Italian Alps to Lake Garda Cycling

From $2030 per person

****# Based on 12 customer reviews
(C) Flavio Vallenari | iStockPhoto.com
  • Relaxed waterfront towns, cosmopolitan cities, traditional pastel-painted Alpine villages
  • Unique fusion of mountain and Mediterranean climates, lifestyles and cultures
  • Flower-filled meadows, sun-soaked vineyards, terraced fruit orchards
  • Imposing Tyrol castles and historic Renaissance palaces
  • Riva, 'Pearl of Lake Garda' - with optional extra nights available

What's included?

  • 9 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Fridays from 5 May '17 to 6 Oct '17
  • All buffet breakfasts and 3 evening meals included
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 88%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

Italian Alps to Lake Garda Cycling

This self-guided cycling holiday introduces you to the sunny Trentino-Alto Adige, a timeless bilingual region at the crossroads of Italy and Austria, close to the border with Switzerland, and home, according to Goethe, to 'the most beautiful wine garden in Europe'.

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, the region is a Mecca for all types of outdoor enthusiast. In the rural north, endless orchards and vineyards are punctuated with kite-surfing lakes, hiking trails and cycling paths, whilst, further south, sailing clubs and plush motor yachts add a touch of Mediterranean glamour to the lemon-lined shores of Lake Garda.

Starting in the traditional Italian mountain village of Silandro, in the heart of the unspoilt Val Venosta, the cycling follows a linear route south passing Alpine meadows, pretty wine villages, historic spa towns and ancient art cities before a final downhill whizz brings you to the shores of Riva, 'Pearl of Lake Garda', famed for its pine-fringed beaches, sailing and stunning sunsets.

This holiday has been carefully crafted to include lots of 'out-of-the-saddle' experiences too. You'll visit riverside Merano, a place of retreat for Empress Elisabeth of Austria, beautiful Bolzano (ranked as the top city in Italy in a recent quality-of-life survey), and cosmopolitan Trento, whose rich architectural interest stems from its fascinating blend of Renaissance and Germanic influences.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Silandro

Arrive at Hotel Goldene Rose, which not only offers a small wellness centre, but also the town's finest restaurant. You spend 2 nights here.

Day 2 Silandro (Passo Resia) to Silandro 50km/31.5mi

After breakfast we take you (and your bikes) to the high Alpine pass at Resia, on the Italian- Austrian border, and just 3kms from Switzerland. From here you'll follow gentle, sun-drenched paths first to Lake Resia, where a C14 mediaeval steeple rising eerily from the water is the only visible sign of the once-thriving village of Graun; the 163 other buildings were submerged in 1950. You continue through flower-filled meadows and tiny farming hamlets as far as the pretty mediaeval market town of Glorenza whose fascinating series of fortified towers, charming alleys and C16 arcades have featured in several Italian film sets. From here, it's a gentle loop back to Silandro.

Day 3 Silandro to Merano 36km/22.5mi

It's picture-perfect cycling today, mostly along relaxed riverside trails backed by stunning Alpine mountains. Stop for a coffee in pretty Naturno then on past the terraced fruit orchards of the valley basin. A ride through a natural gorge - with amazing views - paves the way for your final descent into mediaeval Merano, a popular spa town where you're never far from a vineyard.

Day 4 At Merano

Nestled between the Ötztal Mountains and the Val d'Adige vineyards, sun-kissed Merano offers a glorious mix of cultural interest and natural beauty. In the morning, discover its C15 church before strolling through the park to the famous Trauttmansdorff Castle and Gardens. Alternatively a chairlift takes you up to the picturesque village of Tyrol where you'll find an imposing C12 castle along with lots of restaurants for lunch. Later, why not visit the impressive thermal baths to enjoy the pools, saunas and spa treatments?

Day 5 Merano to Caldaro 51km/32mi

Leave Merano and ride along the Etschtal Valley where apple orchards stretch as far as the eye can see - you’re never far from the meandering River Adige either. Pass the fortress of Sigmundskron to join the Wine Road and follow it to arrive in the centre of the beautiful mediaeval town of Caldaro. From here it’s freewheeling through vineyards down to Lago di Caldaro - the warmest bathing lake in the Alps, so make sure you've got your swimming things with you! Then head on to your hotel, with time for a relaxing dip in the outdoor swimming pool before dinner on the panoramic terrace.

