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Italy: Lake Como & the Italian Lake District

Italy’s Lake Como tour is a true hidden gem for cyclists. Among these dramatic hills and crystalline waters, the riding is surprisingly easy along flat bike paths and breathtaking valleys. Join VBT and let your spirit soar as high as the alpine peaks that surround you. The sun-dappled waters of three major lakes – Garda, Iseo and Como – are never far from sight as you sample sparkling wines in Franciacorta, Italy’s scenic “Champagne” region. Ride the spectacular Bernina Railway among splendid peaks. Pedal among the terraced vineyards of the Valtellina Valley. Lakeside, a private boat whisks you from shore to shore, for quick and easy exploration, and elegant accommodations welcome you at the close of each day of outstanding discoveries.

Tour Highlights

  • Sample delicious sparkling wines at a cantina in Franciacorta, Italy’s “Champagne” region.
  • Cycle the scenic lakeside bike paths around Lake Iseo, made famous when artist Christo installed his “floating piers” here.
  • Marvel at breathtaking scenery when you ride the UNESCO-listed Bernina railway, then cycle or hike among the splendid Bernina peaks.
  • Ride the easy bike paths of the Valtellina valley, blanketed in vineyard terraces among miles of dry-stone walls.
  • Taste delicious Pizzoccheri pasta and local cheeses only found in Valtellina.

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain and is suitable for beginning cyclists who are comfortable with some easy uphill rides and riding on packed gravel paths. Unpaved terrain is approximately 10% of the entire cycling offered. The tour runs mostly on dedicated and well-marked bike paths as well as country roads. We recommend a hybrid bike or an E-bike for this tour.  Road bikes are available, but riders should be aware that on land-package days 2, 4, and 5 there are some short stretches on unpaved paths or roads.

Our VBT support vehicle is always available for those who would like assistance with hills.

  • Daily Mileage: 7 - 32 miles|
  • Biking: 1 - 5 hours|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

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

Air Package

Tour Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Airport car service for arrival and departure Check
One night in Sirmione on Lake Garda and one night in Bellagio in Lakeside hotels with daily breakfast Check
6 nights in 4-star lakeside hotels and one eco-friendly hotel Check Check
12 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners Check Check

Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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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

Wed, May 17 to Fri, May 26 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Verona airport to start your adventure off right. a complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Sirmione. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

After an included breakfast at your Sirmione hotel, check out by 11:00 a.m. and store your luggage at the reception desk. Enjoy a free morning, strolling the medieval city or enjoying the hotel amenities. Meet your VBT trip leaders at 12:45 p.m. in the hotel lobby. They will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please plan to have lunch and change into your biking clothes before this meeting. Your trip leaders will hold a safety talk at the hotel for about 45 minutes. Afterwards you walk a short distance to board your private motorcoach. En route to Sulzano, scenically situated on Lake Iseo, you stop to enjoy a warm-up ride along quiet country roads through the small lakeside town of Iseo. From there follow the lakeshore, taking advantage of a local bike path for part of the way.

In the afternoon, settle in your romantic lakeside hotel in the picturesque village of Sulzano. You might recognize the postcard-picture of Monte Isola within the lake, made famous in 2016 when artist Christo placed yellow floating piers to connect the island of Monte Isola and the private islet of San Paolo to the mainland. That summer, in only 16 days, 1,300,000 people walked these piers to discover this incredible place.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception on the hotel’s lakeside manicured terrace and get to know your fellow travelers. Then board a private ferry to Monte Isola to enjoy your welcome dinner in a very special and scenic location.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up — 12 km (7 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s warm up-ride follows easy roads into the small town of Iseo. Your ride continues on flat terrain along Lake Iseo, partly on a bike path, to Sulzano and your hotel. The roads are paved and you can find some pedestrian and car traffic along the way.

