Summer in Cortina d’Ampezzo is a paradise for discovery, exploration and adventure. Referred to as the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’, it is obvious that there is something quite special about this summer resort in the Italian Alps. It’s a premium resort, characterised by unique stunning landscapes and heritage. Add in the vibrant atmosphere, stunning town and plentiful activities to keep all ages and abilities entertained, summer in Cortina is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination. Let’s delve deeper, shall we?
What to Expect from Summer in Cortina
The luxury summer alpine resort of Cortina d’ Ampezzo is based in the heart of the Dolomites range in the Northern region of Italy. This beautiful resort attracts tourists not only in the winter but throughout the summer months too, and it is easy to see why. Like a coral reef that has been lifted from the ocean, the jagged mountains that are synonymous with the Dolomites offer some of the most picturesque settings you can imagine. With glacial lakes, hiking trails and downhill mountain biking to name but a few of the things to enjoy in this awe-inspiring part of the world, it is clear to see why it has such an appeal as a holiday destination year-round.
Not forgetting to mention the vivid history and a reputation for some of the finest food available in Italy. Cortina is a cultural melting pot that offers a huge array of summer alpine activities, perfect for those looking to have a luxury summer mountain holiday brimming with outdoor fun.
A Rich Culture in Cortina
Protected by the UNESCO World Heritage, you can bet there are stories behind every brick in the authentic village dating way back to 6th century AD. Afore the stunning mountainous backdrop, the bold architecture takes a prominent place in the overall cultural ambience.
Its superior reputation partly answers to being the home of some of the most recognised names in fashion, including Gucci, Benetton and Bulgari. These names no doubt endorse the credit Cortina has as a shopping capital, and thus shaping today’s cultural experiences in the prestigious town. The streets of historic architecture are embellished with stylish boutiques, high-end jewellers, shoe shops and chic designer fashion stores: a shopaholic’s dream!
Gastronomy is also a key shaper in Cortina’s culture and is a highlight to many visitors. Offering a creative and innovative blend of Italian and Tyrolean flavours from local produce, Cortina’s culinary experiences are not to be missed. Get a taste of traditional and signature dishes, including buckwheat cake, spätzle and goulash, in the many restaurants, mountain refuges, cafés and pizzerias.
Hiking in Cortina
Cortina is well set up for those in search of hiking holidays in the Dolomites. In Cortina specifically, we would recommend you try the 215 trail towards the Lago di Sorapis. It’s a trail that offers a mixture of challenges, however the final result is enchanting and simply beautiful. This lake is like something out of a fairytale and is the perfect reward after the hike to get there; imagine a perfect day like the one pictured, accompanied by a romantic picnic at the lakeside. This is an experience that is worth taking on next time you visit Cortina d’Ampezzo in the summer, the views speak for themselves.
But that is only one of many different hiking routes in Cortina. With trails available for all levels, the Dolomites in the summer provides something for every age group. For families looking to get a more relaxed experience on their summer alpine holiday, we recommend you pay a visit to the many different mountain refuges in the area.
The refuges provide hungry hikers with an array of local gastronomic delights, and ensure the little ones don’t bug you with the continuous “Are we there yet? I’m hungry!”. Overnight facilities are also available in some of these refuges for those really looking to get out there and challenge themselves on the longer hikes. Refuge Mietres, pictured above, is an excellent stop off for culinary delights at 1,710m altitude. Soaked in the sunshine and surrounded by enchanting woods and jaw-dropping scenery, it can be accessed via family friendly and clearly sign-posted hiking and biking trails. There is even a wooden hot tub available by reservation, which is the ultimate post hike reward!
A relatively short hike at about 15 minutes, but one of the most rewarding and highly recommended trails on a Cortina summer holiday, is the one starting at Cima Tofana. This is the very top station of the main Tofana cable car, with the third (and top) section of the cable car, running between Ra Valles up to Cima Tofana only open in the summer months. From here you can walk up to the peak of Tofana di Mezzo, at 3,244m it is the highest mountain in Cortina and third highest peak in the Dolomites. This trail has some of the most incredible views you can imagine, not only of Cortina laid out in the Ampezzo valley before you, but also a 360° panorama of Dolomite peaks as far as the eye can see.
Cortina for Biking
For the members of the group that are wanting to up their fitness or just the speed at which they are travelling downhill, there are 16 different biking routes located in Cortina d’Ampezzo! If you are looking to step it up another gear and gain a little more speed, the uphill lift facilities can deliver you to some of the most challenging routes in the area. Not only this, but Cortina’s bike rentals include some of the most up-to-date electric bikes that make peddling up steeper gradients a breeze for a more leisurely day out exploring mountain heights.
Via Ferrata in Cortina
Another activity that is in abundance in the Dolomites during the summer is Via Ferrata, an age-old method of scaling mountains with a variety of ladders and ropes. If you are an avid Alps In Luxury reader, you would have heard about this by now. However, for those of you who are just joining us, this is a great way to see the sights and really embrace the mountain setting you are in. There are a wide range of different routes available for beginners to advanced members in the group, so that everyone has a good day out.
One such famous route in Cortina is the Ferrata Tofana di Mezzo. A challenging route of expert difficulty, but also perhaps the most rewarding, with spectacular views from one of the Dolomites’ highest peaks. Another classic route that has become fabled in the local area is the “Ferrata Strobel” that leads up the west face of the Punta Fiames. The views overlooking Cortina and the valley below are described as unparalleled, something that I am sure you will need either a selfie stick or a good camera for. For more Via Ferrata experiences on a summer mountain holiday, be sure to check out our guide to Via Ferrata hotspots in the Alps.
With all the activity available during summer in Cortina, there is no doubt you are going to need somewhere nice to rest your head. Well, and also to soak the muscles, indulge in gourmet dining and admire stunning views from the balconies and terraces of your own private home in the Dolomites. This is where our hand-picked collection of luxury summer chalets in Cortina will meet your dreams and desires….
Family time runs through the veins of LV | 01 Dolce Vita. The Italian values of spending time with your loved ones are epitomised, with the superb staff able to ensure that absolutely everyone is made to feel special and well looked after on your luxury summer holiday in Cortina. After a day exploring the many hiking trails in Cortina, you will be well rewarded with the incredible wellness facilities in this luxury chalet!
Sleeps 8 – 12 in 6 bedrooms and offered on a catered basis.
True Italian style. Elegance is the word at LV | 02 Perla in Cortina, from the exquisite marble to the bespoke wooden fittings, everything just looks and feels like absolute quality. The staff will make you feel like you are the star of your own Federico Fellini film. The children will love the play area, whilst the adults take some well-deserved ‘me time’ in the spa and wellness area, complete with an indoor pool, sauna, Hammam, massage area and gym.
Sleeps 10 – 12 in 6 bedrooms and offered on a catered basis.
Simplified luxury is the framework of what Chalet Serge delivers for your summer holiday in Cortina. Located in a peaceful setting, there will be no doubt you will be able to disconnect and unwind in true luxury style at this chalet. Complete with a Jacuzzi, sauna, Hammam, shared pool and shared garden, the facilities will meet all your needs after a day of exploring and adventuring.
Sleeps 6-7 in 4 bedrooms and offered on a bed and breakfast basis.
This is only scratching the surface of what summer in Cortina looks like. However, I hope that it has given you some inspiration to go out and visit this wonderful resort on your next summer mountain holiday.
Summer holidays in the Dolomites are something of a special kind and should be experienced by everyone. If you would like some assistance planning your next luxury summer holiday to Cortina, or indeed anywhere else in the Dolomites, out Mountain Specialists are on hand to help. Get in touch via email or by calling.