Are you planning to visit Cortina d’Ampezzo, or you’re already in Cortina d’Ampezzo right now? And you’re not sure what place in the Dolomites to see next? Well, I got you covered!
In this blog post, you will find not only a list of beautiful places very near to Cortina d’Ampezzo. You will also get a map, their distance from Cortina d’Ampezzo, the travel time, and a lot more! All to help you decide which is to visit and plan it. Stay on the page until the end because this post is definitely informative.
Do not forget to pin this post on Pinterest or bookmark this blog post for later if you can’t read it all at the moment! Please, share this post if this post helped you discover places in the Dolomites and plan your trip to this stunningly spectacular region.
Before we go to the different places around Cortina d’Ampezzo, let’s discuss a little about the town itself first. This way, we can start on a common point for our discussion. Let’s go!
Where is Cortina d’Ampezzo?
So, where exactly is Cortina d’Ampezzo? Cortina d’Ampezzo is located in the Province of Belluno in Northern Italy. It is situated in the heart of Ampezzo valley, surrounded by craggy and high mountains, some reaching 3000+ meters. Tofana di Mezzo is the closest mountain in Cortina d’Ampezzo, which towers at 3,244 meters or 10,643 feet.
The cities nearest to Cortina d’Ampezzo are the following:
- Belluno – 69 kilometers
- Bolzano – 130 kilometers
- Innsbruck – 165 kilometers
- Venice – 158 kilometers
- Verona – 263 kilometers
- Bologna – 297 kilometers
- Milan – 413 kilometers
Is Cortina d’Ampezzo Worth Visiting?
In my perspective, the Dolomites, where Cortina d’Ampezzo is located, is one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Home to spectacular views and stunning nature, the Dolomites and Cortina d’Ampezzo is a place surely worth a visit! Cortina d’Ampezzo is dubbed the pearl and Queen of the Dolomites, but it is not the only place where all the awe-inspiring views are found.
However, the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo itself is really charming. You will love to just wander around. Houses look so cute with the paintings they call Luftlmalerei and flowers decked on the balconies. The sceneries get better when you reach the outskirts, where vast meadows dotted with chalets are.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites because it is centrally located in the heart of the Dolomites. Famous hikes and hundreds of kilometers of ski slopes are just around the town. According to the official website of the Dolomites, there are 120 kilometers of ski areas and more than 400 kilometers of marked hiking trails in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Best Way to Travel Around Cortina d’Ampezzo
Knowing the modes of transportation around Cortina d’Ampezzo is vital in picking where to go next after you reach the town. As you can only get to Cortina d’Ampezzo by bus or private vehicle, going to the attractions around it will be the same case. There are no trains in Cortina d’Ampezzo, but cable cars are added to the means of transportation.
Renting a car/private vehicle is much preferred in traveling around Cortina d’Ampezzo if you want to be efficient with your itinerary and have total freedom. That’s the case, especially during the non-summer season when some bus lines and cable cars are not operational.
You will learn if they are easily reachable by public transportation or not for each beautiful destination around Cortina d’Ampezzo, which we will discuss later. For now, you can check this link to the Information Center to see the current price of the bus tickets and where to buy them.
IMPORTANT: At the end of this post, you will see a map of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the trail numbers, and the trail number itineraries. You can also use them to plan your hikes, calculate how much time you need, etc. Nevertheless, I will leave my estimations (with the help of the Komoot route planner) for your convenience.
Tips for Using the Lifts in Cortina d’Ampezzo
As you will be using lifts when you explore Cortina d’Ampezzo, it is nice to know the passes to help you save money when using them. At the same time, these passes have perks that can give so much convenience when visiting the attractions around Cortina d’Ampezzo:
You can buy these passes online or in Lift Ticket Booths/offices indicated in the links. Then if you want to check the status and schedule of each lift/cable car in Cortina d’Ampezzo from the following links below:
Most importantly, check the atmospheric condition of the destinations around Cortina d’Ampezzo before proceeding to them through the live cameras. It is much recommended if the weather during your visit is not-so-sunny. This way, you can avoid wasting your effort going to them when all the view is nothing but fog and clouds.
10 Beautiful Places Around Cortina d’Ampezzo to visit
As mentioned a while ago, Cortina d’Ampezzo has stunning destinations all around it. But here are the 10 places around Cortina d’Ampezzo which I think you won’t regret visiting:
- Cinque Torri
- Giau Pass
- Monte Mondeval
- Croda da Lago
- Rifugio Faloria
- Lake Sorapis
- Lake Misurina
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo
- Lago di Braies
- Rifugio Lagazuoi
The list is arranged counterclockwise around Cortina d’Ampezzo. Let’s start with one of the most iconic and simplest to visit, Cinque Torri.
It is recommended to visit Cortina d’Ampezzo in a car. But it does not mean you cannot effortlessly get to the most breathtaking places with public transportation. Like, Cinque Torri. It is a destination around Cortina d’Ampezzo that’s just one bus ride and chair lift away from the town center! Here’s how you reach it:
- From Cortina d’Ampezzo bus terminal, hop on bus #030 heading to Falzarego Pass
- Then, drop off at the 11th stop or Cinque Torri bus stop.
- Walk for a few minutes, and you will arrive at the Cinque Torri (5Torri) chair lift station.
