Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice Ride

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8 days
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£1,249
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
MWD
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Road Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Spectacular riding from the stunning Dolomites to Venice

Few landscapes in Europe match the unique beauty of the jagged limestone Dolomites. The route starts with incredible views of Trentino's dramatic mountains, cycling on relatively easy roads and tracks along the Adige River. On reaching the northern shore of Lake Garda, we will be immediately mesmerised by the breath-taking views of one of the most famous Italian lakes. A four hour ferry cruise on the lake gives us the opportunity to take in these wonderful vistas before continuing the ride through the beautiful cities of Verona, Padova and finally the canals and waterways of Venice.

Highlights

  • Cycle through stunning Dolomite scenery 
  • Relax on a boat trip across Lake Garda
  • Discover the fascinating cities of Verona, Padova and Venice

Key information

  • 6 days cycling with vehicle support on request 
  • 95% tarmac roads, 5% gravel tracks 
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs 
  • 7 nights hotels all en suite

 

What's included

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

What's not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Visa and vaccinations 
  • E-bike hire £90
  • Single accommodation (available on request)

6

Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 95% tarmac, 5% gravel roads

Day by day breakdown
Day 270.0km/43.0miles
Day 350.0km/31.0miles
Day 460.0km/37.0miles
Day 575.0km/46.0miles
Day 650.0km/31.0miles
Day 740.0km/24.0miles

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… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Bolzano.

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Bolzano, the capital city of the South Tyrol which is in a stunning location surrounded by mountains. In 2012 Bolzano was voted as the city with the best quality of life in Italy and is a facinating place to explore. After checking into our hotel there is time to go into town before we have our evening meal and trip breifing.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Cycle on quiet roads following the Adige River to Trento, capital of the Trentino region.

    After familiarising ourselves with the bikes, we cycle along the Adige River. Today's ride is mainly on cycling paths and quiet roads, with an overall ascent of approximately 300m. Cycling through orchards and vineyards, we pass Lake Caldaro and the lovely villages of Ora, Egna and Salorno. This area is well known for its wine production, which represents three quarters of the whole of the South Tyrol. We end today's ride in the pretty city of Trento, where Italian Renaissance and Germanic influences meet.

    Cycle approx. 70km
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Continue riding along the river to Lake Garda. A 4-hour ferry cruise takes us to the south shore of the lake.

    We continue along the Adige until we reach Rovereto and Mori. From here, we head west towards the northern shores of Lake Garda. After a short ascent, we cycle down to Torbole and then onto the elegant resort of Riva del Garda. There we take the ferry to the southern end of the lake, leaving Trentino and heading towards the Veneto region. The 4 hour cruise on the lake gives us the opportunity to enjoy the splendid landscape and relax before cycling to our final destination of the day: Desenzano.

    Cycle approx. 50km
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    From Lake Garda, we cycle to Verona, made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

    Cycling mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths today, we make our way to the legendary city of Verona. Located on the river Adige, Verona is arguably the most beautiful city in Veneto. Its famous arena is one of the many Roman monuments we can discover there. Other places of interest are the Basilica San Zeno and of course Juliet's house and the famous balcony!

    Cycle approx. 60km
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Cycle to Vicenza; riding through vineyards and the rolling hills of Monti Berici.

    After a flat start, we reach the hillier region of Monti Berici. There are a couple of more challenging climbs on today’s route as we cycle over the undulating terrain, but we are rewarded with fantastic views of our destination for the day: Vicenza. The old city centre is a jewel of Renaissance architecture: private palaces, public buildings and the Basilica are testaments to the work of one of Italy's most renowned architects: Andrea Palladio. A visit to the best ice-cream parlour in Vicenza is a great reward after today's ride!

    Cycle approx. 75km
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Pass the Palladian Villa Rotonda, as we cycle to Padova where Giotto’s Chapel and other marvels await.

    Leaving Vicenza, we cycle past the beautiful Palladian Villa Rotonda. We continue along the Bacchiglione River, on relatively quiet and flat roads, to the fascinating city of Padova, famous for the Scrovegni Chapel, painted by Giotto, and the Prato della Valle, one of the biggest squares in Europe.

