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Discover the silence and magic of Cortina: an Accessible Paradise for All

Cortina Accessible

If you are looking for a vacation that combines the breathtaking beauty of the Dolomites with accessibility, Cortina d'Ampezzo is the perfect destination. With continued efforts, Cortina is preparing to host the 2026 Olympics and Paralympics, transforming the mountain landscape into a place that offers accessible hospitality for everyone.

 

 Roberto on the Off road bodywork against the background of the Dolomites
Roberto in the wheelchair Off road against the backdrop of the Dolomites

A New Approach to Accessibility

Cortina is revolutionizing the concept of accessibility in the mountains, challenging the outdated idea that mountains mean insurmountable barriers. Through a multi-year journey involving government, hospitality, restaurant and retail entrepreneurs, combined with the innovative tools introduced, the results that will be achieved will far exceed the 2026 event, creating an inclusive and usable environment for people with accessibility needs.

My Experience Between Bike and Pedestrian Trails

During the launch of the Destination4All project, I had the opportunity to explore the area's bicycle and pedestrian paths using one of the two off-road wheelchairs available for tourists. These wheelchairs make it possible to tackle even the most challenging trails, as long as you can transfer from your wheelchair and ride safely.

Bridge over the Boite River with waterfall and trees
Bridge over the Boite River with waterfall and trees

Route E1 and Pian de Ra Spines

The E1 bike path, which follows the old railroad track, is perfect for beginning exploration. Starting in Cortina, I rode up the bike path for almost 3 km to Fiames, passing through a charming larch forest. Alternatively, you can start directly beside the Fiames hotel and enter the Ampezzo Dolomites Natural Park, where the Pian de Ra Spines, a 6.8-km loop around the Boite stream, begins.

A Path Full of Surprises

The route is generally flat, but since this is a mountainous environment, care must be taken with stones and roots that pop up here and there on the path. The signs are clearly visible and following them is easy. On the way you will encounter the Spiaggia Verde Chalet, ideal for a rest, but beware that on the approach the amount of gravel will make the wheels sink, making it tiring to move and, alas, you will also find a nice step of at least ten centimeters to get on the walkway, and even to enter the chalet there are a couple of steps, luckily the outside expanse is wide and you can move very well.

Another spot that you absolutely must not miss is on the opposite bank and is the Librascion, this is a book tree made by the students of the Liceo Artistico di Cortina, in front of which you will find a beautiful reading table with a space between the seats that leaves the possibility of approaching it with your own baby carriage or your child's stroller.

Benches and table in the middle of the forest with Librascion tree, bookstand tree.
Benches and table in the middle of the forest with Librascion tree, bookstand tree.

 Immerse yourself in Nature

Past the chalet, continue to the information point, here the uphill path becomes paved and is flanked by a botanical trail and, with some frequency, you will find rest areas with benches and tables for relaxing and picnicking. Here, the enveloping silence connects you with the surrounding nature, populated by rich and varied wildlife.

The waterfall of the El Felizon Creek, which flows in an impressive gorge, is one of the many wonders to be discovered as is the legend of the little girl and the mill, but I won't give too much away.

The off-road wheelchair is really fun, and the biggest risk is that you will find yourself running around without enjoying all the wonder that is around you and that this forest can offer you.

Peace, quiet and serenity that you will only be able to enjoy at reduced speed. Remember.

You will also have time to read information about the cultural installations, the botanical trail but, most importantly, to reconnect with nature and find a serenity here that our everyday life denies us.

Take notifications off your phone or, better yet, put it on airplane mode and use it only to take photos of the places you want to take home as a memento of the experience.

Accessibility info

If you wish to have the same experience as me, here is additional information that may be helpful to you

  • Therange of the wheelchair is around 10 miles, but I have not complied much with the advice to go slowly, so by using the accelerator more sparingly, I am sure the batteries will definitely increase the mileage.
  • The seat is made of hard plastic, I recommend the use of a cushion to cushion the inevitable bumps from uneven ground
  • Personally, I used a band to avoid the risk of my legs falling off the footrest.
  • The vehicle can be rented from SEAM. Here you will find all the information on how to make a reservation!

Finally, if you are a daredevil, I recommend discovering all the connections with other loop trails, of varying lengths, that you can cross in the Pian de Ra Spines area.

I look forward to your comments and the outcome of your experience in Cortina.

path in the woods
Route through the forest

All that's left is to set out to enjoy the nature this beautiful area has to offer.

 

Conclusion

Cortina is not only a destination for the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics, but a place that offers unique, accessible and immersive experiences. Bicycle and pedestrian paths, along with off-road wheelchairs, make it possible to explore the natural beauty of the Dolomites without the difficulties one usually imagines connected to the mountains.

Book your vacation in Cortina and discover a new way to experience the mountains!

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