- The chairlift will bring you to Rifugio Scoiattoli, where you can already see Cinque Torri and start hiking around it.
Are you visiting Cinque Torri in a car? You can park your car beside the Cinque Torri chair lift station. It is 13.3 kilometers away from the town center, and in normal conditions, the driving time is about 20 minutes. See the route to the Cinque Torri chair lift station in Google Maps.
There are hiking trails below the Cinque Torri cableway. It seems to be a ski route, though. It’s approximately 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) long from the chair lift station to Rifugio Scoiattoli, with 330 meters of elevation gain.
So, why visit Cinque Torri? Cinque Torri is both a historic and scenic destination. Its spectacular 5 towering and gigantic dolomite peaks are bare witnesses of the battles in the Italian Alps during the great war (WWI). You can find an open museum, the Museum Of The Great War, right at the foot of the giant rocks.
The five peaks of Cinque Torri are a favorite destination for extremely adventurous people like rock climbers. Sometimes, you will see people walking on a tightrope going from one peak to another. You can spot them when you start hiking the trails around Cinque Torri.
The hiking trails around Cinque Torri are well signed. You won’t get lost, especially during peak season when you can just follow other people hiking around Cinque Torri, as well. Path inclination can go as high as 30%, especially on the eastern and southern sides of Cinque Torri.
The second beautiful destination around Cortina d’Ampezzo is Giau Pass, situated southeast of Cinque Torri and at the foot of the 2572-meter mount Nuvolau. Here, you’ll see the spectacular rocky outcrop of Mount Nuvolau or Ra Gusela jutting out of the vast meadowy fields. Its triangular shape will leave you thinking about how creative nature is.
Giau Pass is one of the most scenic passes in the Dolomites that links Cortina d’Ampezzo to its southern neighbors, Colle Santa Lucia and Selva di Cadore. In a sense, Giau Pass is a historic mountain pass as well, since it was once a part of the Venetian-Austrian border way back in the 18th century.
If you are already in Cinque Torri, you can go straight to Giau Pass via several hiking paths. Take the hiking trail between Averau and Nuvolau peaks to have a refreshing meal in the scenic Rifugio Averau during your hike (Trail 439, 441, 452). Slope inclination is steep before and after the Rifugio Averau, but the rest? It’s mostly flat.
The trail (Trail 443) on the east side of mount Nuvolau has approximately the same length but should be harder to hike.
The easiest way to get to Giau Pass from Cortina d’Ampezzo is by using a car and driving via SR48 and SP638. From Cortina, you have to drive south to the hamlet of Pocol, then enter the road into the forest. Within 30 minutes, you should be arriving at the Berghotel Passo Giau, where the iconic view of the mountain pass can be seen.
Bus #004 and #030 service Giau Pass, and you can reach Berghotel Passo Giau straight from Cortina d’Ampezzo using these buses. However, they are not available during the non-peak season or non-summer months. Check if the route is available using Moovit or Dolomiti website (Italian) before you visit.
There is a tiny lake approximately 750 meters east of Berghotel Passo Giau. Upgrade your photography gaming in Giau Pass by doing a reflection shot of Mount Nuvolau or Ra Gusela on the lake’s surface. If you’re looking at Mount Nuvolau, the direction to the small lake is to the right.
The small lake may exist depending on the weather. Here’s what the spot around the small lake looks like:
Beside Chiesa di San Giovanni Gualberto is a small church near Berghotel Passo Giau. It is the way (Trail 436) to an “interesting” and panoramic Mondeval Plateau.
Mondeval is a plateau with a unique landscape of rolling fields and cliffs – straight out of a movie! The saddle of Becco di Mezzodi viewed near Forcella Giau is one of Mondeval’s most spectacular features.
But, did you know that Mondeval Plateau is a burial site of a Mesolithic Hunter?
Yep, you read it right – a Mesolithic Hunter was buried in Mondeval Plateau, and its skeletons were found by a team of researchers beside a boulder at the lowest point of the plateau. Studies found out that this hunter lived 7500 years ago. However, the remains were already transferred to preservation in the Museum Vittorino Cazzetta in Selva di Cadore.
Mondeval Plateau is described to have a basin-like shape, a plateau surrounded by peaks and elevated cliffs. The points where you can clearly see its form are in Forcella Giau, Forcella Ambrizolla, and at the summit of Monte Mondeval. They’re the plateau’s raised edges, overlooking the whole place.
Where are the most scenic spots in Mondeval Plateau? Well, most parts of Mondeval Plateau are scenic. But for me, it’s the summit of Monte Mondeval, Lago de Baste, and somewhere around the boulders near Forcella Giau.
The boulders are the first scenic spot you can get to if you start hiking from Forcella Giau. See its exact location (46.471460, 12.079081) on Google Maps.
The spectacular saddle formed by the summit of Monte Mondeval and Piza del Corvo can be seen from the boulders, and it’s absolutely stunning! In clear weather, the beautiful rugged peaks of Monte Pelmo and Monte Civetta are seen in the background of the saddle.
Laghetto di Baste (46.467662, 12.081836), the only lake of Mondeval Plateau, should already be visible at the boulders. It is located in the middle of the Mondeval basin-like structure, slightly below the surrounding fields. So, most of the views of the mountains beyond the plateau are obstructed.
