Italy: The Dolomites, Bolzano to Ora | VBT Bicycling Vacations Skip to Main Content
Click and hold to Zoom

Italy: The Dolomites, Bolzano to Ora

If you’ve ever dreamed of cycling the Giro d’Italia’s Pordoi Pass, this is your chance! Of course, we’ve planned it so you won’t have to do all the work: a shuttle to the top lets you coast down, navigating the switchbacks that have thrilled Giro d’Italia fans for years. Here, you’ll feel the awe-inspiring presence of the Queen of the Dolomites—the mountain’s highest peak. During your orientation meeting, your VBT Local host sets you up for independent exploration, fitting you with a well-maintained bike, a navigation app with route notes, and a number you can call 24/7 if you need support. Along the way, you’ll spin along quiet bike paths through the high mountain valleys of Val di Fassa and Val di Fiemme—staying at quaint local hotels suffused with South Tyrol’s famous culture, cuisine, and cycling. 

Tour Highlights

  • Cycle from one small alpine city to another, taking in rich cultures steeped in remarkable histories.
  • Ride the diverse landscapes of the Dolomites, from vineyard-blanketed hills, emerald-green valleys, and sylvan forests to dramatic foothills and a 7,000-foot mountain pass.
  • Coast down a mountainside from Pordoi Pass, navigating 33 switchbacks as you descend for six miles along roads made famous by Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi.
  • Revel in some of Europe’s best-maintained bike paths, stellar routes that comprise 90% of this itinerary.
  • Sample the culinary delights of South Tyrol, from alpine cheeses and speck (cured ham) to pinot noirs along the Wine Route.

Positive Impact

VBT is proud to support Wine to Water with a donation on behalf of each guest on this tour. Wine to Water is an international organization providing access to clean drinking water and emergency supplies in water-challenged regions. We believe in giving back to the places that have enriched the lives of our guests. We’re committed to identifying and supporting sustainable initiatives in a variety of areas including education, world health, economic equality, safe drinking water, the environment, and the preservation of cultural traditions.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain and moderate hills and is ideal for beginner and experienced cyclists. Rides are mostly on well-paved dedicated bike paths that are well maintained, well-marked, and very scenic. Expect riding gradually uphill for the first three days. On the day you bike down the mountain pass, expect 10 km (6.2 miles) of downhill on a large road that can be busy with cars in the summer. Please verify your bike selection for this tour as it is not always possible to change bikes once you arrive on tour. Travel with your friends and family—we can accommodate multiple guests on this self-guided vacation. Our 24/7 support system is available if needed.

  • Daily Mileage: 27-46 miles|
  • Biking: 3-5 hours|
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy/Moderate
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
24/7 Support System 24/7 Support
System

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

May74º/49º

Jun80º/55º

Jul85º/59º

Aug83º/59º

Sep77º/52º

Oct66º/42º

Average
Precipitation:

May3.2 in

Jun3.2 in

Jul3.6 in

Aug3.6 in

Sep2.6 in

Oct2.2 in

Air Package

Tour Only

Roundtrip international airfare

Check

Detailed information for your independent travel to/from arrival and departure airports

Check

One night in Bolzano and one night in Verona in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included

Check

5 nights in town-center boutique hotels and one spa hotel

Check Check

5 meals: 5 breakfasts

Check Check

Transportation from Brunico to Pordoi pass (one-hour drive)

Check Check

Train tickets from Brunico to San Candido and from Ora to Bolzano

Check Check

Puncture-protected tires

Check Check
2024

Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

See More >

Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

See More >

Road Bicycle (Aluminum alloy frame)

See More >

Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

See More >

Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

See More >

Self-Guided Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT bike with puncture-protected tires

Welcome orientation and bike fitting

Luggage transportation

Ride with GPS and daily route notes

VBT Road Book with destination information

24/7 emergency support from local host

Helmet, bike bag, and tool kit

Your choice of VBT branded gear for your adventure

Itinerary

Sat, Jun 29 to Sun, Jul 7, 2024

Show Itinerary:

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

Upon arrival at the Innsbruck Airport, make your own travel arrangements to your hotel in Bolzano, Italy.

The Parkhotel Laurin is centrally located in Bolzano alongside a pretty green park, within walking distance of the railway station. A stroll through this capital of South Tyrol reveals onion-domed churches, pastel-hued townhouses, and riverside bike paths. Admire the Gothic and Romanesque churches in the medieval city center and enjoy Tyrolean cuisine in one of the city’s many fine restaurants.

