Dolomites Centre-Based Cycling

8 days
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4.4 / 5 from 5 reviews >
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Cycling Holidays
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Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Dolomites by bike 

Savour the dramatic mountain scenery of the Dolomites, while avoiding the need to ride up any long climbs. We explore the beautiful valleys of the Alta Pusteria on two wheels, visiting Brunico, Lake Toblach, Cortina d’Ampezzo and crossing into the Austrian Tyrol to explore mediaeval Lienz. The area is criss-crossed by a network of quiet lanes and purpose-built cycle paths, perfect for enjoying at a steady pace. Adding to the relaxation is the fantastic four-star Hotel Adler in the charming town of Villabassa. The centre-based itinerary offers the opportunity to unpack, settle in and unwind in the hotel spa and award-winning restaurant.


  • Immerse yourself in spectacular mountain scenery 
  • Indulge in world renowned Dolomiti cuisine
  • Relax in a wonderful 4-star hotel

Key information

  • 5 days cycling (no vehicle support but assistance is available on request)
  • 80% tarmac roads, 20% hardpack gravel paths
  • Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader. Min age 16
  • 7 nights 4-star hotel with en suite facilities 


What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • London flights (if booking incl. flights)
  • Airport transfers
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)



Leisurely: 10-13km/6-8miles an hour


Rides are mostly downhill or flat with only a few short ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 232.0km/19.0miles
Day 327.0km/16.0miles
Day 455.0km/34.0miles
Day 635.0km/21.0miles
Day 727.0km/16.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Villabassa.

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Villabassa (Niederdorf) in the South Tyrol. We stay in the luxurious Hotel Adler, a firm favourite with our summer walking and winter snowshoe groups for the past 15 years.
    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Ride along the Rienz River to Brunico; visit outdoor folklore museum then transfer back to Villabassa.

    Today offers the perfect warm up ride as our start in Villabassa is the highest point of the day! Our scenic route follows the Rienz River as it winds its way down the Val Pusteria to the town of Brunico (Bruneck). After a look around the pretty town we visit the South Tyrol Museum of Cultural Anthropology at Teodone (Dietenheim). This fascinating open air museum depicts local rural life and culture over the ages, contrasting life in a wealthy manor house with that on a remote rural farm. We then transfer back to Villabassa to relax or visit the hotel spa.

    Hotel Adler 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Transfer to the Sexten Valley; cycle back to Villabassa along quite cycle paths via San Candido and the 8th century Innichen Abbey.

    This morning we transfer to the stunning Fiscalina Valley and get on the bikes at the Talschlusshutte mountain refuge. After a drink and some magnificent views we head down past Sesto (Sexten) to the larger market town of San Candido (Innichen) along a network of excellent cycle paths. Here we will see the 8th Century Innichen Abbey, before following quiet cycle paths back to Villabassa.

    Hotel Adler 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Follow the Drau cycle path across the Austrian border to Lienz; transfer to Villabassa.

    Today’s ride is the classic route of the entire region. Riding from the hotel we pass through Dobbiaco (Toblach) to pick up the lovely Drau cycle path, a scenic traffic-free route that follows the river gently downhill into Austria. We finish the ride in the charming medieval town of Lienz, known as the ‘Pearl of the Dolomites’. Here we have plenty of time to explore the old town with its elegant squares and café culture. A transfer returns us into Italy and our hotel in Villabassa.

    Hotel Adler 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day to relax, enjoy a walk or visit Bolzano, capital of the South Tyrol.

    Today we have a day off the bikes in order to relax and make the most of the area. As well as the inviting hotel spa, there are also a huge number of local walks that will get you in amongst the spectacular mountains surrounding Villabassa. It is also easy to take the train to the beautiful city of Bolzano, the capital of the South Tyrol, with its pretty network of winding alleys and upmarket shops to explore. The world-famous Museum of Archaeology with the ‘Otzi’ Iceman and the Reinhold Messner Mountain Museum at nearby Sigmundskron Castle make Bolzano a city of mountaineering history and culture.

    Hotel Adler 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Transfer to Cortina d’Ampezzo; cycle past the famous peaks of Tre Cima di Lavaredo en route to Vilabasa.

