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7 Days Epic Road Bike Tour in the Great Alps, Italy
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


Guided Bike Tour in Italy

Enjoy a week of high mountains and their great Alpine passes where Giro d’Italia legends were born! Your bike follows the tracks of those who embarked on epic battles on two wheels, unforgettable endeavors linked to the big names in international cycling. Surrounded by glaciers, mountains, and unspoiled nature, you will retrace the exploits of the great champions and your idols. You can, therefore, expect a week which is demanding but extremely rewarding, and Road Bike Tours Italy will make this trip accessible to all participants, thanks to the constant presence of the minibus and technical guidance throughout.

Key information

  • Trip type: guided
  • Lodging: center-based
  • Terrain: mostly paved, flat
  • Difficulty level: challenging (cyclist needs to have a high level of fitness, must be an active rider, the terrain includes really challenging climbs / or 46-80 or more miles per day)
  • Total distance: 310 miles / 500 kilometers
  • Vacation type: road cycling
  • Type of bike: road bike
  • E-bike: available to rent

Highlights

  • 5 days of biking
  • Ride to Mortirolo Pass and Gavia Pass
  • Explore Lake Como and Madonna del Ghisello
  • Enjoy epic climbs to Stelvio Pass, Bernina Pass, and more
  • Luggage transfer and minibus assistance
  • Transfer from and to the airport
  • 6 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • 6 nights' lodging

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


5 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 7 participants
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Accommodation

Hotel Belvedere will be the enchanting accommodation for your vacation, surrounded by the splendid natural landscapes and far-reaching views of Mortirolo Pass, where you will be rewarded for your efforts with its delicious local dishes, tasting good wine, and relaxing on its panoramic terrace.

Program

Day 1: Arrival

You will receive a welcome from the staff and bike tour presentation. Later, you can enjoy dinner based on local products and excellent wine from the Valtellina in a typical mountain restaurant.

Day 2: Gavia Pass

  • Bormio - Gavia Pass (2,621 meters) - Mortirolo Pass - Bormio, 108 kilometers / 67 miles
  • 3,180 meters of difference in altitude

Starting off from Bormio, the first step on your tour will be the least demanding pass of the week, Gavia Pass. One of the highest mountain passes in Europe, it represents one of the epic climbs of the Giro d’Italia, unforgettable images broadcasted around the world of exhausted cyclists in the snow in some editions of the Giro.

Starting from Bormio, you head towards Santa Caterina on a wide road with substantial gradients which, as the road narrows, becomes really demanding. This very special ride alternates easy stretches that allow you to enjoy the beautiful view with demanding sections, with an average gradient of 5.4% and a maximum of 15%.

After the effort of the climb, once you have reached the top and put on the protective clothing provided by your loyal minibus, you carefully face the descent to enter the province of Brescia in Ponte di Legno, a famous ski resort in the splendid Valle Camonica. This valley is well-known for its rock etchings and prehistoric remains that led the area to become the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy in 1979. On the same day, the same recognition was awarded to sites such as the gardens of Versailles and the Egyptian Pyramids.

Going down the valley, you reach Monno, crossroads for Valtellina and Valtellina. Here starts a new extraordinary ascent, Mortirolo Pass. The side of this epic pass is easier than the Valtellina side, but, after having done Gavia Pass, it will be a great challenge. Getting to the top, a fast downhill takes you to Bormio. Your first day ends here. You load your road bike onto the minibus and return to Bormio to enjoy an evening in good company, with excellent local food and wine.

Day 3: Bernina Pass

  • Tirano - Bernina Pass (2,328 meters) - Forcola Pass (2,315 meters) - Livigno - Foscagno Pass (2,291 meters) - Bormio, 101 kilometers / 63 miles
  • 2,878 meters of difference in altitude

After breakfast, transfer to Tirano where the climb is, at once, rather demanding, to reach Lake Poschiavo. Here, you get your breath back for a moment before getting back on your bike to continue the climb, short of breath, with the constant presence of the minibus at your side to reassure you and provide any necessary assistance. There is a very large difference in altitude, with an average gradient of 5.5% and a maximum of 12%. However, the breathtaking landscapes and fabulous scenery of the Bernina glaciers will give you the strength to conquer the pass with your road bike.

It is a Swiss pass that connects the Valtellina and Upper Engadine. Here, you have a spectacular panorama towards the Alpine peaks such as Pizzo Bernina (4,049 meters), Pizzo Palù (3,906 meters), and the Morteratsch (3,751 meters) with their imposing glacier. After this spectacular pass, you will head to Livigno, a beautiful mountain village called Little Tibet, a really famous ski resort as well. The last effort takes you to Foscagno Pass where you start the descent towards Bormio.

