From the Dolomites to Lake Garda Self-Guided Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C09TR
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

10 Days Flight Inclusive
10 Days Land only
Min age: 13

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

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

Trip 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

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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to set up your bike and go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
13

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Venice
End City:
Venice

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Dobbiaco

    Spend some time relaxing by the hotel's pool or spa area. (Staying at the Hotel Santer, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    Dobbiaco to Brunico

    Take some time to explore the beautiful church in Dobbiaco before setting off along the Val 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.
    You stay at the Hotel Corso (Breakfast only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 36 km / 23 miles
  • 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 Abbaza di Novacella (or return on your day off).(Staying at Hotel Krone, Breakfast only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 45 km / 29 miles
  • Day 4

    At Bressanone

    You could easily spend the day exploring the stunning town of Bressanone. Visit the 10th century cathedral, rebuilt in Baroque style in the 13th century, 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 medieval 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
    Distance covered: 43 km / 28 miles
  • 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 14th century 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
    Distance covered: 66 km / 41 miles
  • Day 8

    At Trento

    Highlights today include the Piazza del Duomo where the magnificent late Baroque fountain is framed by the 12th century 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 the 13th and 18th centuries, 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 Astoria Park Hotel Spa Resort, Breakfast only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 50 km / 31 miles
  • 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

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £284.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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 & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf (£30 admin fee per person). We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Dobbiaco or Villabassa
Location end:
Riva (Lake Garda)

What to Take

Essential Equipment

We recommend packing the following items:

Normal daily clothes

Cycling helmet (compulsory on this tour)

Padded cycling shorts and gloves

Breathable top or cycling jersey

Sunglasses/eye protection

Stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling

Waterproofs and long cycling trousers

For the earlier departures you may need some warmer layers

Sun cream

Water bottle

Optional Equipment

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may of course bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Reading List

  • Northern Italy Insight Guide
  • Frommer’s Northern Italy
  • Blue Guide: Northern Italy

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Italy

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip. Cards are widely accepted.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for meals not included in the itinerary and all drinks. We suggest €25 per day to cover a few drinks if not then €10 per day. On the days where lunch or dinner is not included expect to spend €10-€15 for lunch and €15-€35 for dinner.

Responsible Tourism

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

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.