Cadini di Misurina: Dolomites’ most beautiful viewpoint

Short hike to the viewpoint

Some incredible places in the Dolomites require a lot of effort to reach. Usually via a long, uphill hike. That is not the case if you want to visit Cadini di Misurina. With a total elevation difference of about 200 meters, the walk is short (30-45 minutes) and easy.

The trail begins at the Rifugio Auronzo refuge’s parking lot. On your right, you can already see the mountain peaks of Cadini di Misurina. You can go in two directions from the parking lot. Most people will turn left here for the well-known walk around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen. Turn right to get to Cadini di Misurina.

There are no signs directing hikers to the viewpoint. This makes it more difficult to locate. Follow the signs for the Sentiero Bonacossa hike to get there. That is a Via Ferrata walk, in which you climb along rock walls using a via ferrata set and a climbing harness. However, the first part of this walk, to the lookout point, is simple, and you walk on a wide path without needing climbing gear.

It is straight ahead after you turn right at the parking lot. Along the way, you will see many breathtaking views. In the distance, you can see Lago di Misurina and the backside of the impressive Drei Zinnen. It is an enchanting area.

Cadini Misurina’s Viewpoint

After a short walk, you can already see the final viewpoint. You must walk up a narrow path with an abyss on either side to reach the end point. Keep an eye out because the path will abruptly end and slide down into the abyss.

The path to the final viewpoint is adventurous and provides an adrenaline rush. Your heart rate will increase, and the grandeur of the mountain peaks will take your breath away when you reach the top. You are suddenly confronted with the Cadini mountains, with the highest peak being the Cima Cadin of San Lucano (2839 meters). You feel very small in this place. That is the magic of mountain scenery. Believe us when we say that this is the best view in the Dolomites. And it is by far our favorite mountain place ever.

Take in the 360-degree panorama and watch the Alpine crows fly into the valley below.

If you want to walk to the end point, keep the following in mind:

🥾 Many roots stick out on the narrow path, so walk carefully.
🥾 If you have a fear of heights, you should avoid the end point.
🥾 We recommend that you climb the narrow path only in dry weather.

The Dolomites’ hidden gem

You won’t believe it, but the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is (still) a secret! One of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites begins opposite the Cadini Mountains, on the other side of the parking lot: The famous hike around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, also known as the Drei Zinnen.

Combining a visit to the viewpoint Cadini di Misurina with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen hike is possible, but certainly challenging. You walk for at least 1.5 hours longer. As a result, many people skip the breathtaking Cadini di Misurina view. Such a pity. However, that is why you may have the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint almost entirely to yourself.

We arrived at 8:30 a.m. and encountered 5 other people. Unlike the hundreds of people we encountered on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen hike.

When should you go to Cadini di Misurina?

Outside of the high season in May and June, as well as September and October, is the best time to visit Cadini di Misurina. Check beforehand to make sure that the weather is good and that there is no snow.

Because the area around Cadini di Misurina is popular for hiking and climbing, it can become overcrowded. Arrive early (before 08:00) to avoid the crowds that form at the toll road gates and on the hiking trails in the late morning and afternoon.

This is how you get to the start of the hike to Cadini di Misurina

The quickest and most easy way to reach the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is by car. Take a toll road to the Rifugio Auronzo refuge. You can park at the hut and walk for 30-45 minutes to the fantastic viewpoint.

Toll road opening hours

The toll road is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there is no one at the ticket booth early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you can still enter the toll road using the ticket machines.

The toll road’s costs

A toll road ticket is expensive, but parking costs are fortunately included. A ticket is valid until midnight. You must have a ticket for the following day if you want to spend the night at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen.

Motorcycles: €20
Cars: €30
Camper vans: €45

Note: The prices are from June 2022

Popular places to stay near Cadini di Misurina

The Cadini di Misurina mountain range is located in the eastern part of the Dolomites. The following are the nearest villages:

🏘️ Cortina d’Ampezzo: 40 minutes away by car
🏘️ Innichen: 45-minute drive
🏘️ Auronzo, Belluno: 45 minutes away by car.
🏘️ Sesto/Sexten: 1 hour drive
🏘️ Forni di Sopra: 1.5-hour drive

Find your accommodation

Combine the viewpoint with the walk to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen

The short walk (1,5 hours in total) to Cadini di Misurina can be combined with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike in one day. This walk takes you around the iconic Drei Zinnen, three massive mountain peaks. The entire walk takes approximately 4-5 hours. You walk from mountain hut to mountain hut, past several lakes and with constantly impressive views of the Drei Zinnen.

