ExpeditionPlus! Alps to the Adriatic in Italy

ExpeditionPlus! Alps to the Adriatic in Italy

Pedal from Innsbruck, Austria down the Adige Bikeway through Trento and then on to Vicenza. From here we pedal to Venezia before heading south along Italy's Adriatic coast to complete our journey at the very tip of the heel of Italy's boot. Explore the hills and beaches of the Marches and Abruzzi and pedal the "spur" of Italy - the limestone "presque'ile" of the Gargano, before heading across the Puglia plateau through trulli country to Lecce, queen of Italy's baroque cities. Our ride ends in Santa Maria di Leuca at the very tip of the heel.

***Read more about the ExpeditionPlus! concept to see if this type of tour is for you. If it is fill out our Expedition Application if you have not traveled on an Expedition Trip with ExperiencePlus!***

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 27 Days
  • Total Distance / 1858 km (1155 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 45 - 115 km (28 - 71 miles); average 88 km (52 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 1.0
  • Countries / Italy, Austria
  • Begin/End / Innsbruck, Austria/Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy
  • Price / From $11,500
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    • Innsbruck, Austria
    • ,
    • Vicenza and Venezia
    • ,
    • San Marino, Italy
    • ,
    • Distinct regional specialties
    • ,
    • Trulli of Alberobello
    • ,
    • Italian food

    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.

    Read more about the ExpeditionPlus! concept to see if this type of tour is for you. If it is fill out our Expedition Application if you have not traveled on an Expedition Trip with ExperiencePlus!***
  • Includes
    27 days, 26 nights; Use of a high quality 30-spd bicycle; all breakfasts, 2 lunches, 18 dinners; guided walks in Vicenza, Venice, Ferrara, Matera
  • Arrive / Depart
    Innsbruck or Munich/Bari or Brindisi
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary




    Day Level



    Tour Level Note:

    **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: Sept 09: Meet in Innsbruck, Austria

Highlights: Innsbruck, Austrian Alps,

Meet in Innsbruck in the heart of the Austrian Alps. The capital of Tyrol offers a late medieval city center and a getaway to spectacular alpine outdoors. We fit bicycles this afternoon and go out for a warm up ride.

Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

Lodging: Hotel Grauer Bär

  • Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: Sept 10: Bicycle over the Brenner Pass to Italy

Highlights: Spectacular Alpine Views, bike paths

Our ride today takes us south from Innsbruck and over Brenner Pass which is one of the most important alpine passes in Europe. It is also the lowest pass (1,370 meters or 4,495 feet) connecting Germany and Austria with Italy. The climb from Innsbruck is 574 meters (1,883 feet) and you'll descend along what was once a railroad grade and today a bonafide cycling highway! You'll be in Italy in Bressanone this evening.

Distance 122.4 km (76 miles). Meals: B, D


  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3: Sept 11: Bicycle Bressanone to Trento

Highlights: Brenner bike path, Bolzano, glaciated Adige River valley

We continue south along the Tyrol bike path to Bolzano today. Take time for coffee or an early lunch in Bolzano, known in Italy as a bicycle friendly city and regularly voted one of the best cities to live in by Italians. You have the opportunity to visit the museum hosting ?tzi the Ice Man, one of the archeological sensations of the 20th century. We are in Trento this evening, famous for hosting the important counter-reformation "Council of Trent" in the 16th century.

Distance: 106 km (66 miles). Meals: B

Lodging: Hotel Albermonaco

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: Sept 12: Bicycle Trento to Vicenza

Highlights: Foothills of the Alps, Palladio's architecture in Vicenza

We'll pedal up, down, and out of the Alps today on our way to Vicenza which is renowned for its beautiful architecture from 16th century architect Andrea Palladio. The White House style is inspired by his works and aptly named ?Palladian.? Our ride will take us out to the majestic Pian delle Fugazze, a cyclist's dream, and finally to the plains of the Po Delta.

Distance: 104 km (65 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Conchiglia D'Oro

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: Sept 13: Pedal to Treviso

Highlights: Palladian Villas, Brenta River

Today you'll cycle in an area favored by the Venetian aristocracy: they built their countryside villas along the river Brenta and used to reach them by a kind of river boat called burchiello. We'll however just cycle by Villa Contarini, one of the most interesting visitable examples and play aristocracy for the night in a majestic 19th century villa near the city of Treviso, which homes the headquarters of bicycle maker Pinarello.