So why go to Laghetto di Baste? The views of the Dolomite mountains outside the plateau are blocked but Monte Pelmo. From this tiny lake, you can see or photograph Monte Pelmo with its reflection inverted on the water. Yet, its visibility will depend on the weather and the stillness of the water.
You can also see the face and peak of Lastoni di Formin inverted on the surface of Laghetto di Baste. Ok, but where is Lastoni di Formin? It is the rock mountain with a spectacular eroded face that forms the north wall of the Mondeval plateau. This enormous mountain extends along with the whole hiking trail in the Mondeval basin.
Opposite Lastoni di Formin to the south is the summit of Monte Mondeval, where more sensational views await you. At its peak (46.459930, 12.082932), you get a breathtaking 360-degree view of the surroundings. In a clockwise direction: you’ll see Lastoni di Formin, Croda da Lago, the Antelao-Sorapis mountain group, Monte Pelmo, and Monte Civetta.
The Trail 436 in Mondeval Plateau starts from Forcella Giau and ends with Forcella Ambrizolla. You can finish hiking it within 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, I suggest you allocate another hour or two if you decide to see all the beautiful spots in Mondeval Plateau I mentioned.
Lastly, Mondeval Plateau is “mostly” flat. Slopes along it have a gradient of no more than 20%. Most parts are averaging from 5% to 15%.
Croda da Lago
If you’ve made it to Mondeval Plateau, you’re now closest to another absolutely idyllic and picturesque place around Cortina d’Ampezzo. It’s called Croda da Lago – and here you can find Lago Federa, a lake with indescribable splendor!
Croda da Lago is a small mountain range, just east of Giau Pass and south of Cortina d’Ampezzo town. Its highest point is Cima d’Ambrizzola which is 2,715 meters above sea level, but its main attraction is Lago Federa.
There are three ways to reach Croda da Lago. All of them will involve hours of hiking. If hiking sounds tiring, don’t. I mean, don’t think it that way! The view you’ll see in Croda da Lago is worth the effort. You’ll definitely love to see it in person.
Lago Federa is absolutely fairytale-like, especially if the weather favors you. Go to its northern shore, and see the rugged peak of Becco di Mezzodi, pine trees, and mountain huts reflected on its mirror-like surface. It’s one of the spots in the Dolomites that photographers dream of visiting.
Like most attractions near Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lago Federa has a mountain hut (Rifugio Croda da Lago / Gianni Palmieri) where you can rest and take shelter.
Way #1 to Croda da Lago
The first way you can reach Croda da Lago is through Mondeval Plateau, discussed previously. You start at Giau Pass, then across Mondeval Plateau to Croda da Lago.
Suppose you brought your car and parked in Giau Pass. Then you need to do a round-trip hike back to Gaiu Pass, and probably you will need a day to finish it. Here’s the summary:
- Start at Giau Pass (Berghotel Passo Giau) and follow Trail #436 until Forcella Ambrizolla
- At Forcella Ambrizolla, proceed to Trail #434.
- You arrive at Lago Federa within 2 hours and 15 minutes, with no breaks during the hike. I suggest allocating 3 hours for a one-way trip.
- To return, just do the reverse.
After reaching Lago Federa, you have another option to continue with Trail #434. It will lead you to a fork (Caşon de Formin) where you can choose between:
- Trail #435 – the other side of Croda da Lago going back to Mondeval Plateau. Distance between Berghotel Passo Giau and Caşon de Formin: 7.7 km, 4hours to 5 hours.
- Trail #437 – the way to Ru Curto / Pian del Pantan Bus stop (along Giau Pass but still 6.3 kilometers away or a 10-minute drive to Berghotel Passo Giau). Distance between Ru Curto and Caşon de Formin: 1.75 km, 45 mins to 1 hour.
- Trail #434 – the path heading Cortina d’Ampezzo, ends with Peziè de Parù lodge. Distance between Peziè de Parù lodge and Caşon de Formin: 2 kilometers, 1 hour and 15 mins.
I do not recommend proceeding to Trail #434 away from Mondeval Plateau after reaching Lago Federa if you have brought your car to Berghotel Passo Giau.
Nonetheless, you can take whatever trail number you want if you choose the bus to get to the trailheads. Berghotel Passo Giau, Pian del Pantan, and Peziè de Parù are linked to Cortina d’Ampezzo by buses #030 and #004. Just don’t forget to check the schedules before you go! 🙂
Way #2 to Croda da Lago
The second way to Croda da Lago starts at Ru Curto / Pian del Pantan Bus stop. You can hop on Bus #030 from Cortina d’Ampezzo or bring your car to the trailhead to get started. The parking space is just beside the road and is very limited, especially during the peak season.
Visitors going to Croda da Lago from Ru Curto / Pian del Pantan Bus stop follow a circuit around the mountain. Here are the details of the first part of the circuit:
- From Ru Curto / Pian del Pantan Bus stop, start your hike on Trail #437 into the forest.
- You should arrive at Caşon de Formin (fork) within an hour. Choose Trail #434 labeled with Croda da Lago. The trail forward will be steep until you reach a lookout overlooking Cortina d’Ampezzo. After that, the path is predominantly flat until you arrive at Lago Federa.
