Dolomites Via Ferrata

Scrambling in the Dolomites of Northern Italy




From $1,780 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Explore the Cristallo, Tre Cime and Tofanes groups
  • Climb the best Dolomites peaks, no rock climbing expertise needed
  • All Via Ferrata equipment provided
  • Ideal for confident scramblers with a head for heights

Dating back to the First World War, when they were used to access mountain-top military positions, the via ferrata or 'iron ways' of the Dolomites cross some of the region's steepest and most impressive limestone cliffs and towers. Re-equipped and upgraded with staples, chains, ladders, cables and bridges, they provide  exciting safe passage through precipitous terrain and spectacular airy views normally reserved only for mountaineers and rock climbers. This professionally-guided via ferrata holiday using high mountain refuges includes 6 days of exploration on classic routes, many of which lead to airy summits with exceptional views. No climbing experience is required to take part in this holiday but a head for heights is essential. During the week we stay in comfortable mountain refuges and tackle some of the famous easier via ferrata routes among the most iconic peaks of the Italian Dolomites. Excitement guaranteed on this high level trekking holiday!

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Cortina.
  • Transfer by bus to Misurina (1754m). Walk to the Fonda Savio hut (2367m).
  • Climb the Via Merlone for views of Tres Cime. Walk on the Bonacossa track to the Lavaredo Hut (2344m).
  • Climb the Via Delle Forcelle on Monte Paterno (2746m) and descend to the Locatelli Hut (2438m).
  • Climb the Via Sentiero delle Scalette on Torre di Toblin (2617m). Return to the Locatelli Hut (2438m).
  • Walk to Auronzo (862m). Bus and cable car to the Lorenzi Hut (2932m). Climb the Via Marino Bianchi.
  • Climb Via 'Ivano-Dibona' (3018m). Descend to Col de Tres Croci (1809m). Transfer by bus to Cortina.
  • Departure day
Sat 02 Jul - Sat 09 Jul Code VIA /01/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
Sat 16 Jul - Sat 23 Jul Code VIA /02/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
Sat 30 Jul - Sat 06 Aug Code VIA /03/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 20 Aug - Sat 27 Aug Code VIA /04/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
Sat 03 Sep - Sat 10 Sep Code VIA /05/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis. If you arriving by air, we recommend that you book your flights to Venice Marco Polo Airport which is approximately 2 hours by express bus from Cortina. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Venice MP. These include Easyjet who have flights from London and Manchester, Jet 2 who have flights from Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford , Manchester & Newcastle and Thomas Cook Airlines who have flights from London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. Other airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Cortina.

    We will meet at the group hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo. This is Italy's premier ski resort and a very stylish town. During the summer months it is frequented by climbers and hikers as well as fashionable tourists. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal taken at the hotel or in a local restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Transfer by bus to Misurina (1754m). Walk to the Fonda Savio hut (2367m).

    We take the local bus on a road which winds through the mountains to Misurina Lake. From here we follow the Bonacossa track to the sensationally located Fonda Savio hut (2367m) situated on a ridge in the Cadini di Misurina group. We stay overnight at the hut

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 600m

    • Meals bd

    • Time 2 - 3 hours walking

  • Climb the Via Merlone for views of Tres Cime. Walk on the Bonacossa track to the Lavaredo Hut (2344m).

    From the Fonda Savio hut we head south into a stone filled basin and climb to the base of the Cima del Cadin de NE where we gear up for the Via Merlone. After some easy scrambling along ledges we follow a series of wires and ladders and more ledges for around 300 metres with the view openning up behind us. On reaching the summit marked by a simple stone cairn, we have a spectacular panorama which includes Monte Piana and Monte Piano as well as the iconic towers of the Tre Cime di Laverado. After photos and some lunch we make our descent and then continue on the Bonacossa track to the Lavaredo hut (2344m).