    Cycle approx. 50km
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Follow Veneto's flat roads towards the Adriatic Sea and the lagoon of Venice, for a drink on Piazza San Marco or a stroll across the Rialto Bridge.

    We continue cycling through Veneto, along the Brenta Canal and passing numerous villas belonging to the ancient Venetian nobility (Villa Pisani, Villa Widmann). Today's ride ends in Mestre, which is the final destination for our week of cycling. Here we drop off the bikes, get changed and hop on a bus over the bridge to Venice. Once in the heart of the 'Floating City', we can explore the labyrinth of narrow streets, bridges and waterways. We will see famous sights including Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge and of course Piazza San Marco. After exploring the city we can enjoy a relaxed evening and perhaps a gondola ride before returning to our hotel in Mestre.

    Cycle approx.40km
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free morning in Venice; fly to London.

    After breakfast we have most of the day free to further explore Venice before transfering to the airport and flying to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

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

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included on this trip.

For breakfast you can expect a continental style buffet including cold meats, eggs, cheese, breads, pastries, jam, tea and coffee.
For lunch and dinner our leader will be on hand to recommend his favourite restaurants based on your budget and preferences. As you would expect from a holiday in Italy, the standard of food and drink throughout the tour is extremely high and also very varied as we head from the mountains to the coast. You can expect plenty of pizza’s and pasta dishes but also lots of seafood options on restaurant menus too. This trip passes through several wine growing areas and if possible we will stop to visit wineries and vineyards on route and get to sample their produce in the evenings.

Weather

In the Dolomites - as always in the mountains - the weather can be very changeable. On average in summer months you can expect some rain on one day in two, but it is likely to come in heavy and thundery outbursts of relatively short duration rather than prolonged showers. Down in the valleys daytime temperatures range on average from 12º to 22ºC, although 25º is not unusual. As we ride out of the mountains the weather often gets warmer, therefore you need to be ready for anything, and to pack shorts as well as warmer clothes, full waterproofs as well as sun cream.

MWD

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road

Average daily distance: 50km (31 miles) with 6 days cycling

Terrain and route: 95% tarmac roads, 5% gravel/un-paved roads.

We aim to use mainly quiet roads and cycle paths where possible, but at times we need to cross busy road sections in order to reach the quieter routes on the other side. Although there are no real steep climbs or technical difficulties, at times the route is undulating and requires a reasonable level of fitness.

Vehicle support: Please note that the support vehicle does not follow the group but can be called by the group leader if you are struggling with the route and wish to stop cycling and return to the hotel. There may be a waiting time for the support vehicle to arrive, during which the group may go ahead and continue cycling. (The support vehicle is not available to 'sit out' a section of the ride during the day; it can only be used to forward you directly to that evenings hotel).

The local hire bikes on this tour are ‘Dutch style’ town bikes with either a step through or high cross bar frame. These bikes offer a very comfortable and upright cycling position allowing you to fully take in the surrounding area. All bikes come with a handlebar bag and one rear pannier bag allowing you to carry any essential items you might need during the ride. 

Accommodation

Hotels/Inns

7 nights in 2 and 3-star hotels and inns of excellent standard throughout, all with en suite facilities. We use a variety of 2 and 3-star hotels and inns throughout with en suite facilities. They may be located either in the towns themselves or in the surrounding countryside.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2016
    Michael Jamieson
    This was my first cycling holiday with a group , normally I cycle self guided which allows me time to stop and stare and take photographs. From day one I found myself way behind the other members, my pace was averaging 19 - 20 kph, which is above the advertised “Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour”, but this was not fast enough. I must emphasise that for me, it was not a problem as exodus provide some excellent maps and I am used to cycling alone so I never felt lost. However, I still had a great 6 days, saw some brilliant scenery passed though great villages and towns. The restaurants and cafes we stopped at provided excellent choice of food and drinks at a reasonable price. All hotels were comfortable and well located. Evening meals with this diverse group were in well chosen restaurants and I thoroughly enjoyed their company as well as the food and drinks

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most memorable was the ride (glide!) down to Lake Garda, excellent views of the Lake as I descended

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I didn’t really have that much contact with the Leader Michele, but from my perspective he is one of life’s gentleman, and seemed generally concerned about the group members enjoyment. His family that we met in his home town of Viceza are delightful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want more time to visit the cities and towns then I would suggest self guided with a day’s stop over in the places you would want to investigate

