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Lake Garda to Venice: Cycling Italy’s Veneto

Grace defines the Veneto region of Italy.

  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking
  • Easy / Moderate
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

LAKE GARDA TO VENICE: CYCLING ITALY’S VENETO

It glimmers on the palm-lined shores of Lake Garda…rises in the elegant villas of native son Andrea Palladio…and unfolds on cycling routes through the dreamy Berici Hills. This wistful landscape of rolling hills, limestone cliffs, and citrus groves hides quaint villages and wineries. Coursing rivers lead to grappa and olive oil factories. And they all greet us with open arms and uncorked bottles. It is truly a pleasure to cycle this sophisticated corner of Italy. What’s more, at our refined hotels, you’ll sample the life of the nobility that once flocked here.

Cultural Highlights

  • Follow easy cycling routes along three rivers
  • Taste locally produced grappa and DOC wines
  • Take a guided tour of Vicenza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to learn about Andrea Palladio's unique architecture
  • Cycle the palm-lined shores of Lake Garda, dotted with elegant villas
  • Stay two nights in a historic villa set in the Berici Hills
  • Sample olive oil in the setting of a magnificent 16th-century villa

What To Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain and moderate hills and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT support van is always available for those who need assistance with the hills.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 - 5 hours

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Verona
Apr 63°  May 73°  Jun 80°  Sep 75°  Oct 63°

Average Rainfall (in.) – Verona
Apr 2.7  May 3.5  Jun 3.3  Sep 2.9  Oct 3.9

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only - without Air

  • 6 nights in 4-star accommodations, including a historic villa
  • 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 4-star accommodations, including a historic villa
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Airport transfers
  • And the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Verona – 2 nights for only $295 • Post-trip: Venice – 2 nights for only $395

Both Vacation Options Include

  • Free use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception with local wine and hors d'oeuvres
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount 
Dates & Prices
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $495 | Land Only Single Supplement: $345

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Verona

Depart from home for Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Verona

You arrive at the airport in Verona, Italy, where a VBT representative will meet you and help you transfer (approximately 30 minutes) to your centrally located hotel. The rest of the day is free to discover and dine on your own, using the VBT City Information as a guide.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please have airport staff page our driver with your last name so they may be notified of your delay. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service. Our drivers are only able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

Verona is a pedestrian-friendly city. Easy strolling allows you to enjoy the city's wide, quiet, pedestrian-only streets and plazas, the gentle flow of the River Adige and the city's fashionable population. The entire city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a favorite for history buffs and shoppers alike. It’s most famous monument, the Arena—so well preserved, it is still used for unforgettable opera and theater performances—is the third-largest amphitheater in the world. During your stay, you might visit the purported house of Juliet and her famed, fictional suitor, Romeo. Their sad story made famous by William Shakespeare was set here. Explore the Palace of Reason, the lively medieval squares of Piazza Brà and Piazza delle Erbe, or the fine art gallery housed in the Castelvecchio fortress.

If you are visiting from mid-June to the end of August, don't miss the opera performances in the Roman Arena, a very short walk from our hotel. A little tip: local opera lovers say the best seats (particularly for acoustics) are the very affordable “Unreserved Stone Steps in Sectors D or E (Gradinata D or E).” You can buy this right before the performance, though it is best to purchase them in advance online at www.arena.it/en-US/HOMEen.html. An open-air opera in the Arena is an unforgettable experience.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.

Hotel: Hotel Giberti

DAY 3: Meet Trip Leaders / Warm-up ride / Welcome reception

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your fellow travelers and Trip Leaders at 12 pm at our hotel in Verona (Hotel Giberti, via Giberti 7, Verona; Tel: +39 045 800 6900). They will give a short overview of the day ahead and provide tips for lunch on your own in the city. Please get in your biking clothes before we meet again after lunch.

If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled later than 12 pm, or if you are delayed, please contact the hotel, and they will pass your message along to your VBT Trip Leaders. In the event of delays, please see the section “For Travel-Related Emergencies.” VBT highly recommends flying to Italy at least one day before the tour begins. This allows you to rest and recover from jet lag before you begin sightseeing and cycling.

VBT Air Package and Pre-trip Extension guests: Meet your fellow travelers and Trip Leaders at 12 pm at our hotel in Verona. Please be ready in your biking clothes for a safety clinic and warm-up ride. Our trip leaders will give a short overview of the day ahead and provide tips for lunch on your own near the hotel. Check out is 11 am; you may store your luggage at the reception desk. Luggage will be picked up later and transferred to the next hotel.

