Via Ferrata holiday options for beginners and the experienced
fixed cables, exposed ladders & gorge-spanning bridges
for the adrenalin seekers on our walking holidays in Italy’s majestic Dolomites
Enjoy Self guided Via Ferrata independently or with other guests
Or join daily guided Via Ferrata excursions
Or do a mix of both
Via Ferrata is a key attraction in the Dolomites and our accommodation in Corvara and Badia sits at the heart of the greatest concentration of Via Ferrata in the world. The sheer pleasure displayed by those returning from a day on the Via Ferrata bears testimony to the pure excitement awaiting Via Ferrata holidaymakers in the Dolomites.
You might come here to spend most of your days on the Via Ferrata, whilst others will do a mix of Via Ferrata and walking. Some guests just try it once for the experience. Collett’s can help you enjoy memorable days on these high, awe-inspiring cabled routes, whether you are new to Via Ferrata or experienced. Below we set out (1) what we offer if you choose to do self guided Via Ferrata and (2) our guided programme (with one or more options on every weekday), which caters for beginners as well as those with experience.
What is Via Ferrata?
Originally built to assist military movements during World War I, Via Ferrata are protected scrambling routes, comprised of precarious ladders, gorge‐spanning bridges and, primarily, fixed cables, onto which you attach yourself using a Via Ferrata kit of tails and karabiners, harness, shock absorber and helmet.
‘Via Ferrata’ translates as ‘way of iron’ and by following the cable you will make dramatic ascents to high terrain and/or summits, after which you can walk on to a nearby rifugio or descend back to the start of the Via Ferrata via a path.
Via Ferrata are generally well‐charted. They are graded according to length, exposure and difficulty, where technical climbing ability is concerned. Collett’s offers you an opportunity to be well informed and prepared. Therefater, you can simply turn up at the start of a route and off you go.
Self Guided Via Ferrata with Collett’s
- Self Guided Via Ferrata: an abundance of information, help and support
- Our Via Ferrata Ideas & Information at your disposal: browse up to 20 of our favourite local routes
- Our Dedicated Via Ferrata Hosts: each evening at Office Hour you can chat with someone who has first-hand knowledge of the routes
- Route Laminates: one for each Via Ferrata, available for you to borrow on a daily basis
- Safety in Numbers: we can help you team up with other guests seeking similarly graded routes
- Kit Hire: Quick and hassle-free kit hire
- Weather Reports: access to up-to-date, local weather reports, which are essential for planning Via Ferrata.
- Online Via Ferrata Forum: to help guests plan Via Ferrata pre-departure
Year after year our guests enjoy amazing days on the Via Ferrata. The sense of adventure and the staggering scenery are as exhilarating as the exposure, the sheerness of the drops and the vast voids that suddenly present themselves. Clearly, for self guided Via Ferrata, it is essential you are vertigo‐free, sure-footed, reasonably fit and aware of alpine dangers.
Safety and know-how are paramount and whilst these are your responsibility (unless you opt for a guided itinerary), we are here to help maximize your safety by providing the platform that allows you to research the routes efficiently and to set out well prepared. Having your own transport will be invaluable for self guiding. A series of short scenic drives (ranging from 10 minutes to 50 minutes) will give you access to numerous unforgettable Via Ferrata itineraries. Only a few routes can feasibly be accessed by foot, bus or cable car. (This is not the case with our guided Via Ferrata programme, for which transport is provided by the guide). Here is how we can help you have a memorable Via Ferrata holiday:
Our Ideas & Information Files – These files are available to you throughout your stay. We document up to 20 of our favourite Via Ferrata routes – tried and tested gems that have enthralled our guests over the years.
The Benefits of Office Hour – Office Hour offers so much to Via Ferrata enthusiasts. Firstly, over a drink you can chat with our Via Ferrata hosts and glean information about the routes, of which they have first-hand knowledge. Secondly, you can refer to the many maps and guide books, which are dotted about, as well as our Ideas & Information Files which document many classic local routes. Thirdly, you will meet with other guests wanting to do similar routes as you and perhaps team up accordingly. Also, each Monday and Thursday we host a separate Office Hour specifically for people with an interest in Via Ferrata, which will certainly have positive repercussions for you. Fourthly, you can borrow easy-to-carry Route Laminates to carry with you on the Via Ferrata of your choice. Finally, there is the ‘Via Ferrata of the Day’…
Via Ferrata of the Day – this will be highlighted each day at Office Hour for self guiders. The idea is to offer you a little inspiration by proposing a route which is a tried and tested ‘classic.’ It will be ideal for guests who prefer to self guide but simultaneously enjoy the fact that other Collett’s guests are likely to be doing the same route on the same day. This can bring a social element to the day, whilst also providing a sense of safety in numbers. Each ‘Via Ferrata of the Day’ should be studied carefully to ensure it is appropriate for your ability and experience.