Distance: 72 km (45 miles) Meals: B, D

Lodging: Villa Pace Park Hotel Bolognese

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6: Sept 14: Treviso to Venice Lido

Highlights: Barrier beaches of Venice, Ferry to the Venetian Lagoon

Today you'll pedal through reclaimed marshlands around the Venetian lagoon. Be sure to take time to dip your toes in the Adriatic Sea at Lido di Jesolo. It's a short ride so you'll be at the Lido of Venice early afternoon. Dinner is together tonight at our favorite trattoria on the Lido of Venice.

Distance: 67 km (42 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel Biasutti

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7: Sept 15: Venice, a rest day

Highlights: Enjoy exploring Venice

This is a rest day to enjoy walking through the most unique Medieval city in the world. Venice is, undoubtedly, one of a kind, so we?ll go on an off-the-beaten path tour with the help of a local who will help us discover its charm. Alternatively, you can find a tucked away caf?, go to the beach, or just hangout and enjoy great opportunities for people watching.

Meals: B

Lodging: Hotel Biasutti Best Western

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: Sept 16: Venice to Ferrara

Highlights: Ride the Lido, the Venetian Lagoon, Chioggia and Po Delta, Ferrara

You'll hop ferries and then follow the Po river upstream to the Renaissance city of Ferrara today. Be aware of bikes! Ferrara is considered the cycling capital of Italy! Entering the city, you'll pass under the 16th century walls, one of the finest examples of Renaissance walls left in Italy. Other highlights of this UNESCO world heritage site include the many palaces of the Este court from the 14th and 15th century, amongst which a castle with a moat in the very center of town.

Distance: 108 kms (67 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Hotel Carlton Ferrara

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: Sept 17: Ferrara to Ravenna

Highlights: Wetlands, Ravenna mosaics

We leave Ferrara on bike ways and head back to the Po delta towards Argenta, skirting the wetlands that are a sanctuary for migratory birds. Our ride takes us to Ravenna?another UNESCO site?the last capital of the Western Roman Empire and home to more early Christian mosaics than any other city in Western Europe. You can walk to Dante's Tomb and the mosaics of San Vitale, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia this afternoon, as your hotel is near all the city's highlights.

Distance 95 km (59 miles). Meals: B

Lodging: Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10: Sept 18: Ravenna to San Marino

Highlights: Crossing the Rubicon, the Republic of San Marino,

As we head south from Ravenna we cross Caesar's famous Rubicon River and enter the foothills of Romagna. We'll temporarily leave Italy, but you won't need your passport to cross the border. Our destination is the oldest republic in the world, known as "The Most Serene Republic of San Marino" dating to 301 AD.

Distance: 88 km (55 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Grand Hotel San Marino

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11: Sept 19: San Marino to Urbino

Highlights: San Marino, San Leo, hill riding, Urbino

After several days of flat rides, the terrain begins to change today as you enter the foothills of the Apennine Mountains. This area is known as Montefeltro, from the family that ruled it during the Middle Ages through the Renaissance. Many battles took place here and the fortified towns just show it. San Leo is a fortress town like San Marino though much smaller, while our destination for the day, the Renaissance town of Urbino?today a UNESCO site?still has its grand Medieval walls intact.

Distance 77 km (48 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel Bonconte Urbino

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12: Sept. 20: A rest day in Urbino, city of the Renaissance

Highlights: Explore the Renaissance City

Spend the day wandering around the walled city of Urbino, a city which retains much of its picturesque medieval aspect. A UNESCO site, its historical legacy of independent Renaissance culture thanks to Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino in the 15th century, it still hosts a renowned university.

No Cycling Today. Meals: B

Lodging: Hotel Bonconte Urbino

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13: Sept 21: Urbino to Fabriano

Highlights: Ridgeline and hill rides, Furlo Gorge, Frasassi Caves

You entered Italy's Marches region once you passed San Marino and today you'll pedal the heart of "le Marche". You'll ride through the Furlo Gorge?a most scenic route closed to car traffic?along the ancient Roman road Flaminia, where the Roman emperor Vespasian had a tunnel built to facilitate traffic at the narrowest point of the gorge. If you are interested, stop at the grotto of Frasassi, the longest limestone cave in Italy at 5km (3.1 miles). Your destination tonight is Fabriano, famous worldwide for its high-quality paper still produced artisanally. We'll have dinner together.

