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Trekking loop around Cinque Torri

A rabble of huge rock towers, multi-sized boulders, and fractured peaks scattered across a grassy hillock, the Cinque Torri (Five Towers) are one of the most photographed sights in the Dolomites. Not only do they provide striking views, but they also carry a weighty significance from their role during World War I. You can spend a day hiking with a private guide to take in their visual magnificence and hear more about their geology and history.

After a chairlift up to your hike’s starting point at 2,255 m (7,399 ft) above sea level, you’ll trek 7 km (4.3 miles) over the space of four or five hours as you explore the Nuvolau mountains in which Cinque Torri is found. The whole area is like an open museum, with restored trenches and tunnels dating to World War I, and your guide will tell you about the battles fought here.

Your hike will take you into the northern Dolomites, about 16 km (10 miles) southwest of Cortina D’Ampezza. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cinque Torri comprise five main towers of pale-grey rock: Torre Grande (the tallest), Torre Seconda, Torre Terza, Torre Quarta, Torre Quinta. Popular with rock climbers, the towers also make a visually striking sight when visited on foot, and your private guide will lead you along the best path for taking in the views.

You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Alta Badia or Val Gardena and driven by private vehicle to the chairlift, which you’ll ride with your private guide up to Rifugio degli Scoiattoli — the starting point of your hike. Before you set off, your guide will give you a brief introduction to the area and explain the route you’ll be taking. You’ll hike at your own pace over grassy hills strewn with boulders and scree, with peaks rising all around you in the distance.

This area was where Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers fought fierce battles during World War I, and your guide will point out evidence of these conflicts, from the remains of trenches to old tunnels. You’ll hear about what happened in the battles and listen to stories about the lives of the soldiers who fought in them.

Your hike ends after four or five hours at Passo Falzarego — from there, you’ll be driven back to your hotel by private driver.

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Audley Travel Specialist Ruth

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