Italy

Cinque Torri: Hiking With History In The Dolomites

Cinque Torri: Hiking with History in The Dolomites

If you are looking to traverse the foot of mountain peaks surrounded by history, then a Cinque Torri hike in Cortina is for you!

Cinque Torri, or Five Towers, is a stunning rock formation in The Italian Dolomites.

At 2300 meters, these towering limestone peaks seem to pop right out of the mountain, as if from nowhere.

Every direction you look, there’s a breathtaking panoramic view.

Hikers Cinque Torri Cortina


And if that’s not enough to tempt you, this scenic plateau has another inviting feature, a WW1 open-air museum.

Indeed, exploring here makes for a unique & engaging day immersed in nature.

So, if awe-inspiring scenery combined with a little history sounds like your kind of day out, read on for all you need to know about hiking Cinque Torri.

Hiking With History in The Dolomites

Cinque Torri is an ideal day trip on any Dolomite itinerary.

It’s an easy hike with the potential to extend the distance or elevation for a more challenging day out.

Located just outside the famous resort town of Cortina, it’s a great place to spend a few hours, the day, or longer. You can easily combine this area with an extended hike or overnight stay at a mountain hut (rifugio).

One of the really unique features of this area of Italy and CInque Torri, is the wartime history.

During WWI, the Italian army established their artillery headquarters at Cinque Torri because the unique view allowed the forces to follow military action.

Today many of the trenches remain and there is an open-air museum for exploration.

Finding Wellness in The Dolomites

For those of you interested in wellness travel, this is a great spot to recharge your well-being.

Rifugio Scoiattoli offers a hot tub & Champagne experience under the stars.

Rifugio Averau has some of the best food homemade food in the area. And all of the mountain huts have chairs for scenic relaxation.

People Sitting On Chairs At Dolomite Rifugio

Of course, Cinque Torri offers multiple ways to stay in shape. The trails are accessible to hikers year-round. Summertime it’s a playground for climbers, and the wintertime means great skiing.

Lastly, the views are inspiring and your soul will be nurtured by the jaw-dropping beauty.

Hiking is one of the best things to do in The Dolomites. It’s good for the mind & body, an immersive way to be present as you explore.

How To Get To Cinque Torri

There are multiple access points to Cinque Torri.

So, depending upon your time and hiking preferences, you can easily create a day that suits your interests.

Cinque Torri Chair Lift

The trails are accessible year-round and one of the best things about hiking this area is the flexibility in choosing your hiking routes. Here are 4 ways to arrive at Cinque Torri:

  1. The easiest way to arrive is by the Cinque Torri chairlift, which starts at Baita Bai de Dones. A 20-minute drive from Cortina towards Passo Falzarego, this is a good option if you want to make the most of your time or are interested in an aerial view.

  2. You can also walk from Baita de Dones to Cinque Torri. This adds about 45 minutes of uphill trekking. This hike is referenced in the book, Shorter Walks In The Dolomites. (A great Dolomite resource)

  3. Starting from Rifugio Col Gallina, near The Falzarego pass, you can also hike up the 440 Trail to Cinque Torre. This hike up takes about an hour and this well-marked trail adds about 200 meters of elevation to your day. Your destination is Rifugio Scoiattoli, which you will see it perched in the distance.

  4. A longer option is to hike from the stunning Giau Pass on Trail 452. This adds about 1 hour and 45 minutes each way, but the sweeping views are worth the extra leg work.

No matter which way you choose, bring the camera. This is a spectacular area of The Dolomites to photograph.

Hiking The Cinque Torri Circular Loop

There are many trails to explore once you arrive at the top.

This flexibility makes Cinque Torri a pretty accessible hiking location.

To best explore the towers take the the 3 mile Cinque Torri Circular Trail. This easy hike takes about 1.5 hours and is actually part of the 118 km Alta Via 1 Trail.

Hiking around and in-between the rocks, draws you into a world of small spaces and curious peaks. It’s mindful to explore here.

While stunning from a distance, the feeling up close and personal is much more intimate. Underneath the cathedral like peaks, it’s just you and awe-inspiring nature.

Be sure to explore the WW1 open air museum. It’s a rather unique opportunity to walk through the physical spaces that were occupied during the war.

CInque Torri Open Air Museum

It’s mind-boggling to think that a war was fought up here in harsh weather conditions. Such a sacrifice is difficult to understand in today’s terms.

As you approach the underside of the formations, don’t forget to look up!

Cinque Torri is one of the most popular climbing spots in The Dolomites, so there will be plenty of people who amaze you with their climbing prowess.

Cinque Torri: Hiking with History in The Dolomites

And look down as you round the other side.

Cinque Torri Hiking Trail

Seeing that the Rifugio Scoiattoli has such a commanding view, be sure to stop here for some rest & relaxation.

Enjoy the view alongside an aperitivo or some authentic Italian mountain food!

Aperitivo at Cinque Torri

If you want to extend your hike, head up the hill 30 minutes to Rifugio Avernau.

Waiting here are the traditional Dolomites dishes, as well as those from the neighboring region of Friuli. Oh, and they are rather well known for their desserts!

And if it’s a birdseye view from the top of the peak that you crave, hike further up to Rifugio Nuvolau, the oldest rifugio in The Dolomites.

Day Trips From Cortina

Cortina is one of my regular weekend getaways to recharge the batteries and practice some some well-deserved self-care.

It’s ideal for tech-free travel and offers plenty of opportunities to relax & unwind.

Even if you only have one day, it’s absolutely a worthy day trip from Venice. As it’s a chance to experience a little taste of what The Dolomites have to offer.

Lago di Braies

In addition, Cinque Torri is close to other iconic hiking spots like Lago Di Sorapis, Tre Cime, & Croda da Lago.

And right around the corner is the region of South Tyrol.

With its unique culture, language, and traditions. Here you can experience yet another intriguing corner of Italy. Not to mention famous hiking locations like Seceda, The Adolf Munkel Trail, & Lago Di Braies.

The mountains are calling you, so don’t wait too long to plan your next trip!

If you know someone who would love hiking Cinque Torri, share this & make their day.

until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well

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Travel Coach, Health Educator, photographer & coffee lover who calls italy home

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