Staying in a high-altitude mountain hut needn’t mean compromising your creature comforts, as Matt Fisher discovered on a recent trip to the Italian Dolomites…
I’ve always enjoyed being in the mountains, and the more inaccessible the better. But I’m way past sleeping in dormitories and eating rehydrated food, which can be the norm if you genuinely hanker for remoteness.
The answer? Hut to hut hiking (or skiing!) in the Italian Dolomites, where you’ll find a number of charming rifugios (mountain huts), considered to be some of the best in the Alps. Many meet the standard of a simple guest house and each has its own unique character and charm. Bedding and linen are provided, hot showers are available and meals are served in common dining areas accompanied by incredible mountain views. Whether you’re hiking in summer or skiing in winter, an overnight rifugio stay is not to be missed.
Family owned since 1965, when Ugo left his life as a butcher to build a mountain hut on the summit of Mount Lagazuoi, Rifugio Lagazuoi is the perfect hideaway. Famous for its sweeping views from an altitude of 2,752 metres, it’s a wonderful refuge for hikers and skiers exploring the Cortina and Val Badia regions. Skiers take note - this is the starting point for the famous Armentarola slope, the longest and most spectacular ski run in the Dolomites. Stay the night, and you’ll have an unsullied piste all to yourself the next morning.
Inside, you’re greeted by homely heated rooms with warm hospitality to match. Food is rustic, wholesome and plentiful with an extensive wine list to chose from. You can also choose to take a sauna – which might just be Europe’s highest. Little more than a barrel perched on the edge of the mountain, it’s an ideal way to unwind after a hard day in the mountains. Robes, while optional, are provided!
Regrettably, there is a phone signal. But at least that means you can Instagram your pictures of the 360-degree panorama. And it’s this view and the secluded location that represent the true luxury of Laguzoi. While you can cheat and catch a cable car to the summit, it’s only by staying the night that you’ll get to experience a dramatic dawn or sunset over jagged pinnacles of the surrounding mountains.
Overnight stays at Rifugio Laguzoi can be arranged as part of a hut to hut hiking or skiing holiday.
Guided trips start from £2,100 per person for 7 days, including 2 nights in rifugios and luggage transfer (excluding flights). Contact us for further details.