Distance: 103 km (64 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel Janus

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14: Sept 22: Fabriano to Ascoli Piceno

Highlights: Hills, the spectacular Sibillini Mountains, Ascoli Piceno

Today's ride is dominated by the crest of the Apennine Mountains off to our right. Small villages and towns nestle on the slopes of glaciated valleys coming off of this massif limestone mountain range. Take time to enjoy the ride as there is no rush and tomorrow is a rest day in Ascoli Piceno.

Distance: 130 km (81 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Palazzo Guiderocchi

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15: Sept 23: Rest day in Ascoli Piceno

Highlights: Walled city with picturesque Medieval quarter, Olive ascolane

Relax and bask in the delightful squares and sidewalk caf?s of this historic and picturesque city. Ascoli is a town that retains grit. It hasn't been gussied up to attract visitors. It is a place where the locals are still bemused by the presence of foreign travelers visiting their city. It has an art gallery and is rich in both Medieval and Renaissance period architecture. It's also famous for a dish named after the city itself: Olive Ascolane, delicious fried olives stuffed with meat or fish.

Meals: B

Lodging: Palazzo Guiderocchi

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16: Sept 24: Ascoli Piceno to Atri and Pescara

Highlights: Adriatic Sea, Pescara

Our route today takes us away from the mountains and over the foothills to the Adriatic coast. Pescara is a busy coastal town and the largest city in Abruzzo, the small central Italian region that extends from the Adriatic beaches into the heart of the Apennine Mountains. In the town of Pescara itself, the long ten-mile stretches of wide, clean and sandy beaches offer many inviting opportunities to its visitors.

Distance: 103 km (64 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel Esplanade

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 17: Sept 25: Pescara to Termoli

Highlights: Adriatic coastal cycling

This is your chance to take a swim in the Adriatic Sea as we'll ride along the coast before heading into the foothills. Termoli is an ancient city with a walled Medieval fortress center on a promontory overlooking the sea. The old town is surrounded by a wall which drops straight down to the sea and is dominated by its square castle. Castello Svevo was built in the 11th century but largely rebuilt by Frederick II in the 13th century. Termoli is a popular tourist resort on the Adriatic coast which has long sandy beaches, historic fortifications and some incredible trabucchi, ancient fishing machines not in use any longer. It is very popular with Italian tourists in the summer months but, like the rest of Molise, relatively undiscovered by foreign tourists.

Distance: 126 km (79 miles). Meals: B

Lodging: Hotel Mistral

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18: Sept 26: Termoli to Vieste

Highlights: The Gargano Peninsula, Scenic coastal riding

Italy's Gargano Peninsula is the "spur" on Italy's boot and is reminiscent of a Greek island. It's easy to imagine that it floated across the Adriatic Sea and attached itself to the Italian mainland. Geologically speaking it is a massif rising to the high point of Monte Calvo (1,064m). The forests of the highlands are of great importance and most of the upland area is protected as a national park. The Italians enjoy the fabulous beaches here particularly in July and August but for the rest of the year the beaches and uplands are left to discriminating nature lovers and seekers of peace, tranquility and beauty. You will enjoy amazing views of the blue seas as you cycle along a beautiful rolling coasts.

Distance: 130 km (81 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Palace Hotel Vieste

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 19: Sept 27: Rest day

Highlights: Rest day on the beach

Enjoy a rest day on Vieste's lovely beach. Vieste is a lovely fishing town of whitewashed houses which hugs the white cliffs of the Gargano peninsula as they jut out into the Adriatic Sea. It is also home to one of the best beaches of Puglia. A great opportunity to relax. However, if you prefer to challenge yourself with a hilly ride we'll point you in the direction of Tavoliere delle Puglie and the Foresta Umbria.

