Passo Giau is a fascinating corner of Italy, located in the heart of the Dolomites.

At the gateway to Cortina d’Ampezzo, the fork acts as a panoramic connector between well-known places such as Selva di Cadore, Val Fiorentina and Colle Santa Lucia. The pass, among the highest in the Dolomites, showcases unparalleled views of some of the world’s most spectacular peaks, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Known as one of the most fascinating alpine passes in the region, the area offers breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventures and the chance to immerse oneself in a natural environment of unparalleled beauty.

Located at an altitude of 2,236 meters, the Giau Pass is a high alpine pass in the province of Belluno, located at the base of the Averau massif.

This pass lies between the Crode dei Longerin group and the Nuvolau-Averau massif, offering panoramic views of the Dolomites.

Before the construction of the road route, which took place in the 1970s, the pass was crossed only by a mule track connecting the towns of Colle Santa Lucia and Selva di Cadore. Today, the Giau Pass road retains its rustic charm and offers a perfect route for cycling enthusiasts.

A typical stop for many during a visit to the Pass is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snow. This small alpine church dates back to 1980 and its construction was motivated by a vow of the local people for the end of a long drought.

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Thanks to its prime location, Passo Giau offers an outdoor playground for lovers of outdoor activities. During the summer months, it is a favorite starting point for hiking and MTB tours. Trails lead to spectacular peaks such as Averau and Nuvolau and offer the chance to get up close to unique flora and fauna.

In winter, Passo Giau turns into a winter sports paradise. The wide slopes provide ideal terrain for off-piste and snowshoeing.

There is no doubt that the pass is a dream for photographers. The location is renowned for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets. During the early morning hours and the last light of day, the sun bathes the mountain peaks in a rosy glow, creating a dreamy panorama.

Passo Giau is a hidden gem of the Dolomites. With its year-round accessibility, opportunities for outdoor adventures, and beautiful views, it is a destination worth exploring.

Giau Pass in Summer

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There is nothing more fascinating than a summer spent in the mountains, and Passo Giau, in the heart of the Dolomites, is no exception.

It is a place of breathtaking beauty and tranquility, offering immersion in an environment sculpted by nature.

Here is what you can expect at Giau Pass during the summer.

Hiking on Foot

There are dozens of hiking trails in the Giau Pass area that will take you to breathtaking views, among whose peaks are Averau and Nuvolau. The trails vary in difficulty and duration, so whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, you are sure to find a trail suitable for you. Don’t forget to take a trail map with you and wear appropriate hiking shoes.

Mountain Cycling

If you love mountain biking, then Passo Giau is right for you. With its elevation of 2,236 meters and challenging twists and turns, it offers you the opportunity to try your hand at adrenaline-fueled trails, to be ridden solo or in company. Not surprisingly, it is one of the classic stages of the Giro d’Italia.

Giau Pass Refuge

The rustic and cozy Passo Giau Refuge offers its visitors a comfortable refreshment spot where they can enjoy a break after a long trek or bike ride. You can enjoy here traditional local dishes, delicious homemade desserts or simply a glass of wine in front of the spectacular panorama of the Dolomites.

Flora and fauna

Summer is the perfect season to explore the biological diversity of the area. Take a walk through the flowering meadows and admire the wide variety of flower species that grace this area. Also, keep quiet and observe; you might spot marmots, chamois and roe deer, or hear the melodious song of the birds that live in these altitudes.

Photography

For photography lovers, the pass in summer is a real treat. Summer sunlit mountain peaks, flower-filled meadows, grazing animals-all these create a landscape just begging to be immortalized.

Summer at Passo Giau offers a unique experience of discovery and sport in an unparalleled natural setting.

You can be enchanted by the beauty of the Dolomites and enjoy the peace and tranquility away from the hectic pace of daily life.

Walks in Passo Giau

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If you are fond of hiking in the mountains, then Passo Giau will surprise you with its amazing beauty and variety of trails. Through the pass it is possible to immerse oneself in untouched nature and discover breathtaking views.

Here is an overview of the best walks the area has to offer.

Walk to the Five Towers Refuge

One of the most famous scenic walks in the Giau Pass area is the walk to the Cinque Torri Refuge. This scenic trail connects the Pass to the Five Towers Group and offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains. With a length of about 6 km and an elevation gain of 400 meters, this easy trail is suitable for hikers of all ages.

Nuvolau Tour

For experienced hikers, the Nuvolau Tour is an experience not to be missed. This circular route of about 10 km starts from Giau Pass and will take you to discover the magnificent peaks of Nuvolau, Averau and Croda Da Lago. During the walk, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Boite valley and Marmolada. Remember, however, to take a detailed map with you and wear appropriate hiking shoes, as the route has more difficult and rough sections.

Walk to the Averau Refuge

The Averau Refuge, located at 2,416 meters above sea level, is reached by a pleasant walk of about 5 km along trail no. 464. The walk offers breathtaking views of the entire Dolomite chain and surrounding valleys. Also suitable for beginners, the trail is well marked and does not present any particular technical difficulties. Once you arrive at the hut, you can enjoy delicious local dishes and admire the view of the surrounding peaks.

Walk around Lake Fedéra

For those who prefer more relaxing and romantic walks, the trail to Lake Fedéra is an excellent choice. This is an approximately 7.5-kilometer route along trail no. 434, which will take you through forests and flowery meadows to the picturesque alpine lake. Here you will find the Croda da Lago Refuge, where you can stop for a restorative break and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains.

The walks here offer an unforgettable experience, immersing you in the beauty of the Dolomites and allowing you to discover unique and fascinating landscapes.

Choose the trail that is right for you and get ready to experience magical moments in the heart of the Italian mountains.

