Hike in Cortina: from Valbona to Malga Maraia

Hike to Malga Maraia, starting from the Valbona parking area. A walk for the whole family, in Auronzo di cadore, which leads to a high-altitude agritourism where you can eat typical and genuine dishes.


Starting point: Valbona
Destination: Malga Maraia
Total length: 9 km (5.6 mi)
Height gain: 500 m (1,640 ft)
Round trip: About 2 hours and a half


Map of the hike


The hike from "Valbona" to "Malga Maraia" is a beautiful walk, in Auronzo di Cadore, a little town near Cortina. The destination is a splendid Alpine hut, where you can eat local products with an excellent quality-price ratio.

Malga Maraia as beauty as it is

This hike can be found on the Tabacco Map 003 "Cortina d'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzane" and goes along Path 1120. Alternatively, you can see our route on Google Maps by clicking here .

Tabacco 1:25.000 Map 003

The walk from "Valbona" to "Malga Maraia" is an intermediate hike, it's pretty demanding, so it is recommended to be a little trained, as it has some fairly steep climbs.

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Path of the hike

The starting point of this hike is the parking lot of the former Hotel Cristallo , in a locality known as "Valbona." If you are not sure how to reach this place, we will describe it in depth down on the page in the chapter "How to Get There."

The hotel Cristallo parking, in Valbona

Once you've found a place to leave the car, move behind the "Hotel Cristallo," towards Path 120, in the direction of "Malga Maraia."

The starting point of the hike from Valbona to Malga Maraia

Be careful not to make a mistake: on the opposite side of the road there is the hike that leads to Lake Sorapis and the "Rifugio Vandelli." If you see any signs pointing to Lake Sorapis, you are in the wrong direction and you must turn back.

Path 120 towards Malga Maraia

The hike starts with a pretty steep climb, without protection from the sun, which could be quite disheartening. Remember to keep a slow and steady pace, as the climb is approximately twenty minutes long.

The first climb towards Malga Maraia

During the climb you'll see some intersections that lead to some private huts, but the road to the "Malga Maraia" is always very well signposted. Sometimes the signs are a bit misleading, but there shouldn't be any particular problems if you read carefully.

Signposts for Malga Maraia are not always optimal

After the first climb, take the intersection to the right, it's well signposted. From there you can catch your breath, the landscape changes and the path will become flatter.

The path in the woods of Auronzo

Continue for another fifteen minutes, until you find an asphalt parking lot and the road, which you'll have to cross, heading back into the woods.

Path 1120 35 minutes

You've reached about halfway. From here the path becomes wider and goes along the woods alternating short climbs with flat sections.

The trail in the woods of Auronzo

Walk in the woods for another thirty minutes, you will encounter three consecutive hairpin bends. Here is the last climb, which is quite steep. On the horizon the forest begins to thin out and, among the trees, you will see "Malga Maraia" appear.

Malga Maraia on the horizon

"Malga Maraia" is a rustic building, recently renovated, which stands on a plateau that offers a breathtaking view of Mount Marmolada and the Dolomite area.

Malga Maraia in all its beauty

This mountain lodge has a fairly simple menu, but all dishes are produced with local ingredients. We assure you that they are all good enough to justify the kilometers you have put in. We leave you the photograph of the dessert, a delicious chocolate cake with a warm heart.

A dessert of Maraia mountain lodge

Once you have eaten, you can stop for a while to observe the view and walk in the pastures, or you can go back, using the same road you walked up, until you reach the parking lot in Valbona.

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"Malga Maraia" is managed by the Agricultural Cooperative "Auronzo Val d'Ansiei," as well as "Malga Popena." Both of these restaurants are built to give a job to the residents of the municipality of Auronzo and they also include some fields, where most of the raw materials used to create the dishes are grown.

If you are not able to walk to "Malga Maraia," there is also the possibility of getting there by car. From the car park of the former Cristallo Hotel, you must continue another five hundred meters, one third of mile, along Regional road 48. Once you reach km 138+500, you will see a large sign on the left, indicating "Malga Maraia." From there, in ten minutes, you will reach your destination.

On the way back, if you still have some energy, you could reach the "Valbona pasture," the location of the third episode of "Un Passo dal Cielo," a famous Italian television series. It is located a few minutes from the car park where you started, on the opposite side compared to this hike.

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How to get there

In order to reach "Malga Maraia" you need a means of transport. From Cortina you have to take the "Tre Croci" Pass, then turn right following the direction "Auronzo di Cadore," proceed for about three kilometers, a little less than two miles, until you reach the parking lot of the former Hotel Cristallo , that is free of charge. The time needed for the ride is approximately thirty minutes, traffic permitting.

The parking could be pretty very busy, if possible try to park before 10AM. By arriving early you will also be at the mountain lodge before midday, thus anticipating the crowd of the lunch. If you think of doing a "creative" parking lot, be careful, as the municipality of Auronzo is generous with fines.

SR 48 30 minutes

Unfortunately, there is no direct bus from Cortina to the parking lot for "Malga Maraia." The only solution may be to take line 30/31, from Cortina to Misurina, then take line 31 from Misurina to Tai di Cadore, getting off at the optional bus stop at the Cristallo hotel . The journey takes almost an hour, but due to due to the few connections it is absolutely not recommended.

If you would like more information, we recommend that you contact the Seam ticket office at the bus station . Attention, it may be closed during lunch hours.

Bus 30/31 60 minutes

Since the area is not well served by public transport, an alternative to reach "Malga Maraia" is to take a taxi. The price should be around 50€, but it could vary by a lot, both for the type of vehicle and the number of people, you should always ask for a quote. Taxis can be found both in Roma Square and at the Bus Station , or you can visit the Taxi official website .

Taxi 30 minutes

If you need any information there is a Tourist information Office . It is located in the town center, near the church.

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Useful information

The hike to "Malga Maraia" can be done at any time of the year, even in winter, as the snow on the road is regularly groomed. In winter it is advisable to take with you the crampons to apply to your shoes, to avoid slipping on the ice. Consider that, in some periods of the year, the thaw makes the ground a little muddy and, in some places, it is possible to find ice. Unfortunately, every season is different and it is not possible to know in advance when the snow will come or melt.

If you decide to eat at the mountain lodge, the facility is usually open for most of the year. If you don't want to have bad surprises, in low season, it's always better to call to check the actual opening.

We recommend using appropriate clothing, with comfortable and tested mountain shoes, as well as a backpack with, at least, some water and something to eat. If you are not used to mountain hikes, before venturing, we recommend you read the page below:

Walking in the mountains safely
Safety tips for hikers Tips for safely going hiking in the mountains and prepare your backpack with all you need. Reading time: 8 min

We want to emphasize that, in the Dolomites, there are rules to be followed. The main ones are:

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We hope you liked this page about the hike from Valbona to Maraia mountain lodge. Before saying goodbye, we would like to mention that you can find other amazing hikes in Cortina and its surroundings by clicking hereInternal link .

If you want to thank us you can read the page Support usHeart icon . If you only want to suggest a change, propose something or just say hello, in the section contacts and infoEmail icon you'll find all the ways to reach us.