Two hikes in a single day

But why should you plan so much in one day and not return a second time for the other hike? That is always an option, but keep in mind that you will have to pay an extra €30 for the toll road and parking.

Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee: The most idyllic lake in the Dolomites

The beauty of Lago Di Braies

Hidden in the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park is the Italian alpine lake Lago di Braies. For years we dreamed of visiting Lago di Braies and now we have finally been able to admire it in real life. Bucket list thingy; check!! Wow, we were really surprised by this special place, surrounded by the green and mountainous environment.

The best time to visit the lake is in the early morning. When you visit the lake on a clear day, when there is little or no wind and when the sun is still behind the mountains, then the lake transforms into a huge mirror and reflects the rugged mountain peaks in the clear water; a very special sight! Early in the morning, the iconic brown boats rest close to the wooden boathouse on the turquoise water. The overall picture is picturesquely beautiful and just like a postcard.

We visited Lago di Braies on a cloudy morning, causing some mountain peaks to disappear behind the clouds. This created mysterious vibes.

Things to do at Lago Di Braies

Walk around the lake

You can walk around the lake. This walk is 3.5 kilometers in total and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. During the walk you have beautiful views of Lago di Braies from different angles. The walk is suitable for both inexperienced and experienced hikers. It is an easy walking path and is flat for the most part. On a number of parts it is a bit steeper and you have to climb a bit.

Unfortunately we do not recommend people with limited walking ability to walk the whole loop around the lake, because the path is sometimes narrow and rocky (on the left side of the lake). Yet a part on the right side, past the hotel and restaurant further along the lake, is more walkable.

If you take the walk to the right, you will pass a beautiful little chapel right at the start.

Row a boat across the lake

A fun way to explore Lago di Braies is by rowing. Rent a boat (maximum 4 people) from the wooden boathouse and row towards the gigantic mountains that surround the lake. And the best part; dogs are allowed on the boat.

Rental times

🚣 From 20.05.22 to 18.06.22 you can rent a boat from 10.00 – 17.00

🚣 From 19.06.22 to 04.09.22 you can rent a boat from 07.00 – 19.00

🚣 From 05.09.22 to 30.10.22 you can rent a boat from 09.00 – 17.00

To be sure, always check here in advance whether other or different opening hours apply

Rental prices

🚣 30 minutes: €25
🚣 1 hour: €35

Note: Prices are from June 2022

Take a dip in the lake

Bring your swimwear, as it is possible to take a fresh dip in the lake. The water is freezing cold, but perfect for cooling down on hot summer days.

Hiking in the area

As mentioned earlier, Lago di Braies is part of the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park. So you will find plenty of hiking trails in the area that make it possible to explore the fantastic nature here.

Enjoy the magical alpine lake in peace

Lago di Braies is one of the best known and most impressive places in the Dolomites in Italy. And because it is also easy to get to, the world-famous lake is busy every day (completely understandable because of the beauty of this place). Yet it is certainly possible to enjoy this gem in peace. Early in the morning, before and during sunrise, you share this bizarrely beautiful place with a handful of other tourists, mainly photographers who are ready with their tripod and camera to capture the photogenic lake at its best.

We visited Lago di Braies on a weekday in June, in low season. In June, the sun rises at 5:30 am, early! But believe us, getting up early is well worth it. During the sunrise, wait for the magical golden alpine glow to illuminate the peaks of the mountain.

The first tour buses arrive around 9:00 am. We therefore recommend to be there before 9.00 am to escape the crowds and to get the most out of your visit to Lago di Braies.

How to get to Lago di Braies

Visiting Lago di Braies in the summer months

In the summer months, extra measures are taken to coordinate the crowds towards the lake. From mid-July to mid-September, the last few kilometers between 09:30 and 16:00 can only be reached by public transport, on foot, by bicycle or if you reserve a parking space in advance.

Reserve a parking space

There are 4 parking spaces near Lago di Braies. In the summer months (from mid-July to mid-September) between 9.30 am and 4 pm it is only possible to park in one of the parking spaces with a pre-booked parking space. You can easily reserve a parking space via the official website. If you visit Lago di Braies before 09:30 or after 16:00, you can continue without reservation.