As a reward, you can expect an abundant and excellent dinner, as always, based on products of Valtellina such as pizzoccheri, sciatt (although the name, in Valtellina dialect, means “toads”, do not be fooled, they are delicious, savoury croquettes with melted cheese in the middle), polenta taragna (made from cornmeal and buckwheat flour), and bresaola, all washed down with local wines.

Day 4: Rest day

  • Lake Como - Madonna del Ghisallo, 85 kilometers / 53 miles
  • 600 meters of difference in altitude

Just like professional cyclists during the big races, your cycling team also needs a more relaxing day to recover your energy. Immediately after breakfast, with the bikes on the minibus, you head for the lower Valtellina. Today’s ride is an easy trip completely on the flat. Enjoying the incomparable beauty of Lake Como, you will arrive in Varenna and then reach Bellagio by boat. In Bellagio, your climb starts towards the famous Madonna del Ghisallo, the Patron of Cyclist. Then, you come back to Bellagio where the ferry awaits you for your transfer to Menaggio. From there, riding on the eastern shores, you will conclude the day.

Day 5: Mortirolo Pass

  • Mazzo di Valtellina - Passo Mortirolo (1,850 meters) - Aprica - Tirano - Bormio, 101 kilometers / 63 miles
  • 2,050 meters of difference in altitude

Full of energy once again, thanks to the pleasant and relaxing previous day, after breakfast, you take the minibus to Mazzo, the starting point of today. The climb par excellence is that on the Valtellina side, which stretches for 12.5 kilometers, with a difference in height of almost 1,300 meters and a steep but steady gradient (average 10%, maximum 18%). These characteristics not only make it one of the most popular but also hardest ascents in Europe, it became famous when it was included in the Giro d’Italia route in 1990. It was here that, in 1994, the great Marco Pantani broke free, winning the stage, and in memory of the epic endeavors of the “Pirate”, a monument was placed in his honor at Kilometer 8 on the Valtellina side in 2006.

Passo del Mortirolo is “the pass of all passes”, where the toughest, most important, and exciting battles of the Giro d’Italia are fought. You too will have the opportunity to try out this ascent, always with the minibus for support should it be required. You return via a different route through Trivigno to reach the Aprica Pass. Thoroughly deserved after so much effort, a succulent dinner, based on the best local products as always, awaits you.

Day 6: Stelvio Pass Loop

  • Stelvio Pass (2,758 meters) - Umbrail Pass (2,501 meters), 105 kilometers / 65 miles
  • 3,100 meters of difference in altitude

A generous breakfast will help you to face the last of your epic climbs, from Bormio to the Stelvio Pass, average gradient of seven percent with peaks of 15 percent. This is the highest Italian pass open to motorised vehicles and connects the Valtellina with Val Venosta in the province of Bolzano. An impressive series of hairpin bends and breathtaking nature write the story of this famous climb.

The grandeur and majesty of the Ortler, with its huge glaciers, will be the reward for your efforts. After getting warm clothing from your minibus, you head downhill to visit the Trentino side, from Prato dello Stelvio up to the fortified town of Glorenza, a few kilometers from the Swiss border. After you pass the Swiss border, another epic ascent is waiting for you, Umbrail Pass. From the top of this pass, you return to Bormio for your dinner to end an unforgettable week.

Day 7: Departure

You can enjoy your breakfast before your departure today.

Skil level:

Advanced

  • can ride for five to six hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Location

This bike tour will take place around the Great Alps area in Italy. Bormio, a renowned and enchanting ski resort, known for hosting the Ski World Cup and home to the famous spa, will welcome you for a week in the heart of the Alps on the Giro d’Italia roads. The tour will take you to explore various locations such as Tirano, Livigno, Valtellina, as well as various passes including Gavia Pass, Bernina Pass, Stelvio Pass, and many more.

Food

You will be served a total of six breakfasts and six dinners during the tour. The delicious cuisine of the Valtellina awaiting you every evening will be a well-deserved reward for your efforts, in addition to the pride of having succeeded in a challenging endeavor by road bike.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 5 days of biking
  • Minibus assistance
  • Luggage transfer
  • Technical bike guide
  • Technical assistance
  • Technical bike shirt
  • Taxes
  • Ferry from Menaggio to Varenna
  • Transfer from / to the airport
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • 6 dinners
  • 6 breakfasts

What's not included

  • Bike hire (Giant TCR Advanced)
  • Tips
  • Laundry
  • Service
  • Drinks at dinner
  • Medical insurance
  • Lunches

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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