5 international trails through 8 european countries

Five are the main international trails that, stretching over more than 5,000 km divided into 340 stages, connect eight Alpine European countries, from Trieste in Italy to the Principality of Monaco, all across the Alps. A fascinating project based on the exploitation of already existing trails, of easy access to anybody and not only for experienced climbers, aimed at discovering the alpine landscapes and at grasping the heart of the environment, history and culture of the common alpine identity.


A path for Europe

One of these paths (the yellow route) also passes through the Dolomites and the Val di Fassa territory, exploiting already existing paths which do not present any particular difficulty. Val di Fassa includes four stages which cross areas of outstanding natural beauty overlooked by the imposing and majestic Sella, Marmolada and Catinaccio-Rosengarten massifs. Numerous are the mountain refuges that ensure adequate assistance along the stages.

Stages of Via Alpina in Val di Fassa:

  • stage B22: Pordoi Pass - Contrin Refuge; length 16 km; time 6 hours; uphill altitude 720 m; downhill altitude 930 m;
  • stage B23: Contrin Refuge - Fontanazzo; length 15 km; time 6 hours; uphill altitude 740 m; downhill altitude 1,360 m;
  • stage B24: Fontanazzo - Antermoia Refuge; length 9 km; time 4 hours; uphill altitude 1,150 m; downhill altitude 40 m;
  • stage B25: Antermoia Refuge - Bolzano Refuge; length 11 km; time 5.30 hours; uphill altitude 820 m; downhill altitude 860 m.


Via Alpina Stage B22: Pordoi Pass - Contrin Refuge

Description of the stage in the Trieste-Monaco direction: starting at Pordoi Pass, follow path no. 601 (high level path no. 2) heading south along the eastern slope of "Sas Becè", on the wide and easy trail that climbs up to the Fredarola Refuge. From there, follow the "Viel dal Pan" (path no. 601 high level path no. 2) heading east, cutting across the southern slope of the "Sas Ciapel". The path runs almost flat midway up the ridge and through the meadows that cover this lavic massif. Once you have reached the Viel dal Pan Refuge, continue along the clear-cut path that runs facing the entire Marmolada. When you reach the crossroads with the junction path that leads to "Porta Vescovo", descend to the right towards the Fedaia Lake and the dam, while keeping to the no. 601 signposts. Once you have reached the Marmolada "E. Castiglioni" Refuge, take path no. 605 which, after a first sharp bend, turns decidedly west. Follow the easy muletrack that leads to the Villetta Maria Hotel. From there, keep following the no. 605 signs, proceeding along the dirt road that goes slightly to the left at the first crossroads and then takes you to the main road (asphalt). Cross it and descend to the left. Walk externally along the guard-rail and then, a short distance afterwards, enter the forest. Follow the small road that criss-crosses through large rock formations and then descends once again to the main road. Cross to the other side, go up to the left to pass the bridge and after a few metres enter the forest to the right. Proceed a fair distance until you reach the path signalled as path no. 602-bis, that leads to the dirt road (signpost no. 602) that will take you to the Contrin Refuge.

Alternative route: from the Marmolada "E. Castiglioni" Refuge follow the dam until you reach the Cima Undici refuge. In front of it you can access path no. 606 that leads to the Pian dei Fiacconi Refuge (or you can reach it by cable-way). From there, turning westward in the direction of Gran Vernel, continue on path no. 606 which takes you to the valley that climbs up towards "Forcella Marmolada". Once you have ascended to the saddle along a tongue of snow and ice, descend the southern slope, which is equipped with a metal safety cord for a short distance, then walk along the scree until you bend westward again and reach the Contrin Refuge.

Description of the route in the opposite direction: starting at the Contrin Refuge, descend along the road (signpost no. 602) until you are almost at the bottom of the valley and, next to a bridge, take path no. 602-bis that leads right towards Penìa di Canazei. Once you reach the Avisio stream (with the footbridge for the town on your left) go right along the mountain side until you exit onto the main road. Descend to the left, pass the bridge and, at the nearby lay-by, cross the road. Enter the forest and take the small dirt road that climbs steeply at first but then almost levels off, running amidst the large rocks of an ancient landslide. When you reach the main road once again, follow it for a few dozen metres (partly walking along the inside of the guard-rail) and then cross it to enter the wide dirt road that leads to the Villetta Maria Hotel. To the building’s right take the path that once again enters the forest along path no. 605 that climbs towards the Marmolada "E. Castiglioni" Refuge. Once you have crossed the road, take path no. 601, ascending the "Viel dal Pan". Continue along this path until you reach the Fredarola Refuge from which, keeping to the right, you can descend to the Pordoi Pass.

