3 days in the Dolomites

Discussion in 'Europe' started by hanzonn, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. hanzonn

    hanzonn n00b

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    First off, sorry for the double-tap; I previously posted this in Ride Reports, not knowing I should have posted it in the Europe forum.

    I'm going to the Dolomites from Stuttgart, Germany via Garmisch for 3 days. Looking for must-ride passes & other attractions. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, Greg
    #1
  2. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Or "Trip Planning" :evil

    First question - is that 3 days IN the Dolomites or three days from Stuttgart & back?
    #2
  3. hanzonn

    hanzonn n00b

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    Pretty much 3 days in the Dolomites; I may go back a little early to catch the last day of BMW days in Garmisch, though.
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  4. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    Wait for it. MichaelJ will give you all the info you need. He has photos and details of every meter of every road. :lol3
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  5. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    A man has to have a purpose in life. :D
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  6. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    With 3 days, I'd base. This gives you the freedom to ride without baggage and wondering where you're going to sleep that night. The area is small, and this works well. I'd pick either:

    Arabba - smack dab in the middle with lots of accommodations. Pretty much a ski area that sleeps bikers in season. No night life, though. But you're there to ride, right?

    Corvara In Badia - just north of Arabba over the Passo Campolongo. Smallish town - a bit more upscale than Arabba, and probably some night life. I wouldn't know - I go there to ride :evil

    Canazei - Larger town to the west side of most of the interesting bits. Lots of accommodations and services.

    Riding.

    Pick a direction. Any direction. You can't go wrong. The routes below assume Arabba as the base.

    Possibilities are:

    The "Dolomite Figure Eight" centered on Arabba or Corvara. Includes the following passes: Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Campolongo, Valparola & Falzarego. This is short (a couple of hours) but intense. Ride it both ways.

    An eastern loop that takes you over the Falzarego into Cortina and east over Passo Tre Croci to Lago di Misurina and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Take the toll road up to the base for a great view. Double back through Cortina and head back up the Falzarego road - when you get to Pocol, look for the signs to Passo Giau on your left. Take it. Drop down the western side of Giau and head for Caprile and then the Passo Fedaia, which will drop you off in Canazei. From there, back over the Pordoi to Arabba or the Sella/Gardena/Campolongo combo to Arabba.
    Trivia - the dam on the lake on Fedaia was featured in "The Italian Job" remake.

    A western loop stretches out a bit, as the passes are further apart. And the traffic can suck on the main valley road. Thankfully, most of it disappears once you get off it. I'd look at this pass combo - Pordoi, San Pellegrino (NOT the water), Valles, Rolle, Cereda (the turn-around point), Forcella Aurine, Duran, & Staulanza - where you make a choice of heading back to the barn or finishing off with another Fedaia/Pordoi segment.

    Google Earth KMZ file of passes that I've hit on request.

    4 days until I'm on my way back over :D:D:D:D
    #6
  7. coolgreany

    coolgreany Been here awhile

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    Wife and I are doing the same - leave Stuttgart Thursday a.m. and come back via Garmisch Sunday!!
    #7
  8. ElleOn2Wheels

    ElleOn2Wheels Adventurer

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    Anywhere you ride in the Dolomites will be wonderful :)

    I was recommended this hotel (very biker friendly) but they were full when I visited the area: http://www.hotelcristallotrentino.it/

    For something different to do, I suggest going up one of the many cable cars for fantastic views. There's a large one on the Pordoi.
    If you don't mind heights consider the 2 person cage that scales the mountains at Lago di Fedaia (cross the bridge & park next to the ticket office). If you have time you can walk up to the glacier! :clap
    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lago...=lago+di+fedaia&hnear=Lago+di+Fedaia&t=m&z=15
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  9. furbo

    furbo Been here awhile

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    Greg,

    Mike J aced your route plan. Have lived here in Italy almost 18yrs and what he said is spot on.

    Dunno where you're going to stay in Garmisch, but can recoomend the Hotel Eidelweiss and Almenrausch. Family joint a hundred meters from the Marion Platz. E. 52 for a single, season dependent.
    #9
  10. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    At the hotel Al Forte just east of Arabba for 3 days :D
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  11. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

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    I've just come back from there and can say that you are spot on with your recommendations. I stayed in Canazei but would follow your advice next time and stay slightly further east to be more central.

    I liked all the roads you mentioned but particularly liked the Giau. The Gardena and Valparola also stood out, the latter for its rocky landscape. I would also recommend the route back to Cortina from Misurina via the northen route (Cimabanche) as that's a quick sweeping road. The southern section was also great but in a different way. Not so high but the countryside is beautiful, lots of streams and woodland. I did the Valles, as you mention above. It was very quiet and beautiful.