Cumulative Distance Range: 12 km (7 miles)

After breakfast, set off to explore the stunning shores of Lake Iseo by private boat and by bike. Also known as Sebino, the crystal-clear Lake Iseo is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy. Its shores are renowned for their lush mountains, medieval towns, and scenic roadways carved into the hillsides. A private boat whisks you to Monte Isola Island in just five minutes. Despite its size, it is one of Italy’s official “most beautiful villages” and was ranked the third Best European Destination in 2019. Take time here to stroll its cobbled lanes and discovery its countless old-world charms. Then set off on a 6-mile loop around the entire island, before boarding your boat again. Journey across the lake and past the picturesque private island of Loreto and along the dramatic western side. Here, the road, carved out of the mountain, runs high up on a cliff, past a waterfall and through short tunnels. Soon you arrive in Lovere, regularly rated as one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. Continue cycling to Pisogne where options for lunch on your own are numerous. Take time here if you wish to visit its cobbled alleys and piazza.

Later between Toline and Vello, you ride along the sheer and rocky side of the mountain, with sweeping views of the lake below and the alpine vistas beyond. In the distance, marvel at the vistas of several spurs, including the massive wall of the Bogn di Castro cliff.

This evening, dinner is on your own. Stroll into Iseo, exploring its pedestrian-only cobbled streets and vaulted alleyways, browsing its welcoming shops, and finding an ideal spot for dinner on an intimate back street or on the elegant marina.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Montisola Loop, Castro to Pisogne — 20 km (12 miles)

Afternoon: Pisogne to Sulzano — 16 km (10 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride, except for a 2-mile climb on Monte Isola, follows an easy, relaxing, and well-paved route, mostly on bike path, around Lake Iseo and the island of Montisola. You get to the start of the rides by two separate and scenic trips by private motorboat: one is just 5 minutes, the other about 50 minutes.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 36 km (10 — 22 miles)

After breakfast, you head south into Franciacorta, affectionately known as the “Champagne” of Italy. This scenic region of rolling vineyards produces excellent sparkling wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, including Berlucchi and Ca’del Bosco. The traditions of sparkling wine go back several centuries, about a year before the monk Dom Perignon arrived in French Champagne in 1570!

You follow a partially protected cycleway this morning passing quiet monasteries and manicured vineyards. Around lunch time, stop at a small local family-run winery. This lovely farm, with its own vegetable garden, livestock, olive oil, and honey, was founded around 1600; the grape harvest is still carried out exclusively by hand to control and guarantee the quality. As our guide Francesca – who runs the farm with her brother Gianluca – leads us on a tour of the cantina, she explains their classic method of winemaking and why the farm only sells its wines here, on property.

Your tour ends just in time for lunch on the sunny terrace. As an apertivo, sample the house Brut and Satèn; each has rested 24 months before being opened and served fresh for us. Then savor hand-made casoncelli, a stuffed pasta, prepared and seasoned by Francesca’s mother Daniela with farm-fresh ingredients. After, follow a different route back to Iseo, weaving though quaint hamlets and past wineries. You have some time on the city lake promenade to scout a gelato shop or do some shopping, before enjoying another scenic trip back to your hotel by private boat.

Tonight, relax and enjoy your hotel’s amenities before dining on the manicured terrace.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Clusane to Al Rocol — 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon: Al Rocol to Iseo — 16 km (10 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride is easy to moderate, following gently rolling hills mostly on country roads and bike paths. Your route is almost completely on paved terrain. Your rides include an initial and a final short trip by private motorboat on Lake Iseo, both very enjoyable.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 44 km (10 — 27 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, leave Lake Iseo by private boat to Marone to enjoy your final ride on the eastern bank. From here start cycling along its shores. You soon coast into the green park of the Oglio River, a roaring river whose source is in the Alps. Follow its banks on easy country roads by farms, tiny villages, and varied path. You pedal through Valcamonica, the largest valley of the central Alps and once the only trade route to the Republic of Venice and the sea.

In prehistoric times, this region was inhabited by the Camuni, an ancient people conquered by Rome in the 1st century. As you ride, you come upon relics of this population, like the mysterious sanctuary of Minerva and the picturesque town of Cividate Camuno–The most impressive remains are the rock engravings carved from the Neolithic to the Iron Ages, named the first UNESCO World Heritage site in Italy in 1979. You will see some examples along the way.

