VÉLOSKI BICYCLE TOUR OF LOMBARDY, ITALY. TRAVELING ACROSS THE ITALIAN LAKES REGION UP TO THE CLASSIC HIGH MOUNTAIN CLIMBS AROUND BORMIO AND BACK TO THE INCREDIBLE LAKE GARDA. ENJOYING THE INCREDIBLE CUISINE OF THE AREA TO REFRESH YOUR BODY AS YOU TAKE ON THE STELVIO, GAVIA, MORTIROLO AND SAN MARCO TO NAME JUST A FEW.
JUNE 13 TO JUNE 27, 2023
The “lakes region” of northern Italy and the Dolomites are well known to seasoned travelers around the world, and for good reason; they are scenically spectacular—and yet often overlooked. Lombardy is tucked between Switzerland, Alto-Adige, Veneto and Piemonte. Among the wealth of more well-known Italian regions, the lakes and passes of Lombardy remain the insider’s special treasure…and VéloSki can take you there! Between the famous Lago Maggiore, Lago di Como, Lago Varese and Lago Lugano, and beneath the towering Brenta Dolomites this special region of unheralded lakes and alpine passes is where in-the-know locals go to escape the hurried pace of their home cities. Lombardy encompasses a diverse culture of industry, wineries and tourism situated within the valleys formed by the Southern Limestone Alps: the Dolomites, Garda Mountains, Adamello Alps, the Brenta Group and the Gavia Group. On this brand-new VéloSki bicycle tour you will traverse the Provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Sondrio and explore the wine valleys of Valtellina and Valcamonica.
Brescia, the largest province in Lombardy, include 3 famous lakes: Iseo, d’Idro and Garda, and the beautiful alpine valleys of Val Camonica, Val Trompia and Val Sabbia. Valcamonica, situated in the mountainous area of the Lombardy region, has one of the world’s greatest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs – more than 140,000 symbols and figures carved in the rock over a period of more than 8,000 years. Found on both sides of an entire valley, the petroglyphs depict themes connected to agriculture, deer hunting, duels, as well as geometric-symbolic figures.
The Garda Mountains are bounded in the south by the Po Valley and in the north by the Brenta Dolomites, in the east by the Etschtal valley and in the west by the Valli Giudicarie. The climate of the Garda Mountains is very mild as a result of its southerly location and the influence of the Mediterranean Sea. Snow rarely falls in the Sarca valley and on the shores of Lake Garda, and, in spring and autumn, temperatures of between 15-20 °C are often experienced.
JUNE 13 TO JUNE 27, 2023
JUNE 13 ARRIVAL INTO VERONA, ITALY.
Valerio Catullo Airport (CTA)
After meeting your flight into the Verona airport, We will have a short transfer to The Boffenigo Hotel. This is one of our most amazing hotels we start any of our trips from. You will be amazed at the incredible view of Lake Garda. Our team will help you with the reassembly of your bike and when complete we will organize a “shake-down” ride thru the Valpolicella wine producing region. Then we will meet on the deck and enjoy the view and new freinds as we prepare for our amzing meal while watching the sunset over Lake Garda.
The quiet voice of nature welcomes you from the hills. Here you can hear the birds sing and the wind play among the trees. You can hear yourself breath, your footsteps on the grass, the ice cubes clinking in your glass. In this oasis of peace, in the green Costermano countryside, you can rediscover wellness at the Boffenigo Panorama & Experience Hotel.
BELOW IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY AND MAY VARY FROM OUR ACTUAL TRIP.
DAY 2 – Lago d’Idro
We descend down to Lake Garda this morning. Do not be late!!! We have a date with a ferry that will take us across Lake Garda. We leave Lago del Garda climbing steadily into the hills to the west. Striking scenery greets us as we press ever upward to cross the ridge separating Lago del Garda and Lago d’Idro.
