Dates: 06-Jun-2019  - 15-Jun-2019

Group size: 8

Rider type: Intermediate to Advanced

Price: $5700 per person twin share ($AUD)

Deposit: $750 per person twin share ($AUD)

Single Supplement$800 ($AUD)

Italy Lakes, Alps & Dolomites
Italy Lakes, Alps & Dolomites
Italy Lakes, Alps & Dolomites
Italy Lakes, Alps & Dolomites
Italy Lakes, Alps & Dolomites

10 Day European Bike Tour in the Italian Lakes, Alps & Dolomites

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This tour is a cycling holiday like no other. It offers the chance to create thrilling lifetime memories of these three magical regions of northern Italy. We provide a truly boutique experience, limited to 8 riders, with a VIP wrap to ensure your every need is catered for. We always aim to stay in 4-star accommodation, immersing ourselves in the cultural, gastronomic and aesthetic delights of these magnificent Italian regions.

This year our tour will start by circumnavigating the naturally beautiful Lago d’Iseo before riding along the shores of Largo di Garda, the largest and most beautiful lake in Italy. The breathtaking series of lakes in northern Italy were formed some 20,000 years ago as glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age, leaving a series of deep lake-filled valleys.

Then it’s off to the awesome Dolomites and our base in Corvara, from here we will ride a Sella Ronda loop, which include the Sella, Pordoi, Campolongo and Gardena Passes. This year we have included an additional day in the Dolomites so we can take on the mighty Passa Giau. This is spectacular Giro di Italia territory at its very best, the landscapes and views are simply breathtaking.

We next visit the Italian Alps, they are synonymous with the legendary climbs of the Giro d’Italia, the Gavia, Mortirolo and of course the Stelvio passes. The Stelvio pass (2760m) was in fact built by the Austrian Empire in 1820–25 to connect the former Austrian province of Lombardi with the rest of Austrian Empire. The thought of climbing those 48 ‘tornantes’, or switchbacks, from Prato dello Stelvio is every cyclists dream. We will stay in Bormio, an historic town that offers far more than spectacular climbs; the old town is wonderful and a relaxation session in the Roman baths is a must.

We finish on Lago di Como a lake that offers amazing scenery and a more serene atmosphere. The finale of our tour is the famous Madonna del Ghisallo, a climb that is often used in a finale of the Giro di Lombardia.

Every day we can tailor the distance and amount of climbing to ensure each person truly enjoys the experience of our northern Italy tour.

Day 1

Largo d’Iseo - RIDE: 50km, Flat

We meet in the town of Bergamo before the short transfer to our 4-star hotel on Largo d’Iseo. After our meet ‘n greet, we will check that your Storck hire bike is set up to your requirements, or assist you to set up your own bike. Hopefully time permits for a short roll to get our legs moving and ready for the week ahead.

Tonight is our welcome dinner, with gourmet local cuisine and a selection of wines to enjoy. It’s a great chance to relax, get to know each other and chat about the exciting week ahead.

Meals included: Dinner
Stay: Lake Iseo

Day 2

Lago d’Iseo - RIDE: 65km, 1200m climbing

Today the journey starts in earnest by circumnavigating the quiet and beautiful Largo d’Iseo; it’s the fourth largest lake in Lombardy and is fed by the Oglio river. Lake Iseo offers a stunning natural beauty, with its lush green mountains and vineyards that surround the crystal-clear waters of the lake, its simply cycling heaven! The road continually undulates around the lake and in parts has had to be carved into the side of the mountains to allow safe passage. There are several medieval towns that you will pass through today so we are spoiled for choice as to our coffee and lunch stops.

Dine tonight in a local restaurant of your choice.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Stay: Lake Iseo 

Day 3

Lago di Garda & Riva del Garda - RIDE: 70km, 750m climbing

This morning we have a transfer to the town of Peschiera del Garda which is only 90 minutes away. From here we will ride along the beautiful shores of Lago di Garda taking on a small climb from which the lakeside views are simply stunning. The ride will continue to follow the lake up to Riva del Garda, a town that is considered the jewel in the crown of the great Italian lakes. You will have time to explore and enjoy this ‘chicer than chic’ city, it really is the holiday town frequented by the Italian rich and famous. Due to its mountain backdrop Riva has a very Mediterranean feel and climate. After a relaxing lunch it’s off to the famous Dolomite’s, and Corvara, our home for the next 3 nights.

Group dinner tonight in Corvara.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Stay: Corvara

Day 4

Dolomites - the Sella Ronda - RIDE: 52km, 1700m climbing

Today we will pass through some of the most beautiful riding scenery and villages in Europe - the Dolomites at their majestic best!

The Sella, a plateau-shaped massif, offers views of spectacular and amazing geology and lies between four valleys. The Sella Ronda is ridden by crossing the famous passes - Gardena, Sella, Pordoi and Campolongo. These passes often feature in the Giro d’Italia.

