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Sellajoch / Passo Sella

The Sella Pass with its 2,213 meters of altitude is supposedly the most famous of all the Dolomite passes.

Sella Pass (2,179 m) with the Langkofel group (3,178 m)
Sella Pass (2,179 m) with the Langkofel group (3,178 m)
Sella group seen from the Gadertal
Sella group seen from the Gadertal
Colfosco with Gardena Pass and Sella massif
Colfosco with Gardena Pass and Sella massif
Langkofel and Sella group
Langkofel and Sella group

From a technical point of view, it can be classified as rather moderately demanding, but it is very popular among Italian motorcyclists. The Sellajoch, together with the Grödner and Pordoijoch as well as the Campolongo, forms the well-known Four Passes route Sella Ronda around the eponymous Sellastock. During the main travel season in August, there are many tour buses here, which is why it is advisable to ride the Sella circuit in early summer or autumn if possible!

With an average gradient of 6.5 percent, the 23 km long mountain pass road winds through a total of 32 hairpin bends over the mountain ridge. It leads from the village of Wolkenstein in Gröden (Selva di Val Gardena) in South Tyrol in a southerly direction down to Canazei in the Fassa Valley, in the Italian province of Trentino. This panoramic mountain road was already built in 1872, and almost 10 years later the first hostel was built at the top of the pass, which at that time mainly served the supply of commercial travelers. Over time, the infrastructure was further expanded, and from the 1950s numerous ski slopes, lifts, hiking trails, via ferratas, and of course, further accommodations were built here.

What is particularly interesting is the positioning or exact location of the Sellajoch. On the one hand, the fact that it is not directly on the road, as the signage would suggest, but only tangential. On the other hand, the highest point of the pass is not located at its supposed location between the Sella group and the Langkofel, but about a kilometer off. This means that coming from Italy, it is west of the summit of the pass called Col de Toi, which at 2,244 m forms the highest point between Wolkenstein and Canazei and is erroneously known as the Sellajoch. While there may be debate about the exact location of the pass summit, the following regulation applies to all road users: there is no toll or winter closure, but there is a ban on trucks, trailers, trucks with trailers, and vehicles weighing over 33 tons.

A tip for all bikers

The original ski circuit Sella Ronda has now also been adapted for motorcyclists. The starting point of the route is the Italian village of Canazei, from where it continues over the Sella and Grödnerjoch to Corvara, over the Passo di Campolongo to Arabba and the Passo Pordoi back to Canazei. As an alternative route, after the Campolongo Pass, you can continue to the Passo di Falzarego, then over the Passo di Valparola to Corvara and over the Passo di Campolongo and Pordoi back to Canazei.

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