Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice Ride

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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 64 reviews >
Moderate
Learn more
Trip code: 
MWD
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
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 partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 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)
  • Lake Garda ferry 

What's not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Visa and vaccinations 
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

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

Terrain:

Low altitude; 95% tarmac, 5% gravel roads

Day by day breakdown
Day 275.0km/45.0miles
Day 355.0km/33.0miles
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

Trento
to
Mestre (Venice)
  • Day 1

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Trento.

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Trento, province of Trentino-Alto Adige nestled in the Adige River Valley. A cosmopolitan city and a centre for industry, education, science and finance, Trento is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous cities in Italy boasting an atmospheric historic centre adorned by well preserved Medieval and Renaissance buildings. Depending on the group's arrival time, there may be time to go into town before we have our evening meal and trip breifing.

    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Morning train to Bolzano, capital city of the South Tyrol. Cycle on quiet roads following the Adige River back to Trento.

    After breakfast we take a short train ride (40 mins) to Bolzano, the capital city of the South Tyrol set in a stunning location surrounded by mountains. In 2012 Bolzano was voted as the city with the best quality of life in Italy. We have the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the bikes whilst taking a short tour around the historic centre. From here we will cycle south along the Adige River, following quiet undulating 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 arrive back in Trento late afternoon where and spend a second night at our central hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Continue riding along the river to Lake Garda. A 2.5 hrs 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 some short ascents, 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 cruise on the lake gives us the opportunity to enjoy the splendid landscape and relax before we reach our final destination of the day: Desenzano. Once in Desenzano we will take a short walk from the ferry port to reach our hotel for the night.

     

     

     

    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!


    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!


    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 beautiful Palladian villas. 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.


    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.


    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
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Combine this trip with

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.

A support vehicle (with limited seats) is available throughout the trip, it will not be able to follow the group at all times but it will meet you at the end of cycle paths and at junctions to give route directions and allow access to any items you don’t wish to carry on the bike.

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

3 and 4-star hotels

We use a variety of 3 and 4-star hotels throughout with en suite facilities. They may be located either in the towns themselves or in the surrounding countryside.

Examples of hotels used:

Trento - Grand Hotel Trento or Hotel America

Desenzano - Hotel Bonotto

Verona -  Hotel Leon d’Oro or Ark Hotel

Vicenza – Albergo San Raffaele

Padova – Hotel Casa del Pellegrino or Methis Hotel

Mestre - Hotel Venezia

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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  • Reviewed July 2018
    Sally Weston

    Super Trip

    This was a great way to experience Italy on cycle paths and quiet roads with our super guide providing lots of interesting commentary and experiences along the way. We visited so many interesting villages, towns and cities along the way finally arriving in Venice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many great moments - as various sights came into view. One special moment was the view of Venice from the rooftop terrace.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was an excellent guide and consistently went the extra mile to ensure we got the most out of the holiday. He explained the sites and the history in an engaging and fun way and arranged many extra experiences for us along the way. We will definitely be coming back for another of Michele's rides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellent as the mosquitos appeared after we arrived at the southern end of Lake Garda. Wear a road cycling jersey with rear pockets to carry phone / money etc so you can leave your backpack in the van. Bring a cycling water bottle - one is enough as there are lots of drinking fountains along the way. Do some riding beforehand to bulid some cycling fitness - everyone on our trip had a good level of fitness which meant that the group stayed close togehter.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would highly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Peter Cooke

    One of the best holidays yet.

