The Dolomites (West-East): Part 3 The Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa

Published on:  | Last updated: 29 March 2017

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Distances
Molina di Fiemme - Moena 28 kms
Moena - Canazei 17 kms
Canazei - Malga Ciapella 19 kms
Malga Ciapella - Alleghe 14 kms

The Ciclovia delle Dolomiti cycleway takes you along the Avisio river to Canazei via Predazzo and Moena. From Canazei the road leads on towards the Lago di Fedaia and the Passo di Fedaia (2056m). The lake lies below the Marmolada glacier and you can take a ski-lift up to the glacier.

The glacier formed part of the front lines in the Grande Guerra and the Austrians constructed an Eisstadt in the ice with barracks for over a hundred soldiers, kitchens, canteens and even an officer's club (see the plan here and read more (in Italian) here). If you are inter­ested, there’s a museum (the Museo dell Guerra in Marmolada - accessible by the cable car from the Malga Pietore at the bottom of the hill. As well as the museum itself you can also visit the system of chambers and forti­fic­a­tions that the Italian troops excavated high up on the Punta Serata.

A little further on is the Serrai di Sottoguda: a dramatic 2-kilometre-long canyon. The modern road bypasses the canyon and the gorge itself is now pedes­trian-only with signs indic­ating no bikes. I don’t know whether it is possible to push bikes through, but at least you can admire the photos on MagicoVeneto.it.

Stop for a few minutes in the village of Pian di Sottaguda and admire the extraordinary wrought iron sculp­tures.

Alleghe is a village turned ski resort at the foot of Monte Civetta. The lake itself is the result of a massive landslide in 1771 which killed 49 people and buried a village in its path. The Repubblica Venetana sent engineers to consider whether it would be possible to dig a canal but decided that the task was impossible and the old village had to be abandoned. It’s a charming and unpre­ten­tious place, if you’re looking for somewhere to stop.

Alleghe is a pretty good place base for day rides in this part of the Dolomites with the Sella Ronda, Fedaia, Giau and Falzorego passes within reach (note I didn’t say ‘easy’ reach - any circuit in this area is going to involve a fair amount of climbing).

My suggested route goes via Agordo and on to the Passo Duran. You could follow the SR403 but the old road (the SP8) on the other side of the river provides a quieter and more inter­esting altern­ative. Note that after Cencenighe there are two tunnels, however these can easily be avoided by taking the old road which follows the riverside. At the moment these are simply marked as closed roads with no signs to tell you that there is an altern­ative. However, I rode this route in 2012 there were stretches of a newly-built pista ciclabile so hopefully this will eventually be turned into a decent cycleway linking Agordo with the 7 kilometre-long ciclabile between Cencenighe and Falcade to the north.

Options

There are two other ways you could get to Alleghe:

  • turn off at Predazzo and climb to the Passo Valles;
  • turn off at Moena and climb to the Passo San Pellegrino ;

both options then lead via Falcade and Cecenighe to Alleghe.

At Canazei this suggested route inter­sects with my suggested east-west route. You could take that (in reverse) to Cortina d'Ampezzo via the Sella Ronda.

Day-rides

If you stay at Predazzo or Bellamonte a little further up the road, the Passo Valles and the Passo Rolle are both within easy reach. Canazei provides a base from which you could do the Sella Ronda circuit. Bear in mind that in the main tourist season the roads towards the Sella Ronda, and the circuit itself get pretty busy with cars and motor­bikes.

There are some superb options for mountain­biking. There’s a truly memorable ride from Paneveggio and the Val Venegia on an old military road which skirts the Pale di San Martino and the Baita Segantini at the top close to the Passo Rolle. There are also a couple of great rides courtesy the Dolomiti Lagorai Bike website.

More information

Places to stay

There are plenty of hotels along the route.

Hotels and B&Bs

Find and book places to stay with Booking.com

Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:

About these links

If you use these links to book accom­mod­ation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.

I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirm­ation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accom­mod­ation.

I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the oppor­tunity to let me know if there’s a problem.

Many properties offer free cancel­lation but it’s a good idea to check the condi­tions as these vary from property to property.

Campsites

There are plenty of campsites along the Dolomiti cycleway and at Canazei and Alleghe. I’ve stayed at these sites

There's also a nice site at Malga Ciapela (Camping Malga Ciapela Marmolada - when I passed by in 2012 the site was closed and it was up for sale. Fortunately it looks like it found a buyer and is open for business .

  Map of campsites along the route:  Dolomites-WE-campsites-map-show map in overlay    |    Dolomites-WE-campsites-map-show map in new window   

Transport and services

Places to eat

The two campsites near Predazzo both had good restaurants and there’s a very good restaurant-pizzeria next door to the campsite at Alleghe.

Articles in this series


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