Sellaronda by mountain bike, the tour of the 4 Passes of the Dolomites

Sellaronda by mountain bike, the tour of the 4 Passes of the Dolomites

The Dolomites offer a high mountain area that can offer emotions, allowing enthusiasts to go on excursions on foot and above all riding mountain bikes. For those who want to live a truly suggestive experience full of ideas, the Sellaronda MTB Tour, i.e. a wonderful panoramic mountain bike tour to discover the Sella Group.

Let's see what are the characteristics of this kind of activity in contact with nature, the indications and advice to take into account for a memorable holiday.

The Panoramic Tour by mountain bike

The Sellaronda MTB is a panoramic tour to consider for those who are mountain bike and high mountain enthusiasts.

You immerse yourself in a wonderful area which, not surprisingly, has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. However, to be able to face this kind of experience you need to be used to using the mountain bike and above all a certain physical preparation because the route is not suitable for beginners and untrained people.

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In fact, the tour also includes rather impervious climbs (high percentage of slope) and descents that require experience and agility in movements.

Equally it is important to know that you must have one efficient mountain bikesuitably checked by an expert before leaving and to use suitable accessories and clothing to protect the most exposed parts of the body such as the helmet.

The route develops through specially created single trails dedicated to mountain bikes with numerous paths and forest roads where there is maximum safety.

They are essentially expected two paths: one clockwise and the other counterclockwise. The characteristics are different as well as the kilometers covered and the difficulty. Furthermore, along these paths there are 24 infopoints and guides available to obtain specific information, 14 ski lifts, the possibility of stopping at 27 facilities dedicated to the rental of bicycles and any other necessary accessory and 24 points for recharging e -bike.

A complete experience from all points of view that allows you to experience the mountains at 360 degrees, while also combining your passion for two wheels.

Useful Tips

To fully enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience, it is essential to follow some useful tips why the Sellaronda MTB Tour requires one adequate physical preparation for the effort that is going to be made and also a good agility and experience.

People are offered the chance to try their hand at it but the advice is to rely on an expert MTB guide who knows the paths perfectly and above all enjoys the necessary preparation to face every possible situation and unexpected event in the best possible way.

If you want to proceed independently it is essential plan the tour. The route can be done clockwise or counterclockwise but it is also essential to choose which valley to start from.

During the planning phase, it is necessary to think about many aspects including the purchase of the card Super Summer Card at the tills of the various ski lifts participating in the project Dolomites SuperSummer which aims to satisfy and accompany tourists on their trip to the mountains during the summer.

They can be obtained for free paper maps of the Sellaronda MTB Tour at all the tourist offices and the ticket offices of the various lifts as well as the centers dedicated to booking and renting mountain bikes.

On the official site, among other things, digital versions and GPS tracks are available to allow anyone to better orient themselves about the correct position to follow.

The advice remains to rely on an expert guide who is part of the circuit at least for the first experience in this sense. It should be emphasized that in all the various towns that are present in the four valleys that are part of the Sella Group, there are mountain bike rental shops and centers where you can easily recharge your e-bike.


During the clockwise and anticlockwise route, the use of lifts is foreseen, accessible with the purchase of the SuperSummer Card which is essentially a multi-journey card which also includes the bicycle transport service.

The prices depend on the type of service and in particular you can choose a card with a daily duration there is an amount equal to 56 euros. Alternatively, there are limited-time passes: 3 out of 4 days at a cost of 120 euros, while the 5 days out of 7 version costs 160 euros.

If, on the other hand, you want to use these services for the entire summer period, you can subscribe to the seasonal card which costs 390 euros.

It should be emphasized that this card is valid on all lifts participating in the Dolomiti SuperSummer by Dolomiti Superski project.

Furthermore, some lifts are not designed for the transport of mountain bikes and you can easily recognize them both on the map and once you arrive nearby because I display the Sorry no Bike sticker.

The SuperSummer Card is not the only way to pay for the services offered by the lifts because it is still possible to pay for the single journey directly at the ticket office of the lift used.

Clockwise route

The hourly route of the Sellaronda MTB Tour will open in 2023 on June 17th with the closure scheduled for September 24th of the same year.

The reason for this choice obviously concerns safety, with the aim of ensuring that the conditions of the paths and the various routes are optimal.

Furthermore, there is also the desire to predict the best possible climatic conditions but since the weather is unpredictable in any case, it is better to have special clothing for using the bicycle.

The protection of the body from thermal oscillations and from any sudden showers is essential for which to equip yourself with a cape perhaps to keep in your backpack and have everything you need for the long journey including a bottle perhaps of mineral salts and classic foods to cyclists who can be consumed at the moment without weighing down the body.

Natural supplements are certainly a product to use and to keep in your backpack whether you decide to take the clockwise or anti-clockwise route because there are so many kilometers and energy consumption is significant.

It should be emphasized that the hourly route is suitable for those who prefer using their mountain bike downhill.

There is the possibility to choose where to start in one of the four valleys around the Sella massif for which there is Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Val di Fassa or Arabba.

Characteristics and advice for tackling the hourly route

The route clockwise it is the simplest from a physical point of view because the difference in height due to the climbs is lower and above all the lifts are often and willingly used which therefore allow you to transport mountain bikes and possibly e-bikes (pedal assisted) easily and effortlessly.

