2019 marks 10 years since the UNESCO declared the Dolomites a World Natural Heritage Site for their exceptional beauty and unique landscape, together with their scientific and historical importance. The Dolomites are considered “the most beautiful mountains on Earth”. Erosion, tectonism and glaciation created a wide range of landforms and an unusual variety of forms, including peaks, pinnacles, cliffs, plateaus and some of the highest vertical rock walls in the world. This has inspired the local inhabitants from prehistoric times, to the extent that they have become an essential part of their culture and identity.
The secret of their extraordinary appeal and fascinating beauty dates back to the 19th century, when the Dolomite landscape was a point of reference for the aesthetics of the sublime, not only for their inescapable force, monumentality and grandeur but also for their intensity of colors. The unique mix of minerals in the Dolomite rock gives the mountains a special light shade, which is why they are also called “the pale mountains“. However, the rock faces react dramatically to changes in the light and at sunrise and sunset the Dolomites are set ablaze by the rays of the sun in a spectacle of colors ranging from pink to fiery red:this is the effect of the famous Enrosadira, or Alpenglow.
The Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites covers an area of 11,500 hectares north of the center of Cortina d’Ampezzo. The wide variety of habitats allows a large biodiversity, including a dozen endemic species and over 160 species of animals. Some are easy to spot, such as marmots, squirrels, foxes and eagles, while other species are more difficult to come across as they hide in woods and in remote areas.
10 days of hut-to-hut hiking in the Queen of the Dolomites
What better way to celebrate the magnificence of these mountains and allow yourself to be at one with nature, than hiking 10 days, from hut to hut, and discovering this uniquely beautiful world of immense vertical walls, spires and pinnacles, green valleys, high mountain pastures, forests, streams, alpine lakes, canyons and waterfalls?
Adventurers, outdoor and nature lovers will be able to hike from one mountain to the next in the Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites, enjoy some of the most stunning views of Cortina, experience the thrill of via ferrata routes and even go through the history of the area among the trails, trenches and military outposts of the First World War and the area where the first evidence of the presence of dinosaurs in the Dolomites was discovered.
The itinerary will bring hikers on some of the most iconic mountains of the Dolomites (Croda da Lago, Becco di Mezzodì, 5 Torri, Lagazuoi, Tofane, Cristallo, Sorapis and Faloria) through a great variety of landscapes, huts, lakes, peaks and panoramic points. Some peaks are reachable only through a via ferrata: a mountain route equipped with metal cables, ladders, steps, or even suspended bridges. Professional mountain guides are available to help visitors get to know the Dolomites, the stories, legends, and the flora and fauna that live here.
Here a proposed 10-days-itinerary for experienced hikers
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Photo credits: www.bandion.it