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Alpenhotel Plaza... where the heart of the Dolomites beates!

Challenging and easy mountain bike tours in the Dolomites

Thanks to the many different tours in Val Gardena, every passionate mountain biker, whether professional or amateur, will be perfectly satisfied

Easy, difficult, short or long: here you find the ideal tour for your tastes.
Woods, meadows, stones, peaks … we have something for everyone. Which will become your favourite tour? Try them all and decide!



Sellaronda anti clockwise – difficult
Characteristics
The sister of the Sellaronda is more demanding physically and goes anti-clockwise round the imposing Sella mountain range. This route is very different from the other direction and offers fascinatingly different impressions of an assumed identical tour. Three (instead of five) cable cars reduce the metres you would have to struggle up on this tour. The remaining altitude difference of just under 1,300m would not present any problems for a well-trained hobby biker. Only a few steep sections below the stony town are reserved for the aces. The same applies for this direction too, namely, it is not possible to have more descents in a day, nor a more beautiful panorama!
Only the first kilometres rising gently to Ciaslat are ideal for warming-up. The short, but ingenious trail leading to Monte Pana sets the tone for what this tour has to offer. A short ascent to Monte Pana, then the lift takes the bikers to the foot of the Langkofel. The steepest section of the tour is at the same time one of the most beautiful. Immediately below the mighty Sassolungo the route rises extremely steeply in the direction of the Rifugio (mountain cabin) Comici. It is still too early for proper refreshments, even though you can eat very well here. But maybe you can drink something, watch the panorama and move on. The path leading on to the Città dei Sassi changes into a fantastic trail. A few especially steep sections and hair-pin bends here force most bikers to get off and push their bikes for a short distance.
You can roll along relaxed through the middle of the Città dei Sassi downhill to the car park at the cable car to the Forcella del Sassolungo and enjoy the stony witnesses of a rockfall that peeled away from the Sassolungo several centuries ago.
Shortly afterwards the scenically impressive descent from Rifugio Valentini leading to Lupo Bianco begins. The Stella massif opposite is magnificent. The Sas Pordoi towers up steeply into the sky. The descent becomes steeper, you enter woods that only opens up before Lupo Bianco. Then there is a short, more demanding trail section immediately below Lupo Bianco.
Once you arrive in Canazei the cable car to Pecol kindly takes over the next good 900m of altitude difference. From the mountain station you have a wonderful view of the Fedaia reservoir and the Marmolada. Stop off and have something to eat at the Belvedere, slightly off route, and enjoy the panorama (at waymarker 52 continue straight ahead). There is a short descent to the mountain pass road – here by the way a downhill section branches off – and a short, nice ascent away from the main road to the Pordoi mountain pass.
It is best to escape the hustle and bustle up here and start immediately the stunning descent to Arabba, that begins only a few metres below the summit. A single trail meanders through meadows, then follows a section of ski piste to branch off again into a wonderful trail. The last of the descent to Arabba proves that ski pistes can also look beautiful in summer.
You roll along the road for a good two kilometres before reaching Renac, where the most remote section of the tour begins: the ascent via Cherz to the La Marmotta. The village of Cherz gives the impression of a place where time has stood still. It is wonderfully peaceful on the Malga Cherz mountain pastures. This ascent of a total of 450m of difference in altitude ends at the mountain cabin La Marmotta (the marmot).
The fast descent on the gravel road in the direction of Corvara is spiced up by a dream trail below the Capanna Nera. The last easy ascent of the tour begins in Corvara and goes as far as Colfosco. The cable car takes you on the remaining metres of altitude difference to the Clark mountain cabin above the Passo Gardena.
Watch once more the magnificent panorama at the Passo Gardena before the last long descent to Selva. In the upper part trails and paths alternate. Then there follows an extremely steep descent on gravel to Plan. Your brakes can get very hot here. It is therefore better to stop every now and then to let them cool down.
The last metres back to Selva, where you arrive full of unforgettable impressions of a very unusual tour, are on the former railway line.