Refuges in Passo Giau

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Passo Giau, located in the heart of the Dolomites, is known for its outstanding natural resources and rich recreational offerings.

Among these, a particular feature of Giau Pass are its mountain huts. Located along mountain trails, these mountain huts offer comfortable and scenic shelter for hikers and foodies, refreshment spots, and ski centers in the winter.

Here they are in detail

  • Rifugio Hotel Passo Giau (2,236 m): Located in the municipality of Colle Santa Lucia, this refuge offers extraordinary views of the Dolomites.
  • Rifugio Da Aurelio (2,175 m): It is located not far from the Fedare ski lifts and only 30 minutes from Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Rifugio Fedare (2,000 m): This refuge excels for its view of the north face of Civetta and serves as the starting point for the chairlift to 5 Torri and Lagazuoi.
  • Malga Giau (1,900 m): Located 3 km before the pass coming from Cortina, it allows you to admire the Lastoi di Formin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Each of these lodges not only offers lodging and refreshment spots during days in the mountains, but also embodies the essence of hospitality typical of the alpine environment.

Giau Pass in Winter

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With the arrival of winter, the Dolomites turn into an enchanted place, and of all the wonders these mountains have to offer, Passo Giau is definitely one of the most spectacular places to visit.

the pass offers a wide variety of winter activities for all skill levels.

Let’s find out what you can expect here during the winter season.

Lagazuói/5 Torri Ski Area – Passo Giau/Passo Falzàrego

Among the many ski areas in the Dolomites, the Lagazuói/5 Torri – Passo Giau/Passo Falzàrego ski area stands out for its unique location and extraordinary opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts.

Located in the heart of the Dolomites, this area offers about 29 kilometers of downhill slopes suitable for skiers of all levels, from beginners to experts.

The area offers three different access points, Cinque Torri, Passo Giau, and Passo Falzàrego, each with its own peculiarities.

The Lagazuói cable car at the starting point from Falzàrego Pass offers a fast and convenient connection to Mount Lagazuoi, home to one of the most spectacular and scenic downhill slopes in the Dolomites, the famous Armentarola.

Breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including Marmolada, Tofana and the Sexten Dolomites, can be enjoyed from this slope. There is no shortage of excellent mountain huts, high altitude restaurants, and dedicated children’s areas to meet the needs of every skier.

Cross Country Skiing

For those who like a more leisurely approach to winter sports, Passo Giau offers trails for cross-country skiing. This activity allows direct contact with the surrounding nature, immerses in the tranquility of snow-capped peaks, and provides a complete physical workout.

Snowshoeing

Another popular activity during the winter is snowshoeing. These tours are an alternative to skiing and offer the opportunity to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Dolomites at a more relaxed pace. Many local operators offer guided tours, you will have all the necessary equipment at your disposal.

Snowkite

For those seeking a unique flying experience on snow, snowkiting is the perfect activity. Using a kite and a snowboard, fans of this adventurous sport can cruise through the winter landscape of Passo Giau. The large open plains surrounding the area provide an ideal place for this activity. Be sure to take a proper training course before trying snowkiting, as it is a sport that requires good control and knowledge of wind conditions.

Photography

Passo Giau is a paradise for photography enthusiasts. Whether it is the winter landscape, the starry night sky, or a sunset behind mountain peaks, you will have the opportunity to create unforgettable photos.

Passo Giau in winter is a must-see destination for those who enjoy outdoor activities.

Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or snowkiting, you’re sure to find something suitable for you in this fascinating corner of the Dolomites.

Where to sleep in Passo Giau

Se stai pensando di trascorrere alcuni giorni nel suggestivo ambiente di Passo Giau, nell’area circostante troverai diverse soluzioni per il tuo pernottamento.

I rifugi situati lungo i sentieri delle montagne offrono alloggio e servizi essenziali per gli escursionisti e gli amanti della montagna. Scegliere di soggiornare in uno dei rifugi di montagna ti permetterà di immergerti nella natura incontaminata delle Dolomiti, regalandoti viste panoramiche mozzafiato e facendo assaporare la gustosa cucina tipica locale.

Se preferisci alloggiare in una struttura più grande o vicino a centri abitati, nelle località limitrofe come Cortina d’Ampezzo e Colle Santa Lucia, avrai la possibilità di trovare una vasta gamma di hotel, bed & breakfast e appartamenti in affitto.

La vicinanza a Passo Giau ne fa una base ideale per esplorare la zona, sia che tu sia interessato allo sci, alle escursioni o semplicemente alla contemplazione della bellezza delle Dolomiti.

Anche qui, come in molte località delle Alpi, è decisamente consigliabile prenotare per tempo per avere la migliore scelta possibile.

Qualunque sia il tuo stile di viaggio o budget, Passo Giau ha qualcosa da offrire per garantire un soggiorno memorabile.

 


How to get to Giau Pass

Located straddling Veneto andSouth Tyrol, in the heart of the Dolomites, Passo Giau is easily accessible from several locations.

From the south, coming from the A27 highway, it is possible to reach Cortina d’Ampezzo from Venice via State Road 51 of Alemagna. From there, you can continue on Highway 638 to your destination.

From the north, if you come from Bolzano, you can take state road 244 to Corvara in Badia and from there continue on state road 638 until you reach Passo Giau.

During the winter season, it is important to pay attention to weather conditions and the possibility of pass closure due to snow.

Finally, for those who wish to reach the pass using public transportation, regular buses connect Passo Giau with the main surrounding towns, such as Cortina d’Ampezzo and Selva di Cadore. It is always advisable to check the hours and conditions of service.

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ACCOMMODATION IN GIAU PASS
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