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would I cycle with exodus again, yes absolutely? Would I cycle with a group again - only time will tell?
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Andrew Bass
    This was my first cycling holiday and hopefully won't be my last. I had a fabulous time, saw some wonderful sights and met a great group of people on this trip. The cycling wasn't too hard, but enough to make you appreciate you had earned your distance each day. Being the last trip of the season, the weather could have been a problem, but we were lucky until the last day when the heavens opened. The scenery, towns, cities and villages were superb and the food and drink fantastic. The bikes were good for the kind of terrain we were travelling and the majority of the trip was on cycle paths and quiet roads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many, but the one that stands out for me was the ride down through the vineyards and into Soave. The sun was out, the grapes were being picked and the castle overlooking the town all came together and I thought 'this is the life'

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele is a legend. He couldn't do enough for us, always smiling and with a great sense of humour. He took us to some super restaurants and cafes, advised us on the local food and drink and his local knowledge on the history, architecture and culture of the area really added to our enjoyment of the holiday. We also got to meet his beautiful family in his most beautiful city.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are thinking about it, just do it. And when you do, take time to look around, take it all in and enjoy every minute because the week goes too quickly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are worried about riding with a group of people you've never met, don't. We had a great bunch, all different ages and abilities, a real diverse group, but we all gelled so well. It was another highlight of the holiday enjoying their company, having a lot of fun both whilst riding and after in the bars and restaurants.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Wendy Pillar
    This was a really lovely ride through contrasting scenery from the mountains, through several different cities to Venice. The riding was easy, mostly on lovely cycle paths with regular water fountains and cafes. There were only a few climbs, although some of the days were quite long, with headwinds. The food was good and the hotels variable, but always comfortable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Coming over the pass and getting a first view of Lake Garda was pretty breath-taking. Venice was very memorable too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was great, on the go from organizing extra rides before breakfast to taking us out to dinner somewhere special in the evening. He controlled the traffic and the long snake of cyclists really well, and never lost any of us despite the best efforts of some of us! Always full of information and passion for his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take clothes for all weathers. We needed sun cream and a hat one day, then the next day got caught in an unforecast spell of freezing cold rain and got soaked, which led to me catching cold. Have proper waterproofs always on you. A couple of the days are quite long, and a headwind is common, but mostly the riding is easy and flat. There are about 6 big climbs over the whole ride, the first being as soon as you set off! If you are going to take a day off, make it day 5, which is very long with quite a lot of urban riding, although you will then miss Soave, which is beautiful. There is not much time to look around the cities, so it would be a good idea to allow an extra few days not just to see Venice, but also to take the train back up to Padua, Verona and Vicenza for a good look around.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Brian Weetman
    Another fantastic cycling adventure with Exodus. Hotels were all ideal for the nature of the trip. The cycling was a good level of exercise with chances to opt in to extra cycling or opt out to put your feet up. Beautiful views and fabulous cities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling was just fantastic a great route. Amazing cities to explore.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was exceptional. A great cycle guide as well as a wealth of knowledge and passion for the area.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were a number of travel issues completely out of control of Exodus both before and afterwards and Lucy Crabb was absolutely brilliant in solving these for us.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Timothy Binmore
    cycling tour with lots of opportunity to see round some beautiful Italian cities

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    could have been any number of times when I turned a corner and had my breath taken away by beautiful buildings or city swuare