After breakfast at Parkhotel Laurin, take time to explore this beautiful old city, perhaps browsing the food and flower market, the shops under the arcades, and the cafés. Consider visiting the Archeological Museum, where you can see Otzi the Iceman, the famous glacier mummy discovered fully clothed in 1991.

At 12:00 p.m., meet your Local host in the lobby of the Parkhotel Laurin for your Welcome Orientation, along with any other VBT guests arriving on the same day. Please be dressed and ready for cycling. Your Local host will be carrying a VBT sign.

During your first day’s ride, get to know your bicycle, and ease into the rhythm of Italy and its efficient network of bike paths. Your route follows the Isarco River’s deep valley to Bressanone. Along the way, as you approach the soaring Dolomites, admire the 1687 Abbey of Sabiona perched high on an outcropping, and maybe stop to visit the red-roofed village of Chiusa, where bike shops and cafes are available.

The charming medieval town of Bressanone (known as Brixen in German) is located in South Tyrol, part of Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region. The province belonged to Austria until 1918. In fact, locals speak more German than Italian. This “Ancient Bishop’s City” is nestled between two rivers and enveloped by mountains sloping down to vineyards and lush orchards. Its pleasant center is a lovely tapestry of narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and historic buildings and bridges.

This evening, pick a restaurant and have a taste of South Tyrolean cuisine. Local Alto Adige wines, cured ham (speck), and cheeses, as well as handmade spinach-filled ravioli, river trout, local game, lamb, and of course apple strudel, are some of the many local specialties that you can find here.

Today's Ride Choices

Bolzano to Bressanone — 43 km (27 miles) | Bressanone City Walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

You ride from your centrally located hotel to Bressanone, along a well-marked and paved bike path with short tunnels here and there. You steadily gain elevation throughout the day, but never steep hills to climb. You hardly perceive the elevation gain. Stop for a visit and coffee or snack in the picturesque small town of Chiusa after approximately 30 km. We also recommend planning to arrive in Bressanone so you have time to explore this medieval town on foot, maybe following the walk recorded in RWGPS and specially created by our local expert guides. See D1 Bressanone walk for Bressanone suggested walking route, services, and points of interest.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Linger over breakfast as long as you’d like. At your leisure, cycle out of Bressanone on a paved bike path, heading toward Brunico. You leave the vineyard-draped valleys and approach the foothills of the Alps. Short after Bressanone, you hit the impressive Abbey of Novacella, founded in the year 1142. Definitely worth a visit, the complex has been build over a span of 900 years and the different styles from Romanesque to Gothic and Baroque are represented in its buildings. In the same year of the construction, the monks also planted a vineyard so that the monastery winery is one of the oldest active in the world and the representative of an outstanding white wine area. Take the time to visit the winery and sit at the abbey cafe and restaurant for a drink or lunch.

From Novacella you have the option to follow a longer scenic route through Fortezza, where you can admire the imposing Franzenfeste fortress built by the Austrians almost two centuries ago to protect the borders, or a shorter way—both taking you into the Pusteria Valley, one of the longest east-west valleys in the Alps.

Once you roll into Brunico, ride directly to your hotel on the historic main street, the via Bastioni. The magnificent trees you see here occupy the strip of land once taken up by a moat that surrounded the town’s castle. Today, the old fortification is home to the Messner Mountain Museum RIPA, established by the famed mountain climber Rainold Messner. It’s worth a visit if you have time. You might also explore the inviting shops and beautiful buildings along via Centrale and duck into the maze of vaulted narrow streets, where you can find local crafts and clothing such as felt hats, leather shoes, and even a Dolomites cycling jersey. As you plan your time, bear in mind that shops here close as early as 6:00 p.m.

Follow your nose—or the advice of your hotel—and pick a restaurant for dinner, perhaps sampling a South Tyrol specialty.

Today's Ride Choices

Bressanone to Novacella — 3 km (2 miles) | Novacella to Brunico — 35 km (22 miles) OR Novacella to Fortezza to Brunico — 43 km (27 miles)

What to Expect:

Departing Bressanone, your route primarily follows well-kept bike paths to Brunico. You will have a choice of two routes—one shorter and paved (ideal for road bikes), with a climb to the Novacella Abbey, the other one 3 miles (5 km) longer and including a panoramic stretch on a gravel path to the Fortezza fortress (less ideal for road bikes). After, you will climb very gradually to Brunico, with a few steeper hills. The path flattens out to your destination. Much of your ride follows the Rienza River.