Allocate 2 to 3 hours to reach Lago Federa in Croda da Lago from Ru Curto / Pian del Pantan Bus stop. To return, you can reverse the steps above or continue with the circuit around Croda da Lago (See details below):
- From Croda da Lago, continue with Trail #434 in the direction of Mount Becco di Mezzodi or Forcella Ambrizzola to the south.
- After reaching Forcella Ambrizzola, turn to Trail #436.
- You must encounter another fork shortly and turn to Trail #435.
- Trail #435 will lead you to Caşon de Formin, where the final leg of the loop begins. Turn to Trail #437 to get back to Ru Curto / Pian del Pantan Bus stop. Trail #435 is slightly steep around Forcella Ambrizzola and Forcella de Formin, so be careful.
This path goes through the forests (Trail #437 and #434), with several scenic vantage points along the way. It’s a recommended path because it is the shortest you can try, and hiking should feel more restorative because of the trees.
Overall, it’s 13 kilometers of hiking trails, which will require an entire day to finish. Of course, that includes in between breaks, sightseeing, photographs, lunch, etc.
Way #3 to Croda da Lago
The third way to Croda da Lago is very similar to Way #2. You just start hiking at Peziè de Parù lodge instead of the Ru Curto / Pian del Pantan bus stop. I do not recommend this route since the path has a low elevation (the first part of Trail #434 before reaching Caşon de Formin), and you’ll see fewer scenic views.
You know what, there’s a place around Cortina d’Ampezzo much simpler to visit than Cinque Torri. It’s Rifugio Faloria, and it is just one cable car away from the town. Buses #030 and #445 links Rifugio Faloria to Cortina d’Ampezzo, too.
Actually, the cable car ground station of Rifugio Faloria is located just beside the Cortina d’Ampezzo bus terminal. You can literally go up straight to the mountains immediately as soon as you arrive in town! How cool is that?!
Rifugio Faloria is perched on top of a cliff overlooking the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo at 2,123 meters. It’s the start of lengthy hikes and ski routes in Monte Faloria.
Panoramic views await you even if you’re still on the 10-minute cable car ride and haven’t reached the top. Additionally, Rifugio Faloria has a sunny terrace restaurant where you can eat while enjoying the view.
If you want to watch the sunset over Cortina d’Ampezzo, Rifugio Faloria should have the best views. Situated east of Cortina, you shall be able to observe the sun slip down at the back of the rugged peaks of the Tofane group as the town begins to illuminate with night lights. It’s a moment you must capture a timelapse of! 😉
Want some quiet while catching a sunset view over Cortina d’Ampezzo from Rifugio Faloria? Have a quick hike to one of the vantage points in Trail #212 or to the path near the Cliffhanger Lodge.
Located in the heart of Sorapis mountain group is a lake, also one of the most beautiful places near Cortina d’Ampezzo. Its name is Lake Sorapis, and it enchants visitors with its color, which varies from milky blue to opal or turquoise, depending on the season.
Surrounded by 2500-meter peaks, Lake Sorapis seems like a hidden gem in the mountains, as its color suggests. Science says that its colors came from the dust from the glaciers found at the top of the towering peaks around it.
When you get close to Lake Sorapis, you’ll see a peak with a spectacular shape rising above the lake. Absolutely, it’s the feature of the lake that adds to the “wow” factor. They call it Dito di Dio or God’s Finger, and you shall see it reflected by the lake’s surface, most likely during a bright sunny day.
Lake Sorapis also has its own mountain hut, Rifugio Vandelli, offering you meals and rest after hours of hiking. You’ll arrive in Rifugio Vandelli first, but it’s already close to Lake Sorapis. It sits in a beautiful location at 1926 meters, where you can spot places as far as Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Misurina, and its lake.
People can only get to Lake Sorapis by hiking. The hiking trails start just after B&B Hotel Passo Tre Croci Cortina near the Passo Tre Croci bus stop. You can get there by driving or riding bus #030 heading to Tre Cime di Lavaredo or Misurina. Parking is just at the side of the road and is very limited.
Way #1 To Lake Sorapis
Trail #215 is the way to Lake Sorapis. Do not get confused as it is labeled Rifugio Vandelli. Nevertheless, they are almost on the same spot.
The entire length of the hiking trail is around 6 kilometers, and it should take you 2 hours to 2 and a half hours to get to Lake Sorapis. Most parts are flat and easy. But somewhere in the middle, the path gets steep and challenging.
A part of it needs via Ferrata equipment. But I found that others made it through even without it. In fact, they are a family, and the kids even aced that part! You’ll also pass a narrow path, and people fearing heights may feel very uncomfortable.
Way #2 To Lake Sorapis
If you don’t like passing through high and narrow paths, you can take the lower but longer hiking trail. First, follow Trail #209 and then turn to Trail #217. Its trailhead is a few walks away from the Passo Tre Croci bus stop passing Trail #215’s trailhead.
