The Sella Ronda

Published on:  | Last updated: 28 March 2017

The Sella Ronda - Passo di Sella view towards the Marmolada glacier

The Sella Ronda - Passo di Sella view towards the Marmolada glacier

A classic cycling circuit over four famous mountain passes through scenery that genuinely deserves the word 'dramatic' as the bulk of the Piz Boè looms above you.

The four passes are:

  • the Passo di Campolongo (1875m)
  • the Grodnerjoch (Passo di Gardena) (2121m)
  • the Passo di Sella (2213) and
  • the Passo Pordoi (2239m)

None of the climbs is partic­u­larly long or very steep and the total amount of climbing is pretty manageable. You can do it in either direction and there are a number of potential start points.

Map and altitude profile

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This is a very popular ride with cyclists, but also with car drivers and motor­cyc­lists. So it gets pretty busy - although I rode up to the Passo Pordoi in the early evening sunshine and there was hardly anyone around. If you have the choice, avoid the peak holiday season. You might want to come for the Sella Ronda Bike Day: the 2017 Bike Day will be the June 25.

The Val Gardena tourism people have produced a great little promo video which will defin­itely make you want to go, for the party atmosphere and the exper­ience of having the road to yourself (OK you and thousands of other cyclists).

  show larger in overlay

These passes were the scene of some of the most famous battles in Italian cycling and at the Passo Pordoi there's a monument to Fausto Coppi and another that commem­orates the winners of the Cima Coppi (the first person over the highest point in each Giro d'Italia).

Passo Pordoi - Memorial to Fausto Coppi

Passo Pordoi - Memorial to Fausto Coppi

In places the road signs are in three languages, German, Italian, and Ladin, reflecting the region's diverse identity and history: these mountains were also on the front lines in the First World War with the bitter fighting around the Col di Lana.

Places to stay

If you are camping then your best bet is the Camping Colfosco at Colfosco/​Kolfosch. This is the only campsite on the circuit itself, at Canazei (1465m) there's the Camping Marmolada. There are plenty of hotels: on the circuit there are hotels in Arabba, Corvara and Colfosco. La Villa and Volkenstein in Gardena (Selva di Gardena) are not very far away. For inform­ation on places to stay go to altabadia.org .

Places to eat

You'll find the greatest range of choices in Arabba, Corvara and Colfosco.

Downloads

Maps to print out or view offline

 About the maps

sample map page.

Links open in new windows unless you ‘save as’ etc.

The maps are in two versions: A4 portrait format - for printing and maybe also for viewing on an iPad, and A5 for smaller tablets and smart­phones. As far as eReaders are concerned so far I’ve not managed to get them to work on a Nook - but you may have more success with other devices.

GPS files

  •  Sella Ronda gps file
    (.zip file containing 3 gpx track files)
  •  Italy Points of Interest

     About POIs

    POIs are like waypoints, but while you can usually only store a limited number of waypoints on a device, you can store thousands of POIs. These files include inform­ation about campsites and hostels, bike shops, train stations, drinking water sources as well as warnings for tunnels and roads where bikes are banned. Please check the ReadMe file for instruc­tions. Updated March 2017.

The Sella Ronda: descent from the Grodner Joch

The Sella Ronda: descent from the Grodner Joch

Get in touch

Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.


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