When people think of mountain vacations, they automatically think of an active vacation. And this is certainly true, but up to a point. Slow tourism, that slow, sustainable and conscious tourism that is becoming increasingly popular, is perfectly applicable to the mountain environment, and indeed is becoming more and more identifiable.
Indeed, this is the philosophy behind the Three Peaks Dolomites Tourism Consortium in Veneto. Here, in the heart of the Belluno Dolomites, vacation is authentic relaxation that comes from still unspoiled landscapes, where nature is the real protagonist.
The one proposed by the consortium is not the mountain of large numbers, of hotel chains, of masses of tourists, but it is the mountain of silence, of immense spaces, of peaceful lakes and villages that seem to have come out of fairy tales. It is the land of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, Auronzo and Misurina, a natural paradise where you can find your own dimension and the right rhythm, savor hospitality and authenticity.
Three Peaks of Lavaredo, emblem of the Dolomites
If there is an iconic group of mountains in the Dolomites as a whole, those are the Three Peaks of Lavaredo: majestic, immense, rich in beauty but also rich in history. The three pointed massifs are now iconic, yet enough is enough Changing perspective, the mountain showcases a different profile and shapes, colors, boundaries are changed, and this is also true for the Three Peaks: if from Auronzo show the southern slope, from Misurina the southwest side makes them look curiously devoid of the Cima Piccola.
But it is from the path from the Auronzo Hut (2,333 m) to Forcella Lavaredo (2,454 m) that they appear in all their glory: the Cima Piccola (2,857 m), Cima Grande (2,999 m) and Cima Ovest (2,973 m).
Although the Three Peaks of Lavaredo are the territory’s most iconic peaks – so much so that they are mentioned in the name and logo of the Tourist Consortium – are so many peaks included in the association, some of the most famous groups in the Alps: from Cadini di Misurina to Sorapìss and Monte Cristallo, from Marmarole to Croda dei Toni to Popera. These are the NorthernDolomites, which at 78,767 hectares represent the largest area of the Dolomites, since 2009 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for “unique mountain landscapes of outstanding natural beauty.”
And in addition to being wonderful, these mountains are internationally important for the earth sciences, thanks to their geological distinctiveness rich in carbonate formations: for example, right at the foot of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo one can see a glimpse of Triassic marine life, a dinosaur footprint imprinted in a boulder.
From the pearl of the Dolomites to the land of mills
Not only mountains: the Three Peaks Dolomites Tourist Consortium also includes the settlements of Auronzo di Cadore and Misurina, Vigo di Cadore and Lozzo di Cadore, locations that over the years have managed to keep their cultural and natural heritage intact, and for this very reason they become the perfect destination for a rejuvenating vacation in every sense.
In the northernmost part of the Veneto region is Auronzo di Cadore, which lies about 900 meters above sea level along the left shore of Lake Santa Caterina. The village is beautiful, allowing for walks in the shade of fir trees along the shores of the lake, bike rides along the bicycle path that runs flat along the valley’s approximately 8 kilometers of development, and organizes a series of cultural events that make it even more alive and interesting. The Pro Loco of Auronzo is also particularly attentive to proposals for the youngest, with activities such as workshops for children, experiences on educational farms, afternoons “in a fairy tale” among fantastic tales.
A hamlet of the Municipality of Auronzo is Misurina, nicknamed the “Pearl of the Dolomites“-you only have to admire its magical landscape, with the Dolomite peaks reflected in its 1756-meter lake, to understand why. Misurina is characterized by a special microclimate that makes the air pure and balsamic, and it also allows you to reach, by shuttle service, Mount Piana, a real “open-air museum” witnessing the First World War, which was fought among these very peaks.
On the other hand, it is located in the Cadore Oltrepiave Vigo di Cadore, which includes five hamlets: Vigo, Laggio, Pelos, Piniè and Treponti, localities that characterize the area with historical, cultural and nature itineraries. Real art treasures can be admired here, such as the Pievanale Church of St. Martin and the Chapel of St. Ursula with its frescoes, as well as forts, tunnels and emplacements dating back to World War I, visible on Col Ciampon and Mount Tudaio. Also not to be missed is a visit to theCasera Razzo Plateau (1,800 meters above sea level), an excellent vantage point.
