Staying in a Mountain Hut or Refuge

Holidaysdolomites - Alta Via 2

Staying in a Mountain Hut or Refuge, what does it mean ?

It might sound strange to you, I sleep best in the mountains, in a refuge, in a shared room. Staying in a mountain hut is however no luxury, although there is no traffic noise or other nightly sounds from the inhabited world, you will sleep in a bunk bed and almost always share a room with other people. Earplugs can help to mute the only noise present, the one of other sleeping people.

Holidaysdolomites - Mountain Trekking Brenta Dolomites

Mountain Hut in the Brenta Dolomites

Refuge, literally means shelter

Mountain huts or refuges create an infrastructure that allow us to stay in the high mountains in a rather comfortable way.  If you want to trek in the high mountains for a longer period, without carrying a heavy backpack, you’ll sleep in mountain huts. The meaning of mountain hut or refuge is literally ‘shelter’. Here you’ll have to make do with what you’re offered and be happy with the presence of the hut, food and the company of other people at this beautiful spot. Card games, chatting, sunset, sunrise and starry nights will be your entertainment.

Holidaysdolomites Via Ferrata Sentiero Costanzi

Sunrise from Bivouac Bonvecchio, Sentiero Costanzi

The higher the mountain hut, the more spartan

In a mountain hut you will find everything you need but basic. There are beds with blankets, there’s food, 1 or maximum 2 toilets and showers. Often with coins, water can be scarse in the Dolomites, therefore a hot shower is expensive and your shower will be short. Food in mountain huts is caloric and simple but cooked fresh every day. It contains few fresh vegetables which is not a surprising if you take in consideration that it has to be brought up with a lift or with a helicopter. At some spots it even needs to be carried up. A general rule is the more isolated the hut, the more beautiful the spot and the more Spartan your stay.

Holidaysdolomites - Mountain Hut 12 Apostoli, Brenta Dolomites

Mountain hut the Twelve in the Brenta Dolomites

Besides mountain huts, there are bivouacs

Besides mountain huts, there are Bivouacs, small shelters in the mountains without facilities, they are for real adventurers. Bivouacs are the real shelters, in case you can’t make it to the mountain hut. They are usually situated at longer trails, where you can’t find mountain huts. But sometimes you can find them also right next to a mountain hut, as an extra service, to offer a place to sleep for people hiking outside of the summer season when the mountain hut is closed. A Bivouac is mostly used for one night, they are always open, you’ll find at least a bed to sleep. When you sleep in a Bivouac you should always bring water, food and your sleeping bag.

Mountain Huts in Italy with Family Rooms

Although this al sounds basic, you will notice that sleeping in a refuge after a long day of hiking in the fresh mountain air is quiet easy. The refuges in Italy are of a high quality, most of them have smaller rooms for 4-6 people, the so-called ‘family rooms’.

If you are with your family or with a group of friends, you will be given you your own room if possible. The mountain huts at our website are easy to reach and are sufficiently-equipped to reassure a good meal, enough comfort and a good night’s sleep. Some private refuges, which are a bit more expensive, even have double rooms.

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Bivouac Bonvecchio, Brenta Dolomites

Bivouac Bonvecchio, Brenta Dolomites