Our group gathers again at 1:30 pm. After a safety clinic, we will cycle country roads and riverside bike paths to the delightful lake village of Lazise and our luxurious hotel on Lake Garda. This evening, we get acquainted over a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

Hotel: Hotel Corte Valier
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 26 km (16.2 miles)

DAY 4: Peschiera / Borghetto / Monzambano

Our morning route leaves the shores of Lake Garda and rises through scenic vineyards and fields, offering picturesque views. From Peschiera, we follow a scenic bike path along the River Mincio en route to Monzambano, where we ride over the low hills of southern Garda. We make a stop in Lombardy to have lunch at a local winery, where we can savor specially prepared local specialties and taste some of the wines for which the area is so well known.

In the afternoon, we pedal to the village of Borghetto, acclaimed as one of the “100 quaintest villages of Italy” by the Italian guidebook “I Borghi più Belli d'Italia.” After a short visit we follow an easy bike path back to Peschiera. From there you can opt to shuttle or continue riding all the way to our hotel.

Back at the hotel, you might indulge in the outdoor swimming pool or a treatment at the wellness center, explore the gardens, or take a stroll in town. Dinner tonight is on your own. You'll find many options in Lazise, where memorable restaurants line the lakefront.

Hotel: Hotel Corte Valier
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 41.3 or 70.1 km (25.8 or 43.8 miles)

DAY 5: Valsugana biking path

We start the day with a shuttle to approximately 1,300 feet (396 meters) up the verdant mountains of the Trentino region to Lake Caldonazzo. From there, a scenic route--mostly a paved biking path along the Brenta River--takes us to our hotel in Bassano del Grappa in Veneto. As we descend along the valley, an ever-shifting landscape of apple trees, vineyards and narrow gorges and canyons takes your breath away. Along the way, picturesque villages like Borgo Valsugana invite us to take refreshing breaks.

In Bassano tonight we have time for a stroll before our dinner in a local restaurant

Hotel: Hotel Belvedere
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 27.4 or 70.6 or 82.4 km (17.1 or 44.1 or 51.5 miles)

DAY 6: Asolo / Bassano del Grappa / Grappa tasting

Said to be one of the most beautiful small cities of Veneto, Asolo rests high on a hill. Its symbol – a stunning and stalwart fortress – can be seen from miles away. There’ll be time here to take enchanting strolls through Asolo’s typical low porticoed-streets, peer into its gourmet food shops, and see ancient Roman remains and the Queen Cornaro Castle. Pause here for lunch on your own.

Pedal back to Bassano this afternoon and have time to enjoy this lively city. Here, we learn about grappa, a very popular Italian distillate drunk as ammazzacaffè, mixed with coffee or alone, after any meal. We’re sure to sample some!

Dinner is on your own tonight. You’ll find plenty of choices within walking distance from the hotel.

Hotel: Hotel Belvedere
Meals: B
Daily Options: 21 or 40 km (12.5 or 25 miles)

DAY 7: Marostica / Vicenza / Andrea Palladio

Today we leave Bassano to cycle into the northern part of the Veneto region. These easy, flat country roads lead us past farms and pretty rural areas. Our destination is Vicenza, the city made famous by architect Andrea Palladio.

We pause briefly in Marostica, a medieval walled town whose very unique square was designed as a chessboard. After time to admire this rare craftsmanship, we enjoy a picnic lunch prepared by our Trip Leaders. Later, you may take our shuttle or continue cycling to our elegant hotel, Villa Michelangelo, set in a private manicured garden with sweeping views of the Berici Hills. Perhaps you'll take a refreshing dip in the large swimming pool surrounded by olive trees.

Once you’ve settled in here, you can shuttle into town to enjoy a guided walking visit of Vicenza. Our local guide will show us some of the most beautiful buildings by Andrea Palladio, a 16th-century architect who became famous as the first person to recognize villas as an economical, healthy and beautiful place to live and work. This concept was ahead of its time, and the villas he created have collectively earned recognition from UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Perhaps the most beautiful is his Villa La Rotunda. You’re sure to recognize some of his architectural styles from our own American monuments and national buildings, so it’s no surprise that on Dec 6, 2010, the U.S. Congress declared Andrea Palladio the father of American architecture.