And then there is the “village of the mills,” Lozzo di Cadore, at the foot of the Marmarole Mountains and lying on the banks of the Rio Rin, which has always been the vital hub of the community: along the route of the “Roggia dei Mulini” several factories once used as mills, forges and sawmills are still visible. The locality again offers cultural and naturalistic cues, such as the Dairy Museum and the Ladino Diffuso Museum, as well as the Tita Poa Botanical Trail, an itinerary that allows visitors to admire numerous native plant species. Located on the slopes of the Marmarole Mountains, thePian dei Buoi Plateau is a scenic and naturalistic gem.
With the Three Peaks Dolomites guest card, provided free of charge to guests of accommodation facilities, allows them to obtain special discounts on attractions and entertainment, but more importantly it allows you to Participate in organized activities that are always new by the Tourist Consortium, from guided tours to thematic hikes, from trips to mountain huts and refuges to historical records.
Three Peaks Dolomites: hiking, biking, canoeing and lots of fun
The beauty of the mountains is that able to satisfy everyone’s desires: precisely for this reason, alongside the slow proposals, the Three Peaks Dolomites Tourist Consortium offers a series of different activities every season, to give visitors different and original activities and events. Summer is synonymous with hiking, and one of the most beautiful walking areas is the Ansiei Valley, over 200 kilometers of trails and paths. Relaxing walks, challenging routes, via ferrata and equipped sections, forest roads and high altitude traverses: for trekking enthusiasts there is no shortage of choice.
Those who prefer two wheels will find several trails for road bikes and mountain bikes, as well as rental centers and specialized facilities to accommodate sportsmen. Try the Auronzo-Misurina bike path, which runs for more than 30 km connecting the two localities. Among other things, the area is a Dolomite stage of the Giro d’Italia 2023. Also among the must-sees is the Somadida Oriented Nature Reserve, a protected area covering 1,676 hectares, enhanced by the visitor center, nature museum, and Forest Library.
Lake Auronzo has made the resort famous for canoeing, kayaking and dragon boating by providing courses for children and adults to learn the specialties and hosting International competitions, up to and including the World Junior and Under-23 Speed Canoe Championships held here July 5-9, 2023. There is no shortage of fun for young and old, from the Fun Bob, 3 km of rail with 500 meters of elevation gain that allows you to reach 45 km per hour, at the Three Peaks Dolomites Adventure Park with well Five aerial routes reaching 14 meters above the ground and with many other activities including climbing, tennis, fishing, miniature golf.
Also during the winter, the proposals of the Three Peaks Dolomites Tourist Consortium are many and varied: among the most notable are the many ski and snowboard slopes suitable for adults, children, experienced and less experienced, such as those of the Mount Agudo district, that of the Col de Varda or the Loita school camp. There is also no shortage of special events such as the Full Moon Festival, which allows people to engage in snow activities in a picturesque and unique setting.
Dumplings and typical cheeses: the Three Peaks and gastronomy
Nature, culture, history, activities, and events are all aspects that characterize vacations among the Dolomites, but the list is missing a fundamental one for all visitors: gastronomy. If it is true that knowledge of a place also comes through local dishes, the territory of the Three Peaks Dolomites Tourist Consortium is a kaleidoscope of flavors to be discovered.
The cuisine consists of traditional recipes, such as the famous Gnocchi all’Auronzana, potato dumplings topped with melted butter and smoked ricotta cheese. Also emblematic of the area’s culinary tradition is cheese. Behind each cheese are stories, anecdotes, different production methods, and above all, passionate and knowledgeable master cheesemakers.
There are numerous places to taste these delicacies, from restaurants to agritourism, passing, of course, through huts and refuges for culinary experiences at high altitude and with a view!
Info: Consorzio Turistico Tre Cime Dolomiti, Via Corte 18, Auronzo – tel. +39 0435 99603 – www.auronzomisurina.it