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Italy: Valleys of the Dolomites

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On this exhilarating journey road cycling the Dolomites, you’ll pedal among Europe’s most stunning landscapes, passing snow-capped peaks, sweeping emerald-green valleys, and mountain villages along easy, panoramic bike paths.
Former tour name: Italy: Cycling the Dolomite Valleys

Guided Biking

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 4 - 36|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 3.75 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
4.9 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy
Easy
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$4,395

Bike Vacation Only

$3,145

(per person, double occupancy)

Italy: Valleys of the Dolomites

Rugged mountain ranges meet alpine lakes and emerald pastures, breathing each stunning landscape to life throughout your jaw-dropping journey road cycling the Dolomites. Explore the quaint Alp-ringed town of Cortina, affectionately dubbed the “Queen of the Dolomites.” Feast on local cuisine amidst panoramic picnic settings: pyramidal peaks, alpine lakes, and saddle-like summits surround you. Towering snow-capped mountain ranges mark each mile of progress, as you pass charming hamlets, dense forests, wafting apple orchards, and roaring rivers and waterfalls—all along mostly downhill bike paths, making each day’s adventure a pleasant breeze. Visit diverse museums that display antique tools and cultural artifacts unique to this region. Soak in soothing thermal pools, and experience isolated Ladin communities. These are Italy’s Dolomites—a scintillating South Tyrolean culture found nowhere else.

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain and is suitable for beginning cyclists who are comfortable with extended downhill rides and riding on packed gravel paths. Additional miles on easy/moderate terrain offer options for more avid cyclists. Our VBT support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance with hills. Hybrid bikes are best for performance in this area. We highly recommend training on hills prior to this tour.

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 4 - 36|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 3.75 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy a thrilling, 2,760-foot descent on the Val Venosta Bike Path
  • Ride through isolated Ladin communities, found nowhere else but here
  • Savor a picnic of local specialties surrounded by alpine peaks
  • Cycle flat paths among spectacular mountain vistas
  • Take in the stunning Pusteria Valley during an invigorating reel
  • Explore the South Tyrolean market town of San Candido
  • Sample barbecue specialties during lunch in the Aurina and Tures valleys
  • Browse the shops of Brunico’s pedestrian zone
  • Pedal past rustic masi farmhouses along the Plan de Corones plateau
  • Join a guide on a tour of Bressanone’s atmospheric Duomo and cloister
  • Marvel at breathtaking vistas as you cycle the Venosta Valley
  • “Take the waters” at Terme Merano’s thermal baths

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

May72º/49º

Jun79º/56º

Jul79º/59º

Aug81º/61º

Sep75º/55º

Oct63º/47º

Average
Precipitation:

May2.8 in

Jun2.5 in

Jul1.5 in

Aug2.6 in

Sep2.2 in

Oct2.7 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Venice and one night in Verona in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
6 nights in 4-star hotel Check Check
12 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Thu, May 28 to Sat, Jun 6 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

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

Arrive at the airport in Venice, Italy. Once in the arrival terminal you will be met by a VBT representative holding a VBT sign. He or she will be located just outside of customs and will assist you with your transfer by water taxi to the hotel. From the airport pier, you’ll transfer (approximately 35 minutes) with our transfer company, Venezia Taxi, to your centrally located hotel in Venice. The rest of the day is free to discover and dine on your own with the VBT City Information as your guide.

If you are going to be delayed for more than 15 minutes at the Lost & Found desk due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our transfer company know by calling +39 328 23 89 661 (at a fee). You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

Please note: Your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early in the day, 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 Duodo Palace
Alternate Hotel: Hotel All’Angelo

Meet your VBT representative at 9:00 a.m. in the main lobby of your Venice hotel; he or she will be holding a VBT sign.

From the hotel, a water taxi will transfer you first to the mainland and the Venice Marco Polo airport, where you’ll board your private motorcoach and continue on to Cortina. The transfer will last about two hours, with a short stop on the way. Your VBT trip leaders will meet your small group at its arrival point and escort you to your first hotel, in Cortina.

