terrain, and some feature exposed sections which demand a good head for heights. They take advantage of the region's network of mountain refuges and efficient public transport system, with the majority of routes accessible by public bus. 

    Detailed route description is presented alongside mapping and stunning colour photography and the guide also suggests alternative access and exit routes, and options for linking routes to create a longer trek. There is plenty of helpful advice to help make the most of a trip as well as background information on the region's geology, plants and wildlife and local cuisine. 

    The Dolomites – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – are characterised by striking volcanic and sedimentary rock formations. Walking is an ideal way to discover this breathtaking landscape of angular peaks, towering pinnacles and jagged ridges, and the carefully chosen routes in this guide will exhilarate, challenge and inspire.

  • Contents

    The Dolomites
    Plants and flowers
    Getting there
    Local transport
    When to go
    Food and drink
    What to take
    Waymarking and maps
    Dos and don’ts
    Using this guide
    Dolomiti Friulane
    Walk 1 Anello delle Dolomiti Friulane
    Walk 2 Along the Marmarole
    Dolomiti di Sesto
    Walk 3 Vallon Popera
    Walk 4 Tre Cime tour
    Walk 5 Tre Scarperi tour
    Walk 6 Croda Rossa tour
    Walk 7 Sasso della Croce–Cunturines
    Cortina Dolomites
    Walk 8 Tofane–Lagazuoi
    Walk 9 Nuvolau–Cinque Torri
    Walk 10 Croda da Lago–Pelmo
    Walk 11 Civetta tour
    Dolomiti Bellunesi
    Walk 12 Cime de Zita traverse
    Walk 13 Alpi Feltrine
    Pale di San Martino
    Walk 14 Palarondatrek
    Walk 15 Over the Pale di San Martino
    Walk 16 Behind the Marmolada
    Walk 17 Sella traverse
    Walk 18 Around the Puez–Odle Altopiano
    Walk 19 Odle di Eores
    Walk 20 Sassopiatto–Sassolungo tour
    Sciliar and Catinaccio
    Walk 21 Sciliar–Antermoia traverse
    Walk 22 Catinaccio loop
    Walk 23 Latemar traverse
    Dolomiti di Brenta
    Walk 24 Western Brenta
    Walk 25 Eastern Brenta

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Tourist offices
    Appendix C Italian–English glossary
    Appendix D Further reading

  • Maps
    Waymarking and maps

    The Dolomites boast an extensive network of interconnecting footpaths, marked and numbered at regular intervals with painted stripes of red and white on prominent rocks, trees or signposts. On bare terrain such as stony plateaus, in the absence of permanent landmarks, stones are often heaped into cairns to mark a route; known as ometti (little men) in Italian, they are reminiscent of the prayer stones of the Himalayas. Never continue for more than 15 minutes at most without checking for waymarking, as you may be off course. Faint paths across scree slopes and alongside mountain streams are often erased during the spring melt, so expect to hunt around a little.


    Signposts on the Pale di San Martino plateau (Walks 14 and 15)

    The maps provided in this guide are intended as a general aid, and are no substitute for detailed commercial maps such as those produced by Tabacco, Kompass and other publishers. Tabacco puts out a clear 1:25,000 scale series: Carta topografica per escursionisti, on sale throughout the Dolomites as well as at leading bookstores and outdoor suppliers overseas. Smartphone users can download an app from


    Sign for Rifugio Flaiban-Pacherini (Walk 1)

    Languages and place names

    The Dolomite valleys are inhabited by speakers from three main language groups: German, Italian and Ladin. In the Südtirol (accounting for the north-western Dolomites), the majority (80 per cent) speak German as their mother tongue. This region belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918, when it was transferred to the fledgling nation of Italy after World War I. During the fascist period in the 1920 and 30s, Italian nomenclature was zealously applied to everything, with the resulting names more often than not worlds away from the original – the Südtirol, for example, was renamed Alto Adige, a reference to the northern reaches of the Adige river. Nowadays it is a bilingual autonomous region, and place names appear in both Italian and German on signs from offices to streets and mountains.

    In the adjoining regions – the Trentino to the south and the Veneto in the south-east – Italian dominates. Just to complicate matters further, the ancient Ladin language, a hangover from pre-Roman times, is still the mother tongue of many inhabitants of the central Dolomite valleys of Badia, Gardena and Fassa, with additional pockets around Cortina and across Friuli.

    Consequently, place-naming across the Dolomites is by no means standardised! For the purposes of this guide – and to avoid weighing the text down – names of mountains, places and refuges are given in Italian, flanked by the German or Ladin version where they differ dramatically. One to watch out for is Rifugio (or Hütte), recently transformed into Ladin Ücia.

    Walkers will inevitably encounter discrepancies between the names used in route descriptions in this book and on commercial maps, as cartographers and local authorities are tending to reintroduce dialect names and remove longer established versions, on maps and signposts alike – not always a helpful practice.

  • Updates
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    Sept 2017

    Walk 22, Stage 2: Ascent should be 850m and descent 1120m

    (Thanks to Estelle)

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Gillian Price

Gillian Price was born in England but has lived in Venice for many years. Gillian has steadily explored the mountain ranges of Italy, and Corsica, and brought them to life for visitors in a series of outstanding guides for Cicerone. She is an active member of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) and Mountain Wilderness.

View Articles and Books by Gillian Price