Established in 1967, Italy’s Adamello-Brenta Nature Park is one of the largest protected areas in the Alps. With a staggering diversity of landscapes and wildlife, it is actively preserved for the protection of mountain nature and the promotion of reassuringly-limited responsible tourism. Today, it is a breathtaking alpine wilderness, where hikers find solitude and inspiration.
Two mountain ranges form the park – the Adamello-Presanella and Brenta Dolomites. Differing in every aspect, their geologies are almost 200 million years apart! The Brenta Dolomites were heaved up from a coral-rich, pre-historic ocean, whilst the Adamello-Presanella range is a result of the more recent alpine orogeny. The result for hikers is a diverse and tantalising mix of landscapes, flora, rock formations and colours. In the course of a single day, be prepared for sparkling lakes, earie lunar terrain dotted with snow ptaches, pine forests, heart-warming meadows, revealing high passes, gushing streams and waterfalls.
Renowned for its lakes, Lake Tovel is perhaps the most spellbinding in the park. Once known as the Red Lake, it is a naturalistic treasure that turned red every July until 1964 due to a certain algae. The algae has moved on, but Tovel’s exquisite waters and surroundings still make it a landmark to marvel at.
At a glance
22 June – 16 September 2024
(You can start any day)
2 -3 people – £1550
4+ people – £1395
Single supplement – £130
Expect to walk for 5 – 6 hours each day with between 45m – 1100m of ascent and 200-1300m of descent.
3* Hotel in Val di Sole (bed and breakfast) on your first and last nights
All Hut bookings at half-board (breakfast and dinner included)
3* Hotel in Madonna di Campiglio (Day 3) at half-board
Private airport transfers at the start and end of your holiday (between Verona and Val di Sole).
Holiday Pack with comprehensive route notes, maps & more
Digital Map Access for the duration of your trip
24/7 Telephone Support from our local partner in Italy
Excess baggage storage in Val di Sole
Please note that packed lunches, tourist taxes (where applicable) rifugio showers (which cost €3-6) and the lift on Day 2 (€13) are not included.
Private Rooms – These can be reserved in advance in some of the mountain huts if available at a supplement of £20pp/night
4-Star hotel – for the first and last nights in Val di Sole – contact us for details.
Private Transfers – between Venice Marco Polo or Treviso and Val di Sole – contact us for details
This holiday starts and ends in Val di Sole. We recommend flying into and out of Verona airport. Other options include Innsbruck, Venice Marco Polo and Treviso, but the transfer times are longer – these are available at a supplement.
Day 1 - Arrive in Val di Sole
From Verona Airport a private transfer will take you to the Val di Sole, a remote valley on the western edge of the Dolomites nestled between the Ortler-Cevedale range and Brenta Dolomites. The small towns at the heart of the valley are strategically good for reaching the key features of Val di Sole and the nearby Val di Rabbi. Originating from Sulis, the Celtic goddess of waters, the region has reputable thermal spas at Rabbi and Peio. Almost every valley in the Alps produces its own unique cheese and this one is no exception. Indeed, Casolet is integral to the valley’s culinary traditions, used on pizza, in salads and any dish that is accompanied by cheese.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Val di Sole (B&B)
Day 2 - Forests of Presanella
Route Statistics: 13km, Ascent 620m, Descent 880m, Walking Time – 5hrs
In the morning, a short transfer takes you to Daolasa, where a cable car whisks you from the valley up to your trailhead at 2050m in the Presanella group of mountains. Today’s trail meanders through pine forests and traverses high meadows above the treeline passing lakes as you go. It is a charming walk and you will marvel at the overwhelming views of the Brenta Dolomites from the slopes of Presanella. The two mountain groups stand one in front of another. Presanella is famed for its many lakes, some hidden in the forest, while others are out in the open overlooking the Brenta. The day ends at the picturesque Lake Nambino, which is surrounded by the forest and frequented regularly by fishermen and photographers.
Accommodation: Rifugio Nambino (half board)
Day 3 - The Five Lakes
Route Statistics: 13km, Ascent 660m, Descent 910m, Walking Time – 6hrs
Today the trail continues along the slopes of the Presanella with more beautiful lakes to savour, almost exclusively at a higher altitude above the treeline. The Five Lakes hiking route is among the most renowned walks of the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park. Immersed in bewitching scenery, the profuse flora will also enchant you. Today’s route is planned so that you reach the lakes and other special landmarks well before the day visitors who come up by lift from Madonna di Campiglio. This is a day spent in a perfectly preserved and protected area, abundant in crystal-clear lakes, which are flanked by rhododendrons and gentians. The Adamello-Brenta Nature Park also has a healthy population of chamois, many of which you will see in the morning if you are relatively early on to the trail. At the end of the day, you descend to Madonna di Campiglio, a well-known alpine resort, where you can stroll its attractive streets and relax before heading back into the wilderness for another 3 nights.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Madonna di Campiglio (half board)
Day 4 - Vallesinella Waterfalls
Route Statistics: 11km, Ascent 860m, Descent 200m, Walking Time – 5hrs
Today, you start in Madonna di Campiglio and walk straight to the heartland of the Brenta Dolomites. The Vallesinella waterfalls are your first highlight, a calling card of the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park. You will reach the waterfalls in the morning while traversing the pine forests that cover the terrain below 1800m. The trail snakes up the slope crossing a stream multiple times. A series of wooden bridges allow you to approach the cascades, breathe the cool air and take photos. From the waterfalls, the trail gradually ascends out of the forest, as you approach the monumental walls of the central Brenta. Your overnight hut awaits you at 2200m and as you get nearer to it, beautiful views open up to the west of Brenta, where the Adamello group still preserves its glaciers.