However, for this experience I am better technical skills and abilities are needed and riding the bicycle.

Depending on your driving ability, travel times can range from a minimum of 5 hours up to a maximum of 9 hours, including the classic lunch break which must be managed correctly otherwise you may run out of strength with a consequent increase in risk. accident.

The itinerary starts from Selva Gardena with 1.560 meters to cover before reaching Passo Gardena for another 2.298 m in the direction of Corvara.

In sequence you pass through Passo Campolongo, Arabba, Portavescovo, Pont de Vauz, Passo Pordoi, Canazei / Campitello, Passo Sella and again Selva Gardena.

Overall there are 22,5 km of dirt road, 9,85 km of trails, 6,85 km of single trail, 4,85 km of paved cycle path, 3,55 km of pure asphalt and 9,73 km of ski lifts.

Counterclockwise route

The counterclockwise route of the Sellaronda MTB Tour can also be organized to start from one of the Four Valleys that are part of the Sella massif.

This route opens on July 15 and closes on September 24, 2023.

Compared to the hourly rate, here there is a greater difference in height to face for about 1020 meters to pedal uphill while the descents alternate between single trails and dirt roads.

In fact, the journey time ranges from a minimum of 6 hours up to a maximum of 9 hours, always including the lunch break.

The route varies according to the starting point but if you start from Arabba you will find yourself facing a stretch of paved road and then climb quickly towards a wood and thus reach the hamlet of Cherz. You arrive in the area of ​​the Inzija meadows near Passo di Campolongo.

Then you finally face a downhill part that also allows you to breathe and you find yourself on a dirt road that leads to Corvara.

After recovering your strength and energy in the simplest stretch, you go back up towards Colfosco and then to Passo Gardena where you can rest and enjoy an incredible view over the whole panorama of the Dolomites. From this point of view, the route softens a bit because there is a descent that leads to Val Gardena and then you take the cable car to get to the slopes of the Sassolungo for a new descent on a path which in this case also includes the presence of possible pedestrians for which it is necessary to pay attention.

Subsequently again a slightly downhill stretch on a white road to get to the Gran Paradiso chairlift which is located in an equally beautiful area because it is a panoramic point.

Through a path and a dirt road you reach Passo Sella and descend on a fairly steep dirt road towards Campitello in Val di Fassa. Then there are some lifts that from Canazei allow you to reach Col dei Rossi from which to admire the Marmolada and the beautiful artificial lake of Fedaia.

Finally, you first reach Burz and with a fairly technical single trail you return to the starting point in Arabba. Analyzing this route there are a total of 23,55 km of dirt road, 7,93 km of paths, 2,64 km of single trail, 8,37 km of paved cycle path, 5,08 km of asphalt and 6,83 lifts.

Difficulty level

To fully enjoy the Sellaronda MTB Tour you need to have a certain physical preparation. To give a clear idea of ​​what we are talking about, it should be noted that as regards the clockwise route, the climbs to be tackled and more generally the meters in altitude to pedal are relatively few.

However, this does not mean that those who usually do not use a bicycle and do not practice physical activity can think of immediately embarking on this experience because the overall journey takes several hours.

Furthermore, if you choose the route in an anti-clockwise direction, the physical difficulties increase because there is an overall difference in altitude of over 1000 meters which you have to pedal and no longer just manage with the lifts.

Naturally, there is the issue relating to the use of e-bikes, for which there are pedal assisted bicycles in which the physical effort is much less onerous.

There is also a question to consider related to the technical skills necessary to adequately tackle the paths that wind through woods and inaccessible areas that require experience in this area.

In particular, the various trail paths and forest roads have a difficulty between grade S1 and S2.

If you do not have technical skills in this sense as regards riding a mountain bike, it is advisable to take a short technical course or in any case first carry out an orientation tour at some of the mountain bike schools present in your area or in any case in the Group's facilities of the Sella.

Indeed, it is possible to attend some mountain bike driving lessons at the various schools that are present in the four valleys that make up the group, namely Alta Badia, Val di Fassa, Val Gardena and Arabba.

Also take into account some useful advice regarding the use of the mountain bike. In particular, the routes can also be tackled without problems with the front mountain bike, i.e. available with only the front shock absorber. However, experts recommend that to avoid problems and above all to minimize shocks on one's arms and feet, to prefer a full mountain bike with shock absorbers in the front and rear area.

If you don't have a mountain bike with these characteristics, you can still proceed with the rental available in all the towns present in the four valleys.

It should be borne in mind that e-bikes and therefore pedal assisted bicycles must be used on the same route as traditional bicycles, therefore it is necessary to be practical and competent in their use.

The duration of the whole experience is not a problem for these kind of models because they are displaced several charging points.

In the event of an accident or problem on your traditional or pedal assisted bicycle, there are still various shops that deal with repairs and maintenance with the use of special equipment.

Finally, as regards further advice regarding clothing, it is always essential to have one windproof and rainproof jacket, Of a approved helmet for mountain biking and bear in mind that since you reach altitudes over 2000 meters above sea level, temperature fluctuations could be important, so it is better to have various items of clothing to protect yourself and better manage temperatures.

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