For all those who want to see the highlights of the Dolomites in one single tour, we have put together a great round trip. It starts in Panchià, leads into the Val di Fassa, through the Passo Sella and Passo di Gardena. From there it continues into the Val Badia and over the Passo Furciato to the lake of Braies and of Misurina towards Cortina d’Ampezzo. On the way back to the Val di Fiemme there are four other passes to cross – Falzarego, Valparola, Campolongo and Pordoi.
We start in Panchià, from where we cross Val di Fiemme towards Val di Fassa, past Moena towards Canazei. From there we take the road leading up to Passo di Sella,then follow the road down towards Val Gardena and again up to the next pass – Passo di Gardena. Leaving this part of road behind us, we arrive in Val Badia. We pass the village Longega, cross a small bridge and then turn right to reach the place San Vigilio Marebbe. There, we keep to the left and hit the road to the 1759 meter high Passo Furcia, which lies next to Plan de Corones,one of the most famous ski resorts of the South Tyrol.
Continuing on the edge of the Fanes-Senes-Braies nature park, we drive toVal Pusteria,via Valdaora and Monguelfo up to the junction, where we turn right in the direction of the Lake of Braies.It is one of the most stunning Dolomite lakes. About 31 hectares in size, it is 1,2 kilometers long, 300 to 400 meters wide, up to 36 meters deep, with turquoise water and surrounded by steep cliff walls and the majestic Croda del Beco. Here you should definitely take your time to admire the lake in all its splendor.
After the stopover at the Lake of Braies, we continue through the place Braies to the junction with the road of Pusteria, where we turn right. Crossing Villabassa we follow to Dobbiaco and from there – again turning right – into the spectacular Val di Landro, which leads slightly uphill to the Lake of Misurina, the largest lake in the region of Cadore at 1754 meters above sea level. From here – not far from the world famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo (three peaks of Lavaredo) – you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Dolomites. We leave Misurina towards Cortina crossing on the way Passo Tre Croci. Cortina, known as the pearl of the Dolomites, hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1956.
In Cortina we continue our tour and follow to Passo di Falzarego. The road takes us up to 2109 meters above sea level. Whoever might think, we have reached the highest point of the tour here is wrong, because we do not go downhill towards Arabba / Pordoi, but turn right next to a wonderful mountain chapel and drive uphill to PassoValparola for about two kilometers. From here we plunge down to Val Badia for the second time this day and drive up to the village Villa. Enjoying the view of Gran Risa, one of the most famous and renowned giant slalom ski run in the SkiWorld Cup, we turn left here and follow the road to Corvara. In the middle of the village, we take the road to Passo Campolongo and from there downhill to Arabba, which is not only a ski station of the famous Sellaronda ski carousel, but also one of the centres of one of the world’s largest ski resorts: Dolomiti Superski.
From Arabba we take the road to Passo Pordoi,which is almost a part of the inventory of the Giro d’Italia. The road Italy’s cycling champion, Fausto Coppi has climbed up, which is why a sculpture of the “Campionissimo” stands on the pass. From Passo Pordoi you can also admire other monuments: the natural ones of the Dolomites such as the Sassolungo or the Sellaronda, finely chiselled the first, monumental and massive the second one.
We drive down from Passo Pordoi in steep hairpin bends for about twelve kilometers to Canazei, which we have already crossed before. Further on we follow the road through Val di Fassa towards Moena and from there through Val di Fiemme and the villages of Mezzavalle, Predazzo and Ziano. From the latter one it is only three kilometers to Panchià, both the starting point and the destination of this probably most spectacular Dolomite round trip.
|Travel time||6:45 h|