Few cycling holidays in Italy immerse you so deeply in the landscape and culture of South Tyrol as this. Or show you magnificent views from the Reschenpass, then plunge you into clear alpine lakes before enjoying Lake Garda's near-Mediterranean splendour and Valpolicella's delicious wines….
All the time, because you’re right in the middle of the area’s rich culture, history, folklore and gastronomy, lifelong memories keep building. And of course, there’s the superb wine for which north east Italy is renowned…
If you’ve ever visited the South Tyrol, you’ll know what the region offers. But if you haven’t yet experienced its Austro-Italian joys, look forward to a very special experience. Look forward to the region’s breathtaking natural beauty, welcoming people and striking architecture from near the tripoint of the Swiss, Austrian and Italian frontiers to Verona’s history-infused streets….
Depending on your tour details, you’ll fly into Verona, Innsbruck or Venice, before transferring to our base hotel in Sankt Valentin auf der Haide. There, near the summit of the Reschen Pass, you relax after your journey, sample your first culinary delights of the South Tyrol and look forward to setting off in the morning...
After breakfast, with excitement rising by the minute, we’ll match you with the carefully fitted bicycle that will carry you southwards…. Soon, you’re heading out onto the quiet roads and lanes to explore the local area. We recommend riding around the Reschensee – imagine your delight on first seeing the steeple of the partially submerged 14th-century Romanesque church emerging from the water as it’s done since the lake’s formation in 1950.
Reached after a gentle ride, Reschen on the lake’s northern end could be the pretty poster-child for all Tyrolean villages. Feeling energetic? Then ride the 2km to the 1,504 m high Reschenpass summit for spectacular views and a well-earned picnic…
Don’t be alarmed by today’s longer-than-usual ride. You’re following the Adige valley downhill most of the way. Imagine the wonderful sensation of freewheeling through sunkissed orchards and vineyards backdropped by mighty alpine peaks.
It’s all stunning, but several highlights deserve exploration. The history of Burgeis goes back to foundation by the Romans on the ‘Via Claudia Augusta’. Picture yourself discovering Glurns too – a well-preserved medieval settlement further down-valley, whose original city walls remain impressively intact.
Then there’s Schlanders, the capital of Vinschgau, whose parish church has South Tyrol’s tallest tower.
At the end of an exhilarating day, you’ll be pleased to reach Rabland, your hotel and another tasty dinner. Tomorrow, we continue to Kaltern. Do you like apples?…
Today, refreshed by Rabland’s hospitality, we follow the swift-flowing Adige downstream.
This is apple country, South Tyrol-style, thanks to 300 days’ sunshine every year and a long tradition of pomiculture. With typical annual harvests exceeding five billion fruits, it's also Europe's biggest apple grower. You really have to travel through the region to fully appreciate what this means, and that’s exactly what we’re doing for much of today as our route twists and turns through the Adige valley's orchards.
No doubt, you’ll pause for refreshment in the villages and towns you pass through. There’s beer to try, and refreshing local ‘Hoila’ apple cider. Feeling hungry? Imagine snacking on delicious strudel, made only with apples from the Alto Adige, slivered walnuts and pine nuts, to keep you going until lunch…
We recommend stopping for lunch in Meran, a serene town cradled between mountains including several over-3,000-metre peaks. Continuing towards Bolzano, feel sunshine on your cheeks and notice how the landscape has an increasingly Mediterranean feel – only accentuated by stands of cypress, fig and olive as we approach tonight’s stop at Kaltern.
Significantly, the town’s full name is Kaltern an der Weinstrasse (Kaltern on the wine route), which gives an important clue to its most famous and enjoyable export! Have a wonderful evening! Cheers!, or ‘Zum Wohl!’ in South Tyrolean dialect.
After a couple of longer days, today is for local exploration. We recommend visiting nearby Kalterersee. Imagine a sunny South Tyrol morning, blue skies, a sparkling alpine lake amid vineyards, and the scent of surrounding forests as you ride quiet cycleways, enjoy a swim, rent a paddleboard or anticipate your continuing journey towards Trento.
