Valle del Biois

Falcade, Focobon, Val di Gares, Comelle, San Pellegrino, Valfredda, Cime d'Auta

Valle del Biois is surrounded by a magnificent crown of mountain peaks: to the south there is Pale di San Martino and Focobon, to the north Marmolada and Cime d’Auta and to the east the Civetta peaks with Monte Pelmo in the background. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful areas for a holiday in the Dolomites, with something for everyone. It is also known as “the valley with the saints in its windows” because of the myriad votive frescos painted on the buildings in the area. The valley is made up of: Cencenighe which proffers the first welcome to visitors at the entrance to the valley; Vallada Agordina with the historic church of S. Simon; Canale d’Agordo, the birthplace of Pope John-Paul I; Caviola and of course Falcade, rightly famed for its extraordinary beauty.

What to do and see

Skiing in Falcade: we are right in the heart of the Dolomites on the Veneto slopes of the Tre Valli ski area, boasting 27 ski lifts and a network of some of Europe’s most efficient snow machines, capable of covering 100% of the pistes with snow. There is a wide range of pistes to choose from: 29 blue, 17 red and 7 black. The Tre Valli ski area is certified under the “Piste Azzurre” scheme, which selects certain pistes as training grounds for the Italian national alpine skiing team preparing for World Cup competitions. The resort is also part of the Dolomiti Superski area, with its 1,200km of pistes and only a single ski pass is needed to ski in any of these twelve world-famous areas.

Snowboarding and the “Emotions Tour”: in Falcade a state-of-the-art snow park awaits snowboarding enthusiasts. The park, which is also easy to access without skis, is entirely dedicated to those daring young souls who want to hone their acrobatic skills, as well as more timid spectators who just want to enjoy the show. Two ski and snowboarding schools, with 40 instructors, are at your service for individual and group lessons. Courses aimed at young children are organised at the resort’s two learning fields plus there are courses specially designed for people with disabilities. You can choose from a range of guided ski tours including the highly romantic “Tour delle Emozioni” (Emotions Tour), 12km of pistes to delight anyone in love. Falcade boasts the celebrated Ski College with courses in accounting and catering linked to sports and leisure activities and which are attended by winter sports-mad students from all over Italy.

Cross -country skiing: there is a vast choice for cross-country skiing fans in Valle del Biois with a series of circular trails of varying difficulty and the onsite snow machines guarantee there is always good snow cover. Falcade offers two trails, one of 3km and one of 5km, with 2km equipped with lighting for magical night time skiing. The Falcade Cross-Country Skiing School is open all season long and you can also hire all the necessary equipment on site. At Canale d’Agordo, in Val di Gares, you will find another 5km of trails, approved by FISI, the Italian Winter Sports Federation.

Yet more fun in the snow: Falcade and Valle del Biois offer lots more besides skiing. A snow-tubing run awaits you at the Flora Alpina mountain refuge with a fleet of brightly coloured snow tubes, fun for all the family whizzing around on the snow, after dark too. You can go for walks wearing snow shoes (“ciaspe”), iceclimbing, take rides onboard a horse-drawn sleigh or go for trips in a snowmobile, practice Telemark skiing and carving and go ice skating. Then of course there’s the après ski, to keep the holiday fun going, even after dark, with live music in the mountain refuges, and other entertainment, beguiling torchlight processions on the snow or a relaxing session in a health and beauty spa.

Summertime: The vast plain (La Piana) that stretches from the centre of Falcade as far as Caviola, is the area’s rich treasure trove, particularly in the summer when it is carpeted with green, becoming the venue for fun and games, walks and rendezvous. The plain is home to a vast, well-equipped play area with a delightful little lake, just waiting for its young visitors to have loads of fun hurtling around, letting off steam, with bouncy castles for the little ones, as well as trampolines, volleyball courts and picnic areas.

Hiking and rock climbing: if you love hiking through the woods, Falcade is within easy reach of Valle del Focobon and Valfredda, from where you can continue on to Forcella Forca Rossa, with a spectacular view at a height of 2490m, then push on to Malga Ciapela, at the foot of Mount Marmolada. The mountain route “Via H. W. Tilman”, which follows the dizzying paths carved out by the partisans during World War Two, is of particular historical significance and, at Bastiani, part of Cencenighe, there is a route that crosses the “Ial” sites, wide open spaces once used for charcoal kilns. For less energetic excursions but equally atmospheric ones, there are hikes among the tabià (traditional barns) of Valfredda, in the Falcade valley pastures and the ones leading to the Val di Gares waterfalls or to the delightful Malga Stia. XMountain Alpine guides organise weekly mountain climbing and scrambling activities and there are a series of “vie ferrate”(routes equipped with climbing aids) suitable for different ages and abilities.

Road and mountain bikes: mountain biking enthusiasts will love the Valle del Biois trails, with guided group outings also available, that plunge into the woods, following the course of mountain streams, to reach places with breathtaking views, and, for the most daring, going right up to the high-altitude mountain refuges. For less arduous bike trails for all the family, there are the 2km of trails in the Piana area of Falcade, part of the new cycle track that snakes through the whole length of the valley.

Canale d’Agordo:  a meeting of the spiritual and the natural. Canale d’Agordo, the birthplace of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, is a treasure trove of spiritual and natural beauty. The delightful old town centre is dotted with typical 16th Century tabià (barns), with marvellous glimpses of the majestic Civetta and Lastéi peaks, the imposing uplands Altopiano delle Comèlle, and more peaks: Cime d’Auta and Mount Marmolada. You can spend a while in front of the house where Pope John Paul I was born and, in Piazza della Pieve, pay a visit to the fascinating museum containing a wealth of photographs and other exhibits that document his life. A pleasant walk can be had on the pilgrims’ trail charting the stations of the cross, that starts from the main piazza and winds through woodland for nearly 2km. Each station is marked by huge boulders of white rock bearing bronze engravings, the work of artist Franco Murer.


Treasure chests among the Dolomites

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Eating and Sleeping

Visit the Dolomites

Come arrivare

  •  by car

From the North: on the A22 Brenner motorway, take the Egna exit, continue on the SS48 to Passo San Pellegrino.

From the South: on the A27 motorway, take the Belluno exit, continue on the SS203 in the Agordo direction until Cencenighe where you turn left onto the SS346.

  • by train:

To Belluno where you catch the Dolomitibus – 48km.

To Bolzano where you continue on the Trentino Trasporti bus (seasonal route) – 70km.

  • By air: the nearest airports are: Venice “Marco Polo” 144km, Treviso “Antonio Canova” 136km, Verona “Catullo” 200km, Bolzano “Dolomiti”.

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