Accommodation: Rifugio Brentei or Alimonta (half board)
Day 5 - Passo Grostè
Route Statistics: 8km, Ascent 570m, Descent 310m, Walking Time – 4hrs (recommended extension to Orti della Regina add 2hrs).
The heartland of Brenta will astound you with its beauty and natural splendour. You will now walk the trail at the foot of Cima Groste toward the Passo Groste pass. Cima Grostè is the most impressive peak of the Brenta Dolomites, although not the highest. The trail runs on typically-Dolomitic rocky terrain at 2300m. The walk to Passo Groste along the direct trail takes less than half a day and comes with compelling views of the Presanella and Adamello ranges to the west of Brenta. For some extra paleontological wonder, we recommend a 2hr. extension to Orti della Regina to see thousands of fossils, the area’s pre-historic mollusc residents 230 million years ago. Finally, the rockfaces of the Brenta are famed for the depth of their fiery red colour, which intensifies so dramatically as the sun sets. Don’t miss it! Your walk finishes at Passo Groste and you stay overnight at the foot of the Pietra Grande, perhaps the reddest of all the Brenta’s mountains at sunset. This phenomenon could make your evening here simply unforgettable.
Accommodation: Rifugio Stoppani (half board)
Day 6 - Lake Tovel
Route Statistics: 14km, Ascent 50m, Descent 1270m, Walking Time – 5hrs
This stage connects Passo Groste with Lake Tovel on a trail running through the meadows of Val Flavona. Whilst Lake Tovel is the highlight of the day, the Turion tower is another icon of the Brenta Dolomites. Making a remarkable sight, it is a 160m high formation of layered rocks, resembling a man-made fortress, simply standing in the meadows. The hike to Lake Tovel represents a considerable descent throughout the day but it is not strenuous or fatiguing, as the incline of the trail is not steep and the terrain is good. Lake Tovel is notable from both a wildlife and aesthetic perspective, a highly photogenic location. Reflected in its pristine waters is a chain of stunning mountains, which adds to the wonder of this beauty spot. Until 1964, the water here turned red in July, due to an algae called Tovelia Sanguinea. This algae no longer exists, but Tovel is still widely known as the Red Lake.
Accommodation: Albergo Lago Rosso at Lake Tovel (half board)
Day 7 - Northern Brenta
Route Statistics: 13km, Ascent 1100m, Descent 330m, Walking Time – 6hrs
The morning views at Lake Tovel will mesemerise you. Wake up early and take a short walk to the northern tip of the lake. Here, indulge in the sunlit mountain tops while the lake remains in the shade with its silky surface reflecting the skyline. Today, you hike in the northern part of Brenta, the least visited and most diverse area of the Brenta Dolomites, featuring red rock mountains, lush-green pastures and pine forests. Other hikers are few and far between. Your destination is Monte Peller, a peak in the extreme north of the Brenta. Shortly before your overnight hut, there emerges a farm surrounded by meadows where curious marmots observe you. It is the renowned home of some traditionally manufactured cheeses. Be sure to stop and have a taste, as these are unique alpine specialities.
Accommodation: Rifugio Peller (half board)
Day 8 - Monte Peller
Route Statistics:10km, Ascent 45m, Descent 1300m, Walking Time – 5hrs
There are several options for today’s itinerary. You can start the day with a relatively demanding ascent to Monte Peller on a protected trail that runs to the top on an exposed slope.. Monte Peller stands alone and will appeal to anyone who craves solitude. The reward for this ascent is a 360-degree panorama taking in the northern and central Brenta and the adjacent Ortler-Cevedale group. Alternatively, an easier option is the walk towards Lake Salare, an hour away from Rifugio Peller. It is highly scenic experience and the lake is certainly worth visiting before your descent into the valley. Often frequented by landscape artists, the lake is nestled in verdant upland pastures with rare fir trees and gorgeous surroundings. Once ready, it’s time to descend to Val di Sole on a 3hr. woodland walk, which brings your adventure to its conclusion.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Val di Sole (B&B)
Day 9 - Depart
A private transfer from the Val di Sole to Verona is provided, and timed to get you to the airport in good time for your flight. Transfers to Innsbruck, Venice Marco Polo and Treviso are also available at a supplement.