We end our tour on the elegant Piazza dei Signori, where our guide will provide recommendations for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Villa Michelangelo
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 30 or 50 km (18.7 or 31.2 miles)

DAY 8: Berici Hills

This morning we ride into the heart of the Berici Hills, a group of high limestone hills southwest of Vicenza. It’s a dreamy landscape of high cliffs, thick forests, and rolling vineyards. Some of its towering walls are home to caves once inhabited by prehistoric man—including the San Bernardino caves, where Neanderthals found refuge more than 200,000 years ago. You can admire the considerably more modern residences here, too: romantic Palladian villas of the 16th century.

Next, we follow the Wine Route of the Berici Hills, a rolling byway through picturesque villages. Some of the elegant villas along our route have been converted into working farms, while others are finely restored mansions. All provide unique examples of Italy's cultural heritage.

One of these beautiful villas, the Villa di Montruglio, is the setting of our picnic lunch and olive oil tasting. This was originally the home of Italian scholar and explorer Antonio Pigafetta, who circumnavigated the world with Ferdinand Magellan between 1519 and 1522. Built with Nanto stone, the interiors are adorned with fine frescoes. Today, a local countess calls the villa home. It remains one of Italy’s finest and most magnificent villas.

Later we pedal or shuttle back to our hotel. This evening, gather for a farewell toast and dinner of carefully prepared cuisine at the hotel restaurant.

Hotel: Hotel Villa Michelangelo
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 34 or 52 km (21 or 32.5 miles)

DAY 9: Transfer to Venice / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: Your tour ends this morning after breakfast. You can take a taxi on your own to the Vicenza train station to return to Verona. A taxi ride to the train station only takes 15 minutes and costs approximately €20/$30 USD. If you prefer, you can travel with the rest of the group to the Venice airport docks on the mainland, arriving at approximately 10 am. If you wish to continue into Venice proper, you will need to take one of the following modes of private or public transportation on your own:

• ALILAGUNA hydrofoil to St. Mark's Square takes 1 hour and the ticket costs €15. The stop is next to the private water taxi stop.
• Public Bus #5 from the bus terminal (a 10-minute walk from our coach drop off point). Tickets cost €6 and the ride takes 30 minutes.
• Private ATVO bus that takes about 20 minutes and leaves from the bus terminal as well. All the buses stop at Piazzale Roma, very close to the Santa Lucia railway station.

Luggage carts are available from our coach drop off point to help you carry your luggage. You can use €1 coins or USD quarters.

VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, we say goodbye to our Trip Leaders and board our private motorcoach to Venice. At the Venice airport docks, a local guide will welcome us and help us board a private water taxi that will take us to our centrally located hotel. Be prepared to carry your luggage for a very short way. At the hotel, the guide will be available to answer your questions and help you prepare to explore the city on your own. She will also offer an optional city walk, the cost of which will be shared among those participating. You have the rest of the day to explore Venice.

Hotel: Hotel Saturnia
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for Home

Early this morning*, transfer to the Venice airport for your flight back to the U.S. Be prepared for an early transfer by private motorboat to the Venice airport docks. VBT recommends that you check the transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” the night before your flight. The transfer is prearranged and prepaid by VBT.**

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

Lake Garda to Venice Bike tour map

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Accommodations

Hotel Villa Michelangelo

Escape into tranquility at this stately hotel, set in the soft rolling hills that inspired the architectural masterpieces of Andrea Palladio. Built as the country home of a noble family, this 18th-century structure is surrounded by olive trees and offers a host of modern amenities. Enjoy fine traditional cuisine in the elegant restaurant, relax by the pool or take in a round of golf at a nearby club. Each of the 52 rooms is uniquely appointed with wood-beam ceilings, a marble bathroom and breathtaking views of a lush verdant landscape.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Saturnia

For more than 100 years, the family-run Hotel Saturnia has welcomed travelers with Old World elegance and style combined with modern amenities. For 30 years, the hotel has been operated by the grandchildren of the original owner, who take particular pride in the hotel’s restaurant, La Caravella Restaurant, which is rated one of the best in the city. As a hotel guest, you will be entitled to a 10% discount in this ever-popular restaurant. You’ll also enjoy easy access to the highlights of Venice, thanks to the hotel’s location on Via XXII Marzo, the main street that links St. Mark’s Square and the Accademia Art Galleries. Via XXII Marzo also features world-class shopping, with famous fashion names like Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Ferragamo and many more represented. Also convenient to your hotel are La Fenice Theatre, the Rialto Bridge and the world-renowned Guggenheim Collection, housed in the former residence of Peggy Guggenheim.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Corte Valier