    My wife and I had an amazing time. The combination of cycling, culture, new friends and fantastic guiding made this truely memorable. Thank you Mchele and Martino, and of course all the other members of our group. One more thing,... was it needing it or was the food fantastic anyway?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing that Vicenza lived up to the description. The dinner in the square with the group, Martino and Michele's family was wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I could not praise Michele enough. I shall be joing him again soon for another trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it!
  • Fantastic Italian Cycle

    A brilliant trip from mountains to sea with something for everyone in between. The route is along well kept cycle paths and quiet country roads. The cycling isn't too strenuous but there are plenty of challenges for those looking to push themselves - and there are a few optional early morning cycles if you really want to go for it. The scenery is spectacular, food is amazing and the guides are inspiring.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 4km descent from the Monte Berico hills to the vineyard is amazing. As tempting as it is to keep the head down and enjoy the downhill with out interruption make sure you stop somewhere to take in the views before jumping back on the bike and speeding to the bottom all too soon. Lunch at the Vineyard afterwards is a fantastic spread and well deserved.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele and Martino were fantastic. They both have a great sense of humor, lots of experience and patience. They were always smiling - whether its at 6am on one of the optional morning rides or gone midnight touring Venice by moonlight. From the moment we were met at the airport to returning us to normality in Venice we didn't have to worry about a thing. Both of them go above and beyond to make sure that everyone enjoys their holiday. Thank you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like hills say 'yes' to the optional early morning cycle from Trento. It follows part of the Giro route and is definitely a hill. The ascent takes 30 minutes and descent takes 3 minutes! The bragging rights at breakfast are definitely worth it! Our final cycle to Venice was cancelled due to heavy rain but this wasn't a problem because it gave us a full day in Venice. If you're given the option leave the bikes, take the train and enjoy the guided tour of Venice through the back streets away from the tourists.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you haven't booked already do it now!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Alan Knott

    An inspiring and enjoyable trip

    This was one of the best holidays I have had. The combination of cycling, scenery, excellent company and first class leadership has made this a holiday I shall never forget.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The landscape in the Dolomites was breath taking and at times overwhelming.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was a first class leader. Always made sure he had time for everyone in the group; had a great sense of humour and his knowledge of the places we visited made their history come alive

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A great trip which enables you to enjoy your cycling and at the same time take in some amazing scenery

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Michele went out of his way to make the trip enjoyable. His decision, because of adverse weather conditions, for us to spend a whole day in Venice meant that we able to visit and see the city in a much more relaxed way
  • Reviewed June 2018
    L S

    Fun and fantastic

    This was a fun, leisurely, week-long ride through some of Italy's most beautiful landscapes and cities, full of history, delicious food, and great gelato. I was fortunate that there was such wonderful camaraderie amongst our group, so that there was always lots of laughs, especially when the "easy, flat" sections contained lots of undulations. I would do this trip again if I could!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first glimpse of Lake Garda.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was my second trip with Michele as leader - he's extremely experienced, takes great care of everyone and everything, and goes above and beyond to make sure you're having a good time. Whether you are being supported up a climb, being recommended a good restaurant, or going on one of his optional early morning rides, if you're lucky enough to be in a group of his, you're in safe hands. He and Martino made a great team, with Martino joining in with all the support, all the laughs, and all the climbs. We were lucky to have them both taking care of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it and enjoy!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Philip Humphrys

    Undulating

    This was my first Exodus cycling trip, it will not be the last!! This trip takes you through some gorgeous Italian countryside, with mountains, lakes and vineyards. In addition you visit some beautiful and historic cities. We were fortunate to have bad weather on the last day which meant that cycling was abandoned in favour of the train to Venice and a full day walking tour of the city!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling with a great bunch of people who were fun to be with, supportive and encouraging. Completing the ‘big’ climbs!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele is an inspirational group leader who goes out of his way to make sure that everyone has a memorable experience, nothing is too much for him. Martino likewise was very supportive especially on the ‘big’ climbs. They made an excellent team

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you get the opportunity to miss out the last day of cycling and spend a full day in Venice take it!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Catherine Stewart