We can divide the path into two sections. The first part of the hiking trail includes Trail #209 entirely and half of #217. The second part is the rest of Trail #217, which is the closest to Lake Sorapis. Here’s how can I describe and compare both:
- path (unpaved) and hiking path (graveled)
- relatively flat and has a downhill slope (-5% to -15% gradient) when heading to Lake Sorapis
- Approximately 450m downhill
- 5 kilometers
- 1 hour 45 minutes
- mountain hiking path (alpine)
- steep with an uphill slope (15% to 35% gradient) when heading to Lake Sorapis
- Approximately 600m uphill
- 2.75 kilometers
- 2 hours
Some of us do not have plenty of time to hike; some just want to relax and admire the alpine beauty of the Dolomites. Like, having a picnic beside a beautiful lake, observing cows grazing over verdant meadows, or just strolling to take photographs. If this is your vibe, then you must check Lake Misurina.
Lake Misurina is worth visiting because of three things. The sceneries are just postcard-level; it has restaurants nearby where your tummies and eyes will be satisfied. Most importantly, lake Misurina has one of the cleanest air in the region, making it a more desirable place for laid-back outdoor leisure activities.
If you’re like me, who has allergies to polluted air, I encourage you to go here. Breathing clean air shall not only feel good, but it has therapeutic effects that make our lungs healthier! This is why near Lake Misurina, we can find Italy’s institutions taking care of kids with asthma.
If you want to stay here for much longer to breathe more fresh air, hotels surround the lake to accommodate you. Book a night in one of them also to see a blissful morning with the view of the misty Misurina.
Mornings are the best time to stroll around and see the lake. During midday, especially during the peak season, the place can be full of tourists. Cars are parked along the roads, lessening the overall beauty of the lake and its surroundings.
Also, if you’re into photography, make sure to come to Lake Misurina early in the morning. When the lake’s surface is still calm, you can photograph the Sorapis mountain group reflected on the lake’s surface. Tourists start renting pedal boats as they come on midday, disrupting the stillness of the water.
By the way, Lake Misurina is commonly frozen during winter. Winter sports are held in it sometimes, though.
Lake Misurina is also extremely simple to visit either by car or public transportation – the reason it gets a lot of tourists. Lake Misurina is approximately 14 kilometers away from Cortina d’Ampezzo, just a 20-minute drive by car and a 30-minute bus ride on bus #030.
Anyhow, you’ll love the scenery even before you reach the lake. It’s a wide-open space with alpine pastures, and the spectacular rugged peaks of the mountains are in the background. Cima Ovest, Cima Grande, Cima Piccola, and other peaks near Tre Cime di Lavaredo are already seen from this point.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Tre Cime di Lavaredo is another iconic place in the Dolomites near Cortina d’Ampezzo that you must not miss to visit. Its three peaks (mentioned previously) that juts from the ground separately from each other scrape the sky nearly 3000 meters above sea level. Their size, shape, and overall appearance are a manifestation of nature’s creativity that never fails to awe-inspire any visitors.
Like Cinque Torri, Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the Dolomites’ military historical places. Tre Cime was once the border of Italy and Hungary-Austria, which became a battleground during World War I. You shall also see monuments, fortifications, and other military infrastructures when you hike around it.
Hiking Trails encircle the three peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. You only have to stay within Trail #101 and #105 to complete the loop. However, you can find shortcuts along the way, discussed later. Here are the landmarks along these hiking trails in a counterclockwise direction:
- Rifugio Auronzo (Start of Trail #101)
- Forcella Lavaredo (Trail #101)
- Rifugio Locatelli (End of Trail #101, turn to Trail #105)
- Malga Langalm (Trail #105)
- Rifugio Auronzo (End of Trail #105)
The entire loop covers approximately 9.5 kilometers, which can be completed within 3 hours and 30 minutes without picture taking and breaks. As the trail is located very close to the peak of a tall mountain, the views are primarily unobstructed. In one direction or another, breathtaking sights will be yours to see.
The first half of the circuit, from Rifugio Auronzo to Rifugio Locatelli, is easy. Most parts are flat and have a footpath, with a steep incline encountered only near Forcella Lavaredo.
In the first 1.5 kilometers of the second part, after Rifugio Locatelli, expect a steep descent of approximately 200 meters downhill. The path will turn uphill shortly after and downhill again until Malga Langalm. Near Malga Langalm are small lakes where you take mirror shots of Tre Cime peaks.
After Forcella Lavaredo, you can find three unnumbered hiking trails parting from Trail 101 westward. These paths are shortcuts to Malga Langalm, skipping Rifugio Locatelli.
Will you take the shortcut? If you will, I recommend taking the second shortcut, located approximately 750 meters north of Forcella Lavaredo (a 10 to 15 minutes hike). Compared to the first and third shortcuts, it has the perfect distance to see the north face of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
By taking the shortcut, the hiking distance will be reduced to approximately 7 kilometers – which I think everyone can finish within 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Well, actually, if you have time, I suggest completing the whole circuit. Do not skip Rifugio Locatelli, especially if the weather is clear and sunny. More views and picturesque lakes (Laghi dei Piani) await you near Rifugio Locatelli.
Laghi dei Piani, like other alpine lakes, acts as a window to a whole new dimension. Look at them from an angle, and you see inverted reflections of absolutely spectacular mountain peaks. In the case of Laghi dei Piani, it’s the images of the rugged summits of Rocca Novale and Monte Paterno you’ll find.
The easiest way to get to Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Rifugio Auronzo) from Cortina d’Ampezzo is, of course, by driving/renting a car. The road is almost 22 kilometers long and takes approximately 50 minutes to drive. See the route in Google Maps.
