Cycling Italy's Dolomites Plus! the Sella Ronda

Cycling Italy's Dolomites Plus! the Sella Ronda

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 11 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.

***If this sounds great but you prefer a shorter tour. Join us for 8 days Cycling the Dolomites***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jun 10-20, 2019
USD$5100
USD$650
 
Jul 8-18, 2019
USD$5100
USD$650
Guaranteed to Go.

* 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.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 11 Days
  • Total Distance / 434 km (278 miles). Extra mileage is available several days.
  • Avg. Distance / 54 km (33 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 4.5
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Bolzano ("Bozen" in German)/ Shuttle to Brunico ("Bruneck" in German)
  • Price / From USD$5100
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    The Dolomites!, Multiple two night stays, Unique part of German speaking Italy, Biking 4 passes in one day on the world famous 52 km Sella Massif, Essential Oil Distillery visit, Well-maintained long distance bike paths, Cortina plus 1 guided hike around Cortina area.

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available.
  • Includes
    11 days, 10 nights accommodation; 6 dinners with wine; 1 lunch; all breakfasts; wine tasting; essential oil distillery visit; and the usual (see below).

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Innsbruck (INN) or Munich (MUC)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    59km / 677m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    3
    47km / 1434m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 5.0
    4
    55km / 1131m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    5
    72km / 1329m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    6
    60km / 1099m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    7
    54km / 1429m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    8
    Hiking day
    difficulty level
    9
    37km / 1138m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 4.0
    10
    51km / 1687m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 5.0
    11
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Perfect for riders who enjoy climbing, including mountain passes. Optional days off allow for a break from cycling if needed.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Tour begins in Bolzano ("Bozen" in German)

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 Archeological Museum where you’ll find the remains of Ötzi, a man who lived in the area during the Copper Age (3300 BC) and whose frozen body was found in the mountains in 1991.

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.

  • Distance: 59 km (37 mi)
  • Gain: 677 m (2221 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Bicycle to Fié allo Sciliar

Highlights: Views over Sciliar-Catinaccio peaks, alpine meadows

Our bicycle ride today features a climb that brings us to the foot of some of the most spectacular rock faces in the Dolomites. This road offers stunning views over the Sciliar-Catinaccio Natural Park and its alpine peaks. Our hotel offers you the opportunity to get a massage, take a hike, or relax and enjoy the view. If you want an extra ride, head to Tires for jaw dropping views over the Rosengarten.

  • Distance: 47 km (29 mi)
  • Gain: 1434 m (4704 ft)
  • Terrain: Mountainous
  • Day Level: Day Level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Bicycle to Bressanone (Brixen)

Highlights: Agostinian Abbey of Novacella, wine tasting

Today's ride features unforgettable views of alpine meadows and sheer Dolomite cliffs. 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 which we will take time to sample!

  • Distance: 55 km (34 mi)
  • Gain: 1131 m (3710 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Bicycle to San Candido

Highlights: Spectacular views of the Pusteria Valley

Enjoy the beauty and perfection of Tyrolean bike paths before leaving the Rienza river valley and climbing to the “sunny road.” Your efforts will be rewarded with captivating views over the Pusteria Valley. We'll stop in Brunico to explore its charming historical town center. After a snack or a proper lunch, it's back on our bikes to San Candido, a gem of Alta Pusteria Valley.

  • Distance: 72 km (45 mi)
  • Gain: 1329 m (4359 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Loop ride to Lake Braies

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

This morning we'll visit a cheese maker as we continue on towards Lake Braies, often described as the most beautiful lake of the entire Alps. On our back to San Candido, we will gain elevation for some of the most impressive views over Tre Cime di Lavaredo Natural Park, which is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, a recognition given to the entire Dolomites in 2009.

  • Distance: 60 km (37 mi)
  • Gain: 1099 m (3605 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: 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”.

  • Distance: 54 km (34 mi)
  • Gain: 1429 m (4687 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: 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.

DAY 9: Bicycle to Corvara

Highlights: Passo Falzarego, San Cassiano, La Villa, Corvara, Val Badia

A long, steady but gentle climb awaits us this morning as we pedal over one of the most famous passes of the Giro d'Italia, Passo Falzarego. Once at the top of the pass enjoy a cable car ride up the mountain for higher altitude, views, and/or lunch in the rifugio (mountain hut). From the pass, a long gliding downhill takes us into the Val Badia where Ladino, a local language that has controversial origins - is it a mixture of Latin and tribal dialects? Experts disagree, but it remains the first language of locals and is not readily understood by Italian speakers.

  • Distance: 37 km (23 mi)
  • Gain: 1138 m (3733 ft)
  • Terrain: Mountainous
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Bicycle the Sella Ronda!

Highlights: Famed Giro d’Italia passes: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena

This morning we'll pedal the legendary loop around the Sella Massif on the Dolomite High Road often a part of the Giro d'Italia! This 52 km (32 mile) loop features 5,600 feet (1707 meters) of climbing over 4 famous passes (Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, and Gardena). Anybody wanting to relax in town or enjoy some more hiking is free to do so as well.

  • Distance: 51 km (32 mi)
  • Gain: 1687 m (5533 ft)
  • Terrain: Mountainous
  • Day Level: Day Level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Tour ends in Corvara

Highlights: Transfer to Brunico (Bruneck)

After breakfast, we'll offer a group shuttle to Brunico for your trip home. If time allows, why not stay a few extra days in this alpine paradise?

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Tour begins in Bolzano ("Bozen" in German)

Lodging: Hotel Greif Bolzano

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Innsbruck Airport (INN):

  1. Taxi from Innsbruck Airport to Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof (20 min/EUR 20-15)
  2. Train from Innsbruck Hbf to Bolzano Bozen (2 hours/fares vary)
  3. Taxi from the Bolzano Central Station to the Day 1 Hotel (5 min/EUR 10)

Look up Austrian train schedules at Oebb.at or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

Day 11: Departure Information

Tour ends in Corvara

Your tour ends with a complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle drop-off at the Brunico (Bruneck) train station on the final day of the tour around 11 a.m. Your spot on the shuttle is already reserved.

If you do not join the shuttle, you will be responsible for your own transportation

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We suggest flying out of the Innsbruck Airport (INN):

  1. Train from Brunico (Bruneck) to Innsbruck Hbf (2 hours 40 min/fares vary)
  2. Taxi as described in arrival instructions

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two) and a water bottle (or two) and in some cases a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • Great, beautiful, challenging. What was your favorite experience on this trip? Sella Ronda.

    Kathy K. and Bill B., Seattle, WA - June 2017
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? 1. Going around a bend and seeing yet another incredible view. 2. Cycling the Sella Ronda.

    Carol W., New York, NY - June 2017
  • Breath-taking beauty all day, every day, everywhere you look; great accommodations and food; fun-loving, patient, thoughtful guides; challenging rides; wonderful camaraderie among the group. Can''t wait to start planning the next trip! Will miss everyone we met and the wonderful experience we had in the Dolomites!

    Karen H., Yucaipa, CA - July 2017
  • Loved it all from the second I arrived in Bolzano. Loved the day of the cinque torri. Loved the chance to go higher after Passo Falzarego. Loved the weather. Loved that those who wanted more were able to do extra passes. Loved that I completed Sella Ronda. It was wonderful, and exactly what I wanted!!!

    Lindy L., Conneware, Victoria, Australia - June 20
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