You’ll arrive in Cortina in time for lunch on your own. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, in the main shopping and pedestrian area full of life, elegant shops, restaurants and trendy cafés. After lunch, enjoy time to settle into your hotel. Later, your VBT trip leaders will discuss the rules of bike safety and provide you with specific tips for riding on sloped and gravel paths as you begin road cycling Dolomites. After, you join them for a warm-up ride.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception in the hotel’s cozy bar, followed by a special welcome dinner in the elegant restaurant. Some local Ampezzan specialties like casunzei (crescent-shaped ravioli) will immerse you in culinary traditions influenced by both Austrian Tyrol and Italian Veneto kitchens.

Hotel: Hotel Ancora
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 6 km (4 miles)

Afternoon
Cortina d’Ampezzo Warm-Up: 6 km (4 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s warm up-ride unfolds on a well paved and well marked bike path that by-passes the city of Cortina d’Ampezzo but is totally free from any car traffic. You will cycle it back and forth.

After breakfast, set out on a downhill reel along the Boite River Valley on the Dolomites Bike Path. This invigorating descent begins at 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) and ends at 3,000 feet (850 meters), in Valle di Cadore. This scenic path was once a railway that connected the little villages of the Cadore mountain community. Le Tofane mountain range marks your progress. Soon you’ll admire the towering pyramidal peak of Antelao to your left and the saddle-like summit of Mount Pelmo to your right. The latter is a nature reserve that protects many prehistoric fossils and dinosaur footprints.

You are now in the Ampezzan Valley, one of the four historic Ladin valleys. The Ladins—a population evolved from Celtic tribes and Roman soldiers—call this lovely pocket of Italy home. Long remote and secluded from the rest of Italy, they remain a proud people whose rare language, Ladin, is closely related to Swiss Romansh, Surselvan and Friulian. It is also still spoken in nearby Austro-Italian border regions.

The two Italian provinces of Trento and Bolzano are administratively independent from the rest of Italy, affording them a degree of autonomy. In particular, Cortina retains its own legislative system, one that is unique in the Dolomites: a council known as Regole d’Ampezzo. Under the regole and the ancient Celtic structure of property ownership, the 800 original families administer the community’s common land, which cannot be split or sold to outsiders or other families.

Enjoy a lunch of mountain specialties during a picnic in a panoramic setting along your route. Early this afternoon, you may shuttle or cycle back to Cortina, where you have time to explore on your own. Take an easy walk around Cortina or visit the Ethnography Museum to view its collection of antique tools and cultural artifacts. In the summertime, ride a gondola to the slopes of Le Tofane or Faloria to enjoy breathtaking alpine vistas. Or take a taxi and a walk to the open-air Museum of the Great War, set on the peaks of Rifugio 5-Torri, one of the most fascinating and moving excursions in the Dolomites. Dinner is on your own tonight; in the summer, you may opt to dine at a rifugio in the mountains.

After dinner, we recommend a stroll in Cortina. In the summer, your visit might coincide with a cultural event, folk festival or classical music concert.

Hotel: Hotel Ancora
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 54 km (17 – 34 miles)

Morning
Cortina to Cadore: 27.2 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Cadore to Cortina: 27.1 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Descend via an old rail trail that links Dobbiaco to Calalzo. Our morning ride follows the downhill stretch of this trail, which is mostly on gravel bike paths. You start in Cortina and end in Valle di Cadore, losing 1,000 feet elevation. For a longer and easy/moderate option, you may return the same way.

This morning a brief shuttle takes you on the scenic Cimabanche Pass and Lake Landro, where you start biking an easy downhill and flat ride on bike paths to Dobbiaco and San Candido. The views on the way are spectacular: You’ll pedal past Pomagagnon Mountain, Tre Cime di Lavaredo (the famous “Three Peaks”), and picturesque Toblacher Lake. En route, you might stop to pay tribute to the fallen of World War I at an intimate cemetery at the foothills of Monte Piana.

As you arrive in Dobbiaco, the landscape changes: rugged mountains skirted with green and roadside alpine lakes give way to open meadows and emerald pastures dotted with large, isolated farmhouses, or masi. Snow-capped peaks rise in the distance. This is the Pusteria Valley, a paradise for cyclists with its network of bike paths, bike hotels and bike shops aimed at promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle and healthy discovery of the valleys.

