Cortina d’Ampezzo is a premier hiking destination in the Italian Dolomites of Northern Italy.
Hailed the Queen of the Dolomites, Cortina benefits from an advantageous and impossibly gorgeous location in Ampezzo Valley in the Province of Belluno in Veneto.
The town of Cortina d’Ampezzo is encircled by the craggy peaks of the Sorapiss, Cristallo, Tofane, and Croda da Lago mountain groups. The Sesto/Sexten and Baies/Prags Dolomites are also a short drive (or bus ride) away.
Hiking around Cortina d’Ampezzo is like hiking in a massive open-air museum. The Cortina mountains are steeped in history, harboring the relics of the First World War around every corner.
In this Cortina d’Ampezzo hiking guide, we’ve summarized all the best hiking trails around Cortina with links to in-depth trail guides.
Use this hiking guide in combination with our Cortina d’Ampezzo Travel Guide (when to visit, where to eat, how to get to Cortina, mountain huts, etc…) to plan an unforgettable hiking trip to the eternally-reigning Queen of the Dolomites.
Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Guide
Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Tips
- Location: Belluno, Veneto, Northern Italy
- When to Hike: Summer (Late June – Late September) or Fall (Late September – Late October)
- Where to Stay: Jaegerhaus Agriturismo (budget), Camina Suite & Spa (midrange), Hotel de Len (luxury), or Dolomiti Lodge Alvera (luxury).
- Closest Airport: Marco Polo International Airport, Venice, Italy
- Transit to Cortina: Venice Airport – Cortina d’Ampezzo Shuttle
- Trail Map: Tabacco 03 Cortina d’Ampezzo
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Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Map
When to Hike in Cortina d’Ampezzo
We recommend hiking in Cortina d’Ampezzo between late June and mid/late October. However, October can be tricky, because of early snowfall.
Read these guides to learn more about when to visit the Dolomites:
- Best Time to Visit the Dolomites
- Hiking in the Dolomites in September
- Hiking in the Dolomites in October
6. Best Hikes around Cortina d’Ampezzo
1. Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail
- Where: Dolomiti D’Ampezzo Natural Park, Belluno
- Trailhead: Rifugio Dibona
- Distance: 11.9 km circuit
- Time Needed: 5:30 hours
- Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
Tofana di Rozes is one of the recognizable mountains in the Ampezzo Dolomites.
An excellent hiking trail wraps around Tofana di Rozes, starting at Rifugio Dibona. The trail initially crosses the southern slopes of Tofana di Rozes and then ascends gently to the Forcella Col dei Bos saddle.
From the Giussani mountain refuge, the Tofana di Rozes circuit trail descends back to Rifugio Dibona along WWI paths.
This is a quiet, varied, and absolutely riveting hike in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Trail Guide: Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail
2. Lago di Sorapis
- Where: Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
- Trailhead: Passo Tre Croci, halfway between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lake Misurina
- Distance: 13.2 km circuit
- Time Needed: 5:10 hours
- Difficulty: Difficult
Lago di Sorapis is a glacial lake set in a natural amphitheater in the Sorapiss Group. Lake Sorapis is a scenic masterpiece because of its milky-turquoise hue and imposing mountain backdrop.
The easiest way to get to Lake Sorapis is from the Passo Tre Croci mountain pass, located about halfway between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lake Misurina.
From Passo Tre Croci, follow trail 215 in the direction of Rifugio Vandelli. Trail 215 is initially wide and level. After about an hour, the trail becomes increasingly steep and narrow. There are some exposed sections, secured with cables and ladders.
Most hikers will return to Passo Tre Croci along the same route. However, there’s an exciting alternative route via the Forcella Marcuoira saddle. This route is best undertaken by experienced alpine hikers, who are confident in steep rocky terrain.
Due to the popularity of this destination, it’s best to visit during the week and during shoulder-season.
Learn More: Lago di Sorapis Trail Guide
3. Passo Giau to Monte Mondeval
- Where: Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
- Trailhead: Passo Giau
- Distance: 12.8 km lollipop-circuit
- Time Needed: 5 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
Mondeval is a bowl-shaped plateau in the municipality of San Vito di Cadore within the Dolomites UNESCO System Pelmo – Croda da Lago.
