The most beautiful sunrise in the Dolomites – Passo Giau

There are places you fall in love at first sight. You just open the guide, browse the pictures on the web, and you hit that one image, which burns instantly in mind. One look and thoughts go in the direction of three, irreversible words: I have to be there! I saw this bevelled column (Ra Gusela) with a small hotel below, and Asia dishes served in the same shrine. And we could not resist: Passo Giau in the Dolomites is a place we must see!

The pin on the map is one thing. Getting there is the other. From Selva di Cadore to Passo Giau leads the deadly winding SP638. Ridding it means holding a seat and catching any loose object in the car. But before you start all four wheels, do not miss the view on the left: a picture of Chiesa di Santa Lucia church on the background of the mountains will be a wonderful souvenir (especially for those who have a telephoto lens).


Berghotel Passo Giau – the best place for a night

The passage is filled with a large parking, where no one is bothered by “don’t park for a night” bans. On the contrary, tourists from several vanes finish the dinner and spread the mattresses. Behind a combi, someone placed a tent. A dozen of campers can be easily counted. And what about us? This time we are sleeping “like a kings”, with a shower, fresh linen and a 2×2 bed. No tent, no mattress, no slipping bag. Oh yeah! But such comfort is nothing compared to the dinner prepared by the local chef. Berghotel Passo Giau will be remembered for a long time, I can say.

We are sitting in a small, wooden room. The room has a homely, slightly folklore character. Ceramic bread oven, porcelain chandelier … No, it’s not shoddy here. On the contrary – the whole place is maintained in the best taste, traditional and natural way. So that the place complements the dishes served here.

And the dinner starts… A plate of local, delicate cheeses with honey and confiture, dry-cured ham with a jam. Thick tagliatelle with mushrooms and truffle aroma. Polenta and deer stew with fresh herbs. Two glasses of delicious, white wine and… a sorrow overwhelms us, because we are full. The place for a dessert is gone. Everything is served neatly, no place for any criticism. Ah … Delightful … Ah … Aaa … And the sunset ?!


Tylko chwila została na zrobienie raptem paru zdjęć. Na szczęście na balkonie został statyw z iPhonem – chociaż film poklatkowy się nagra. 

Yes, this church you saw on the first picture. From a hill next to Passo Giau you can see it again (and a tiny village Colle Saint Lucia ), but from different angle.

6:00 am – Time to get up!

I’m with my camera on the hill opposite to the hotel. It’s time to welcome new day! From here I have a brilliant panorama of Passo Giau. There is Ra Gusela (2595 m.n.p.m.) peak in front of me. Slightly further to the left the Averau catches the first red colours. In the east, somewhere above Cortina d ‘Ampezzo the day wakes up. Cows moo loudly, and clouds slowly overflow through the surrounding mountains. Unique sunrise and a fantastic chance of taking marvellous photos. 

Passo Giau, Dolomity

After three quarters, I return to my room with satisfaction: It will not be easy to choose the bests from today’s photos. For now however, I need to take a short nap. After that, we will have a large and tasty breakfast.


Seceda and Val di Funes – photography spots in the Dolomites