Soon, you’ll arrive in San Candido in South Tyrol, close to the Austrian border. After lunch here, there’ll be time for a stroll in this millennium-old little city. Visit the ancient, Romanesque Duomo della Collegiata—the oldest monastery in the Dolomites—and drink at one of the many stone fountains in the cobblestone pedestrian area. The Pusteria Valley is rich in history and legend, as it was on the ancient trade route to Aguntum (now in Austria) from Rome.

Later, cycle along the Upper Pusteria Valley to Brunico through lush meadows, sylvan forests and charming villages, always following the course of the Rienza River. As you ride through the heart of South Tyrol, you’ll experience a strong Austrian influence in the language (all signs are first in German and then Italian), the architectural features, and the local traditions. The terrain here is paved except for some short stretches in the woods. VBT offers both an easy and an easy-to-moderate ride.

Later, you arrive at your hotel in Riscone, beautifully situated at the foothills of the Plan de Corones mountain ridge. You’re sure to feel comfortable and even spoiled here: The hotel features a large garden, an indoor swimming pool fed by pristine mountain springs, in-room waterbeds, and sauna options. Dinner is served at the elegant hotel restaurant and includes a large salad buffet of fresh, locally sourced produce.

Hotel: Park Hotel Schoenblick
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 17 – 54 km (10 – 33 miles)

Morning
Lake Landro to San Candido: 17 km (10 miles)

Afternoon
San Candido to Riscone with Shuttle: 17 km (10 miles)
San Candido to Riscone (Extra): 37 km (23 miles)

What to Expect: Start with a shuttle up the Cimabanche Pass and Lake Landro. The easiest legs of today’s ride are from Lake Landro and San Candido (our lunch stop) and between San Candido and Monguelfo. Some short stretches are on well beaten gravel bike path, but mostly on well paved bike paths. From Monguelfo take our shuttle to the hotel or continue cycling an easy/moderate stretch (with unpaved sections in the woods) to Riscone.

After breakfast, begin cycling across the wide Plan de Corones plateau. On the way, you can admire the traditional masi farmhouses above Brunico. Later discover the beauty of the valleys of Aurina and Tures. About 90% of today’s route follows easy paths along the Aurino River, by high mountains dotted with slope-hugging castles and cattle farms. Brunico was built in a strategic position at the crossroads of four valleys; the castles you see once watched and defended the territory. Ride past tidy hamlets of wooden houses, high steeples, well-manicured gardens and cattle pens.

Lunch is included today in a spectacularly scenic spot, a special barbecue meal of tasty meats and crispy vegetables prepared by our host, Mani. After lunch, you may take a short easy walk to the roaring Riva waterfalls, perhaps choosing to explore these lovely surroundings further and hike to the higher waterfall. After, bike back to your hotel or hop a shuttle and pamper yourself at the hotel spa. An optional easy-to-moderate loop is also offered if you feel energetic and wish to ride more!

If you’re cycling back to your hotel, pause on your way to discover the city of Brunico and its pedestrian area, full of cafés, gelato shops and boutiques. Or visit Ripa Castle, once the summer residence of prince-bishops. Today, it is one of the five museum-castles that world-famous mountain climber Reinhold Messner has transformed into a cultural center dedicated to mountain people from four continents.

Dinner is at the hotel tonight.

Hotel: Park Hotel Schoenblick
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 46 km (11 – 27 miles)

Morning
Riscone to Wasserfallbar: 27 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Wasserfallbar to Riscone: 19 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: At the base of the Vedrette di Ries Mountains (3,436 m/11,273 ft), ride the Val di Tures, stretching between the Valle Aurina and the Vetta d’Italia Mountain. The ride is mostly on a well-paved bike path. Throughout your ride, admire Dolomite mountains that soar as high as 3,510 m (11,516 ft). The last 2 km back to your hotel are uphill; you can choose to take our shuttle with your trip leaders.

