The Three Peaks of Lavaredo are the undisputed symbol of the Dolomites and offer a must do hike for every visitor getting to Trentino South-Tyrol and Veneto. The Three Peaks, better known as Tre Cime di Lavaredo in Italian or Drei Zinnen in German, mark in fact the border between these two regions in Italy’s north-east.
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HIKE AROUND THE THREE PEAKS OF LAVAREDO
Here’s all you need to know about how to get to the Three Peaks of Lavaredo.
The highest of the Three Peaks is Cima Grande (Big Peak), raising at an altitude of 2,999 meters above sea level. To its sides there are Cima Ovest (Western Peak, 2,973 m) and Cima Piccola (Little Peak, 2,857 m).
The mountain range gifts spectacular views from various angles: it is possible to hike the loop around the Three Peaks and reach the Auronzo alpine hut, the Lavaredo hut and the Locatelli hut, all of which lie at over 2,300 m a.s.l.
The Tre Cime of Lavaredo are encircled by the Tre Cime Natural Park and have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
HOW TO GET TO THREE PEAKS OF LAVAREDO – MAP
The nearest towns to the Tre Cime are Cortina d’Ampezzo and Auronzo di Cadore in Veneto, and Dobbiaco/Toblach in Trentino South-Tyrol. These are about 30 km away, however the closest district is Misurina, 7 km far.
You can reach the Three Peaks of Lavaredo by car, on foot, or by shuttle bus.
LET’S SEE HOW TO GET TO THE THREE PEAKS FROM MISURINA:
- by car for 7 km up to the parking area next to the Auronzo hut, at the Tre Cime base. Be aware that the road is not free though.
The toll road to the Three Peaks of Lavaredo in 2021 costs 30€ per car (20€ per motorbike, 45€ per RV). The toll road includes parking too, which is open daily from 16th May to 15th November 2020, from 6 am to 8 pm.
- by shuttle bus from Albergo Misurina bus stop along SP49 national road. The bus takes about 20 minutes and ends at the parking area by the Auronzo hut. The ticket price is 4€ per person. You can find the timetables of buses coming from Cortina d’Ampezzo, Auronzo di Cadore and Dobbiaco here.
- on foot from Misurina: leaving from 1,754 m height and reaching 2,333 m at Auronzo alpine hut. It takes roughly 3 hours hiking uphill, on top of which you need to consider the time spent around the Tre Cime and the way back.
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THREE PEAKS OF LAVAREDO DISTANCE FROM VENICE, CORTINA AND OTHER CITIES
Following under you can find the distance in km and average time needed to reach Tre Cime from major nearby city centres.
- distance from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Three Peaks of Lavaredo: 23 km, a bit more than 30 minutes by car or one hour by bus.
- Dobbiaco/Toblach to Three Peaks of Lavaredo: 28 km, about 40 minutes driving or one hour by bus.
- Auronzo di Cadore to Three Peaks of Lavaredo: 32 km or 45 minuti by car, one hour by bus.
- Bolzano/Bozen to Three Peaks: 125 km, two hours by car.
- Trento to Three Peaks: 180 km, almost a three hours drive.
- Venice to Three Peaks: 180 km, two and a half hours by car. Or three and a half hours by bus: leaving from Venice Mestre train station and Venice Airport, bus change in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
THREE PEAKS OF LAVAREDO LOOP – TRAIL 101 AND 105
Once you reach the Auronzo hut at the mountains feet, the best is yet to come!
Hiking the loop around the Three Peaks of Lavaredo is a unique experience that guarantees breathtaking views and will reconnect yourself with nature.
The surrounding trails are of an easy to medium difficulty level and accessible to any kind of hiker with a minimum of knowledge. There are no steep inclines, nor dangerous areas along the beaten tracks.
The Tre Cime loop is 9.5 km long, with some 400 metres of difference in height. One can complete it in 3-4 hours of hiking, breaks excluded.
The majority of walkers takes the loop anti clockwise, accessing trail 101 direction east from Auronzo hut towards Forcella Lavaredo junction, passing by Lavaredo hut.
After the junction you keep going up to Locatelli hut at 2,400 m. From there the famous north side of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo can be seen.
In order to complete the loop around the Tre Cime you then need to head west, following trail 105 by Lang Alm sheperd’s cottage, and ending back to the starting point.
CHALLENGES AND ALTITUDE AT THREE PEAKS OF LAVAREDO
We mentioned earlier how the difficulty level of the hike is easy to medium.
There aren’t any big slopes nor narrow zones. The mule tracks are heavily beaten everyday by true hordes of visitors.
Having said that, we’re not talking about a plain walk. The total difference in height reaches 400 meters and you should not forget that you are at 2,300 m of altitude, which could lead you to get exhausted sooner than usual.
Besides the weather can change quickly at these heights. It’s good practice not to get too far from the parking area or from the huts if threatening clouds are around.
