Bolzano to Venice Cycling Holiday

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 enthral 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.

On the Adige bike path near Salorno

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 Padova, home to the Giotto Chapel and the largest square in Europe before pedalling 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.

Bolzano to Venice Cycling Holiday

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 enthral 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.

On the Adige bike path near Salorno

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 Padova, home to the Giotto Chapel and the largest square in Europe before pedalling 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

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. 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 ‘Ötzi’ the mummified remains of a man who lived 3,300 years ago. The perfectly preserved body emerged from a glacier in the nearby Ötz 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 to 44 miles/ 65 to 70 kms

After breakfast your cycling adventure begins in earnest as you ride downhill alongside the Adige river through the Adige Valley to Trento.

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 in 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 Salomo 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 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. A short and easy climb is 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 the south shore. 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. (If the ferry is not able to operate due to weather conditions, technical probelms or if it is out of season, you wil be transferred by bus to your hotel, south of the lake). Disembark 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 to 38 miles/ 35 to 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 22 to 44 miles/ 35 to 70 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 thermal area
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. After Montegalda you cycle towards the Euganean Hills where you will stay at a spa resort. Alternatively, for a small supplement you can cycle on to 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 thermal area – Venice/Mestre
35 miles/ 55 kms

Take the cycle path along the Battaglia Canal and pass through Padova. This 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 on foot. 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.

Day 8 : End of trip

After breakfast it is time to check-out and 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 are suitable for infants up to 4 years of age (max weight 35kg) and 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 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: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Bolzano: Hotel Regina

Trento: Hotel Venezia Trento

Peschiera/Desenzano: Hotel Bonotto

Verona: Hotel Porta Palio

Vicenza: Albergo San Raffaele

Padova thermal district: Hotel Splendid

Padova town (supplement): Casa del Pellegrino

Mestre: Hotel Venezia (Mestre)

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Bolzano: Hotel Magdalener Hof

Trento: Grand Hotel Trento

Peschiera/Desenzano: Hotel Puccini

Verona: Hotel San Marco Verona

Vicenza: Hotel De La Ville Vicenza

Padova thermal district: Hotel Sporting

Padova town (supplement): Hotel Grand’Italia

Mestre: Park hotel Ai Pini

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 either 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.

Research flights from the UK here.

Research trains in Italy here.

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