The Dolomites, Italy: head for the hills on two wheels

Why go there?

The Italian Dolomites are, quite simply, jaw-dropping, and there’s no better way to appreciate their majesty up close than by bike. Dramatic mountain peaks stretch as far as the eye can see, with no shortage of classic climbs to enjoy (or should that be endure?), with the reward of thrilling, grin-inducing descents.

What to do

The Sellaronda loop, which starts from the mountain resort of Alta Badia, gives riders a taste of the Dolomites, taking in the climbs of the Passo Sella, Passo Pordoi, Passo Campolongo and Passo Gardena in just 58km. While the distance may not normally be of concern for experienced road cyclists, the amount of climbing – more than 2,000m over the course of four successive ascents – ensures this is a tough route. The loop is closed to traffic as part of the Sellaronda Bike Day, but can be ridden throughout the summer season. Alta Badia also has an extensive network of off-road bike trails suitable for all levels.

Where to stay and eat

The Hotel Melodia Del Bosco in Alta Badia is run by a passionate road cyclist and mountain biker who offers guided rides. The three-star hotel has a secure bike garage, as well as workshop and bike wash facilities. Bike hire is available from three suppliers close to the hotel. Rooms from €54 per night for two people.

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