The Sella Pass, also well known as part of the famous "Sella Ronda Motorbike Tour" forms the main traffic connection between Canazei in the Val di Fassa valley and Wolkenstein (ital. Selva) in the Val Gardena. Every motorcyclist should ever have made the Sella when we wants to talk about the Dolomite Alps and this pass stays fascinating even after the 10. tour. In August totally overcrowded by tourists is the actual pass only a narrow passage at the edge of the Sella massif with view over to the south to the Marmolada.
Riding up the pass from the south from Canazei, the road to the Pordoi and to the Passo Sella run on the same road for the first miles. After a few curves and serpentines the Great Dolomite Road continues after a right turn upward on to the Passo di Pordoi , while the Sella pass road runs straight ahead . From this point you ride just straight always the mighty Sella in front of you, which just raises oversized in front of the traveler to dizzying heights. Shortly before you think that a tunnel runs through the rock, the road makes a sharp left turn uphill and runs now curve by curve a sparse pine forest to the Sella Pass.
Above the timber line the view opens up to the west towards the Sassolungo mountain and the pass summit that is fighting for survival. Continuous landslides, fortified by concrete piers and embankments make the pass summit looking not so nice - but the panoramic view is unbelievable. On the left hand side just above the pass summit of the Passo di Pordoi, the Piz Boé mountain with the cable car station. To the south across the valley you can see in a distance the mighty Marmolada glacier, further to the right the Langkofel and the view down into the Val Gardena.
Up here it’s very narrow. Huge coaches sneak constantly across the pass summit and spit out endless streams of tourists that disappear after a few minutes when they have taken hundreds of pictures and jammed the souvenir shop. Our recommendation - avoid the first three weeks of August, or you spend a lot of time on the pass roads jamming and you will intake a lot of diesel exhaust. In that time frame you can only ride up here before 10:00am or after 5:00pm.
The descent on the northwest side of the Passo Sella leads towards the Langkofel (ital. Sassolungo) and runs through green meadows, passing some huts and restaurants and then follows a wide left bow along the steep trailing edge of the Sella massif. The rock looks as if oil had run out of his scoring. You need to know that the Sella massif is actually a prehistoric coral reef. If you don’t have that background information you could think that someone on ttop of that mountain is drilling for oil.
Just a few kilometers down the road you will reach a junction. That’s the exit to the right that will bring you up the Gardena pass road. If you follow straight down the Sella pass road you will enter mixed forest in wide curves and after a few serpentines you will end up down in the Val Gardena and the village Wolkenstein.
OK, these were already the first statements to the famous “Sella Ronda Motorbike Tour”, which surrounds the Sella floor. You can make that tour clock- or counterclockwise, but we believe that the tour taken clockwise is the preferred one. But that is how like with many things – just a matter of opinion. So now the Sella Ronda clockwise by starting in the village Canazei in Fassa valley. Up to the Sella pass. To the northwest down again to the junction Gardena. Take a right up to the Passo Gardena. The Sella is now to your right. Down from Passo Gardena to the village Corvara. In Corvara take a right and climb up to the Passo di Campolongo. Over the pass down to Arabba. In Arabba take a right up to the Pordoi and back down to Canazei, to your starting point. Then refill your gas at the Avia petrol station and turn left up to the Fedaja pass. That’s all you need to create huge biker fun.