MTB around Cortina

Cortina is another of the classic Alp resorts. It is a beautiful city that has an English touch to it: e.g., there are “tea rooms”.


Compared to Canzei Cortina appears as very snobbish. There are plenty of fur coats, extravagant cars, and expensive hotels and shops. It is a place where the rich go to play and show themselves off.

Cortina, Mt Cristallo in the background



Camping was maddeningly expensive. For our tiny mountain tent we were made to pay as if we had a large car with a caravan. Cortina has MTB-potential. However, the local authorities do their best to make it difficult. Many routes we would have liked to do had signs up banning cyclists. You are allowed to climb, hammer bolts into the rocks, and to walk with heavy boots anywhere, but not to ride a cycle.


Although we did not find Cortina too welcoming we had some nice rides. On day we headed up to Tre Cime Lavaredo, a famous climbing mountain. We intended to make a circuit of the three towers, but were met by cycling forbidden signs. Nevertheless we managed to cycle over the Forcella Lavaredo to the Locatelli hut and back. Some Italians mountain bikers we met got really upset, said they never seen or recognized such signs and went ahead anyway down the Valle della Rienza. We went back disappointed to Cortina.



North face of the Lavaredo Towers



Abseilpiste on the Great Tower


We also did some rides on the west side of Cortina. Our plan was to cycle from the Falzarego Pass through Forcella Travenanzes and round the Tofana Massif via the Travenza Valley. Again we were met by no cycling signs. We turned back and bet on Forcella Nuvoblao, a steep climb to a Rifuge Cinque Torre on a narrow paved road.

Then one climbs on dirt road, plenty of rocks and some rather steep sections to the Nuvoblao Pass (2416). On the other side is a steep and technical gravel road down to the Rifuge Fedare. There was not any singletrack, but it was certainly mountainbiking.


Then one climbs the Giau Pass. On the other side of the watershed one descends rapidly back to Cortina on a good road.





Nuvolao pass, to the right

Tofana from Nuvoblao

As we did not find any singletrack we do not bother to make a map. When, we realised that mountainbikers were regarded as undesirables we left and went back across the PordoiPass to Canazei and on to mountain bike friendly  Lago di Garda.



Passo Pordoi


Would we go back to Cortina? Yes, if we are multi-millionaires when we are eighty four we might fit in. For mountain biking there are many places that are far more friendly in Italy.