Self-guided: Italy’s Alpine Valleys – Sud Tyrol, Lake Garda and Verona

  • Length 8 days
  • From EUR1395
  • Style/Level Self-Guided 1.0
  • Countries Italy
  • Begin/End Silandro (Schlanders) / Verona

Home to some of the country’s best bike paths and backroads, discover North Italy traversing verdant valleys beneath Alpine peaks and mountain glaciers, and exploring charming small towns and vibrant historic cities. The tour begins close to the Austrian border, deep in the heart of the Sud Tyrol – here the Via Claudia Augusta made its way to the Italian peninsula through the Venosta Valley, historically the most important crossroads between north and south. You’ll glide down towards the Trentino region through fascinating cities like Merano and Bolzano, eventually crossing wine country as the climate becomes more Mediterranean near enchanting Lake Garda and its colorful waterfront towns – here you’ll have the chance to navigate the length of one of the grand Italian lakes (with bikes on hand!). The tour ends in lovely Verona – spend a couple of additional days here exploring this beautiful art city, or continue south along the Veneto towards majestic Venice, capping off a grand Italian holiday.

This low-difficulty itinerary also offers more challenging rides easily reachable from the main route, to epic mountain climbs and passes. This is a great tour for couples, friends or families of mixed cycling abilities (and even for kids!) blending the culturally unique Austro-Italian north with everything that can be expected from an Italian bike tour – great food, cycling and scenery combine in this highlight-packed itinerary.


  • Extra nights: If you’d like to add nights before or after the tour, please inquire – we will be happy to provide a quote and add the nights to your tour package.

    Extra meals & activities: (please inquire for price and availability)
    Cooking classes available in various tour locations! Organized by Le Cesarine, experts in Italian culinary experiences. You will be hosted by a local at their home – your “Cesarina” – in a class that lasts about three hours, during which you will help the Cesarina prepare three courses. In the fourth and final hour, you will enjoy the meal (lunch or dinner) which you prepared during the class. Water and one bottle of house wine for every 3 people are included.


Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Solo Traveler and Private Group departures available – please inquire.

  • START DAYS: This tour departs any Sunday between March 1 and October 31. Other start days of the weeks may available by request, for an extra fee. Please note that changing the start day could make some cultural visits and activities impossible.
  • HOLD A SPACE: Request a departure date by clicking the blue “Hold a space” form.
  • DATES LISTED BELOW: These are booked departures. Multiple parties can join any trip.
  • PRICING: Based on double occupancy. Solo departures may require supplemental fees.
  • HIGH SEASON SURCHARGE: $400 per person for bookings in May, June, September and early October.

Date Price Private room fee Note

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  • Total distance approx. 335 km (209 miles), plus optional rides almost every day (see itinerary for details)
  • Average daily distance From 24 to 66 km (15-41 miles) per day, plus optional ride options.
  • Tour style Self-Guided
  • Tour level 1.0

Highlights: Welcome to Silandro in the Sud Tyrol

Arrive in Silandro and meet us for a bike fitting and tour briefing. We’ll go over the tour in detail, show you how to use your gps and navigation tools, and answer all your questions, getting you ready for the adventure ahead. In the heart of the Val Venosta along the Via Claudia Augusta, Silandro is considered a “market town” in this region dotted with farms, fruit orchards and pastures. A tidy and pretty town, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, it provides an excellent starting point for a bike tour, where you’ll be able to stroll the streets and watch the locals go by in the afternoon.

Daily Distance: after fitting your bike, you are free to test the bike cycling the distance of your choice

Accommodation: Pension Schweitzer, or similar.

Lodging : Pension Schweitzer

Highlights: Alpine valley scenery; Tyrolean villages

Today you’ll start cycling gently up the valley, northwest towards the Austrian border and heading to Glorenza (Glurns), known for its pretty town centre and the imposing fortified walls encircling the old town. On the way, visit the small town of Lasa and its marble quarries (of such a high quality that’s it’s been mined since Roman times), with the Churburg Castle in sight. If you’d like to add some cycling, you can continue up valley to nearby Malles (or more, if desired) with more spectacular cycling, mostly on paved bike paths and with one small climb on the way.

Daily Distance: 50km (31 miles)
Elevation gain: + 400 m (1312 ft)

For additional mileage and more challenging cycling today, we recommend catching the train in Silandro (very easy to board for cyclists) going north to Malles, where the train line ends (purchase the Trentino Card which includes all train transport, funiculars and other options.) Then continue cycling up-valley as far you’d like towards the Resia Pass on the Austrian border; on the way, you’ll see the amazing underwater church (its spires jut out of a beautiful lake). From the lake, it’s 43 km back to Silandro with 160m elevation gain and 960m elevation loss, most on a paved bike path.

Accomodation: Pension Schweitzer, or similar.

Meals : Breakfast

Highlights: Lovely bike paths; Merano

Today’s ride is very gentle, mostly downhill and allowing cyclists to take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery. En route, stop to admire the Castelbello castle perched on a rocky cliff, and beer lovers will want to stop at the wonderful Forst brewery just before Merano. Situated in the basin of the Val Venosta, this vibrant small city has a Mediterranean feel – a mild climate allows for palm trees, grapevines and even olive trees to flourish here. Plenty of sightseeing to do here, and our hotel has a great location on the riverfront strand, with outdoor café and restaurant.

Daily Distance: 35 km (21 miles)
Elevation gain: + 105 m (344 ft)

For additional mileage and challenging cycling today, climb to Castel Tyrol from Merano (about 8 km up valley, with 300m cumulative gain), or continue even further northeast towards the Austrian border.

