Five unique experiences from our Dolomitic Grand Tour

Natural beauty, holistic hospitality and gastronomic traditions from magical Alpe di Siusi to glamorous Cortina

Alpine massifs with pinkish hues, pristine skiing slopes, high octane panoramic roads and the exquisite collection of gourmet huts anticipating luxurious stays in refined mountain chalets, help to explain the growing success of the Sellaronda circuit and the rise of its valleys in international tourism. Regarded by skiers and motorists as a near mythological route, the Grand Tour of the four magnificent Dolomite passes has become in recent years one of the most appreciated itineraries in Italy. This article is based on our first-hand knowledge in planning the perfect alpine road trip and the five unmissable experiences below, will allow for a privileged perspective on a geographical area renowned for its mesmerizing geological features.

Quattro Passi Dreaming

Whether by skis, car or walking boots, the Sellaronda is heavenly excitement for any lover of outdoor sports or mountain driving sessions. Our favorite route starts from Ortisei in Val Gardena and hairpin after hairpin, passengers will almost feel the touch from monumental rocks shaping the Sella, Pordoi, Campolongo and Gardena mountain passes. For those traveling with engine power, the preferred months to daydream along the winding asphalt ribbons of our Dolomitic Grand Tour are March, June and September.

Fairy tales from Alpe di Siusi

The largest plateau in Europe is a eye watering natural spectacle where gentle undulations are caressed by coniferous forests and framed by the southern profiles of Sciliar, Sasso Lungo group and the Sella massiff. Sine Alpe di Siusi is a protected natural park cars cannot circulate hence, to reach the XVI century mountain huts (or baite in Italian) dotting the fabled territory, a horse-drawn sleigh is a remarkably poetic experience. Equally pleasant are the snowy slopes between Zallinger and Punta d'Oro which are themselves bordered by landscapes steeped in fairytale suggestions. Alpe di Siusi is in fact the land of King Laurino that according to local legend, owned a rose garden next to Catinaccio.

High-altitude eateries

A great appetite is an integral part of any alpine experience and the Dolomite area from Ortisei to Cortina, is famous also for its Ladin culinary traditions, as well as the superb work of Michelin-starred restaurants whose unique cuisine is often intertwined to local ingredients and recipes. The Address Book section will soon host our selection of the unmissable gourmet pauses in Alpe di Siusi and along the Sellaronda. Stay tuned.

Holistic Hospitality

The common denominator between alpine palaces, dolomitic chalets and holistic retreats in the heart of unspoiled natural parks along the Sellaronda circuit, is a refined and sustainable hospitality enveloped by local architecture. According to our experts, the hotels that best define alpine hospitality in Alto Adige and Veneto mountains are Sporthotel Sonne Sole and Adler Mountain Lodge (both on the Alpe di Siusi), the Relais & Chateaux Gardena Grodnerhof Hotel & Spa in Ortisei, Hotel Rosa Alpina in San Cassiano and Hotel Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, in Cortina.

SuperSki & SuperWalks

1200 kilometers of snowy descents, 18 snow parks, 450 ski lifts, 126km of toboga runs plus another 1000km dedicated to cross-country skiers. The unparalleled winter numbers of the Sellaronda, are only matched by the warmer months experiences ranging from extraordinary walks, trekking and climbing. Composed by 12 different mountain hamlets and enriched by a hearty culinary appeal from more than 400 mountain huts, each excursion through glaciers or pastures in bloom will offer continuous moments of unobstructed happiness and well-being amidst breathtaking dolomitic views.

Matteo Morichini

My childhood memories are of arts, literature and visits of far away lands and now, I love writing about tourism, travel&motoring experiences as well as gastronomic cultures. Following the Degree in History & Politics and the Masters in International Relations at London School of Economics, I start my journalist career in 2004. Since then, I made it a point to visit all of the seven continents, while daily enhancing my passion and curiosity towards cuisine, charming hospitality and millenial traditions from the beautiful Italian territory