Later, back in Kaltern, relaxed exploration is on the cards as you discover the town’s secret corners and impressive market place, or delve into wine history at the South Tyrolean Wine Museum tucked away off Via dell’Oro. Then catch the little red Mendelbahn funicular, the longest of its kind in Europe, to the Mendelpass. Imagine enjoying panoramic views of the Etsch valley and South Tyrolean Unterland before descending back to town for supper.
Leaving Kaltern, you could take another dip in the Kalterersee before continuing down the wine route. Soon, you reach Tramin, where the world-famous Gewürztraminer grapes originate. Keep going until, with nearly 50 km behind us today, we roll into Trento (‘Alpine Town of the Year’, 2004). We’re sure you will love culture and history-packed Trento, with its Renaissance-style monuments, frescoed houses, churches, museums and not-to-be-missed Buonconsiglio Castle with its notable cycle of Gothic frescoes. For lovers of more recent structures, the modernist 1930s railway station is an acknowledged landmark in Italian railway architecture. Soon, it’s suppertime. The strangolapreti gnochi and kaiserschmarrn pancakes are sublime…
After breakfast, we start the day with a helpful lift to avoid the 300 m climb to Cadine! Then it’s a wonderful downhill ride along the Sarca valley, past inviting lakes such as Santa Massenza and Toblino. How about enjoying a quick swim before our recommended lakeside lunch stop at the restaurant in romantic Castel Toblino? Can you taste the melt-in-the-mouth ‘Canederlotti’, delectable perch fillets, and strawberries with meringue?... All with a magical mountain view over the lake..
As afternoon’s shadows fall, the shallow, fast-flowing Sarca stays close as it tumbles over little waterfalls and races you inexorably towards Lake Garda…
World-famous Lake Garda is as beautiful as you’ve heard and deserves more than just a quick visit. So today there’s a full day to discover its delights. Imagine the restorative joy of hours spent wandering Torbole and Nago's sleepy alleyways and quiet churches. Or soaking up the sunny Mediterranean-like ambience of lakeside life and the constant temptation of swimming in Italy’s largest, bluest, lake. Al fresco dining is also a delight: imagine tucking into fresh lake fish, Austrian-style carne salada or huge scoops of gelato made as only Italians can….
Too soon, we bid Riva farewell and enjoy a relaxed start to the day with a lake-long ferry ride (pay locally) south to Sirmione.
On arrival, delve into local history and discover Sirmione’s story back to Roman times and earlier. Do visit the Grottoes of Catullus at the north end of the peninsula – arguably Northern Italy’s most impressive private edifice. Then savour the views back up the lake over drinks and snacks in one of the lakeside cafes and bars, before pedalling for San Pietro in Cariano. We’re in the heart of wine-producing Valpolicella now. As if that isn't exciting enough, we're staying in a winemaker’s villa tonight! It’s been a long day and you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and the opportunity to sample Valpolicella’s finest offerings. What’s your preference among its classic wines? Strong-structured, intensely ruby-red Amarone Classico; patiently aged Valpolicella Superiore; or crisp Doseto del Nonno? Enjoy!
Another day dawns and we rise to the aroma of strong freshly brewed coffee and an al fresco breakfast on a vine-bounded terrace. The day is yours to enjoy as you like: relaxation and further exploration of San Pietro is one possibility – the Romanesque pieve of San Floriano or Andrea Palladio’s ‘Villa Serego’ are nearby.
But with Verona only about nine miles (15 km) away, we recommend the gentle ride along well-marked cycleways to the Veneto region’s ‘city of love’ – a favourite destination for Mozart and Goethe, and Shakespeare’s setting for ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Once in town, central Verona is compact and walkable. This makes it easy to see notable sights including Juliet’s balcony, Piazza delle Erbe, the Roman Verona Arena, and soaring Torre dei Lamberti. With our imminent homeward departure and holiday souvenirs in mind, Verona also offers stylish shopping, particularly along the old town’s Via Mazzani!