    In all I thought the quality of road surfaces very good with a lot of new tarmac in evidence.

    A couple of slightly off-topic tips in relation to the region. Due to weather I was forced south and was recommended a campsite on the shores of Lago D'Idro (Camping Vantone). A beautiful location (withing striking distance of Lake Garda) and campsite with lots of shade (there's a few of them together). Also, heading for Andermatt from Idro I took the beautiful route up through Edolo and entered Switzerland at the crossing close to Tirano. The road up to St Moritz via the Julier Pass was amazing - smooth, fast and twisty. The highlight of the trip in terms of actual riding and exactly what sport riders would dream of before setting off on such a trip.

    Italy was a fantastic experience and I can't wait to go back next year. I have nothing negative to say about it at all.

    Steve
    #11
  12. furbo

    furbo Been here awhile

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    Personally, I dont dig staying in the Big Middle of the Sella Group area, too crowded for my tastes. Have been bunking at the Penzione Holzer, (single E. 25) since 1993. http://http://www.holzer-pfeifer.net/, or if someone wants a little more class, the Hotel Schwarzenbach http://http://www.schwarzenbach.it/ . These are both over in the Deutchesnofen/Nova Ponente area, a bit SW of the main pass group but easily accessible from Bolzano area.

    Heading up tomorrow to do the Val de Cembra, Psso San Pellegrino, Psso Valles, & Psso Rolle, then back home for dinner.
    #12
  13. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Wuss! :wink:

    Today's ride: Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi, Fedaia, Costalunga, Nigra, Lavaze, Occlini, Pramadiccio, San Pellegrino, Valles, Rolle, Cereda, Aurine, Franche, Duran & Staulanza.

    I had meant to do the Giau, Falzarego and Valparola also, but was running low on fuel (with none available) and there was an active T-Storm up there. So I headed back to the Al Forte.

    Dodged rain most of the day - petty stuff, but it set in for real as I approached the Duran Passhohe and stayed that way all the way back to Arabba :puke1

    Still, a bad day on the bike is better than a good one in the office.
    #13
  14. furbo

    furbo Been here awhile

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    Wow, that's a ride there Bro. U da Man:rilla:

    The advantage of living here is that you can space all that out thru a season...:clap
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  15. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Rub it in... :kboom
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  16. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    MJ,

    Hope you had a successful stint this year. I suppose you're already booked into Andermatt for next year. :D I rode down to Garda at the beginning of July. Dunno how you can deal with having a few thousand select friends on the roads all at the same time.
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  17. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Pretty good - here's my Spot track. Go to "Adjustments" on the left, set History to "All" and click on "Go" to see the entire thing - missing the day from Trento to the Veneto (forgot to turn it on). About 5500 kms, including an ugly 600 km from Austria to Heidelberg via Autobahn - so 4900 kms of good riding.

    I probably won't be back to Andermatt - looks like it's going to be a very crowded small town after all of the new construction. The new hotel looks like someone set an HO building down on an N Scale layout. Huge.

    And yeah - Garda can be a zoo. The road on the west side is a lot better.
    #17
  18. furbo

    furbo Been here awhile

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    Andermatt is getting popular....thanks Mr. Herman. Havent seen the new ghotel you speak of, but havent been there this year either. Usually stay at the Bergidyl as its clean and they speak Italian. Have stayed at Wassen, the base of the Susten pass (not as charming, but cheaper), and am thinking to try Hospentaal or one of the small towns on the E side of the Oberalp, if you have any experience with them.

    Looking at your route map, theres some great roads in the Black forest and Schwasbisch Alb S. of Stuttgart. I travelk to Kaiserslaghtern regularly for work and usually go Garmisch-Kepmten-Sigmaringen-Tuttlingen, then hit the AB 5 North. V nice ride along the Donau river out of Sig.

    Highly recommend the Rhone Alps along the tri border of Italy/France/Swizterland. Virutally empty compared with the Dolomites/Sella group area. just avoid the Tour deFrance dates!
    #18
  19. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    And Bastille Day :eek1

    I've spend a couple of trips in the Rhone Alpes hitting the high passes and the Vercours area. I need a more dirt-oriented bike to ride a lot of the "roads" that I want, though.
    #19
  20. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    I passed by Andermatt a few weeks ago, coming from Furka, went around the town on the north side and noticed a huge gray ghost of a structure. At first I thought it was a new waste water treatment facility under construction. Then I remembered the new billion dollar baby that will be there. It may bring in those with deep pockets but IMO the Alpine atmosphere is going to suffer.
    #20