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Cortina d’Ampezzo Travel Guide, Dolomites, Italy

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a ski resort town and municipality in the Italian province of Belluno in the region Veneto. Cortina’s claim to fame was hosting the 1956 Winter Olympics, an honor it will soon repeat in 2026

Situated in Ampezzo Valley and encircled by the Tofane, Sorapiss, Cristallo and Croda da Lago mountains, Cortina d’Ampezzo is an excellent base for exploring the Italian Dolomites in summer, early fall, or winter. 

Base yourself in Cortina for at least 5 days, and you’ll be able to visit dreamy lakes like Lago Federa, Lago di Sorapis, Lago d’Antorno, and Lago Misurina, panoramic plateaus like Mondeval, and gorgeous mountain passes like Passo Giau.

You can also experience historic World War I destinations like Cinque Torri, the Lagazuoi Tunnels, and Monte Piana and unforgettable hiking trails.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites, Veneto

Cortina d’Ampezzo Map

Where is Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo Town Center, Dolomites, Italy

Cortina d’Ampezzo is located in the center of Ampezzo Valley, which is the upper part of Boite Valley (Valle Boite). 

The town is situated north of Cadore, south of Puster Valley (Val Pusteria/Pustertal), west of Val d’Ansiei, and east of Agordo. 

Cortina d’Ampezzo sits on the crossroads of SS51 (Strada Statale 51 di Alemagna) and SR48  (Strada statale 44 delle Dolomiti / strada regionale 48).

When to Visit Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Summer Season: mid/late June until mid/late September

Walking the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Drei Zinnen hiking trail, Golden Hour, Dolomites

The summer season kicks off in June and ends in late September. 

In summer, Cortina visitors can take advantage of a number of summer lifts:

Most importantly, mountain huts (Rifugi) are open, starting in mid-late June.  

If you’re traveling without a car, it’s best to visit Cortina in high summer (July, August, Early September), when there are more bus connections.

Outside of the main season, it’s very difficult to get around Cortina without a car.

Fall Season: Late September until Late October

Cortina d'Ampezzo Autumn, Dolomites

Our favorite time to visit Cortina d’Ampezzo is in fall. Hiking trails are relatively quiet, roads aren’t busy, and parking is readily available. 

The downside of visiting in Fall (October) is that most mountain huts, alpine pasture huts (Baita, Malga), and restaurants around Cortina d’Ampezzo are closed. You’ll see Chiuso/Chiusa (“closed”) signs posted everywhere.

Luckily, Rifugio Croda da Lago/Palmieri at Lago Federa stays open until late October, or early November, depending on snow conditions. Several mountain huts on the Sennes Plateau like Rifugio Fondara Vedla and Rifugio Sennes also stay open through October.

Additionally, most cableways stop operating by late September. One exception is the Lagazuoi cable car, which runs until late October. 

Luckily, many of the best hikes around Cortina d’Ampezzo don’t require the use of a cableway. But, you definitely need a car to get to the many trailheads and mountain passes around Cortina. 

Another compelling reason to visit Cortina d’Ampezzo in Autumn is the fall colors. There are many larch forests carpeting the mountains around Cortina. In late October (18th – 31st), these larches ripen to a golden yellow-orange. 

Related: Hiking in the Dolomites in October

Winter Season: Late December until late March/early April

Cortina d’Ampezzo’s primary tourist season is winter.  People, from all over the world, descend to Cortina for their ski holiday. 

The Cortina ski resort encompasses 120 km of ski slopes. If that doesn’t sound like enough, know that the Cortina ski area is part of the Dolomiti Superski resort.

This mega ski resort combines 16 Dolomites ski areas (Alpe di Siusi, Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Val di Fassa, Carezza, Arabba, Marmolada, Obereggen, Val di Fiemme, Alpe Lusia San Pellegrino, Civetta, and San Martino di Castrozza Passo Rolle), thus creating the largest ski destination in the world (1200 km of slopes).

Cortina d’Ampezzo Accommodations

Hotel de Len Jacuzzi, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy


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.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

Ristorante de Len Dinner, Hotel de Len, Cortina d'Ampezzo

Ringed by the Ampezzo Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo boasts a central and stunning location in the Ampezzo Valley in Veneto. You can stay here for a few days or for several weeks and never run out of things to see and do.

Budget | Hotel Meuble Oasi is a guesthouse set in the town center of Cortina d’Ampezzo, walking distance to the pedestrian zone and bus station. Book this 2-star hotel for the unbeatable price, location, spotless ooms, and on-site parking. 

