Italy's Alpine Valleys - Sud Tyrol, Lake Garda and Verona
Classic Self-Guided Cycling - Silandro to Verona
Home to some of the country's best bike paths and backroads, discover North Italy traversing verdant valleys beneath Alpine peaks and mountain glaciers, and exploring charming small towns and vibrant historic cities. The tour begins close to the Austrian border, deep in the heart of the Sud Tyrol - here the Via Claudia Augusta made its way to the Italian peninsula through the Venosta Valley, historically the most important crossroads between north and south. You’ll glide down towards the Trentino region through fascinating cities like Merano and Bolzano, eventually crossing wine country as the climate becomes more Mediterranean near enchanting Lake Garda and its colorful waterfront towns – here you’ll have the chance to navigate the length of one of the grand Italian lakes (with bikes on hand!). The tour ends in lovely Verona – spend a couple of additional days here exploring this beautiful art city, or continue south along the Veneto towards majestic Venice, capping off a grand Italian holiday.
This low-difficulty itinerary also offers more challenging rides easily reachable from the main route, to epic mountain climbs and passes. This is a great tour for couples, friends or families of mixed cycling abilities (and even for kids!) blending the culturally unique Austro-Italian north with everything that can be expected from an Italian bike tour – great food, cycling and scenery combine in this highlight-packed itinerary.
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Tour begins in Silandro
Highlights: Welcome to Silandro in the Sud Tyrol
Arrive in Silandro and meet us for a bike fitting and tour briefing. We'll go over the tour in detail, show you how to use your gps and navigation tools, and answer all your questions, getting you ready for the adventure ahead. In the heart of the Val Venosta along the Via Claudia Augusta, Silandro is considered a "market town" in this region dotted with farms, fruit orchards and pastures. A tidy and pretty town, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, it provides an excellent starting point for a bike tour, where you'll be able to stroll the streets and watch the locals go by in the afternoon.
Daily Distance: after fitting your bike, you are free to test the bike cycling the distance of your choice
Accommodation: Pension Schweitzer, or similar.
Cycling the Val Venosta
Highlights: Alpine valley scenery; Tyrolean villages
Today you'll start cycling gently up the valley, northwest towards the Austrian border and heading to Glorenza (Glurns), known for its pretty town centre and the imposing fortified walls encircling the old town. On the way, visit the small town of Lasa and its marble quarries (of such a high quality that's it's been mined since Roman times), with the Churburg Castle in sight. If you’d like to add some cycling, you can continue up valley to nearby Malles (or more, if desired) with more spectacular cycling, mostly on paved bike paths and with one small climb on the way.
Daily Distance: 50km (31 miles)
Elevation gain: + 400 m (1312 ft)
For additional mileage and more challenging cycling today, we recommend catching the train in Silandro (very easy to board for cyclists) going north to Malles, where the train line ends (purchase the Trentino Card which includes all train transport, funiculars and other options.) Then continue cycling up-valley as far you’d like towards the Resia Pass on the Austrian border; on the way, you'll see the amazing underwater church (its spires jut out of a beautiful lake). From the lake, it’s 43 km back to Silandro with 160m elevation gain and 960m elevation loss, most on a paved bike path.
Accomodation: Pension Schweitzer, or similar.
Cycling Silandro to Merano
Highlights: Lovely bike paths; Merano
Today’s ride is very gentle, mostly downhill and allowing cyclists to take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery. En route, stop to admire the Castelbello castle perched on a rocky cliff, and beer lovers will want to stop at the wonderful Forst brewery just before Merano. Situated in the basin of the Val Venosta, this vibrant small city has a Mediterranean feel - a mild climate allows for palm trees, grapevines and even olive trees to flourish here. Plenty of sightseeing to do here, and our hotel has a great location on the riverfront strand, with outdoor café and restaurant.
Daily Distance: 35 km (21 miles)
Elevation gain: + 105 m (344 ft)
For additional mileage and challenging cycling today, climb to Castel Tyrol from Merano (about 8 km up valley, with 300m cumulative gain), or continue even further northeast towards the Austrian border.
Accomodation: Hotel Aurora, or similar.
Cycling Merano to Caldaro
Highlights: Bolzano; Caldaro Wine Region
You'll cycle over yet another wonderful bike path through this river valley nestled in the Alps, with rolling hills and three short climbs. A slightly longer route detours into the city of Bolzano, and the option to visit the now famous Archeological Museum of Bolzano, where Ötzi the Iceman is exhibited. As provincial capital of the Sud Tyrol, Bolzano is both a modern and traditional city, and has been an important regional hub since medieval times. It also became an important tourist center since the Habsurbgs started coming here in the 18th century.
Caldaro (Kaltern in German) is among the prettiest villages in the region, set in the heart of the namesake wine valley (the Caldaro Wine Route winds through here). The main attraction here is beautiful Lake Caldaro, famous for its gentle Mediterranean climate and surrounded by vineyards and fruit orchards. Consider visiting a winery or schedule a tasting and dinner at a wine estate this evening!
Daily Distance: Including the detour to Bolzano, total 50km (31 miles)
Elevation gain: + 350 m (1100 ft).
For additional cycling, there’s the option to bike a few more miles and take a funicular up to a spectacular plateau above the valley, biking along winding and narrow roads practically free of car traffic. Return to the valley north of Bolzano and then have time to visit the town and continue pedaling through the beautiful Caldaro wine region.
Extra ride: 66 km (41 miles), with + 627 m (41 ft)
Accomodation: Hotel Weingarten, or similar.
Cycling Caldaro To Trento
Highlights: Caldaro Lake; Trento
Continue cycling mostly over bike paths today, joining the Adige River bike paths, one of the most famous paths in Italy. On the way, you can stop at the lovely small town of Mezzocorona and get a glimpse of the Castel Gottardo. Entering the beautiful city of Trento, you can enjoy sightseeing and city strolling as well as great restaurants in the heart of the Austrian region of Italy. A rich cultural center, Trento boasts a fascinating history and has the monuments and castles, palaces covered with frescoes, and stately promenades to prove it.
Daily Distance: 64 km (40 miles)
Elevation gain: + 250 m (820 feet)
For more cycling today, take the funicular from Caldaro (with your bikes) up to Passo Mendola, from here pedaling the beautiful Val di Non, followed by a fun descent to Trento from the mountains.
Extra ride: 84 km (52 miles), with + 1280 m (4199 ft)
Accomodation: Hotel America, or similar.
Cycling Trento to Riva del Garda
Highlights: The Sarca Valley and Arco; Riva del Garda and lake Garda
A shuttle this morning takes you and your bicycle to Cadine, up above Trento where you’ll begin a stunning ride through the Sarca Valley, winding through the Arco area and its dramatic peaks (world-famous among climbers), eventually reaching Riva del Garda, on the northern shore of the majestic Garda Lake. Also known as the pearl of Lake Garda, Riva is a picturesque city that offers a great base from which to explore this naturally blessed region and its Mediterranean micro-climate. Having left behind the German region of Italy, you'll want to explore and find that perfect restaurant or trattoria along a pretty alley or on a beautiful piazza.
Daily distance: 45 km (28 miles)
Elevation gain: + 294 m (964 feet)
Accomodation: Hotel Vittoria, or similar.
By boat across Lake Garda to Verona
Highlights: Lake Garda; Sirmione and Peschiera del Garda; Verona
A wonderful way to experience Lake Garda today, you'll get on a ferry boat from the boat dock at Riva (with your bikes at hand) for a lovely 4-hour cruise crossing the stretch of Lake Garda. The views of the bright blue and magenta waters, surrounded by mountains and lush forests in this Mediterranean clime, is a real delight. The boat lands in the peninsula of Sirmione on the south shore of the lake, with a very picturesque old town center and the impressive ruins (and views) of a Roman villa that are worth visiting (also making for a great lunch stop). From here, you'll cycle to Peschiera del Garda, another beautiful fortified medieval town on the south shore of the lake. After visiting Peschiera, you can board the train to Verona (approx. 20 min train ride), or cycle an additional 33km (20 miles) through vineyards and fruit farms over gentle rolling hills to the grand city of Verona.
Sirmione to Peschiera - Daily distance: 24 km (15 miles), with + 143 m (469 ft) elevation gain
If continuing to Verona: total of 59 km (36 miles), with + 357 m (1171 ft) elevation gain
Riva to Verona - Total distance: 90 km (55 miles), with + 709 m (2326 ft) elevation gain
Accomodation: Pepita Lodge, or similar.
After breakfast, explore lovely Verona, home of an amazingly preserved Roman amphitheater and the famous setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
PLEASE NOTE : The final itinerary, including hotels and/or activities described here, are subject to changes according to availability. City hotel taxes are not included.
Solo Traveler and Private Group departures available & - please inquire.
Lodging Upgrade: Room upgrades are possible in some hotels - please inquire for prices and availability
Extra nights: If you'd like to add nights before or after the tour, please inquire - we will be happy to provide a quote and add the nights to your tour package.
Extra meals & activities: (please inquire for price and availability)
- Cooking classes available in various tour locations! Organized by Le Cesarine, experts in Italian culinary experiences. You will be hosted by a local at their home - your "Cesarina" - in a class that lasts about three hours, during which you will help the Cesarina prepare three courses. In the fourth and final hour, you will enjoy the meal (lunch or dinner) which you prepared during the class. The price of €120 per person includes water and one bottle of house wine for every 3 people. Min 2 participants - supplement of €75 for solo travelers.
Navigation and roadbook:
On our CLASSIC self-guided tours, detailed tour information and route navigation tracks are provided through a GPS device (one included for every two cyclists), a smartphone application, as well as a printed roadbook with thorough daily descriptions and maps. Our "digital roadbook" is delivered to tour participants via the Ride With GPS app, accessed on a smartphone - daily maps, elevation profiles, routes and ride descriptions; schedules and hotel itinerary; cultural and sightseeing information, visit suggestions; emergency numbers and more, all stored in one organized, easy to use app. Downloading the app content also allows for offline mode navigation. Participants can also upload the routes to their own GPS device, and even print the detailed route notes before leaving home; or rely completely on the detailed roadbook that we will print for you and deliver at tour start
For more information on our navigation options, as well as the smartphone app, please read our blog: What's it like to navigate on our self-guided tours?
Luggage transfers are included in your package.
The luggage is normally collected from 09.00 at the reception of the hotel and is delivered at the following hotel by 15.30. Every piece of luggage must be marked with a visible luggage tag. Please make sure yours have correct tags. If your luggage is not ready by the time the driver comes to collect it, you may have to pay a local taxi for the service.
Please consider that the luggage is not insured during the transport. You need to have your own insurance. Do not leave valuables or fragile items in your luggage.
Normally, the luggage transport service cannot be used by participants to skip the cycling stage. In case you need help to skip the cycling stage, please contact our emergency number and we will arrange it for you.
PLEASE NOTE : The final itinerary, including hotels and/or activities described here, are subject to changes according to availability. City hotel taxes are not included.
Tour code: itbs3929
|Begin/End||Silandro (Schlanders) / Verona|
|Arrive/Depart||Starting point: Pension Schweitzer - Via Dante, 1, Silandro (BZ)
- If you are flying into Venice Airport (VCE):
- You can reach the Mestre train station from the Venice Airport by taxi (about 20 minutes ride) or you can take a 25 minutes bus ( n. 15) - Contact us for prices
- You can reach Merano from Mestre train station by train. The train journey will be around 4 hours and will have one or two changes ( Bolzano or Verona + Bolzano)
-You can reach Silandro Hotel from Merano by taxi - contact us for prices
- If you are flying into Verona Airport (VRN):
- You can reach the Verona Train Station by the Airport shuttle bus
- You can reach Merano from the Verona train station by train with a 3 hours trip with one connection in Bolzano.
