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Italy: The Dolomites, Bolzano to Lake Garda

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Majestic nature reigns full force: icy mountain ranges meet warm, tranquil lake promenades, and cascading waterfalls frame roaring ravines as you begin cycling the Dolomites.
Former tour name: Gateway to the Dolomites: Biking Bolzano to Lake Garda

Guided Biking

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 3 - 32|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 3.5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
5.0 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

$4,695

Bike Vacation Only

$3,295

(per person, double occupancy)

Italy: The Dolomites, Bolzano to Lake Garda

Majestic mountain ranges and cascading waterfalls await you as you begin cycling The Dolomites. Reel down mountain slopes, traverse emerald valleys, slice through dramatic ravines, and explore history-rich villages and traditions. Then in Lake Garda, paradise unfolds: a Mediterranean climate paves the way for olive and fruit trees, vineyards, exotic flowers and palms. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a true taste of the region, including its famed wines, cheeses, and farm-fresh produce. This area is renowned for their hospitality: step off your bike to meet the friendliest locals. Here, lake promenades, looming castles, and perennial pinnacles frame your journey with each mile.

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.

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 3 - 32|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 3.5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • View soaring mountains as you gently climb past the sloping vineyards of the Kalterer Valley.
  • Enjoy a wine tasting at a mountain hamlet famous for its Gewürztraminer.
  • Choose where to dine in a region whose restaurants have received a record 23 Michelin stars.
  • Savor house-made specialties from the gourmet restaurant of your 5-star hotel in a ski-resort town beloved by celebrities.
  • Savor a tasty snack during a visit with a local cheesemaker.
  • See spectacular mountains rising around you as you spin through dramatic canyons and ravines.
  • Stroll along a lakeside promenade.
  • Cycle a Mediterranean-like paradise on the shores of Lake Garda.
  • Delight in a taste of vino santo, fresh bread, plump tomatoes and other specialties at a family-run farm.
  • Explore the old town of Bolzano, where you can marvel at the museum’s renowned glacier mummy, Oetzi the Iceman.

Climate Information

Temperatures

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

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Innsbruck and one night in Milan in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
6 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels 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

Mon, May 25 to Wed, Jun 3 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

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

Upon your 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 Allianz Global Assistance (information available in your final docs) to advise them of your delay, and they will contact VBT’s transfer service.

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

Hotel: Hotel Schwarzer Adler

Enjoy a late breakfast this morning or a stroll in Innsbruck Old Town, which is only 5-minute walk from your hotel. At 10:30 a.m., board a private coach and transfer to Bolzano, Italy, arriving at your centrally located hotel around 12:00 p.m. The coach will be parked just outside your Innsbruck hotel and will have a VBT sign. If you brought your own saddle or pedals, carry them on with you and hand them to the leaders as you meet them later this morning. Your trip leaders will welcome you on your arrival in Bolzano and offer tips for lunch on your own. Your rooms may not be ready until 3:00 p.m. You are welcome to store your luggage with the reception desk.

This is where your cycling The Dolomites journey begins. Meet with your group at 2:00 p.m. 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. Later, as you ride along the Isarco River, 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 the hotel’s private park.

Tonight, a special welcome dinner is served in the elegant rooms or terrace of your hotel.

Hotel: Parkhotel Laurin
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 15 km (9 miles)

Afternoon
Warm-Up: 15 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: The warm-up ride takes you on the outskirts of the city to the base of the Runkelstein castle. As you approach the castle, you’ll encounter a gradual uphill. The entire ride is on bike paths, which you’ll follow into Bolzano’s main square. You will need to walk your bike for a very short stretch to your hotel, located right in the heart of the old city.

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 you skirt the foot of Sigmundskron Castle, one of six mountain museums established by the South Tyrolean extreme mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, and dedicated to mountain people and culture.

At the confluence of the Adige and Isarco Rivers, the 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 Gewürztraminer wine. Stop at one of the oldest for a visit and tasting.