Accomodation: Hotel Aurora, or similar.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Aurora

Highlights: Val Venosta, Caldaro Wine Region, Bolzano

You’ll cycle over yet another wonderful bike path through this river valley nestled in the Alps,  following the Adige River towards Bolzano. Pedal along the serene riverbanks, passing through orchards, vineyards, and picturesque villages. The route offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lush landscapes, providing ample opportunities for memorable stops and photos.
En route to Bolzano, make a captivating stop at Castel Firmiano, also known as Sigmundskron Castle, indeed a notable site housing the Messner Mountain Museum. Created by renowned mountaineer Reinhold Messner, this exposition is part of a larger collection of six museums spread across the region, each dedicated to different aspects of mountaineering, mountain culture, and the relationship between humans and mountains.
As the day winds down, arrive in Bolzano, the vibrant capital of South Tyrol. Take a leisurely stroll through the city’s bustling streets, adorned with shops, cafes, and historic landmarks. Explore the renowned Ötzi Museum, housing the mummy of Ötzi the Iceman, or simply soak in the lively ambiance of Piazza Walther, Bolzano’s central square. As provincial capital of the Sud Tyrol, Bolzano is both a modern and traditional city, and has been an important regional hub since medieval times. It also became an important tourist center since the Habsurbgs started coming here in the 18th century. 

Daily Distance: Including the detour to Caldaro, total 33km (20 miles)
Elevation gain: + 110 m (361 ft)

For additional cycling, there’s the option to bike a few more miles and take a detour to climb from the valley up to the town of Caldaro (Kaltern in German) among the prettiest villages in the region, set in the heart of the namesake wine valley (the Caldaro Wine Route winds through here). The main attraction here is beautiful Lake Caldaro, famous for its gentle Mediterranean climate and surrounded by vineyards and fruit orchards. Consider visiting a winery or schedule a tasting at a wine estate in the area. Return to the valley south-west of Bolzano and then have time to visit the town. 
Extra ride: 25 km (16 miles), with + 370 m (1214 ft)

Accommodation: Hotel Figl, or similar.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Weingarten

Highlights: Adige River Valley, Mezzocorona, Trento

Continue cycling mostly over bike paths today, joining the Adige River bike paths, one of the most famous paths in Italy. Pass next to the towns of Egna, Ora, Salorno, Mezzocorona, and San Michele all’Adige. Each stop promises unique cultural encounters, from cobblestone streets to architectural gems, unveiling the region’s rich heritage.
On the way, you can also stop at the lovely small town of Mezzocorona and get a glimpse of the Castel Gottardo. Castel Gottardo, also known as Castel Thun, stands as a majestic medieval fortress perched on a hilltop near Mezzocorona. This well-preserved castle boasts an impressive history dating back to the 13th century. Vineyards drape the rolling hillsides, creating a stunning backdrop for exploration. You can wander through the town’s quaint streets, admiring its historic architecture and soaking in the tranquil atmosphere.
Entering the beautiful city of Trento, you can enjoy sightseeing and city strolling as well as great restaurants in the heart of the Austrian region of Italy. A rich cultural center, Trento boasts a fascinating history and has the monuments and castles, palaces covered with frescoes, and stately promenades to prove it. 

Daily Distance: 74 km (46 miles)
Elevation gain: + 334 m (1096 feet)

Accommodation: Hotel America, or similar.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel America

Highlights: The Sarca Valley and Arco; Riva del Garda and lake Garda

A shuttle this morning takes you and your bicycle to Cadine, up above Trento where you’ll begin a stunning ride through the Sarca Valley, winding through the Arco area and its dramatic peaks (world-famous among climbers), eventually reaching Riva del Garda, on the northern shore of the majestic Garda Lake. Also known as the pearl of Lake Garda, Riva is a picturesque city that offers a great base from which to explore this naturally blessed region and its Mediterranean micro-climate. Having left behind the German region of Italy, you’ll want to explore and find that perfect restaurant or trattoria along a pretty alley or on a beautiful piazza.

Daily distance: 45 km (28 miles)
Elevation gain: + 294 m (964 feet)

Accomodation: Hotel Vittoria, or similar.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Bellavista

Highlights: Lake Garda; Sirmione and Peschiera del Garda; Verona

A wonderful way to experience Lake Garda today, you’ll get on a ferry boat from the boat dock at Riva (with your bikes at hand) for a lovely 4-hour cruise crossing the stretch of Lake Garda. The views of the bright blue and magenta waters, surrounded by mountains and lush forests in this Mediterranean clime, is a real delight. The boat lands in the peninsula of Sirmione on the south shore of the lake, with a very picturesque old town center and the impressive ruins (and views) of a Roman villa that are worth visiting (also making for a great lunch stop). From here, you’ll cycle to Peschiera del Garda, another beautiful fortified medieval town on the south shore of the lake. After visiting Peschiera, you can board the train to Verona (approx. 20 min train ride), or cycle an additional 33km (20 miles) through vineyards and fruit farms over gentle rolling hills to the grand city of Verona.

Sirmione to Peschiera – Daily distance: 24 km (15 miles), with + 143 m (469 ft) elevation gain
If continuing to Verona: total of 59 km (36 miles), with + 357 m (1171 ft) elevation gain
Riva to Verona – Total distance: 90 km (55 miles), with + 709 m (2326 ft) elevation gain

Accomodation: Pepita Lodge, or similar.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Pepita Lodge

Highlights: Arrivederci!

After breakfast, explore lovely Verona, home of an amazingly preserved Roman amphitheater and the famous setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

PLEASE NOTE : The final itinerary, including hotels and/or activities described here, are subject to changes according to availability. City hotel taxes are not included.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.

Pre-trip planning checklist

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