In Brunico, a longer loop on mostly country roads leads you into a wide green valley and through typical local villages to Campo Tures. Your route loops around this village, then through it, to retrace the same path before you continue to Brunico. It’s a scenic and relaxing ride with open views of the northern Alps. You can ride this loop tomorrow if you prefer to take time to explore Brunico today.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, ride to the nearby railway station and board a local train to San Candido in the Pusteria Valley. Your ticket is included, and the trains runs every 30 minutes from early morning. This ancient city on the doorstep of Austria rose up around its abbey, which was founded in 769. Visit the Romanesque Duomo della Collegiata—the oldest monastery in the Dolomites—and drink at one of the many stone fountains in the cobblestone pedestrian area. Consider browsing a local market or café for a takeaway lunch that you can enjoy later.

Set out on your mostly downhill route, arriving at the beautiful Toblacher Lake, the ideal spot for your picnic lunch. Continue to Brunico along riverside bike paths, through picturesque villages and sylvan forests. As you ride, you will notice that the main language here is German and the architecture and culture reflect an Austrian influence.

A longer option leads you into the stunning Auer Valley and the charming old market town of Campo Tures, the Taufers Castle watching over from its perch.

We suggest you put some time aside this afternoon to take a funicular to the summit of Plan de Corones, at 7,464 feet (2,275 meters). The views of South Tyrol from the top of the plateau are incredible. If there is time, you can visit Lumen, the unique Museum of Mountain Photography at the summit. Set in a stunning modern building inspired by its alpine surroundings, this unique space offers fascinating exhibits. You may dine here if you wish. Check the time of the last funicular up and plan your day accordingly.

Today's Ride Choices

Hotel Post to Brunico train station — 0.6 km (1/3 of a mile) | San Candido to Brunico — 42 km (26 miles) | Brunico to Campo Tures out and back — 33 km (20 miles)

What to Expect:

Expect a 40-minute train ride to San Candido. It’s easy to get your bike on the train, as the region’s transportation infrastructures encourage an environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle.  Before boarding your train, validate both the Alto-Adige Guess Pass (handed by the hotel on check-in) and the bike ticket handed out by your host. Write your name and date of your stay on the Pass. Keep it as it will be valid for a week and can be used again for free of charge train rides and entry in several museums. There are dedicated machines with a blue button on the walls of the station. Your stop is also the end of the line. Your bike route today enters the picturesque small city of San Candido, where you can park your bike and explore, and maybe buy some lunch for a picnic. The ride is mostly downhill  and well paved for the first miles, then slightly rolling after Monguelfo, where stretches on unpaved paths in the forest along river Rienza alternate to short paved stretched on country roads. The long option is quiet, flat and paved along country roads and through picturesque villages.

In the event you get tired and prefer to shorten your bike ride, you can board a train back to Brunico. You only need to validate your bike ticket again (which is valid all day). The Alto-Adige Guess Pass is valid for several more days.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, depart at 8:00 a.m. for a 60-minute drive up to one of the four most famous passes of the Dolomites. The scenic Badia Valley leads you to the heart of the Sella Group, where the Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena passes sprawl between majestic peaks.

There’s no need to hop on your bike right away once you arrive at the Pordoi Pass. If you’d like, you can embark the funicular that takes you to Sassolongo Peak, at 9,400 feet. Take in astonishing vistas here before returning to the pass. Pordoi is a bit of a cult site among cyclists; many come to pay tribute to Italian cycling legend Fausto Coppi, five-time winner of the Giro d’Italia in the 1940s and 50s. To honor him each year, the race committee bestows the prestigious Cima Coppi mountain bonus to the first rider who reaches the highest summit of that year’s route. In case of inclement weather, just ask the driver and remain on the shuttle till Canazei or further ahead – you can start cycling from any point along the way or not cycle at all, but  spend the day at your hotel spa and strolling Cavalese.

As you descend, you’ll be navigating the famous 27 switchbacks. Imagine that the champions cycle this mountainside uphill! The road is wide and the grade not too steep, which is a good thing because the dramatic panoramas of the Dolomites change at every turn and you’ll want to take it all in! You conclude your invigorating coast at Canazei, where you pick up a scenic bike path to the day’s final destination.