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 and a local street market 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: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 63 km (8 – 38 miles)

Morning
Bolzano to Caldaro: 18 km (11 miles)

Afternoon
Caldaro to Bolzano with Shuttle: 13 km (8 miles)
OR
Caldaro to Bolzano: 32 km (19 miles)

What to Expect: This morning’s ride follows a well-paved bike path along mostly flat or very gradually ascending terrain, with the exception of one long uphill that can be skipped by taking a five-minute van shuttle.

In the afternoon, glide downhill from Caldaro on a beautiful ride past vineyards to Lake Caldaro. Then, follow the flat and well-paved Adige River bike path all the way back to the hotel. To shorten the afternoon ride, you may take a one-stop train ride from Ora to Bolzano.

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 starting in the unspoiled Pejo Valley 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 Ortles Group mountains appear. A particularly charming highlight of the morning is the village of Pellizzano, an ancient cluster of stone buildings and a frescoed medieval church. After lunch on your own at the restaurant of the main rafting center of the valley, you may cycle a few more miles and even join an optional hill climb into the Meledrio Valley—the 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.

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 still flock here 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. Unwind at your family-run, mountain hotel, enjoying the sauna and spa before dinner at the gourmet restaurant. You will savor its house-made dishes and organic selections, such as salmon trout from the nearby Sarca River served with apples from the Non-Valley.

Hotel: Hotel Chalet del Sogno
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 8 – 42 km (5 – 28 miles)

Morning
Cogolo to Caldes: 27 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Caldes to Dimaro: 8 km (5 miles)
Dimaro to Costa Rotian: 7 km (6 miles)

What to Expect: A shuttle takes you to Cogolo in the Pejo Valley this morning. The views are incredible. From here, you will coast downhill on a tar road with little car traffic for a couple of miles. Then you will follow a well-paved bike path along the Noce River to Caldes, mostly downhill or flat. The afternoon’s route features 78 km (5 miles) of easy riding on the same path, gaining very little and gradual elevation till Dimaro. Additional 7 km (6 miles) of moderate riding take you till Costa Rotian for magnificent views. Later in the afternoon, a 25-minute shuttle from the bottom of the valley takes you to your Hotel in 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, set off on a breathtaking day of riding amid the Adamello and Brenta Dolomites. Begin with an inspiring reel into the Vallesinella Valley, passing patches of high spruce trees, before pausing to visit a local cheesemaker at a family-run farm, the perfect setting for an informal merenda (traditional light snack). You’ll taste some of the best milk here as the cows are grazed in high mountain pastures during summer. Later, enjoy lunch on your own. Early this afternoon continue on your bike into the narrow and dramatic Genova Valley, cut in a canyon between peaks of the Adamello and Presanella ranges. The Sarca River flows through this astonishing deep-cut ravine, dropping as it flows to form several scenic waterfalls. The Nardis Falls are almost close enough to touch as you ride past. Enjoy the ride at your pace, and even opt to ride a few harder miles toward the bottom of the valley to see more waterfalls.

Later, shuttle back 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 region’s renowned felt objects or sweaters. Tonight, you are treated to regional Trentino specialties at your hotel restaurant.

Hotel: Hotel Chalet del Sogno
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 35 km (8 – 21 miles)

Morning
Chalet to Maso Pan: 22 km (13 miles)

Afternoon
Maso Pan to Nardis and Carisolo: 13 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: This morning, your ride takes you into the quiet Vallesinella Valley before descending into the Rendena Valley on an exhilarating descent. The road is all paved, with minor potholes and hairpins in some stretches that require caution. The last miles follow an easy and well-paved bike path till the farm where you stop for lunch.

In the afternoon, you continue into the Genova Valley on a paved road, with a gradual uphill leading to the spectacular Nardis waterfalls. You can skip the gradual hill by a short support vehicle shuttle with your trip leaders. The afternoon option ends with an easy and mostly downhill ride from the waterfalls to Carisolo. There, all guests shuttle back to Madonna.

