GAON STREAM GEOLOGY ROUTE
From Marmolada to the Barezze Waterfall
The route is clearly marked, with boards along the way describing the geology of the Marmolada basin.
Departure from the Marmolada neighbourhood (1240 m). Walk along the orographic left of the Gaon stream, along a well beaten path that will take you towards Valt (1302 m). From here, continue on to the Barezze Waterfall. From here, you can either make your way back, or continue along the rather challenging path no. 631 towards the Malga Bosch Brusà alpine hut (1867 m), the natural conclusion of the route.
The route takes about 1.5 hours to the Barezze Waterfall, and about 3 hours to the Malga.
COL MARGHERITA GEOLOGY ROUTE
From the San Pellegrino Pass to Col Margherita
This themed route runs to Col Margherita (2514 m), which is a splendid point from which to admire the Dolomites on all sides. You can take the cableway up from the San Pellegrino Pass. Once you reach the top, it takes 10 minutes to reach the geology route, clearly marked with information tables.
This itinerary is designed as a fun way to provide some scientific information on the history of the Dolomites, organised into three parts that seek to capture the interest of younger visitors.
It takes visitors back in time along a 30 m path, on which each metre corresponds to 10 million years of history, offering an overview of the various geological eras and the stages of development on the Dolomites.
There are two options for making your way back: you can take the cableway, or the fitter among you might prefer to descend towards Cavia Lake (2102 m), cross the dam and head towards the Forcella Caserette saddle (2120 m) and go down along a wartime mule track towards the Malga Zingari Bassi alpine hut (1775 m).
Near the old border marked by the hut, take the forest road/path on the left to return to the parking area of the Col Margherita cableway.
Click here for the flyer of this themed path to discover the Dolomites
LE ROCCE FIORITE NATURE ROUTE
From the San Pellegrino Pass to Col Margherita
Col Margherita also offers the chance to explore the splendid flora of the Dolomites, along the Le Rocce Fiorite nature route. This themed path is also easily reachable with the cableway that leads up to Col Margherita, near the lift facilities.
This experience is designed with all hikers in mind, and is also an excellent educational opportunity for families.
Along the route, clearly marked with 11 observation points, you’ll learn to recognise the marvellous flowers and plants typical of these mountains, all in one place. Take this chance to discover the splendid high-altitude flora of the Dolomites, without having to tackle challenging stretches of ground to see them.
Click here for the flyer with the map of the observation points along the way – Le Rocce Fiorite Nature Route
BOSCO DEGLI ARTISTI (ARTISTS’ FOREST) AND GIARDINO DELLE FORMICHE (ANT GARDEN)
Nature route at Le Buse
Bosco degli Artisti and Giardino delle Formiche are a fun attraction you can visit at Le Buse, a large plateau at an altitude of 1800 m approx. a.s.l., which you can reach with the gondola lift that starts out from Molino, or on foot, along a little road amid the woods that starts out from the provincial road that leads to the Valles Pass. In winter, it is the departure point for the San Pellegrino Ski area, and in summer, it’s a fabulous place for walks, to spend a day enjoying the sunshine or for a high-altitude hike.
The plateau is home to a small wood that looks down onto the Val del Biois below, with views out over Falcade and the surrounding mountains. A clearly marked route of about 1 km has been designed through the woods, placed along which are the works of a number of local artists, inspired by mountain life. Between the works of the human artists, you can also admire the splendid constructions shaped by the red wood ant: the amazing architecture of these anthills testifies to the engineering skills of these industrious little insects. Especially recommended for children! The route takes about an hour, and is clearly marked with eye-catching information tables.
GARES VALLEY BIOTOPE
Nature trail around Gares Lake
An attractive route through nature, with a carefully preserved natural biotope conducive to the growth of lush vegetation, composed predominantly of Norway spruce, larch, beech, willow, silver fir and other broadleaf trees.
Environmental impact here has been reduced to a minimum, using almost exclusively wood for the signs along the route.
The departure point of the route, which is concentrated around Gares Lake, is located along the local road of the Gares Valley, at a forest road. The path, which is clearly marked, then runs into the woods, where you can admire the beauty of this unspoilt nature, with the magical waters of the Gares Lake that await you at the end of the route.
