Via Ferrata Holidays in the Dolomites

Via Ferrata Holidays

Our via ferrata holidays are designed to challenge - and reward. On elegantly weathered rock shapes tinted in vivid shades of rose, gold and silver, our via ferrata trail climbs dramatically to meet majestic summits! A hard day's via ferrata will lead to unsurpassed views of the landscape beyond. And the stories round the dinner table, when bellies are filled with simple mountain fare and carafes of house wine, will be remembered long after the journey is complete.

The Dolomites

One of the most beautiful mountain ranges anywhere - home to edelweiss, chamois, trekkers, via ferrata and climbers. The unique character of peaks rising steeply, guarding quaint alpine villages, and vividly brought to life by sculptured pinnacles, spires and towers, will enchant, entrance and cast a spell that will last long after the holiday is over.

Typical 8-day/7-night
via Ferrata Holiday itinerary

A typical via ferrata trip would cover between 8 and 20 Km per day, with daily height gains of anywhere from 300m to 1200m. Typically we'll ascend two to three 3000m summits during a 7 night/8 day trip and climb four to five via ferratas. Our ten day, high octane trip is for the fit and active and will take in some of the most spectacular via ferratas and summits in the Dolomites, covering more than seven high quality via ferratas including an ascent of Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites. Ability to move safely on ice for this trip is a must (equipment may be hired locally).

  • Day 1: Arrive in Venice. After a scruptious Italian dinner, we check kit, acquaint ourselves with the via ferrata equipment; learn how to tie in, clip into cables, and get to know each other better.
  • Day 2: We travel to Cortina area; do some last minute shopping for any missing pieces of kit and snacks for the week ahead. Then in the afternoon we walk to our first overnight stop - a rifugio at the base of our first via ferrata. Along the way we'll get an opportunity to familiarise ourselves a bit more with our via ferrata kit.
  • Day 3: Today we climb our first via ferrata - a spectacular route which offers views that will take your breath away!
  • Day 4: After yesterday's effort we deserve an easier day. A few hours comfortable walk brings us to a rifugio below majestic peaks, where we spend the night.
  • Day 5: We ascend one of the most majestic peaks in the Dolomites. A short via ferrata section leads us to a long ascent of nearly 1000m. From the summit we are rewarded with views that go on, and on, and on... in all directions.
  • Day 6: An easy walking day, lunch at a farmhouse and an afternoon lazing around a glorious lake, at the foot of our final via ferrata for this trip.
  • Day 7: Today is our hardest day yet! Nearly a kilometer of vertical via ferrata and another 3000m summit. Airy! Exciting! Breathtaking! Our last night on the mountain is spent in a rifugio a short walk from the summit.
  • Day 8: We descend via a different, but much easier via ferrata, before travelling back to Venice... Already looking forward to the next time!

What is a Via Ferrata

Via ferrata (Italian), loosely translates as "iron route/way" (plural vie ferrate or in English via ferratas), and consists of fixed protection points (steel bolts or pegs cemented into the rock), with a steel cable running between. Climbers, using a via ferrata kit, clip into the cable, so that if they should slip and fall, the distance which they would fall would be limited by the length of the cable section to which they are attached.

Via ferratas may also be equipped with various points of aid, such as ladders, protruding steel pins (which looks like a comb), steel staples, and even bridges to cross gaps. Via ferratas vary in length and degree of difficulty between easy short walks lasting a few hours (on steep terrain, where the cable acts as a safeguard), to technically demanding routes lasting much of the day. Easier ferratas are normally called "Sentieri", while the more difficult ones are referred to as "Via Ferrata". The via ferrata puts peaks and summits within reach of any person with a reasonable level of climbing expertise, and who may otherwise have been denied access to these lofty heights. But they are equally appealing to experienced climbers. A typical example of this is the very adventurous and technically demanding Via Ferrata Tomaselli on Cima Fanis Sud.

History of Via Ferrata

Via ferratas had their beginnings in fixed protection placed by Alpine guides to protect their clients in dangerous places. The first Italian Via Ferrata was constructed in 1880 by Alpine Guides of Madonna di Campiglio in the Western Dolomites when they equipped the eastern side of the Cima Brenta.

The first Via Ferrata in the Cortina area of the Dolomites, "Meneghel's Ladder", was built in 1907 by a local blacksmith, Luigi Gilarduzzi ("Meneghel"), Consisting of 200 forged steel 'staples', it connected the Travenanzes valley with the Rifugio Cantore (the ruins which can be seen near Rifugio Giussani). Gilarduzzi was keeper of the Rifugio Wolf-Glanwell in the Travenanzes Valley (destroyed by Italian artillery in August 1915), and he built the via ferrata as a more direct and quicker route to Rifugio Cantore.

During WWI, soldiers put up many of the routes we play on today, as an aid to troop movement. This wartime activity is often regarded as the start to the modern day via ferrata.

In the 1930s the Bochette Way was developed in the Brenta Dolomites, with an aim to shorten the time consuming approaches to the popular Brenta climbing routes. This continued after the Second World War, and became popular with mountain walkers. The success of the Bochette Way lead to further via ferratas being developed and old WWI via ferratas being restored in the Dolomites. Today there are more than 400 via ferratas in Italy and more than half of them can be found in the Dolomites!

So, if this sounds like your idea of a holiday reserve your place on a Via Ferrata Holiday now. If you're not yet ready to take the leap, then take a look at what a typical via ferrata trip looks like.

Copyright 2012/3 Via Ferrata Holidays

Via Ferrata Holidays - Dates and Pricing

Trips for individuals or groups up to 12 people can be arranged at any time between mid-June and mid-September. The route followed for the trip will be dependent on the group's ability and experience. For less experienced groups we'll start with a couple of easier VFs, then work our way up towards more challenging routes. With very experienced groups we'll test the water on more challenging VFs, then work our way across the more challenging routes.

For a customised trip, or if you'd like to discuss a group booking (discounts may apply, depending on group size), please contact us.

Typical Trip Profile

Spans 7 nights / 8 days and covers between 7 and up to 20 Km per day; with height gain of between 300m and 1200m.

There are only two things that you'll have to pay for on the trip:

  • Your personal snacks, and drinks

Everything else is included in price:

  • All transport for duration of trip, including: local buses, cable-cars, etc.
  • Accommodation in mountain rifugios (first night in a local hotel - mid to upper range)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and teas


Single accommodation may be available at some destinations. Any extra costs will be charged directly to the person who wishes to use such accommodation.

All inclusive, flights from London

People:1 person2 people3-89-12
Price, incl. Flights4100260019001720
Price, excl. Flights3800230014801320

Copyright 2012/6 Via Ferrata Holidays

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Via Feratta Holidays

Fyfield Wick
OX13 5ND

Copyright 2012/3 Via Ferrata Holidays