Today’s trip, cycling The Dolomites, 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, you enter the Rendena Valley and pedal along a well-paved and energizing bikeway along the banks of the Sarca River. In Stenico, you’ll pause for an included picnic lunch hosted at a local osteria by two smiling locals, Licia and Nicola. You may be interested in visiting its wonderful castle where ancient fine inlaid furniture, weapons, frescoes, stoves and much more testify the skills of local craftsmen in earlier centuries. After Stenico and a slight descent, you begin one of the most spectacular stretches of the week as you follow a route through the Limaro canyon. This downhill route meanders along the roaring Sarca River and the natural ravine enclosed by towering rock faces of Monte Casale.

You will end your spectacular reel in Sarche, where you enjoy a well-deserved gelato. 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: Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort
Alternate Hotel: Grand Hotel Liberty
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 43 km (8 – 26 miles)

Morning
Carisolo to Preore: 20 km (12 miles)
Carisolo to Stenico: 10 km (6 miles)

Afternoon
Stenico to Sarche: 13 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: A 20-minute shuttle from Madonna this morning takes you to Carisolo in the Rendena Valley, where you’ll ride along a beautifully paved bike path to its end in Preore. There, you can opt to shuttle to our lunch spot in Stenico or continue by bike on a scenic, easy to moderate route partly carved in the side of a steep mountain.

The afternoon ride from Stenico down to Sarche is mostly downhill and extremely scenic, including a stretch in the canyon formed by the Sarca River. You will then shuttle from Sarca to your hotel (25 minutes). The last two miles are downhill with some car traffic.

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. Your entire journey culminates in 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. Here you’ll taste the local vino santo, a sweet and satisfying meditation wine that the Pedrotti family has made in the same way for generations.

After a rewarding lunch, you will loop back to Riva and your hotel. Later 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, hosted in a manor house of 1600s.

Hotel: Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort
Alternate Hotel: Grand Hotel Liberty
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 52 km (15 – 32 miles)

Morning
Riva to Pedrotti: 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Pedrotti farm to Riva: 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is a beautiful loop ride, half on a well-paved bike path and half on country roads. The morning ride includes a long gradual uphill midway, which can easily be skipped by a short support vehicle shuttle. In the afternoon, you continue on an easy descent to Lake Garda and your hotel.

After breakfast, walk to the ferry embarcadero where you embark a scenic 2-hour cruise on Lake Garda to Gargnano. The ferry is scheduled to depart Riva at 9:25 a.m. and arrive at Gargnano at 11:37 a.m. Make sure you are ready to disembark at the scheduled time. There is a bar and restrooms onboard for your comfort. In this picturesque village, there’ll be time to pick up some lunch or maybe a gelato. After, you will depart at 12:00 noon by bus to your centrally-located hotel in Milan, arriving at approximately 3:00 p.m. When you disembark in Gargnano, walk left toward a small square with docked boats. On the square you will find Azzurro gelato shop, a bar and a grocery store, if you like to buy some refreshments. Then continue left walking up cobbled Via Roma for approx. 600 feet. At the end of the road on PIAZZA BOLDRINI and on your left, you will find a private coach with a VBT sign, ready to leave at 12:00 noon for Milan. The driver will make a short stop on the motorway before getting to destination. In Milan 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 and will propose optional city tours for the next days. 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
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Cavour
Meals: Breakfast

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: Breakfast

Wed, May 27 to Tue, Jun 2 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Your tour starts at 2:00 p.m. 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 p.m. or if you are delayed, please call the hotel and ask the front desk to pass the message on to your VBT trip leaders. If you prefer to board our private coach reserved for the Air Package guests in Innsbruck, and transfer to Bolzano, make sure you are at 10:30 a.m. outside our Innsbruck Hotel. VBT uses two properties in Innsbruck.

This is where your cycling The Dolomites journey begins. Meet with your group at 2:00 p.m. 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. Later, as you ride along the Isarco River, 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 the hotel’s private park.

Tonight, a special welcome dinner is served in the elegant rooms or terrace of your hotel.

Hotel: Parkhotel Laurin
Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 15 km (9 miles)

Afternoon
Warm-Up: 15 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: The warm-up ride takes you on the outskirts of the city to the base of the Runkelstein castle. As you approach the castle, you’ll encounter a gradual uphill. The entire ride is on bike paths, which you’ll follow into Bolzano’s main square. You will need to walk your bike for a very short stretch to your hotel, located right in the heart of the old city.

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 you skirt the foot of Sigmundskron Castle, one of six mountain museums established by the South Tyrolean extreme mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, and dedicated to mountain people and culture.

At the confluence of the Adige and Isarco Rivers, the 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 Gewürztraminer wine. Stop at one of the oldest for a visit and tasting.

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 and a local street market 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: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 63 km (8 – 38 miles)

Morning
Bolzano to Caldaro: 18 km (11 miles)

Afternoon
Caldaro to Bolzano with Shuttle: 13 km (8 miles)
OR
Caldaro to Bolzano: 32 km (19 miles)

What to Expect: This morning’s ride follows a well-paved bike path along mostly flat or very gradually ascending terrain, with the exception of one long uphill that can be skipped by taking a five-minute van shuttle.

In the afternoon, glide downhill from Caldaro on a beautiful ride past vineyards to Lake Caldaro. Then, follow the flat and well-paved Adige River bike path all the way back to the hotel. To shorten the afternoon ride, you may take a one-stop train ride from Ora to Bolzano.

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 starting in the unspoiled Pejo Valley 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 Ortles Group mountains appear. A particularly charming highlight of the morning is the village of Pellizzano, an ancient cluster of stone buildings and a frescoed medieval church. After lunch on your own at the restaurant of the main rafting center of the valley, you may cycle a few more miles and even join an optional hill climb into the Meledrio Valley—the 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.

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 still flock here 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. Unwind at your family-run, mountain hotel, enjoying the sauna and spa before dinner at the gourmet restaurant. You will savor its house-made dishes and organic selections, such as salmon trout from the nearby Sarca River served with apples from the Non-Valley.

Hotel: Hotel Chalet del Sogno
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 8 – 42 km (5 – 28 miles)

Morning
Cogolo to Caldes: 27 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Caldes to Dimaro: 8 km (5 miles)
Dimaro to Costa Rotian: 7 km (6 miles)

What to Expect: A shuttle takes you to Cogolo in the Pejo Valley this morning. The views are incredible. From here, you will coast downhill on a tar road with little car traffic for a couple of miles. Then you will follow a well-paved bike path along the Noce River to Caldes, mostly downhill or flat. The afternoon’s route features 78 km (5 miles) of easy riding on the same path, gaining very little and gradual elevation till Dimaro. Additional 7 km (6 miles) of moderate riding take you till Costa Rotian for magnificent views. Later in the afternoon, a 25-minute shuttle from the bottom of the valley takes you to your Hotel in 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, set off on a breathtaking day of riding amid the Adamello and Brenta Dolomites. Begin with an inspiring reel into the Vallesinella Valley, passing patches of high spruce trees, before pausing to visit a local cheesemaker at a family-run farm, the perfect setting for an informal merenda (traditional light snack). You’ll taste some of the best milk here as the cows are grazed in high mountain pastures during summer. Later, enjoy lunch on your own. Early this afternoon continue on your bike into the narrow and dramatic Genova Valley, cut in a canyon between peaks of the Adamello and Presanella ranges. The Sarca River flows through this astonishing deep-cut ravine, dropping as it flows to form several scenic waterfalls. The Nardis Falls are almost close enough to touch as you ride past. Enjoy the ride at your pace, and even opt to ride a few harder miles toward the bottom of the valley to see more waterfalls.

Later, shuttle back 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 region’s renowned felt objects or sweaters. Tonight, you are treated to regional Trentino specialties at your hotel restaurant.

