Cycling the Majestic Dolomites - Cortina to Bolzano
The postcard valleys of the Dolomites are a paradise for any outdoor activity, and the gentle bike paths that criss-cross the region are perfect for bicycle travel. Tucked in to the eastern corner of the Italian Alps, the stunning Dolomites have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site to recognize and preserve its “exceptional natural beauty”. Settled from pre-historic times (as evidenced by the now-famous Otzi mummy in Bolzano), this region is also the cradle of the South Tyrolean culture and people (and a politically autonomous region within Italy). Majestic landscapes and scenery, Italian and Austrian-German cuisine, a unique and incredibly preserved history and way of life, the Dolomites region provides all the elements of a great bicycle tour. On this flexible self-guided itinerary, you can choose to cycle on the rolling valley floors, or challenge yourself on epic mountain climbs.
For more information, including hotel lists, daily elevation profiles and more, download the tour fact sheet
Tour begins in Cortina d'Ampezzo
Highlights: Welcome to Cortina; Bike fitting
Arrive in Cortina 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.
Among the renowned ski resorts in the Italian Alps, Cortina hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics and still draws big crowds in the winter seeking great snow. This beautiful town, with a stone church and pleasant piazzas is also an outdoor paradise in the summertime, surrounded by mountains, forests and Alpine greenery.
Cycling to Dobbiaco and San Candido in the Val Pusteria
Highlights: Cycling through the Pusteria Valley
Leave behind the “Queen of the Dolomites” today to climb a gently graded rails-to-trails bike path through lovely forests and along small mountain lakes, reaching the small pass of Cimabanche. From here, the same path takes you gently downhill to one of the quintessential views of the Dolomites, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, before continuing to our destination in Dobbiaco or San Candido, in the Val Pusteria. Distance 30km, with 350m cumulative climbing (19 miles, 1150 feet)
Cycling along the Drau River
Highlights: San Candido, the Drau River, bike path, Austria
Spend a relaxing day bicycling toward (or into!) Austria, along the wonderful Drau River bike path. A tributary of the Danube several hundred kilometers downriver, the Drau is born here and is the setting for one of Italy’s most well-traveled bike paths. Pedal as far as you would like heading northeast before cycling back, or catch a train from one of the stations along the way to return to Dobbiaco (local trains are designed for cyclists to very easily board and use the train with bikes). Round trip distance 87km (54 miles) with 830m (2700 ft) cumulative gain (most of the climbing on the return, on a gentle grade). Or, cycle 43km (26 miles) to Lienz with (165m) 550 ft cumulative gain, and then return by train (hourly departures, takes one hour).
Cycling the Val Pusteria to Brunico
Highlights: Spectacular views of the Pusteria Valley; Brunico
Pedal along one of the Dolomites’ most important valleys into the heart of Trentino Alto Adige, one of Italy’s few autonomous regions. A gentle bike path takes you to Brunico (Bruneck), a delightful city and worth the visit with its two castles, city gates and Alpine architecture. Your route today is 35km (22 miles) with little climbing.
For more miles today, take a short detour to the wonderfully pristine Lake Braies on the way to Brunico, for a total of 50km (31 miles) and 575m (1886 ft) gain including Braies
Cycling Brunico to Bressanone
Highlights: Brenner Pass bike path; Novacella abbey
Continue west today to then veer due south along the Brenner Pass bike path (heading down valley!), once one of the most important passes crossing into southern Europe and a long-time trading route down the Eisack Valley. We highly recommend stopping to visit the 12th century Novacella Monastery, which was the largest monastery in all of Tyrol and is still in function today - you can even visit their vineyards and sample their wine. Enter the small and vibrant town of Bressanone (Brixen) - as the oldest town of the province there are plenty of interesting sights in this picturesque city. Distance approx. 45km (28 miles) with 575m (1886 ft) cumulative climbing.
Cycling Bressanone to Bolzano
Highlights: The Eisarck Valley; Bolzano
Continue pedaling south along the Eisarck Valley, stopping for a break in the town centre of medieval Chiusa and enjoying the cycling through chestnut forests and the first vineyards which will accompany you today and tomorrow on your rides. Pause to admire Castel Forte (Trostburg Castle in German), one of the most striking castles of all of Sud Tyrol, as it dominates the valley from its rocky promontory. Once in Bolzano, the largest city of Sud Tyrol region and the capital of the namesake province, you can explore the lively centre and town market where Italian daily life naturally flows. We highly recommend visiting the archaeological museum with the famous Otzi the Iceman, a Neolithic mummy found in the nearby peaks and one of the most important archaeological finds to understand this region’s prehistory. Total distance approx. 43km (27 miles) with 224m (735 ft) cumulative gain.
Cycling loop into the Caldaro wine region
Highlights: Caldaro lake and wine region
We recommend this lovely loop ride into the wine region of Caldaro, a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery (and perhaps a wine tasting in one of the many family-run wineries along the way!) Distance 38km (23 miles) r/t, with 1440m cumulative gain; more options for extending the ride will also be available. If you prefer a day off the saddle today, enjoy Bolzano and the many sights and activities the city has to offer. Or, take the train into the Venosta Valley (just west) to see some of the towns and sights along that valley, or take a taxi into the nearby Caldaro wine region to enjoy wine tastings and lovely scenery (we are happy to provide recommendations).
Tour ends after breakfast
Extras available upon request
|Begin/End||Cortina d'Ampezzo / Bolzano|
|Arrive/Depart||Venice or Treviso airports (and take the Cortina Express Bus to tour start), Verona airport (train to Treviso, then bus). Once you book your tour, we will send you detailed arrival and departure information to help you plan your travels|
|Total Distance||approx. 298 km (186 miles)|
|Daily Distance||35-87 km (22-54 miles)|
About Tour Ratings »
|Notes||Difficulty Description: this tour is rated a 1 out of 3 if cycling the base rides every day.
Longer distance rides with higher difficulty levels are available on most days (as well as challenging road cycling every day). The above difficulty level description is for the basic cycling options provided every day.
|Terms||Terms & Conditions|
|Dates||Dates available: from May 1st to October 31st, 2019
Listed price is with a minimum of 4 participants on a departure - for confirmed departure dates at the listed price, please contact us.
Suggested start day: Saturdays *
*starting on other days, if available, may incur an additional fee
A high-season surcharge of €50 per person applies in July and August
September departures: A supplemental fee of € 150 per person will be charged on all new September departures (this fee will not apply to customers joining an existing departure date – please confirm available dates by contacting us, or use the Request Space form below)
A 5% group discount will apply to the standard tour price with 4 or more participants in a departure
|Prices||starting from EUR 1175 per person *
Bike rental rates
*with 2-3 participants in departure - EUR 1275 per pers
|Single Supplement||EUR 155|
|Next Step||Request space on this Bicycle Tour »|
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