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. A lot of fun, very knowledgable about the cities we visited, passionate about Italy.. Knew excellent places to eat. Went the second mile (literally - he organised a 6am ride to do some of the local hills).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great holiday, and I would recommend it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    no
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Sarah Deslippe
    This was my first vacation since I was a little girl and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. This trip included so much natural beauty, history, and cultural exposure that I feel I got more exposure to Italy in just a week than some people get in a month. I didn't find the trip to be terribly physically challenging, which enabled me to appreciate the beautiful scenery and company that much more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I completed a "bonus climb" with 4 of my fellow travelers up a very steep hill after we'd reached one of our destination cities. Shortly before completing the climb I first uttered the words "I don't think I can do this" - and I've never been happier to have been proven wrong!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Michele was excellent and went above and beyond anything I would have expected. Besides being an experienced and capable cyclist with a great sense of humor, he also had a strong knowledge of history and made sure to point out areas of historic significance during the trip. He organized many other optional events activities including group dinners, walking tours around our destination cities, and even bonus early morning cycling trips around the towns that we were staying in. Lastly, I am vegetarian and Michele always helped me find vegetarian options whenever we stopped to eat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Great beginner trip. If you're relatively new to destination cycling trips this is an excellent first step.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A few small things. There was a transit strike in Italy on the first day of the trip that made the meeting in Venice a little chaotic. If you could please provide us with a local contact prior to departing, it might help mitigate any confusion at the airport. This is especially true for overseas participants such as myself, as the only exodus contacts I had were in Canada and there is a 6 hour time difference between Canada and Italy, so if I have any problems it may take a long time before my contacts can follow up with me. Also, just wondering if it would be possible to create an exodus app - maybe something compatible with Google Maps - that shows the cycling route? We all received maps upon arrival and there were arrows en route directing us to where we were supposed to go, but I understand the competition has been tampering with the arrows and map reading is a skill. If there is a way to locate the route on our phones, it might help people who get lost. Cheers!!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Sunita Patel
    This was my first cycling holiday so I was not sure what to expect. Since the trip is rated Moderate I thought it may be challenging as I have not done much cycling before and only bought a bike a month ago. At times it was a bit tough with windy conditions and since I wanted to stop and take photos to make it easier for myself Michele arranged for me to get an E-bike on the second day. This made a huge difference especially for the hills and I didn't have any worries anymore.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the last 2 days, very flat and easy leading to the highlight was of exploring Venice, a city I've never been to but always wanted to visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele is an excellent tour leader and took care of the group and made sure that everyone had a good time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get an E-bike!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group was great fun, I would definitely go on another cycling holiday and hope it will be as good as this one!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Richard Mackay
    This was a well planned journey suitable for all levels of ability.I was fortunate once again to be travelling with an interesting and entertaining group out to enjoy themselves and never taking the cycling part too seriously. The whole holiday was made exceptional by the contribution of our guide Michele ( Michael) who carried out his responsibilities far and above the call of duty. He was very well organised,kind and attentive to all guests with no favourites,funny, informative about the areas we visited as well as the Italian way of life ,found the best restaurants - in fact everything we could wish for from a guide- for me the best in ten Exodus trips worldwide and I know this view was shared by all of my party.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the rides from Desenzano to Verona and then Vicenza through beautiful villages and vineyards along cycle paths that took you right away from the noise and pollution of major routes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Five stars - see above

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take this trip and if you are a bit inexperienced in the cycling part don't worry - there's only one quite challenging climb and if you are really worried order an electric bike - they're brilliant as one of our group will testify

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great experience
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Richard Johnson
    The trip was particularly well organised and our guide Michael was brilliant, a consumate all rounder. Its challenging running the trip for a group of 16 on your own but Michael showed a very high degree of regard for everyone, and went above and beyond the job description. Making the group feel like a group and supporting everyone to get the most out of the experience. Michael is definitely one of the best Exodus guides we have encountered so far. Lovely guy, great temperament

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Michael laid on early morning rides for those who wanted them and these were amazing. The world is a different place at 6am and the rides were both challenging and exhilarating. I will never forget riding up a steep hill outside Trento, the numerous turns of the "Salita Charly Gaul" on the Monte Condone, 50 minutes climbing and 8 minutes descending... fabulous

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michael is one one of the kindest and most sincere individuals I have met. He loves cycling and loves his job. He deals with problems and looks after everyone. He certainly goes the extra mile arranging celebrations for birthdays and helping out when unexpected things occur, like problems booking hotels at the end of the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great ride and you will enjoy the experience, the food and the company
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Michael Waterfield
    O. K.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I don't recall one

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very competent and knowledgeable but also very busy . I got the impression that looking after !5 people was a big task'for him. After a day's cycling he would some times lead us on interminable walks, Perhaps to a restaurant when there were adequate restaurants much nearer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring cycling shoes you can walk in!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some hotels were good Others had unbelievably small rooms

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