Headwater - From the Dolomites to Lake Garda Cycling

10 days
from
£1,119
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Trip code: 
C09TR
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Self-Guided Cycling
Min age:
8

Boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, bright Trentino-Alto Adige is a timeless bilingual region at the crossroads of Italy and Austria.

As its double-barrelled name suggests, the region is made up of two areas: Trentino, in the south, is 98% Italian-speaking, whilst the mountainous terrain around Bolzano - known both as the Sudtirol (South Tyrol) and Alto Adige - has a unique mix of Italian and German landscapes, languages (German is the first language) and architecture. The architecture is that of the Austrian Tyrol: onion-domed churches stand in Alpine villages, where quaint wooden houses enjoy a mountain backdrop.

Highlights

  • 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

Key information

  • 9 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of 3-star and 4-star hotels
  • All buffet breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All accomodation
  • All buffet breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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.

51

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

The cycling on this holiday is gentle, taking you through vineyards and apple orchards, past mountains, lakes and castles. The majority of the cycling is along dedicated tarmac cycle paths, often alongside rivers. When necessary we have used the quietest possible lanes to link the towns and villages and have managed to stay away from major roads for most of the time.

Day by day breakdown
Day 236.0km/23.0miles
Day 345.0km/29.0miles
Day 543.0km/28.0miles
Day 766.0km/41.0miles
Day 950.0km/31.0miles

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

Venice
to
Venice
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Villabassa

    Perhaps have a stroll along the river before heading out for dinner. (Staying at the Hotel Adler, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    Villabassa to Brunico

    There are two options on your first day. The longer option is a short circle to visit Dobbiaco with its beautiful church and back to Villabassa. Then you'll continue along the Val de Pusteria following the milky blue Rienza River, passing deep green meadows, whilst mountains loom above. You'll admire a series of quaint Austrian-style towns, where there are plenty of opportunities to stop and have refreshments. Arriving in Brunico, take the time to walk up to its castle and enjoy wonderful views of the town. (Staying at the Hotel Corso, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Brunico to Bressanone

    Make your way to the head of the Val Pusteria today, continuing along the Rienza river, passing castles and lovely towns. You could wander around Chienes, with its Baroque church and the parish church with the best-preserved altar in the Tirol. Just before Rio Pusteria you'll see the impressive ruins of the Chiesa di Rio Pusteria, and heading onwards, the biggest fort in Alto Adige, the Forte di Fortezza. Then it's on a forested track to meet the Isarco River and into Bressanone, perhaps stopping at the Abbiaza di Novacella (or return on your day off).(Staying at Hotel Gruner Baum, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    At Bressanone

    You could easily spend the day exploring the stunning town of Bressanone. Visit the C10 cathedral, rebuilt in Baroque style in the C13, the Renaissance Bishop's Palace, which houses several artworks, including a nativity scene with more than 5,000 figurines, and the interesting Pharmacy Museum. Or cycle back to visit the Abbiaza de Novacella or take a trip on the Plose cable car from nearby San Andrea. (Staying at Hotel Gruner Baum, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Bressanone to Bolzano

    The Isarco River leads you out of Bressanone. The cycle tracks today hug the river, at times you are almost above the river, as you meander along the edge. Take time to stop in impressive Chiusa, the mediaeval town with narrow streets and little art and craft shops. Standing above the town is the impressive Castel Sabbiona. Enjoy the downhill ride as you criss-cross the river on perfect cycle tracks. At the exit of the village of Blumau, perhaps stop for lunch in their lovely beer garden before heading into Bolzano for your next two nights. (Staying at Park Hotel Luna Mondschein, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    At Bolzano

    Bolzano is a treat of a city to walk round; it was in 2014 voted as having the 'best quality of life in Italy'. It is where Italy really begins, despite still being in the German-speaking region, 75% of its inhabitants now speak Italian as first language. Aside from wandering around the city's piazzas and porticoes, there are some interesting monuments and museums. The big attractions are the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, which houses a mummy of Otzi the Iceman, the Gothic cathedral, modern art museum, or the Dominican Church housing a series of C14 gothic art. There are also three castles and a cable car that takes you out of the city to the small town of Ritten, where there are some nice walking routes. Alternatively, you can take the train to the spa town of Merano, and cycle back along the Adige River for 32km. (Staying at Park Hotel Luna Mondschein, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Bolzano to Trento

    The longest day of the holiday is a lovely flat ride following the Adige River, and the narrow Adige valley, passing beautiful cliffs as you cross into Trentino and out of German-speaking Italy. Apples turn to vines as you cycle alongside vineyards. Maybe take time to stop in Egna, once a Roman village, you can still see one of the old Roman houses and pass the old arcades in the old town. Follow the river through a lovely relaxed nature reserve before arriving in bustling Trento with its stunning architecture. (Staying at Grand Hotel Trento, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    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. (Staying at Grand Hotel Trento, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Trento to Riva Del Garda

    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'. (Staying at Hotel Astoria Park, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Leave Riva Del Garda

    We take you to Rovereto for your train to Verona or onwards, or maybe spend a couple of extra nights relaxing on the lake.

    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.

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

The geography has influenced the region’s cuisine, combining elements of Italian specialities with the colourful flavours of traditional Tyrolean dishes. The cuisine is first class - pasta dishes like Schlutzkrapfen: spinach ravioli topped with melted butter and parmesan cheese. Gerstesuppe mit gerauchertem Schweinefleisch is a delicious barley soup with smoked pork and dumplings. Other dishes include hearty ingredients designed for the mountains - Groestl is a warming dish of pan-fried onions, potatoes and pork, while Kartoffelnocken is a form of potato gnocchi. Typical desserts will probably feature delicious Gezogener Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), which comes sprinkled with sugar and laced with cream, and a range of Italian gelati (ice cream) is typical too.

Wine features heavily in this region as it is home to the appropriately named Südtiroler Weinstraße / La Strada del Vino (The Wine Road). This is a road that runs along the Adige Valley from the city of Bolzano for 70km, meandering through 15 municipalities.

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.

Is this trip for you?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 48km (30 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain and route: The cycling on this holiday is gentle, taking you through vineyards and apple orchards, past mountains, lakes and castles. The majority of the cycling is along dedicated tarmac cycle paths, often alongside rivers. When necessary we have used the quietest possible lanes to link the towns and villages and have managed to stay away from major roads for most of the time.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotelier is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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

Hotels

En route you'll stay in 4-star hotels located in the centre of the towns - offering the chance to sample the local food in a simple pizzeria or even a high-end restaurant. The accommodation styles vary from quaint Tyrolean-style hotels to a relaxing spa hotel in Riva. Four have swimming pools.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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.

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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 020 8772 3936