Itinerary: Val Gardenia, Arabba, Canazei, Pordoi Pass, Sass Pordoi
The scenic drive leading to the Pordoi pass in the Dolomites
This tour starts from Bolzano through Arabba, a nice Italian ski resort, and follows the scenic road that, through several bends and hairpins (Pic n°2)(Pic n°3), winds up to Pordoi Pass, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in the world. This pass (2,239 meters high a.s.l.), which links Arabba to Canazei, is located in a very scenic area in the mid of a vast mountain plateau at the foot of the mountain group of Sella, from where you can enjoy some breath-taking views over the near peaks of the Dolomites.
Leaving Bolzano, take the motorway A 22 in the direction of Brennero Pass located on the border between Italy and Austria. Exit at Barbiano and follow the directions for Val Gardena/ Ortisei. You will have to take the highway SS 242. Drive through the whole Val Gardena, one of the most beautiful and scenic Italian valleys. If you have time, stop sometimes to admire the amazing landscapes and the stunning views on the Dolomites, and do not miss the opportunity of paying a short visit to the nice small towns that you meet along your trip.
Drive through Ortisei and Selva and reach Plan de Glabra, where you have to take the highway SS 243 in the direction of Corvara. You are now between the mountain groups of "Odle" and "Sella", exactly in the middle of one of the most famous areas in the Dolomites, and surrounded by an amazingly beautiful landscape! In Corvara, take the highway SS244 in the direction of Arabba and then to Pordoi Pass.
Arriving at Pordoi Pass, you will find a modern cable car station. (Pic n°6). These cable cars in a 4-minute fast climb lead from Pordoi Pass (Pic n°5) to 2,950 meters a .s.l. of Sass Pordoi, the most amazing natural terrace that overlooks the Dolomites landscape. During the ascent (Pic n°4) you will enjoy the stunning beauty of these mountains and have the feeling of being almost able to touch their rocks. If you are lucky you could also see some climbers facing some of the most beautiful ski slopes of this area.
At the exit of the cable car station you will find the terrace perched among the mountains, where on a sunny day you can comfortably lie down on a deck chair, while enjoying an astonishing 360-degree view over all the major peaks of the Dolomites: Marmolada, Pale di San Martino, Sassolungo , the southern reaches of Ortles, Cevedale and the Swiss and Austrian Alps.
Near the cable car station, you will find cozy restaurants and cafeterias, where it will be a pleasure to have lunch and taste the typical dishes of the Dolomites such as "Canederli" (a special kind of bread dumplings) or speck, the local smoked ham, etc.
For sports enthusiasts, the Pordoi is the ideal place for excursions to Piz Boe, Passo Gardena, and Campolongo, or for trying the amazing descent to Colfosco through Val Mezdì.
Through another succession of breath-taking views, the road goes down from the Pordoi Pass to Canazei, another famous Dolomites tourist and ski resort, where our trip ends.
Some pictures about the tour:
Dolomites, Pass Pordoi (pic n°1); Bends and hairpins on the road from Arabba to Pordoi Pass (pic n°2); Bends and hairpins on the road from Arabba to Pordoi Pass (pic n°3); Sass Pordoi, the natural terrace (pic n°4); Pordoi Pass (pic n°5); Cable car between Pordoi Pass & Sass Pordoi(pic n°6)
Panoramic and scenic views during the whole tour!