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Gateway to the Dolomites: Biking Bolzano to Lake Garda

E-Bikes Available on this TourItaly’s Trentino-South Tyrol region boasts a stunning array of mountain peaks, verdant meadows, and serene alpine lakes. Learn about Austro-Bavarian cultural influences, sample local cheese and wine, and stay in charming mountain towns.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 33 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Perfect for those trying a bike vacation for the first time.
  • Airfare Packages Available

New for 2018!

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first serve.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Gateway to the Dolomites: Biking Bolzano to Lake Garda

Northern Italy’s spellbinding landscape of soaring monoliths and glittering lakes begs to be explored on two wheels. Scenic bike paths here skirt magnificent alpine peaks, passing apple orchards and vineyards into emerald valleys and charming villages. And breathtaking routes deliver you to Italy’s largest mountain-ringed lake. On VBT’s newest Italy vacation, the Dolomites and Lake Garda are refreshingly bike-friendly. Our relaxed pace lets you slow down to meet local farmers and sample South Tyrol’s delicious wines and apple strudel. Along the way, historic inns help you experience the region’s famed tradition of hospitality.

Cultural Highlights

  • Cycle in the Natural Park of the Adamello and Brenta Dolomites on scenic paved bike paths and roads
  • Savor local vino santo wine and Trentino regional specialties
  • Taste local cheeses from cows bred in high alpine pastures
  • Stroll scenic Riva del Garda, nestled in steep mountains
  • Shop in Bolzano and admire its romanesque and gothic buildings
  • Visit the Museum of Archaeology, home to Oetzi the Iceman, the famous glacier mummy
  • Ride the Wine Road along the Isarco River, passing quaint South Tyrol villages
  • Cruise scenic Lake Garda aboard a ferry
  • Indulge in creamy gelato during an ice cream break in Dro
  • Stay in picturesque Madonna di Campiglio, the Pearl of the Dolomites

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain and very 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 – 33 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 5 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Bolzano
May 74º/49º  Jun 80º/55º  Jul 84.6º/58.6º  Aug 82.9º/58.1º  Sep 77º/24º  Oct 65.7º/41.9º

Average Precipitation (in.) – Bolzano
May 3.2   Jun 3.2   Jul 3.6   Aug 3.6   Sep 2.6   Oct 2.2

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first serve. Learn more.

Bicycle Vacation Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 4- and 5-star hotels
  • 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 4- and 5-star hotels
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Airport transfers
  • And the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions:
    Pre-trip: Innsbruck, Austria – 2 nights for only $345
    Post-trip: Milan – 2 nights from only $395-$645*

Both Vacation Options Include

Reading List

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $695 | Land Only Single Supplement: $495

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 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.

Star AllianceUnited-Airlines

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Innsbruck (Austria)

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

DAY 2: Arrive in Innsbruck

Upon arrival at the Innsbruck airport, a local VBT representative will meet you outside the customs area to help you transfer to your hotel (approximately 10 minutes). The representative will be holding a VBT sign.

If you are going to be delayed meeting the transfer representative due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our Airport staff know by calling or sending a text message to +43 664 300 7178. The drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you will be responsible for your own transfer. You may also contact One Call travel assistance (information available in your final docs) to advise them of your delay, and they will contact VBT’s transfer service.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 4:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Hotel: Hotel Schwarzer Adler

DAY 3: Transfer to Bolzano (Italy) / Bicycle Vacation begins

VBT Bicycle Vacation only guests: Your tour starts at 2:00 pm at our Bolzano hotel (Parkotel Laurin, Via Laurin 4, Bolzano, Phone +39 0471 311000). Your Trip Leaders will meet you in the lobby wearing VBT staff garments. Please have lunch before meeting your group and Trip Leaders. If your arrival at our Bolzano hotel will be later than 2:00 pm or if you are delayed, please call the hotel and ask the front desk to pass the message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Enjoy free time this morning to explore Innsbruck. The Old Town is a short stroll from your hotel. You might have time to see the city on a Hop-On/Hop-Off sightseeing bus. At 11:00 am, meet your bus driver in the lobby and transfer to Bolzano, Italy, arriving at your centrally located hotel around 12:30 pm. Your Trip Leaders will offer tips for lunch on your own. Your rooms may not be ready until 3:00 pm. You are welcome to store your luggage with the reception desk.