Midrange | Baita Fraina is a charming B&B with six rooms with balconies, 3km from Cortina’s town center (5 minute drive). This guesthouse is also home to a Michelin recommended à la carte restaurant, which serves regional cuisine. Stay here for the mountain views, the affordability, and the food.

Midrange | Hotel Villa Alpina is a centrally-located 3-star-superior hotel housed in a historic villa. Rooms are comfortable and feature parquet floors and alpine furnishings. The room rate includes breakfast and outdoor parking. 

Midrange | Ambra Cortina Luxury&Fashion Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel with 24 thematic rooms and a bar in the very center of Cortina. Guests are treated to free on-site parking and an excellent breakfast. 

Top Choice – Luxury | Camina Suite & Spa is a 4-star boutique hotel, 1 km north of Cortina’ town center. This intimate hotel offers 12 alpine-style suites with comfy beds and ample closet space. Rooms are equipped with nespresso machines, air-conditioning, and soundproofing. We loved the high-quality breakfast and complimentary spa (3 saunas, relaxation zone, and showers). Read our Camina Suite & Spa hotel review

Top Choice – Luxury | HOTEL de LËN is a fresh-faced luxury hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo’s town center. Interiors blend natural and sustainable materials with fine furnishings to create a relaxing, yet refined atmosphere. The hotel restaurant showcases local Ampezzo flavors in unique and exciting ways. We loved the charming, enthusiastic staff, the rooftop spa (1 complimentary hour), and communal areas (living room, cocktail bar, and restaurant). Breakfast is included in the room rate. Parking is off-site and an extra charge. Read our Hotel de Len review.

Luxury | Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo, A Radisson Collection Hotel is a top-rated, 5-star hotel in the center of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Although housed in a historic building, the entire interior has been renovated. Rooms are delightfully modern. Stay here for the superb on-site restaurant, impeccable staff and concierge, top-notch facilities (spa, indoor pool,  bar, and lobby area).

More Luxury Hotels in Cortina d’Ampezzo: Dolomiti Lodge Alverà, Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo, Rosapetra SPA Resort, and Faloria Mountain Spa Resort

Look for accommodation in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

​​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.

Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Trails

Tofane di Rozes, Ampezzo Dolomites, Cortina d'Ampezzo

Hikes in the Sorapiss Group

Lago di Sorapis Circuit Trail

Hikes in the Tofane Group

Tofana di Roses Circuit Trail

Hikes in the Croda da Lago – Pelmo UNESCO World Heritage Site

Croda da Lago Circuit Trail

Lago Federa

Passo Giau to Mondeval

Lago delle Baste

Hikes in the Sexten Dolomites

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail

Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint

Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail

Hikes in the Nuvolau-Averau Group

Rifugio Nuvolau and Cinque Torri Hike

Learn more about these trails in our Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Guide.

Cortina d’Ampezzo Mountain Huts

One of the highlights of visiting Cortina d’Ampezzo is eating lunch, or staying the night in a Rifugio. These mountain refuges are typically open from late June until late September. Some huts stay open longer.

If you want to learn more about visiting and staying in mountain huts, read Hiking in the Alps.

Here are some of the most iconic Rifugi around Cortina. 

Rifugio Croda da Lago/Palmieri

Croda da Lago Circuit Hike, Dolomites

Rifugio Croda da Lago is situated on the shore of Lago Federa beneath Croda da Lago. If the weather permits, this darling Rifugio stays open until late October.

Elevation | 2046 m

Location | Lake Federa in the Ampezzo Dolomites 

How to Get Here | You can hike to Rifugio Croda da Lago in 1:30 – 2 hours from the Ponte di Rocurto trailhead, which is located along the SP638 road, halfway between Pocol and Passo Giau.

Recommended Hike | Croda da Lago Circuit Trail

Opening Times | June – end of October. For exact dates, check out the Rifugio Palmieri website.

Rifugio Angelo Dibona

Rifugio Dibona is a privately-run refuge situated south of the Tofane Group. With sweeping views of Croda da Rossa and Cinque Torri and delicious homecooking, it’s worthwhile to just drive up here for the views and something to eat. This refuge is also a popular starting point for hikes and via ferratas in the Tofane mountains.

Elevation | 2037 m

Location | Vallon di Tofana in Dolomiti D’Ampezzo Natural Park

How to Get Here | From Cortina d’Ampezzo, drive SR48 in the direction of Passo Falzarego. About 800 meters after passing La Locanda del Cantoniere, turn right onto Località Dibona and drive 3.8 km up to Rifugio Dibona. 

