Bolzano to Venice Cycling Holiday
Self Guided or Guided
Start / FinishBolzano / Venice
Distance194 miles/313 kms
This Bolzano to Venice cycling holiday takes you from the alpine splendour of the South Tyrol, via gorgeous Lake Garda and enchanting Verona, to Venice – the Queen of the Adriatic. This wonderfully diverse itinerary will delight and enthrall offering new and varied sights and experiences each day.
High peaks, green valleys and tumbling rivers characterise the first two days of the tour. This is followed by the grand serenity of Lake Garda with it’s pretty fishing villages and deep placid waters. Onwards then across the plain to the magical and historical city of Verona where the impressive Arena and medieval old town await.
Carry on eastwards through rolling hills and open countryside to the Renaissance city of Vicenza with its fabulous Piazza and Palladian Villas. From there you ride along the Bacchiglione River to Padua, home to the Giotto Chapel and the largest square in Europe before pedaling on to Venice – a fitting finale to such a great cycle tour. This leisurely cycling holiday follows cycle paths and quiet country roads with some short sections along slightly busier roads. The route is mostly level with one hilly section just before Lake Garda and another as you approach Vicenza. Neither are too serious however and this tour is well within the reach of most cyclists.
Itinerary & Map
This trip is mainly along cycle paths and quiet country roads with a few light hilly parts along the way! On some sections you may need to join slightly busier roads to get you back on the route. Also, if the going gets tough, you can always jump on the train as trains connect all the cities!
Day 1: Arrive Bolzano
On arrival in Bolzano, check in at your hotel and then spend the rest of the day exploring this alpine town and its pastel coloured streets surrounded by spectacular scenery. Your welcome briefing is scheduled for approximately 7pm. You are in the South Tyrol, a region that once belonged to Austria and the locals are happy conversing in either German or Italian – many also speak English. Perhaps visit the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to see world famous ‘Oetzi’ the mummified remains of a man who lived 3,300 years ago. The perfectly preserved body emerged from a glacier in the nearby Oetz Valley in 1991. You can also ride a cable car up into the surrounding peaks to enjoy the views and perhaps go for an alpine walk.
Day 2: Bolzano – Trento, 41-44 miles/65-70 kms
After breakfast your cycling adventure begins in earnest as you ride downhill alongside the Adige river through the Adige Valley to Trento. The wide, green, fertile valley is lined with orchards and vineyards. On the way you will pass through the small villages of Ora, Egna and Salomo. There are places to enjoy an ice cream or drink along the way. If you find you are flagging a little then it is possible to shorten today’s route by jumping on the train that also descends along the same route if you wish. Trento has a long and colourful history, thanks to its strategic position on one of the Alps’ main passes. Head for the picturesque medieval city centre to absorb the atmosphere, the great food and learn more. This stage is pretty flat unless you choose the more hilly variant through lake Kalterer.
Day 3: Trento – Peschiera/Desenzano, 32 miles/50 kms plus ferry
Leaving Trento you continue downhill to Rovereto where you leave the Adige River and cycle up a ridge to escape the valley. There are a few short climbs which are rewarded with an exhilarating freewheel downhill to stunning Lake Garda. You can relax now and enjoy a wonderful ferry ride along the entire length of the Lake from Torbole on the north shore to Peschiera in the south. The scenery is spectacular with high limestone cliffs and tree-lined hillsides plunging down into the deep blue lake. Pretty villages line the shore and brightly coloured windsurfing sails flit to and fro across the lake’s surface. Disembark in Peschiera and make your way to your nearby hotel. Take time to visit Sirmione, a medieval settlement on a tiny peninsular protruding out into the Lake.
Day 4: Peschiera/Desenzano – Verona 22-38 miles/35-60 kms
Leave Lake Garda behind and cycle eastwards through open countryside to the Roman city of Verona. Shakespeare chose the beautiful city as the setting for Romeo and Juliet and you can visit Casa di Giulietta, purported to be the location of the famous balcony scene. The wonderful Arena, a crumbling roman amphitheater still hosts lavish productions today and you may wish to time your arrival to coincide with a particular performance – use this link to research further but be sure to book in advance as most performances are sold out months in advance. Ascend the Lamberti tower for a great view over the city, enjoy an ice cream in the buzzing Piazza Bra and stroll through the atmospheric old town exploring the maze-like narrow streets. There are a few hilly stretches to enjoy along the way today and near Peschiera you will cycle along a dirt road.
Day 5: Verona – Vicenza 25-47 miles/40-75 kms
Leave Verona and continue eastwards, stopping off at Soave Castle to enjoy the commanding view from its battlements. Cycle on through vineyards – the well known Soave wine is produced here – and into the Berici hills. Don’t worry, these are more rolling than steep and from the top you get a lovely view of the city of Vicenza. Coast down to your hotel, check-in and then get out to explore this lovely old city. Wonder through the flag stoned streets of the old town, pausing for a while in the lovely Piazza dei Signori. Visit the fabulous Galerie di Palazzo Leoni Montanari full of stunning works of art and the restored Teatro Olimpico – an ancient elliptical theatre.
Day 6: Vicenza – Padova, 32 miles/50 kms
As you leave Vicenza take time to visit the beautiful and elegant Villa Rotonda designed by the 16th century architect Andrea Palladio before cycling southeast along the banks of the peaceful Bacchiglione River. Along the way you will pass small hamlets and villages before finally arriving in the wonderful city of Padova. Check-in and then set out to explore. The huge square of Prato della Valle is amazing and the famous Caffe Pedrocci, right in the centre of the old town is a fabulous place to sip an aperitif and watch the world go by.
