This cycling holiday gives you the chance to conquer the Dolomites best cycling climbs. Often thought of as the most beautiful mountain range in the world, the Dolomites is a landscape of lush green valleys and rugged towering limestone mountains. It is a paradise for cyclists, with lots of infamous cols used regularly by the Giro dItalia, plus some lesser known ones to discover for yourself.
This centre based mini break showcases the area from the comfort of a 4* lakeside hotel in Alleghe so you have the flexibility to cycle or relax as suits you best. Each of the 4 day rides has 3 options, so will suit both cyclists who are new to the mountains as well as experienced col climbers. As with our other Classic Cols style holidays, the unique thing about this type of holiday is its flexibility you really can ride as much or as little as you like, at a pace that suits you without holding up or being held up by others in the group. That said, with a group of 20, you can be sure to find someone else on the trip with similar aspirations to you, whether that be sampling a glass of prosecco in a rustic village bar, or taking on every optional climb on offer.
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Day 0: Travel Out
Included transfers from Venice Marco Polo VCE airport to Alleghe (2hrs). Meet your guides and head to your lakeside hotel. Full travel advice (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.
Day 1: NW - Sellaronda Circuit
After a brief lakeside warm up to Caprile, you take on the eastern slopes of the Passo Pordoi (2239m), which provides a perfect introduction to the Dolomites. It is a long (28.5km) climb, but in general the gradients are kind and there are even a few short downhill sections! The views from the top are magnificent and there is a great choice of cafes / restaurants at the top. From here all the options are good! Option 1 [68km with 1430m ascent]: Have a big lunch and return back the same way. Option 2 [75km with 1880m ascent]: Head back to the village of Arabba, then nip up the south side of the Passo di Campolongo (1875m). Option 3 [101km with 2500m ascent]: Those who have heard of the Maratona dles Dolomites will be itching to complete the Sellaronda route one of Europes great rides over 4 great cols: Passo di Pordoi, Passo di Sella (2244m) from the south, Passo di Gardena (2121m) from the west and the north side of the Passo di Campolongo (1875m). The altitude drop between the passes is not huge, but it is a big day out!
Day 2: SE - Hidden Gem of the Dolomites
The Western side of the Forcella Staulanza (1771m) is a beautiful col from the door of our hotel with varied gradients as you climb. Again the views from the pass are excellent, today it is the pointy limestone peak of Monte Civetta that dominates the horizon. Option 1 (44km with 935m ascent): Enjoy the view from the Cafe and head back to the hotel. You could take in the Colle Santa Lucia (1485m) en route! Option 2 (71km with 1750m ascent): After a short descent to a village called dont (is it trying to tell us something?) the gradients turn a bit tougher as we take on the Passo Duran (1602m) from the North, another Giro favourite. The descent requires your concentration, then all you have to do is climb gently up hill on a quiet side road. Option 3 (100km with 2700m ascent): Once back in the Alleghe there is a nice little loop that can be tagged onto the day taking you up the North side of the Forcella Franche (992m) then the South side of the Forcella Aurine (1297m).
Day 3: NE - Legends of the Dolomites
The vista from Passo di Giau (2238m) is one of the most magnificent that the Dolomites has to offer. The Western side of the climb is relentlessly steep but it is a quiet road and in the cool of the morning is actually very pleasant. Yet again there are many options.. Option 1 (39km 1270m ascent): Linger at the col for a few hours, have a leisurely lunch before heading back to the hotel. Option 2 (64km, 1850, ascent): From the Passo Giau you start off down towards Cortina, but soon join the road to the Passo Di Falzarego (2105m) which you climb from the East. After a pause at the col it is downhill to the hotel. Option 3 (117km, 3030m ascent): Keep over the Passo Giau to Cortina dAmpezzo, a high altitude, attractive Italian town that hosted the 1956 winter Olympics. Next up is the Passo Tre Croci (1805m) which has a few nasty little sections before briefly descending to the well known and very beautiful Lago di Misurina. After a pause for lunch you take on the Passo de Cimbianche (1530m) from the East back around to Cortina from where the eastern gradients of the Passo Di Falzarego (2105m) still stand between you and the hotel.
Day 4: SW: Tour of Marmolada
Marmolada (3343m), the highest mountain in the Dolomites, has be dominating the skyline all week and today we enter into its shadow! The climb starts from the door of our hotel, and you will be pleased to hear that the road does not go all the way to the top of this mighty mountain. The Passo di Fedaia (2057m) from the East is brutal! The last 5km average 11% and there is a sneaky section of 15% thrown in a few kms from the top. Fortunately the views are breathtaking, so there are plenty of photo opportunities (aka excuses to stop for a breather). This is definitely the toughest (but most rewarding) climb of the week. Unlike most of the other climbs there is no cafe to welcome us, but a vast reservoir that reflects the towering peaks. Option 1 (37km with 1050m ascent): It is justifiable to return back to the hotel for a massage. Option 2 (88km with 2151m ascent): Once over the other side, there is no turning back! You drop down into civilisation and the lush green valley bottom of the Val di Fassa. This makes for some easy cycling on good tarmac before you turn East to take on the Passo di San Pellegrino (1914m) from the West. This is a lovely climb up into the pine forest and is used often by the Giro. Once over the other side you roll down into the Alleghe Valley and climb gently back up the valley bottom. Option 3 (102km with 2760m ascent): On the descent of the Pelegrino you may (or may not) be tempted to detour up to the Passo di Valles (2033m), where the rugged peaks of the Dolomites give way to rolling green hills to the South.
All good things must come to an end: Transfer back to Venice Marco Polo Airport (2hrs). Full travel advice and our group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.