Day 6 Caldaro to (Bolzano) Trento 26km/16.5mi

Today starts with a ride to the historical wine village of Ora and then leads on, alongside the river, to the regional capital, Bolzano, an attractive bilingual Alpine city packed with cultural treasures and historic interest. Here we suggest you lock up your bikes and explore on foot the mediaeval centre, with its Romanesque church, Gothic cathedral and beautifully arcaded Via dei Portici (great shopping). After lunch maybe take the short cycle to visit C13 Castel Roncolo before we take you south to Trento, the prosperous mediaeval capital of Trentino, where you spend the next 2 nights.

Day 7 At Trento

Highlights today include the Piazza del Duomo where the magnificent late Baroque fountain is framed by the C12 Romanesque-Gothic cathedral and the frescoed Museo Diocesano Tridentino, home to one of the most important ecclesiastical collections in the country. Don't miss either the Castello del Buonconsiglio, residence of the Prince-Bishops of Trento between C13-C18, and the Via Prepositura, where beautifully restored pastel buildings date back to the ancient Roman City.

Day 8 Trento to Riva del Garda 48km/30mi or 53km/33.5mi

You’ll have a real sense of achievement today as you complete your final leg, with the option to visit Rovereto en route, down from the mountains to the shimmering waters of Lake Garda. Writers and artists, inspired by the wild beauty and vibrant Mediterranean-style colours, have been coming here for centuries, with Goethe calling it “a marvel of nature, an enchanting place”. Your 4 star hotel is right by the lake in Riva, ‘Pearl of Lake Garda’.

Day 9 At Riva del Garda

Today you have the option to ride the short distance to Arco Castle to explore the atmospheric ruins of the village and castle which sit perched atop their own outcrop, surveying the surrounding valley. Then in the afternoon either relax by the water or alternatively take a boat ride on the lake down to one of the other waterside towns such as Malcesine where a cable car runs up the mountainside to provide unrivalled views of Lake Garda.

Day 10 Leave Riva del Garda


For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Hotel Goldene Rose, Silandro   (3 Star)

Hotel Goldene Rose, Silandro

Situated in the pedestrianised main square of the beautiful mountain town of Silandro, the family run Hotel Goldene Rose has been offering guests charming, stylish accommodation for over 100 years. We use rooms in the newly renovated part of the hotel, in which all rooms come equipped with modern furnishings and large windows. The hotel also has a newly built wellness centre featuring a hot tub, Turkish bath and sauna.

The hotel's restaurant serves an excellent menu featuring modern and traditional dishes and is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Val Venosta. The breakfast here is served in the form of a generous buffet.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Europa Splendid, Merano   (3 Star)

Hotel Europa Splendid, Merano

Perfectly located in the centre of the Alpine spa town of Merano is the Hotel Europa Splendid. This charming art deco building offers comfortable rooms with a wonderful blend of tradition and modernity all within walking distance of the thermal baths, the promenade, the shopping arcades, the River Passirio, and the Trauttmansdorff Castle and gardens. The hotel has a superb restaurant but being in the centre of town there are multiple dinner options all within close proximity. Breakfast is served in the dining room in the form of a well stocked buffet.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Haus am Hang, Caldaro   (4 Star)

Haus am Hang in Caldaro

Immediately surrounded by a delightful landscape of south-east facing terraces, exotic looking gardens and lawns in which the outdoor swimming pool can be found is the Haus am Hang. The wider setting is 10,000 m² of vineyards and a typically Mediterranean climate. Operating for over 40 years now, the family run hotel offers light, inviting rooms along with a sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, Kneipp therapy and a relaxation room with views over Lake Caldaro. The hotel also has its own private beach area by the lakeside.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Hotel America, Trento   (3 Star)

Hotel America, Trento

Founded in 1923 by Sior Minico upon his return from the US, the family-run Hotel America sits right in the heart of Trento’s historic centre, just a few minutes' walk from the Castello del Buonconsiglio and Trento Cathedral. This historic Hotel is regularly renovated and provides elegantly furnished rooms along with the El Merican bar and restaurant.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Portici, Riva del Garda   (4 Star)

Hotel Portici, Riva del Garda

The Hotel Portici finds itself in an ideal location, with an enviable lake-side position, just one minute from the harbour of Riva del Garda and with wonderful views onto the main square. The hotel is family run by the Gentilini family who have had the hotel since 1990. It was renovated in 2012 and now offers comfortable, well equipped rooms as well as a wellness center and a private garage. The hotel also boasts a restaurant on the main square where guests can enjoy the generous buffet breakfast as well as, if they feel like it, a wonderful evening meal.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel Kette, Venice   (4 star)

Hotel Kette, Venice

The Hotel Kette is set in the heart of Venice, a short distance from Teatro La Fenice, from via XXII marzo, the elegant shopping street, 2 minutes from piazza San Marco and only 10 minutes from Ponte di Rialto. So this is an excellent base for exploring the many delights Venice has in store.

