An alternative tour of Val Gardena with a visit to St. James Church, the oldest in the valley, dating back to the 17th century and decorated with a striking fresco on its southern facade. The second part of the tour will take you along back roads away from traffic and forest paths, offering fun trails between Insom and Val d’Anna. Here, the Val d’Anna Café will offer you the opportunity for an idyllic stop, with a panoramic view of “cyclist-hungry gorges.”

The tour begins at the Ortisei Tourist Association. Covering about ten kilometers with a moderate and steady gradient through Santa Cristina to Selva, the tour ideally follows the route of the old railway, providing quiet thrills.

From the center of Selva, the route becomes steeper as you enter Vallunga, located in the Puez-Odle Nature Park. From the parking lot in Vallunga, the tour continues southwest, following a road elevated above the main road and crossing La Pozza to the Col Raiser cable car valley station, where the most fascinating part of the tour begins: cross the isolated hamlet of Insom in the direction of St. James, away from the hustle and bustle of the valley. The path becomes narrower and narrower before you even reach the little church.

The small St. James Church, with its imposing bell tower, peaceful cemetery and charming frescoes, stands on a natural stage overlooking the valley. Mountain bikers can enjoy the panoramic view from the wide meadow near the building, admiring Sassopiatto, Sassolungo and the Sella Group.

This is followed by a three-kilometer section through dense forest to Val d’Anna. The route offers a variety of tracks, wide paths, serpentines and wooden bridges, ensuring an unforgettable cycling experience. The trails unfortunately end at the Pauli Hut, but a short distance away you will find the Val d’Anna Café, a perfect place for a long, relaxing break. You can even cool your tired feet in the stream behind the meadow. After the break, the route proceeds mainly downhill, passing the valley station of the Seceda Cable Car, to return you to the center of Ortisei.