    Highly recommended

    Delightful route through some beautiful countryside and staying or passing through towns oozing with italian atmosphere, history and wonderful architecture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch and tour of a winery - just like out of a film set! With the most delicious home-made/home-grown food, and wine, was a definite highlight. That, after swimming in a mountain lake in the early part of the trip. And the icing on the cake was being taken on a tour of Venice by our guide who was able to take us away from the crowds to discover parts of the city only locals would know, including nosing out restaurants where the locals eat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Michele is hugely experienced in looking after cycling groups. His enthusiasm for his work and love of his country is infectious and makes the whole thing so much fun. There is no substitute for local knowledge... Martino provided very helpful back-up and worked hard to make sure everyone in the group was looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared with an additional picnic for your journey from the airport to the hotel on the first night if you want to avoid having to eat dubious motorway services food. With so much good food available in Italy, it is not the most attractive introduction to the week but probably unavoidable in view of arrival times and the local tradition in that part of the country to eat early.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our ride from Padova to Venice on the last cycling day was curtailed because of heavy rain. This turned out to be a huge bonus as that leg would not have been through particularly attractive countryside and would have taken up all of the morning and probably more. Going by train straight into Venice first thing gave us a full day there, with our guide, which made it a memorable day and a brilliant finale to a most enjoyable trip.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Rae Leach

    Cycling trip

    Great cycling through wonderful scenery.Visited some beautiful cities with their amazing buildings and history

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ride down to Lake Garda and the clean cities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good with great local knowledge

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Disappointed that there are no tea or coffee making facilities in any of the hotels,should be a standard commodity!!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    David Morton

    Superb week away!

    This was my first cycling trip, and the week was fantastic! On the morning of Day 3 at breakfast, we were commenting to each other that we could not believe we had only been cycling for 2 days. Seeing the history-packed cities of Verona, Vicenza and Padova briefly during the day and staying only 1 night, we promised to return to each city for at least a few nights in future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the most dramatic part of the trip, despite not being actual cycling (though that was good overall), was taking a catamaran ferry from the top of Lake Garda at Riva del Garda southbound to Desenzano. Being on the water is always wonderful, and this 3-hour trip calling at gorgeous lakeside towns I had never heard of, let alone visited, was captivating. One could tell at a glance that these were all and each extraordinary places of beauty and resonance that have crafted lovely summer memories for thousands of visitors over at least a few centuries.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was a terrific leader and host for the week. Being a native of Vicenza, he knows the entire Veneto region very well and his high energy levels, good cheer and ready smile kept us all motivated and made for a wonderful trip. Martino's friendliness and support from the van was much appreciated. We enjoyed time with both guys during stops for delicious Italian food at lunchtime.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make yourself go and do at least a few cycling days of 30miles/50km in the several weeks before you go! I thought, "No problem, I'm in reasonable shape and this just a #3/moderate rated trip" and didn't do much pre-trip training. While the trip was still pleasant overall, as per Exodus' advice, one will appreciate it much more having been "in the saddle" for at least a moderate period, and significant daily duration, before travelling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was such a wonderful week, and great experience. I loved it. So much packed in a marvellously distilled week. I will never forgot the intoxicating blasts of jasmine scent from the blossoming hedges everywhere we cycled during this first week in June! Like many more experienced fellow travellers on this trip, I am certain that I will be booking many more Exodus cycling trips over the coming years!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Jane Hoskisson

    Loved every minute....even the rain!

    This trip was to celebrate a big birthday for a dear friend, and it was truly one of the best ways I can imagine to usher in a new decade. We are casual cyclists so it was great there was nothing too daunting in terms of distance and elevation - and I was so distracted by the stunning scenes that I did not mind the odd view stop on the steeper bits.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I will never forget turning the corner and seeing beautiful Lake Garda - truly magical, and I thought it could not be topped - that was until Michele took us to look at the roof tops of Venice. Breathtaking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele and Martino were a great team, and I think Michele's local knowledge shone through in terms of his recommendations for restaurants every evening. He's a passionate Italian Ambassador, and for sure the trip was greatly enhanced by his local knowledge and passion for this beautiful part of the world.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a sense of humour if it rains!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was really pleased the weather was poor on the Friday as it meant we did not cycle and were able to get into Venice earlier than planned. I think the trip would benefit from a full day in Venice on the Friday rather than cycling!

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]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936