Here you will discover unspoiled woods and wild animals. You will cycle in the valleys and explore mountains from refuge to refuge. What are we talking about? This is Adamello Brenta Park, the largest protected area in Trentino!

Would you like to take a break surrounded by nature? Adamello Brenta Geopark is the perfect place for you because it is situated in the heart of Trentino. Unspoiled forests, green pastures, waterfalls, and fresh air. This is the perfect destination for people who want to recharge batteries in a natural environment. Dolomiti Brenta landscape with its characteristic differentiation between the “new” and the old. Rough rocks are the symbol of the young Dolomite peaks. You will relax under a charming landscape that was smoothed by the time and glaciers’ passage, along the Redena Valley which divides in two parts the Adamello Brenta Park.

Adamello Brenta Park, trentino, italy
Adamello Brenta Park, photo by Roberto Valentini on Flickr

What to do in Adamello Brenta Park? The list of must-see beauties is countless. Not just walks, but also uninhabited villages, wonderful waterfalls, historic paths and “via ferrata” mountain trails, mountain bike itineraries and parks for children. The characteristic geological heritage gave to the Park the opportunity to win the “Geopark” European Award. Besides, there are also many wild animals to admire. Among them, the brown bear is the symbol of the park. The Adamello Brenta Park has one of the most diversified fauna in Italy.

Are you ready to discover the largest natural area in Trentino? Here there are 10 unmissable things:

1. Lake Tovel, the red lake

Lake Tovel surrounded by nature
Lake Tovel, photo by Michele Zeni

This natural jewel is set among some of the highest peaks in the Park. The green and light blue water make the lake spectacular both in summer and winter. Lake Tovel is appreciated both by children and by those who love hiking because of its beaches and its panoramic view of the Dolomites. The surrounding mountains form part of the Brenta Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage since 2009. The peak reaches almost 3000m between Cima Pietra Grande and Cima Grosté.

It is the biggest lake in the park, even though its high altitude (1178 meters) and it has an area of 360.000 m². It was known in Europe as the red lake for its blood-red color of the water during the summer, because of a special algae bloom called “Tovellia sanguinea”. By the way, the only thing we have left of it are some photos because this phenomenon hasn’t manifested itself since 1964.

You can take a tour around the lake on foot or by bike. With a length of 4,5 km, the path is suitable for everyone because it doesn’t have a lot of difference in height and it’s full of surprises. It’s easy to find some frogs or fishes. In the woods you can also admire some wooden cravings made by the Brenta Wood Art.

The lake is situated in Val di Tovel (Val di Non), you can arrive at Tuenno by car and walk the rest of the way. During the summertime, from June to September, traffic is controlled and you can reach the lake only by shuttle bus, by bike or on foot. It’s a great idea to encourage green transport!

2. Genova Valley, the waterfalls valley

Natural rocky waterfalls
Nardis Waterfall, Wikimedia Commons

This valley is the symbol of Adamello Brenta Park, plenty of water sources and streams. The granitic rock of the valley was modeled by glaciers. Genova Valley is also called the Waterfalls Valley because of its well-known waterfalls, among them, there’s Nardis Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Trentino. A glacier covered the valley and caused the creation of waterfalls. Indeed, when glaciers melted, ice eroded the land faster than streams. When ice disappeared, some high steps emerged and they make streams jump into the valley.

You can reach waterfalls by bike, e-bike or walking through the “sentiero delle Cascate” along the river and separated from the street. The route on foot starts in Ponte Verde and takes almost an hour and a half. The first is the Nardis Waterfalls, following you will find Lares Waterfall, Casina Muta Waterfall, and Pedruc Waterfall. On the way back, you can walk on the path or take the shuttle bus during the summer season. For more information, click here.

3. The Flowers Path

Bridge in the mountains with an amazing landscape
75 meters bridge in the Flowers Path

It is an important historic and natural itinerary for those who are not afraid of heights! This is an unmissable experience for those who love mountain hikes. The path is collocated between 2900 and 3100 meters, from Payer Summit and Punta Pisgana, among the peaks of Passo del Tonale that divides Lombardy and Trentino. These peaks were the border between Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italian Kingdom. Actually, during the tour, you can observe some trenches, galleries and difficult walking paths that represented the first line of the Italian army during the First World War. You can admire a wonderful landscape among Adamello and Ortles-Cevedale peaks during the excursion.

There is a challenging “via ferrata” mountain trail during the walk, so climbing harness and snap-hooks are absolutely essential. It is suggested to be accompanied by a mountain guide for those who have no experience in hiking. Moreover, you should check the weather forecast before starting the excursion.