The parking relatively has more spaces than other parking lots in Cortina d’Ampezzo. However, during peak season, it is quickly occupied. Parking has a fee of 30 EUR per car.
Alternatively, you can ride on buses #30 or #31 to get to Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Rifugio Auronzo) straight from Cortina d’Ampezzo. Please do check the bus schedule before going.
Lago di Braies
Another reason why it’s so agreeable to stay in Cortina is its proximity to the Dolomites’ most beautiful and picturesque lake. You’ve probably seen it multiple times already on Instagram. It’s Lago di Braies!
The mountains reflected on its crystal clear water could probably be one of the jaw-dropping sceneries you can ever see in your life. Whether sunny or misty, the lake shall look really magical, though!
However, since it’s simple to visit and absolutely famous, you must expect to see countless tourists coming. The best time to go to Lago di Braies is during the early morning to watch the “enchanting” sunrise in tranquility, without the crowd.
I don’t recommend visiting Lago di Braies during winter. The lake is usually frozen during that time.
Among all the mentioned places here, Lago di Braies is technically the farthest from Cortina d’Ampezzo. Though it is true, Lago di Braies is still close to Cortina, especially when you compare the distance of the lake with other towns in the Dolomites.
Located on the northern side of Parco Naturale di Fanes-Sennes-Braies, driving a car to Lago di Braies from Cortina d’Ampezzo would take approximately 45 minutes. It’s 47 kilometers of road distance overall.
Then, if you prefer public transportation, going to Lago di Braies will be a minimum of a 1-hour-25-minute journey from Cortina d’Ampezzo. That involves riding on bus #445 from Cortina to Dobbiaco, and another bus ride (#442) from Dobbiaco to Lago di Braies.
Primarily, there are three things to do in Lago di Braies: hiking, boating, and taking photographs.
Lago di Braies has a hiking trail around it, and it’s pretty easy. It’s a loop that’s about 3.5 kilometers which you can finish within an hour and a half. Hiking is recommended to see other parts of the lake.
If you’re an avid Instagrammer or photographer and want to photograph the boathouse and the boats, come before 10 am. They haven’t left the dock by that time as the boat rental is between 10 am and 5 pm.
Last on the list of the beautiful places around Cortina d’Ampezzo, but not least, is Rifugio Lagazuoi. Perched near the peak of Lagazuòi Piccolo at 2,750 meters above sea level, it is recognized to be one of the most elevated and scenic mountain huts in the Dolomites.
Lagazuoi Piccolo is surrounded by a valley and a basin-like plateau on a lower elevation. Because of its unobstructed location, you can expect to see completely panoramic views of the Dolomites. The view includes the Antelao-Sorapis mountain group, Cinque Torri, Monte Pelmo, Monte Civetta, Marmolada, Punta Mezzo di Fanes, and Tofane mountain group.
Visiting Rifugio Lagazuoi, like Cinque Torri and Tre Cime di Lavaredo, involves a glimpse back into history. The surrounding place has remnants of military usage like a tunnel and bunkers made by the Italian military. Look for holes where soldiers used to fire cannons and exit; some are open to a stunning view.
During the sunset, the view from Rifugio Lagazuoi’s terrace shall be the best. It’s weather-dependent, but if you’re lucky, you’ll see layers and layers of mountain silhouettes stretching on the horizon, fading into different hues of blue with golden sky in the backdrop.
You can try going to Lagazuoi Piccolo’s summit for a more expansive view. Hiking to Lagazuoi Piccolo’s summit from Rifugio Lagazuoi is a 12 to 15-minute hike along an easy and well-maintained pathway.
Rifugio Lagazuoi is just above Passo Falzarego, a mountain pass that connects Cortina d’Ampezzo to the towns in South Tyrol. Along this pass, you shall find a cableway (Lagazuoi Cable Car) that makes visiting Rifugio Lagazuoi simpler.
Lagazuoi Cable Car valley station is 16.5 kilometers from Cortina d’Ampezzo, a 25-minute drive from the town center. It is the last station where Bus #030 services from Cortina d’Ampezzo. If you prefer the bus, you must allocate 35 minutes of travel time to Lagazuoi Cable Car.
I just would like to share that northern Italy is a place like no other. It has a diverse range of exciting experiences and beautiful destinations worthy of your time and money. Read my article about northern Italy to know why. Here’s the summary (click to open in a new tab and read now/later):
- Cinque Terre – The Charming coastline towns of Northern Italy
- Milan – Home to the Genius’ (Leonardo da Vinci) artworks and science
- Bergamo – The scenic and medieval city of northern Italy
- Lake Como – One of the world’s most beautiful lakes
- Verona – The romantic town, home of Romeo and Juliet
- Venice – Another romantic city where three architectural styles meet and mix
- Trento – The city to introduce you to the Dolomites (visit mountains, lakes, and castles)
- Bolzano – Home of Otzi, the gateway to the Dolomites
- Florence – It’s where you can find the best Renaissance artworks
- Rome – The beautiful eternal city where you can start or end your trip to Northern Italy
These links to guides, a list of reasons to visit, things to do, and articles to help you discover different places in northern Italy. Read the full article about the reasons to visit Northern Italy.