After breakfast today, you transfer by train or minibus to your departure airport at Verona, Venice or Innsbruck. Your journey home will be a time for fond recollection of 11 days’ cycling, delicious food, stunning landscapes and really getting to know this corner of Italy while following the Adige seawards.
Hopefully, as we say Arrivaderci, you’re already contemplating another cycling adventure with us!
Your welcome to Italy’s romantic South Tyrol begins with arrival at Villa Waldkoenigin. This is truly a ‘forest queen’ hotel, with its indoor swimming pool, spa with sauna, and stunning views of the towering Alps. As if this isn’t impressive enough, you enjoy free access to the hotel’s bio sauna, Finnish sauna and Turkish bath too. You can feel the cares of the world slipping away already…
Renowned South Tyrolean hospitality and chocolate-box views are complemented by luxurious rooms with traditional alpine-style decoration and wood-panelling. Naturally, your room has all expected comforts including private bathroom, free toiletries, hairdryer and flat-screen satellite TV.
And so to breakfast, done the inimitable South Tyrolean way, with the specially prepared buffet waiting to set you up for today's ride. Look forward to a feast of delicious homemade jams and cakes, cold cuts and fresh fruit juices. By the way, the restaurant, with its tempting local specialities, serves dinner too.
After a long day on the road, relax with a sun lounger and parasol in the Waldkoenigin’s garden. Or enjoy their sunny terrace while savouring the magnificence of the surrounding peaks.
Relax-away the happy tiredness after another day in the saddle at this beautiful 4-star hotel. Look forward to enjoying its tempting restaurant, two inviting pools (including a heated outdoor pool between April and September), sauna, free gym, natural pool and steaming hot tub. By the way, if a massage, beauty treatment or solarium session would hit the spot, book yours at Reception (payable locally).
The Roessl has welcomed guests for over 60 years, so you know you’ll get a warm welcome. Step through the tiled front porch into the lobby of this traditionally styled, South Tyrolean hotel on Rabland’s Via Venosta. Then settle into your comfortable alpine-style room with its minibar, TV, bathrobes and slippers, private bathroom, free Wi-Fi and amazing views of the mountains rising majestically above the valley.
Will you dine international style tonight, or sample mouth-watering Tyrolean specialities (with vegetarian and gluten-free options on request)? Decisions, decisions! That’s dinner sorted, followed by a local beer, wine, warming spirit or exotic cocktail in the cosy bar.
After a refreshing night’s sleep, wake to the smells of fresh coffee, newly-baked bread and tables sagging under delicious food. Yes, it’s time to set yourself up for another day with Hotel Roessl’s splendid buffet breakfast…
Imagine typically South Tyrolean rooms with wood-beamed ceilings, mountain views and balconies. They’re just a few pleasures awaiting us at Kaltern’s family-run Hotel Jagdhof. It’s a historic winery in the heart of an alpine town defined by a centuries-long tradition of winemaking and welcoming hospitality.
From the moment you arrive at the Jagdhof’s Maria von Buol Platz location, you know you’ve reached the perfect home-from-home in this wonderful historic Weinstrasse town. As well as all expected room appointments – including satellite TV, minibar, private bathroom, hairdryer, bathrobes and toiletries – your hotel offers a swimming pool, spa, massage facilities, steam room and a range of wellness treatments. Are you ready to be pampered after a day’s travelling? We thought so!
Later, with the road dust gone, how about coffee in the Jagdhof’s on-site café? Time flies as we recount cycling adventures and suppertime comes soon. Shall we sample local specialities in the hotel’s upstairs restaurant – The Torgglkeller – with its outdoor terrace overlooking the Kalterer See and surrounding mountains? Or shall we go out to eat? If so, we’re perfectly located for central Kaltern’s excellent restaurant selection.
Tomorrow, after another wonderful night’s sleep, we’ll start a new day with a great South Tyrolean breakfast. Then we’re off again, exploring town, discovering Kaltern's sublime environs or continuing our adventure.