- You can reach Silandro Hotel from Merano using a taxi
Private Transfers are also available - contact us for prices
*The meeting time for our self-guided tours is typically set between 2pm and 4pm. We recommend travelers plan accordingly allowing plenty of time to arrive at the determined meeting place. Please note a late fee may be applied for late arrivals - please see our terms page for details
Ending point: Pepita Lodge - Corso Porta Nuova, 103, Verona
- We recommend flying out of Verona Airport "Valerio Catullo"
- Taxis from the hotel to Verona airport cost about €20 and take about 15/20 minutes (depending on traffic)
- You can take a 10 minutes walk reaching the Verona train station and the catching the airport shuttle bus
- Private transfers are also available - contact us for prices
Final arrival and departure instructions along with other detailed pre-travel documents, will be e-mailed prior to your travel, with information specific to your departure (including the actual hotels used on your tour dates, which may vary from the hotels listed above.)
* the hotels and prices listed above are for reference only and are subject to change (based on availability and seasonality)
|Total Distance||approx. 335 km (209 miles), plus optional rides almost every day (see itinerary for details)|
|Daily Distance||From 24 to 66 km (15-41 miles) per day, plus optional ride options.
Difficulty Description: this tour is rated a 1 out of 3 if cycling the base rides every day; If cycling the optional, more challenging rides, this tour is rated a 2 or a 3, depending on the rides selected.
This itinerary includes short stretches of bike paths with hard packed dirt/gravel sections that could prove difficult for less experienced cyclists if using a road bike with thin tires; if you are not experienced on hard packed dirt/gravel, we recommend renting our aluminum hybrid bike or our e-bikes, with thicker tires that make the bike paths easier to manage. If you have any questions about this, please ask us, we'll be happy to answer in detail.
Please click on the Rating link below for a detailed explanation of our difficult rating system.
About Tour Ratings »
|Terms||Terms & Conditions|
|Dates||This tour is available between April 1 and October31
Starts every Sunday. Other start days available by request (extra fee applies). Please note that starting on certain days of the week will make some visits (such as museums or tastings) impossible.
* 2023 published price, with 4 participants on departure, in shared double rooms.
For departures with 2 or 3 participants, the price per person is €1495 per person.
Solo traveler departures (only one person on the departure) are available upon request - please inquire.
Group Discounts for 6 or more participants booking together on the same departure! Please inquire for details through our contact form below.
2023 Confirmed Departures:
May 7, 17
High-Season surcharge (May-September): a €100 per person surcharge is applied on high-season departures. If joining an existing, confirmed departure date, the fee may be waived - please inquire.
Bike Rental options:
We offer quality bikes in different styles, all great options for this bike tour. Our bikes are maintained and delivered in optimal working condition.
The prices below are per bike for the duration of the tour, including delivery to starting point in Silandro and collection from ending point in Verona.
Bike rental rates
Aluminum hybrid: €120
Premium Titanium road or hybrid: €160
E-bike (hybrid with straight handlebar): €240
Tandem: €280 (priced per bike, for 2 cyclists)
Tag-along or kid trailer: €80
For detailed specs and photos of our bikes, see our website - Bike Rentals Italy.
Don't have 8 days? Our shorter version of this tour still offers great cycling and all the highlights – end your cycling in Trento and transfer to Verona on the last day. If you have more days available and are interested in a true Grand Tour of the Italians Alps and Dolomites you can join this tour back to back with our Majestic Dolomites from Cortina to Bolzano tour.
Additional useful information:
• Do you have any questions about how our bike tours work? Check out our FAQs page!
• Curious about the difference between our Casual and Classic self-guided tours? Check out our introduction blog on Casual Self-Guided Tours.
• We offer various tools for navigation - this page details what it's like to navigate on our self-guided tours.
• If the self-guided formula isn't right for you, check out this blog introducing the differences between Guided and Self-Guided Tours.
|Prices||€1295 per person *||Single Supplement||€195 fee (in single room or double room for single use)
|Next Step||Request space on this Bicycle Tour »|
10 out of 10 - Thanks so much. It was a wonderful trip. We will be talking about it for years to come.
Michael D., USA, 2019
10 out of 10 - We had a great 50th anniversary trip. This included grandchildren ages 5,7,15 plus 4 parents and my wife Ann. Ann who had never done a trip like this rented an ebike. She was tremendously successful as was all the rest of us. Riding through the Dolomites was pure pleasure. What a way to celebrate. Thanks
Robert D., USA, 2019