Map of Attractions Near Cortina d’Ampezzo
Here is the summary of the places near Cortina d’Ampezzo we discussed above. The roads to the parking spaces for each destination are indicated. The hiking trails are shown in the next section.
Trail Numbers and Hiking Map in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Although we are already equipped with GPS on our phones, it’s much better if we are still knowledgeable about the routes and forks of the hiking trails in Cortina d’Ampezzo. So, to help you plan to explore the spectacular lakes and mountains around Cortina d’Ampezzo, I share in the following sections the map and trail information of every hike in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
The information written below is gathered from the brochure from dolomiti.org. You can check their website to download a printable version or just bookmark/save this page for more convenience. 🙂 I hope you find this section very helpful!
Trail 3 to 34: Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Ampezzane – Parco Naturale di Fanes, Sennes e Braies
|Trail Number||Itinerary||Hours Required|
|3||Pratopiazza – Campo Latino||3h 30m|
|4||Campo Latino – Porta Sora el Forn – Rifugio Biella||2h|
|6||S. Uberto – Malga Ra Stua – Rifugio Sennes – Rifugio Biella||4h|
|7||Rifugio Sennes – Fodara Vedla – Pederu||3h|
|8||Cimabanche – Forcella Lerosa – Malga Ra Stua||3h|
|9||Ciampo de Crosc – Rudo – Lago de Fodara – Rifugio Fodara Vedla||1h 30m|
|10||Pian de Loa – Val de Fanes – Rifugio Fanes – Rifugio La Varella||3h 30m|
|11||Alpe di Fanes Grande – Passo Tadega – Armentarola||3h 30m|
|17||Val Travenanzes – Forcella Casale – Alpe Fanes Grande||4h|
|18||Cimabanche – Vai del Chenopi – Pratopiazza||2h|
|20||Rifugio Lagazuoi – Val Lagazuoi – Capanna Alpina||1h 30m|
|1020||Rifugio Lagazuoi – Forcella Travenanzes – Bivacco Dalla Chiesa – Rif. Scotoni||3h|
|26||Ciampo de Crosc – Crosc del Grisc – Alpe di Fosses – Rifugio Biella||3h|
|28||Rifugio Biella – Forcella Cocodain – Malga Cavallo||2h 30m|
|31||Alpe di Fosses – Forcella Cocodain||1h|
|34||Landro – Val Chiara – Rifugio Vallandro||3h|
Trail 101 to 122: Misurina – Tre Cime di Lavaredo
|Trail Number||Itinerary||Hours Required|
|101||Rifugio Auronzo – Rifugio Locatelli/Tre Cime||2h|
|102||Landro – Val Rimbon – Rifugio Locatelli||4h|
|103||Casera Rinbianco – Val Rimbon||2h|
|115||Misurina – Pian dei Spiriti – Rifugio Fonda Savio||2h 30m|
|117||Col de Varda – Cadin della Neve – Rifugio Fonda Savio Rifugio Auronzo||4h|
|118||Misurina – Forcella della Neve – Rifugio Citta di Carpi||4h 30m|
|120||Misurina – Col de Varda – Maraia Alte – Palus San Marco||4h|
|122||Misurina – Rif. Bosi – Monte Piana – Forcella dei Castrati||2h|
Trail 201 to 233: Pomagagnon – Cristallo – Faloria – Sorapis
|Trail Number||Itinerary||Hours Required|
|201||Ponte sul Rio Felizon – Podestagno – Val Granda – Incrocio con sentiero 202||2h 30m|
|202||La Vera – Sote el Pomagnagon – Forcella Pomagnagon – Val Padeon||4h|
|203||Ospitale – Val Padeon – Son Forca – Passo Tre Croci||3h 30h|
|204||Chiave – Mietres – Forcella Zumeles – Val Padeon||3h|
|205||Forcella Zumeles – Son Forca||30m|
|206||Stazione intermedia della funivia del Faloria – Pezies – Malga Larieto – Po Pontio||2h|
|207||Grava di Sopra – Col Tondo||30m|
|208||Cimabanche ad Acquabona per it vecchio tracciato della ferrovia|
|209||Alvera – Lago Scin – Rio Gere – Passo Tre Croci – Valbona||4h|
|210||Albergo Cristallo – Mandres – Costalaresc – Lago Scin||1h 30m|
|211||Fiames (Lago de Ra Ranes) – Bruja del Pomagagnon – Mietres – Rio Gere||3h|
|212||Mandres – Crepedel – Rifugio Faloria – Pian de Ra Bigontina – Rio Gere||4h|
|213||Rifugio Faloria – Tardeiba – Passo Tre Croci||3h 30m|
|214||Fraina -Val Orita – Rifugio Faloria||3h 30m|
|215||Passo Tre Croci – Rifugio Vandelli al Sorapis – Sella di Punta Nera – Rifugio Tondi||6h|
|216||Tardeiba – Forcella Marcoira – Rifugio Vandelli al Sorapis||2h 30m|