 


Via Alpina Stage B24: Fontanazzo - Antermoia Refuge

Description of the stage in the Trieste-Monaco direction: from the town of Fontanazzo, climb north-west along the muletrack (signpost no. 577), paved in some especially steep sections, that with a few sharp bends leads to the mouth of the hanging Dona Valley. After passing a few shepherds’ settlements, you will join path no. 580 that climbs along the Val Udai from Mazzin. You proceed through the pastures of "Camerloi" towards the head of the valley that consists of the partly grass-grown screes of the eastern slope of the "Dona" peak until you reach the pass by the same name. After crossing the scree on the southern slope of this peak, you will reach the Antermoia Refuge.

 Description of the route in the opposite direction: starting from the Antermoia Refuge, after a short while, you will reach the Dona Pass. Descend along the hanging Dona Valley and pass several shepherds’ settlements until you can see the bottom of Val di Fassa. Take the partly paved mule track, cross through the forest and finally descend into the town of Fontanazzo.

 


Via Alpina Stage B23: Contrin Refuge - Fontanazzo

Description of the stage in the Trieste-Monaco direction: starting at the Contrin Refuge, climb along the easy path no. 648 until you reach the San Nicolò Pass and the refuge by the same name. From there, follow the grassy ridge north-west (signpost no. 613), passing over the "Varos" rib, and then descend down to a grassy saddle. Walk along the eastern "Croda Neigra" rock wall and then, through the "Forcia Neigra" saddle, descend down to the wide grassy hollow of the Ciampac, which is crossed by various ski lifts. Once you have reached the Tobià del Giagher Refuge, climb along the opposite slope (signpost no. 645) until you reach the "Pian de Siele" from which you enter the wild Val de Grepa, dominated to the right by the black rocks of the "Crepa Neigra". Descend into the valley, reaching various mountain wooden huts and dairies, some of which have been recently restored. The trail continues through the wide pastures and, shortly after, reaches a steep rocky descent that leads to the bottom of Val di Fassa through the forest and along a demanding cobbled muletrack. Once across the Avisio stream, the town of Fontanazzo is just a short distance away.

Alternative route: from the saddle, at the crossroads for the "Croda Neigra", continue straight ahead in the direction indicated by signpost no. 613-bis. Follow the southern slope of the "Sas de Rocia" along the equipped path "Lino Pederiva", until you once again join path no. 613 at "Sella Brunéch". From there, continue northwards along the grassy ridge on an unsignalled path that leads towards "Crepa Neigra" until you reach "Pian de Siele".

Description of the route in the opposite direction: in Fontanazzo, take path no. 645 that climbs towards Val de Grepa. Once out of the woods, enter the plain of the hanging valley which features several shepherds’ settlements. Then, climb along the sharply bending trail until you reach "Pian de Siele" and descend towards the Ciampac. Once at the Tobià del Giagher Refuge, climb along the opposite slope until you reach the "Forcia Neigra" saddle. Follow the north-eastern rocky slope of "Croda Neigra" until you reach a grassy saddle, from which you can climb up to the "Varos" ridge, and then go down to the San Nicolò Pass, in view of the refuge. Finally, descend into the Val Contrin along path no. 608 until you reach the Contrin Refuge.

 


Via Alpina Stage B25: Antermoia Refuge - Bolzano Refuge

Description of the stage in the Trieste-Monaco direction: starting at the Antermoia Refuge, cross the stream and head left towards the Antermoia Lake. With its pretty grey-blue colours, local folk tales say it was the meeting place for Val di Fassa witches. Walk along the left bank and then cross over the flat alluvial "Valon d’Antermoa". Climb up along its head, often still snow-bound at the beginning of the summer season, until you reach the Antermoia Pass. From there, follow the screes at the foot of the Catinaccio d’Antermoia, until you reach the Principe Pass and the mountain refuge by the same name. Enter the Province of Bolzano along the path with steep and sharp bends that descends into the "Principe" hollow. At a crossroads, turn right through the above mentioned hollow, and then walk up the narrow gorge towards the Molignon Pass. Cross through peak stone grounds and then descend towards the Alpe di Tires refuge. From there, go west on the easy trail that cuts through the high-altitude meadows of "Buco dell’Orso". Along sharp bends, climb up a steep hill, go round the base of the "Terrarossa" peak, cross diagonally to overtake a pylon of porphyry lava, and finally exit onto the Sciliar plateau. Pass through two modest elevations consisting of dolomia rock, one of the rare examples of this kind of rock formation still existing in the Eastern Dolomites. Finally, along plaques of smooth rock, grasslands and stone quarries, through the narrowest part of the plateau, reach path no. 1, that to the left, leads to the Bolzano Refuge (Schlernhaus).