It’s possible today that you will hear locals speaking a different language. Don’t worry. It’s not the altitude! They are speaking Ladin, an old language spoken only in four valleys in this corner of Italy—including Fassa and Fiemme, where you are today. Locals are wholly dedicated to keeping their rare language alive, even teaching it in the region’s schools.

Nature and history interact in this region more than in other parts of northern Italy. The red spruce is king here. And most of the vast forests belong to the villages and to the Magnifica Comunita di Fiemme, an institution that ruled here for seven centuries until the 19th century as a sort of republic. Trees formed the basis of the economy back then. To some extent, they still do today as visitors come to enjoy nature, a clean environment and outdoor activities like cycling. The wood from these trees is used to build the finest violins and pianos in the world.

As you cycle the second leg of your ride along an easy path on the Avisio River, you’re sure to notice the colorful culture in the painted buildings of picturesque villages, all flanked by the Catinaccio, the Latemar, and the Lagorai mountain groups. Your destination is the village of Cavalese at 3,000 feet. You’ll have time to admire the Church of Assunta dating to 1112 and the Banco de la Reson, a sort of Parliament house of the Magnifica Comunita’ di Fiemme.

After a memorable day in the Dolomites, relax your muscles in the hotel’s fine spa and swimming pool, enjoying a superb view of Cermis Mountain. For dinner, try the hotel restaurant’s local specialties, like the cajoncie ravioli and pasta made from organic durum wheat.

Today's Ride Choices

Pordoi Pass to Cavalese via cable car — 53 km (33 miles) OR Pordoi Pass to Cavalese via road — 55 km (34 miles)

What to Expect:

Your ride starts with a 10-km (6 mile) descent at an average gradient of 8%. The road is well paved and wide, with 27 switchbacks. Motorbike and car traffic, along with cyclists, may be numerous, so it’s important to pay attention. The next 45 km (27 miles) are very enjoyable, with occasional small hills. You follow a bike path through typical villages and meadows and past waterfalls and even an artificial lake (Biolago) where you can stop to swim and have lunch. At ride’s end, you have the option to ride gently uphill to Cavalese or take the Cermis funicular with your bike (open from mid-June to approximately September 25. Open until 5:00 p.m.).

Included Meals: Breakfast

Savor an excellent buffet breakfast on the hotel terrace, with sweeping views of the Lagorai group. Then head out to enjoy a beautiful new bike path to the Sanlugano Pass. This is a small pass that connects the Fiemme Valley with the Adige River Valley. Your route follows the former Vecia Ferrovia, an old railroad built during World War I by Russian prisoners and recently turned into a scenic bike path. Shortly after the pass, you ride through a thick forest and descend into a rare alpine wine region known for its pinot noir. Along the region’s renowned Wine Route, stop at the wine village of Pinzano, admiring the frescoed houses and cobbled streets. This is a good place to get some lunch and taste the famous local wine.

The views open up as you enter the wide Adige Valley and approach the village of Ora. Here, you can opt to ride the last miles along the river on a flat bike path or take the local train to get to Bolzano more quickly.

The rest of the day is yours to enjoy the city from your centrally located hotel. Save some time to visit the Archeological Museum of Bolzano, where Oetzi—or “the Iceman,” the natural mummy—is displayed. About 5,300 years ago, a man was crossing the Alps when he was killed. His body was preserved by the thick ice, and it is possible to see it here, together with an interesting number of different research studies around life and humans 5,000 years ago.

Today's Ride Choices

Cavalese to Ora train station — 40 km (26 miles) OR Cavalese to Bolzano — 59 km (36 miles)

What to Expect:

After an initial gradual ascent departing Cavalese on car road, you climb some short steep hills to the Sanlugano Pass at 3,300 feet on a newly paved bike path. After crossing the pass, you ride on a long unpaved well-beaten bike path and through a biotop, with few stretches on paved country roads. You need to keep your speed well under control, since you coast mainly downhill until you are close to Ora. Before Ora, a good place for an informal lunch stop and restrooms is Imbiss Castelfederer, well visible on your bike path. The short option takes you to the Ora train station, where you need to buy a ticket for your bike at the counter, and validate it before boarding your train. Please use the Alto-Adige Guest Pass as your train ticket. Most trains run between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. and the ride is only 20 minutes. If you decide to ride your bicycle to Bolzano the bike path is perfectly flat and well paved, and delivers you to the main square of Bolzano and the Parkhotel Laurin garage.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Check-out is at 10:00 a.m. After, you make your own way to Verona to explore the romantic city of Romeo & Juliet. For details, refer to your VBT Vacation Preparation Handbook.