|217||Valbona – Sopis – Val del Pisciandre – Rifugio Vandelli al Sorapis||2h|
|220||Pezie – Fraina – Sote Crepedel – Pecol||1h|
|221||Passo Tre Croci – Col de Varda – Grave de Cerigere – Passo del Cristallo||3h 30m|
|222||Ponte Rudavol – Val Popena Alte – Ponte Popena||3h 30m|
|223||Tondi di Faloria – Forcella Ciadin del Loudo – Ciadin del Loudo||2h|
|225||Chiapuzza – Val Popolada – Rifugio San Marco||4h|
|226||Rifugio San Marco – Val di San Vito – Palus San Marco||5h|
|227||Rifugio San Marco – Rifugio Galassi||1h 30m|
|233||Cimabanche – Pra del Vecia – Forcella Verde – Forcella Grande||5h|
Trail 401 to 466: Passo Falzarego – Passo Giau – Tofana – Lagazuoi – Cinque Torri – Averau – Nuvolau – Croda da Lago
|Trail Number||Itinerary||Hours Required|
|401||Pian de Loa – Val Travenanzes – Rifugio Lagazuoi||4h 30m|
|402||Cason de Rozes – Forcella Col dei Bos – Forcella Travenanzes – Passo Falzarego||3h|
|403||Lacedel – Pocol – Rifugio Son dei Prade – Fedarola – Rifugio Dibona – Rifugio Giussani – Masarie – Val Travenanzes||6h|
|404||Valon de Tofana – Forcella Col dei Bos||1h|
|405||Pie Tofana – Rifugio Duca d’Aosta – Pocol de Ra Crosc||2h|
|406||Vervei – Maiorera – Rumerlo||45m|
|407||Pie Tofana – Forcella Ra Valles – Graon de Ra Ola – Ponte dei Cadoris||5h|
|408||Pian de Ra Spines – Val Fiorenza – Passo Posporcora – Ponte dei Cadoris||3h|
|409||Lago Ghedina – Cianderou – Passo Posporcora||2h|
|410||Cadin di Sopra – Lago Ghedina – Pie Tofana||1h 30m|
|412||Valon Tofana – Sotecordes – Col dei Bos||1h 30m|
|413||Ronco (pista bob) – Pian del Rasaduoi – Strada Laghi Ghedina – Col Druscie||1h 30m|
|414||Ponte sul Ru Bianco – Sotecordes||1h|
|416||La Vera – Ponte de Ra Piencia – Lago Ghedina||30m|
|417||Cadin di Sopra – Campeggio Olimpia – Pian de Ra Spines – Ponte sul Rio Felizon||1h 30m|
|419||Rifugio Col Gallina – Lago de Limides – Forcella Averau||1h 30m|
|420||Rifugio Duca d’Aosta – Rifugio Pomedes||45m|
|421||Rifugio Dibona – Rifugio Pomedes||1h|
|422||Limides – El Coolo – Forcella Averau||2h|
|423||Passo Falzarego – Ospedaletti – lncrocio sent. 402||1h|
|426||Socol – Pontes de Val d’Ortie – Ponte Geralba||1h 30m|
|427||Socol – Ponte dei Aiade – Pian de Ra Baita||2h|
|428||Mortisa – Ponte Outo de Ra Costeana – Cesura Granda – Col Purin||1h 30m|
|429||Volpera – Crepa – Belvedere||1h 30m|
|430||Pianozes – Lago d’Ajal – Ciou del Conte – Ra Spada||1h 30m|
|431||Lago d’Ajal – Beco d’Ajal – Croda da Lago||2h 30m|
|432||Campo di Sotto – Pianozes – Col Purin – Malga Federa – Rif. Croda da Lago||3h 30m|
|434||Pezie de Para – Alpe del Formin – Ciadenes – Croda da Lago – Forcella Ambrizola||3h|
|435||Alpe del Formin – Val Formin – Forcella Ambrizola||3h|
|436||San Vito – Alpe Prendera – Col Duro – Mondeval – Forcella Giau – Passo Giau||6h|
|437||Alpe del Formin – Ru Curto – Ciampo dei Toulas – Rifugio Cinque Torri||2h 30m|
|438||Passo Giau – Ferrata della Gusela – Rifugio Nuvolau||2h 30m|
|439||Cianzope – Saresin – Ra Boa – Rifugio Cinque Toni – Rifugio Nuvolau||2h 30m|
|440||Pian dei Menis – Alpe Potor – Forcella Nuvolau||1h 30m|
|441||Passo Falzarego – Limides – Forcella Averau – Forcella Nuvolau – Lasta del Nuvolau||2h|
|442||Cianzope – Miliera – Rifugio Dibona||1h 30m|
|443||Rifugio Cinque Torri – Beco Muraglia – Passo Giau||1h 30m|
|445||Ciou del Conte – Strada Statale 48 delle Dolomiti||45m|
|446||Cianderou – Tonde de Cianderou – Ra Zestes – Forcella Ra Valles||2h 30m|
|447||Pian de Ra Spines – Col Rosa||3h 30m|
|449||Socol – Lago de Pianozes||30m|
|450||Cadelverzo – Pian del Rasaduoi – Lago Ghedina||30m|
|451||Campo – Cu de Col – Pocol – Belvedere – Crosc de Ester||2h|
|452||Passo Giau – Masarei d’Avoi – Forcella Nuvolau||1h 15m|
|457||Taula Salvaniera – Beco Longo – Pian de Ra Baita – Rifugio Croda da Lago||5h|
|466||Forcella Ambrizola – Malga Mondeval – Val Fiorentina||3h|
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