As some of you know I can really enjoy the outdoors. Getting fresh air in my lungs, exercising, and seeing things out in nature. One of the spots I can now really recommend to do so is the Drei Zinnen in Italy.
Also known as the Tre Cime Di Laveredo, or just the Three Peaks. And no, it’s not a sequel to Twin Peaks. Though, equally as exciting!
What is the Drei Zinnen Nature Park
The Drei Zinnen are actually just three peaks in the Eastern part of the Dolomites. The German and Italian names suggest they are battlements. It’s not hard to see why they got the name, as they do look like the medieval peaks on castle walls.
In ye olden days, the Drei Zinnen was the border between Italy and Austria. Though now it is completely on Italian ground. In WWI it also used to be a region of heavy fighting, so when visiting you can still encounter some olden buildings and monuments.
Recently, it was the ground of a conflict between the Galactic Empire, Han Solo, and Enfys Nest. Of course, this one was just in a movie.
The Names of the Zinnen or Cime
All names are in German and Italian, as the South Tirol region is a bilingual one.
- Cima Piccola – Kleine Zinna is about 2857m high
- Cima Granda – Große Zinne is 2999m high
- Cime Ovest – Westliche zinne is 2973m high
Where is the Drei Zinnen / Tre Cime Nature Park
You can find the Drei Zinnen / Tre Cime Nature Park in the eastern part of the Dolomites. Close to Toblach.
Nearby you can find the Skyview Chalets. Another place I can recommend to rest before or after you do the hike of Drei Zinnen. Looking from the terras of your chalet, you can see the starry night. I even saw the Milky Way!
About the Drei Zinnen hike
The hike around the Drei Zinnen allows you to have a view on all sides of the battlements.
The hike is around 9 kilometers long and takes you three hours. Though I recommend you to take more time. Along the hike you will want to take a lot of pictures as the view is amazing in all directions!
The lowest point in the hike is at 2169 meters, while the highest it 2451 meters. Still a good 500 meters lower than the peak of the Cima Grande. This makes the height differences of the hike vary 304 meters.
By the way, the best period to go is from April to November. It’s not really recommended to do it during the winter, as it gets really cold and snowy!
My tips for the Drei Zinnen hike
So, from my (one-time) experience, there are some tips I can give you.
The first one is to do the hike in a clockwise direction. This way you do the hardest part first. With hardest, I just mean the part that goes up and down the most. The other part is more ‘flat’ and has better roads for walking on. Of course, you can choose in which direction you do the hike. Just make sure to bring water and snacks for energy with you.
My second tip is to stop halfway at the Drei Zinnen Hut. It’s also a hotel if you really can’t finish the hike. Though you have to book in advance.
At the hut, you can have great meals which you can enjoy while looking at the Drei Zinnen. And there is something for everyone. I can recommend the Kaiserschmarrn. It’s a sweet dish similar to pancakes. Only ten times better.
At the hut, it’s best to pay with cash, as there is no connection to the outside world. So your card or app won’t work. There is no WiFi either.
What to wear at the Drei Zinnen
Like with any hike there are some clothes you will have to consider. Wear layers, as it can get cold higher up, but also warmer when going down again.
Some good shoes will definitely help you have a great time. I just wore running shoes I bought on Zalando for 40 euro’s or so. So don’t go overboard either. 😉
Bring sunscreen too. Maybe a hat or sunglasses might come in handy too.
A code of behavior around the Drei Zinnen
During my hike, I had the chance to have a guide. Which, if you can book one, is a real added value to the trail. You get to learn so much about the parc, the rocks, the plants, and the animals.
During the hike, I asked him some questions on how to behave on the hike. It’s a pretty busy hike and it’s completely free to enter in your own fashion. Just keep these things in mind:
- Stay on the trails: don’t go wandering off into nature. This will disturb the animals.
- Don’t write your name with the stones: There are plenty of places you will see words and names written in white rocks. They actually have to clean those up for cattle to be able to have enough green grass.
- Take your time, it’s not a race: You will see people doing the hike whilst running. Which is perfectly fine, just don’t try to keep up with them. Do it at your own pace.
- Keep your dog leashed: You might not see it, but there is wildlife your dog might want to chase after.
- Be respectful to nature: it’s why you are there, so make sure you and other can return to it. Let’s all enjoy the quietness of nature.
- Be quiet: Animals are sensitive and your noise goes far in the mountains.
- Try not use a drone: It’s not forbidden (yet), but it does disturb the wildlife. Remember to be quiet. 😉
- Don’t leave any garbage: I’m not sure why I am telling you this, this should be common sense everywhere!
Are you ready to go hiking? Put on those shoes, pack your bag, and GO!
Disclaimer: This article is the result of a press trip by Glenaki and IDM