VBT provides you with city information and recommendations for what to see and do in Verona. Your hotel is perfectly situated to take advantage of all the city has to offer. History echoes at every turn in splendid Verona, from its ancient Roman past to its medieval churches and piazzas. During your independent stay, you’ll find it easy and pleasant to explore by foot. View the city’s most famous monument, the Roman Arena—the third-largest amphitheater in the world. Stroll the Old Town, perhaps passing the balcony where Romeo and Juliet are imagined to have begun their ill-fated romance. Explore the Palace of Reason, the lively medieval Piazza Brà and Piazza delle Erbe, or the fine art gallery of the Castelvecchio fortress. It’s the perfect postlude to road cycling the Dolomites.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, allow yourself a minimum of three hours prior to your flight departure to get to the Verona Airport.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Italy: The Dolomites, Bolzano to Ora

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Mon, Jun 17 to Sat, Jun 22, 2024

Show Itinerary:

Make your own independent travel arrangements from Innsbruck to Bolzano, where you will begin your Self-Guided Bicycle Vacation.

If you arrive in Bolzano early, take a stroll downtown and admire the interesting architecture of the city. In the beautiful Old Town, explore narrow alleys, porticoed streets, and old manor houses. Many of the Romanesque and Gothic structures you’ll see were constructed by the renowned Schiche brothers from Augsburg, Germany. With its youthful vibe (thanks to its trilingual university) and its pretty setting among green hills, you’ll quickly understand why Italians have called it the most livable city in Italy.

At 12:00 p.m., meet your Local host in the lobby of the Parkhotel Laurin for your Welcome Orientation, along with any other VBT guests arriving on the same day. Please be dressed and ready for cycling. Your Local host will be carrying a VBT sign.

During your first day’s ride, get to know your bicycle and ease into the rhythm of Italy and its efficient network of bike paths. Your route follows the Isarco River’s deep valley to Bressanone. Along the way, as you approach the soaring Dolomites, admire the 1687 Abbey of Sabiona perched high on an outcropping, and maybe stop to visit the historical red-roofed village of Chiusa, where bike shops and cafes are available.

The charming medieval town of Bressanone (known as Brixen in German) is located in South Tyrol, part of Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region. The province belonged to Austria until 1918. In fact, locals speak more German than Italian. This “Ancient Bishop’s City” is nestled between two rivers and enveloped by mountains sloping down to vineyards and lush orchards. Its pleasant center is a lovely tapestry of narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and historic buildings and bridges.

This evening, pick a restaurant and have a taste of South Tyrolean cuisine. Local Alto Adige wines, cured ham (speck), and cheeses, as well as handmade spinach-filled ravioli, river trout, local game, lamb, and of course apple strudel, are some of the many local specialties that you can find here.

Today's Ride Choices

Bolzano to Bressanone — 43 km (27 miles) | Bressanone City Walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

You ride from your centrally located hotel to Bressanone, along a well-marked and paved bike path with some short tunnels here and there. You steadily gain elevation throughout the day, but have never steep hills to climb. You hardly perceive the elevation gain. We suggest to stop for a visit and a coffee or snack in the picturesque small town of Chiusa after approx 30 km from Bolzano. We also recommend planning to arrive in Bressanone so you have time to explore this medieval town on foot, maybe following the walk recorded in RWGPS and specially created by our local expert guides.

See D1 Bressanone walk for Bressanone suggested walking route, services, and points of interest.

Linger over breakfast as long as you’d like. At your leisure, cycle out of Bressanone on a paved bike path, heading toward Brunico. You leave the vineyard-draped valleys and approach the foothills of the Alps. Short after Bressanone, you hit the impressive Abbey of Novacella, founded in the year 1142. Definitely worth a visit, the complex has been build over a span of 900 years and the different styles from Romanesque to Gothic and Baroque are represented in its buildings. In the same year of the construction, the monks also planted a vineyard so that the monastery winery is one of the oldest active in the world and the representative of an outstanding white wine area. Take the time to visit the winery and sit at the abbey cafe and restaurant for a drink or lunch.