Meet with your group at 2:00 pm for a safety and bike-fitting session with your Trip Leaders. Your biking clothes are not required to attend this meeting. By session’s end, your rooms will be ready and you will have time to settle in and change into your biking clothes. Later, enjoy a warm-up ride along easy and scenic bike paths outside the city. You will cycle along the Talfer River to the Talfer Meadows and the foot of the medieval Runkelstein castle, one of the most majestic castles in the valleys surrounding Bolzano. As you ride, the Rosengarten Range rises before you. The summits of these mountains change color to various shades of red and purple during sunset; legend attributes this magical show to the dwarf King Laurin who was able to change the hue of his favorite roses in the twilight.

This evening gather for a welcome cocktail at the legendary hotel bar while you admire the unique artwork and fresco paintings that depict the saga of King Laurin. Its entire collection includes around 200 original 20th-century works, from woodcuts to canvas pieces, from Impressionism to German New Objectivity. Exquisite works can be found in the guestrooms, parlors and in the hotel’s private park.

Tonight you will walk to a cozy local restaurant in the center of town for our special Welcome Dinner.

Hotel: Parkhotel Laurin
Meals: B (for Air package guests only), D
Daily Options: 8.7 miles (14 km)

DAY 4: The Wine Road to Lake Caldaro

After a hearty buffet breakfast, you cycle directly from your hotel, tracing an easy bike path out of town along the Isarco River. The landscape opens up as we skirt the foot of Siegmundskron Castle, one of the six mountain museums—established by the South Tyrolean extreme mountaineer, Reinhold Messner—dedicated to mountain people and culture.

At the confluence of the Adige and Isarco Rivers, our route gently climbs past the sloping vineyards of the Kalterer Valley. As you ascend, marvel at the views of the valley ringed by soaring mountains. Your route will remain easy for the rest of the day as you pass the quaint villages of Ueberetsch and San Michele, pausing for lunch in Kalter. These mountain hamlets are famous for their Gewuertztraminer wine. You can stop at your leisure at one of the charming wine cellars for a tasting or simply a visit.

Early this afternoon, you will cycle by Lake Caldaro, the warmest bathing lake in the Alps and continue your alpine reel on an easy bike path along the Adige River. This rewarding ride leads back to your hotel.

You have the rest of the day to stroll the beautiful Old Town of Bolzano, exploring its narrow alleyways, old manor houses and Romanesque and Gothic structures famously constructed by the Schiche brothers from Augsburg, Germany. You might stop to visit the Museum of Archaeology, whose main attraction is Oetzi the Iceman, the famous glacier mummy discovered fully clothed in 1991. As you wander this alpine town, its food culture comes to life as its streets are dotted with many organic food shops selling fresh products from nearby farms. Indulge in the local bounty when you choose a restaurant for dinner on own. South Tyrol’s excellent cuisine is reflected in its numerous award-winning restaurants; in 2016 18 of the region’s restaurants received a record 23 Michelin stars.

Hotel: Parkhotel Laurin
Meals: B
Daily Options: 13.8 or 31.5 miles (22 or 50.3 km)

DAY 5: Bike the Sole Valley / Madonna di Campiglio

Setting off this morning, you will skirt the Noce River, following a well paved bike path into the verdant Sole Valley, a spectacular expanse of emerald green watched over by the dramatic Stelvio National Park mountain range to the north and the Adamello and Brenta Dolomites Natural Reserve to the south. During this invigorating ride along the tranquil river, you will cycle in open meadows and shaded spruce woods, passing apple orchards and scenic picnic areas that beg you to stop a moment and take it all in. Later, the magnificent Ortlesgroup mountains appear. A particularly charming highlight of the morning is the village of Pellizzano, an ancient cluster of stone buildings and a rustic churchwhere you will stop for lunch on your own. After, enjoy more scenic cycling into the unspoiled Meledrio Valley, gateway to the ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio, known as the “Pearl of the Brenta Dolomites.” You will stay in this picturesque corner of Trentino Alto Adige for the next two nights. If you wish, you may join an optional hill climb to Madonna.

Often compared to the toniest of European destinations, Madonna di Campiglio gained fame in the 19th century when Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth (popularly known as “Sissi”) vacationed here. Celebrities flock here still to indulge in its ski-resort atmosphere. In summer, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts find it the perfect locale for hiking, rock climbing, and of course biking. Your small, family-style 5-star hotel is run by the Schiavon family. With its flower pots and wooden beans, it is one of Madonna’s most gracious accommodations. Unwind in the covered swimming pool, sauna and steam bath before enjoying dinner at the restaurant. You will savor its housemade carne salada, canederli (bread balls), and organic selections like salmon trout from the nearby Sarca River served with apples from the Non Valley.

