The Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint Hike: The Best View in the Dolomites

Cadini di Misurina viewpoint in the Dolomites | The Common Wanderer

Prepare to be wowed by Cadini di Misurina, perhaps the most incredible view in the Dolomites. Our Cadini di Misurina viewpoint guide provides all the essential information you need to see these jagged peaks for yourself, including how to get there, accommodation options, and photography tips.


In a region filled with some of the most wondrous natural sites in Europe, it's sometimes hard to be wowed in the Dolomites.

From the alpine meadow of Alpe di Siusi to the emerald waters of Lago di Braies, just about everything your eyes lay witness to is another extravagant example of nature's beauty. It gets tiring after a while, kind of like staring at Michaelangelo's David for years on end, or eating the world's greatest pizza, every day - after a while, it all becomes a little less amazing.

However, the jagged peaks of Cadini di Misurina are once such place where everything you've seen before pales into comparison.

Located opposite the equally imposing Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites, Cadini di Misurina are a group of mountains that soar like sharp rock monoliths from the surrounding valley below. What separates them from the rest of the Dolomiti mountains is their striking formations, boundless layers and grandness - they stand strong, big and beautiful, changing their appearance through each hour of the day.

It's easy, then, to understand why these mountains have grown hugely in popularity on Instagram and amongst photographers over the last few years.

Fortunately, it's super easy to view and photograph these glorious mountains yourself. The hike to Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is short, mildly taxing, yet super rewarding.

Our Cadini di Misurina viewpoint guide provides all the essential information you need to see these jagged peaks for yourself, including how to get there, accommodation options, and photography tips.

Prepare to be wowed.


A GUIDE TO THE CADINI DI MISURINA VIEWPOINT




WHERE IS CADINI DI MISURINA?

Cadini di Misurina is a group of mountains located in the Dolomites, high above lake Misurina in the province of Belluno, Italy.

The range is famous for hiking and climbing, with the highest peak, Cima Cadin of San Lucano, standing at 2,839m.

Cadini di Misurina is situated in a pocket of the Dolomites filled with attractions, hikes, and emblematic views, such as Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lago di Sorapis, Lake Misurina and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Due to its unique jagged peaks and ease of accessibility from Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint hike has become hugely popular of late.


 
 


WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CADINI DI MISURINA?

We recommend visiting Cadini di Misurina during the shoulder seasons of June/early July, and September/October.

The surrounding Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen peaks are some of the most popular attractions in the Dolomites, and July, August and early September bring many European holidaymakers. We’d avoid visiting during the period (if you can).

If you are travelling to the region during the busy summer months, try to avoid the crowds by arriving as early as possible, or later in the day when the day-crowds have vanished.

We’ve visited Cadini di Misurina twice, for both sunrise and sunset, and we can confidently say sunset was the best option.

The light casts attractive shadows over the peaks, and the area is bathed in a glorious glow for an hour.

 
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CADINI DI MISURINA HIKE

Starting point | Rifugio Auronzo (alternatively, Lago D'Antorno)

End point | Rifugio Auronzo (alternatively, Lago D'Antorno)

Hike distance | 4 km loop

Time | 1 - 2 hours (plus 1 hour photographing)

Elevation Gain | 150m from Refugio Auronzo to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint

Difficulty | Easy/Moderate

When to visit | June, September, October

What to pack | Hiking boots, water, rain jacket, camera

 

GETTING TO RIFUGIO AURONZO AND THE START OF THE CADINI DI MISURINA HIKE

The start of the Cadini di Misurina hike is located at Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and Rifugio Auronzo, behind a toll road that closes during the evening hours (you can still enter by purchasing a ticket from the ticket machine at the toll booth).