The day will be full of highlights and amazing vistas and at the top of the Passo Gardena there is a memorial to Fausto Coppi. It’s going to be a challenging but also extremely rewarding day in the saddle.

As always, with support vehicles close by, you can choose which or how many passes you want to ride today.

Dine tonight in a local restaurant of your choice.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Stay: Corvara

Day 5

Passo Giau - RIDE: 80km, 2500m climbing

Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning as we will embark on our second spectacular day of riding in the Dolomites, the Passo Giau. This circuit is one of the very best you will ever ride and begins by climbing out of Corvara over the Campolongo pass before we descend into the town of Arabba. From here the road undulates for 20km before we reach the base of the climb. The Passa Giau has a serene beauty about it with captivating views all around. It’s now a Giro d’Italia favourite and at 10km long with a 9% average you will see why. Celebrate the climb with a lunch on the summit (weather permitting) before we head back to Corvara via the Passo Falzarego and Passo Valparola.

Dine at a restaurant of your choice - perhaps a pizzeria or tratoria tonight.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Stay: Corvara

Day 6

Passo dello Stelvio - RIDE: 48km, up to 1900m climbing

Today the Passo dello Stelvio takes centre stage! This climb is one of major highlights of our tour; it’s the most famous and highest paved pass in Italy at 2760m. It’s every climbing cyclists dream to conquer it, and today you will! The Stelvio ride is from ‘Prato allo Stelvio’ side, which is the classic way and includes those 48 famous ‘tornantes’, or switchbacks.

Once we pass through Prato we have 25km to the summit of the Stelvio, the gradient will start to increase after the village of Trafoi, but with 48 tornantes and remarkable views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers to occupy your mind, not to mention a brilliant piece of 18th century engineering, the summit will come quickly.

The top is known as the ‘Cima Coppi par excellence’ the highest pass ever used in the Giro d’Italia. Once at the top we will take some time to reflect on such a magnificent accomplishment!

We then descend to Bormio, our home for the next three nights; it’s a beautiful Alpine town synonymous with cycling and cycling culture. The old town dates back to the 16th century and the Roman baths are still in fully operational today and well worth a relaxing and revitalising visit.

Our group dinner tonight will be full of chatter as we relive what has been one of the most memorable days spent on the bike!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Stay: Bormio

Day 7

Explore Bormio - Rest Day

With the Dolomites and Stelvio behind us and the Passo Gavia and Mortirolo to come, today is great chance to relax and recover and so it’s our official rest day, so why not take the opportunity to explore Bormio, it’s a magnificent little town. We can provide you with a wide range of sightseeing options that include a visit to the old roman baths and thermal spas, seeing the magnificent frescos in the Chiesa di Santo Spirito amongst many others.

Anyone still looking for a ride option today there is a fantastic little 12km climb up the Torre di Fraele to see the abandoned fortress and towers that are perched way above town. Every one of the 18 switchback rewards you with better and better views of the town of Bormio and the stunning surrounding scenery. Alternatively, there is also the ascent of the Stelvio from the Bormio side to consider, which in our opinion is more beautiful and usually a little quieter – so plenty of options and food for thought.Passo Gavia, Italian Alps

Discover Bormio and dine at your leisure tonight.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Stay: Bormio

Day 8

Passo Gavia and Mortirolo,- RIDE: - 88km, 2700m climbing

Today is our ‘queen stage’ - an epic Giro double, the Passo Gavia followed by the Passo di Mortirolo. Please remember there are multiple ride options today. Options include riding both passes, a single pass, or riding out and back on the Gavia and have a free afternoon in Bormio.

The Gavia at 2610m, has been included in the Giro d’Italia ten times since 1960. It starts from Bormio but the climbing commences in earnest once we pass through the small town of Sant'Antonio. There's a natural beauty and wilderness associated with the Gavia; it feels isolated and peaceful as you climb. The narrow tight twisting and undulating road is usually devoid of cars. It's a long climb at 24km with a steady and healthy gradient slightly over 8%.

At the summit you are surrounded by snow-capped peaks and glaciers in every direction, it is simply stunning! Coffee and refuel as we regroup for the descent, then we loop around a beautiful valley passing tiny villages as we make our way to Edolo for the final challenge of the day the Passo del Mortirolo.

From Edolo the Passo del Mortirolo is 17km long and averages 6.7%, and it contain a 2km section at well over 10%. The road is typical of the climbs in this area, narrow and quiet; you will love the views that the many hairpins provide. The climb is synonymous with the Giro exploits of Marco Pantani and was baptised the ‘Pirates Climb’ and we pass a memorial to Marco on our way up.