You can reach the Flowers Path also from Adamello Park, crossing through Genova Valley and arriving to malga Bedole. You will find the “via ferrata” at Passo Payer, passing through the refuge called Città di Trento. This trekking tour lasts 6 or 7 hours, it takes a whole day, so you’ll have to leave early in the morning.

Otherwise, you can arrive at Passo del Tonale, by way of Trento or Bergamo. In Ponte di Lego there’s a cable car that brings you to Passo Paradiso (2.585 meters). Walking an hour and a half from there, you will arrive at the “via ferrata”.

4. The Village of Mamorts

A brown marmot on a rock observing
A marmot “on alert” by Emanuele Citterio on Flickr

Adamello Brenta Park offers lots of activities for children who want to try some exclusive experiences in direct contact with nature and animals that live in the park.

The Village of Marmots is situated in Passo del Tonale, it’s an unmissable experience.

As you can guess from the name, the villagers are not human beings, but marmots that will host you in their territory! There are playgrounds, slides, little houses and marmots-watching locations. You just have to wait some minutes in silence and marmots will appear in front of you! You can get to the village by “Valbiolo” cable car leaving from Ponte di Legno or walking an hour among green meadows in Passo del Tonale, reaching malga Valbiolo (2244 meters).

5. Peace Path

Church surrounded by rocky mountains and alpine refuge
A little alpine church and Caré Refuge on the background, on Wikimedia Commons

The Peace Path is an itinerary that connects some emblematic places of the Trentino frontline in First World War. Are you curious to discover the history of Trentino? There’s nothing better to see it first hand. The Peace Path is located in the old Italian frontline during the First World War and you will pass through trenches, caves and steep walking paths. You can pass through the same path where soldiers, young boys and girls used to walk back and forth several times a day in order to bring supplies. On the path, you can also admire two forts, Forte Corno and Forte Larino. They both have been restored and then converted into museums. History is not the only protagonist here, because you will also enjoy breathtaking views of Adamello Brenta Park.

The entire path lasts 604km and presents some stages in high altitude refuges or accommodations in the valleys. The part of the path that passes through Adamello Brenta Park takes 2 or 3 days of excursion, but in every stage, there’s the possibility to go back to the valley. This part at high altitude (2500 meters) is not an “easy excursion”, but it requires a minimum technical training, appropriate equipment, and planning. For the first stage, you have to reach the Caré Alto Refuge (2459 meters), its name came from the second-highest peak in the park which is just in front of the refuge and offers a stunning view. The second stage of the tour is Trivena Refuge (1650 meters). In the end, you will climb down to Lardaro, in Val di Chiese. If you want to try the longest excursion, you can continue the Peace Path towards Alto Garda.

6. Irone Village, in Giudicarie Valleys

typical alipne village in the mountains
Irone Village with rocky slabs on the entrance by kebnekaise on Flickr

This is not the typical mountain hike, but it seems more an unusual excursion that will bring you back in time. Irone is an uninhabited village, abandoned in 1630 as a consequence of the plague massacre, the same that was narrated in the famous novel “I Promessi Sposi”. The village has been partly renovated and lately it returns to live during the summer thanks to some tourists. In the summertime, several events are organized in order to promote local traditions.

The medieval village beautiful glimpses attract many photography lovers. This could be an opportunity to go for a quiet hike and discover ancient worlds. You will be surrounded by nature because the village is situated at the bottom of Adamello Park and isolated from the town of Tre Ville.

Another tour starts from Coltura, near Casa di Natura Villa Santi, where there’s a climbing wall (we advise you to ask for direction to local people because the path is not well marked). You will arrive at Irone, passing through the church of Saint Giacomo and you will return on the path of San Vili. This is an easy and pleasant walk, suitable for families with children.

7. Vallesinella

Suggestive waterfalls in the nature
Cascata Bassa in Vallesinella by Nicola Bianchini on Flickr

Vallesinella is a small valley between Pinzolo and Madonna di Campiglio, where human presence is almost absent, you will find only some excursionists walking on spectacular paths. What’s so special about it? There is a wonderful catchment area. It is not formed by a lake, but by countless waterfalls created in the karst rock that characterized the whole valley. This fairytale landscape is distinguished by caves and wonderful waterfalls. Sarca di Vallesinella is a stream and it’s the protagonist of such amazing landscape. These streams climb down from Spinale Mount and they form Cascate Alte, Cascate di Mezzo and Cascate Basse. Cascate Alte goes down through a tangle of rivers and flows into the largest waterfall, Cascate Basse. In this valley, there are also two deep caves (400-500 meters).