In addition to the lush plant life, you can admire a number of different types of animals, such as roe deer, as well as birds and amphibians that live on the edges of the lake. In the damper months, among the plants, you can also spot different types of both edible and poisonous mushrooms growing near the trees. The numerous species of fungi of the Gares biotope, and indeed the whole of the Gares Valley, is protected and monitored, because it is very important for the well-being of the surrounding woodland.
This experience is particularly suitable for families, and for anyone who enjoys observing the delightfully shifting colours of nature in every season. In addition to the magnificent wide-open spaces, there is an equipped picnic area near the lake where you can relax at the end of the route.
VALLE CON I SANTI ALLE FINESTRE ROUTE
From Falcade to Vallada Agordina
La Valle coi Santi alle Finestre (The Valley with Saints at the Windows) is the title of a story published in 1958 by the writer from Treviso Enzo Demattè, who came up with this “nickname” for the entire Val del Biois, as a result of the numerous centuries-old paintings of a religious nature on the walls.
As you wander around the little hamlets in the small valley of the Biois stream, which takes in the municipalities of Falcade, Canale d’Agordo and Vallada Agordina, on the walls of the houses, you can admire a sort of open-air art gallery, formed by eighty or so paintings dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th century.
The numerous votive paintings in the valley are also the result of the passage through the centuries of travellers across the San Pellegrino Pass, which was an important communication route between Venice and Germany.
Among these travellers there were probably painters, or painting aficionados, who painted one or more saints on the façades of the houses, either to order or as a gift to the inhabitants of the valley.
The figures of the saints were generally painted on the front of the house, to invoke protection from witchcraft, fires, plagues and the like. The work of these painters was often “bartered” for food and lodgings for a few days, to rest before setting off again on the tiring return journey.
In addition to the votive frescoes, the Valle coi Santi alle Finestre also offers the chance to admire some delightful little villages, with centuries-old haysheds, rural houses, roadside shrines and fountains, accompanied by the magnificent scenery of the Dolomite mountains, from the Cime del Focobon to the Cime dell’Auta peaks.
The Val del Biois is also the birthplace of a number of famous figures, both religious – Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I), Don Antonio della Lucia and Padre Felice Cappello – and in the field of the arts, such as Giovanni Marchiori, Giuseppe Zais, Valerio Da Pos, Augusto Murer and Dante Moro, to mention but a few illustrious names from the past.
DOLOMITES ROCK MINIATURES – The Dolomites in miniature
From San Tomaso to Vallada Agordina
This appealing route, offering a “smart tour” among the most famous peaks of the nine mountain groups that make up the Dolomites, starts out in the neighbourhood of Celat (San Tomaso Agordino), and runs for a few kilometres in the direction of the saddle that links the San Tomaso area with the municipality bordering on Vallada Agordina.
Created between 2017 and 2019, the project was promoted by the Municipal Council of San Tomaso Agordino, with the Patronage of the Dolomiti Unesco Foundation, the Agordo section of the Italian Alpine Club and the Pro Loco tourist association of San Tomaso.
The 10 artists from all over the world engaged in the project sculpted 10 mountains of the Unesco Dolomites from a block of dolomite rock. Visitors can admire these scaled-down versions of the Pelmo, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Civetta, Campanile di Val Montanaia, Torri del Vajolet, Antelao, El Cor, Campanil Basso del Brenta, Tofana di Rozes, and of course the Queen of the Dolomites: the Marmolada.
In the 2021, during the summer sculpture symposium, another three artists created a further three Dolomite peaks: two belonging to the Pale di San Martino Group – the north edge of Monte Agner and Cimon de la Pala – and one from the Friulian Dolomites, Monfalcon di Forni, in the Monfalconi mountain group.
Download the Dolomites Rock Miniatures flyer here!
TREKKING ALONG THE GREAT WAR TRAILS
Historical itineraries in the locations marked by the Great War
The Dolomite mountains in the Val del Biois offer a number of historical itineraries that allow visitors to explore the settings – some of them virtually intact – that were the scene of battles between the Italian and Austrian troops.
For information on the Great War trails, visit the dedicated page Great War Trekking Routes in the Dolomites