Day 7: Padova – Venice/Mestre, 25 miles/40 kms
Your last day is an easy ride through the flatlands of the Veneto region. Ride along the Brenta Canal, past opulent villas once owned by Venetian nobility, to Mestre which sits on the mainland, opposite Venice itself. Check-in and then head into Venice to explore the unique city. Our top tip is to explore the smaller less frequented ‘calli’ or backstreets that unveil the real Venice. It’s also worth returning after dark when the crowds have left and a more serene and romantic atmosphere pervades the city. It is possible to stay in Venice itself for a supplement – please ask about this at the time of booking.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast it is time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2017 Arrival Dates|
|Self-guided:||Arrivals every Saturday or Sunday from 25 March to 21 October. Tuesday and Wednesday arrivals also possible between 16 May and 06 September|
|Guided:||22 April, 13 May, 17 June, 08 July, 16 September, 30 September|
|Seasons below apply to self guided tours only|
|Low season:||25 March - 16 April and 30 September - 21 October|
|Mid season:||17 April - 23 June and 09 September - 29 September|
|High season:||24 June - 08 September|
Per person - 2 sharing
|Accom Type 3|
|Accom Type 4|
|Accom Type 5|
|Accom Type 6|
|Accom Type 7|
|Accom Type 8|
|Accom Type 9|
|Accom Type 10|
Board Basis: Self-guided, Bed & Breakfast
Board Basis: Guided tours: Half board
Maps and route information
4 hour ferry cruise on Lake Garda
Entrance into Villa Valmarana ai Nani
Ice cream in the best 'Gelateria' in Vicenza
Guided tour: includes tour guide, guided tour of Venice & Verona and wine tasting
Bike hire & helmet (see supplements)
Tourist tax (approximately €10-15, payable locally)
Optional train transfer (payable locally)
Single, superior (£183)
Extra night Bolzano, double/twin (£61)
Extra night Bolzano, single (£80)
Extra night Mestre, double/twin, comfort (£52)
Extra night Mestre, single, comfort (£61)
Extra night Mestre, double/twin, superior (£61)
Extra night Mestre, single, superior (£80)
Bike hire, includes lock and pannier (£69)
Electric bike (£155)
Reduction for 3rd person sharing, comfort (£91)
90% for children 0-2 yrs sharing with two adults
50% for children 3-5 yrs sharing with two adults
30% for children 6-8 yrs sharing with two adults
Superior: A mix of 3-4 star accommodation
Deposit per person £100
The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, 27-gear city bikes with comfortable saddle and upright riding position.
The bikes come equipped with pannier, handlebar bag, water bottle, water bottle holder, odometer and lock plus one repair kit per room.
Electric bikes are also available for hire.
We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.
See the gallery for images of all bikes available.
Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.
Comfort: A mix of 2 to 3 star hotels. All rooms are en-suite.
Bolzano: Hotel Regina
Trento: Hotel Venezia Trento
Peschiera/Desenzano: Hotel Giardinetto
Verona: Hotel Porta Palio
Vicenza: Albergo San Raffaele
Padova: Hotel Igea Padova
Mestre: Hotel Venezia (Mestre)
Superior: Good quality 3 and 4 star hotels. All rooms are en-suite.
Bolzano: Hotel Scala
Trento: Grand Hotel Trento
Peschiera/Desenzano: Hotel Puccini
Verona: Hotel San Marco Verona
Vicenza: Hotel De La Ville Vicenza
Padova: Hotel Grand’Italia
Mestre: Hotel Ai Pini
Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night
- Date - 29/07/2016
- Name - James
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Very helpful in planning which of the trips would be most suitable for my 10yo. That said, 15th century frescoes and churches are not really his thing!
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Great hotels - though not always very central. Clear directions and a really beautiful route.
- Flexitreks response - Thanks James. Yes, maybe this trip was a bit culture-rich for Hugo. I know you both really loved our Lake Constance Cycling Holiday last year so let's try and find something more along those lines next time.
- Date - 25/06/2016
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - The pre-tour service was good. Flexitreks were quick to follow up on our enquiries. I would have liked the tour information email earlier, as I had already started travelling and I'm old school, I like to print things, but this was a minor matter of finding the email.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - Overall the ride was excellent. There were certain sections of the ride that kept us on the carriage way of busy roads, that was mainly day four, but the other days were lovely and generally we were told where the climbs would be. The translation of the directions from Italian into English sometimes did not make sense, and their were certain critical points such as detours where the directions were not clear and the arrows were hard to find, we relied on other riders with gps to help us find our way. Overall these issues would have applied to about 10% of the ride and I would recommend that each rider uses a gps for navigation or downloads an app of the bicycle path, to help the riders make decisions as they ride, or even more regular placement of the arrows. The rest of the ride went very smoothly, we rode through some beautiful country and would really recommend it as a way to see Italy. The hotels were good, and the baggage always arrived.
Thank you we thoroughly enjoyed our riding holiday.
- Flexitreks response - Thanks for the helpful feedback and we're glad you enjoyed your trip overall. We hope to be able to offer gpx tracks for use with gps devices on this route very soon.
- Date - 24/12/2015
- Name - Linda Haycox
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - we were very undecided as to which tour to choose and we received patient and helpful advice. we also have a son with a serious food allergy and our concerns were dealt with.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - All hotels comfortable and well placed, routes well described and traffic free
- Flexitreks response - Dear Linda,
We really appreciate you taking the time to give your positive feedback on your cycling trip with Flexitreks. We hope you are already thinking of another trip in 2016! Happy New Year.
Ally and the Flexitreks team..
- Date - 18/11/2015
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - great advice
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - super, a wonderful experience