Easy Cycling in the Alps Plus! Venetian Villas and Venice

Easy Cycling in the Alps Plus! Venetian Villas and Venice

Pedal along bike paths in two of Italy's finest bike-friendly regions! Begin your ride cycling through the lush meadows of the Venosta Valley with views of Alpine peaks and glaciers in the distance. Explore the historical relics in Italian cities and towns of Merano, Bolzano and Trento before moving into a smaller bicycle-friendly valley to Bassano del Grappa. In the last part of the trip we leave the mountains to pedal the best of the Po Valley and along the Brenta river to famed art cities of Vicenza, Padova and incomparable Venice.  Explore some of the most famous Venetian Villas in Italy and end with a ride into Venice. This extended tour show's off northern Italy's natural and architectural splendor in a way that can only be experienced by bicycle.

***If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 12 days, check out our Easy Cycling in the Alps , which features the first 7 nights of this itinerary.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jun 22-Jul 3, 2019
USD$5200
USD$650
 
Jul 13-24, 2019
USD$5200
USD$650
 
Aug 3-14, 2019
USD$5200
USD$650
 4 More to Guarantee the Departure

* 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 / 12 Days
  • Total Distance / 123
  • Avg. Distance / 42 km per riding day
  • Tour Level / 1.0
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Glorenza/Venice
  • Price / From USD$5200
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    3 - two night stays, Small medieval walled town of Glorenza, Adige River riding, Merano and its chic thermal spa town center, Gondola ride and dinner in a traditional “maso” in a mountain valley, Dedicated scenic bike paths, Views to the Dolomites and the Alps, Guided visit of Trento and Vicenza, Land art installation visit of Arte Sella, Palladian Villas on the Brenta Riviera, Padova and Venice.
  • Includes
    12 days, 11 nights' accommodation; 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 8 dinners with wine; activities as listed in the itinerary including guided walks in Trento, Vicenza, and Venice; 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) /Venice (VCE)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    31km / 234m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    3
    18km / 61m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 0.5
    4
    40km / 235m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    5
    Rest day
    6
    68km / 234m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    7
    56km / 240m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    8
    45km / 163m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 0.5
    9
    42km / 134m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    10
    55km / m
    difficulty level
    11
    55km / 100m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    12
    Last day

    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: Meet in Bolzano (Bozen) shuttle to Glorenza

Highlights: Medieval Glorenza, visit of Castel Coira, bike fitting, welcome dinner

Meet at 10 a.m. in Bolzano (Bozen in German) for our transfer to Glorenza where the cycling portion of our journey will begin. We highly recommend arriving a few days early in Bolzano to visit the archaeological museum and see its most famous resident, Otzi, a man from the Copper Age who was perfectly preserved in ice until his discovery in the early 90’s. In a few days we’ll pedal under the peaks where he was found, so take time to visit him and learn more about the area. This afternoon, we’ll visit one of the best preserved castles in the entire region, fit our bikes and enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 2: Resia Lake loop

Highlights: Lake and glacier views, bell tower in the lake, Burgusio castle, guided walk of Glorenza

This morning we’ll shuttle to the picturesque Alpine Lake Resia. We’ll bicycle around the gorgeous lake that hides the village of Curon beneath its waters. The only remnant of the village is its bell tower which rises from the midst of the lake. It's an exciting descent from here and you’ll have a chance to visit the Burgusio Castle before returning to Glorenza for a guided walk and a visit to its historic mill before a light dinner together. Anybody with free time or an interest in whisky can visit Italy’s only distillery located just outside Glorenza's city walls!

  • Distance: 31 km (19 mi)
  • Gain: 234 m (768 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Ride Glorenza to Lasa and the chic town of Merano

Highlights: Bike paths along the Adige river, Lasa marble, the gardens of Traumannsdorf Castle, home of Forst beer

We’ll enjoy a quiet ride through apple orchards on the bike path to the small town of Lasa. Despite its small size, Lasa’s marble craftsmanship can be found worldwide. Interestingly enough Lasa’s first large order was 86,000 crosses and Star of David in the 1950's for U.S. military cemeteries around the world. After our visit of this impressive artisan industry, we’ll catch a train to Merano where you can explore its trendy streets and cafes, take one of the two well-signed walks around town, or enjoy Italy’s most famous gardens at Trautmannsdorf Castle. Rivaling Cortina d’Ampezzo as a destination for jet-setting European visitors to the Italian Alps, Merano has long been a mountain resort for heads of the Austrian Empire, European princes and princesses and modern day celebrities.

  • Distance: 18 km (11 mi)
  • Gain: 61 m (200 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 0.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Ride Merano to Bolzano along the Adige river

Highlights: Langrein vineyards, apple orchards, old city of Bolzano/Bozen, special dinner

We’ll leave the Venosta Valley today and head back to the large town of Bolzano - or Bozen in German. Pedal through vineyards and apple orchards as the valley widens and then narrows as you approach the city under the shadow of the Firmiano Castle. The castle is now a museum founded by one of the world’s most famous mountaineers from this region, Reinhold Messner. Enter the city along tranquil bike paths and enjoy our centrally located hotel. This evening, a special gondola ride above town brings us to a local farm where we’ll enjoy views on the Dolomite mountains and hearty homemade dishes.

