The pathStart point: "Ra Stua" Length: 10 km (6.2 mi) Height gain: 400 mt (1,312.34 ft) Round trip: About 3 hours Destination: "Fodara Vedla" GPX: Download our GPX route
The hike that starts from "Malga Ra Stua" and gets to "Fodara Vedla" is a beautiful hike, through two nature parks, to one of South Tyrol's most distinctive high-altitude mountain lodges.
The hike can be found on the Tabacco Map 003 - Cortina d'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzane and goes up along Trail 9.
This is an easy walk, in the sense that there are no cliffs or sections with climbing, but it is quite long and challenging. It is proper for a person with average training, but it's not recommended for young children and people with motor difficulties. The elevation gain is mainly concentrated in one only climb.
How to get there
The easiest way to reach Malga Ra Stua, in low season, is with a car. From Cortina you need to reach the parking lot of "Sant'Uberto", from there you will take the narrow and steep paved road that will bring you to "Malga Ra Stua". Here you will find a paid parking lot where you can leave your car.
Consider that "Ra Stua" is the starting point for many hikes, so it may be a good idea to arrive early in the morning, to increase the chances to find a free spot. From the center of Cortina the drive will take you approximately twenty five minutes.
The road, in July and August, is closed to traffic and you will need to take the shuttle service that costs, approximately, 8€ each. In this case you will have to leave your car in the large free parking lot in Fiames, from which you can conveniently take the shuttle. Here, too, it is best to arrive early in the morning so as not to find all the parking spaces occupied.
If you do not have a car, you could try asking a Taxi to bring you there. From Cortina to Malga Ra Stua the approximate cost will be 50€. If you stop at Fiames, to get on the shuttle, you should spend around 30€. It may be a good idea to ask the price before. Cabs can be found both in Piazza Roma and the bus station, or you may visit their website here.
Public transportation, for this trip, can only be used in high season, when the shuttle service is active. In this case you will have to take bus No. 1 from Cortina Station, and get off at the sports field stop. Once you cross the street, you will find the shuttle departure point. To purchase tickets, you can go to the ticket office at the station. Be careful, as it may close for the lunch break.
Although this hike is already quite long, if you are brave, you may want to walk to Malga Ra Stua. In this case, we recommend you read the page where we describe the hike starting from the parking lot of "Sant'Uberto", you can find it below:
If the winter has been really snowy remember that the road may be impraticable until all the snow will melt.
Now that you are at "Malga Ra Stua", if you need to eat or drink something, stop there, since it will be the last public place from there to our destination.
Take the gravel road that enters the pastures, along the path n°6, follow the direction: "Rifugi, Val Salata e di Ciampo de Croš". Now you'll need to walk approximately 15 minutes on a flat road, while proceeding you will see less and less trees until you'll reach a wide meadow, it's called "Ciampo de Croš".
Once you arrive here, take the road on the left, crossing the little bridge and following the path n°9 towards Rifugio Fodara Vedla and "Lavinores". Get ready, because the only steep climb of the hike awaits you, where you will gain much of the 400 meters of positive elevation of the hike.
Now you have to face the climb, it's steep, but we assure you that you'll gain altitude fast, without making too much fatigue. After about 30 minutes you'll reach a respectable altitude, as you'll be able to see from the panorama that will stand out below you.
From here the road continues without major elevation changes, first through the forest and then opening up to wide views, until it takes you to a small mountain lake, where you can stop to take a few photographs or to rest.
Just before you reach the refuge, without even noticing it, you will cross the border between "Veneto" and "Trentino Alto Adige". The only signaling is provided by the two wooden tables, one reads "Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Ampezzane", the other "Parco Naturale di Fanes, Sennes e Braies". From here it is only 10 minutes to Fodara Vedla.
If you look to your left you should begin to see the mountain lodge, slightly lower than where you are walking. According to the signs, the walk should have taken you about an hour and a half, but in our case it took us less, about an hour.
Once at Fodara, we ate the pressed cheese dumplings on a bed of cabbage, this plate is called "Canederli al formaggio" in Italian, but there you will find most of the traditional South Tyrolean dishes.
If you find that Fodara refuge is not for you, maybe because the environment is too South Tyrolean, or if there are too many people, you could always consider going back and eat at Malga Ra Stua. It recently changed management, it's now managed by a young couple that is doing an excellent job. The descent should take you about an hour, if you're not too hungry it could be an excellent alternative.
Before concluding we'd like to tell you some curiosities about Fodara. The structure was built as a World War I camp, but in 1923 it was taken over by Hans Mutschlechner and used as a cattle pasture. Following the arrival of tourism, the hut was converted into an accommodation facility, with rooms and a kitchen. To this day the mountain lodge is still run by the Mutschlechner family, now in its fourth generation.
You will not find the classic symbols for men and women in the bathroom, but rather a much more distinctive system with chamois. The men's bath is identified with the male, recognizable by its horns and beard, the women's bath has the female chamois, without horns and beard. As far as we know, also the female chamois have horns, but we preferred to be discreet and not ask about the family situation of the portrayed specimens...
Many famous South Tyrolean hikes start from this point, such as those to the mountain huts of Fanes, Sennes and Pederü.
This mountain lodge has been chosen for many weddings, even by residents of Cortina, as the photographs displayed on the staircase to the bathroom can testify.
The name Fodara comes from the Ladin dialect and literally means "sheep grazing". There are other similar examples, such as Fedarola at Cortina or Fedares in Val Badia.
The hike to Fodara Refuge can be done at any time of the year, even in winter. Bear in mind that the route is not beaten with snowmobiles and snowmobiles, so you will need to use snowshoes or mountaineering skis, as well as have some experience in walking on the snow.
At certain times of the year, the melting of the snow may create mud and in some places it is possible to find ice. In this case, it is better to be equipped with crampons to attach to your shoes, to avoid slipping. Unfortunately every season is different, so we can't tell you in advance if you will find ice, mud or a perfect road.
If you decide to eat or sleep in a mountain lodge, they are usually open for most of the year. If you don't want to have bad surprises, in low season it is always better to call to check the actual opening.
When you go hiking you should always use sturdy shoes and carry a backpack with some water, a snack and a jacket for the rain. If you want more information, we recommend you read our tips for first-time hikers:
We want to emphasize that, in the Dolomites, there are rules to be followed. The main ones are:
- It is strictly forbidden to light fires.
- It is strictly forbidden to pick plants and flowers.
- Free camping is prohibited.
- It is prohibited to abandon garbage.
- It is mandatory to keep pets on a leash.
We hope you liked this page on the hike from "Sant'Uberto" to the ruins of the fortress of "Podestagno". Before saying goodbye, we would suggest you read all the articles we wrote about Cortina d'Ampezzo by clicking here.
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