Spitzbühl – medium
Characteristics
This is a breathtaking tour to a beautiful spot at the foot of the Sciliar that offers fantastic views of the Santner Spire at its northern end as well as down to Castelrotto. Fit bikers must overcome a total of three uphill sections to reach the Alpe di Siusi. From Spitzbühel the tour becomes a wonderful tour with unforgettable views and excellent huts on Europe’s largest high pastureland, with plenty of magnificent trails to enjoy. There are also plenty of opportunities to pause for refreshments, as the Alpe di Siusi has more than seven guesthouses and huts. Here you find something for every taste.
Shortly after leaving Ortisei we affront our first hard climb: 100m up with an average steepness of 16% bring you to Oltretorrente directly under the Alpe di Siusi cable car. A pleasant trail through the forest takes you to Passberg. After a short section (less than 500m) along the main road, you head for the Passo Pinei pass, and then you go left towards Pufels (closed to traffic).
Now comes a climb of over 600m, with an average steepness of 15-16% on the lower part. As it is an asphalted road this should be no problem for fit bikers.
After the village of Bulla, near the Hotel Monte Piz, you reach the plateau of the Alpe di Siusi: a short climb brings you to the connecting road to Saltria. Taking it in the opposite direction to reach Compatsch, you then continue along the trail down to the Spitzbühel car park.
16% is the degree of ascent of the climb up to the top of the Spitzbühel lift. Our last ghard climb which will test our strength. After 200m ascent, we can relax: the hut, with its wide panoramic terrace, dominates the valley like an eagle’s nest and is in fact a favourite departure point for hang-gliders. Just aspire the beautiful scenery with the imposing Santner Spire, which appears close enough to touch.
The tour passes the huts and inns on the Alpe di Siusi: the Laurin Hut, the Alpenhotel Panorama and the Almrosen Hut, each with its own atmosphere and charm, all against the wonderful backdrop of the Dolomites. The descent from the Almrosen Hut is perfect for technical specialists. A wonderful trail followed by the path through the woods downwards to the Tirler Hut. Here we take our pause.
Past Saltria you reach the upper Jender Valley and, after a short climb, the tour heads to Monte Pana, followed by a short and enjoyable trail towards Ciaslat.
The remaining part of the tour leads towards Selva/Selva where you turn left and take a fast downhill along the left bank of the Rio Gardena to cover the last 10 km into Ortisei.


San Giacomo – middle
Characteristics
Take a chace to do an alternative Gardena valley tour and visit the San Giacomo church, the oldest church in the valley. It dates back to the 17th century and features frescoes on the south façade well worth seeing. The second part of the tour is on secondary roads and trails n the woods with funny trails between Insom and Annatal. There the guest house Annatal, an idyllic stop for refreshments in a stunning location, is waiting for thirsty bikers.
We starts at the tourism association in Ortisei and ride uphill for just ten kilometres on a steady moderate climb. The route follows the course of the Gardena valley tour via S. Cristina as far as Selva. The route follows in some parts the former railway line that is very pleasant for biking.
From the centre of Selva it gets a little steeper until you reach the beginning of the Vallunga that is already in the Puez-Geisler nature park. Whoever wants to can extend the tour with a detour into the upper Vallunga (s. variations). At the car park in the Vallunga the tour takes a south-westerly turn. Still above the main road the tour leads via La Pozza to the valley station of the Col Raiser cable car.
The most beautiful part of the tour begins here. Via the hamlet of Insom you go in the direction of San Giacomo, still somewhat above and away from the hustle and bustle of the valley. The trail becomes narrower and gives a lot of pleasure before reaching the church.
The small church of San Giacomo with its distinctive tower, its contemplative cemetery and its lovely frescoes is located in a stunning spot overlooking the valley. Bikers enjoy this on the spacious sunbathing lawn next to the church with a view that stretches as far as the Sasso Piatto, Sassso Lungo and the Sella mountain range. There then follow three kilometres of sheer riding fun on the narrow trail leading to the Annatal. Narrow trails alternate with wide trails, switchbacks and small wooden bridges – what a pleasure for a mountain biker!
Unfortunately, the trails end at the Pauli mountain cabin. It is only a few metres still to the Annatal mountain cabin, the ideal stop for refreshments on this tour. Tables in the shade or sun loungers in the sun invite you to relax. Try to put your feet in the stream behind the hut.
After refreshments you roll along, almost only downhill, past the valley station of the Seceda cable car back to the centre of Ortisei.


Vallunga – easy
Characteristics
The Vallunga, to the north-east of Selva, is part of the Puez-Geisler nature park. It offers breathtaking views with its steeply towering rock faces on both sides whch lead us to the even more beautiful head of the valley - the Pra da Ri mountain pasture. This easy version of the tour into the Vallunga is the ideal mountain bike tour for beginners or for families. It is easier because the tour does not go into the upper Vallunga, but only just as far as the mouth of the valley. The route follows side roads with little traffic and easy gravel and woodland trails.
From the start at the tourism association in Selva you go first of all to the valley station of Dantercepies gondola. The route leads from there towards north, more downhill than uphill, till the mouth of the valley. Here you find the car park with refreshment facilities.
Our route only takes you about one kilometre and a good 50m in altitude difference into the Vallunga. Bikers, who want more, can extend the tour by following the cross-country ski route further uphill. It does not finish until the beginning of Pra da Ri mountain pasture. You cannot go further by bike (s. Variations). The way back takes you first of all to the car park again and then on the narrow access road down to the Vallunga and the cycle path west of Selva.
On this cycle path the ancient railway line into the Gardena valley, you cycle gently uphill back to the starting point of the tour at the tourism association.