From Novacella you have the option to follow a longer scenic route through Fortezza, where you can admire the imposing Franzenfeste fortress built by the Austrians almost two centuries ago to protect the borders, or a shorter way—both taking you into the Pusteria Valley, one of the longest east-west valleys in the Alps.

Once you roll into Brunico, ride directly to your hotel on the historic main street, the via Bastioni. The magnificent trees you see here occupy the strip of land once taken up by a moat that surrounded the town’s castle. Today, the old fortification is home to the Messner Mountain Museum RIPA, established by the famed mountain climber Rainold Messner. It’s worth a visit if you have time. You might also explore the inviting shops and beautiful buildings along via Centrale and duck into the maze of vaulted narrow streets, where you can find local crafts and clothing such as felt hats, leather shoes, and even a Dolomites cycling jersey. As you plan your time, bear in mind that shops here close as early as 6:00 p.m.

Follow your nose—or the advice of your hotel—and pick a restaurant for dinner, perhaps sampling a South Tyrol specialty.

Today's Ride Choices

Bressanone to Novacella — 3 km (2 miles) | Novacella to Brunico — 35 km (22 miles) OR Novacella to Fortezza to Brunico — 43 km (27 miles)

What to Expect:

Departing Bressanone, your route primarily follows well-kept bike paths to Brunico. You will have a choice of two routes—one shorter and paved (ideal for road bikes), with a climb to the Novacella Abbey, the other one 3 miles (5 km) longer and including a panoramic stretch on a gravel path to the Fortezza fortress (less ideal for road bikes). After, you will climb very gradually to Brunico, with a few steeper hills. The path flattens out to your destination. Much of your ride follows the Rienza River.

In Brunico, a longer loop on mostly country roads leads you into a wide green valley and through typical local villages to Campo Tures. Your route loops around this village, then through it, to retrace the same path before you continue to Brunico. It’s a scenic and relaxing ride with open views of the northern Alps. You can ride this loop tomorrow if you prefer to take time to explore Brunico today.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, ride to the nearby railway station and board a local train to San Candido in the Pusteria Valley. Your ticket is included, and the trains runs every 30 minutes from early morning. This ancient city on the doorstep of Austria rose up around its abbey, which was founded in 769. Visit the Romanesque Duomo della Collegiata—the oldest monastery in the Dolomites—and drink at one of the many stone fountains in the cobblestone pedestrian area. Consider browsing a local market or café for a takeaway lunch that you can enjoy later.

Set out on your mostly downhill route, arriving at the beautiful Toblacher Lake, the ideal spot for your picnic lunch. Continue to Brunico along riverside bike paths, through picturesque villages and sylvan forests. As you ride, you will notice that the main language here is German and the architecture and culture reflect an Austrian influence.

A longer option leads you into the stunning Auer Valley and the charming old market town of Campo Tures, the Taufers Castle watching over from its perch.

We suggest you put some time aside this afternoon to take a funicular to the summit of Plan de Corones, at 7,464 feet (2,275 meters). The views of South Tyrol from the top of the plateau are incredible. If there is time, you can visit Lumen, the unique Museum of Mountain Photography at the summit. Set in a stunning modern building inspired by its alpine surroundings, this unique space offers fascinating exhibits. You may dine here if you wish. Check the time of the last funicular up and plan your day accordingly.

Today's Ride Choices

Hotel Post to Brunico train station — 0.6 km (1/3 of a mile) | San Candido to Brunico — 42 km (26 miles) | Brunico to Campo Tures out and back — 33 km (20 miles)

What to Expect:

Expect a 40-minute train ride to San Candido. It’s easy to get your bike on the train, as the region’s transportation infrastructures encourage an environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle.  Before boarding your train, validate both the Alto-Adige Guess Pass (handed by the hotel on check-in) and the bike ticket handed out by your host. Write your name and date of your stay on the Pass. Keep it as it will be valid for a week and can be used again for free of charge train rides and entry in several museums. There are dedicated machines with a blue button on the walls of the station. Your stop is also the end of the line. Your bike route today enters the picturesque small city of San Candido, where you can park your bike and explore, and maybe buy some lunch for a picnic. The ride is mostly downhill  and well paved for the first miles, then slightly rolling after Monguelfo, where stretches on unpaved paths in the forest along river Rienza alternate to short paved stretched on country roads. The long option is quiet, flat and paved along country roads and through picturesque villages.

