From Rifugio to Rifugio: hiking the Dolomites of Northern Italy

Hike above the clouds with this trek along the tranquil of the Italian Alps.

Christian Gibney
Origin travel expert
Tre Cime di Lavaredo, or "Three Peaks of Lavaredo"
Rifugi trek in the Dolomites

A short drive north of Venice lies the captivating limestone mountain range of the Dolomites. Rugged, wild, and completely breathtaking, these mountains attract the most outdoorsy adventurists looking to mountain bike, rock climb, paraglide, and base jump their way across the range.

Dotted across the Rifugi hiking trail are the charming mountain lodges, or rifugi. Each rifugio offers you a place to sleep, eat, shower, and commune with fellow trekkers. All this, while also getting the chance to take in the views of the surrounding alpine valleys that fill your entire field of vision, make the multi-day rifugio hike a very appealing prospect.

San Pellegrino Pass
A rifugio along the hike
Reflective mountain ponds among the Dolomites
Elevate the adventure

As incredible as a multi-day hike through the Italian Alps may be, there are also the Via Ferrata climbs for those looking to take their adventure to another level. Via Ferrata trails are marked with metal handles, steel cables, and ladders, allowing harnessed climbers to scale the cliff face.

While the views gained from climbs like this might seem extreme to the more risk-averse, they're a safe and secure way to ascend a normally unscaleable mountain face. The rifugio hike has a wide selection of Via Ferrata along the trail, ranging in difficulty, so anyone can give it a try.

Via Ferrata in the Italian Alps
The metal holdings and steel cables of a Via Ferrata
White Deer: a hidden gem in the Dolomites

Of the many stunning and beautifully situated rifugi along the trek, one of the most noteworthy is White Deer. This 16th-century hunting lodge turned mountain abode is the pride of the two owners, Giorgia and Stefano, who stumbled upon it during a family day trip and decided to convert it into the idyllic accommodation it is today.

Guests of White Deer have the opportunity for a true farm stay experience – they can forage for ingredients that Giorgia herself will use to create an incredible meal with her own homemade recipes.

Valley view from White Deer
Interested in hitting the trail?

Chat with one of our travel curators to start planning your route to this incredible hike in Northern Italy.

Images copyright of San Lorenzo Lodges.


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