This morning, join the picturesque Pusteria Valley bike path along the Rienza River and enjoy a beautiful ride though more forests, tiny villages, and covered bridges. Your ride will end in Fortezza, where you will be in sight of the mighty fortress built under the Austrian Emperor Franz I, and the so-called Sachsenklemme, a place that had a significant role to play in the Tyrolean freedom fights of 1809. Before lunch, shuttle into the medieval city of Bressanone. Located at the confluence of the Rienza and Isarco rivers, the town was an important bishop town, evidenced by its cathedral, with its beautiful frescoed and sculptured cloister, the Hofburg Bishopric Palace, and the stone city gates. The narrow, porticoed streets and multicolored houses will capture your heart as you follow our local guide Gerdi on a walking tour. After the tour enjoy lunch on your own.

Early this afternoon, shuttle to Merano. Your hotel is centrally located on the pedestrian Kurpromenade on the River Adige, opposite the historic Kurhouse. There’ll be time before dinner to relax, perhaps enjoy the wellness center and pool, or indulge in the famous thermal pools for which Merano is known.

Like Cortina, Merano is a vibrant cultural city, offering concerts and entertainment on summer evenings. The city features great gourmet restaurants and fine wine bars.

Hotel: Hotel Terme Merano

Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 km (21 miles)

Morning
Casteldarne to Fortezza: 34 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: Exit the Val Pusteria and cycle through the Eisack/ Isarco River valley to Fortezza. Part of the ride is unpaved on bike paths and in the woods. In Fortezza the bike path ends and you board our 20 minute shuttle to Bressanone so that you may spend some time on your own in this historical and pedestrian town. We will not cycle in the afternoon. After a short walking tour of Bressanone with a local guide, transfer to Merano.

Today, prepare for a particularly picturesque ride during your final day road cycling Dolomites, as you gradually descend and follow the course of the river. You’ll start riding in the Renaissance village of Glorenza, surrounded by mountain peaks, and you’ll cycle through dozens of sprawling apple orchards, for which Venosta Valley is famous. You’ll also pass vineyards and castles adorning the slopes. In late August, you roll by many tractors and farmers tending to their fields. It’s sure to be one of your more memorable rides. For lunch on your own, we recommend pausing at one of the restaurants that you find along the river.

If you feel energetic, you can ride all the way back to Merano. Otherwise, we have planned to shuttle you by local train (a 20-30 minute ride), a very popular and convenient option for bikers and locals in this area.

Later tonight in Merano, raise a glass of Blauburgunder wine and toast our week over a farewell dinner in a typical local restaurant and Biergarden.

Hotel: Hotel Terme Merano

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 61 km (15 – 37 miles)

Morning
Glorenza to Castelbello: 36 km (22 miles)

Afternoon
Castelbello to Merano: 25 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride follows the Val Venosta Bike Path, starting from an altitude of 2,975 feet and gradually losing elevation. Most of the path is on well paved terrain, with a very short stretch on unpaved terrain. The short option ends at Castelbello train station after 35 km (22 miles), and after losing 1,050 feet. If you choose this option, you will embark a train to Merano. Your trip leader will handle your ticket and show you where to leave your bike. Today’s long option leads to your hotel in Merano, after losing total 1,900 feet elevation.

After breakfast, say ciao to your trip leaders and spend the rest of the morning discovering Merano. You can enjoy the amazing Terme Merano thermal pools in the beautifully designed building set in a 12-acre (five-hectare) garden (with 10% off your entry fee, compliments of your hotel). For more information, visit www.termemerano.it. The facility is just across the street from your hotel.

If you prefer, shop and stroll the historic city center. Or walk out of the city to visit the Truttmansdorff Gardens and Castle, where Austrian Empress Sissi lived. The gardens’ 30 acres (12 hectares) are beautifully landscaped and were voted Italy’s Most Beautiful Garden in 2005. After lunch on your own, return to the hotel to depart at 1:00 p.m. on a private motor coach to your Verona hotel. You will arrive at around 3:00 p.m.

Our local Verona guide will meet you and host an informative introduction and an orientation tour of Verona. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own with VBT’s City Information as your guide. If you are visiting from mid-June to the end of August, don’t miss the opera performances in the open-air Roman Arena, an unforgettable experience. 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).” If available, you can buy these last-minute at the ticket office, but it is best to purchase them in advance online at www.arena.it/arena/en. The Roman Arena is a very short walk from your hotel.

