Introduction and Itinerary
The Dolomites, an iconic part of the world, stunning scenery, hospitality second to none, great food and wine, challenging mountain passes, a cyclists version of heaven.
Tours of only 7 guests will be picked up from Malpensa International Airport (Milan) for your 16 day odyssey through the Dolomites. We provide all your ground transport, transferring your luggage and your bike during your tour. You will be accompanied by a support van with the service that you would expect to make your holiday second to none. You will be staying in 3‐5 star Hotels with all breakfasts and all dinners included. We will then transfer you at the end of your tour to Malpensa Airport.
Day 1 – Malpenza Airport
Our hotel, which is situated nearby to Malpenza International Airport is our first night where you will get to meet your fellow cyclists and to talk about what’s we have in store for you over the next exciting 16 days of cycling.
Day 2 – Malpensa Airport to Ortisei
Day 2 sees us travel to Ortisei (approx 4 hours) where we will fit you to one of our bikes.
The rest of the day will be for bike preparation, short ride and enjoying a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 – Ortisei to Antermoia
Today we leave Ortisei and head to Antermoia via some introductory climbs, then up through Passo delle Erbe to our overnight accommodation in the quaint mountain village of Antermoia.
Day 4 – Antermoia to Cortina d’ Amprezzo
We leave Antermoia and head over Passo Furcia and on past Lago di Valdora. We then head to Lago di Dobbiaco for our lunch stop, then onto our Hotel in Cortina d’ Amprezzo.
Day 5 – Cortina d’ Amprezzo to Refugio Auronzo and
Today you can imagine being a Giro rider as these climbs were part of Stage 22 of the Giro 2013. On leaving Cortina d’ Amprezzo the only way is up. First we tackle Passo Tre Croci, through the small village of Misurina and then up the climb to the Rifugio Auronzo at the base of the spectacular Tre Cime di Laverado mountain peaks.
The climb from Misurina to the Rifugio is only 8km long but the final 4km at a much harder 13% average.
You then have the option of jumping in the van or riding back to the hotel. It’s all downhill so this decision won’t be to hard!
Day 6 – Cortina d’ Amrezzo to Monte Zoncolan and Return
Today we transfer in the van and take a 2 hour trek over to Ovaro. This is the start of the classic side of Monte Zoncolan, Italy’s answer to the Vuelta’s a Espana’s Alto de l’Angliru. With a maximum gradient of 22%, an average of 11.9% and with 3 short tunnels this is described as one of the toughest climbs in Europe.
Day 7 – Cortina d’ Amprezzo to Corvara
Today we head to Corvara via Passo Pordoi . Leaving Cortina d’ Amprezzo we first climb to Passo Falzarego a 16 km climb averaging approx 5.5%. We then drop down to Arabba for the start of the climb to Passo Pordoi.
The first 3 km are perhaps the hardest of the climb averaging just over 7.5% with a short ramp of 10%. After the 4 km point you move over to the opposite side of the ridgeline and start a steady climb that is very exposed. It is this exposure that can make the climb hard when there is wind and rain. The average grade from this point forward is just under 7% with a few short ramps over 9%. In the last 2 kms the switchbacks start to tighten and you have some wonderful views as you grab a bit of rest work through the turns. The last grade stays steady all the way to the high point of the pass.
We then drop down the other side to tackle Passo Sella and Passo Gardena.
On arrival in Corvara we can unpack our bags as this is our home for the next 3 nights. Our Hotel is conveniently situated in Corvara.
Day 8 – Corvara – Corvara
Today we ride down to La Villa, up to Passo Valparolo, Passo Falzarego, then onto Passo Fedaia.
The route we will be taking up to Passo Fedaia can be deceptive and although not particularly high on the difficulty scale this route can be a challenge and is considered by many one of the hardest climbs in the Dolomites. We start the climb from Caprile.
We take the turnoff through Serrai di Sottoguda and ride through the spectacular Sottoguda Gorge reaching Malga Ciapela, and this is where you start the hard part of the climb. From the seven kilometer point the ride stays steady above 10% grade for the remaining 6 km of the climb. At the eight kilometer mark you will pass Malga Ciapela. At the 10 kilometer mark you have a 300 m of 18 percent grade which is the steepest part of the climb. From here you have several switchbacks averaging just over 10% grade with a last ramp of 15% just before you turn the corner to see the Passo Fedaia sign and the refugio.
Day 9 – Corvara – Corvara
Today we ride from Corvara up the Passo Campolongo to Arabba then onto Passo Gaiu.
Passo Giau is one of the best bike rides in the Italian Dolomites. The route is challenging with some sections reaching 15% it is considered one of ‘THE’ rides to do within cycling.
The pass was included in the 2012 Giro d’Italia and a must do ride, plus the views at the top are not to be missed.
We then ride through to Pocol, pack the bikes into the van and continue up to Passo Falzarego and catch the Gondola to Refugio Lagazuoi for lunch before returning to Corvara.
Day 10 – Corvara to Merano
Today is a well earned rest day, we leave Corvara and head to our Hotel in Merano, where you have the choice of going to the museum in Bolzano to see the Iceman or lounge at the pool at the Hotel.
Day 11 –Merano to Bormio via Val Martello
Leaving Merano we head up the valley to Coldrano before tackling the 22km category one climb of the Val Martello where Quintano had his victory in Stage 16 of the Giro 2014. We will then jump in the van for our first hand drive over the Stelvio to our accommodation in Bormio.
Day 12 – Bormio to Bormio
Today is a loop ride from our hotel down to Mazzio di Valtellina, up and over the Passo Mortirolo to Ponte di Legno , Passo Gavia and return to Bormio.
Day 13 – Bormio to Lake di Cancano – Bormio
Today you can choose whether you ride, rest or explore, but face it your here to ride so today’s ride will be up to the picturesque Lake di Cancano.
Day 14 – Stelvio Loop
Today is the Stelvio Loop! Starting in Bormio we head up the Stelvio from the south side which is approx 22km to the summit. The turnoff today is 3km from the top but as we all know if you haven’t gone all the way you haven’t done it.
Leaving the top we ride back down to the Umbrail turnoff and cross into Switzerland for a 13km descent to Santa Maria Val Müstair.
We then ride around to Prato Stelvio, regroup and then It is now time to tackle the 48 hairpins to the top. The Passo Stelvio was assessed by the British automotive show “Top Gear” as its choice for the “greatest driving road in the world”.
Arriving at the top of the Stelvio, souvenirs, refreshments await you before downhill ride to Bormio.
Day 15 – Bormio to Cernobbio
Following a short trip in the van we will catch the ferry to Bellagio for a coffee and some exploration.
We will then make the climb to Madonna di Ghiasallo Chapel, the Patron Saint to Cycling. From here we head to our Hotel on the lake front at Cernobbio.
Day 16 – Cernobbio Transfers
After a hearty breakfast transfers will be provided to the local train station or to Malpensa (Milan) Airport).