Cycling Italy's Dolomites

  • Itinerary Summary

    The Italian Alps are renowned for their pristine rivers and streams, their exquisite cheeses and smoked hams but most of all for their most precious gem: the eastern most mountains called Dolomites, a paradise for any outdoor activity. Join us to pedal this region’s stunning valleys and passes, listed since 2009 as a UNESCO World Heritage site to recognize and preserve its “exceptional natural beauty”. Inhabited by ancient civilizations, traces of which got to us thanks to the finding of the mummy Otzi, these mountains also straddle a cultural boundary that gives us the best of Italian and Austrian-German cuisine, hospitality and blended history. Our tour gives you a chance to enjoy Dolomitic landscapes, learn about the peculiar local history as well as discover hidden corners where life still flows as if tourism never got there. Spend 8 days exploring breathtaking mountain roads, pedaling through ancient forests, and hiking Alpine trails where Nature sets the rhythm of life. All the while enjoying traditional Tyrolean meals and top quality local wines.

    ***Extend this bicycle tour by 3 days. Click here to review our Cycling the Dolomites Plus! the Sella Massif***

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    1. Day 1: Tour begins in Bolzano

      Highlights: Bolzano historical center

      Explore the heart of Bolzano, the capital of the Trentino-Alto Adige region. Enjoy the beauty of the central Piazza Walther with its Gothic style cathedral and have a stroll in Piazza delle Erbe, a vibrant market corner where Italian daily life naturally flows. Get a glance over the charming via dei Portici (Arcade Street) and don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Archaeological Museum where you’ll find the remains of Ötzi, a man who lived in the area during the Copper Age (3300 BC) and who's frozen body was found in the mountains in 1991.

      Mileage: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Greif

    2. Day 2: Loop ride to Caldaro, the heart of the wine region!

      Highlights: Vineyards, traditional villages of Caldaro and Termeno, views over lake Caldaro, wine tasting. Optional climb to Passo Mendola.

      We start our ride pedaling southwest out of Bolzano to reach the heart of one of the northernmost wine making areas of Italy. Vineyards dominate the landscape and the “wine-road” takes us to the traditional villages of Caldaro and Termeno, known world-wide for their production of Gewürztraminer, Lagrein and Caldaro Classico Superiore. On the way back to Bolzano enjoy quiet country roads that offer unique views over Lake Caldaro, a mecca for sailing and windsurfing enthusiast.

      Mileage: 66 km (41 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Greif

    3. Day 3: Bicycle to Brixen

      Highlights: Views over Sciliar-Catinaccio peaks, village of Chiusa, Agostinian Abbey of Novacella

      Our exit from Bolzano features a gentle climb that takes us along the north-eastern side of the Isarco valley. This road offers beautiful views over the Sciliar-Catinaccio Natural Park and its alpine peaks. Stop for a coffee in the ancient village of Chiusa and discover its historical relevance as a key stop for traders and travelers going from the Alps to Austria. This afternoon we'll visit the Agostinian Abbey of Novacella, founded in the 12th century, and known today not just for its spiritual importance but also for its wine production!

      Mileage: 62 km (39 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Cavallino d’Oro

    4. Day 4: Bicycle to Dobbiaco

      Highlights: View over mountain Plose, speck museum in Brunico, Dobbiaco

      Today we enjoy the beauty and perfection of Tyrolean bike paths before leaving the Rienza river valley and gaining elevation on the northern side of the valley to the so called “sunny road”. From there you'll get captivating views over mountain Plose. We'll stop in Brunico to explore its charming historical town center and taste the local specialty known as “speck” (smoked ham). After a snack or a proper lunch, it's back on our bikes to Dobbiaco, the gem of Alta Pusteria Valley.

      Mileage: 70 km (43 miles) Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Romantik Hotel Santer

    5. Day 5: Loop ride to lake Braies

      Highlights: Lake Braies, views over Tre Cime di Lavaredo Natural Park, traditional cheese making

      Get ready for a full immersion into the heart of the Dolomites, the pristine mountain range that in 2009 gained UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site. Today we bicycle east starting with a climb that reveals some of the most impressive views over the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Natural Park. From there we'll descend to the valley and head towards Lake Braies, often described as the most beautiful lake of the entire Alps. This afternoon we'll visit a cheese maker who will reward our palates with delicious local specialties!

      Mileage: 57 km (35 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Romantik Hotel Santer

    6. Day 6: Bicycle to Cortina

      Highlights: Landro lake, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Misurina lake, Passo Tre Croci, Cortina

      Today we head south and pedal along the Landro Valley. Landro Lake is an excellent spot for a mid-morning coffee before you continue your ride to Lake Misurina where you'll have the option to climb 7 km up to Tre Cime di Lavaredo to enjoy the views. Anybody who prefers to enjoy the lake or pedal straight to Cortina can do so. Those who challenge themselves with the mighty climb to the base of three majestic peaks will have a quick descent to lunch at Lake Misurina. The more modest Passo Tre Croci is the last climb of the day, after which it's a glide down into Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as “Queen of the Dolomites”.

      Mileage: 50 km (31 miles). Extra Ride: 14 km (9 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Villa Blu

    7. Day 7: Hike in the Dolomites over Cortina

      Highlights: Hike pristine alpine trails

      Leave your cycling shoes behind today as we enjoy a hike along some of the most spectacular trails in the Dolomites. Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Tofane, and Monte Cristallo are just a few of the peaks that will surround us while we enjoy our rest day from biking.

      Mileage: 2 to 4 hours hiking. Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Villa Blu

    8. Day 8: Tour ends in Cortina

      Highlights: Cortina

      Stick around and explore this lovely town!

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      The Dolomites!, Multiple two night stays, Unique part of German speaking Italy, Cheese maker visit, Well-maintained long distance bike paths, Cortina
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights accommodation; 4 dinners with wine; 1 lunch; all breakfasts; wine tasting and cheese making plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Bolzano / Cortina
    • Arrive/Depart

      Innsbruck (INN) or Venice (VCE)
    • Total Distance

      305 km (190 miles). Extra Ride: 14 km (9 miles).
    • Daily Distance

      Average per day 61 km (38 miles)
    • Rating

      301 Perfect for riders who enjoy climbing, including mountain passes. Optional days off allow for a break from cycling if needed. Advanced riders can take advantage of several extra mileage options.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Jun 11-18, 2018 USD$4050 USD$550 Save $200 if you book before November 15. Book it
    Jul 9-16, 2018 USD$4050 USD$550 Save $200 if you book before November 15. Book it

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Who Killed the Iceman?

      Bolzano Italy - A New York Times article on a recent investigation into Otzi's murder back in 3300 B.C.

    • Wonderful, scenic, challenging, delightful. Whole thing was great, without qualification. Thank you!

      Tim J., La Grange, IL - June 2017

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