    In the morning we have a transfer to the chic alpine town of Cortina d’Ampezzo where we have some free time to explore before getting on the bikes and enjoying a great ride along an old railway track that has been converted into a cycle path. Our route takes us through illuminated tunnels towards Lake Landro and on to the wonderful panoramic vista of the iconic Tre Cima di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen), these three dramatic rock formations are the ‘emblem’ of the Dolomites. Finally we pass the beautiful Lake Dobbiaco before arriving back at our hotel in Villabassa.

    Hotel Adler 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Transfer into the tranquil Casies Valley; visit Monguelfo castle then ride to Villabassa.

    This morning we start with a transfer to the head of the tranquil Casies (Gsies) Valley. The scenery here is a little different with more rolling countryside and plenty of agriculture. Our ride follows a mix of road and cycle paths as we make the gentle descent through a number of traditional villages en route. We rejoin the main valley at Monguelfo (Welsberg) with its impressive castle (depending on your departure date there may be the opportunity to visit), before finishing the day back at Villabassa.

    Hotel Adler 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Venice; fly to London.

    After breakfast we transfer to Venice and catch our flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info


UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.


No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

The Hotel Adler has a well-known on site restaurant run by head chef Helene Markart; it appears in many respected publications such as Guida Espresso, Ristoranti Bibenda, Gamba Rosso and the Grosse Restaurant & Hotel Guide.

This part of the Dolomites has a very strong Austrian influence, German language is often preferred to Italian and the cuisine tends to be of Tyrolean tradition. The area is home to some great traditional dishes and foods like Speck (smoked raw ham), Lucanica (fresh sausage) and apple strudel are probably some of the most well-known. There is a strong tradition of using locally sourced ingredients and you can guarantee that the meats, vegetables and dairy products are all from nearby farms and producers.


In the Dolomites - as always in the mountains - the weather can be very changeable. Rainfall is normally at night but we can’t rule out daytime showers. The rain normally comes in heavy and thundery outbursts of relatively short duration rather than prolonged showers. Daytime temperatures range on average from 12c to 22c, although 25c is not unusual. We can expect to be wearing shorts and t-shirts only when cycling but please pack some warm and waterproof clothing just in case.


Is this trip for you?

Average daily distance: 44km (25 miles) No. of days cycling: 5 We use mainly quiet roads and cycle paths where possible, only really getting busier when we stop en route in the towns. Although there are no real steep climbs or technical difficulties, at times the route is undulating and requires a reasonable level of fitness. Terrain and route: 80% tarmac roads and cycle paths, 20% hard pack gravel paths and tracks. The route follows quiet roads and designated cycle paths. The un paved sections are good quality cycle paths but extra care should be taken when cycling these sections. A reasonable level of fitness and some previous cycling experience is recommended. Cycling conditions: this trip is classified Road Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate). Please see the introductory pages of the cycling brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us. NB: In the itinerary below we have used both the Italian and German (in brackets) place names. Formerly part of the Austrian state of Tyrol, German is still the first language for 80% of its inhabitants.


Hotel Adler

The week is based at Hotel Adler, a 4-star property in Villabassa. Located on the village square, this quality hotel is considered the 'best in town'. The cosy bar is often busy with locals and there is a relaxing lounge for peaceful reading.

Other facilities include a superb indoor pool and wellness centre with sauna, steam room, solarium and small fitness centre. The well-known restaurant, run by head chef Helene Markart, appears in many respected publications such as Guida Espresso, Ristoranti Bibenda, Gamba Rosso and the Grosse Restaurant & Hotel Guide; the menu features a mixture of local and international cuisine. All bedrooms are spacious and have en suite facilities, minibar and TV.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2016
    Kristján Friðþjófsson

    Good trip to Bick riding from Villabassa

    September 10, 2016 were 7 Icelandic people went on to Italy for a bike ride. we landed in Venice in the late afternoon and welcome us took Jonatan tour guide with a smile. We drove by bus to Villabassa at the hotel Adler. In the hotel the staff took greatly with os. In the evening they offered a dinner. Next morning Jonatan had a meeting about the trip of the week, the rules and our insurance. Jonatan tour guide was a great success and he showed us how we should view the wheels at the start of the trip. These trips had Jonathan great responsibility and that we will not be lost in the path. We, the seven icelandic, give Jonatan 10 stars for his 100% guiding and give os good attitude for this bike trip. We were very happy with this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The landscape and bike routes

