Adige River to Mantova Cycling Holiday

Identical to our Adige River and Lake Garda Cycling Holiday but with the addition of one extra night at the end which allows you to continue on to the beautiful Renaissance town of Mantova. This is carefree, easy cycling at it's best with the added bonus of glorious ever-changing scenery as you gently descend from the majestic Dolomites to Lake Garda and the plains of Lombardy.

The route starts high in the Alps close to the Austrian border in the small town of Resia. From here, a glorious cycle path follows the young Adige river as it burbles its way along the scenic Venosta Valley past fruit orchards and tiny alpine villages.

Mantova

The cycle path tracks the route of the Via Claudia Augusta, a trans-alpine Roman road first opened in 46 AD. As you descend out of the mountains, the fruit orchards begin to give way to vineyards and the Adige turns from a tumbling mountain stream to a fully fledged river.

Along the route you will visit Bolzano and Trento, two historic alpine towns both with delightful medieval centres that are perfect for an evening stroll. An exhilarating descent delivers you to the stunning northern shore of Lake Garda where you board a ferry for a scenic ride down to the lake’s southern shore.

Your final ride day in the saddle leads you from Lake Garda, along the banks of the serene Mincio River to the beautiful old Renaissance town of Mantova. The ancient flag-stoned streets of Mantova provide a fitting finale to such a scenic cycle ride

The route is predominantly downhill or level making it a good choice for families and anyone with a basic level of fitness. It’s possible to shorten each ride with train rides except on day 7.

Adige River to Mantova Cycling Holiday

Identical to our Adige River and Lake Garda Cycling Holiday but with the addition of one extra night at the end which allows you to continue on to the beautiful Renaissance town of Mantova. This is carefree, easy cycling at it's best with the added bonus of glorious ever-changing scenery as you gently descend from the majestic Dolomites to Lake Garda and the plains of Lombardy.

The route starts high in the Alps close to the Austrian border in the small town of Resia. From here, a glorious cycle path follows the young Adige river as it burbles its way along the scenic Venosta Valley past fruit orchards and tiny alpine villages.

Mantova

The cycle path tracks the route of the Via Claudia Augusta, a trans-alpine Roman road first opened in 46 AD. As you descend out of the mountains, the fruit orchards begin to give way to vineyards and the Adige turns from a tumbling mountain stream to a fully fledged river.

Along the route you will visit Bolzano and Trento, two historic alpine towns both with delightful medieval centres that are perfect for an evening stroll. An exhilarating descent delivers you to the stunning northern shore of Lake Garda where you board a ferry for a scenic ride down to the lake’s southern shore.

Your final ride day in the saddle leads you from Lake Garda, along the banks of the serene Mincio River to the beautiful old Renaissance town of Mantova. The ancient flag-stoned streets of Mantova provide a fitting finale to such a scenic cycle ride

The route is predominantly downhill or level making it a good choice for families and anyone with a basic level of fitness. It’s possible to shorten each ride with train rides except on day 7.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Bolzano

Your holiday begins in or near the alpine town of Bolzano. It’s the capital of the South Tyrol region and sits at the southern end of the Brenner Pass in the Italian Alps. There’s plenty to see and do here from taking a cable car up one of surrounding mountains for an alpine walk to visiting Bolzano’s most famous resident, ‘Ötzi’, a 5,000 year old neolithic iceman who’s well-preserved remains were discovered in a nearby glacier in 1991. The town consistently ranks highly in the most-popular-town-to live-in stakes thanks to its culture, restaurants, pleasant climate and alpine air. A wander through the bustling historic old town with its narrow cobbled streets is a must. Here you’ll find an excellent choice of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Get a good night’s sleep to prepare yourself for your cycling adventure that starts in the morning.

Day 2 : Resia Pass – Silandro
31 miles/50 kms

After breakfast you are picked up and transferred by van with your bikes to the top of the Resia Pass at the end of the Venosta Valley. The scenic journey takes about 1 hour 45 minutes and you disembark in the village of Resia (1500m) which enjoys a stunning location at the northern end of Resia Lake, surrounded by picturesque alpine meadows and granite peaks. The lake is actually artificial and was created just after World War II immersing some local villages. Today’s ride really is special as you’ll be pedalling along a peaceful cycle path beside the babbling Adige River, enjoying jaw-dropping alpine vistas all the way. Because you’ve started at the top of the pass, the cycling is predominantly downhill and in our opinion leisure cycling really doesn’t get much better than this. The gorgeous natural scenery is interrupted only by charming alpine villages such as Burgusio, Malles and Glorenza. All too soon, you arrive at your overnight stop in the pretty litte town of Silandro.

