The Great Dolomites Road runs through the Dolomites from Bolzano to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Along the road it is possible to admire the most beautiful views of the Dolomites and to reach the Pordoi Pass (2.239 m) and the Sella Pass (2.244 m), two of the most important and panoramic passes in the Alps.
Depart from Bolzano, the Gateway to the Dolomites, capital of the province South Tyrol; then cross the Ega Valley which begins at Bolzano and runs eastward between the Rosengarten and the Latemar mountains. This road was built in 1895 when the territory was part of the Austro Hungarian Empire. Part of the route is located in a canyon carved by the river Ega.
Stop at Carezza Lake, the most beautiful lake of the Dolomites; with 30 minutes of staying time and the chance to walk around the lake (optional); then head to Costalunga Pass. Near the Pass you will see the historical “Grand Hotel Carezza”, built in 1893, the first luxury hotel in the Dolomites which hosted very important guests like the Empress Sissi, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie.
From the Costalunga Pass, reach the Fassa Valley in Trentino and pass through the towns of Vigo di Fassa and Canazei to arrive under the imposing peaks of the Sella Groups. From here, a long series of 27 hairpins bends (switchbacks) begins, that will lead you to the famous Pordoi Pass at an altitude of 2.239 meters above sea level. One hour of staying time if you decide to arrive with the cable car to Sass Pordoi (altitude of 2950 meters: the cable car is open from late May until mid-October and from Christmas to Easter).
From the Pordoi Pass you will return back a few kilometers to reach the Sella Pass: here the landscape is really impressive with the Sella vertical walls that stand right in front of you and from the Sella Pass you can admire the Marmolada glacier (3,343 m) and the majestic Sassolungo (3,181 m), the most famous mountain in Gardena Valley: 10 minute stop for photos;
Coming down from the Sella Pass you will enter in the Gardena Valley, the best known tourist valley of the Dolomites and you will have the chance to see its largest town, the beautiful Ortisei: one hour of staying for lunch break and to visit the town.
From Ortisei in less than an hour, you'll be back in Bolzano.