Hotel: Hotel Chalet del Sogno
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 22.5 or 31.5 miles (36 or 50 km)

DAY 6: Waterfalls / Farm fresh lunch / Mountain village of Madonna di Campiglio

Awake this morning to the staggering beauty that encircles Madonna and your chalet. After a hearty breakfast prepared by your warm hosts, prepare for a breathtaking day of riding amidst the Adamello and Brenta Dolomites. Begin with an inspiring reel into the Vallesinella Valley, passing patches of high spruce trees, before entering the narrow and dramatic Genoa Valley, cut in a canyon between peaks of the Adamello and Presanello ranges. The Sarca River flows through this astonishing deep-cut ravine, dropping as it flows to form several scenic waterfalls. The Nardis Falls are close enough to almost touch as you ride past. Later, you will pause to visit a local cheese maker at a family run farm, the perfect setting for an informal lunch prepared with the farm’s ingredients. You may taste some of the best milk produced anywhere as the cows are grazed in high mountain pastures during summer.

Later, you may shuttle or ride uphill to Madonna and spend the afternoon as you wish. Board a cable car to one of the peaks for magnificent views and walks among splendid landscapes. Stop for a drink at a rifugio. Or shop in the local boutiques for some of the regions renowned felt objects or sweaters. Your hosts, the Schiavons, are expert hikers (Alberto is also a snowboardcross Olympic champion) and are eager to offer tips and shuttles to their favorite picturesque spots of the area. Tonight you are treated to regional Trentino specialties by the Schiavon family at your hotel restaurant.

Hotel: Hotel Chalet del Sogno
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 20 or 31 miles (32 or 49.5 km)

DAY 7: Sarca River Ride / Vino santo tasting / Lake Garda

Today promises invigorating and beautiful rides along paved road as you lose elevation, leaving the Dolomites for Pinzolo and Lake Garda. Wide open views of the Presanella and Adamello peaks and the Brenta Dolomites unfold, with their perennial glaciers and jagged pinnacles. In Carisolo we enter the Rendena Valley and pedal along a well paved and energizing bikeway along the banks of the Sarche River. After Stenico and a slight ascent, you begin one of the most spectacular stretches of the week as you follow a route through the Limaro canyon. This downhill route is completely free from vehicle traffic, meandering along the roaring Sarca River and the natural ravine enclosed by towering rock faces of Monte Casale. You will end your spectacular reel in Ponte Arche, where you enjoy a well-deserved tasting of vino santo, a sweet and satisfying dessert wine. As you sip this local favorite, enjoy views over a large valley and the distant glittering waters of Lake Garda.

A short shuttle takes you to your elegant hotel in Riva del Garda. After settling in, you have free time to explore the luxurious hotel gardens that stretch to the lake shore. A short easy walk on the lake promenade delivers you to the heart of Riva, beautifully nestled at the foot of a steep rocky mountain. Dine on your own at the hotel restaurant, or linger in Riva for an array of options.

Hotel: Hotel Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort
Meals: B
Daily Options: 26.2 or 32.5 miles (42 or 52 km)

DAY 8: Riva del Garda / Arco / Lake Cavedine

Mountains surrounding Lake Garda shield the valley from cooler air currents, creating a Mediterranean climate where olive and fruit trees, vineyards, exotic flowers and even palms all thrive. You will set off into this paradise today as you depart directly from your hotel and cycle north on mostly flat terrain to Sarca River Park, where the Sarca spills into Lake Garda. Up to 18 habitats are protected here. As your ride continues, you will pass several inviting places that deserve a closer look. Pause in the quaint village of Arco, with its castle looming from a high spur. Take in the stark beauty of the Marocche di Dro habitat, an unexpectedly dry and desolate pocket. Pedal through the vineyard-blanketed wine region of Sarche. Later, arrive on the verdant quiet shores of intimate Lake Cavedine, where the Pedrotti family has invited you to join them for lunch on their winemaking farm. Enjoy simple specialties such as fragrant tomatoes grown in the Gresta Valley, freshly baked bread, and meats and cheeses from nearby organic farms.