The Mondeval plateau harbors many treasures including the archaeological burial site of Mondeval de Sora, the tiny Lago delle Baste lake, and the Monte Mondeval panoramic peak.
We love hiking across Mondeval because of the views of Monte Pelmo, Lastoni di Formin, and Croda da Lago.
This circuit trail takes you to all the best places atop Mondeval, starting at the gorgeous Passo Giau mountain pass.
Trail Guide: Passo Giau to Monte Mondeval
4. Croda da Lago Circuit Trail and Lago Federa
- Where: Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
- Trailhead: Ponte di Rocurto
- Distance: 13.1 km circuit
- Time Needed: 5 hours
- Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
Croda da Lago is a small mountain chain in the Ampezzo Dolomites. The circuit trail around Croda da Lago is an exciting hike, filled with captivating scenery and varied terrain.
The hike begins at Ponte di Rocurto trailhead along the SP638 road, between Pocol (Cortina d’Ampezzo) and Passo Giau.
Following trail 437, ascend through a spruce and larch forest to Lago Federa and Rifugio Croda da Lago.
The trail continues to Forcella Ambrizzola saddle, the gateway to the sprawling Mondeval pasture. Next, the Croda da Lago circuit veers towards the mammoth Lastoni di Formin massif and steadily ascends to Forcella di Formin, the highest point of the hike.
From the Formin saddle, the trail leads you down a field of boulders to Val Formin valley. Extra caution is required here.
The Val Formin path rejoins trail 437 back to Ponte de Rocurto.
Insider Tip: Lago Federa is one of the best places to experience sunrise, especially in mid-late October. The first light of the day sweeps across the alpine landscape, flushing the golden larches and the solitary spire of Becco di Mezzodi.
Trail Guide: Croda da Lago Circuit Trail
5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail
- Where: Tre Cime Nature Park, South Tyrol, and Belluno
- Trailhead: Rifugio Auronzo accessible via the Rifugio Auronzo Toll Road
- Distance: 9.7 km circuit
- Time Needed: 4 hours
- Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen in German, Three Peaks in English) is the name given to three massive peaks in the Sexten Dolomites: The Cima Grande (2,999 m), Cima Occidentale (2,973 m), and Cima Piccola (2,857 m).
The loop trail around the iconic Three Peaks is an easy-moderate day hike that takes about 4 hours to complete.
The trail starts at the Rifugio Auronzo mountain hut, which is accessible by a toll road (30 EUR for private cars). From Rifugio Auronzo, you can either start the circuit trail clockwise on trail 105 towards Langelam or counter-clockwise on trail 101 towards Rifugio Lavaredo. We recommend clockwise.
Though most hikers venture here to behold the mighty Tre Cime di Lavaredo, they soon realize that Drei Zinnen is just the beginning of an unending visual feast that extends in every possible direction.
After completing the circuit hike, take a detour to the jaw-dropping Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint.
Learn More: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail
6. Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail
- Where: Cadini di Misurina Group, Belluno
- Trailhead: Rifugio Auronzo or Lago d’Antorno
- Distance: 12.5 km circuit
- Time Needed: 6 hours
- Difficulty: Demanding
Sentiero Alberto Bonacossa is an exhilarating hiking trail that runs through the dramatic Cadini di Misurina mountain group.
This challenging trail guides hikers along narrow, exposed ledges and steep rocky valleys.
Sentiero Bonacossa connects Rifugio Col de Varda with Rifugio Fonda Savio and Rifugio Auronzo.
It can be hiked in its entirety, or sectioned off in loops. We hiked the northern route (Rifugio Fonda Savio to Rifugio Auronzo).
One of the most popular destinations along the Sentiero Bonacossa trail is the famous Cadini di Misurina viewpoint.
Trail Guide: Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail
Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Day Trips
Lago di Braies and the Braies/Prags Dolomites
It’s a 1-hour drive to reach Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee in Braies/Prags Valley, a side valley of Alta Pusteria/Pustertal.