Crystal clear waterfall in a rocky landscape
Cascata di mezzo by Agostino Pellegrino on Flickr

In order to fully appreciate the beautiful valley, the recommended route starts from Madonna di Campiglio, in Palù. From here you can take “Sentiero dell’orso” and continue on a pleasant climb until Vallesinella Refuge. Sentiero delle sorgenti starts here and it follows the stream, along with its natural rock bridges and little wooden bridges. The way back is surrounded by beeches and pines and it takes you back to Palù.

8. The tour of the 5 lakes

stuuning view of lake in autumn
Lake Nambino in autumn, first stage of 5 lakes tour by Elisa on Flickr

Among the most charming activities in Adamello Brenta Park, this itinerary has become famous thanks to its picturesque landscape that seems a postcard. It is situated near Presanella and reaches 2400 meters in the highest peaks.

A challenging goal must be achieved with some sort of effort, so this path is perfect for those who are willing to work out. It is a ring tour and the duration of the walk is around 6 hours. So, this will require a reasonable physical fitness.

Rocks and lake with mountains on the background
Lake Serdoli by Mattia Panciroli on Flickr

This path starts in Madonna di Campiglio, Patacross. You can arrive there also by shuttle bus during the summertime, from June to September. Here it starts the path that arrive at Lake Nambino, it is surrounded by conifer woods and offers an amazing view of Madonna di Campiglio. In the background, you can also admire the Brenta Dolomites. Keep walking, you will find first some grassland and then the typical rocky landscape of Adamello peaks. You will pass through Lake Nero, Lake Serdoli (the highest), Lake Lambin and Lake Ritort. It is suggested to bring your own water because there are no places to eat and drink during the path, apart from Nambino Refuge at the beginning and the 5 Lakes Refuge at the end of the tour ring.

9. Bike tour in Adamello Brenta Park

mountain biking in the rocky mountains
Brenta Bike Dolomites on

Adamello Brenta Park is a famous destination for those who love mountain biking, the reason is not only the breath-taking views but also a great range of well-marked itineraries and strategic locations where to stop and sleep. The Dolomiti Brenta Bike tour takes across the peaks of the Park as a ring. It is divided in two levels. The first level is called EXPERT, it lasts 171 kilometers and has a vertical drop of 7700 meters. The second level is called COUNTRY, it lasts 134 kilometers and has a vertical drop of 4800 meters.

There are different stages within the tour, and it is also possible to do the smallest one-day tour. Not all the paths are challenging, there are also some of them suitable for groups of friends or families. On the Official Website, you will find all the itineraries, the maps, and detailed information.

10. The flavors of the Park

For a sweet conclusion, there are some products certified by the Adamello Brenta Park. By the use of “prodotti Qualità Parco”, the natural park supports producers who undertake to realize the quality and eco-friendly products.

teste typical cheese
Photo by Alexander Maasch on Unsplash

At the moment, honey, alpine cheese, and mineral water are the certified products. Moreover, all traditional products of the Park are labeled as “Sapori di Pregio”, certified by IGP, DOP, and Slow Food Presidium. For example, the Bleggio Walnut, “ciuìga del Banale” (a sausage), the “calolét” of Val di Sole, the Kerner wine. You can find these products in the shops called “Qualità Parco”. As the Park website said if you want to fully understand a particular territory you have also to taste its products.

Where to sleep eco-friendy in Adamello Brenta Park

There is a lot of accommodation that has entered into a friendly collaboration with the Park institution and has adopted eco-friendly policies for sustainable tourism. We are cooperating in this project and you can find all our accommodation in Ecobnb. Here there is some accommodation selected by the editorial staff:

Casa Natura Villa Santi is an accommodation suitable for groups, children and adults. It is isolated and surrounded by nature. Educational activities with the Park operators are included together with your accommodation. Among the activities, there are excursions to find deer trails and laboratories to make cheese!

The farmhouse at the bottom of Carè Alto is located in a strategical position, in the heart of Adamello Brenta Park. The accommodation is warm and welcoming and includes a restaurant specializing in traditional dishes of Trentino. The farmhouse can be the departure point for wonderful excursions because it is situated at the foot of Caré Alto, the most majestic mountain of the Park.

The farmhouse among mountains and lakes is a very unusual touristic offer. You will be surrounded not only by nature, but also by cows, sled dogs, alpaca and other animals that will make you smile when you wake up in the morning.

Featured image: Lake Nero and Brenta Dolomites by Michele Zeni 

Author: Camilla Tecchio

I’m Camilla, 22 years old, student of Linguistic Mediation at University of Trento. Travelling is my passion and being in contact with the nature is my favourite part of every new experience. I believe in sustainability because I fell I need to take care of the environment that surrounds me in any situation, for our common future.
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