THE DETAILS

Opening hours | 0700 - 1900 (you can exit at any time)

Cost | Car: € 30, Motorbike: € 20, Large cars and campers: € 45


The closest towns to Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Cadini di Misurina are:

  • Cortina d’Ampezzo | 23 km, 40 mins

  • Dobbiaco/Toblach | 23.6kms, 35 mins

  • Sesto/Sexten | 38.3kms, 53 mins

  • Bolzano/Bozen | 152km, 2.5 hours

For more information on parking fees and opening hours, click here.

CAR

We highly recommend hiring a car for the duration of your stay in the Dolomites (read our 7-day Dolomites road trip itinerary here!) - it makes reaching all the wonderful natural attractions very easy and gives you far more freedom than public transport.

We generally use RentalCars.com to book rentals - check prices and availability for Italy here

To get to Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen and the start of the Cadini di Misurina hike via car, you’ll need to follow the SS49 road that heads through South Tyrol towards the town of Misurina.

From here, take the toll road towards Rifugio Auronzo, passing Lago d’Antorno.

About halfway, you’ll reach the toll booth where you’ll be required to pay the toll/entrance fee of € 30 (opening hours | 7am - 7pm - further information below).

Although the car park is large, in the peak of summer it can fill up very quickly, so arrive early, or take a shuttle bus from your hotel or any of the surrounding towns.


TIP | If you’d like to avoid the €30 toll-road fee, you can hike to Rifugio Auronzo from the carpark at Lago d’Antorno. The hike will take around 1.5 hours, and is quite strenuous, with an election rise of 500m.

BOOK | Check prices and dates for car rental here



BUS

A way to avoid the costly toll fee, catch the shuttle bus from Cortina, Dobbiaco, or Misurina to Rifugio Auronzo to commence the Cadini di Misurina hike.

Be warned though, if you plan to stay for sunset to get the best photography conditions, you will miss the return bus, so maybe only take this option if you just want to witness the incredible views, rather than photograph them.

FROM DOBBIACO/SAN CANDIDO

The shuttle bus 444 leaves from Dobbiaco/Toblach to Rifugio Auronzo up to three times an hour during summer, and costs € 15 (round trip). If you hold a Südtirol pass, the shuttle is included.


FROM CORTINA D’AMPEZZO TO RIFUGIO AURONZO

Catch the 445 bus towards Dobbiaco/Toblach. Switch to the 444 bus in Lago di Landro Dobbiaco for the rest of the trip. This bus ride also costs € 15 (round trip). If you hold a Südtirol pass, the shuttle is included.

The buses commence service in June, when the hiking season starts, and run daily throughout the summer until October. For more information on bus timetables, click here.

TIP | A lot of hotels in the region provide shuttle bus services which may be included in your room fee (Südtirol pass). Enquire with the reception when checking in to see if this option is available.

 
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THE HIKE TO CADINI DI MISURINA VIEWPOINT FROM RIFUGIO AURONZO

The starting point of the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint hike is from Rifugio Auronzo at the foot of Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen). Be warned that it does cost €30 to enter the private toll-road and park at Tre Cime di Lavaredo, so if you'd prefer to save money, see our alternative hiking suggestion below.

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop (which you can read about here) is one of the best Dolomites day hikes, so we recommend completing it first, and then making your way to Cadini di Misurina for sunset.


From the carpark, walk to the rifugio and follow the nondescript path right. From here, you should see the jagged peaks of Cadini di Misurina in the distance - they're hard to miss, given their unique attributes. You'll see a sign for hiking trail #117 (which is a 9.2km trail to Rifugio Col de Varda) - follow this path to begin the hike.

It's a rocky start to the hike, 500m downhill until the path levels out. Follow the path along the ridgeline, admiring the deep valley of Auronzo di Cadore to your left, and the peaks surrounding Cortina d'Ampezzo to your right.

After a short while, the pathway will start to lead up the ridgeline towards Cadini di Misurina. You'll arrive at a junction - both will take you to the famous viewpoint, however, the left pathway is clearly for adrenaline junkies and the right for those that wish for a more sedate hiking experience.

 
 

We've done both, and we can tell you that following the pathway left will provide the most wonderful vistas as you make your way to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint and the valley below. However, it is a little hair raising, and should only be done in dry weather, and with good hiking boots.

Follow the pathway right, and you'll slowly make your way up and around the ridgeline, where you'll get your first glimpse of the famous viewpoint. Don't fret, the views over the Misurina valley to your right are still wonderful, just not as death-defying.

Either way, while neither pathway is obviously marked beyond red and white markers painted on rocks, they are very clear to follow.

 
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ARRIVING AT THE CADINI DI MISURINA VIEWPOINT

Whichever way you chose, after about 15 minutes you should eventually arrive at a pathway that snakes its way down to the famous Cadini di Misurina viewpoint (you know, the one all over Instagram!). This path is about 500m long, and depending and what type of photo you're after (or view), is worth following right to the end to walk out onto the small ridge.

Once you get to the small ridge, be sure to follow the small, well-trodden pathway to the viewpoint - as always, be careful walking out here, it's narrow, and in bad/wet weather can be slippery. If you're after the Insta-famous photo from here, you'll need a companion to be located further up the pathway to snap the photo, using a zoom lens.

Alternatively, there is arguably a better view from the top of the ridgeline in from of the Cadini mountains. From here, not only do you get a full panorama of the famous jagged peaks of the Cadini di Misurina range, you also get sweeping views across the surrounding Dolomites, and towards the imposing Tre Cime di Lavaredo behind.

It's honestly awe-inspiring, so we do recommend spending a good hour or so taking photos, having a picnic, or simply enjoying the views.

Hiking back is far easier due to the mostly downhill pathway, which is easy to follow as Rifugio Auronzo is ever-present in the distance. It should take around 30 minutes to return back to the carpark.

 
 



THE HIKE TO CADINI DI MISURINA VIEWPOINT FROM LAGO D'ATORNO

As mentioned above, there is a fee of €30 to enter the private toll-road and park at Tre Cime di Lavaredo. We totally get that not every traveller wishes to pay the (exorbitant) fee, so there is an alternative hike that can be taken from the Lago D'Atorno car park to Cadini Di Misurina.

Be warned though, at certain points of the hike you'll wish you paid the €30 fee as it's quite steep and mostly uphill.

Starting at Lago d'Antorno, follow path 101/119 uphill as it snakes its way through the pine forest towards Rifugio Auronzo. The initial part of the hike is not too steep, however, the path ascends quickly after about 15 minutes and it becomes a tough, steep hike.

After around 45 minutes, you'll start to see the path plateau a little - it's near here that you can start to veer right and take the path up to Cadini di Misurina viewpoint (using the directions above) instead of towards Rifugio Auronzo (unless you're attempting the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike first, then by all means continue).

Overall, the 4.5km return hike is quite strenuous, with an elevation gain of over 500m. However, as we said above, the views are 100% worth it. And you'll save yourself €30, so it's a win-win.


 
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PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AT CADINI DI MISURINA

Due to Cadini di Misurina's popularity on Instagram, the majority of people who flock to this spot are photographers looking for an epic shot.

If this is the case for you, here are a few photography tips to help you get some absolute bangers.

Sunrise or Sunset | As always, the best time to photograph the Cadini di Misurina peaks is during the golden hour. We've visited at both sunrise and sunset and can confidently say sunset is our preferred time. So if you can, head there an hour before sunset.

Use a zoom lens | A zoom lens is an absolute must at Cadini di Misurina. To photograph the famous viewpoint, the photographer will have to stand a fair way back to get the scene/subject in the shot, however, a professional zoom lens will be able to compress the background mountains from the subject and create depth of field, making the Cadini ridge appear even more impressive in photos. We used our 70-200mm f2.8 for this effect, and it worked wonders. A 24-70mm will also work well when shooting the famous viewpoint, giving wide and zoom variations.