You can also hike from Lago di Braies to Hochalpenkopf Peak. This full day hike will lead you away from the crowds.
Alta Badia is a mountain region surrounding the valley of Val Badia/Gadertal, nestled between the Fanes Group, the Sella Group, and the Puez Group.
From Cortina, it’s a 45 minute drive to Alta Badia via Passo Falzarego and Passo Valparola.
Here are some hikes we love in the Alta Badia region:
- Armentara Meadows Trail
- Lake Pisciadù and Pisciadù Peak
- Rifugio Puez
- Capanna Alpina to Fanes Hütte
- Sass da Ciampac and Lake Crespëina Hike
- Gran Cir Summit
Cortina d’Ampezzo Accommodations
Pocol is a tiny village above the Ampezzo Valley, west of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Pocol sits at the crossroads between SR48 (the road that connects Cortina with Passo Falzarego) and the SP638 (the road that connects Cortina with Passo Giau).
Budget | Hotel Piccolo Pocol is a basic, but very clean bed & breakfast in Pocol. The management is helpful, efficient, and knowledgeable about the region. The breakfast buffet features a number of cakes, croissants, breads, yogurts, sliced cheeses and meats, and of course coffee and juices.
Budget | Jaegerhaus Agriturismo is a highly-recommended farm stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The farm is located 2 km north of the town center in a dreamy location, facing Punta della Croce and Croda del Pomagagnon. Expect a delicious breakfast buffet. You can also eat dinner in their restaurant, which features ingredients sourced directly from their farm. Rooms are clean, cozy and designed in an alpine-rustic style.
Midrange | Camina Suite & Spa is a modern and stylish accommodation, managed by a caring and kind staff. Highlights of staying here are the bright, spacious suites, lovely furnishings and design accents, balcony views, and air conditioning. The breakfast is outstanding. Don’t miss out on their spa facilities (may need to be booked in advance due to COVID regulations).
Luxury | Hotel de Len is a sparkling new luxury hotel in the heart of Cortina. Fresh-faced interiors blend alpine design, modern lines, and natural and sustainable materials. The hotel restaurant, open 12 pm – 10 pm, showcases mountain products and local Ampezzo flavors in unique and exciting ways. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Rooftop spa access is an extra charge.
Luxury | Dolomiti Lodge Alverà is a splurge-worthy hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo, featuring an on-site spa and pool, on-site restaurant, and plush suites. Guests rave about the hotel’s mountain views, breakfast, wellness facilities, and design.
Passo Tre Croci
Passo Tre Croci is the mountain pass between the Cristallo Group and the Sorapiss Group. The pass is situated on Strada Regionale 48 delle Dolomiti, about halfway between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lake Misurina. This is where the hike to Lago di Sorapis begins.
Budget-Midrange | B&B Hotel Passo Tre Croci Cortina is advantageously located at Passo Tre Croci. The hotel features comfortable rooms and newly renovated interiors. Stay here for the clean, minimal aesthetics and the majestic location. Breakfast is included in the rate.
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Cortina Hiking & Travel Essentials
The easiest way to travel between hiking destinations in the Dolomites is with your own car. Use this 7-Day Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary for trip planning inspiration.
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your can rental as early as possible.
- Day Hiking: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites
Hiking Gear Packing List
- Hiking Backpack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B or B/C Hiking Boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion 1 Litre Water Bottle
If you plan on hiking the Sentiero Bonacossa Trail, we recommend bringing a helmet and climbing gloves.
- Women’s Climbing Helmet: black diamond women’s climbing helmet
- Men’s Climbing Helmet: black diamond men’s climbing helmet
- Unisex Climbing Gloves: Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Gloves
- Headlamp: Black Diamond Equipment Spot 350 Headlamp
- Crampons: CAMP USA Inc Chainsen Pro for early/late season hiking
Outdoor Photography Gear
Where to Stay in the Dolomites
Plan your trip to the Dolomites
- Best Things to Do in the Dolomites
- Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites
- Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary
Hiking in the Dolomites:
Top Destinations in the Dolomites: