“They may not be the highest mountains in the world, but they are the most beautiful” says mountaineering icon Reinhold Messner. A South Tyrolean by birth, he has conquered the world’s highest and most difficult summits over the course of his career, yet as a son of the Dolomites he cannot escape their fascination.
Reinhold Messner is not the Dolomites’ only admirer, however. When the sport of modern mountain climbing was born at the end of the 18th century, Paul Grohmann introduced the Dolomites to an international audience. Hailing from Vienna, he was the first ascensionist of the Langkofel in Val Gardena and of the Three Peaks in the Sesto Dolomites. He dedicated several books to the mountains he so loved. The ‘Pale Mountains’ became even more famous thanks to the films by and starring Luis Trenker, who was also a devotee of his homeland. Born in Val Gardena, Trenker was an architect, alpinist, actor, and film director. Even Le Corbusier, a pioneer of modern architecture, agreed with the renowned mountaineers: He described the Dolomites as “the most beautiful natural architecture in the world.”
DISCOVER THE DOLOMITES ON TWO WHEELS
You don’t need to be an experienced mountaineer or adventurer to discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Dolomites: road bikes, mountain bikes, and e-bikes also provide a wonderful means of doing this. This is because as soon as the snow melts from the legendary pale mountains, compelling bike tours await in the high passes of the Dolomites for all levels of ability and riding styles. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site on specifically-signposted trails and experience the majestic scenery of the Dolomites around Val Gardena by bike.