If you have chosen the independent Post-trip extension to Verona, you remain at this hotel for three nights.

Please note: Italian museums are closed on Mondays.

Hotel: Hotel Giberti
Meals: Breakfast

Early this morning*, transfer to the Verona Airport for your departing flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated transfer time**.

*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 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: Breakfast

Sat, May 30 to Fri, Jun 5 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Meet your fellow travelers and VBT representative at 10:00 a.m. at the Venice airport. The meeting point is the bar called Café CULTO at the WATER TRANSPORT terminal of Venice Marco Polo airport.

From the hotel, a water taxi will transfer you first to the mainland and the Venice Marco Polo airport, where you’ll board your private motorcoach and continue on to Cortina. The transfer will last about two hours, with a short stop on the way. Your VBT trip leaders will meet your small group at its arrival point and escort you to your first hotel, in Cortina.

You’ll arrive in Cortina in time for lunch on your own. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, in the main shopping and pedestrian area full of life, elegant shops, restaurants and trendy cafés. After lunch, enjoy time to settle into your hotel. Later, your VBT trip leaders will discuss the rules of bike safety and provide you with specific tips for riding on sloped and gravel paths as you begin road cycling Dolomites. After, you join them for a warm-up ride.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception in the hotel’s cozy bar, followed by a special welcome dinner in the elegant restaurant. Some local Ampezzan specialties like casunzei (crescent-shaped ravioli) will immerse you in culinary traditions influenced by both Austrian Tyrol and Italian Veneto kitchens.

Hotel: Hotel Ancora
Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 6 km (4 miles)

Afternoon
Cortina d’Ampezzo Warm-Up: 6 km (4 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s warm up-ride unfolds on a well paved and well marked bike path that by-passes the city of Cortina d’Ampezzo but is totally free from any car traffic. You will cycle it back and forth.

After breakfast, set out on a downhill reel along the Boite River Valley on the Dolomites Bike Path. This invigorating descent begins at 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) and ends at 3,000 feet (850 meters), in Valle di Cadore. This scenic path was once a railway that connected the little villages of the Cadore mountain community. Le Tofane mountain range marks your progress. Soon you’ll admire the towering pyramidal peak of Antelao to your left and the saddle-like summit of Mount Pelmo to your right. The latter is a nature reserve that protects many prehistoric fossils and dinosaur footprints.

You are now in the Ampezzan Valley, one of the four historic Ladin valleys. The Ladins—a population evolved from Celtic tribes and Roman soldiers—call this lovely pocket of Italy home. Long remote and secluded from the rest of Italy, they remain a proud people whose rare language, Ladin, is closely related to Swiss Romansh, Surselvan and Friulian. It is also still spoken in nearby Austro-Italian border regions.

The two Italian provinces of Trento and Bolzano are administratively independent from the rest of Italy, affording them a degree of autonomy. In particular, Cortina retains its own legislative system, one that is unique in the Dolomites: a council known as Regole d’Ampezzo. Under the regole and the ancient Celtic structure of property ownership, the 800 original families administer the community’s common land, which cannot be split or sold to outsiders or other families.

Enjoy a lunch of mountain specialties during a picnic in a panoramic setting along your route. Early this afternoon, you may shuttle or cycle back to Cortina, where you have time to explore on your own. Take an easy walk around Cortina or visit the Ethnography Museum to view its collection of antique tools and cultural artifacts. In the summertime, ride a gondola to the slopes of Le Tofane or Faloria to enjoy breathtaking alpine vistas. Or take a taxi and a walk to the open-air Museum of the Great War, set on the peaks of Rifugio 5-Torri, one of the most fascinating and moving excursions in the Dolomites. Dinner is on your own tonight; in the summer, you may opt to dine at a rifugio in the mountains.

After dinner, we recommend a stroll in Cortina. In the summer, your visit might coincide with a cultural event, folk festival or classical music concert.

