Mountain Magic – 3 Zinnen in the DolomitesInspiration
Holidayregion 3 Zinnen in the Dolomites
Produced in Partnership with South Tyrol
The Three Peaks, the Drei Zinnen or Tre Cime italian, are among the most recognisable landmarks in the Alps: three dolomite monoliths rising vertically out of the ground that lends the region its name. The central Cima Grande is one of the six great north faces of the Alps. But to focus on this alone would be to miss what the Holidayregion 3 Zinnen in the Dolomites has to offer.
Alongside the mighty mountains, visitors will find the tranquil Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal valley, the turquoise-blue Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee lake surrounded by mountains, and the high Alpine pastures of the Prato Piazza/Plätzwiese. The 3 Zinnen Dolomites is a place with a vast variety of landscapes like nowhere else in Europe. Combine that with the friendly towns and villages of Sesto/Sexten, San Candido/Innichen, Dobbiaco/Toblach, Villabassa/Niederdorf and Braies/Prags, some of the best food in Italy, an extensive range of activities for sports lovers, families, and those seeking relaxation, and a vibrant cultural calendar, and you’ve a simply marvellous holiday destination.
The mountains of 3 Zinnen Dolomites are the reason that people come from across the globe to visit. It offers a life-affirming landscape that never fails to move the soul. This valley, set in the heart of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site, is where majestic mountains soar out of scenic valleys, where lush Alpine meadows are found next to green forests, and picturesque lakes link unspoilt creeks and springs. It’s also scenery that can be experienced by all ages and abilities.
The Prato Piazza, a 2,000m grassy plateau, is the starting place for many walks, long and short. Families will relish the simple walk to Monte Specie/Strudelkopf at 2,307m with an incredible view to the famous Three Peaks. For more adventure, take the three-hour climb to Picco di Vallandro/Dürrenstein.
The most striking trail – and one of the finest anywhere in the Alps – is the challenging 17km lodge tour to Rifugio Comici, Rifugio Pian di Cengia and Rifugio Locatelli. The rifugios also serve hearty local food.
ON TWO WHEELS
Few places offer excellent terrain for road cyclists, mountain bikers and electric bikes, but 3 Zinnen Dolomites has world-class routes for all three disciplines. Challenging courses have catapulted the region’s reputation as a renowned player in the European mountain bike and Enduro scene. The guided Giro Bike Tour hurtles through the Sesto Dolomites, with riders taking on five mountains and a drop of 3,500m. The Stoneman Trail is considered a challenge in its own class: running 120km through the monumental Alpine landscape of the Dolomites, it was designed by professional mountain biker Roland Stauder.
The village of Dobbiaco/Toblach, known as the ‘pearl’ of the 3 Zinnen Dolomites region, is also becoming a centre for e-biking, and bringing the sport to a much wider variety of people. Guests from novices to pros may choose from several different bike schools and guides who will show off the best of the region. Cableways provide cyclists with mountain access throughout the season.
A new long-distance cycle trail from Munich to Venice crosses the Alps to the Adriatic. Cyclists can travel 560km across three countries and three climate zones. Or test yourself with the Drauradweg – a 510km cycle path running from Toblach/Dobbiaco to Varaždin through a wide variety of landscapes. Visit: drauradweg.com/en/sections/ for details.
THE POWER OF WATER
After all the exercise – or just to get away from our busy lives – 3 Zinnen Dolomites also provides the ultimate in relaxation. Italy’s first Kneipp Active Park, in Villabassa, harnesses the power of water. Time here can include cold-water treading and facial and arm baths, plus options such as a barefoot path, early morning walks in the wet grass, an ‘outdoor inhalatorium’, a drinking pavilion, and, for sore feet, anti-inflammatory and cooling mudpacks.
The holidayregion 3 Zinnen in the Dolomites is famous for its high-quality regional products such as ham and cheese, organic meat and farmer’s bread, honey and jams. Companies such as Alpe Pragas use fresh Alpine fruit for their jams, and the cheese dairy Three Peaks/Drei Zinnen in Dobbiaco showcases the best cheesemaking.
The best place to try traditional South Tyrolean cuisine, such as speck, bacon, cheese, Schüttelbrot flatbread and Schlutzkrapfen ravioli, is in the many mountain huts. Jora Mountain Dining in San Candido (https://www.jora.it/en/cuisine.asp) at 1,325m, for example, serves sophisticated South Tyrolean food combining Alpine and Mediterranean cuisine under the watchful eye of chef Markus Holzer. Dishes include chestnut tagliolini with stew made from local chamois, and a beautiful spruce honey parfait with rosehip and chocolate crumble.
Restaurant Tilia in the Grand Hotel Toblach is a diminutive place with only five tables and a Michelin star under chef Chris Oberhammer. It is known for its inventive use of Alpine ingredients and playing with aroma to incredible effect.
Don’t miss the culinary events that bring the cuisine and the chefs of 3 Zinnen Dolomites together. There’s a wine and culinary walk of the territory in collaboration with Chris Oberhammer, who is also behind the Gourmet Festival Hochpustertal, bringing talents together from Italy and Austria.
Produced in partnership with South Tyrol. For further information visit: en.drei-zinnen.info