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Need to know: Dolomites UNESCO Geotrail

Dolomites

In the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lies a geological wonderland that you can traverse on the relatively new Dolomites UNESCO Geotrail. Hiking 176 kilometers through the Dolomites on this long-distance trail from mountain hut to mountain hut while journeying back in time.

A Journey Through Time

The Dolomites, renowned for their distinctive peaks and stunning landscapes, are famous for their beauty. Behind the formation of this mountain range lies an ancient story. The UNESCO Dolomites Geotrail serves as a gateway to the past, allowing you to discover how these mountains were shaped millions of years ago by ancient seas, towering coral reefs, and tectonic shifts. The route takes you through a diverse landscape, from cliffs to valleys that define the geological history of the Dolomites.

The trail guides you through four Nature Parks over her 176 kilometer length: the Tre Cime Nature Park, the Puez-Odle Nature Park, the Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park, and the Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park.

Your journey begins in the Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park, located in the western part of the Dolomites, known for its towering vertical walls, including the Schlern Massif and the Rosengarten Mountain Group. You’ll pass by several mountain huts, including some luxurious ones, and ascend steep mountain passes.

Next, you enter the Puez-Odle National Park, situated in the western Dolomites. This park is famous for its rugged terrain, featuring the Puez and Odle mountain groups, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It offers a varied landscape, from high plateaus to deep valleys. A definite highlight is your stay at the Puez Mountain Hut, located at an elevation of 2475 meters.

As the third stop, you’ll enter the Parco Naturale Fanes-Sennes-Braies, nestled in the heart of the Dolomites. This park is known for its pristine wilderness and breathtaking vistas. It encompasses the Fanes Plateau, the Sennes Highlands, and the Braies Valley. The trails lead you through alpine meadows, forests, and emerald-green lakes. You can take a detour to visit Lake Braies (Lago di Braies), one of the most iconic spots in the Dolomites.

Breathtaking Views of Tre Cime – Drei Zinnen

Lastly, you’ll explore the popular Tre Cime Nature Park, located in the eastern part of the Dolomites. This park is famous for its iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo or Drei Zinnen, some of the most recognizable peaks in the Dolomites. While this park is popular with day hikers, during this long-distance trek, you can spend the night at the fantastic Dreizinnenhütte. Here, you can enjoy spectacular and peaceful views of the Tre Cime in the evening and morning.

From Dreizinnenhütte, you’ll hike along a panoramic route to the endpoint, Sexten, where you can relax after 10 days of trekking through the Dolomites. Don’t forget to make pit stops along the way at Büllelejochhütte and Zsigmondyhütte for a perfect coffee break.

The Stages

Stage 1: Bletterbach РLavaz̬joch
12.2km, 5.5 hours
Stage 2: Lavaz̬joch РKarerpass
20km, 7 hours
Stage 3: Karerpass – Tierser Alpl Hütte
15.6km, 8 hours
Stage 4: Tierser Alpl Hütte – St. Ulrich
16.6km, 6 hours
Stage 5: St. Ulrich – Puez Hütte
23.1km, 10 hours
Stage 6: Puez Hütte – Armentarola
21.1km, 7 hours
Stage 7: Armentarola – Pederü
16.8km, 5.5 hours
Stage 8: Pederü – Plätzwiese
19km, 7.5 hours
Stage 9: Plätzwiese – Dreizinnenhütte
19km, 7 hours
Stage 10: Dreizinnenhütte – Sexten
15.6km, 5.5 hours

Accommodation

When hiking this trail you’ll mainly stay in one of the beautiful mountain huts alongside the trail. Only after the end of the first stage you’ll not find a mountain hut nearby, then you can stay in the berghotel at Lavazèjoch. Book all accommodations a few months in advance as the Dolomites are a popular place among hikers. Especially around the Tre Creme (Drei Zinnen or Three Peaks) it’s quite busy and huts are mostly fully booked. One great thing about the huts in South Tyrol is that they offer really tasty food keeping you fueled for your next big hiking stage. Make sure you don’t miss out on the local sweet “Kaiserschmarrn” and a good plate of pasta with mountain cheese.

Overnights in the mountain huts / accommodations per stage:

Stage 1: Lavazèjoch Berghotel
Stage 2: Paolina Hütte
Stage 3: Tierser Alpl Hütte
Stage 4: Brogles Hütte
Stage 5: Puez Hütte
Stage 6: Camping Sass Dlacia 
Stage 7: Sennes Hütte
(or Seekoffelhütte)
Stage 8: Plätzwiese berghotel 
(or Dürrensteinhütte)
Stage 9: Dreizinnenhütte
(or Büllelejochhütte)

Tip: relax after your trip in one of the most sustainable hotels of Italy: Leitlhof

Good to know

The Dolomites are a very popular destination among hikers all over the world. Make sure you book the mountain huts a few months in advance so you’re secure of a sleeping place during the night. Most huts can be booked by sending them an email or applying on their personal website. Check out a full recap of this trail at our Instagram.

Useful links

Official Trail page: UNESCO Geotrail 
Official UNESCO page: Dolomites 
Local Weather Website: South Tyrol
Mountain huts: South Tyrol

Guidebooks

Guidebook Dolomites UNESCO Geotrail 

 

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