Hotel: Hotel Ancora
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 54 km (17 – 34 miles)

Morning
Cortina to Cadore: 27.2 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Cadore to Cortina: 27.1 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Descend via an old rail trail that links Dobbiaco to Calalzo. Our morning ride follows the downhill stretch of this trail, which is mostly on gravel bike paths. You start in Cortina and end in Valle di Cadore, losing 1,000 feet elevation. For a longer and easy/moderate option, you may return the same way.

This morning a brief shuttle takes you on the scenic Cimabanche Pass and Lake Landro, where you start biking an easy downhill and flat ride on bike paths to Dobbiaco and San Candido. The views on the way are spectacular: You’ll pedal past Pomagagnon Mountain, Tre Cime di Lavaredo (the famous “Three Peaks”), and picturesque Toblacher Lake. En route, you might stop to pay tribute to the fallen of World War I at an intimate cemetery at the foothills of Monte Piana.

As you arrive in Dobbiaco, the landscape changes: rugged mountains skirted with green and roadside alpine lakes give way to open meadows and emerald pastures dotted with large, isolated farmhouses, or masi. Snow-capped peaks rise in the distance. This is the Pusteria Valley, a paradise for cyclists with its network of bike paths, bike hotels and bike shops aimed at promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle and healthy discovery of the valleys.

Soon, you’ll arrive in San Candido in South Tyrol, close to the Austrian border. After lunch here, there’ll be time for a stroll in this millennium-old little city. Visit the ancient, Romanesque Duomo della Collegiata—the oldest monastery in the Dolomites—and drink at one of the many stone fountains in the cobblestone pedestrian area. The Pusteria Valley is rich in history and legend, as it was on the ancient trade route to Aguntum (now in Austria) from Rome.

Later, cycle along the Upper Pusteria Valley to Brunico through lush meadows, sylvan forests and charming villages, always following the course of the Rienza River. As you ride through the heart of South Tyrol, you’ll experience a strong Austrian influence in the language (all signs are first in German and then Italian), the architectural features, and the local traditions. The terrain here is paved except for some short stretches in the woods. VBT offers both an easy and an easy-to-moderate ride.

Later, you arrive at your hotel in Riscone, beautifully situated at the foothills of the Plan de Corones mountain ridge. You’re sure to feel comfortable and even spoiled here: The hotel features a large garden, an indoor swimming pool fed by pristine mountain springs, in-room waterbeds, and sauna options. Dinner is served at the elegant hotel restaurant and includes a large salad buffet of fresh, locally sourced produce.

Hotel: Park Hotel Schoenblick
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 17 – 54 km (10 – 33 miles)

Morning
Lake Landro to San Candido: 17 km (10 miles)

Afternoon
San Candido to Riscone with Shuttle: 17 km (10 miles)
San Candido to Riscone (Extra): 37 km (23 miles)

What to Expect: Start with a shuttle up the Cimabanche Pass and Lake Landro. The easiest legs of today’s ride are from Lake Landro and San Candido (our lunch stop) and between San Candido and Monguelfo. Some short stretches are on well beaten gravel bike path, but mostly on well paved bike paths. From Monguelfo take our shuttle to the hotel or continue cycling an easy/moderate stretch (with unpaved sections in the woods) to Riscone.

After breakfast, begin cycling across the wide Plan de Corones plateau. On the way, you can admire the traditional masi farmhouses above Brunico. Later discover the beauty of the valleys of Aurina and Tures. About 90% of today’s route follows easy paths along the Aurino River, by high mountains dotted with slope-hugging castles and cattle farms. Brunico was built in a strategic position at the crossroads of four valleys; the castles you see once watched and defended the territory. Ride past tidy hamlets of wooden houses, high steeples, well-manicured gardens and cattle pens.

Lunch is included today in a spectacularly scenic spot, a special barbecue meal of tasty meats and crispy vegetables prepared by our host, Mani. After lunch, you may take a short easy walk to the roaring Riva waterfalls, perhaps choosing to explore these lovely surroundings further and hike to the higher waterfall. After, bike back to your hotel or hop a shuttle and pamper yourself at the hotel spa. An optional easy-to-moderate loop is also offered if you feel energetic and wish to ride more!

