From the drama of the Dolomites all the way down to the boaty bustle of Venice, this tour is packed with stunning scenery, must-see cities and really relaxing, characterful accommodation. Spin off from Bolzano in South Tyrol and pedal alongside the River Adige’s vineyard slopes to the mighty castle town of Trento. Let the boat take the strain along lovely Lake Garda, then see Verona’s famous amphitheatre take centre stage a while. Palladio’s palazzo are more than plentiful at Vicenza; Padua is simply the height of sophistication all round, and Venice never fails to be vibrant and enchanting. It’s all breath-taking stuff – except the gentle cycling, although there are just a few (avoidable) climbs, if you’re a fan of a fine panorama or two. Overnight stays include properties in private parklands and a converted monastery.
is all in four star hotels in Bolzano, Trento, Sirmione/Desenzano, Verona, Vicenza, Padua and Venice/ Mestre. Some hotels have pools or spa facilities.
Cycle from Bolzano (Bozen) in German-speaking South Tyrol to Italy’s most magical destination, Venice, staying in hotels especially selected for their character and charm. Highlights along the way include Lake Garda, Verona, Vicenza and Palladio’s Padua as you bike across mainly flat and some slightly hilly terrain, primarily on dedicated cycle path and side roads.
Day One - Arrive & explore
Arrive in Bolzano and relax a while perhaps in the hotel pool or delightful gardens, before setting off for the colourful streets and that ‘we’ve arrived’ treat of coffee and real Tyrolean strudel on a tempting café terrace. Browse the sophisticated shops and enjoy the Art Noveau architecture of this historic trading town at the pivot point where 'North meets South'. Oh, and don’t forget to go and see 'Otzi', the famous 5,000 year old man found preserved in ice on a nearby glacier!
Day Two – Over the border in a spin
A great network of dedicated cycle paths leads out from the city today, along the Adige river, passing through acres of orchards towards Salorno where you cross the language border into Italian speaking Trentino. Pedal across a dam to the remarkable city of Trento, home to charming cobbled streets and the impressive Piazza Duomo known for its beautiful fountain and 16th century frescoes. Your hotel in Trento is hugely historic and just a short walk away from the cathedral square – a 15th century monastery with a cloistered courtyard, beautifully converted into a comfortable hotel with an attractive blend of respect for the past and stylish modern living.
Miles: 44 Kms: 70
Day Three – Delicious & refreshing discoveries
Another day in the company of the River Adige, on the cycle path as it heads south towards Rovereto with its castle and Venetian and Habsburg heritage. Next up Mori is famed for its wines and its pistachio ice-cream. (Just to be sure that you’ll stop and sample, we’ve included an ice-cream treat in the tour price!) Then it’s time to say goodbye to the Adige river, turning your wheels westwards to take the cycle path along an old railway track-bed. As it leads through a nature reserve, the green and pleasant surroundings become even more beautiful as they reveal your first view of Lake Garda. A short ascent is worth it for the enjoyable descent down to the lake, first to Torbole, then finally Riva del Garda. From here a ferry (included in tour price) carries you along the length of the lake and your accommodation in either of the lovely lakeside resorts of Sirmione or Desenzano.
Miles: 31 Kms: 50
Day Four – Through vineyards to Verona
Time to put the lake behind you and pedal off through the gently rolling Veronese hills, whose vineyard slopes grow the region’s famous ‘Trebbiana’ grapes. Riverside paths then lead on to romantic Verona, home of 'Juliet's balcony' and famed for its cultural festival. The iconic Roman amphitheatre and old city walls are a must, but be sure to cross the ancient stone Ponte Pietra bridge which dates back to Roman times to enjoy panoramic views from the Castel San Pietro.
Miles: 31 Kms: 50
Day Five – Panoramas & Palladio
It’s off to Vicenza today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the showcase town of medieval star, Andrea Palladio. At the start today’s route is gentle, but it does climb as you head up the Monti Berici hills. The panoramas over the area are certainly worth it, but if you fancy keeping down the miles in the saddle, why not hop on a train from Verona to San Bonifacio? Once in Vicenza, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Italian Renaissance architecture including elegant 16th century mansions and palaces designed to Palladio’s manuscripts and Basilca Palladiana on the Piazza dei Signori. The Palazzo Barbarban da Porto, home to Museo Palladio, and Teatro Olimpico are both real musts. Don’t miss the theatre’s amazing trempe-l’oeil painted scenery is the oldest surviving set in existence.
Miles: 44 Kms: 70
Day Six – Spas & stars
You’ll pass Venetian villas like the Villa Rotunda as you set off from Vicenza, to follow the ancient course of the river Bacchiglione into the province of Padua. On the plain by the Colli Euganei, sits the famous spa town of Abano Terme, these days quite a modern resort, but it has retained its historic centre around Viale delle Terme and its cathedral (Duomo di San Lorenzo). Pedal on to visit the suburb of Montirone where the sanctuary church has some beautiful frescoes or simply head straight for that culturally irresistible spot, Padua where your hotel is right on the Naviglio (waterway) close to the Astronomical Observatory.
Miles: 27 Kms: 45
Day Seven – En route for the coast & Venice
It’s an easy cycle towards the coast today, through relaxing country landscapes, pastures and fields to your hotel in Mestre on the mainland just outside Venice. From here the stunning city of waterways, lagoons, gondoliers and bridges is just a convenient bus ride away. Sit in Piazza San Marco and watch the world go by, or climb the campanile to admire the view. Linger on the Bridge of Sighs or head for the Dogue’s Palace to have your breath truly taken away. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, so why not toast that with a little Grappa tasting session to celebrate your tour, (close to St Mark’s Square - included in tour price).
Miles: 25 Kms: 40
Day Eight –Depart after breakfast
Depart after breakfast following a final night in Mestre.
Once you have decided on the ideal Cycle Break in England or Europe, please fill out your details on our booking formProceed to Book
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