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 700m

    • Meals bd

    • Descent 730m

    • Time 6 - 7 hours walking/climbing

  • Climb the Via Delle Forcelle on Monte Paterno (2746m) and descend to the Locatelli Hut (2438m).

    Monte Paterno (2746m) is another superb peak from which to view the impressive faces of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Our route today starts out near our overnight accommodation and climbs the Delle Forcelle via ferrata crossing a number of ledges and using ladders and bridges to reach the cross at the top and those great views. We then descend cables to the Forcella di Comosci (2650m) and then more ladders and cables to reach the start of a section of WW1 tunnels where we will need our headtorches. Emerging from the tunnels we have a short descent to our overnight accommodation at the Locatelli hut (2045m). after settling in here we can relax on the terrace with a beer and watch the sunset on the towers of the Tre Cime.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 450m

    • Meals bd

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 6 - 7 hours walking/climbing

  • Climb the Via Sentiero delle Scalette on Torre di Toblin (2617m). Return to the Locatelli Hut (2438m).

    The twin-towered Torre di Toblin provides a superb objective for our next via ferrata. It rises dramatically above a wide amphitheatre and provides views of the fantastic north walls of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. During the First World War, Austrian troops constructed a route to the top of this prime viewpoint and the modern-day Sentiero delle Scalette runs alongside the original Austrian route, with remnants of the old wooden ladders still visible in places. A short way beyond the Refuge Locatelli, we reach the base of the via ferrata on the north side of the Torre di Toblin. The route follows a stepped corner and passes a terrace to reach steep chimneys and a series of ladders leading up to the col between the 2 summits. A traverse and final airy ladder leads to the summit, where the views of the Tre Cime are brilliant. We descend easily via the stepped north-east ridge, with equipped sections in the most exposed places. This is a deliberately short day to provide an opportunity to rest and relax in this most scenic of spots.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 400m

    • Meals bd

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 3 - 4 hours walking/climbing

  • Walk to Auronzo (862m). Bus and cable car to the Lorenzi Hut (2932m). Climb the Via Marino Bianchi.

    Today we follow part of the 150km long Alta Via No. 4 which traverses the Dolomites with splendid views along the way. Reaching Auronzo, we catch a bus to the col de Tre Croci and here we take a cable car up to the Lorenzi hut. We then make an ascent and descent of the interesting via ferrata Marino Bianchi which starts almost at the hut door and follows a ridge to the summit of the middle peak of the Cristallo group of towers. From the summit there is an extensive view over the valley and down to Cortina. We stay overnight at the Lorenzi hut.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 850m

    • Meals bd

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 5 - 6 hours walking/climbing

  • Climb Via 'Ivano-Dibona' (3018m). Descend to Col de Tres Croci (1809m). Transfer by bus to Cortina.

    This long, classic and largely downhill via ferrata gives us another chance to see some of the amazing WW1 installations on these rock towers. From the top of the cable car below our accommodation, the route starts with an iron ladder and then the superb ‘Ponte del Cristallo’ suspension bridge which crosses a deep gorge and continues to the pass of the Forcella Grande (2874m). We follow a well-marked route over rocky crests and along unlikely ledges, with old military hardware and construction in places. We drop down into Val Padeon and hike across to the Tre Croci Pass where we catch the bus to Cortina d'Ampezzo and check into our hotel. We say goodbye to our guide(s) here. Before they go they will help us to choose a restaurant for the farewell dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 300m

    • Meals b

    • Descent 1250m

    • Time 6 - 7 hours walking/climbing

  • Departure day

    KE Land Only packages end after breakfast at the hotel.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Professional English-speaking local IFMGA guide(s)
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • Local bus fares and cable car
  • Via ferrata equipment

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers to/from Cortina
  • Some meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The group will rendezvous at the hotel in Cortina. The most convenient airport for Cortina is Venice's Marco Polo Airport. There is an express bus service between the Airport and Cortina which can be booked in advance online. The last bus departs from the airport at 17.15 and the journey takes 2 hours. On the return, the first bus from Cortina to Venice arrives at Marco Polo Airport at 10.30. There are also various bus and train/bus combinations daily between Venice and Cortina if you are spending time in Venice prior to, or after the trip. Full joining arrangements, together with details of the group hotel in Cortina and an emergency contact number, will be provided with your booking confirmation.