The Mortirolo has a fearsome reputation and is considered to be one of the toughest mountains to climb in Italy. Its ok as we have picked the right side to climb it from.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Stay: Bormio

Day 9

Como & the Giro di Lombardi- RIDE: 60km, up to 1600m climbing

Today we leave the Alps behind and start with an early transfer on to Largo di Como and the town of Varenna. With ferry services a plenty on Lake Como it gives us the chance to not only enjoy a water passage but see a lot more of the Lake. We will take the ferry across to Bellagio then climb up to the hallowed shrine of the Madonna del Ghisallo, the church and museum at the top are dedicated to cycling so we should feel right at home. This climb is often used in the finale of the Giro Lombardi together with the infamous ‘wall’ or Muro di Sormano which is a narrow track, some 1.7km long, with an average gradient of 17% and pitches up to 25%; It’s a possible option today but don’t worry as the main road up to the town of Sormano is a gentle wooded climb, some 4km in length at a steady 4-6%. Lunch at the top before we enjoy the coast down to our hotel in Como.

Tonight is our farewell dinner, where we can reminisce on the epic journey and heroic feats we have done together and maybe start to dream of next time!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stay: Como

Day 10

Como

After a leisurely final breakfast together it’s time to say our fond farewells as you start to dream and plan for next time …. We hope you have had a magnificent and rewarding experience. We look forward to seeing you again in the not too distant future.

Arrivederci & grazie!

Transfers to Como train station (the train is an easy transfer to Milan Malpensa Airport or Milan Central). Alternatively, Como is a wonderful place to explore for a few more days.

Meals included: Breakfast

Questions? Or would like more information? Send us an email at connect@velobiketours.com

 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Enjoy the majestic scenery and natural beauty of Italy.
  • Superb views everywhere, every day, including the bellissimo Lakes of Italy, the Italian Alps and the spectacular Dolomites close up.
  • Featuring the Stelvio, Mortirolo and Gavia Passes; the Sella Ronda and the stunning views at the top of the Gardena pass.
  • Stay in specially selected accommodation from elegant neo-classical places, to hotels noted for their ‘character and charm’ or even bright modern places with superb outlooks. Some accommodation has pool and/or spa facilities.
  • Enjoy the charm and history of ancient and quaint villages, including spa and market towns.
  • Our tour routes have been carefully designed for variety and enjoyment, to experience diverse areas, scenery, terrain, and include the legendary cols that the pro's ride.
  • Taste the variety in the South Tyrolean famed breads and classic apple strudel baked according to the traditional recipe of Alto Adige.
  • Local (home to) gorgonzola cheese; the famous dish Ossobuco alla Milanese; Risotto alla milanese, and polenta dishes are very popular in Lombardy.
  • Enjoy the velobiketours boutique touring experience. Our VIP wrap is designed to create a memorable tour and deliver a fantastic holiday experience – see the full Tour Inclusions for more details.
Always remember there are flexible ride options available every day so you can ride as much or as little as you desire.



KEY INCLUSIONS:
  • A truly boutique experience with group sizes limited to 8 guests
  • 3-4 staff per tour creating an industry high ratio of staff to guests
  • Transfers - pickup & drop off
  • We only use modern luxury 9 seater air-conditioned vans to ensure the best possible travel experience
  • Accommodation in carefully selected bike friendly 3-4 star hotels often noted for their ‘character and charm’
  • Fresh and filling daily breakfast - buffet style aimed at getting the cycling day off to the perfect start
  • Fresh panini/sandwich style Italian lunch provided daily
  • Delicious 3-4 course dinners including a selection of local wines (3 out of 9 nights)
  • We create and personally delivery your tour experience, the owners of velobiketours are with you every day
  • On transfer days our VIP wrap ensures that everything is ready for you upon arrival. Full luggage transfer service between your accommodations - hop off the bike, and your room with luggage in is ready for you
  • Flexible ride options available every day so you can ride as much or as little as you desire
  • velobiketours cycling kit - includes cycling jersey, cap and gloves
  • Cycling kit laundry services - two washes included for the tour
  • Riding nutrition including fruit, energy bars, gels and rehydration drinks
  • Full vehicle backup and support services provided throughout your ride every day
  • On road experienced rider guides and support, assisting the group each day
  • Mechanical assistance and support
  • Purpose built bike racks for safe and careful bike carriage
  • Quality bike hire options available - fees apply. Bike hire options
  • Daily photos to capture your memories.
  • Road guide book including detailed itinerary, ride maps, climb profiles, hotel details and daily activity information.
  • Prior to your trip we can provide advice on preparing for you trip, including a cycling packing check list. Other travel planning and arrangements (flights, additional accommodation, travel insurance etc), are available through our travel partners.
  • General information and tips on travel in France
Optional extras (fees apply):
  • Post ride massage
  • Additional laundry service
Exclusions:
  • Meals that have not been included in the itinerary (most meals are included, refer to the tour itinerary)
  • Pre and post tour travel arrangements, including flights, any additional accommodation or transfers required (however we can provide assistance for additional travel requirements)
  • Personal purchases
  • Activities not scheduled in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (compulsory requirement for guests. Enquire for assistance with travel insurance)
Click here to read more detail about what is included in our tours.