Recommended Hike | Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail

Opening Times | Rifugio Dibona website

Rifugio Lagazuoi

Elevation | 2752 m

Location | Monte Lagazuoi, Fanes Group, iin Dolomiti D’Ampezzo Natural Park

How to Get Here | Drive the SR48 road to Passo Falzarego, the mountain pass between Ampezzo Valley and Val Badia. At the pass, you can take the Lagazuoi cable car to the hut. Alternatively, you can hike up to the hut via the WWI Lagazuoi Tunnels (helmet and headlamp needed). 

Recommended Hike | Lagazuoi Tunnels. Learn more: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites 

Summer/Winter Opening Times | Rifugio Lagazuoi website

Rifugio Nuvolau 

Rifugio Nuvolau View, Dolomites

The rustic Rifugio Nuvolau, run by the CAI, lies on the Alta Via 1 long distance trail. Crowning the summit of Monte Nuvolau in the Nuvolau-Averau Group, the outlook is splendid.

Elevation | 2575 m

Location | Monte Nuvolau summit, Nuvolau Group, Ampezzo Dolomites  

How to Get Here | Hike up from the Rifugio Col Gallina parking lot (1 km east of Passo Falzarego), Passo Falzarego, or the 5Torri Chairlift mountain station. 

Recommended Hike | Rifugio Nuvolau and Cinque Torri Hike

Opening Times | Mid-June until Mid-September. Rifugio Nuvolau Website

Rifugio Averau

Rifugio Averau is located just below Rifugio Nuvolau at the Forcella Nuvolau saddle.

Elevation | 2413 m

Location | Forcella Nuvolau (the mountain saddle between Averau and Nuvolau), Nuvolau Group, Ampezzo Dolomites 

How to Get Here | Hike up from the Rifugio Col Gallina parking lot (1 km east of Passo Falzarego), Passo Falzarego, or the 5Torri Chairlift mountain station. 

Recommended Hike | Rifugio Nuvolau and Cinque Torri Hike

Opening Times | Rifugio Averau website

Rifugio Auronzo

Rifugio Auronzo, Cadini di Misurina, Sesto / Sexten Dolomites

Rifugio Auronzo stands to the south of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the famous three peaks of the Sesto Dolomites.

Elevation | 2320 m

Location | Sesto/Sexten Dolomites, Auronzo Belluno 

How to Get Here | Drive, or take a bus to Lake Misurina and then up the Rifugio Auronzo Toll Road to the hut. 

Recommended Hikes | Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit and the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint 

Opening Times | Rifugio Auronzo website 

Rifugio Fodara Vedla

Rifugio Fondara Vedla

Elevation | 2000 m

Location | Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park, South Tyrol

How to Get Here | Drive to the car park at Malga Ra Stua. In July and August, the access road to Ra Stua is closed and you have to take a shuttle from the S. Uberto car park along the SS51 road. From Malga Ra Stua, you can follow trail 6 and later trail 9 to reach the hut.

Recommended Hikes | We hiked to Rifugio Fodara Vedla when we did the Alpe di Sennes circuit trail, which we described in our Cortina d’Ampezzo hiking guide.

Opening Times | Late May – Early November. Fodara Vedla refuge.

Rifugio Mietres

Rifugio Mietres is located beneath the Pomaganon chain. Encircled by forest, this charming refuge is a lovely destination for lunch when hiking in the Larieto larch forest.

Elevation | 1732 m

Location | Cristallo Group

How to Get Here | From the Rio Gere car park, follow trail 211 to El Brite de Larieto and onwards to Rifugio Mietres (45 minutes).

Recommended Hikes | We hiked to Rifugio Mietres along the Crepe de Zumeles circuit trail, which we described in our Cortina d’Ampezzo hiking guide.

Opening Times | Rifugio Mietres website

Cortina d’Ampezzo Places to Eat

Passo Giau and Ra Gusela, Dolomites
Passo Giau

Cortina d’Ampezzo Restaurants 

Ristorante Pizzeria 5 Torri (our favorite pizzeria in Cortina)

Restaurant Pizzeria Al Passetto

Ristorante Pizzeria Il Ponte 

Ristorante La Tavernetta

Ristorante Da Beppe Sello 

Ristorante Al Camin (Fine Dining) 

Ristorante Tivoli (Fine Dining)

Ristorante Il Vizietto (Fine Dining)

Pocol Restaurants 

Baita Resch

Baita Il Cervo

Peziè de Parù

La Locanda del Cantoniere 

Pass Giau Restaurants 

Malga Giau

Da Aurelio

How to Get to Cortina d’Ampezzo

Lake Federa, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites

Venice to Cortina d’Ampezzo

The closest airport to Cortina d’Ampezzo is the Marco Polo International Airport in Venice (2 hours).

