Cycle the Dolomites & Italian Alps: Road Cycling

Cycle the Dolomites & Italian Alps: Road Cycling

From $ 2,820 AUD

Description

Welcome to road cycling – the Intrepid way. This trip takes you from the jagged Dolomite Mountains to the mighty Italian Alps as you ride through the same terrain as the Giro d’Italia. Earn your bragging rights as you conquer the legendary climbs of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Passo Gavia, Passo Pordoi, Mortirolo and the iconic hairpins of the Passo Stelvio. Add the 100 hairpins of the stunning Sella Ronda route, a visit to the Ghisallo, home of the Patron Saint of Cycling, plus uncover some hidden gems that only local cyclists know about, and you’ve got the perfect Italian road cycling trip. This is an adventure that will test your cycling skills while rewarding you with sublime mountain vistas, thrilling downhills, great company and an excuse to eat as much pizza, pasta and gelato as you want!

Trip Name
Cycle the Dolomites & Italian Alps: Road Cycling
Last Updated
2019-11-20
Days
8
Capacity
12
Overview
Welcome to road cycling – the Intrepid way. This trip takes you from the jagged Dolomite Mountains to the mighty Italian Alps as you ride through the same terrain as the Giro d’Italia. Earn your bragging rights as you conquer the legendary climbs of the Passo Gavia, Passo Fedaia, Mortirolo and the iconic 48 hairpins of the Passo Stelvio. Add in a visit to the Ghisallo, home of the ‘Patron Saint of Cycling’ plus some hidden gems that only local cyclists know and you’ve got the perfect Italian road cycling trip. This is a trip to test your cycling skills but rewards you with sublime mountain vistas, thrilling downhills, great company and an excuse to eat as much pizza, pasta and gelato as you want!
Highlights
  • Cycle in the tyre tracks of the Giro d’Italia and up (and down) some of the world’s best climbs
  • Challenge yourself to the 48 hairpins of the mighty Passo Stelvio, Italy’s most famous climb
  • Visit the church of the Madonna di Ghisallo, the ‘Patron Saint of Cycling
  • Discover some hidden gems that only local cyclists (and our leader) know about
  • Ride at your own pace in some of the most stunning scenery in cycling