Look closely at the architecture of the Grand Hotel just off the Piazza Dante. With a little imagination, see the curves of your bicycle’s chain echoed in its roofline. How appropriate, as you pedal into red-roofed Trento, that your hotel is the impressive 1939–1942 creation of engineer John Lorenzi. In fact, it’s a superb example of rationalist architecture representing the transition between Trento’s medieval and modern cities.
As well as stunning architecture and the warmest of welcomes, the Grand Hotel offers a spa, gourmet Bernardo Clesio restaurant and elegant rooms with wooden furniture. Each room is soundproofed, softly carpeted and has flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Some even feature prized furniture and super-opulent marble bathrooms.
Will you relax in the wellness centre’s restorative sauna and hammam? Or enjoy a massage or beauty treatment (payable locally)? Afterwards, enjoy a quiet nightcap (or two) in the frescoed Il Caminetto bar while planning tomorrow’s ride and happily reliving today’s.
In the morning, enjoy a delicious continental-style breakfast before leaving one of Trento’s best-located hotels for more two-wheeled adventures.
You’re just minutes from lovely Lake Garda at the gorgeous Hotel Portici on Riva del Garda’s largest square, the Piazza Ill Novembre. That’s just one of the many attractions of this recently renovated hotel with its own pizzeria and wellness centre (payable locally).
As you check in after another day’s cycling, look forward to a welcome that’s warm as a southerly Ora wind along Lake Garda. Then settle into one of the converted manor house’s contemporary rooms with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, private bathroom with hairdryer, and even a small fridge.
Later, set out to explore Riva: the harbour is close; the beach a short walk or ride away; and myriad tempting boutiques and cafes await along winding streets and alleyways. If you prefer to eat in, a wonderful assortment of Italian cuisine and local dishes await you back at the hotel.
Imagine ending your day’s cycling by pedalling down the long approach to Dimora Del Bugiardo. Picture yourself riding between the beautifully manicured ornamental trees that separate the driveway from the seemingly endless Valpolicella vineyards…
A warm welcome awaits at Dimora Del Bugiardo. Soon you’re settling in to your comfortable air-conditioned room, with the tiled floor that’s typical of the region. And views over those amazing vineyards. There’s free Wi-Fi and flat-screen television too, and a private bathroom with hairdryer and free toiletries.
Then it’s time to relax in the garden or on the sunny terrace as you reflect happily on the day. Can you guess how many bottles of delicious, ruby-red wine all those vines produce each year?
Later, as shadows lengthen and night casts its cloak over the landscape, delicious food and drink awaits at the nearby grill restaurant run by the hotel’s owners. And in the morning, awake to the prospect of homemade cakes, seasonal fruit and other local delicacies in the delicious buffet breakfast.
Then it’s time for more exploring…Verona's unmissable architecture, history and stylish shopping isn’t far away…
|July 9, 11||£1,475|
|Aug 2, 4, 26, 28||£1,475|
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room without flights and transfers.
Triple room: £10 per third person per night.
Infants under 2 years: Sharing bed with parents FREE. Additional expenses e.g. food or cots, to be paid direct to the hotelier.
Children under 12 years: £15 off per night.
Single room: £26 per night.
E-Bike: £20 per day (number of days charged will be one less than the number of nights of your tour).
Tandem: £15 per day (number of days charged will be one less than the number of nights of your tour).
£250 per person
Our experts shall be only too pleased to research the most convenient and best value flights for you and, to arrange your airport transfers. Please call on 01584 877596 for an individual quotation, which will be sent to you by email. On acceptance of our quotation, we shall be pleased to book all arrangements for you.
Holidays booked together with a flight are protected by The Travel Trust Association’s ATOL (number: 10300).
Flights and transfers are charged at cost, plus a £20 per person booking fee to cover service and ATOL fees.
If you wish to extend your holiday, with perhaps a short stay in a nearby city of interest, please call our experts on 01584 877596 for help and guidance.
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