DAY 3 & 4 – Lago d’Iseo
Our destination is situated at the lower end of Val Camonica, which is flanked by the Adamello group (3539m) and Punta San Matteo (3678m). Our ride today takes us over the ridge separating the lakes. The road becomes tinier and tinier as we climb above unheralded ski stations and finally reach Passo di Croce Domini, where we begin a rim searing descent to Val Camonica. We arrive at the base of a medieval fortress before a relaxing ride downstream to Lago d’Iseo. The valley has over 300,000 petroglyphs depicting the 8,000 year history of the early Camunni inhabitants dating to Paleolithic and Neolithic origins. We will enjoy a two night stay on the lake shore.
DAY 5 – San Pellegrino Terme
This is an old spa town located not far from Bergamo deep in Val Brembana. The “miraculous” healing waters of San Pellegrino attracted visitors from all over Europe. The imposing Grand Hotel is now shuttered, but there are signs of a rebirth in the making. Many paths lead from Lago d’Iseo over the mountains and thru ski stations to our final descent into San Pellegrino, including the fantastic serpentine descent to Nembro featured in the Tour of Lombardy and Giro d’Italia C(we will climb the same road).
DAY 6 – Passo San Marco
Not exactly a household name in cycling , but this climb has been used in the Giro many times. We will all havce to scale it’s 5000 foot slope but it will be our only climb of the day. At the top is an incredible lunch spot to refuel at and then a screaming downhill to our hotel for the night.
DAY 7 – Hotel Retici-Balzi
We will wake up and have a relaxing breakfast then head up valley for a short recovery ride to a hidden gem of a hotel we found while scouting the route for this tour. You will want to take full advantage of your time at this wine hotel nestled in the mountain vineyards. Each room is named after one of their spectacular wines. Sun bathe in the picturesque hot tub, lounge in the spa and recover for tonight will be spectacular!!! You will be treated to an amazing wine and cheese tasting. Learning about the local wines and cheeses. Then we will dine at their incredible restaurant and you will sleep full and fulfilled and ready for tomorrow’s ride.
DAY 8 – Bormio
Valtellina vineyards slowly give way to the more Alpine pursuits of skiing, mountain biking and hiking as we cycle to Bormio, where we will spend the next three nights with friends at one of our favorite mountain hotels. Whether you choose the less strenuous sentiero di Valtellina or the dramatic “climbers route” today we enter the land of big mountains and breathtakingly scenic passes on our ride to Bormio. Along the way we will once again stare into the depths of Valcamonica as we traverse a mountainous spine separating Valtellina and Valcamonica as we cross the summit of Passo Mortirolo. After many days of breathtaking climbs and scenery we relax in this mountain spa town with ancient and modern thermal baths as a central attraction to mountain enthusiasts.
DAY 9, 10 – Bormio
Stelvio National Park is the largest not only among the historical Italian parks, but also within the whole Alpine chain. It stretches in the heart of the Central Alps and includes characteristic valleys shaped by the action of ice and water flowing down from the imposing massif of the Ortles-Cevedale group. Majestic ridges, luxuriant forests, high mountain green grasslands crossed by foaming streams springing from perennial glaciers form the Park landscape. Many rare animal and plant species live in wide ecosystems present in this territory thanks to its remarkable differences in height and to its morphological variety. The landscape is scattered with villages and “masi” at the bottom of the valleys and on the mountain slopes: charming evidence generations of rural and religious architecture in harmony with the surrounding environment. This is our “playground” for the next two days and nights. Iconic images of serpentine roads become our reality as we climb the numerous mountain passes right outside our hotel doors. Passo dello Stelvio, Passo del Gavia, Passo dell’Umbrail, Passo del Foscagno, Passo d’Eira, Passo del Bernina and Passo del Mortirolo are among our choices.