Alternative route: even if used prevailingly in the opposite direction, it is possible to ascend to the peak of Catinaccio d’Antermoia along the eastern via ferrata and then descend along its western section (signpost no. 585). The via ferrata branches off just before reaching the Antermoia Pass and climbs up towards the peak, exploiting the rock face’s numerous narrow ledges and canals. To reach the peak you need to follow the rather exposed ridge northwards. Then, to get down, you must take the same ridge southwards and then, along the other ledges and canals of the southern slope, descend towards the Principe Pass.

Description of the route in the opposite direction: starting at the Bolzano Refuge (Schlernhaus), cross the peak stone grounds of the Sciliar eastbound. First descend along the steep and rocky slopes and then, once on the plain, you reach the Alpe di Tires Refuge. Climb along the rocks of the opposite slope and then descend down to the first saddle. Go towards the nearby Molignon Pass. Opposite are the Principe Pass and the refuge, reached through the hollow. Climb left towards the Antermoia Pass from which you can climb down into the underlying valley and reach the Antermoia Refuge.


Walking in security in the Dolomites

  • For your hikes in mountain always choose itineraries in accordance with your technical and physical abilities. Consult maps of the area to visit and check the best way to follow. If you walk in group including slower hikers, always calculate longer average times to cover the distances.
  • Wear adequate clothing, footwear and equipment suitable for the length and grade of difficulty of trail to be taken. Always try to be self-sufficient and carry with you the necessary to face possible emergency situations and a first aid kit.
  • Preferably do not hike alone in mountain. Otherwise tell someone the itinerary that you are going to follow and let him know when you are back.
  • Check the weather forecast and, while hiking, constantly pay attention to the evolution of the weather.
  • If you do not feel safe, give up. In mountain, sometimes, it is better to surrender that to face the dangers deriving from bad weather conditions or from difficulties superior to one’s limits. In advance look for alternative itineraries to get back.
  • Bring rubbish back with you. Respect the flora and fauna. Remain on the marked tracks, avoiding to follow shortest ways, in order to avoid causing damages to vegetation and the territory. Respect local cultures and traditions, always bearing in mind that you are a guest.


See also: webcam Val di Fassa


Plan your excursions on the paths of the Via Alpina

Mountain huts summer
Download the list of the mountain and alpine huts open in summer and get more information about contact and opening times. See also: mountain/alpine huts associated with the Val di Fassa Tourist Board.

Excursion with the alpine guides
In summer our guests can count on a varied programme of excursions with our alpine guides, planned and organized so to satisfy everybody’s interests and expectations.

Public transport and taxi services
Enjoy your holiday without using your car! In Val di Fassa public transport, taxi service and the busses of the Dolomite Passes (from Canazei to Sella, Gardena, Pordoi, Campolongo and Fedaia Pass) help you reach effortlessly some of the most beautiful sites of the Dolomites.

PanoramaPass, your passport to the Dolomites in summer
PanoramaPass is a card that gives free and unlimited access (even several trips per day) to all the lifts open in the entire Val di Fassa throughout the summer. The card gives you the right to travel for free on public buses.

Summer lifts
In the section lifts you’ll find the ticket prices, opening and closing times of the lifts in Val di Fassa in order to plan your excursions at best.

Hiking map
Check in the info material section to download the map and the brochure of the Via Alpina in Val di Fassa.


Official Via Alpina website


tourist-guide
VAL DI FASSA TOURIST GUIDE

Download for free the official mobile App of Val di Fassa on your smartphone or tablet.
With a simple touch of your finger you can explore the entire valley! Available on App Store and Google Play

Brochures and catalogues

Here you can view the informative printed matter, catalogues and brochures, and either download it or ask for a paper copy

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