We recommend renting a car at the airport and driving directly to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Though, you may want to detour first to San Martino di Castrozza.

If you’re traveling without a car, you can take this direct coach from the Venice Airport to Cortina d’Ampezzo (2 hours).

Other Airports:

  • Bolzano Airport, South Tyrol, Italy: 2:15 hours
  • Valerio Catullo Airport, Verona, Italy to Cortina: 3:11 hours
  • Innsbruck Airport, Austria to Cortina: 3:25 hours
  • Malpensa Airport, Milan, Italy to Cortina: 5 hours
  • Munich International Airport, Germany to Cortina: 5:30 hours 

Alta Badia to Cortina d’Ampezzo

Alta Badia is a mountain region and ski resort in the upper part of Val Badia/Hochabtei valley in South Tyrol. The main villages of Alta Badia are Colfosco, Corvara, La Villa, Badia, San Cassiano.

It’s only a 1:00 – 1:30 hrs drive from Alta Badia to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

SUMMER | To reach Cortina, drive over the Valparola Pass followed by the Falzarego Pass. From Falzarego Pass, descend to Cortina d’Ampezzo along the SR48 road.

  • Corvara to Cortina d’Ampezzo | 50 min – 1:15 hrs
  • San Cassiano to Cortina d’Ampezzo | 40 min – 1:04 hrs

WINTER | To reach Cortina in winter, you have to drive to Passo Falzarego via Arabba and Pieve di Livinallongo.

  • Corvara to Cortina d’Ampezzo | 1:13 hrs, 47.8 km
  • San Cassiano to Cortina d’Ampezzo | 1:30 hrs, 56.8 km

Alta Pusteria to Cortina d’Ampezzo

The Upper Puster Valley (Alta Pusteria in Italian, Hochpustertal in German) refers to the easternmost part of Puster Valley, and encompasses the villages of Villabassa/Niederdorf, Dobbiaco/Toblach, San Candido/Innichen, Braies/Prags, and Sesto/Sexten in South Tyrol. 

Alta Pusteria is the gateway to the northern Sesto/Sexten Dolomites and the northern Braies/Prags Dolomites.

It takes only 40 minutes to drive from Alta Pusteria to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The fastest way to get to Cortina is by driving along Strada Statale 51 di Alemagna the whole way. You’ll initially drive through Valle di Landro/Höhlensteintal valley, famous for its roadside lakes Lago di Dobbiaco/Toblacher See and Lago di Landro/Dürrensee.

Dobbiaco/Toblach to Cortina d’Ampezzo | 38 minutes, 33 km

San Candido/Innichen to Cortina d’Ampezzo | 45 minutes, 37.8 km

Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials

Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to Northern Italy.

When to Hike in the Dolomites

Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit is between mid/late December and March.

Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to road trip and hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can easily continue until late October.

Spring Season. We don’t recommend visiting the Dolomites in early spring. Read: May in the Dolomites.

How to Get to the Dolomites

Read How to Get to the Dolomites to find out how to travel to the Dolomites from the closest airports, train stations, and bus terminals.

If you’re traveling without a car, also check out How to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car

Car Rental

The easiest way to travel between hiking destinations in the Italian Dolomites is with your own car. Check out our itineraries for trip inspiration:

We recommend using the 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 car rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here

Best Places to Stay

Figuring out where to stay in the Dolomites is probably the biggest hurdle to planning a trip to the Dolomites. We’ve created three guides to help you decide where to stay:

We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.

What to See & Do

During your trip to the Dolomites, you can go via ferrata climbing, culinary hiking, hut to hut hiking, cycling, paragliding, and so much more. We’ve highlighted our favorite experiences in Best Things to Do in the Dolomites.

Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and incredible natural landmarks.

In Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites, we’ve outlined the most iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Alpe di Siusi, Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, and Seceda.

Dolomites Packing List

Hiking Gear

Outdoor Photography Gear

Dolomites Hiking Guides

Hiking in the Dolomites is our passion. Year after year, we love discovering new trails and expanding our knowledge of the area. For day hiking, check out Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites. For trekking, take a look at our guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites and Alta Via 1.

For region-specific hiking trails, check out:

Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Day Walks in the Dolomites

Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

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