Quick and hassle-free kit hire – We have good and long-standing relationships with local suppliers of Via Ferrata kit rental in both Badia and Corvara. Scroll down for more information on kit.
Daily access to up-to-date weather reports – Essential for planning days on the Via Ferrata
Our Online Via Ferrata Guest Forum – This will be launched in April 2013. Guests with an interest in Via Ferrata will be able to see which Via Ferrata we are scheduling on each day of their holiday, both for self guided groups and for our guided programme. Also, guests can communicate with each other in case they might want to nurture interest in a specific itinerary that appeals to them – or on other related matters. Collett’s will use the forum to highlight routes – guided and self-guided – that are being subscribed to, thereby making you aware of popular itineraries that you might choose to join.
Guided Via Ferrata in the Dolomites with Collett’s
- Ideal for beginners – join a guided introductory day on Mondays or Thursdays
- Ideal for refreshing know-how before going out on your own
- Dip into a stunning weekly programme that includes an introductory Grade 2′s and the more challenging Grade 3′s and 4′s
- Each Wednesday we offer the celebrated and airy ascent of the Dolomites’ highest peak, the Marmolada
- Small group sizes limited to four plus an English-speaking, qualified mountain guide
- Collett’s guests get favourable guiding rates which include transport and the provision of kit
- You must pre-book and pre-pay with our UK office at least 7 days before the date of your chosen itinerary
- Cancellation and refunds apply if itineraries are undersubscribed
For Summer 2013, we have teamed up with Corvara’s Mountain Guiding Association to produce a Collett’s programme of guided Via Ferrata on every weekday throughout the season. All these guided itineraries are breathtaking days out in outstanding scenery and guaranteed to thrill, whether you opt for the introductory route or something harder. With all these guided itineraries, both transport and kit is included in the cost. You also have the luxury of being in a group of no more than four people, one of whom will be a professional guide.
With an introductory route on a Monday and a Thursday, the Collett’s Guided Via Ferrata programme is ideal for newcomers. It will also suit people looking to refresh their know-how before going out on a self guided basis. It includes a few Grade 3′s and each Friday we finish the week with a challenging Grade 4. Whichever you might choose to join, these routes are breathtaking adventures in mesmerising scenery.
The success of this guided programme depends on us being able to put together groups of four, as this is the maximum number of people a guide can take. However, if we have less than four people booked in, unfortunately the itinerary will have to be cancelled unless you are prepared to pay the shortfall in the daily rates charged by the guides. For this reason, these guided itineraries need to be pre-booked as early in advance of your holiday as possible, as this will give us a chance to confirm as many groups as possible prior to your holiday. If we do not succeed in getting a group of four, the itinerary will be cancelled 7 days before your holiday and we will inform you accordingly. For more details, prices and other information on our Guided Via Ferrata Programme, click here.
Via Ferrata kit hire
Self guiders can hire locally at approx. €10 per day. Kit is provided and included in the price on all guided excursions. It includes a helmet, harness and a self belay set made up of tails, karabiners and a KISA (Kinetic Impact Shock Absorber).
Transport for via ferrata in the dolomites
On all guided VF excursions transport is provided and included in the price. Even though we could not be better placed for the Via Ferrata having your own transport is more or less essential for self guiding. Most VF’s are remote, off the beaten track and not served by public transport. Considering the drive to the designated car park, the ‘walk in’ to the start and the descent after the VF itself, a VF excursion is generally a full day out. Relying on public transport is likely to compromise many a VF excursion, especially in low season. That said, between mid June and mid September there are a few routes you can do from Corvara by taking a short bus ride or using the village gondola.
‘Via Ferrata of the Central Dolomites’
Copies of this excellent guide are dotted about at Office Hour or we can send you one at £15 (inc. P&P) from us. You can gen up on preparation and safety, whilst also using its excellent detail to plan some VF before your arrival. The book grades each route and describes the grading system. To help with your plans and orientation, we will enclose with the book some itinerary possibilities based, for example, on routes that are nearby, routes that are within an hour’s drive, routes you can access by foot or public transport (i.e. without a car) and local routes at each end of the grading spectrum.
At your own risk
Please note that you make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our staff have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our Guided Via Ferrata Programme follows, they are not qualified mountain guides.
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