Val Duron – difficult
Characteristics
This tour, featuring some of the region’s most spectacular landscapes, leads us up the largely unspoilt Duron Valley that extends on the southern side of the Sassopiatto and forms the border with the adjacent Catinaccio Group, with its 3000-metre summits. Bikers must overcome two tough climbs to discover this gem, but then come two highly enjoyable descents offering wonderful views of the surrounding Dolomites. Exactly halfway around, in the heart of the Val Duron, you can stop for refreshments and enjoy both the landscape and the peaceful atmosphere.
From the Tourist Information Office in Selva you warm up along the route of the old railway line, climbing gently. You then follow the road up to Plan de Gralba for approximately 2.5 km: although it is busy with traffic in the high season (there is no alternative route), the 200m ascent does not take long. From Plan de Gralba the climb gets steeper up to the Passo Sella, first on a gravel road, then along a fantastic trail with tight curves leading up to the lower reaches of the “Città dei Sassi”: while this poses no difficulties for fit and experienced bikers, pushing your bike for a few metres will also allow you to admire the magnificent views of the Sassolungo towering above you.
Shortly after the car park for the cable car up to the Forcella del Sassolungo gorge, the long descent towards Canazei and Campitello starts at the Valentini Hut (the first opportunity for refreshments). The upper part is especially fine, with breathtaking panoramas and some tricky sections to overcome under the Lupo Bianco.
In Campitello, at the beginning of the Val Duron, the route changes abruptly from downhill to uphill, with a forest trail featuring a gradient of up to 24%! This practically unrideable stretch only lasts some 30m before becoming a more moderate 14/15% to the Duron Hut. The valley suddenly opens up to reveal a magnificent view of the rock walls that line it on both sides.
After a short downhill stretch you reach the very traditional Lino Brach Hut at the side of the path, where you can stop and regain your strength; among the gastronomic treats on offer we recommend the polenta with sausage and gorgonzola.
The tour now continues further up the Duron Valley to the Duron pass, with magnificent views of the Catinaccio Group to the south and the Sassopiatto to the north. The gradient approaches 20% in parts, but now the peaks of the Denti di Terra Rossa, and thus the route to the Alpe di Siusi, are visible. Be sure to stop for a breather during the upper stages of the climb and look back over the surrounding landscape, where to the east you can even see the Marmolada!
The next highlight of the tour, heading towards the Plattkofel/Sassopiatto, is the panoramic trail from the Dialer Church in the direction of Zallinger. Your bike is put to the test along a narrow hiking trail that will make you forget the hard climb up the Val Duron; but the fun has to end after 2 km as the next section, featuring obstacles and steps, is reserved for hikers.
Now comes a descent of 160m, followed by a climb on a gravel road in the direction of the Zallinger Hut, a real gem: the view from its terrace to the south-east reveals the “flat” face of the Sassopiatto, lit by the afternoon sun, while to the south-west is the panorama in the direction of the Sassopiatto Hut, Palatsch, the Mahlknecht Hut and the Denti di Terra Rossa.
The next 12 kilometres are largely downhill in full view of the Sassopiatto and Sassolungo until, tired but happy, you return to your starting point in Selva.


Ciampinoi – middel enduro
Characteristics
This short, in parts technically demanding tour leads through the “Città dei Sassi” to the Salei Hut: thanks to the cable car to Ciampinoi, little climbing is required. Only real experts will be able to master some of the sections up to the City of Stone while remaining the saddle, but even pushing your bike for a few metres still allows you to admire the magnificent views of the Sassolungo towering above you. There are also two opportunities to get refreshments and appreciate the breathtaking panorama over the Dolomites, while a fantastic trail on the upper part of the descent also offers something to look forward to.
Just a short distance from the start of the tour near the Tourist Information Office in Selva is the bottom of the cable car to Ciampinoi, which takes you up the first 700m. From the top station a hiking trail initially leads steeply downhill then, after a climb, you arrive at the Comici Hut at the foot of the imposing Sassolungo. It is probably too soon to enjoy a refreshment stop, but the food is excellent. Perhaps you can have a quick drink and admire the panorama before continuing the tour. The path proceeds in the direction of the City of Stone, turning into a marvellous trail with some particularly steep sections and curves obliging most bikers to get off and push. An easy descent through the Città dei Sassi takes you to the car park for the cable car up to the Forcella del Sassolungo gorge, admiring the huge rocks that centuries before fell from the Sassolungo, silent witnesses of a bygone age.
A climb of 50m in the direction of Col Rodella brings you to the Salei Hut: as the tour is now mostly downhill, you can savour a long and enjoyable break.
Afterwards you return to the car park for the Forcella del Sassolungo cable car, where the most interesting part of the tour begins in terms riding technique: a wonderful, narrow trail with a few tricky hairpin bends runs along the lower reaches of the City of Stone in the direction of Plan de Gralba before turning into a wide gravel path. From here, the trail is on the ski piste down to the Val Gardena, with the last section following the old railway line back to Selva.


Alpenhotel Plaza ****
Fam. Schenk
Cisles Str. 5
I-39047 S. Cristina Val Gardena
South Tyrol Dolomites
Tel.: +39 0471 793463
Fax: +39 0471 790731
www.alpenhotelplaza.com
info@alpenhotelplaza.it
VAT: IT 01223150218
   

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Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site
Guest staying at the Alpenhotel Plaza among the Dolomites enjoy a breathtaking view of the Sassolungo. Thanks to its central location in S. Cristina in Val Gardena the hotel is a great starting point for numerous sports and recreational activities.