During this trip, the group will spend 2 nights in a hotel in Cortina and 5 nights at a number of Italian mountain refuges. Accommodation in the hotel will be on twin share basis and in the mountain refuges will be in non-segregated dormitory style rooms with bunk beds and shared facilities.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Continental breakfasts are provided - tea and coffee, bread and a variety of spreads including jam and honey, for example. At the start of the trip you will be given a supply of high-sugar 'energy food' items as hill-food snacks. At each of the refuges, a full 3-course dinner will be served, usually a soup dish, followed by some wholesome local speciality and a simple desert. Lunches if needed, can be purchased every day from the huts. This may be at your overnight accommodation or at a hut passed en route.

All breakfasts and dinners from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 7 are included in the holiday price. If required, packed lunches can be purchased from the huts at approximately 12 Euros.

You will need to allow approximately €20 per day for your snacks and refreshments. Note that bottled water, if bought at refuges, is very expensive. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. Soft drinks especially are expensive compared to home. You should also allow €20 - 30 for the final night's evening meal. You can withdraw cash (euros only) from ATM's at the airport in Venice.

The group will be led by an English-speaking IFMGA Guide. The guide to client ratio is 1:8

Group members will need to carry all of their personal equipment during the trip and this means you must make every effort to minimise the overall weight of your equipment. Since you will not be required to carry either a sleeping bag or a camping mattress it should be possible to keep the weight of your pack to around 7 kg / 16 lbs. During the via Ferata climbs on days 3, 5 and 6 anything not required for the climb can be left at the hut.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

A passport with 3 months remaining validity is required. Passport holders from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any EU countries do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the respective consulate in their own country.

Whilst we keep our information up to date, you should be advised that visa requirements can change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in case of recent amendments.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your daypack to a minimum. Please remember you will be carrying all your equipment between the huts. In practice since bedding is provided this will amount to a sheet sleeping bag and a minimal amount of toiletries

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers – (not too tight!)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Thermal Base Layer(s)
  • Trekking shirt(s)
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Gloves for protection on cables (fingerless biking gloves are ideal)
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle/bladder (1 - 2 litres)
  • Daypack 30 - 40 litres (NO external frames)
  • Head torch with new battery
  • Sun Protection (high factor)
  • Lip salve – with sunscreen
  • Wash bag (toiletries)
  • Sheet sleeping bag
  • Rucksack liner to keep contents dry (a bin liner would be suitable)
  • Small and light fold-a-way bag (to store items at the huts that are not required on climbs)
  • Small Padlock (for trek bag if you are bringing it)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium)
  • painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment,

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking pole(s)*
  • Travel towel
  • Shorts
  • Earplugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring)
  • Camera
  • Travel clothes (can be left in hotel)

The following safety equipment is provided free of charge:

  • Climbing Harness
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Via Ferrata Lanyard, together with auto-locking karabiners


  • *Trekking poles are useful especially for descents. However your poles must be fully retractable and you must have a system in/on your rucksack for stowing the poles securely

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing better cardiovascular fitness. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. For this trip, a few visits to your local climbing wall will also be useful.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Generally, the temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, in the range 18 to 25°C / 64 to 77°F. At night at our overnight accommodation, we can expect the temperature to drop to between 5 and 10°C / 41 to 50°F. The weather is usually stable at this time of year, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out.

Via Ferratas of the Dolomites Vol 1 Smith and Fletcher. Cicerone Press

Casa Editrice Tabacco

Freytag & Berndt. Walking & Leisure Maps. 1:50,000. Kompass-Karten GmbH. 1:50,000.

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts