This unforgettable cycling holiday in Italy takes you from the rugged northern shores of Lake Garda to timeless Venice, with many fascinating and charming sites and towns along the way. Enjoy gentle riding along bike paths and country roads as you take in the natural wonders of Northern Italy and a climate that goes from alpine to mediterranean.
Sample local delicacies and savor the elegant red wine of the Valpolicella production area. All of this and much more await you on this tour!
At 32 miles long and about 10.5 miles wide, Lake Garda is Italy's largest lake and was formed by a glacier 1.5 million years ago. From the rocky cliffs above the northern shoreline (at the foot of the Dolomites) to the lovely beaches dominating the southern shore, Lake Garda is also the geographical and political border between Veneto, Lombardy, and Trentino. You’ll get to enjoy part of this diverse and breathtaking landscape from both land and water.
From Sirmione, your cycling route follows scenic bike paths with many opportunities to taste local wines, artisanal products, and traditional, mouth-watering recipes. You’ll get to appreciate the slow-paced lifestyle of well-preserved small and mid-sized towns. We’ll spend two nights in Verona and we are sure you will fall in love with its charming, culturally-dense city center.
Continuing by bike you will follow the Po River Valley, alongside canals, through fields cultivated with fruit and vines, and over hills with plenty of time in between to stop and see the sights along the way, such as hidden gems like the riverside villages of Valeggio sul Mincio and Borghetto.
An easygoing and quiet route leads you to the Venetian Lagoon, situated on the Adriatic Sea in an enclosed bay. While the city of Venice is located there, the lagoon is comprised of so much more. We’ll visit the barrier island of Pallestrina and eventually make it to Chioggia, which offers canals and character without the crowds.
Not sure if you can do it? Contact us to schedule a call about how demanding the rides are or about reserving and e-bike.
June 20 - June 27, 2020
October 5 - October 12, 2020
Private room (single supplement) USD 495
8 days (7 nights)
All in all, we had the holiday of a lifetime and wouldn’t hesitate in going on another.
Linda Greenwood Puglia Cycling Tour[fa icon="quote-right"]
Sirmione - 9 mls - Flat
After an airport transfer, we arrive at our hotel in Sirmione sul Garda, a romantic resort town on the southern bank of Lake Garda. There are more than a handful of charming villages on the shores of the northern Italian lakes, but few have the welcoming feel and density of attractive cultural sites as Sirmione does. It’s known for its thermal baths and Rocca Scaligera, a medieval castle overlooking the lake. Grotte di Catullo archeological site (1st century B.C.) encompasses a Roman villa, a museum, and olive groves. The prehistoric settlement at Lugana Vecchia is part of the "Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sirmione is also known for its unique shape: a pointy peninsula with Grotte di Catullo at the very tip. We’ll enjoy a light lunch in the main piazza, make introductions and go over the details of the tour. After lunch, there will be a bike fitting and warmup ride towards Desenzano. The way back is via boat with stunning views. Spend the rest of the afternoon at the thermal spa, lounging by the pool, or at the beach.
Sirmione - Verona - 30 mls - Flat
After a cappuccino in the central Piazza Mazzini, you will ride to Borghetto and Valeggio that were founded near an old ford on the river Mincio, less than 6 miles from Lake Garda. Valeggio is renowned for its tortellini. The “Love Knots” (the famous tortellini di Valeggio), strictly home-made with very thin dough and a meat filling, are our main dish for lunch. They are linked to an old legend, which you will learn more about during this memorable lunch. The history of this area is written in the bloody conflicts of the past (it was situated along the Lombard border) and in the fortresses which still dot the countryside. After lunch the afternoon ride will lead you to Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, with Renaissance palaces and a Roman arena.
Val Policella - 22
Today is your day to spend as you like. You will have time to enjoy a stroll through this remarkable Renaissance city named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We will offer an optional ride with departure after lunch that will take you through beautiful farmland. Val Pollicella is a hilly area that has been famous for growing grapes since ancient Roman days. We’ll take you to discover magnificent hills, characterized by artificial terraces made of stone, where the characteristic vines of the area are grown alongside cherries and olives. The Valpolicella area, defined as "classica,” is the old traditional winemaking area and has fertile soil in a full, lush landscape, and was once described as “The Garden of Verona." A tasting and explanation of Amarone and other famous local wines will be part of today's adventure. Even if you don't plan to ride today we'll arrange for you to join the wine tasting.
Verona - Montagnana - 28 or 35 mls - Flat
You will leave Verona and ride along the banks of the Adige River. This interesting route, mostly a bike path on hard-packed dirt roads and canal embankments, allows for a relaxing ride surrounded by orchards and vineyards. The Adige River bike path is seeing more and more bike tourism and that has prompted the local administration to further develop the great infrastructure. The Adige is the second longest river in Italy after the Po, rising into the Alps in the province of South Tyrol near the Italian border with Austria and Switzerland, flowing 410 kilometers through most of northeast Italy to the Adriatic Sea. Montagnana, our destination, is a beautiful and peaceful medieval walled city, and its fortifications and walls are well-preserved. In fact, it is said that the medieval walls of Montagnana are some of the most well-preserved in Europe. Montagnana was also the birthplace of two of the most famous opera tenors from the 20th century: Giovanni Martinelli and Aureliano Pertile who, interestingly, were both born there in 1885.
Montagnana - Padua - 19 or 38
Today’s route reaches Padua after passing through the towns of Este and Arquà Petrarca. The ride is mostly along the banks of canals that surround a sparse group of hills. Arquà Petrarca is on the list of Most Beautiful Villages of Italy, and you can visit the small city center on your own before carrying on. A short, optional detour leads to the bikeway that loops around the city walls and touches the Euganei hills. Padua is a city characterized by complex town planning dating back to Roman times but that evolved during the Middle Ages. A stroll to admire the local architectural landmarks and to people watch will lead to our aperitivo spot.85.
Padua - Abano Terme - 22
In the morning you can have some free time but we strongly recommend that you join us for a walking tour that includes cappella degli Scrovegni. The chapel contains a fresco cycle by Giotto completed in 1305 and considered a true masterpiece. After some lunch, we ride (after a short transfer out of town) the Colli Euganei hill country. The goal is to reach the thermal village of Abano Terme where we can spend some time to loosen up and relax. For dinner, we make it to the village of Torreglia at a lovely trattoria very much linked to traditional Colli Euganei cuisine prepared with the best seasonal ingredients.
• Two professional tour guides throughout the program
• All accommodations in 4 star hotels and one 3 star hotel
• All breakfasts, all lunches, and all dinners
• Wine and beer with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops
• Tastings of wine and local specialties
• Ferry and boat rides
• Logistical support during the tour and luggage transfer
• Guided tour of Verona
• Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
• All activities mentioned in the day-by-day description
• Bianchi bike rental and GPS navigation