TRE CIME (Italy)


Tre Cime (Drei Zinnen) - an impressive rock massif, considered the symbol of the Dolomites, listed in UNESCO, take a hike around it

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Tre Cime description

Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen in German) is a rock massif consisting of 3 peaks, it is often referred to as the symbol of the Dolomites and is listed in UNESCO. Shields grow vertically from the rubble fields. The highest is the middle one, its peak reaches up to a height of 2999 m above sea level. Until 1919, the peaks formed the border between Austria and Italy. Heavy fighting took place here during World War I. The shields are a favorite place for climbers, we even saw them there and hats off. One of the most difficult stages of the Giro d'Italia cycling race ends below the peaks of Tre Cime. I don't understand how anyone can get away with it!

Where is it and how to get there

Tre Cime di Lavaredo is located in Italy, in South Tyrol and forms the border between the provinces of Bolzano and Belluno. In the summer it is a popular tourist area, in the winter an award-winning ski area. Nowhere else can you find so many natural wonders in such a small area. If you are in the area for several days, it is worth buying 3 Zinnen Mountain card, for the cable cars. We went here just on a circuit around the peaks of Tre Cime and there is no cable car here. So we didn't use the card.

You should be able to enter Tre Cime in your navigation. If the navigation can't do it, try Via Monte Piana, Auronzo di Cadore, Italy. This is the lower parking lot under Tre Cime, from where the shuttle bus also goes, if they don't let you up because the parking lot is full, which happened to us. But they didn't even let us go to this parking lot, it was also full, so we continued along the road to Lake Misurina. It is a problem to park here as well, the parking lots here are mostly short-term, but we were lucky and finally found a place. All parking lots are paid. Around the lake, you can walk in a straight line to the shuttle bus stop, in less than 10 minutes, along the Riva delle Guide Alpine street past the Quinz restaurant. Then you connect to Viale Sant'Antonio and behind the campsite there is a roundabout for shuttle buses, the stop is called Misurina - Genzianella. Tre Cime is also served by regular buses from the city of Toblach, No. 442, departing from the bus and train stations.

If you plan to go here during the summer holidays, be prepared for crowds and I recommend being there by 9 a.m. or even earlier. We were here after 10 a.m., and they didn't let us up anymore, the parking lot was full. Cars were parked everywhere below, in every ditch. We managed to park in the paid parking lot by Lake Misurina and from there walk about 10 minutes to the parking lot from which the shuttle buses went up. The ticket cost 10 Euros per person, 1 ride. You can either buy it at the booth at the bus stop or by card directly on the bus (cash cannot be paid on the bus). If you were to go up by car, there is a barrier under the hill and you have to pay, the journey is paid 30 Euros per car. Buses run every half hour until 7 p.m., when the park gate closes. If there are a lot of people, it keeps spinning. I strongly recommend not to go here in July and August, sometimes it was difficult to overtake someone on the narrow roads stuck into the slope. There were also crazy queues in restaurants.

Tre Cime circuit

Whether you go up by bus or car, you start from the parking lot. Most people walk the circuit counter-clockwise, it's probably a better option than going the other way around. From the parking lot, go to the right, under the Rifugio Auronzo hut, so this is where you start and finish. The circuit is approximately 10 km and it is stated that you should cover it in 4 hours without stopping. We didn't get to the top until after 12, and even with a few breaks (of which more than an hour in a restaurant thanks to the crowds) we managed to get there by 6 p.m. The difficulty is said to be easy. Well, I wouldn't quite say that. You're going pretty downhill. The elevation gain is around 400 m up and 400 m down in a fairly small area. The worst steep hill is in the second half, once you descend from the Drei Zinnen Hütte (so don't eat too much there) and climb up to the Lange Alm. But the panoramas are definitely worth it.

Along the way there are 4 cottages with restaurants where you can eat. Most people stop at the Drei Zinnen Hütte, because it is in the middle and has probably the most beautiful view of the area, with the lake beyond. So expect a nice queue. One takeout window was outside on the patio where strangers like us stopped and stood in line. But when you sit inside, they come to serve you at the table and you don't have to stand in line. Attention, you can only pay in cash here, there is no signal at the cottage, so the terminals would not work, as well as there is no wifi. Flying a drone is prohibited here, because of the large concentration of people and the natural monument, but there is also a helicopter landing pad. Actually, there is a ban around the whole area, the only place where it is allowed according to the aerial map is right from the start, when you go off the road and go a little down to the memorial, where you have a beautiful view of the valley. However, some people don't worry too much about the bans, even in cities, especially if they have a good shot, right?


It is definitely worth a trip here. But if you want to avoid the crowds and save your nerves, don't go here during the summer holidays (the days of the week won't help either). If you have to go at this time, be here by 9 a.m., otherwise you won't be able to go up and you'll have trouble parking at the bottom. Have cash, not everywhere you can pay by card. On the other hand, they only take cards in shuttle buses. Also take a jacket, you are over 2000 m above sea level and even in July it was a bit windy here and it was not even 20 degrees. I probably don't need to remind you about trekking shoes, you don't walk on asphalt, regular sneakers really don't fit. It's also good to have a drink. You can buy food in one of the 4 huts with restaurants. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather clears up and enjoy the views!

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