Hotel: Hotel Chalet del Sogno
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 35 km (8 – 21 miles)

Morning
Chalet to Maso Pan: 22 km (13 miles)

Afternoon
Maso Pan to Nardis and Carisolo: 13 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: This morning, your ride takes you into the quiet Vallesinella Valley before descending into the Rendena Valley on an exhilarating descent. The road is all paved, with minor potholes and hairpins in some stretches that require caution. The last miles follow an easy and well-paved bike path till the farm where you stop for lunch.

In the afternoon, you continue into the Genova Valley on a paved road, with a gradual uphill leading to the spectacular Nardis waterfalls. You can skip the gradual hill by a short support vehicle shuttle with your trip leaders. The afternoon option ends with an easy and mostly downhill ride from the waterfalls to Carisolo. There, all guests shuttle back to Madonna.

Today’s trip, cycling The Dolomites, 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, you enter the Rendena Valley and pedal along a well-paved and energizing bikeway along the banks of the Sarca River. In Stenico, you’ll pause for an included picnic lunch hosted at a local osteria by two smiling locals, Licia and Nicola. You may be interested in visiting its wonderful castle where ancient fine inlaid furniture, weapons, frescoes, stoves and much more testify the skills of local craftsmen in earlier centuries. After Stenico and a slight descent, you begin one of the most spectacular stretches of the week as you follow a route through the Limaro canyon. This downhill route meanders along the roaring Sarca River and the natural ravine enclosed by towering rock faces of Monte Casale.

You will end your spectacular reel in Sarche, where you enjoy a well-deserved gelato. 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: Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort
Alternate Hotel: Grand Hotel Liberty
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 43 km (8 – 26 miles)

Morning
Carisolo to Preore: 20 km (12 miles)
Carisolo to Stenico: 10 km (6 miles)

Afternoon
Stenico to Sarche: 13 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: A 20-minute shuttle from Madonna this morning takes you to Carisolo in the Rendena Valley, where you’ll ride along a beautifully paved bike path to its end in Preore. There, you can opt to shuttle to our lunch spot in Stenico or continue by bike on a scenic, easy to moderate route partly carved in the side of a steep mountain.

The afternoon ride from Stenico down to Sarche is mostly downhill and extremely scenic, including a stretch in the canyon formed by the Sarca River. You will then shuttle from Sarca to your hotel (25 minutes). The last two miles are downhill with some car traffic.

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. Your entire journey culminates in 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. Here you’ll taste the local vino santo, a sweet and satisfying meditation wine that the Pedrotti family has made in the same way for generations.

After a rewarding lunch, you will loop back to Riva and your hotel. Later 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, hosted in a manor house of 1600s.

Hotel: Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort
Alternate Hotel: Grand Hotel Liberty
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 52 km (15 – 32 miles)

Morning
Riva to Pedrotti: 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Pedrotti farm to Riva: 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is a beautiful loop ride, half on a well-paved bike path and half on country roads. The morning ride includes a long gradual uphill midway, which can easily be skipped by a short support vehicle shuttle. In the afternoon, you continue on an easy descent to Lake Garda and your hotel.

After breakfast, walk to the ferry embarcadero where you embark a scenic 2-hour cruise on Lake Garda to Gargnano. The ferry is scheduled to depart Riva at 9:25 a.m. and arrive at Gargnano at 11:37 a.m. Make sure you are ready to disembark at the scheduled time. There is a bar and restrooms onboard for your comfort. In this picturesque village, there’ll be time to pick up some lunch or maybe a gelato. After, together with the Air Package guests, you will depart at 12:00 noon by bus to Milan, arriving at approximately 3:00 p.m.