With its elegant grounds and innovative architecture, Hotel Corte Valier stands boldly on the eastern shore of magnificent Lake Garda. To reach the nearby Old Town, simply stroll down a romantic pathway that leads from this thoroughly modern property, open since March 2010. During your stay, indulge in a Turkish bath at the Laguna Spa, relax in the indoor or outdoor pool, watch the sun set over the lake from the terrace bar, and enjoy fine Mediterranean cuisine at the Dome restaurant. Each of the hotel’s rooms offers expansive views of the lake and features climate-control, a television, safe, telephone and private bath with shower. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Giberti

The Hotel Giberti is a modern hotel located in the center of Verona, a half mile from the Arena and Piazza Brà. This excellent location makes it easy to explore the city on foot. The hotel features a classic and elegant décor, very spacious new bedrooms, and bathrooms designed with Rosa Portugal marble. You’ll also enjoy a warm welcome from the smiling and efficient staff.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Belvedere

Positioned to overlook the city that French writer George Sand once called “a piece of heaven fallen on earth,” the Hotel Belvedere was originally built in the 15th century and has recently been renovated to blend this historic ambiance with modern comforts. Enjoy the lovely restaurant, which features typical Venetian cuisine, as well as easy access to such local highlights as the main square and a famous wooden bridge designed by master architect Andrea Palladio.
Free WiFi Included
Photos

VBT Lake Garda to Venice Photo Gallery

Reviews
  • Ratings Summary

    Calculated based on filtering:

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:

    4 out of 4 travelers would recommend this tour to a friend.

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  • Wonderful!

    Magnificent scenery, delicious meals, enjoyable cycling, cheerful guides and comfortable lodging were enjoyed every day on this wonderful bicycle trip. At the end of the first day of cycling we stayed at a gorgeous hotel at an idyllic spot on Lake Garda. The last day of cycling back to Bassano del Grappa was perhaps the most beautiful and memorable bicycle ride of my life. And all of the days in between were terrific. I highly recommend it!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 28, 2014
    Posted by: daVinch
    From: New Boston, NH, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Excellent Veneto/Lago del Garda Choice

    We thought this trip was "over the top" in all aspects. We would recommend this trip to anyone thinking about cycling in Italy....slightly northerly route. And.....many, many thanks to Claudio Palmieri who, we assume, had a big role in developing some of the details about this trip. Bravo, Claudio e Angelo!!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 10, 2014
    Posted by: TomNorthwest
    From: Seattle, WA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • A Hidden Treasure!

    We were unsure what lay in store for us when we signed on to ride the Veneto region of Italy. For sure we did not expect the gorgeous countryside dotted with romantic small villages, vineyards and olive groves. Nor did we expect to be so completely charmed by the local people who were most welcoming to American visitors. Having traveled before with VBT, I knew that the arrangements would be precise and well considered -- and I was not disappointed. In addition, the two guides (Angelo and Claudio) were not only very capable but were a lot of fun to be around. Their knowledge and humor were superceded only by their professional obligations to each guest. My wife usually takes one or two days off cycling on each of the VBT trips that we have taken, but not this time! She did not want to miss any of the wonderful sights nor the daily camaraderie of the group. Of course it goes without saying that the food and wine of this region of Italy was outstanding, altho' being on a bicycle all day takes away any guilt that one may have about indulging in these culinary treats. We were also able to find some delightful souvenirs to bring home, items that bring back a flood of warm memories of this vacation. Thank you VBT for doing such an outstanding job organizing this cycling vacation! We shall return for more!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 10, 2014
    Posted by: Terry
    From: Bethlehem, PA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • The country, architecture and food experiences are great!

    The Val Sugana Bike Path was one of my best biking days in Europe - a day long lovely ride away from traffic through beautiful mountains and farm country plus a rushing river!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: May 30, 2014
    Posted by: Lorelle1
    From: Seattle, WA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Pre-Trip Extension - Verona

2 nights for only $295

Post-Trip Extension - Venice

2 nights for only $395

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Travel Protection Plan

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VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, 614 Monkton Rd., Bristol, Vermont 05443-0711
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