DAY 11 – Cles
We return to visit our friend Leonard at his family hotel in the Val di Non. But, first we must climb the “easy” side of Passo del Gavia followed by Passo del Tonale. The scenery is spectacular and the descent from Passo del Tonale is among the finest in all the Alps. The flower-covered hillsides will stimulate our senses with sight and smell as we reach the ski station at the summit of Passo Tonale. From here it is essentially all downhill on our run to our resting place for the night amid the apple orchards of Val di Non in the bustling town of Cles, home to former cycling world champion Maurizio Fondriest.
DAY 12 –Torbole
Nearing the finish of our amazing Lakes and Glaciers tour of Lombardy we enter the Alto-Adige/Trentino region of Northern Italy. Cycling thru apple orchards toward Mezzocorona (location of our favorite winery-diVescovi/Ulzbach) we set our sights on the Brenta Dolomiti. We leave the val di Non and climb yet another unheralded pass, the Sella di Andalo, on the way to cycling along the shore of Lago di Molveno. We descend along the Fiume Sarca (river) on quiet roads and a very special cycleroute created from the old roads that once linked the Sarca and Chiese drainages as we pass beneath towering rock walls that define the northern reaches of Lago di Garda. We wind down following quiet roads to the shore of Lago di Garda where we will stay for three nights. This will allow us ample opportunity to explore a small portion of the nearly 1000km of fantastic riding available. Our hotel is strategically located in a quiet corner of the lakeside town of Torbole so we can relax at the end of each day.
DAY 13 – Torbole
The north end of Lago di Garda is famous for steady winds that draw win-surfers from all around the world. And the abundance of bike rental shops is testament to the nearly 1000km of cycleroutes (MTB & road) in the surrounding mountains and valleys. Whatever your pleasure…ENJOY!!
DAY 14 – Lago del Garda: Costermano
This day’s ride follows along on roads where time seems to have stood still. We will climb up the backside of the mountains forming the eastern border of Lago di Garda. Tiny roads dissect verdant pastures and snake along the edge of cliffs as we leave behind the lakeshore to traverse the long ridge separating Lago di Garda from the Alta-Adige valley. We will emerge from the mountains with a descent to the Valpolicella wine region as we return to our tranquil hotel overlooking the southern shores of Lago di Garda. Disassembly and packing of bikes before a relaxing swim in the pool and aperol spritzes seems an appropriate conclusion to our two weeks bicycling the Lombardy Alps: Lakes & Alps Classic Climbs tour. Dinner will be memorable as we watch the sunset while dining on the terrace above the lake.
DAY 15 – DEPARTURES VERONA, ITALY,
June 27, 2023
Today we say farewell and transfer you to Valerio Catullo Airport (VRN) in Verona, Italy. Your memories of the sights, the sounds, the places, the food and the wine will stay with you forever!!! Until we adventure together again, arrivederci!!!!
Comfortable family operated B&Bs, inns and hotels well situated to enjoy local culture and flavors
Group breakfasts and dinners featuring typical local flavors and dishes prepared individually for our enjoyment. Breakfasts provided by our lodging partners. Dinners generally include a variety of choices for each course (starter, first course, main course, dessert); paired with wines, beer and after dinner coffee. Most dinners served from the kitchens of our hotels, others taken in nearby restaurants.
14 nights, 14 breakfasts, 12 dinners, daily road snacks/picnics, maps and route descriptions, luggage transfers, on-the-road ride guides, van support (sag wagon).
Lunches, 2 dinners, tips & gratuities, airfare, museum entries, trams or lifts, trip insurance
13 June 2023 – latest date to arrive into Verona, Italy (Valerio Catullo Airport (VRN).
Extra Nights can be arranged for guests who arrive prior to 13 June or depart post 29 June
2 7 June 2023 – Verona, Italy (Valerio Catullo Airport (VRN).
Extra Nights can be arranged for guests who arrive prior to 27 May or depart post 11 June.
— $6000 double occupancy per person
— $6800 single occupancy per person
RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY
Download the VeloSki Reservation form HERE. Spaces are reserved on a first reserved, first confirmed basis. Please call or email if you have questions!