5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
This is an utterly amazing trip through some of the best scenery and trickiest riding the Dolomites have to offer.
Start out in Arabba and head up to Varda on the road.
Take the tough, challenging singletrack to the charming Malga Cherz farm and then ride up a steep gravel road to Passo Incisa and turn right to continue to the peak of Pralonga.
From here, head down a jeep track all the way to San Casciano. Take the gravel road from San Casciano to the Malga Armanterola (a small, rustic hut) and then go on a fun single track to the road and follow this for c.5km to the top of the Valparola Pass, which is home to some fascinating museums and World War 1 memorabilia.
Behind the Rifugio Valparola, which sits on the Pass, jump onto a single track and descend briefly, keeping an eye out for a wooden sign with the Ladin flag (which is horizontal green, white and blue stripes).
Turn left at the sign and drop onto a technical singletrack, which is challenging but never desperate.
Criss cross over a stream a few times to reach a series of fields, the route through which is marked by a series of wooden posts.
At the far side of the fields get back onto the singletrack, which from here on is quite technical and rocky.
Descend all the way to Castello di Andraz - a medieval fortress which is believed to be almost 1000 (!) years old.
Leave the castle to your left and pedal leftwards through grass to reach yet another fun single track.
Follow it to the road. Stay on the road all the way to Pieve and from there take the singletrack to the right all the way to Liviné.
Climb up to Contrin on the road and then continue on and back to the Malga Cherz.
Descend through the town of Cherz to Renaz where there is a great, rustic local bar called Bar Bianco.
In front of the bar follow a sign for Varda and then go down the road to Arabba.