In the event you get tired and prefer to shorten your bike ride, you can board a train back to Brunico. You only need to validate your bike ticket again (which is valid all day). The Alto-Adige Guess Pass is valid for several more days.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, depart at 8:00 a.m. for a 60-minute drive up to one of the four most famous passes of the Dolomites. The scenic Badia Valley leads you to the heart of the Sella Group, where the Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena passes sprawl between majestic peaks.

There’s no need to hop on your bike right away once you arrive at the Pordoi Pass. If you’d like, you can embark the funicular that takes you to Sassolongo Peak, at 9,400 feet. Take in astonishing vistas here before returning to the pass. Pordoi is a bit of a cult site among cyclists; many come to pay tribute to Italian cycling legend Fausto Coppi, five-time winner of the Giro d’Italia in the 1940s and 50s. To honor him each year, the race committee bestows the prestigious Cima Coppi mountain bonus to the first rider who reaches the highest summit of that year’s route. In case of inclement weather, just ask the driver and remain on the shuttle till Canazei or further ahead – you can start cycling from any point along the way or not cycle at all, but  spend the day at your hotel spa and strolling Cavalese.

As you descend, you’ll be navigating the famous 27 switchbacks. Imagine that the champions cycle this mountainside uphill! The road is wide and the grade not too steep, which is a good thing because the dramatic panoramas of the Dolomites change at every turn and you’ll want to take it all in! You conclude your invigorating coast at Canazei, where you pick up a scenic bike path to the day’s final destination.

It’s possible today that you will hear locals speaking a different language. Don’t worry. It’s not the altitude! They are speaking Ladin, an old language spoken only in four valleys in this corner of Italy—including Fassa and Fiemme, where you are today. Locals are wholly dedicated to keeping their rare language alive, even teaching it in the region’s schools.

Nature and history interact in this region more than in other parts of northern Italy. The red spruce is king here. And most of the vast forests belong to the villages and to the Magnifica Comunita di Fiemme, an institution that ruled here for seven centuries until the 19th century as a sort of republic. Trees formed the basis of the economy back then. To some extent, they still do today as visitors come to enjoy nature, a clean environment and outdoor activities like cycling. The wood from these trees is used to build the finest violins and pianos in the world.

As you cycle the second leg of your ride along an easy path on the Avisio River, you’re sure to notice the colorful culture in the painted buildings of picturesque villages, all flanked by the Catinaccio, the Latemar, and the Lagorai mountain groups. Your destination is the village of Cavalese at 3,000 feet. You’ll have time to admire the Church of Assunta dating to 1112 and the Banco de la Reson, a sort of Parliament house of the Magnifica Comunita’ di Fiemme.

After a memorable day in the Dolomites, relax your muscles in the hotel’s fine spa and swimming pool, enjoying a superb view of Cermis Mountain. For dinner, try the hotel restaurant’s local specialties, like the cajoncie ravioli and pasta made from organic durum wheat.

Today's Ride Choices

Pordoi Pass to Cavalese via cable car — 53 km (33 miles) OR Pordoi Pass to Cavalese via road — 55 km (34 miles)

What to Expect:

Your ride starts with a 10-km (6 mile) descent at an average gradient of 8%. The road is well paved and wide, with 27 switchbacks. Motorbike and car traffic, along with cyclists, may be numerous, so it’s important to pay attention. The next 45 km (27 miles) are very enjoyable, with occasional small hills. You follow a bike path through typical villages and meadows and past waterfalls and even an artificial lake (Biolago) where you can stop to swim and have lunch. At ride’s end, you have the option to ride gently uphill to Cavalese or take the Cermis funicular with your bike (open from mid-June to approximately September 25. Open until 5:00 p.m.).

Included Meals: Breakfast

Savor an excellent buffet breakfast on the hotel terrace, with sweeping views of the Lagorai group. Then head out to enjoy a beautiful new bike path to the Sanlugano Pass. This is a small pass that connects the Fiemme Valley with the Adige River Valley. Your route follows the former Vecia Ferrovia, an old railroad built during World War I by Russian prisoners and recently turned into a scenic bike path. Shortly after the pass, you ride through a thick forest and descend into a rare alpine wine region known for its pinot noir. Along the region’s renowned Wine Route, stop at the wine village of Pinzano, admiring the frescoed houses and cobbled streets. This is a good place to get some lunch and taste the famous local wine.