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great responsibility and that we will not be lost in the path.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To go on this trip to Villabassa

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We, the seven icelandic was happy with this trip
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Larry Dacunto


    We just returned from the Exodus bike trip (MED) "Dolomites Center Based Cycling" and it was disappointing compared to 18 others we have experienced in Europe and another dozen elsewhere. First and most serious is the fact that Exodus was the ONLY company we have ever experienced that did not provide, at least to every other person, any kind of written directions, map, or strip map. We were totally dependent on the tour guide and his oral instructions from time to time. Second, Exodus was the ONLY company we have experienced that did not provide, at least to every other person, a spare tube and tire levers. Again, we were totally dependent on the tour guide to repair even simple punctures. The rental bicycles were the worst we have ever experienced. They were fairly new and clean, but our 16 riders had more problems due to poor maintenance than all the other rides we have experienced put together --- several with gear issues, loose electric wire, seat quick-adjust fell off, chain ring guard fell off, many under-inflated tires, etc. Finally, Exodus plainly ripped off customers who booked thru their North American office versus their London office. The Exodus price in their printed catalogue was 899 UK £ which converts to less than $1400 US. The website which appears to North American customers indicated the same tour was hundreds of dollars more per person after making the exchange rate. On the good side: The hotel was excellent, though full of flies even in the dining room, and the food was particularly fine. The routes chosen were beautiful. The van support was timely but for one occassion. The tour guide worked very hard at keeping us organized and moving. Overall, this tour was a poor experience and we will not again choose Exodus nor recommend Exodus to anyone, especially those outside the UK subject to discriminatory pricing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing Cimabanche, an Alpine pass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Worked hard keeping 16 people together.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring flypaper to the hotel.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Justine Patterson

    Stunning Scenery

    This week long trip is a great cycling holiday set in a stunning part of the world. The scenery is breathtaking and we were lucky to have had warm sunny weather. Each day's ride took us in a different direction, to explore new places, towns, and revealing scenic vistas along the way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On our free day some of us walked up to and around Lago di Braies which is a magical place despite its popularity. Cycling to and into Cortina d'Ampezzo with its surrounding peaks was a high point (pardon the pun!).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Radu was great. He approached his role with a balanced mix of fun, flexibility and organised structure. In acknowledgement of this holiday being a new offering for Exodus, he was keen to include us in the decision making during the daily rides and actively sought our feedback. Radu skilfully managed our group of 12 to make the trip a positive experience for every member.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the trip is classed leisurely to moderate, the cycling and pace is very leisurely and not at all taxing. You may need to adjust your expectations, sit back and enjoy the scenery!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was good to enjoy a centre based cycling holiday, more relaxing than having to 'pack & transfer' every day. We had a good mix of interesting people in our group, not just Brits!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Brigitte Schneeloch

    Dolomites Centre-based Cycling

    Brilliant, wonderful, exciting, awe inspiring! A most inspirational week in the Alpes. Very good planning avoiding the cycling becoming too taxing, as daily transport was arranged to supply us with very manageable cycling. We found everything as described in the tripnotes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me personally, although being a passionate cyclist, the best day was our free day which my friend and I spent walking up to the summit of Monte Helmo ( after catching the gondola lift to 2000 m ). The view from there and the buzz from the achievement was breathtaking!! I would recommend this to anybody

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Radu, with the help of Jon, made a great team. Radu was a very knowledgable and caring leader, had good communication, humour, and was always available for advice. A lovely person to be with!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For me it was the best cycling trip I have had with Exodus in Europe! We were lucky weather wise!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Unni Vester-Hodgson

    Dolomites centre- based cycling

    The trip was a success from beginning to end. Hotel Adler and staff made us all very welcome. The terrain was, in my opinion, a true leisurely/moderate taking us through the most breathtaking terrain at a comfortable pace. We were, therefore, able to take it all in and enjoying the scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through this spectacular terrain and riding by fast flowing rivers and the Dolomites all around us meant a real connection with nature. On the free day I can strongly recommend a trip to Helmhaus.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader: Radu Man was just superb - definitely a strong contender for the leader of the year. His personality, people skills and organisational skills were ace! He is a great asset to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As always, ensure to bring clothing for hot and cold weather enabling layers. Weather these days are so unpredictable - don't be fooled.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 0208 772 3936