The 63 en suite rooms are immaculately furnished and are fully worthy of the four-star rating.

It is possible to reserve a non-smoking room (please contact us and we will request this for you).

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Giulietta e Romeo , Verona   (3 star)

Giulietta e Romeo , Verona

The Giulietta e Romeo hotel, named after the town's most famous lovers, lies in a quiet side street just yards from the Arena. The hotel is fairly modern in style and very comfortable. There is a large lobby area, which leads onto the breakfast room, which is decorated in white with subtle lighting and art deco friezes on the windows.

The rooms are all carpeted and traditionally decorated in blue and red décor with cherry wood furniture. They are all en-suite and have double-glazing so there is little noise from the street. A couple of rooms even have the famous Juliet style balcony if you fancy a re-inaction!

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Travel options

Transfers included from Bolzano train station at 15:14, and back to Rovereto train station at 07:00.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs Godsall on 14/10/2016

*****
We really enjoyed this holiday which introduced us to a beautiful and interesting part of Italy. The cycling is mainly on cycle paths so traffic free and not much uphill. It was lovely to visit Lake Garda but it was busy and we would have preferred to have an extra night at Lake Caldaro instead. We also thought if we repeated this holiday we would prefer to cycle from Caldaro to Trento ourselves.

Reviewed by Mr Miller on 12/09/2016

*****
Simply stunning scenery and a really lovely daily cycle!

Reviewed by Ms Cockshott on 31/08/2016

*****
Easy cycle, a lot of free-wheeling, well signed routes and amazing views. Great hotels in good locations. We enjoy the included meals & were not disappointed with those on this trip but would have liked more. Would certainly recommend even though the first cycle day was very rainy. Paid for an upgrade in Merano and ended up with the penthouse loft suite - very nice, shame we were only there 2 nights.

Reviewed by Ms Heard on 18/08/2016

*****
Of the seven cycling holidays we have done with Headwater this was by far the most scenic and varied. Very enjoyable cycling along the excellent cycle paths. Meeting other cyclists and having plenty of good picnic spots and/or small refreshment opportunities on route was delightful. An extra day in Merano was well worth it. We spent the day going up in the cable car to Merano 2000 for a walk on the mountains before a delicious lunch in an Alpine restaurant. We thought the grading of 2 bikes was a bit high compared to previous Headwater holidays and, apart from a couple of hills, was fairly easy cycling. This, of course, maybe that on cycle paths one doesn't have to content with traffic therefore it appears easier. One word of caution. Taking ones bike on the train to Trento was an ordeal. Lifting bikes on and off Italian trains requires super human strength, not to mention trying to negotiate getting two bikes into the lifts to access the appropriate platform! As two over 60 year old ladies this was not a plesant experience. Our final highlight of the holiday was the extra two nights in Verona and seeing Aida at the Arena di Verona - superb and well worth it. Overall this was an excellent holiday and if it was not for the train journey one we would repeat.

Reviewed by Mrs Honeywood on 13/08/2016

*****
Our first experience with Headwater and chosen with our teenage daughter in mind as well as our enjoyment of cycling. Wonderful views and an interesting area to cycle in. The cycling was mainly all on tarmaced paths with only a couple of slight climbs. We enjoyed the variety of scenery and places to stop off at. We tended to make our own picnics as there were such lovely places to stop, but there are numerous cafes for drinks and food. We found the time spent in Merano a little long, but walked up to Dorf Tirol and spent the afternoon at the local swimming pool with the most stunning views - possibly the coldest pool I have swum in! We enjoyed the opportunity for stops en route , particularly having time to visit the modern art gallery in Rivereto. All in all a very enjoyable holiday and we hope to do another one next year.

Reviewed by Mr Nichols on 11/08/2016

***#.
The cycle paths in August were very busy. Much of the cycle is alongside main roads and railways so can be noisy. Some fantastic scenery but many kilometres of orchards and vineyards to cycle through. Most of the route is downhill or flat; if you are a cyclist you may miss the challenge of a few hills. Great hotels, good locations.