After a rewarding lunch, you will loop back to Riva and your hotel. Late this afternoon, you may treat yourself to the luxurious spa and wellness center located in the property’s majestic park, and maybe go for a swim in Lake Garda. Our Farewell Dinner is in Riva tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 17.5 or 32.5 miles (28 or 52 km)

DAY 9: Ferry to Gardone / Transfer to Milan / VBT Bicycle Vacation ends

VBT Bicycle Vacation only guests: After breakfast, walk to the ferry embarcadero where you embark a scenic 2-hour cruise on Lake Garda to Gardone. In this picturesque village, there’ll be time to stretch your legs, explore, and enjoy lunch on your own. After, you will join the Air Package guests and transfer to Milan, arriving at approximately 3:00 pm. Your tour ends here at our centrally located hotel in Largo Cairoli. From here, a taxi or public transportation can take you the airport or train station at your own expense.

VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, walk to the ferry embarcadero where you embark a scenic 2-hour cruise on Lake Garda to Gardone. In this picturesque village, there’ll be time to stretch your legs, explore, and enjoy lunch on your own. After, you will shuttle to your centrally-located hotel in Milan, arriving at approximately 3:00 pm. Here, you may join VBT’s local guide on an orientation walk. If you have chosen VBT’s independent Post-Trip Extension to Milan, you will remain here for three nights. Your local representative can help you make the most of your stay. VBT’s City Information includes recommendations for restaurants, museums, and transportation in the area, and will help you explore on your own.

Hotel: Una Hotel Cusani
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for home

After breakfast* this morning, transfer to Malpensa Airport (approximately 60 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight**. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

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

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” 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

Dolomite Bike Tour Map

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Accommodations

Gateway to the Dolomites: Biking Bolzano to Lake Garda

Hotel Schwarzer Adler

Occupying one of the oldest buildings in Innsbruck, the Hotel Schwarzer Adler exudes traditional Tyrolean style. This fine property boasts a long history of hospitality; Innsbruck’s Old Town and cable car stations are a short walk away. On the ground floor, the customary and cozy wooden Stuben host the breakfast room and restaurant. At the rooftop bar, admire the decorative old cable car wagon and spectacular views of the nearby Alps. The hotel’s sister property, the modern Hotel Der Adler, is nearby and offers more 360º vistas of the mountains.
Free WiFi Included

Parkhotel Laurin

One of Bolzano’s most elegant properties, the Parkhotel Laurin, occupies one of the most beautiful buildings in town. Its intimate bar is legendary, full of lush fresco paintings depicting the saga of King Laurin. The hotel houses unique artwork: its entire collection includes around 200 original 20th-century works, from woodcuts to canvas pieces, from Impressionism to German New Objectivity. Exquisite works can be found in the guestrooms, parlors and in the hotel’s private park. The breakfast room is adorned with decorative hand-painted paper.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Chalet del Sogno

The small and intimate Hotel Chalet del Sogno is a family-run property where the owners are always available. “Sogno” is Italian for “dream” and you’ll surely fall into a blissful reverie during your stay in Madonna di Campiglio. The staff is elegantly dressed in local Dirndl costume, typical of the Tyrol area. Large wood-furnished bedrooms offer balconies and breathtaking vistas over the mountains. In the wellness and fitness center, indulge in the indoor swimming pool equipped with countercurrent, two saunas, a steam bath, and more. An expert guide and Olympic athlete, the owner is available for suggestions and assistance.
Free WiFi Included

Du Lac et Du Park Grand Resort

The Du Lac et Du Park Grand Resort consists of three buildings set in a 17-acre park planted with large and rare trees and manicured gardens that extend to the shores of Lake Garda. The city center is just a half mile away and accessible via a picturesque lakeside promenade. During your stay, savor the carefully prepared dishes at its two restaurants, one of which enjoys an intimate and elegant setting in the heart of the property’s gardens. The wellness center, too, is surrounded by fragrant florals and delightful pathways. Take advantage of two outdoor swimming pools and one indoor pool, a relaxing way to end your invigorating days on the bike.
Free WiFi Included

Una Hotel Cusani

The Una Hotel is centrally located a half mile from the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Via Dante, which leads to the pedestrian-only shopping and theatre district, is just outside the door. You can also stroll to the nearby Brera district and St. Maria delle Grazie Convent, home to The Last Supper by Da Vinci. The Sforza Castle, which houses an art museum, is across the street. If you want to explore farther afield, Cairoli metro station is nearby. The Una hotel chain is well known for the comfort of its beds, the fine design of its modern decoration, and the care staff takes with detail.
Free WiFi Included

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Austria, Tyrol, Innsbruck, Marie Theresien Strasse

Pre-Trip Extension – Innsbruck, Austria

2 nights for only $345

Milan post trip for Italian Lake walking tour

Post-Trip Extension - Milan

2 nights from only $395-$645*

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