Need to Knows
Minimum Number – This holiday requires a minimum of two people.
Terrain – Walks on this holiday only use waymarked and signposted routes. Trails vary from well-trodden woodland paths to steeper paths on looser, rocky terrain. Certain sections of the route may be considered exposed, and in the high mountains a certain level of experience, surefootedness, and fitness are essential. In early season on higher terrain, you might have to cross patches of snow. This route avoids via-ferratas, as does the main track, and so no specific skills or gear are required to follow it.
Rifugios – Except on nights 1, 3 and 8, you will stay overnight in ‘rifugio’ (mountain huts). These generally offer the following facilities: a bed in a shared room or in a private room (these musty be booked in advance and cost £20pp/ night extra, subject to availability), showers with hot water, toilets, meals, and a water supply for refilling water bottles. Snacks such as sandwiches and chocolate are also usually available for sale. Shared rooms are equipped with bunk beds with mattresses, pillows and blankets. Bed linen is not provided in shared bedrooms: you must have a sleeping bag liner (typically, this is simply a light cotton bag). A warm sleeping bag is generally unnecessary, since there are always blankets in the rooms. If you have pre-booked a private room you are often offered bed linen, thus a sleeping bag liner is not required but this will be confirmed when you book. Finally, you will need clean footwear for the huts: light sliders are an ideal solution.
Breakfast & Dinner – Normally, breakfast is served from 7am to 9am. It usually includes unlimited tea and coffee, bread, butter, jam, honey and chocolate spread. In addition, some mountain huts also offer ham, cheese and muesli. You can also fill up your your flask/thermos with hot water or tea at breakfast: ask the staff, and it will be free in most huts. Dinner is usually served at 7pm or 7:30pm for all guests. A typical dinner in a mountain hut is very rich and includes a starter, a first course (such as pasta, risotto, dumplings), a second course (meat with a side dish) and a dessert. Any drinks at dinner (water, wine, beer, tea, coffee) are not included and should be ordered and paid separately.
Lunch – It is often possible to stop for lunch in the mountain huts you pass on the route, but this option is not always available. In such cases we recommend you buy some light snack (sandwiches, yoghurt, chocolate, water) from the hut where you have stayed the previous night. Mountain huts prepare for lunch the same dishes as for dinner. The cost of a typical hot dish, e.g. pasta or risotto, in a mountain hut varies from €7 to €12.
Safety – It is your responsibility to be wear appropriate outdoor clothing, follow good practice safety in the mountains procedures and be realistic when calculating how long the route each day will take you given your fitness, experience. and ability. These self-guided hut to hut walking trips are planned so that they do not require specific skills or gear, unless it is clearly specified in the itinerary. You can expect well-maintained trails equipped with direction signs. Exposed sections of the trail are secured on the self-guided routes: it makes them safe provided that you follow the basic safety rules for hiking in the mountains.
Weather – The weather in the Dolomites is most stable from the second week of July till the middle of September. This period in the Dolomites is characterized by warm sunny weather and modest rainfall. Earlier in June, the weather is normally favourable, but it is less reliable, and the mountain passes may be blocked by snow remaining from the winter. In June we may have to change the route depending on the snow situation on the passes. The second half of September in Dolomites is a beautiful period, but the weather is again less predictable: the probability of incessant rain increases, and it may snow at the altitude above 2,000 meters.
It is never hot in the Dolomites at the elevation of 2,000 m and above where most of the hiking routes pass. In a sunny day in August the temperature at 2,000 m can reach 20° Cduring the warmest hours of the day. It is comfortable for hiking. In a cold cloudy day, the temperature can stay at around 10° C during the entire the day. It is always chilly at night and early in the morning. Thunderstorms, often with hail, are typical for the warmest months (July and August). In the Dolomites valleys at the altitudes of 1,000 – 1,500 m the day temperature can reach 27° C. It is fresh in the valleys in the morning and evening, and it is not stuffy at night even in the hottest weeks of the summer.
Booking Conditions – be sure to read our full terms and conditions here before booking.
At Your Own Risk – please read the important notes here.
Travel Advice – check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice here.
Passport & Visa – any questions should be directed to the relevant embassy of your destination country; find out more here. It is your responsibility to be in possession of a full passport, valid for your chosen destination.
Travel Insurance – having adequate and valid travel insurance is a condition of booking with us. Details of our insurance partner, Campbell Irvine, are here.
Health Information – You should carry either an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) Neither is an alternative to adequate travel insurance. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/
ABTA – Independent travel advice and help is always available from ABTA by calling 020 3117 0599 or visiting www.abta.com.