Find your own unique shot | The Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is famous for a reason, however, it is now becoming one of the most popular photos in the Dolomites. We recommend exploring more around the ridgeline and creating your own unique variation of the Cadini di Misurina shot.

Respect others | It goes without saying that this spot will be popular during peak periods, so respect others around you and get your shots, then move on.


READ | Our top travel photography tips

 
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR CADINI DI MISURINA

Looking for where to stay near Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Cadini di Misurina? We’ve written an extensive guide on where to stay in the Dolomites (it’s seriously huge!). From luxury hotels to Airbnbs, our guide has your Dolomites accommodation well and truly sorted.

There are plenty of accommodation options around Tre Cime Di Lavaredo in the surrounding valleys and towns, as well as a few rifugio options within the national park.

Search for accommodation options around Tre Cime here, or check out our personal recommendations below:

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO

HOTEL MEUBLE OASI

For a cheaper option closer to Tre Cime, Hotel Meuble Oasi in Cortina d’Ampezzo is a great alternative. Breakfast is included in your room cost, and the location in the centre of town is great for using public transport.

BOOK | Check prices and book Hotel Meuble Oasi

SESTO

BERG HOTEL

On our second visit to Tre Cime, we stayed at beautiful incredible Berg Hotel in Sesto, in the foothills of the Dolomites.

The large rooms, incredible food and wellness options made it the perfect place to call home for a few days road tripping through the region.

BOOK | Check prices and book the Berg Hotel, Sexten

RIFUGIO

RIFUGIO AURONZO

We’ve not personally stayed at Rifugio Auronzo, but its position under Tre Cime di Lavaredo is perfect for those wanting a sunrise hike around the monoliths, or photography missions to Cadini di Misurina.

Half-board in a dorm costs €50 per night, while a bed only is €22 per night.

BOOK | Book Rifugio Auronzo here


TRAVEL INSURANCE | STAY SAFE IN THE DOLOMITES

If you can't afford travel insurance, you really can't afford to travel. As the current global situation has taught many people, things can go wrong anywhere in the world - and insurance is often the only way of mitigating any issues with minimal expense or stress for you.

For all travellers | HeyMondo - COVID-19 coverage, comprehensive travel + medical insurance, an app with 24-hour medical support, and no out of pocket fees. *Get 5% off your policy by booking through our link here.

For digital nomads | SafetyWing - COVID-19 coverage, comprehensive travel & medical, and policies can be purchased while already abroad.

Car Insurance | Insurance4CarHire - a great annual car insurance policy

*In normal times, we recommend using World Nomads travel insurance, but unfortunately they're not currently covering COVID-19 related claims right now.

SOUTH TYROL TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Travelling through South Tyrol comes with a unique set of needs. To help you have a comfortable, happy journey, we recommend bringing the following items with you:

READ | check out our eco-friendly packing guide to travel through Italy consciously and comfortably


PLANNING A TRIP TO THE DOLOMITES SOON?

Check our these essential posts to help you have the best trip ever:

DOLOMITES | Our 7-day road trip itinerary for the Dolomites, where to stay in the Dolomites, how to get to the Dolomites

HIKES TO REMEMBER | 7 of the best day hikes in the Dolomites, including the famous Tre Cime De Lavaredo loop, Lago di Sorapis

SOUTH TYROL | 19 amazing things to do in South Tyrol during Summer, plus everything we love about the beautiful South Tyrol region

THE LAKES OF THE DOLOMITES | How to visit Lago di Carezza, our guide to Lago di Braies, and Lago di Sorapis

PHOTOGRAPHY | Love our photography? Grab the presets we use on every photo here

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL | Responsible travel is important. REALLY IMPORTANT. Learn our top responsible travel tips to help you, your family and friends travel more consciously around the globe

ECO FRIENDLY PACKING ESSENTIALS | Don’t leave home without our favourite eco-friendly travel essentials



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That, and you're officially a legend.