By car on the Great Road of Dolomites

Impressions about Great Dolomites Road

The Dolomites Mountains are magnificent. There is no doubt that the journey along the Great Dolomites Road between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Bolzano is one of Europe’s great road trips. It twists and turns, switchbacking around some of the highest peaks in the range, and passing through ski resorts and mountain villages along the way. This astonishing feat of engineering was built between 1895 and 1909, and provides a true feast for the eyes of those who travel along it.

The route of the Great Dolomites Road

From Cortina d’Ampezzo, a chic, expensive ski resort during the winter months, surrounded by magnificent peaks dotted with cable cars and funicular railways, the road ascends sharply to the high pass of Passo Pordoi. During the winter, when the mountains arc covered with thick snow, the road may sometimes be impassable without chains, but in spring and summer the scene is verdant and the slopes are covered with a million wildflowers – buttercups, rhododendrons, Alpine poppies and more. The narrow road twists past the Stella mountain group, which looms above you and there is a superb view of Sassolungo thrown in.

As you descend towards Canazei, an attractive town in its own right and the halfway mark, you find yourself at the base of the area’s tallest peak, the mighty Marmolada. At 3,342 m (10,000 it) the mountain, with its pristine white glacier, is known affectionately as the Queen of the Dolomites. As the road drops down to Bolzano it passes through an amazing canyon, near vertical walls rising on either side. The town itself is enchanting: its historic centre rich with notable buildings, Hapsburg era churches and narrow, cobbled streets ensuring its enduring popularity as a tourist resort.

Best highlights on the Great Dolomites Road

The breathtaking views In every direction. The South Tyrol Archaeological
Museum, home to the 5,000-year-old mummy known as ‘Otzl the Iceman’. Bolzano’s Gothic cathedral, started In1i84 and completed In 1382.
The Tyrolean village of San Genesio, known for Its celebrations, where
the locals wear traditional Tyrolean costume.

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