Later today, you travel via the Aprica mountain pass into the Valtellina valley. Your destination is the city of Tirano, nestled at the foot of the Bernina mountains and gateway to Switzerland. If you are familiar with the Giro d’Italia bicycle race, you might recognize the names of some of the peaks that surround you – Mortirolo, Gavia, Stelvio – all epic stages of the famous race with grades of up to 23%!

Settle in to the eco-friendly Curt di Clement and enjoy a delicious apple juice as a welcome drink from our hosts, while having a short presentation about this historical house. Tonight, dine at a local traditional restaurant, savoring the specialties of Valtellina, including buckwheat noodles, here called ‘Pizzoccheri’, served with Casera cheese, and Bresaola, a dried cured meat.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Marone to Oglio — 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon: Oglio to Cerveno — 18 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route follows Lake Iseo’s eastern bank for several well-paved, flat miles. Then you’ll enter a valley and follow the Oglio Riverbanks, a stretch that is occasionally unpaved You’ll ride in sunny areas, then forested and shaded stretches, crossing the roaring river several times. It’s never a dull ride today.

Cumulative Distance Range: 18 — 46 km (11 — 28 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you leave Tirano on the famous Bernina Express train. This magnificent rail adventure crosses the border into Switzerland and climbs to the glistening Albula and Bernina glaciers. In total, the railway passes through 55 tunnels, crosses 196 bridges and ascends inclines of up to 7%. It is the highest railway crossing in all of Europe and in 2008 some segments of it were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding engineering prowess and for its early impact – it opened in 1904 – on the socioeconomics of the region. Sitting in dome-window panoramic cars, you marvel at sweeping alpine vistas en route to your next extraordinary cycling destination.

After a breathtaking journey, you get off in Pontresina. The Engadin region, a long alpine valley surrounded by soaring peaks offers spectacular views. From Pontresina, you cycle into the Roseg Valley, following a gradual ascending, unpaved road free from car traffic; only the crackle of your tires on the gravel and the whir of horse sledges carrying passengers and goods to the lodge at the bottom of the valley break the silence. Your unbelievably scenic ride delivers you to the Roseggletscher Mountain Lodge*, nestled at 6,000 feet. From here you may continue on foot toward the glacier. Savor a well-earned lunch here as you soak in the splendor and tranquility of nature. Back in Pontresina, you continue cycling in the shade of high spruce and larch trees on an unpaved scenic mountain path, along romantic Lake Staz to the outskirts of St. Moritz**. Here your Bernina red train returns you to Tirano.

Once in Tirano, be sure to take time to stroll the alleys of the Old Town, admiring the medieval palaces and the city gates that are said to have been planned by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. Visit the splendid Renaissance Basilica della Madonna di Tirano, where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared in 1504. Your trip leaders will have plenty of tantalizing suggestions for dinner on own.

*The Roseggletscher Mountain Lodge opens mid-June and is the only place that serves food in this valley. When not operating, we stop for lunch near Pontresina.

**In case of very bad weather, if cycling is unsafe, you get off your train in St. Moritz and spend the time to explore this beautiful Swiss city and have lunch on your own.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning-Afternoon: Pontresina to Roseg Gletscher and St. Moritz — 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: The ride today is mostly on unpaved well packed terrain, ideal for E-bikes and hybrid bikes. Roseg Valley ride is on a well-worn, there-and-back unpaved path. The first 4 miles to the lodge are uphill, and consequently the 4 miles back are downhill. The 5 mile ride to St. Moritz follows an undulating terrain, initially unpaved and in the forest, then on a large paved road till the town of St. Moritz and along its lakeshores. All together a memorable ride!

Cumulative Distance Range: 20 km (13 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

Today you follow a flat and relaxing route along the Adda River from Tirano to the shores of Lake Como. You ride on the well-marked Adda River cycle path, traversing the Rhaetian and Orobic Alps south of the Swiss Canton of Grabuenden. This is a beloved paradise for bikers of any ability and it has a long cycling tradition: The cycle tourist’s guide of Valtellina, which describes more than 40 itineraries in this region of outstanding beauty, was first edited by the Italian Touring Club in 1906!

As you ride, marvel at castles and churches perched high up on the slopes. Pedal past terraced vineyards that stretch for miles as you cross the largest mountain terraced wine region in Europe. More than 1,500 miles of dry-stone walls demarcate the vineyards here in a unique configuration. Pedal alongside apple orchards and small farms and later pause for a picnic lunch with local specialties like spelt salad, cheeses matured in the mountain huts, and frittata made with fresh farm eggs.

Later, you arrive at the stunning shores of Lake Como and embark a ferry to Bellagio. As you cross these fabled waters, admire the picturesque villages hugging the water, lush green hills rising all around, and the unrivalled beauty of this dreamy corner of Italy. You settle in to your superbly located hotel in the center of Bellagio. Later, drink in the beauty of the lake during a festive farewell dinner on the shore.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Tirano to Picnic spot — 35 km (22 miles)

Afternoon: Picnic spot to Desco — 17 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride follows the Adda River on a well paved and easy bike path.

Cumulative Distance Range: 17-52 km (11-33 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, say ciao to your trip leaders and spend the rest of the day discovering Bellagio, using the VBT city information as your guide. Perhaps follow an optional walk with route directions prepared by VBT to the picturesque hamlet of Pescallo and nearby Villa Melzi d’Eril, an elegant lakeside manse with splendid gardens. Explore the atmospheric village of Bellagio, marveling at its duomo and perusing its silk shops, and pause in one of its welcoming trattorias.

If you have chosen the independent Post-Trip Extension in Bellagio, you remain at this hotel for three nights. Spend the rest of the day discovering Bellagio, using the VBT city information as your guide.

Perhaps follow an optional walk with route directions prepared by VBT to the picturesque hamlet of Pescallo and nearby Villa Melzi d’Eril, an elegant lakeside manse with splendid gardens. Explore the atmospheric village of Bellagio, marveling at its duomo and perusing its silk shops, and pause in one of its welcoming trattorias.

Throughout your stay, you are surrounded by postcard vistas.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Milan Malpensa Airport will be provided (an approximately one-hour 15 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Italy: Lake Como & the Italian Lake District 21

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Fri, May 19 to Thu, May 25 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

Meet your fellow travelers and VBT trip leaders at 12:45 p.m. at the VBT hotel in Sirmione

Please plan to have lunch before meeting the group in the hotel lobby. There are several cafés and restaurants in Sirmione, plus it is possible to have lunch at the Hotel Ideal restaurant. You can store your luggage at the reception desk and change into your biking clothes using the hotel facilities. Your trip leaders will hold a safety talk at the hotel for about 45 minutes. Afterwards you walk a short distance to board your private motorcoach. En route to Sulzano, scenically situated on Lake Iseo, you stop to enjoy a warm-up ride through the small lakeside town of Iseo. From there  follow the lakeshore, taking advantage of a local bike path for part of the way.

In the afternoon, settle in your romantic lakeside hotel in the picturesque village of Sulzano. You might recognize the postcard-picture of Monte Isola within the lake, made famous in 2016 when artist Christo placed yellow floating piers to connect the island of Monte Isola and the private islet of San Paolo to the mainland. That summer, in only 16 days, 1,300,000 people walked these piers to discover this incredible place.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception on the hotel’s lakeside manicured terrace and get to know your fellow travelers. Then board a private ferry to Monte Isola to enjoy your welcome dinner in a very special and scenic location.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up — 12 km (7 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s warm up-ride follows easy roads into the small town of Iseo. Your ride continues on flat terrain along Lake Iseo, partly on a bike path, to Sulzano and your hotel. The roads are paved and you can find some pedestrian and car traffic along the way.

Cumulative Distance Range: 12 km (7 miles)

Included Meals: Dinner

After breakfast, set off to explore the stunning shores of Lake Iseo by private boat and by bike. Also known as Sebino, the crystal-clear Lake Iseo is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy. Its shores are renowned for their lush mountains, medieval towns, and scenic roadways carved into the hillsides. A private boat whisks you to Monte Isola Island in just five minutes. Despite its size, it is one of Italy’s official “most beautiful villages” and was ranked the third Best European Destination in 2019. Take time here to stroll its cobbled lanes and discovery its countless old-world charms. Then set off on a 6-mile loop around the entire island, before boarding your boat again. Journey across the lake and past the picturesque private island of Loreto and along the dramatic western side. Here, the road, carved out of the mountain, runs high up on a cliff, past a waterfall and through short tunnels. Soon you arrive in Lovere, regularly rated as one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. Continue cycling to Pisogne where options for lunch on your own are numerous. Take time here if you wish to visit its cobbled alleys and piazza.

Later between Toline and Vello, you ride along the sheer and rocky side of the mountain, with sweeping views of the lake below and the alpine vistas beyond. In the distance, marvel at the vistas of several spurs, including the massive wall of the Bogn di Castro cliff.

This evening, dinner is on your own. Stroll into Iseo, exploring its pedestrian-only cobbled streets and vaulted alleyways, browsing its welcoming shops, and finding an ideal spot for dinner on an intimate back street or on the elegant marina.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Montisola Loop, Castro to Pisogne — 20 km (12 miles)

Afternoon: Pisogne to Sulzano — 16 km (10 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride, except for a 2-mile climb on Monte Isola, follows an easy, relaxing, and well-paved route, mostly on bike path, around Lake Iseo and the island of Montisola. You get to the start of the rides by two separate and scenic trips by private motorboat: one is just 5 minutes, the other about 50 minutes.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 36 km (10 — 22 miles)

After breakfast, you head south into Franciacorta, affectionately known as the “Champagne” of Italy. This scenic region of rolling vineyards produces excellent sparkling wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, including Berlucchi and Ca’del Bosco. The traditions of sparkling wine go back several centuries, about a year before the monk Dom Perignon arrived in French Champagne in 1570!

You follow a partially protected cycleway this morning passing quiet monasteries and manicured vineyards. Around lunch time, stop at a small local family-run winery. This lovely farm, with its own vegetable garden, livestock, olive oil, and honey, was founded around 1600; the grape harvest is still carried out exclusively by hand to control and guarantee the quality. As our guide Francesca – who runs the farm with her brother Gianluca – leads us on a tour of the cantina, she explains their classic method of winemaking and why the farm only sells its wines here, on property.

Your tour ends just in time for lunch on the sunny terrace. As an apertivo, sample the house Brut and Satèn; each has rested 24 months before being opened and served fresh for us. Then savor hand-made casoncelli, a stuffed pasta, prepared and seasoned by Francesca’s mother Daniela with farm-fresh ingredients. After, follow a different route back to Iseo, weaving though quaint hamlets and past wineries. You have some time on the city lake promenade to scout a gelato shop or do some shopping, before enjoying another scenic trip back to your hotel by private boat.

Tonight, relax and enjoy your hotel’s amenities before dining on the manicured terrace.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Clusane to Al Rocol — 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon: Al Rocol to Iseo — 16 km (10 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride is easy to moderate, following gently rolling hills mostly on country roads and bike paths. Your route is almost completely on paved terrain. Your rides include an initial and a final short trip by private motorboat on Lake Iseo, both very enjoyable.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 44 km (10 — 27 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, leave Lake Iseo by private boat to Marone to enjoy your final ride on the eastern bank. From here start cycling along its shores. You soon coast into the green park of the Oglio River, a roaring river whose source is in the Alps. Follow its banks on easy country roads by farms, tiny villages, and varied path. You pedal through Valcamonica, the largest valley of the central Alps and once the only trade route to the Republic of Venice and the sea.

In prehistoric times, this region was inhabited by the Camuni, an ancient people conquered by Rome in the 1st century. As you ride, you come upon relics of this population, like the mysterious sanctuary of Minerva and the picturesque town of Cividate Camuno–The most impressive remains are the rock engravings carved from the Neolithic to the Iron Ages, named the first UNESCO World Heritage site in Italy in 1979. You will see some examples along the way.

Later today, you travel via the Aprica mountain pass into the Valtellina valley. Your destination is the city of Tirano, nestled at the foot of the Bernina mountains and gateway to Switzerland. If you are familiar with the Giro d’Italia bicycle race, you might recognize the names of some of the peaks that surround you – Mortirolo, Gavia, Stelvio – all epic stages of the famous race with grades of up to 23%!

Settle in to the eco-friendly Curt di Clement and enjoy a delicious apple juice as a welcome drink from our hosts, while having a short presentation about this historical house. Tonight, dine at a local traditional restaurant, savoring the specialties of Valtellina, including buckwheat noodles, here called ‘Pizzoccheri’, served with Casera cheese, and Bresaola, a dried cured meat.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Marone to Oglio — 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon: Oglio to Cerveno — 18 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route follows Lake Iseo’s eastern bank for several well-paved, flat miles. Then you’ll enter a valley and follow the Oglio Riverbanks, a stretch that is occasionally unpaved You’ll ride in sunny areas, then forested and shaded stretches, crossing the roaring river several times. It’s never a dull ride today.

Cumulative Distance Range: 18 — 46 km (11 — 28 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you leave Tirano on the famous Bernina Express train. This magnificent rail adventure crosses the border into Switzerland and climbs to the glistening Albula and Bernina glaciers. In total, the railway passes through 55 tunnels, crosses 196 bridges and ascends inclines of up to 7%. It is the highest railway crossing in all of Europe and in 2008 some segments of it were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding engineering prowess and for its early impact – it opened in 1904 – on the socioeconomics of the region. Sitting in dome-window panoramic cars, you marvel at sweeping alpine vistas en route to your next extraordinary cycling destination.

After a breathtaking journey, you get off in Pontresina. The Engadin region, a long alpine valley surrounded by soaring peaks offers spectacular views. From Pontresina, you cycle into the Roseg Valley, following a gradual ascending, unpaved road free from car traffic; only the crackle of your tires on the gravel and the whir of horse sledges carrying passengers and goods to the lodge at the bottom of the valley break the silence. Your unbelievably scenic ride delivers you to the Roseggletscher Mountain Lodge*, nestled at 6,000 feet. From here you may continue on foot toward the glacier. Savor a well-earned lunch here as you soak in the splendor and tranquility of nature. Back in Pontresina, you continue cycling in the shade of high spruce and larch trees on an unpaved scenic mountain path, along romantic Lake Staz to the outskirts of St. Moritz**. Here your Bernina red train returns you to Tirano.

Once in Tirano, be sure to take time to stroll the alleys of the Old Town, admiring the medieval palaces and the city gates that are said to have been planned by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. Visit the splendid Renaissance Basilica della Madonna di Tirano, where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared in 1504. Your trip leaders will have plenty of tantalizing suggestions for dinner on own.

*The Roseggletscher Mountain Lodge opens mid-June and is the only place that serves food in this valley. When not operating, we stop for lunch near Pontresina.

**In case of very bad weather, if cycling is unsafe, you get off your train in St. Moritz and spend the time to explore this beautiful Swiss city and have lunch on your own.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning-Afternoon: Pontresina to Roseg Gletscher and St. Moritz — 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: The ride today is mostly on unpaved well packed terrain, ideal for E-bikes and hybrid bikes. Roseg Valley ride is on a well-worn, there-and-back unpaved path. The first 4 miles to the lodge are uphill, and consequently the 4 miles back are downhill. The 5 mile ride to St. Moritz follows an undulating terrain, initially unpaved and in the forest, then on a large paved road till the town of St. Moritz and along its lakeshores. All together a memorable ride!

