In this page we'll describe the hike that starts at the "Brite de Larieto", and goes to "Rifugio Mietres", with an optional detour to the "Forcella di Zumeles", an amazing panoramic point on Cortina.
This hike can be found on the Tabacco Map 003 - Cortina d'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzane and it follows the paths 211, with a detour on Path 204..
This is a relaxing walk and is suitable for everyone, even untrained people and younglings. The optional detour to see the panoramic point of "Zumeles" is reserved for trained hikers, as it's more physically demanding.
Path of the hike
The start of this hike is in the parking lot near the "Brite de Larieto". If you don't know how to reach it, we'll talk about it further in the page, in the chapter "how to get there". Once you've parked your car, walk toward the restaurant. There you'll see a wooden sign that will show you the path 211 towards Mietres.
The walk enters the woods for about 15 minutes, without ever becoming too demanding. The road is wide and the surface is quite smooth, so it's also suitable for children and elderly people.
You will come across an intersection, marked by a wooden sign, indicating the "Rifugio Mietres" to the left. "Rifugio", in Italian, means mountain lodge. If your idea was to just take a short walk, go straight towards Mietres where you can relax, drink or eat something, on the beautiful panoramic terrace.
If you feel you want to walk a little more you can continue to the right, along Path 211, towards "Chiave" and "Cademai". The road will start to climb later, but it remains almost flat for a while. This is also the direction you have to take if you want to take the detour toward "Zumeles".
After walking about twenty minutes you will see an intersection between Path 204 and Path 211, it is easily identifiable because of the bench and the abundant signage.
Here you have to make a decision. Your first option is to walk toward the "Rifugio Mietres", and finish the walk. The second option is to walk aimlessly in the direction of Chiave, then retrace your steps and reach "Mietres". The third option is the hard one, that's also the more satisfying: take path 204 and reach "Zumeles", to see a breathtaking panorama.
Initially the road climbs with a tolerable gradient, so you can tackle it even if you are not fully trained. After about twenty minutes uphill, the vegetation will begin to thin out and the tall trees will change to low mountain pines.
At the end of the woods turn around, and enjoy the beautiful view. We did this hike on a day in late October, so the autumn colors helped make the view even more impressive.
At this point you can turn around and go back, but if you have energy left, or you are used to walking in the mountains, you can continue further along the steep path 204 and reach the "Forcella di Zumeles". Forcella is an Italian word that means mountain saddle. We don't want to show you too much with photographs, so as not to ruin the surprise, but the view is amazing.
If you decide to continue, consider that the climb is really steep and that you may suffer from dizziness, because in some points the cliff is just at the side of the road. Anyway the effort will be amply rewarded by the panorama.
Once you've taken a photo and you've relaxed your muscles, very carefully, face the descent, being careful not to slip. Once you reach the intersection with the path 211 while retracing your steps, you should decide where you want to eat.
The restaurant where you parked your car, "El Brite de Larieto" is almost a high level restaurant, so the prices are proportioned. The "Rifugio Mietres" offers a simpler menu, more suitable for hikers, and has a wonderful terrace with a view. However, the quality bar is always respectable. The two mountain lodges are both very popular and, during the peak season, it would always be better to book, if possible.
The name "Larieto" comes from the local dialect and literally means Larch forest. Larches are very common in Cortina d'Ampezzo, especially in the European Larch variant. The most fascinating characteristic of these trees is that they turn on a very intense yellow hue in autumn, as you can see from some photographs on this page, all taken towards the end of October. If you have the opportunity to do this walk in autumn we assure you you will love it. The term "Brite" indicated the hut where the cheese was produced.
For those who want to make a big effort, "Zumeles" can also be reached from the center of Cortina. This hike is considered excellent training for those who want to participate in Trail Running competitions, as it's possible to climb a difference in altitude of around 800 metres, 2,600 ft, in less than two hours.
How to get there
The best way to reach Larieto is with a car. Once you arrive you will find a free, but rather small, parking lot. If you don't want to have trouble finding a spot for your car, it would be best to arrive early in the morning, before all the excursionists and restaurant guests.
If you don't have a car, you can consider taking a taxi. From Cortina the cost will be approximately €30, but ask for a precise price first. It is possible to find taxis both in "Piazza Roma" and in The Bus Station.
Alternatively, you can take the bus in the direction of "Passo Tre Croci", with destination "Misurina". It is a seasonal bus, active from mid-June to mid-September. Unfortunately there is no stop nearby "Larieto", so you have to get off at "Rio Gere" and walk back for about 1 kilometre, 0.6 miles.
If you don't want to walk along the state road, it is possible to follow a section of the Path 211 which leads from "Rio Gere" to "Larieto". The road is well signposted and crosses the woods that you saw on the left of the road.
For more information on buses, timetables and to purchase tickets you should go to the bus ticket office in the station. Please note that it may be closed during lunch break.
The walk from Larieto to Mietres can be done at any time of the year, even in winter, as the road is regularly groomed. In case of snow you should bring shoe crampons, to avoid slip on the ice. The hike to Zumeles, on the contrary, is only practicable in the absence of snow, as it is not groomed and really steep.
If you decide to eat in one of the two restaurants, they are 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 actual availability.
Hiking clothing is not required, but considering that much of the road is gravel, we recommended sportswear and good shoes, which should be sturdy. Always carry a backpack with, at least, some water, a snack and a rain jacket. If you are new to hiking, we recommend you read the page we wrote on how to tackle a mountain outing:
We want to emphasize that, in the Dolomites, there are rules to be followed. The main ones are:
- It is strictly forbidden to light fires.
- It is strictly forbidden to pick plants and flowers.
- Free camping is prohibited.
- It is prohibited to abandon garbage.
- It is mandatory to keep pets on a leash.
We hope you liked this page on the walk from "Larieto" to "Mietres" with an optional hike to "Zumeles". Before saying goodbye, we would suggest you read our home page, with all the articles we wrote about Cortina d'Ampezzo.
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