HIKING GEAR AND TIPS
We recommend hiking shoes. You can also bring along hiking sticks, however they are not essential for this kind of itinerary.
Don’t forget suncream, sunglasses and headgear, since it is easier to get sunburnt beyond 2,000 m and there are no trees providing shade.
In sunny August days the huts are packed with people. Remember to take water and food supplies with you in order not to be unprepared.
We suggest dedicating a whole day to complete the 360° Three Peaks of Lavaredo loop, so that you can take enough breaks to drink and eat, take advantage of the cozy huts open in season, and enjoy the endless and memorable views.
If you have more time available, you could get to the Tre Cime early in the morning or stay until sunset, to avoid peak hours during summer days. It may occur that the parking area results full and the access to the toll road is closed.
THE BEST VIEWS OVER THE THREE PEAKS OF LAVAREDO
This paragraph would deserve whole photo albums. The characteristics of the Tre Cime loop allow continuously changing views over them and the surrounding mountain ranges, producing new angles and perspective all the time.
Among the best viewpoints over the Three Peaks of Lavaredo we mention:
- Forcella Lavaredo: just after Lavaredo hut you climb towards Forcella Lavaredo (Lavaredo junction). From here you can have a side view of the Three Peaks, so close, particularly the Cima Piccola (Little Peak) which lies imposing before your eyes.
- Locatelli alpine hut: Locatelli hut stands in front of the northern slope of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, i.e. the most famous and most photographed face of these mountains. One of the classic portraits frames the unmistakable red roofed hut with the majestic Three Peaks in the background.
- Lang Alm sheperd’s cottage: carrying on with the anti clockwise loop direction west you’ll pass by Lang Alm, a sheperd’s cottage lying in the middle of a vast and suggestive clearing where the Rienza stream flows.
- Lake Misurina: the view from Misurina is unique because oddly only two of the Three Peaks can be seen and the range acquires a completely different aspect.
TRE CIME NATURAL PARK
When walking around the Tre Cime you’ll notice how they are the unconditioned stars of a likewise fascinating mountain range, all encircled within the Tre Cime Natural Park between the municipalities of Dobbiaco/Toblach, Sesto/Sexten and San Candido/Innichen. (The German names are used together with the Italian ones in the bilingual region of Trentino Alto Adige/South Tyrol)
Among the most recognizable peaks there are Monte Paterno/Paternkofel and Torre di Toblin/Toblinger Knoten on the east, not far from Locatelli hut. Cima Tre Scarperi east by north is the tallest of the Sesto Dolomites at 3,152 m a.s.l.. Finally Monte Piana is the most prominent spot on the western side.
MORE GOOD MANNERS, LESS RUBBISH
A strong recommendation we always want to underline is to take rubbish away with you and don’t leave the environment polluted.
Sadly as happened to us at Lake Sorapis, at the Tre Cime too we found way too much rubbish along the trail, particularly lots of plastic bottles litter here and there.
Being easy to reach by car and by bus, more and more hordes of unmannered tourists are coming up here.
Pointing the finger doesn’t help much, but we can all set a good example and pick up plastic bottles and rubbish when we see them on the ground.
RELATED DOLOMITES HIKING TRIPS
If you are expert hikers you could consider the iron path to Monte Paterno and the climb up to Torre di Toblin, which will reward you with even more spectacular views over the Three Peaks of Lavaredo.
Obviously the Tre Cime aren’t the only attraction around. It’s worth heading to the Cinque Torri massif, to Croda da Lago, or to Monte Faloria, all of which are easy to get to from well known Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Whereas if you prefer relaxing and perhaps having a dip in the cold regenerating waters, there are several lakes in the area. Lake Misurina is very close to the Three Peaks and is perfect for a stroll around its placid pond. Another lake famous for its turquoise waters is Lake Sorapis, of which you can find our detailed guide here. Lastly we mention Lake Braies/Pragser Wildsee, wonderfully nestled between the mountains and the forest.
HOTEL – WHERE TO STAY IN THE DOLOMITES
- Hotel da Beppe Sello: cozy rooms and one of the best restaurants in Cortina spoilt us at Beppe Sello!
- Aquila Hotel: great value for money in the heart of Cortina.
- Albergo Iris: a beautiful hotel with extremely kind staff in Auronzo di Cadore. Free bycicle rental.
- Camping Toblacher See: a neat camping and caravan park right on Lake Dobbiaco shore, suitable for any kind of camper. Tent spots, RV and caravan sites, topped by the mesmerizing Skyview Chalets for a fairytale night under the stars!
HOW TO GET AROUND:
- Dolomiti Bus: timetable and fares for bus travelling in the Dolomites;
- Rentalcars: closest rental locations are Venice and Trento.
- Flixbus to Cortina d’Ampezzo from Venezia, Verona, Milano.
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- Never leave home without a reliable travel insurance. We recommend two options for you to compare. Get your quote with Worldnomads here, and get 10% off thanks to our A Million Travels code with Heymondo travel insurance here.
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