When you disembark in Gargnano, walk left toward a small square with docked boats. On the square you will find Azzurro gelato shop, a bar and a grocery store, if you like to buy some refreshments. Then continue left walking up cobbled Via Roma for approx. 600 feet. At the end of the road on PIAZZA BOLDRINI and on your left, you will find a private coach with a VBT sign, ready to leave at 12:00 noon for Milan. The driver will make a short stop on the motorway before getting to destination. Your tour ends here at our centrally located hotel. From here, a taxi or public transportation can take you the airport or train station at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Innsbruck

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Schwarzer Adler
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality Desk & City Orientation Tour
  • Airport transfers

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

Upon your 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 Allianz Global Assistance (information available in your final documents) to advise them of your delay, and they will contact VBT’s transfer service.

You have the rest of the day free to explore, using VBT’s City Information as your guide.
Hotel: Hotel Schwarzer Adler

This morning, a local VBT representative will be available at 9:00 a.m. at your hotel to answer questions and offer a private guided walk to help you make the most of the city.

Afterward, the day is yours to explore the historic city of Innsbruck. Visit the resplendent Hofburg Palace or browse the city’s Altstadt, or Old Town. Don’t miss the Hofkirche, or Court Church, with the amazing monument tomb of Maximilian I. For lunch, linger at one of the many typical Austrian cafés, famous for their delicatessens, coffee and delicious pastries and chocolates.

Hotel: Hotel Schwarzer Adler
Meals: Breakfast

You have another day free to uncover more of Innsbruck. You might venture outside the city to the town of Wattens, home to the famous Swarovski Crystal Worlds. A public city bus connects Innsbruck to the Swarovski Worlds. Enjoy a leisurely visit admiring the art collections and museum, savoring lunch and finding the perfect keepsake from a wide selection of crystal objects and jewels. Alternatively, board a cable car and climb 6,500 feet (1,981.2 meters) to the district of Hungerburg and the peaks of Seegrube and Hafelekar. Take in sweeping views of the Alps and perhaps enjoy a hike in the mountains.

VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day.

Hotel: Hotel Schwarzer Adler
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Milan

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 2 nights at Una Hotel Cusani or Hotel Cavour
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality Desk & City Orientation Tour
  • Airport transfers

Today, you have the entire day to explore this alluring city. Your hotel is a short walk from the convent of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco The Last Supper. Please note: If you’d like to visit the convent, reservations are necessary and should be made well in advance. For more information, visit http://www.milan-museum.com/.

You can also walk to the pedestrian-only shopping district of Via Dante, right outside the door of your hotel. Browse the glamorous boutiques of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Visit the Palazzo Reale or Royal Palace. Explore the magnificent Milan cathedral. Make sure you buy your ticket in advance to skip long queues. See http://www.duomomilano.it/en/ for more information. In the evening, you can stroll to Brera, the art and fashion district, to people-watch in one of the city’s many trendy cafés. For informative and enlightening walking tours, contact our recommended guide in advance. You’ll find more details in VBT’s Milan City Information, that we recommend to read to plan your stay in advance.

Hotel: Una Hotel Cusani
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Cavour
Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy another day discovering the historic and cultural treasures of Milan. But you’ll surely want to visit Sforza Castle, across the square from your hotel. This huge fortress, once one of the largest citadels in Europe, is now home to Milan’s finest museums and art collections. Here, you can view Michelangelo’s Pietà Rondanini, the artist’s final sculpture.

If you are a shopper and lover of Italian cuisine, enjoy browsing Milan’s chic designer boutiques and dining in some of its many fine restaurants. Or take a train to the nearby town of Bergamo, home to the Carrara Academy, one of Italy’s finest art galleries. As you plan your time here, keep in mind that most museums in Italy are closed on Mondays.

Alternately, visit Lugano, a pretty Swiss lakeside town in a beautiful alpine setting. Train connections from Milan’s central station are frequent, and the ride is short. Remember to take your passport with you! Please use the VBT City Information packet to make the most of your stay.

Hotel: Una Hotel Cusani
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Cavour
Meals: Breakfast

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: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 16 out of 16 (100%) of reviewers recommend this tour

5.0 out of 5 stars.

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