Reviewed by Mrs Myles on 10/08/2016

*****
A great experience!

Reviewed by Mrs Provan on 09/08/2016

***#.
A beautiful area to visit

Reviewed by Mr Farrell on 04/08/2016

*****
This was my 3rd holiday with you -- but the first in over a decade. I preferred the way you used to do this with local operatives who would meet us each morning to update us on the route, check the bikes, etc. The problem with the current system is that we were left a bit too much to our own devices. There were a few too many occasions when we encountered routes that were patently out of date or detours that would have bene picked up if there were someone checking the route more regularly, And in one instance we were left to fend for ourselves in finding our hotel, which resulted is us cycling down a very dangerous hill heavy with traffic desperately looking for ANY kind of sign before a thunder storm hit. That was not a moment I'd like to repeat!

Reviewed by Mrs Latchford on 02/08/2016

*****
Would thoroughly recommend this excellent holiday combining wonderful views, varied cycling, but predominantly downhill, welcoming hotels and lovely food.

Reviewed by Ms Evans on 26/07/2016

***#.
This was our second cycling holiday with Headwater and again we really enjoyed it. One of the reason we went back to Headwater was the helpful guidance and personal recommendation when booking the first holiday. Unfortunately this was absent with the second booking. We were constantly referred to the brochure and website which we had already studied prior to contacting the office and we're looking for something more than just a booking service. As a result, we changed our minds several times after getting into the detail of each trip and eventually settled on the right one for us. This wasted both our time and also that of the booking agents who made several provisional reservations which were than cancelled. The agents need to be better informed regarding the trips on offer. The organisation was very good and efficient on the whole, but because we booked our own flights and chose to return on a different flight on a different day they would not book the return train transfer which resulted in unnecessary hassle. The local agent was very poor. Whilst she spent time with us going through all the necessary information, she demonstrated no interest whatsoever in whether or not we had a good time and provided no personal input. Anything that fell outwits her immediate knowledge was referred the local office and then on to the UK hence the issue with the train transfer which could easily have been dealt with locally. She made it very. Lear that she would not be available once we left the first hotel as she had another job as a teacher! Once underway everything was fine. All the hotels were as expected, comfortable with reasonable service and food. Most were B&B and we enjoyed the option of choosing when, where and what to eat. The bikes were in good order, comfortable and provided with panniers, good practical locks and cycle computers which were great. guidance notes were fine and it was good to have the maps as well as notes. For this trip, we would have liked another night at Caldara lake. The hotel was the best of those in which we stayed, the only one with decent outside space and a pool and we would have liked to do more at the lake. In Merano we had one of our best 'rest days', cycling up to the cable car and spending the day on the mountain and would encourage this rather than a day in the town. Riva del Garda was disappointing in that it a real holiday tourist destination with accompanying tack yards and shops. However, we found a mountain trail for which our bikes were suitable and spent most of the day out of town. The Headwater Blue Books were disappointing - most completely empty and those in which people had written were just the comments you might find in a visitors book. On our previous trip, the books contained really useful and practical information on where to go, what to see, where to eat etc and I would encourage people to provide this sort of information whenever possible. Finally, this was graded as a 2 bike trip, but it really was only a one. Much of the cycling was downhill or flat with only a couple of mandatory hills, plus a few optional detours. Also worth noting that for the first 5 days there was a heavy German influence - everyone spoke German, food was German and it was only when we got to Lake Garda that Italian was the first language. Had a couple of nights in Verona at the end and went to the Opera which we would thoroughly recommend.

Reviewed by Mrs Campion on 09/06/2016

*****
Fantastic views, relaxing cycling and some good hotels. Days off in Merano and Trento were very enjoyable with lots to do and see. We were really surprised by how few people spoke Italian until we got as far south as Trento - most people speak German in the north.

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 5$2030
May 12$2030
May 19$2120
May 26$2120
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 9$2120
Jun 16$2120
Jun 23$2200
Jun 30$2200
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 7$2260
Jul 14$2260
Jul 21$2260
Jul 28$2260
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 4$2260
Aug 11$2260
Aug 18$2260
Aug 25$2260
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 1$2200
Sep 8$2200
Sep 15$2200
Sep 22$2200
Sep 29$2200
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 6$2120

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by Headwater appointed agent.

Departures

Fridays from 5 May '17 to 6 Oct '17, for 10 days (9 nights).

Meals

All buffet breakfasts and 3 evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Bolzano train station at 15:14, and back to Rovereto train station at 07:00.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

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  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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