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Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

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Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

We are planning a first time visit to Italy in the early- mid June. We are driving from Venice to Lake Como through the dolomites and have only 2 days and a night in the area.

Our original plan was to start early from Venice and drive to lake misurina - cortina - pordoi pass - sella pass and on to Ortisei for the night. Is this the most scenic route?

We are only interested in seeing the awesome dolomite views and maybe a couple of easy/ moderate walks . I kindly request the experienced of this forum to please help us with the following options as we only have a very limited time there.

1. Which lift is scenic/better - one from ortisei or siusi?

2. Lagazuoi/ passo giau? The former has the cool lift to the top while the later seems more scenic to drive

3. Corvara to pordoi and sella pass or corvara through val gardena and alta badia?

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1. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Hi,

As you are wanting to see the Dolomite views, stay the night in La Villa, Alta Badia at the Ciasa Montanara. Ortisei won't give you the dramatic, quintessential Dolomite views.

www.montanara.it

worldisround.com/articles/355539/index.html

worldisround.com/articles/324504/index.html

On the drive from Venice to Cortina to the Alta Badia (or even Val Gardena), stop at the intersection of the SR48 (road you'll be on) and the Falzarego Pass. The Lagazoui cable car is right here. Terrific views and a quick trip to the top. There are walks/hikes from here.

If you'd rather, drive the Giau Pass (SP638, there's a sign here) right after leaving Cortina and then north on the Falzarego Pass to the Alta Badia.

Depending on how much time you have left this day, either go south (Falzarego Pass) and at Arabba, take the Campolongo Pass to Coravara (Alta Badia) and to La Villa, or over the Gardena Pass to Val Gardena, depending where you're staying.

My (actually our) opinions:

The drive from Cortina to the Lagazoui is very interesting in scenery, "un-Earthly" is my best way to describe it. Bleak landscape, limestone peaks and boulders the size of cars strewn about. The Giau from Cortina for the most part wasn't special, until you reached the "top". Beautiful. There's a rest stop/cafe here with incredible scenery and walks. The drive down "the other side" was beautiful also, much better than the drive to the top coming from Cortina.

The Gardena Pass between the Alta Badia (Colfosco) and the Val Gardena (Selva) is our favorite in the entire area. Driven it many, many times.

Hope this helps in some way. If you have any other questions, I'll be glad to try to help further.

Paul

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2. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Hi again,

I meant to add that on your next driving day, if you feel you have the time, leave the Alta Badia and head over the Gardena Pass, but instead of entering the Val Gardena, head onto the Sella Pass, which branches off the Gardena Pass near the Val Gardena. After the Sella Pass you'll head to Canazei. Head south to Vigo di Fassa, past Lake Carezza, through the Val d Ega to the A22 by Bolzano.

Paul

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3. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Thanks a lot for your excellent suggestions. The pictures on the attached link looks spellbinding!

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4. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Thanks. The Dolomites are even more impressive in person. Like nothing else in the alps. As I mentioned, our favorite spot to stay is the Alta Badia for the quintessential Dolomite vistas. The Gardena Pass is our favorite drive. If you do stay in the area, try The Black Hill in Colfosco for absolutely amazing pizza.

Paul

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5. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Hi

Could you also suggest which lifts in this area offer the best scenery?

Also is the pordoi pass worth driving through?

Edited: 25 April 2014, 20:55
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6. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

The Pordoi is worth driving through, but with only one full day in the Dolomites, I'd make sure to drive the Gardena Pass.

Lifts, we only took the Lagazoui and the Mont Seuc/Seiser Alm cable cars. If you're based in Val Gardena, I'd go with the Mont Seuc/Seiser Alm or another that's open at the time you're there. If in the Alta Badia, go with the Lagazoui or what else may be open. Wish I could be of more help.

www.valgardena.it

www.altabadia.org

altabadia.org/en/…lifts_alta_badia

valgardena.it/en/…

Paul

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7. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Thanks for your help, paul !

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8. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Hi again Holygal,

Just thought I'd add this:

For up close spectacular views of the Dolomites by car, this is our own "Best of the Dolomites drive". It can easily be done in a day and covers drives over 4 Dolomite Passes.

It can be started/ended from any point really, but I'll use Val Gardena:

Head to Selva and over the amazing Gardena Pass to Colfosco and Corvara (Alta Badia). Here, take the Campolongo Pass to Arabba. From Arraba take the Pordoi Pass towards Canazei. Before you get to Canazei, take the Sella Pass (or stop in Canazei and go back a bit to continue). Take the Sella Pass and at the end, get right on the Gardena Pass (they branch off one another) towards Selva and the Val Gardena. There's a cafe/restaurant/rest stop at the "top" of the Gardena, Sella and Pordoi Passes. You'll also notice a few small places to park along the passes to get out and walk among the Dolomite peaks.

For some info and photo's of the passes, check out:

www.alpineroads.com/dolomites.php

Some are listed under the German and or Italian name:

Gardena Pass - Grödnerjoch

Sella Pass - Sellajoch

Pordoi Pass - Passo di Pordoi

Campolongo Pass - Passo di Campolongo

Rainy day options could include the old towns of Bozen/Bolzano (and the excellent exhibit on the "Ice Man" at the Museum of Archaeology) or Brixen/Bressanone (and another good museum, the Diocean Museum).

www.bolzano-bozen.it/en/

www.brixen.org

Paul

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9. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

Brixen and Bozen are very quaint and adorable cities...I would highly recommend visiting.

10. Re: Suggestions for First time visit to the Dolomites

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