A classic hike that takes in some of the most striking scenery to be found anywhere in the Dolomites, a trip around Tre Cime di Laverdo, Italy, isn’t to be missed. Tre Cime di Laverdo takes its name from the three enormous limestone peaks that dominate the landscape in this area. Lakes, wildflowers, and the grandeur of the peaks are all key elements of a walk around the Tre Cime.
Read on to discover more details of the route and find out fascinating details about the Dolomites and the Tre Cime di Laverdo circuit.
A Popular Day Trip
The Tre Cime di Laverdo hike is a popular choice for walkers of all abilities. Great for families, it’s also ideal for groups, solo walkers, or couples. This is a fairly level walk of around six miles.
For most people, the walk will take around three to four hours, including a stop for lunch. That said, this is a hike to be savored.
Although not particularly demanding, the stunning views provided by these iconic peaks means many walkers prefer to take their time, soaking up the tranquil ambiance of the locale.
The route commences at the Rifugio Auronzo – a typical alpine “hut” that sleeps over a hundred and also offers a choice of excellent meals at its restaurant. Located in Belluno County, the restaurant (along with more than twenty in the local area) has pledged to serve traditional dishes to the local area, utilizing seasonal, local ingredients as far as possible.
If you don’t intend to stay at the hut, you may also walk or drive to the car park or catch one of the local buses.
From the Rifugio Auronzo, the trail proceeds to Rifugio Laverdo.
It passes close to the Tre Cime – walkers are very conscious of the size and grandeur of the peaks as they pass through this section of the walk. In cloudy weather, this can be quite an atmospheric leg of the journey, with the mist swirling against the sheer sides of the peaks.
Rifugio Laverdo to Rifugio Locatelli
Having reached Rifugio Laverdo, the trail travels upwards – walkers can see the valley ahead begin to open up as they climb further. The views from the top of the rise are worth the climb – the valley stretches into the distance, with other Dolomite peaks clearly visible.
Keep going until you reach Rifugio Locatelli, which is where you’re likely to get the best views of the Tre Cime and the surrounding valleys in their entirety.
This viewpoint is, arguably, one of the most stunning to be found anywhere in the Dolomites. Depending on the weather, the combination of raw, limestone elevations surrounded by verdant alpine meadows beneath an azure sky is absolutely breathtaking.
From there, you’ll need to follow the trail downhill, circling the Tre Cime.
This will take you back down to Rifugio Auronzo.
As the recommended time of year for attempting the Tre Cime di Laverdo is between May and October, you’ll likely be able to spot plants such as Edelweiss, Gentians, and orchids. In summer, the nearby meadows will be lush with alpine flowers and grasses.
The Black Vanilla orchid, for example, with its striking appearance, is commonly found in the area.
Look out for Butterflies
The alpine meadows are home to many different plants, many of which provide food for butterflies. You can expect to see species such as the Common Brassy Ringlet, Alpine Blue, and Mountain Clouded Yellow in summer.
As if the views weren’t enough, this hike also gives walkers the chance to see some of the wildlife that’s native to the Dolomites.
Birds can frequently be seen soaring around the peaks. There are a large number of different species, including golden eagles, black grouse, or even a pygmy owl!
A Walk for Everyone
Don’t let the relative ease of the hike put you off! The Tre Cime di Laverdo trek may not be the most arduous or lengthy of the numerous routes in the Dolomites, but it’s certainly one that includes some of the best scenery in the area.
It’s also well supplied with Rifugios, all of which serve hearty dishes of traditional food, in addition to beers, hot drinks, and a variety of other beverages. Depending on how long you want to spend on the route, there are several opportunities to stop at a Refugio and refuel with a cold beer, coffee, cake, or a hearty meal.
Refresh Your Mind and Spirit
Hiking the Tre Cime di Laverdo trail is far more than simply physical exercise – it’s an opportunity to recharge, relax and regroup. Many people find that the combination of fresh air, amazing views, physical exercise, and the tranquility and remoteness that’s a key feature of the mounts can positively impact their mental and physical health.
Studies show that being outdoors in nature has a demonstrable effect on anxiety, stress, and depression levels. Some people also find that they gain physical benefits as well. Not only is walking great exercise but time away from a sedentary job and the chance to be active for hours at a time may also mean that everyday pain and stiffness show a noticeable improvement.
It’s little surprise that many people return to the Dolomites to hike year after year. Walks such as the Tre Cime di Laverdo are ideal for visitors looking for a hike that’s full of opportunities to absorb the beauty of the alpine hills and valleys.
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