P1: From P1 it is 5.5 km to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P1 costs €11.
P2: From P2 it is 800 meters to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P2 costs €18.
P3: From P3 it is only 200 meters to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P3 costs €18.
P4: From P4 it is only 100 meters to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P4 costs €20.

Note: Prices are valid for 2022

Reserve shuttle buses

It is possible to reserve a spot in one of the shuttle buses (lines 442 and 439) from parking spaces (P1 + P2) located further away. The shuttle buses only run in the summer months (from mid-July to mid-September) between 8.30 am and 19.30 pm. The departure times and prices for both lines can be found on the official website, ‘bus shuttle’. Dogs are allowed on the buses for a fee and with a muzzle.

Note: Prices and departure times are valid for 2022

Visiting Lago di Braies in low season

Outside the summer months you can visit Lago di Braies by car at any time of the day. Then come early, so that you are assured that you still have a place in one of the 4 parking spaces. It is only a 2-minute walk from the nearest parking lot (P4). It is not necessary to book online and you do not need a day ticket. The photo below shows the parking costs* from P4, outside the summer months.

Note: Prices are from June 2022
* The parking costs for vans are €25

Hiking to the light blue mountain lake Lago di Sorapis, Dolomites

The hike to Lago di Sorapis, what to expect

Not only Lago di Sorapis is insane, the whole hike to the lake is already spectacular. There are two routes that take you to the lake, route 215 and 217. Route 215 is ‘easier’, but even this route we found quite intense. Route 217 is even more challenging and we really don’t recommend it if you are an inexperienced hiker. In this blog you will only read our experience about route 215.

Route 215 is an adventurous 12.5 kilometer hike and takes 4-5 hours to complete. The hike incline is around 300-400 meters. So prepare yourself for steep parts. Along the way you will be treated to breathtaking panoramic viewpoints and you will be surrounded by many mountain peaks. In the distance you can spot the impressive peaks of the Tre Cime / Drei Zinnen.

For inexperienced hikers it is a tough hike and climb. When it gets extremely steep, steps have been made to make it easier to climb. The hike is a challenge if you are afraid of heights. On the route you come along narrow paths with deep abysses, for safety you can hold on to steel cables on these parts.

The enchanting Lago di Sorapis

Lago di Sorapis is the spectacular end of the hike and has a WOW effect. After a 2-2.5 hour hike, this view is worth all the climbing. Lago di Sorapis is surrounded by the Gruppo del Sorapis mountain range, which provides dramatic backdrops of rugged peaks. The blue water is like a mirror in which the reflections of the mountains are clearly visible. Lago di Sorapis is the perfect place to relax and have a nice picnic.

Do you have any energy left? Then we recommend taking a walk around the lake. This way you can watch the lake from different angles. From the other side you have completely different views.

After enjoying this dreamy place to the fullest, you can walk the same way back to the starting point.

The origin of the light blue color

The light blue color of Lago di Sorapis creates a very special sight. This unique color of the water is caused by fine grit from the mountains that ends up in the lake via meltwater from the nearby glacier. If you visit the lake on a sunny day, the blue color will be even more intense. To keep the beautiful blue color and the ecosystem, it is forbidden to swim in the lake.

The best time to visit Lago di Sorapis

The hike to Lago di Sorapis is one of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites. It is therefore best to do the hike in the low season. Or make sure you start early (before 8:00 AM) to avoid the crowds. As it is a narrow trail, it can get overcrowded quickly and you won’t be able to walk at your own pace. We visited the Dolomites in June and started the hike at 6.00 am. Besides being very quiet, we could also enjoy a magical sunrise!

The trail head

The starting point of the hike is located here. You only have to walk through a wooden gate and from here follow the signs with the route ‘215’. Along the way, the route is often indicated by ribbons and white-red stripes on trees or stones.

How to get to the trail head

Are you traveling by car? Then navigate to this location. There are not many parking spaces. If the parking lot is full, you can park your car next to the road.

Find a rental car

It is also possible to travel by public transport. From June to early September, a number of buses (line 30) run from Cortina d’Ampezzo per day. In 20 minutes you travel to the starting point of the hike.