Meals: B

Lodging: Palace Hotel Vieste

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 20: Sept 28: Vieste to Manfredonia

Highlights: Spectacular coastal rides and sea views

Our ride continues around the perimeter of the Gargano with wonderful views of the sea. Photo opportunities will keep you busy today as each bend presents another scene featuring dramatic cliffs overhanging the crystalline sea.

Distance: 76 km (43 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Regiohotel Manfredi

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 21: Sept 29: Manfredonia to Ruvo di Puglia

Highlights: Castel del Monte, Murgia

Our ride today takes us across the limestone plateau of the "Murgia" in Puglia. Thousands of olive trees and some vineyards and field crops cover this plain. Before arriving at our hotel, we suggest a visit of the fortress and UNESCO World Heritage site "Castel del Monte" built by Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1240 AD. This is one of the best preserved castles in Italy and stands as a monument to the Christian crusaders upon their return from the Holy Lands in the 13th century.

Distance: 130 km (81 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel Pineta Ruvo

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 22: Sept 30: Ruvo di Puglia to Matera

Highlights: Altamura, Matera

We head out through thousands of olive trees, across the ancient Appian Way. We are in Matera this evening in the Basilicata region. Matera is one of the most interesting, unusual and memorable destinations during this tour. Still little-visited by foreign travelers, it is a city famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts, the sassi. In 1993 the city was made a UNESCO World Heritage site, for being "the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem". And ever since, Matera has become steadily more popular as an off-the-beaten-track destination.

Distance: 75 km (47 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel San Domenico

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 23: Oct 1: Rest day in Matera

Highlights: Views across Basilicata, the "sassi" of Matera

Matera has become famous for its troglodyte cave dwellings and historic churches carved into the limestone deposits along the Gravina River canyon. Matera was the one of the filming locations for Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ, with shots showing the sassi and the gorge below.

We'll take a guided walk of the caves this afternoon to see the finest examples of this type of dwelling in the entire Mediterranean region.

Meals: B

Lodging: Hotel San Domenico

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 24: Oct 2: Matera to Alberobello

Highlights: Trulli of Alberobello, landscapes of trulli

We head out of Basilicata and back across the Murgia plateau of Puglia. We'll spin through the fairy tale landscape of the "trulli" near Alberobello, where we?ll spend the night in this traditional housing. The trulli are stone dwellings with cone shaped roofs dotting the limestone plain between pockets of rich red soil. Concentrations of the unique dwellings make up the village of Alberobello.

Distance: 93 km (58 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel Trulli e Puglia

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 25: Oct 3: Alberobello to Lecce

Highlights: Ostuni and the baroque architecture of Lecce

Our route today is marked by more varied relief as we approach the limestone ridge where Ostuni ovelooks the Adriatic Sea. Founded in historic times Ostuni was destroyed by Hannibal and rebuilt by Greek colonists. To this day it looks like a Greek village, brilliant white in the Mediterranean sun. Our final destination today is Lecce, the baroque Renaissance capital of Italy. In the evening light the golden colored limestone of Lecce's churches and palaces make it unique in Italy.

Distance: 95 km (59 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel President

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 26: Oct 4: Lecce to Santa Maria di Leuca

Highlights: Heel of Italy, coastal cycling

Our last ride takes us to the extreme southeastern point in Italy, Capo Santa Maria di Leuca. From Lecce we pedal to Otranto. We suggest lunch here as you savor the whitewashed buildings of this historic Greek settlement. Otranto was one of the last Byzantine outposts, lasting until the 11th century. Our final ride takes us along the coast road from Otranto to the point of the heel in Santa Maria. We'll celebrate our ride with a spectacular dinner together this evening.

Meals: B, D

Lodging: Hotel l'Approdo

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 27: Oct 5: Arrivederci, end of our ride

Highlights: Continued travels or going home

We will offer a complimentary shuttle departing at 9:00AM to the airport or central train station in Bari (arriving at around 1:00PM), or to the train station or airport in Brindisi arriving at approximately 11:00AM.

Meals: B

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

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.

Read more about the ExpeditionPlus! concept to see if this type of tour is for you. If it is fill out our Expedition Application if you have not traveled on an Expedition Trip with ExperiencePlus!***

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.
  • Begin your chosen training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike & Barge/Boat tours) 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


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), one water bottle , and 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.


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.

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.


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.


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.





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