Cumulative Distance Range: 20 km (13 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

Today you follow a flat and relaxing route along the Adda River from Tirano to the shores of Lake Como. You ride on the well-marked Adda River cycle path, traversing the Rhaetian and Orobic Alps south of the Swiss Canton of Grabuenden. This is a beloved paradise for bikers of any ability and it has a long cycling tradition: The cycle tourist’s guide of Valtellina, which describes more than 40 itineraries in this region of outstanding beauty, was first edited by the Italian Touring Club in 1906!

As you ride, marvel at castles and churches perched high up on the slopes. Pedal past terraced vineyards that stretch for miles as you cross the largest mountain terraced wine region in Europe. More than 1,500 miles of dry-stone walls demarcate the vineyards here in a unique configuration. Pedal alongside apple orchards and small farms and later pause for a picnic lunch with local specialties like spelt salad, cheeses matured in the mountain huts, and frittata made with fresh farm eggs.

Later, you arrive at the stunning shores of Lake Como and embark a ferry to Bellagio. As you cross these fabled waters, admire the picturesque villages hugging the water, lush green hills rising all around, and the unrivalled beauty of this dreamy corner of Italy. You settle in to your superbly located hotel in the center of Bellagio. Later, drink in the beauty of the lake during a festive farewell dinner on the shore.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Tirano to Picnic spot — 35 km (22 miles)

Afternoon: Picnic spot to Desco — 17 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride follows the Adda River on a well paved and easy bike path.

Cumulative Distance Range: 17-52 km (11-33 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Your tour ends after breakfast. You can travel to the town of Como by ferry or hydrofoil, where a train can take you to Milan or other destinations. Or ferry to Varenna (15 minutes) and board a train to Milan’s central railway station and Malpensa airport.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Italy: Lake Como & the Italian Lake District 21

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. )

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2023 Pre-Trip Extension - SIRMIONE

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Ideal
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Verona airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Sirmione. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2022 Pre-Trip Extension - SIRMIONE

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Ideal
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

After an included breakfast at your Sirmione hotel, check out by 11:00 a.m. and store your luggage at the reception desk. Enjoy a free morning, strolling the medieval city or enjoying the hotel amenities. Meet your VBT trip leaders at 12:45 p.m. in the hotel lobby. They will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please plan to have lunch and change into your biking clothes before this meeting. Your trip leaders will hold a safety talk at the hotel for about 45 minutes. Afterwards you walk a short distance to board your private motorcoach. En route to Sulzano, scenically situated on Lake Iseo, you stop to enjoy a warm-up ride along quiet country roads and through small villages into the medieval town of Iseo. From there follow the lakeshore, taking advantage of a local bike path for part of the way.

All guests: In the afternoon, settle in your romantic lakeside hotel in the picturesque village of Sulzano. You might recognize the postcard-picture of Monte Isola within the lake, made famous in 2016 when artist Christo placed yellow floating piers to connect the island of Monte Isola and the private islet of San Paolo to the mainland. That summer, in only 16 days, 1,300,000 people walked these piers to discover this incredible place.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception on the hotel’s lakeside manicured terrace and get to know your fellow travelers. Then board a private ferry to Monte Isola to enjoy your welcome dinner in a very special and scenic location.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

A VBT representative will greet you at the Verona airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Sirmione. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Arrive at the airport in Verona. 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 provide your transportation by private car (approximately 45 minutes) to your hotel in Sirmione on Lake Garda.

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 transportation company know by calling +39 393 64 64 393 (at a fee). You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transportation service.

The rest of the day is free to discover and dine on your own with the VBT city information as your guide. 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. Enjoy the garden, the swimming pool and private beach of the hotel to relax after your trip.

Please note: VBT transportation 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.