  • Distance: 40 km (25 mi)
  • Gain: 235 m (771 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Borgo Valsugana

Highlights: Rest day, Guided walk of Trento, train ride, Borgo Valsugana

This morning we’ll leave Bolzano by train and head to Trento, capital of the Italy's autonomous region of Trentino Alto Adige/ Südtirol. This compact colorful city center was the seat of the Council of Trent in the 16th century, where the Catholic Church held one of its most important councils for over 20 years to determine how to handle the Protestant Reformation. Enjoy a special visit of the city and castle before we take a short train ride to our next valley and the small town of Borgo Valsugana, a quaint village nestled between the striking cliffs of the Alps' foothills.

DAY 6: Borgo Valsugana

Highlights: Spa hotel, scarecrow museum, Arte Sella

Relax and enjoy the hotel spa, or take a leisurely spin upstream along the bike path. The path meanders through orchards, and skirts small villages - one of which hosts an interesting Scarecrow Museum featuring a few ‘retired’ scarecrows. A highlight along the way is Lake Caldonazzo where you can enjoy a refreshing dip. A special evening event in the mountains awaits!

  • Distance: 68 km (42 mi)
  • Gain: 234 m (768 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Valsugana to Bassano del Grappa

Highlights: WWI fort, wooden bridge of Bassano, grappa

Continue your journey along the Valsugana bike path enjoying stunning views, and WWI forts that overlook the valley. The route follows "Via Claudia Augusta," an ancient Roman road which ran 550 km and crossed the Alps to link the Po valley (which is just south of us) and Germany (to the north of us). You'll slowly emerge from the narrow valley to reach the town of Bassano, with its iconic wooden bridge across the river. Bassano is a key producer of grappa and there are several distilleries in town.

  • Distance: 56 km (35 mi)
  • Gain: 240 m (787 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Pedal to Vicenza

Highlights: Marostica, "city of thousand towers", Palladio’s Vicenza and guided city walk

We leave the mountains to head south to the home of Andrea Palladio (1508–80), who is widely considered to be the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture. Vincenza prospered under Venetian rule from the early 15th to the end of the 18th century and his architectural designs, based on a detailed study of classical Roman architecture, gives the city its unique appearance. We’ll enjoy a guided city walk to see his work and learn how his influence spread throughout Europe and even to North America.

DAY 9: Padova

Highlights: Palladian Villa La Rotonda, Padua or Padova

From Vicenza you will continue riding along the foothills of Monti Berici. Along the way, you can stop to visit the famous Palladian Villa la Rotonda's gardens. One of many Palladian villas of the Veneto, though this is the best-known and most influential. The palace was built for Paolo Almerico on his retirement from the Vatican. Our ride takes us to one of the oldest cities in Italy, Padova, or Padua, perhaps better known as the City of St. Anthony. Padova was the setting for most of the action in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This city is also home to Italy’s second oldest university, the University of Padua, which fosters a colorful culture in this city of stunning architecture.

  • Distance: 42 km (26 mi)
  • Gain: 134 m (440 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Euganean Hills, loop ride

Highlights: Padova or loop ride in the Euganean Hills

Today's loop ride takes us into the volcanic Euganean Hills, that rise 300-600 meters from the Padovan-Venetian plain. These rolling hills are a picturesque as a backdrop on our pedal to Arqua Petaraca, a town that was home to Perarca, one of the 14th century's most famous poets and authors. If you prefer to explore Padova, today is a great day to take a break from the bike.

DAY 11: Venice

Highlights: Quiet roads and stunning architecture, Venice.

We continue our cycling journey towards the Venetian lagoon today, following the famed Brenta River which is dotted with small towns and stunning Venetian villas built between the 15th and 18th centuries. As you pedal along the “Riviera del Brenta” imagine what it was like to be a Venetian aristocrat traveling by boat between Padova and Venice at the height of the Venetian empire. We’ll reach the Venetian lagoon this afternoon and bid farewell to our bikes before spending our last evening together in the heart of Venice. We’ll celebrate the end of our ride tonight in style in Venice.

Lodging: The June departure will be at the Hotel Casanova. Other departures will be at the Hotel Al Piave.

DAY 12: Tour ends in Venice

Highlights: Guided walk of Venice

Our trip ends after a guided walk of Venice. We'll be back at the hotel around around 12 p.m. Venice requires several days of exploration and with its many tiny streets and canals it's easy to get off the beaten path.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Meet in Bolzano (Bozen) shuttle to Glorenza

Lodging: Hotel Belvenu

Meet the complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle on Day 1 at at 10:00 a.m. at the Meeting Hotel, the Hotel Greif in Bolzano (Bozen). Your spot on the shuttle is already reserved.

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).

How to get to the Meeting Hotel

  1. Taxi from Innsbruck Airport to Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof (central station) (20 min/EUR 20-25)
  2. Train from Innsbruck Hbf to Bolzano Bozen (several direct departures a day) (2 hours/fares vary)
  3. Taxi from the Bolzano (Bozen) 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 12: Departure Information

Tour ends in Venice

Your trip ends on the final day after our guided walk of Venice back at the hotel at 12 noon.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio

We recommend flying out of Venice (VCE)

Getting to the Venice Airport

  1. Walk 10 min to the water shuttle stop San Zaccaria
  2. Water shuttle Alilaguna (blue line) to Marco Polo Airport (50 min/EUR 10) or private water taxi from Calle Ruga Giuffa, about 4 min walk away (40 min/EUR 110)

What's Included

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

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.

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