Easy Cycling in the Italian Alps

Easy Cycling in the Italian Alps

Pedal along bike paths in two of Italy's finest bike-friendly regions! Begin your ride cycling through the lush meadows of the Venosta Valley with views of Alpine peaks and glaciers in the distance. Explore the historical relics in Italian cities and towns of Merano, Bolzano and Trento before moving into a smaller bicycle-friendly valley. We’ll end our cycling in Bassano del Grappa, in the Veneto region and near Padova and Venice. The majority of our ride is in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, a semi-independent region which has long been a gateway between northern Europe and Mediterranean trade. The perfect vacation if you are looking for the opportunity to:

...relish traffic-free routes along designated bike paths and quiet country roads
...visit land art installations, privately held castles and some of the most beautiful gardens in Italy
...appreciate gentle cycling terrain
...enjoy a variety of activities including train and gondola rides
...stay in delightful hotels without having to pack each night
...engage with family and friends while exercising and relaxing in a gorgeous area
...enjoy unique Austrian-Italian fare like sausages, sauerkraut, hearty spaetzli pasta and local beer!

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 187km (116 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 37km (23 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty / 101
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Shuttle from Bolzano (Bozen) to Glorenza / Bassano del Grappa
  • Price / From USD$3750
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Map
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    2 - two night stays, Small medieval walled town of Glorenza, Adige River riding, Merano and its chic thermal spa town center, Gondola ride and dinner in a traditional “maso” in a mountain valley, Dedicated scenic bike paths, Views to the Dolomites and the Alps, Guided visit of Trento, Land art installation visit of Arte Sella
  • Includes
    Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights' accommodation; 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 6 dinners with wine; guided walk of Glorenza; guided walk Trento; Lasa marble visit; scenic train to Valsugana; 2 or 3 bilingual tour leaders; van support

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

Daily Ride Summary

Day

Distance/Gain

Terrain

Difficulty

Notes

1 3 Test ride
2 2
1000ft / 20m
Flat terrain
3 2
1000ft / 20m
Flat terrain
4 2
1000ft / 20m
Flat terrain
5 Rest day 1
6 2
1000ft / 20m
Flat terrain
7 2
1000ft / 20m
Flat terrain
8 11
  • Arrive / Depart
    Innsbruck (INN) / Venice (VCE) or Innsbruck (INN)
  • Difficulty
    Mostly flat, on bike paths, some easy gravel stretches, a few gentle uphills, Gentle rides mostly on dedicated bike paths and country lanes.

    More difficulty definitions

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Terrains

    Terrain definitions

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Terms
Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Meet in Bolzano (Bozen) shuttle to Glorenza

Highlights: Medieval town of Glorenza with its surrounding walls, visit of Castel Coira, bike fitting, welcome dinner

Meet at 10 a.m. in Bolzano (Bozen in German) to transfer together to our starting spot in the Venosta Valley. We highly recommend arriving a few days early in Bolzano to visit the archaeological museum and see its most famous resident, Otzi, a man from the Copper Age who was perfectly preserved in ice until his discovery in the early 90’s. In a few days we’ll pedal under the peaks where he was found, it’s well worth visiting him before we start our tour! This afternoon, we’ll visit one of the best preserved castles in the entire region, fit our bikes and enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 2: Ride Resia Lake loop

Highlights: Lake and glacier views, bell tower in the lake, Burgusio castle, guided walk of Glorenza

This morning we’ll shuttle to the picturesque Alpine Lake Resia. We’ll bicycle around the lake and enjoy an exciting descent. You’ll have a chance to visit the Burgusio Castle before returning to Glorenza where we’ll enjoy a guided walk and visit to its historic mill before a light dinner together. Anybody with free time on their hands or interest in whisky can visit Italy’s only distillery located just outside the Glorenza walls!

  • Distance: 19 mi / 31 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Ride Glorenza to Lasa and the chic town of Merano

Highlights: Bike paths along the Adige river, Lasa marble, the gardens of Traumannsdorf Castle, home of Forst beer

We’ll enjoy a quiet bike path through apple orchards to the small town of Lasa. Despite its small size, Lasa’s marble craftsmanship can be found around the world. Interestingly enough Lasa’s first major order was 86,000 crosses and stars of David in the 1950s for US military cemeteries around the world. Once we’ve finished our visit of this impressive artisan industry, we’ll catch a train to Merano where you can stroll through the trendy streets and cafes, take one of the two well-signed walks around town, or enjoy some of Italy’s most famous gardens at Trautmannsdorf Castle. Rivaling well known Cortina d’Ampezzo as destination for jet-setting European visitors in the Italian Alps, Merano has long been a mountain resort for heads of the Austrian Empire, European princes and princesses and modern day celebrities and elite.

DAY 4: Ride Merano to Bolzano along the Adige river

Highlights: Langrein vineyards, apple orchards, old city of Bolzano/Bozen, special dinner

We’ll leave the Venosta Valley today and head back to the large town of Bolzano - or Bozen in German. Pedal through vineyards and apple orchards as the valley widens and then narrows to enter the city under the shadow of the Firmiano Castle, now a museum founded by one of the world’s most famous mountaineers from this region, Reinhold Messner. Enter the city along tranquil bike paths and enjoy our hotel in the center of town. This evening, a special gondola ride above town brings us to a local farm where we’ll enjoy views on the Dolomite mountains and hearty home made dishes.

DAY 5: Borgo Valsugana

Highlights: Rest day, Guided walk of Trento, train ride, Borgo Valsugana

This morning we’ll leave Bolzano by train and head to Trento, capital of the Italy's autonomous region of Trentino Alto Adige/ Südtirol. This compact colorful city center was the seat of the Council of Trent in the 16th Century, where the Catholic Church held one of its most important councils over 20 years to determine how to handle the Protestant Reformation. Enjoy a special visit of the city and castle before another short train ride takes us to our next valley, the small town of Borgo Valsugana, a quaint village nestled in between the striking cliffs of the Alps' foothills.

DAY 6: Borgo Valsugana

Highlights: Spa hotel, scarecrow museum, Arte Sella

Relax and enjoy your hotel spa, or take a leisurely spin upstream along the river bike path. The path meanders through orchards, and skirts small villages - one of which hosts an interesting scarecrow museum featuring a few ‘retired’ scarecrows. A highlight of the day is Lake Caldonazzo where you can enjoy a refreshing dip. From here, choose whether to keep cycling to our final destination, or whether you’d prefer to shorten the ride by jumping back on the train with your bike. A special evening event in the mountains awaits!

  • Distance: 13-42 mi / 21-68 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Valsugana to Bassano del Grappa

Highlights: WWI fort, wooden bridge of Bassano, grappa

Continue your journey along the Valsugana bike path enjoying stunning views, and WWI forts that overlook the valley. The route follows "Via Claudia Augusta," an ancient Roman road which ran 550 km and crossed the Alps to link the Po valley (which is just south of us) and Germany (to the north of us). You'll slowly emerge from the narrow valley to reach the town of Bassano, with its iconic wooden bridge across the river. Bassano is a key producer of grappa and there are several distilleries in town. Tonight we'll enjoy a special feast in celebration of our week together biking northern Italy's bike paths.

  • Distance: 35 mi / 56 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Bassano del Grappa

Highlights: Bassano del Grappa

Stick around a day or two and enjoy Bassano, or head to Venice which is just an hour away. Whatever you decide, Buon Viaggio!

  • Meals: Breakfast
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