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The best Via Ferratas in the Dolomites

The best Via Ferratas in the Dolomites are waiting for you this summer! If you are a fan of climbing and are looking for an adrenaline rush like no other, with incredible views... or if you simply love heights and are up for a challenge, then head to Italy, grab your harness, helmet and hiking shoes, to try some of the best Via Ferrata routes in the Dolomites.

For those who are new to Via Ferrata, it is an Italian word wich stands for "iron path" and it is a protected climbing route accessible to all skill levels. If you are looking for a great solo activity or a sport to try on a family vacation, Via Ferrata is the best way to get all the fun of climbing in a safer way!

What are Via Ferratas?

There are more than 500 Vie Ferratas throughout Italy, a wonderful heritage thanks to which it is possible to explore the mountains. The first ones were established more than a century ago in the Dolomites, but over these decades they have spread out throughout the Alps.

Via Ferratas in the Dolomites were born in the postwar period, largely retracing those rocky paths that were used by Alpine troops to reach a strategic outpost or mountaintop. Even today it is still possible to see and explore trenches and caves from World War I. These routes offer today a mountaineering adventure, allowing travelers to access the impressive environment of the great Dolomite walls.

What are the most famous ones?

1# Ferrata Olivieri to Punta Anna, Tofana di Mezzo - Expert Level

Punta Anna is the first buttress of Tofana di Mezzo massif to the southeast, and this beautiful Via Ferrata largely climbs its spectacular south edge. It is one of the best-known and most beautiful routes in the Dolomites for its absolute exposure to vertical and technical sections and for the breathtaking view! The descent is equally captivating since it unfolds along the typical Dolomites ledges.

2# Ferrata delle Aquile, Paganella - Expert Level

If you want to experience the thrill of crossing the sky suspended in the clouds, the Ferrata delle Aquile in Paganella is for you! It is certainly one of the most fascinating Via Ferrata in Trentino for climbing enthusiasts. Accessible by ski lift from Cima della Paganella, it is designed for experienced hikers with good physical fitness.

3# Ferrata delle Bocchette, Brenta Dolomites - Intermediate Level

On the walls of the Brenta you can find the characteristic ledges running along the mountains. They are part of the Bocchette system of equipped trails. The Bocchette Centrali offers the most fascinating sight. You start from the Grostè cable car, going up from Madonna di Campiglio, and you need two days of walking: this means you will experience the overnight stop at the Alimonta refuge!

| Keep reading: The best activities in the Brenta Dolomites |

4# Contraband Trail, near Arco (Lake Garda) - Intermediate Level

This incredible climb, around sheer cliffs and with beautiful views of Lake Garda below, is a route that was historically used by smugglers, to cross the borders between Italy and Austria. This rugged cliff path offers breathtaking heights, history and natural beauty. Make your way under sheer rocks, through narrow paths, across ravines and around mountainsides.

5# Fanes Falls (near Cortina d'Ampezzo) - Beginner Level

Explore this magical vertical terrain, walking through the forest, past streams and the beautiful 120-meter-high Fanes Falls. This trail has two drop-down options to choose from, so you can customize the route to what you want to experience...or come back and do the other option next time! An easy trail, great for those who want a taste of the sport and a great vantage point to see the waterfall.

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