Day 3 : Silandro – Merano
25 miles/40 kms

After breakfast you rejoin the idyllic cycle path and continue on down the Venosta Valley beside the Adige River letting the impressive alpine scenery roll past. As well as being scenic, the Venosta Valley is also fertile and on today’s ride you’ll pass many fruit orchards - apricots, apples, strawberries and pears all thrive here. In the village of Laces you could lock the bikes up and take the cable car up to 1740m to the tiny village of San Martino Al Monte. Here you can enjoy fabulous views along the valley and admire one of the most beautiful pilgrimage churches of the South Tyrol. More easy riding beside the Adige River brings you to the town of Merano your home for the evening. Merano is a spa town and a visit to its centrally located thermal pool complex is highly recommended, particularly after a long day in the saddle.

Day 4 : Merano – Bolzano area
22 to 25 miles

By now you’ll be getting into a pleasant rhythm and your legs will know what’s expected of them. More leisurely cycling along the Adige cycle path today as you descend the Upper Adige Valley to Bolzano (where your holiday began three days ago). The valley is wide and fertile and we recommend detouring from the cycle path to small alpine villages such as Nals and Andriano for an ice-cream or coffee break. Your trusty guide, The Adige river, finally delivers you to Bolzano where you’ll stop for the night. Take a stroll through the atmospheric old town along the narrow arcade-lined lanes or visit the Reinhold Messner Climbing Museum. If it’s hot, you might opt for an afternoon at the open-air swimming pool.

Day 5 : Bolzano area – Trento
41 to 44 miles/65 to 70 kms

Today there are two route options to choose from. The easiest and most direct route leads you south along the lower Adige valley beside the river which is bigger now, swollen by its confluence with the Eisack River at Bolzano. The second, slightly longer option includes a couple of short climbs but the payoff is a ride through the stunning Caladaro Valley to Lake Caldaro. The lake is one of the warmest in the alps and just perfect for a swim if the weather is hot. The two routes converge further down the Adige Valley, near the town of Ora from where you continue your journey south. For centuries this wide fertile valley has been one of the primary north-south trading routes through the alps and the scenery is spectacular. Tiny, white alpine villages, perched on the green mountainsides on either side of the valley, are overlooked by towering granite peaks. The easy, level cycle path sticks resolutely to the valley floor leading you through the small pleasant villages of Ora, Egna and Salorno before arriving at Trento, today’s destination. 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 and learn more.

Day 6 : Trento – Lake Garda
32 miles/50 kms (plus ferry journey)

Leaving Trento, you continue down the valley, beside the river, to the village of Mori where you leave the Adige and cycle up and over a small ridge. This short climb is rewarded with a truly stunning panoramic view of the northern end of Lake Garda. After an exhilarating freewheel down to the picturesque lakeside village of Torbole, you follow the shoreline the short distance to Riva, a beautiful old town at the northwestern tip of th lake . Here you embark on a wonderful ferry ride (4-5 hours) down the entire length of the Lake to Peschiera on the southern shore. The scenery from the boat is spectacular with sheer 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. At the southern end of the lake you disembark in Peschiera and make your way to your nearby hotel which will be in Peschiera or nearby Desenzano.

Day 7 : Lake Garda – Mantova
22 or 44 miles or /35 or 70 kms

After breakfast you leave Lake Garda behind and continue south along a peaceful and scenic cycle path. The path roughly follows the course of the meandering Mincio river and we recommend stopping in the charming village of Borghetto to admire the watermills and perhaps enjoy a coffee or bite to eat in one of the pretty riverside cafés. Eventually, the cycle path delivers you to the Renaissance city of Mantova, a glorious, old town of beautiful piazzas, ancient churches and galleried streets. We recommend crossing the San Giorgio bridge to the other side of Lake Inferiore for a marvelous view of Mantova's stunning skyline.

Day 8 : End of trip

After breakfast it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

The Regular bikes provided are comfortable, modern alloy framed models with 27 speeds and gel saddles. These bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available as are child bikes, child trailers and child seats.

The smallest child bike frames are suitable for children between 120 and 135cm and in the event the child gets tired, can be connected via a clever bracket to one of the adult bikes (see image). These Follow-Me tandems must be requested at the time of booking.

Child seats are free of charge and can accommodate children, aged 1 to 5, weighing up to 22 kg. Please request yours at the time of booking.

Child trailers, suitable for infants up to 4 years of age and weighing up to 35kg are available to rent.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations 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.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Bolzano: Hotel Chrys / Hotel Post Gries

Silandro: Pension Schweitzer

Merano: Albergo Alla Torre

Bolzano: Hotel Post Gries / Hotel Chrys

Trento: Grand Hotel Trento

Riva/ Nago-Torbole area: Eco Hotel Bonapace (6 night tour only)

Peschiera: Hotel Puccini

Mantova: Albergo Bianchi Stazione

Local taxes

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

Getting there

Fly to Verona or Venice airport and then take the train to Bolzano. From Verona the train takes approximately 2 hours and from Venice approximately 3 hours. Fly back from Verona (Venice is also possible).

Research flights from the UK here.

Research trains in Italy here.

You can also take the train all the way from the UK – checkout this article in the Guardian.

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