Over the next two days, take in the beauty of this peninsular town jutting out into Lake Garda. Its beauty is so captivating that it lured the Roman-era poet Catullus here. The ruins of his villa remain at the very tip of the peninsula. Take time to also roam the cobbled streets and explore the imposing waterfront fortress, or perhaps soak in the lake’s only hot springs. Explore farther afield using the lake’s ferry system, a wonderful chance to marvel at the alpine setting of Lake Garda. You might head to Salò, home to the lake’s longest promenade, or the Isola del Garda islet, where you can stroll footpaths among its formal gardens. Plentiful restaurants provide delicious local cuisine throughout your idyllic stay.

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2023 Post-Trip Extension - BELLAGIO

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Du Lac
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Milan Malpensa Airport will be provided (an approximately 1-hour 15 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2022 Post-Trip Extension - BELLAGIO

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Du Lac
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Milan Malpensa airport will be provided (an approximately 1.25-hour drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

After an included breakfast* this morning, complimentary transportation to the Milan Malpensa airport will be provided (an approximately 1.25-hour drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight**. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*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.

**VBT transportation 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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Dates & Prices

Departing Airport :

Departing airport

Select Year :

Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare , airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $345

Wed, May 17 - Fri, May 26, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,295

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Wed, May 31 - Fri, Jun 9, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,295

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Jun 7 - Fri, Jun 16, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,295

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Jun 21 - Fri, Jun 30, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,295

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Jun 28 - Fri, Jul 7, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,295

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Jul 5 - Fri, Jul 14, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,295

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Aug 23 - Fri, Sep 1, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,395

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Aug 30 - Fri, Sep 8, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,395

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Sep 6 - Fri, Sep 15, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,395

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Sep 13 - Fri, Sep 22, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,395

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Sep 20 - Fri, Sep 29, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,395

Per person, double occupancy

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Currently Full

Wed, Sep 27 - Fri, Oct 6, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,295

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

Wed, Oct 4 - Fri, Oct 13, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Wed, Oct 11 - Fri, Oct 20, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Aug 24 - Fri, Sep 2, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,895

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Aug 31 - Fri, Sep 9, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Currently Full

Wed, Sep 7 - Fri, Sep 16, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

Wed, Sep 14 - Fri, Sep 23, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Currently Full

Wed, Sep 21 - Fri, Sep 30, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Wed, Sep 28 - Fri, Oct 7, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,895

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Wed, Oct 5 - Fri, Oct 14, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,645

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Oct 12 - Fri, Oct 21, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,645

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Select Year :

Tour Only

7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $245

Fri, May 19 - Thu, May 25, 2023

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Fri, Jun 2 - Thu, Jun 8, 2023

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Jun 9 - Thu, Jun 15, 2023

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Jun 23 - Thu, Jun 29, 2023

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Jun 30 - Thu, Jul 6, 2023

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Jul 7 - Thu, Jul 13, 2023

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Aug 25 - Thu, Aug 31, 2023

From
$4,395

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Fri, Sep 1 - Thu, Sep 7, 2023

From
$4,395

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Sep 8 - Thu, Sep 14, 2023

From
$4,395

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Sep 15 - Thu, Sep 21, 2023

From
$4,395

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Fri, Sep 22 - Thu, Sep 28, 2023

From
$4,395

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Currently Full

Fri, Sep 29 - Thu, Oct 5, 2023

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

Fri, Oct 6 - Thu, Oct 12, 2023

From
$3,995

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Fri, Oct 13 - Thu, Oct 19, 2023

From
$3,995

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Fri, Aug 26 - Thu, Sep 1, 2022

From
$3,645

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Fri, Sep 2 - Thu, Sep 8, 2022

From
$3,745

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Currently Full

Fri, Sep 9 - Thu, Sep 15, 2022

From
$3,745

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

Fri, Sep 16 - Thu, Sep 22, 2022

From
$3,745

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Currently Full

Fri, Sep 23 - Thu, Sep 29, 2022

From
$3,745

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Fri, Sep 30 - Thu, Oct 6, 2022

From
$3,645

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Fri, Oct 7 - Thu, Oct 13, 2022

From
$3,445

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Limited Spaces Left

Fri, Oct 14 - Thu, Oct 20, 2022

From
$3,445

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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