The views open up as you enter the wide Adige Valley and approach the village of Ora. Here, you can opt to ride the last miles along the river on a flat bike path or take the local train to get to Bolzano more quickly.

The rest of the day is yours to enjoy the city from your centrally located hotel. Save some time to visit the Archeological Museum of Bolzano, where Oetzi—or “the Iceman,” the natural mummy—is displayed. About 5,300 years ago, a man was crossing the Alps when he was killed. His body was preserved by the thick ice, and it is possible to see it here, together with an interesting number of different research studies around life and humans 5,000 years ago.

Today's Ride Choices

Cavalese to Ora train station — 40 km (26 miles) OR Cavalese to Bolzano — 59 km (36 miles)

What to Expect:

After an initial gradual ascent departing Cavalese on car road, you climb some short steep hills to the Sanlugano Pass at 3,300 feet on a newly paved bike path. After crossing the pass, you ride on a long unpaved well-beaten bike path and through a biotop, with few stretches on paved country roads. You need to keep your speed well under control, since you coast mainly downhill until you are close to Ora. Before Ora, a good place for an informal lunch stop and restrooms is Imbiss Castelfederer, well visible on your bike path. The short option takes you to the Ora train station, where you need to buy a ticket for your bike at the counter, and validate it before boarding your train. Please use the Alto-Adige Guest Pass as your train ticket. Most trains run between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. and the ride is only 20 minutes. If you decide to ride your bicycle to Bolzano the bike path is perfectly flat and well paved, and delivers you to the main square of Bolzano and the Parkhotel Laurin garage.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Check-out is at 10:00 a.m. Depending upon your final destination, it may not be possible to depart for the U.S. on the last day of the tour. Please check airline schedules carefully.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Italy: The Dolomites, Bolzano to Ora

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (Please Note: Days are based on the Air Package Itinerary. Accommodations may vary depending on departure date. )

Reviews
1 out of 2 (50%)
4.2 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

We enjoyed our trip. The accommodations were great. The Ride with GPS worked very well. Clemens, our tour guide was good but he should have checked the bikes better before he gave them to us. The bikes were terrible. My eBike had 50,000 k on the odometer. The bikes were old dogs. On my bike the front brakes dragged the entire trip even after adjustment. The rear view mirror would not stay in adjustment after tightening and was very scratched. Based on the amount we paid I was very disappointed with the equipment. I can't recommend VBT and our next bike trip we will use someone else.

Phill, Estero, Fl.

Our trip was great BUT!!!!!!!

A wonderful route, except for the first day which was really nothing special. Accommodations we’re great, though the lack of air conditioning in one made for an uncomfortable sleep. My bike however, was a big disappointment; a poorly maintained derailleur prevented me from getting onto the lowest gear and the front wheel was out-of-true resulting in a wobble at higher speeds. Mechanical support on this ride is non-existent. Given the mileage and elevation gain I would not rate this as an “easy” trip, unless you are on an e-bike. Overall a terrific experience, except for the bike.

Jimbo5, California

Almost Heaven

Dates & Prices

Departing Airport :

Departing airport

Select Year :

Getting the latest dates & prices...

Select Year :

Getting the latest dates & prices...

For more information, call: 800-245-3868

Other Tours You'll Love

View Related Tours

Stories from Europe

View All Stories

Three Unexpected Wonders of the English Cotswolds

On VBT’s England: Bath & the Cotswolds Guided Tour, it’s easy to find examples of a British culinary revival—whether it’s sitting down to enjoy elegant fine dining or popping into...

Continue Reading

A Cycling Adventure Showcasing the Best of Scotland and the English Lake District

Adventure across the North Pennines National Landscape through Northumberland, across the border into Scotland—winding through the pastoral meadows of the Tweed Valley on quiet routes....

Continue Reading

A Cycling Cruise with a Banquet of Options along Portugal’s Douro River

For travelers who love the luxury and convenience of VBT’s Bike & River Cruises and also yearn to put their cycling skills to the test, VBT’s Portugal & Spain Bike...

Continue Reading

Request a

Free Catalog

Find Your next vacation with Over 200 Pages of tour information

Get Yours Today

Talk to a VBT

Tour Consultant

(800) 245-3868

Mon – Fri 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET

Talk to an Expert

Book Online

Reserve Instantly

Find your perfect tour and reserve a spot with our easy online booking.

Find A Tour

0 of 4
Tours Selected