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Treviso (Venice)
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where and when exactly it will take place. If you can't arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Your leader will also collect the optional food/drink kitty at this meeting. If you arrive early into Treviso, check out the Treviso Cathedral, Casa dei Carraresi, wander the ancient walls or chill out with a good Italian expresso in teh charming Piazza dei Signori. Alternatively you may want to spend some time in vibrant Venice, located a short 30 min. train ride away If you have brought your own bike it is a good idea to assemble it today to ensure that everything is in perfect working order. There are a number of good quality bike shops in Treviso but please note most close around 7pm on a Saturday and don't open Sundays or Monday mornings. For those that have brought their own GPS device (e.g. Garmin) we can upload each day's ride directly to your device so that you never get lost no matter how fast (or slow) you are.
Day 2 - Romano d'Ezzelino
Start the day with a short drive (approx 50kms/31 miles) from Treviso to the small city of Romano d'Ezzelino, at the base of the impressive Monte Grappa. After a quick bike check, set off on your first ride. Start by finding your cycling legs on a quick warm up ride on the (relative) flat before commencing our first climb of the trip up to Monte Grappa (1745m/5725ft). It can be steep going at times, but the 18 switchbacks in the first 10kms keep things interesting and the roadside trees help keep things cool during the summer months. As you climb higher the trees disappear and the rocky open ground of Monte Grappa comes into view. Monte Grappa has great significance for the Italian people with a substantial WWI & WWII history, evidenced by an impressive memorial near the summit. After a short stop for a coffee/cool drink from the café and to admire the excellent views descend the same road back to Romano d'Ezzelino. Feature climb/s: Monte Grappa (1745m/5725ft) Ride - Approx 53kms/33 miles, in forest for the first part, with one significant climbs descent, 1,700m/5580ft of elevation gain. Approx 3-4hrs of riding time.
Day 3 - Bolzano
Depart early and drive (approx. 115kms/72 miles) from Romano d'Ezzelino to the small commune of Rocca Pietore, located in the heart of the Dolomites and at the foot of the dramatic Marmolada mountain range. This is pure cycling country and the nearby climbs are a regular feature in the Giro d’Italia. Today you have a double treat in store as you climb two nearby legendary passes, the Passo Giau (2,236m/7335ft) and the Passo Fedaia (2,057m/6750ftm). Starting riding from Rocca Pietore we first ascend the mighty Passo Giau, among the more challenging climbs in the Dolomites. The effort is well worth it though for the amazing the 360 degree mountain scenery on the top. On a clear day it is a truly unforgettable sight. After the obligatory photos (believe us when we say you’ll take plenty!) descend back down to Rocca to top up your energy levels with a well-earned drink and bite to eat before commencing your next challenge. The climbing along the excellent asphalt begins almost immediately but stays steady for the first 7kms/4 miles before ramping up on the second half of the climb, hitting a maximum of 18% (for a very short distance) on one of the last hairpins. This is a tough climb but once at the pass you are rewarded with yet more stunning scenery with the still Fedaia Lake on your left and the Marmolada Mountains to your right. It’s time to rest up those weary legs and pack the bikes into the support vehicle for the 65km/40 mile drive to the South Tyrol province and the charming city of Bolzano where a hot shower and relaxing afternoon awaits. Feature climb/s: Passo Giau (2,236m/7335ft), Passo Fedaia (2,057m/6750ftm) Ride: Approx 54kms, with two significant climbs and one significant descent, 2,600m/8530ft of elevation gain. Approx 3-4hrs of riding time.
Day 4 - Bormio
After an early breakfast start the day with a drive (72kms/45 miles) towards the Italian Alps from Bolzano to Laas, a delightful small town featured building painted in a multitude of pastel colours. To warm the legs up after yesterday’s exertions enjoy a leisurely ride of approx. 10kms/6 miles along the flat valley before commencing perhaps the cycling highlight of the trip – the mighty Stelvio Pass. Often designated the ‘Cima Coppi’ (the highest point of the Giro d’Italia) at 2758m/9050ft it is the second highest paved road in the Alps and a formidable – and beautiful – climb. Starting from Prato we cycle up the ‘quieter’ side of the Stelvio, a 24km/15 mile climb with stunning mountain and forest scenery, and 48 hairpin bends helping to keep your mind off your legs along the way. Those hairpin bends are numbered backwards from the Pass so that you always know how far you are from the top! After reaching the top the real fun begins as you ride the long descent through multiple switchbacks down to the cycling and ski mecca of Bormio. The rest of the day is free for you to explore and perhaps enjoy a tasty pizza or pasta dinner. Feature climb/s: Passo Stelvio (2758m/9050ft) Ride: Approx 52kms/32 miles, with one significant climb and descent, 2,000m/6560ft of elevation gain, almost all on the single climb. Approx 3-4hrs of riding time.
Day 5 - Bormio
Time to relax! Today is officially a rest day and youmay choose to simply put your feet up or walk around town - there's plenty to see and do in Bormio For those craving more cycling there are a number of optional (unsupported) rides nearby, including going back up the Stelvio from the Bormio side (approx. 40km/25 miles & 1540m/5050ft of elevation gain) or a loop ride up and down Passo Gavia (2,618m/8590ft), often the highest point of the Giro d’Italia. Ride: None included – options available
Day 6 - Lecco
Leaving early from Bormio we ride a mostly downhill 20kms/12 miles along the green valley before heading back uphill through the forest up to the Passo del Mortirolo (1,854m/6080ft). Keep an eye out along the way for the monument honouring “Il Pirata”(Marco Pantani). This is a challenging climb, at an average gradient of 11% over 13kms/8 miles so hopefully yesterday’s rest day will have helped you recover. Once at the top enjoy the fast descent down to Edolo where our ride concludes for the day. From here drive to the beautiful city of Lecco (140kms/87 miles), located on the southeast shore of Lake Como Feature climb/s: Passo del Mortirolo (1,854m/6080ft) Ride: Approx 54kms/34 miles, slight downhill for 22kms/14 miles then one significant climb and descent. Climb is tough through the middle section but eases off. 1,270m/4170ft of elevation gain, all on the single climb. Approx. 3-4hrs of riding time.
Day 7 - Como
Today is your final ride, and it’s a good one. Leaving the mountains behind we change scenery and enjoy a flatter ride with the frequent views over picturesque Lake Como. Start riding early from Lecco and follow the road beside the water all the way to the delightful lakeside village of Bellagio, known as ‘the Pearl of Lake Como’. From here cycle inland and follow the sinuous roads featured in Il Lombardia, Italy’s famed ‘cycling monument’ up to the church of the Madonna di Ghisallo, the ‘Patron Saint of Cycling’. This small church – probably the only religious site in the world that welcomes people wearing tight lycra – is home to an amazing collection of cycling memorabilia, from Fausto Coppi, to Eddy Merckx and more modern campions, is a ‘must visit’ on any cyclists wish list. After paying our respects we start the long descent down to the flatter plains around Erba then cycle on to the charming city of Como, the heart of Lake Como. Often known as a playground of the rich beautiful Como is famous for its Gothic Como Cathedral, a scenic funicular railway and a waterfront promenade, as well as the jump off point for boat tours around the lake itself. Celebrate your achievements – perhaps over dinner and a few beers/wines on the waterfront with fellow travellers - you've earned it! Feature climb/s: Ghisallo (754m/2470ft) Ride: Approx 58kms/36 miles, mostly flat for 20kms/12 miles then one significant climb to the Ghisallo, with approx. 1,270m/4170ft of elevation gain. Approx 3-4hrs of riding time.
Day 8 - Como
Your cycling adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are free to leave at any time but there is so much to see and do in the city of Como and its surrounding area so you may wish to stay on for a day or two. We’ll be happy to assist with booking accommodation.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
14-06-202021-06-2020AUD $ 2,820-
28-06-202005-07-2020AUD $ 2,820-
12-07-202019-07-2020AUD $ 2,820-
16-08-202023-08-2020AUD $ 2,820-
06-09-202013-09-2020AUD $ 2,820-

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle

Map