If you’re cycling back to your hotel, pause on your way to discover the city of Brunico and its pedestrian area, full of cafés, gelato shops and boutiques. Or visit Ripa Castle, once the summer residence of prince-bishops. Today, it is one of the five museum-castles that world-famous mountain climber Reinhold Messner has transformed into a cultural center dedicated to mountain people from four continents.

Dinner is at the hotel tonight.

Hotel: Park Hotel Schoenblick
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 46 km (11 – 27 miles)

Morning
Riscone to Wasserfallbar: 27 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Wasserfallbar to Riscone: 19 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: At the base of the Vedrette di Ries Mountains (3,436 m/11,273 ft), ride the Val di Tures, stretching between the Valle Aurina and the Vetta d’Italia Mountain. The ride is mostly on a well-paved bike path. Throughout your ride, admire Dolomite mountains that soar as high as 3,510 m (11,516 ft). The last 2 km back to your hotel are uphill; you can choose to take our shuttle with your trip leaders.

This morning, join the picturesque Pusteria Valley bike path along the Rienza River and enjoy a beautiful ride though more forests, tiny villages, and covered bridges. Your ride will end in Fortezza, where you will be in sight of the mighty fortress built under the Austrian Emperor Franz I, and the so-called Sachsenklemme, a place that had a significant role to play in the Tyrolean freedom fights of 1809. Before lunch, shuttle into the medieval city of Bressanone. Located at the confluence of the Rienza and Isarco rivers, the town was an important bishop town, evidenced by its cathedral, with its beautiful frescoed and sculptured cloister, the Hofburg Bishopric Palace, and the stone city gates. The narrow, porticoed streets and multicolored houses will capture your heart as you follow our local guide Gerdi on a walking tour. After the tour enjoy lunch on your own.

Early this afternoon, shuttle to Merano. Your hotel is centrally located on the pedestrian Kurpromenade on the River Adige, opposite the historic Kurhouse. There’ll be time before dinner to relax, perhaps enjoy the wellness center and pool, or indulge in the famous thermal pools for which Merano is known.

Like Cortina, Merano is a vibrant cultural city, offering concerts and entertainment on summer evenings. The city features great gourmet restaurants and fine wine bars.

Hotel: Hotel Terme Merano

Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 km (21 miles)

Morning
Casteldarne to Fortezza: 34 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: Exit the Val Pusteria and cycle through the Eisack/ Isarco River valley to Fortezza. Part of the ride is unpaved on bike paths and in the woods. In Fortezza the bike path ends and you board our 20 minute shuttle to Bressanone so that you may spend some time on your own in this historical and pedestrian town. We will not cycle in the afternoon. After a short walking tour of Bressanone with a local guide, transfer to Merano.

Today, prepare for a particularly picturesque ride during your final day road cycling Dolomites, as you gradually descend and follow the course of the river. You’ll start riding in the Renaissance village of Glorenza, surrounded by mountain peaks, and you’ll cycle through dozens of sprawling apple orchards, for which Venosta Valley is famous. You’ll also pass vineyards and castles adorning the slopes. In late August, you roll by many tractors and farmers tending to their fields. It’s sure to be one of your more memorable rides. For lunch on your own, we recommend pausing at one of the restaurants that you find along the river.

If you feel energetic, you can ride all the way back to Merano. Otherwise, we have planned to shuttle you by local train (a 20-30 minute ride), a very popular and convenient option for bikers and locals in this area.

Later tonight in Merano, raise a glass of Blauburgunder wine and toast our week over a farewell dinner in a typical local restaurant and Biergarden.

Hotel: Hotel Terme Merano

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 61 km (15 – 37 miles)

Morning
Glorenza to Castelbello: 36 km (22 miles)

Afternoon
Castelbello to Merano: 25 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride follows the Val Venosta Bike Path, starting from an altitude of 2,975 feet and gradually losing elevation. Most of the path is on well paved terrain, with a very short stretch on unpaved terrain. The short option ends at Castelbello train station after 35 km (22 miles), and after losing 1,050 feet. If you choose this option, you will embark a train to Merano. Your trip leader will handle your ticket and show you where to leave your bike. Today’s long option leads to your hotel in Merano, after losing total 1,900 feet elevation.

