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3 Unmissable Hikes for Your Vacation in Cortina | Italy

croda da lagoIf you are planning a vacation in Cortina this summer, you’ll want to discover the Ampezzana Valley’s most beautiful places where the nature of the Dolomites is at its best.


Where to go? What places should you visit in Cortina and its surrounding areas? What are the hikes and excursions that you absolutely can’t miss in Cortina this summer? Here we’re offering 3 hikes in the Dolomites that have been suggested by the Italian Alpine Club (IAC) of Cortina, that allow you to experience sites related to the Great War and the flora and fauna of the Dolomites. Nature, sport, adventure: a perfect combination for anyone who loves hiking and undisturbed nature.


Vacation in Cortina: 3 hikes that absolutely can’t be missed


1) Mondeval and Croda da Lago


DEPARTURE – ARRIVAL: Giau Pass – Peziè de Parù

TIME: 5-6 hours

TYPE: half loop


DIFFERENCE IN ALTITUDE: + 350 m – 1100 m

IAC TRAIL: 436-434


From the small church in of Giau Pass (2236 m), this hike follows IAC trail n. 436, crossing the Zonia gap and Col Piombin gap until it reaches Giau pass (2360 m) where it opens to the southeast towards the Mondeval Valley with a breathtaking view verso Mount Pelmo and Mount Civetta.


There are rocks with dinosaur footprints found near the gap. The hike continues east with a slight descent in the direction of the Mesolithic site of Mondeval Man, where in 1987 Vittorino Cazzetta discovered the skeleton of a hunter dating from around seven thousand years ago. Towards the east, the route goes up the valley that separates the Lastoi de Formin dalla Croda da Lago and reaches the Ambrizzola gap (2277 m), with an amazing view of the Cortina d’Ampezzo Valley and Mount Antelao, Mount Sorapis and Mount Cristallo.


From the pass, it descends toward the Croda da Lago- G. Palmieri Refuge (2046 m – possibility for refreshment), and continues toward the north ending at a spur (Ciadenes) with a panorama of Tofane and the Cinque Torri. The route continues on a steep downhill ending in the Cason de Formin clearing and follows trail n. 434 to the end of the hike in in Peziè de Parù (1506 m).



2) Wartime trails in Tofane


DEPARTURE – ARRIVAL: Falzarego Pass – Son dei Prade

TIME: 5-6 hours

TYPE: Straight


DIFFERENCE IN ALTITUDE: + 500 m – 1040 m

IAC TRAIL: 402 – 404 – 403


If you are in Cortina this summer, and you love history, this hike is one you can’t miss, according to the suggestions we have for you. From Falzarego Pass (2105 m), you climb toward the north on a trail on the gravel base of Piccolo Lagazuoi, encountering various ruins and placements from the First World War, until you reach the Travenanzes gap.


The hike then continues along the north slope, the base of Cima Falzarego and the Col dei Bòs, with a glance at the Travenanzes Valley: in the vicinity of the gap, on the south side, you will find the Command of the Italian troops.


At this point in the route, the trail climbs in the direction of the base of the Galleria del Cannone (which can be visited) and Castelletto, which was exploded by the Italian army with 35 ton mine on July 11, 1916. The trail then runs along the base of the Tofana de Rozes and descends into the Angelo Dibona Refuge (possibility for refreshment) near where an amber fossil from the Triassic, dating from more than 230 million years ago, was found in 1998. You descend via a path in the woods including Mount Fedarola and arrive in Son dei Prade, the end point of the hike.


3) Ascent of Croda De R’Ancona


DEPARTURE – ARRIVAL: Lago Bianco – Sant’Uberto

TIME: 6 hours

TYPE: straight



IAC TRAIL: 8-5 or 6


Compared to the previous trails, hiking to the summit of Croda De R’Ancona is definitely more challenging. However, the difficulty is nothing compared to the emotional baggage that this route contains. It leaves from Lago Bianco (1512 m), on Germany’s State Road 51 of Germany, about a kilometer before the Cimabanche Pass: it goes along a dirt road that goes up the Gotres Valley and ends at the Lerosa gap (2020 m), a journey also taken by Pope John Paul II on August 24, 1992.


From the Lerosa gap, you descend the opposite slope for around 200 meters, where the military road that crosses the entire northwest slope of the Croda De R’Ancona begins, ending at the southwest ridge that descends from the summit (I Ciadis). Arriving at this ridge you’ll find the first reward: a spectacular panorama of the Cortina Valley and its peaks. But it is time to get going again: the route goes along the canal where the old Austrian front line, with trenches and cave positions, runs, and make the last climb to finally reach the summit.



Here the view is even better: the panorama is impressive since you can admire in succession the Tofane, Croda da Lago, Pelmo, Sorapis, the Three Summits of Lavaredo, Croda del Béco and in the foreground the wonderful Croda Rossa d’Ampezzo.


You return by a climbing path that ends near the of the Lerosa gap, then by a wartime mule track that descends to the Malga Ra Stua Refuge (1668 m – possibility of refreshment). From the refuge, the trail quickly descends via a path to Sant’Uberto (1449 m), where the hike ends.


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