Passo di Giau, also Passo Giau, is considered one of the most beautiful passes in the Dolomites.
The pass, located in the Belluno Dolomites, has an altitude of 2,236 meters and connects Selva di Cadore with Pocol, a hamlet of Cortina. It is, like all the Dolomites, an important tourist destination.
Colleague: Selva di Cadore (BL) with hamlet Pocol, Cortina (BL)
Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/FauchJ2X8jJ2
The road on the north side starts from the junction in the Pocol hamlet, under the municipality of Cortina, and climbs towards the pass in a dense forest. The road is not very wide but sufficient for transit without problems in both directions. The road surface is a bit uneven along the entire stretch, while the vegetation thins out as you climb towards the pass, giving you a wonderful view of the Dolomites.
On the top there is a large parking lot, but often full due to the large number of tourists. There are also various structures including Berghotel Passo Giau.
The southern slope, which you follow going up from Selva di Cadore, is certainly the one that presents the most exciting climb. There are over 20 hairpin bends to ride, some consecutively and others interspersed with guided stretches. The roadway is generally wide, with the exception of some sections in the lower part of the slope, and well paved. The view is wonderful thanks to the vegetation which is not very dense even at low altitudes, and going up you find yourself among huge meadows that allow you to admire the Dolomites in all their splendour.
Attention! Almost at the top of the pass there is a speed camera which checks your speed in both directions!
In our opinion
If you are in the Dolomites you cannot miss this pass. The panorama is one of the most stupendous that can be admired between these mountains and along the Dolomite roads.
We recommend the climb from Selva di Cadore, for the better quality of the road surface, not that it is much worse on the other side. Traveling it in the opposite direction is still equally exciting, but pay close attention to the brakes. The numerous hairpin bends that you will encounter going down towards Selva di Cadore could put even the best braking systems in crisis
Reaching the pass towards sunset is spectacular, when the low sun colors the Dolomites in a fantastic way.
PS: if you come across a LaFerrari sideways, don't be scared, @powerslidelover is at home!