Your tour ends at our Merano hotel today. The morning is free. You can take a taxi on your own to the Merano train station (approximately €10-15; the ride is about 5 minutes). Most trains connect in Bolzano. If you prefer, you are welcome to board our coach to Verona at 1:00 p.m., arrive at our Verona hotel around 3:30 p.m., and make your connections there on your own.

If you prefer, shop and stroll the historic city center. Or walk out of the city to visit the Truttmansdorff Gardens and Castle, where Austrian Empress Sissi lived. The gardens’ 30 acres (12 hectares) are beautifully landscaped and were voted Italy’s Most Beautiful Garden in 2005. After lunch on your own, return to the hotel to depart at 1:00 p.m. on a private motor coach to your Verona hotel. You will arrive at around 3:00 p.m.

Our local Verona guide will meet you and host an informative introduction and an orientation tour of Verona. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own with VBT’s City Information as your guide. If you are visiting from mid-June to the end of August, don’t miss the opera performances in the open-air Roman Arena, an unforgettable experience. 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).” If available, you can buy these last-minute at the ticket office, but it is best to purchase them in advance online at www.arena.it/arena/en. The Roman Arena is a very short walk from your hotel.

Please note: Italian museums are closed on Mondays.

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Venice

2 Nights From $445 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $295

  • 2 nights at Hotel Duodo Palace or Hotel All’Angelo
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality Desk and Orientation Tour
  • Airport transfers

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

Arrive at the airport in Venice, Italy. Once in the arrival terminal, you will be met by a VBT representative holding a VBT sign. He or she will be located just outside of customs and will assist you with your transfer by water taxi to the hotel. From the airport pier, you’ll transfer (approximately 35 minutes) with our transfer company, Venezia Taxi, to your centrally located hotel in Venice. At the hotel, our local expert will be available from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. to answer your questions.
The rest of the day is free to discover and dine on your own with the VBT City Information as your guide.

If you are going to be delayed for more than 15 minutes at the Lost & Found desk due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our transfer company know by calling +39 328 23 89 661 (at a fee). You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

Please note: Your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

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 Duodo Palace
Alternate Hotel: Hotel All’Angelo

Today, explore Venice to your heart’s content. Perhaps take a vaporetto to visit some of its islands. Built on 118 islands in a shallow lagoon, Venice is a city like no other. It comprises more than 150 canals and 400 bridges, all delightful to explore by gondola or water taxi. This charming city can also be seen on foot. Be sure to visit the Grand Canal and the famous Rialto Bridge. In St. Mark’s Square, the St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture in Europe. Other spots not to miss include the Bridge of Sighs (said to have provided prisoners with their last view of freedom before their incarceration), the Doge’s Palace, the Gallerie dell’Accademia, and the island of Murano, famed for its glass-blowing. Your centrally located hotel will make it easy to access it all.

Please note: Italian museums are closed on Mondays.

Hotel: Hotel Duodo Palace
Alternate Hotel: Hotel All’Angelo
Meals: Breakfast

Continue your exploration of Venice.

VBT Air Package guests will arrive throughout the day.

Hotel: Hotel Duodo Palace
Alternate Hotel: Hotel All’Angelo
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Verona

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 2 nights at Hotel Giberti
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality Desk and Orientation Tour
  • Airport transfers

Spend another day discovering Verona. You may also take a 40-minute train to Padua to explore this beautiful art city. The centerpiece here is undoubtedly Scrovegni Chapel, a 14th-century masterpiece reminiscent of a small Sistine Chapel. Its walls are covered with frescoes by Giotto.

Hotel: Hotel Giberti
Meals: Breakfast

Continue your exploration of Verona. If you enjoy natural springs, you might plan a day in the nearby villages of Montegrotto or Abano. Or journey to Lake Garda, only 30 minutes away.

Hotel: Hotel Giberti
Meals: Breakfast

Early this morning*, transfer to the Verona Airport for your departing flight**. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated transfer time.

*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 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: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 203 out of 211 (96%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.9 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

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