Someday things will change for the better and we all won’t always be so rushed. We hopefully won’t be forced to choose between visiting something at lightning speed or not visiting at all.
Unfortunately, when we were in the Dolomites, we had a mere 2 days to explore the area (when it could really warrant a few weeks’ time). So this trip just had to be our introduction. But, given the choice between 2 days and nothing at all, I’d certainly recommend the former.
On one of the days, after visiting an adorable little church called St. Johann (San Giovanni), we made a gigantic loop around the Dolomites in our car. While I can’t exactly recommend you did it like we did – because we were far too rushed & spent a ton of time in the car – I’d certainly recommend checking out each of these mountain passes that we drove over because they were all unique and offer breathtaking views along the way.
Here’s a recap of each of the Passes.
1) Passo Sella (Sella Pass)
At the summit of Sella Pass, which is at 7349 feet (2240 meters), you can park your car and wander around. This is the view you’ll get. Ahh…
2) Passo Pordoi (Pordoi Pass)
The second pass we drove over was Pordoi. The great thing about this one wasn’t the pass itself, but the access to Sass Pordoi from the road. You can take a cable car up to the top of the mountain (or, alternatively, hike) and explore the top of the rocky mountaintop. Definitely a memorable experience.
3) Passo Gardena (Gardena Pass)
I’d say Gardena Pass is my second favorite to drive over after Sella Pass. But honestly all 3 are pretty in their own right.
It’s kinda ridiculous (in a good way) but it almost doesn’t matter where you drive in this area because I think it’s all very beautiful. As much as I’m a fan of seeing new places, spending more time in the Dolomites is something I’d like to do. Highly recommended if you’re a mountain lover who can never get enough of breathtaking views and outdoor activities.
Here’s a detailed Google map of our circular Dolomite Mountains driving route. As I mentioned, this entire route will take you a long time. To drive this, and make a few stops along the way, took us the larger portion of the day – about 6-7 hours. We did spend an hour or so going up Sass Pordoi for a little hiking, but most of that time was spent driving. So I’d probably advise that you break it up into pieces if you have the time. But either way, we really enjoyed it. Hopefully you will, too! :)
Wishing you safe & happy travels!