Relaxed waterfront towns,cosmopolitan cities, traditional pastel-painted Alpine villages
Unique fusion of mountain and Mediterranean climates and cultures
Flower-filled meadows, sun-soaked vineyards, terraced fruit orchards
Imposing Tyrol castles and historic Renaissance palaces
Riva, 'Pearl of Lake Garda' - with optional extra nights available
Boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, bright Trentino-Alto Adige is a timeless bilingual region at the crossroads of Italy and Austria.
As its double-barrelled name suggests, the region is made up of two areas: Trentino, in the south, is 98% Italian-speaking, while the mountainous terrain around Bolzano - known both as the Sudtirol (South Tyrol) and Alto Adige - has a unique mix of Italian and German landscapes, languages (German is the first language) and architecture. The architecture is that of the Austrian Tyrol: onion-domed churches stand in Alpine villages, where quaint wooden houses enjoy a mountain backdrop.
Offering a stunning yet dominant backdrop to the region is the UNESCO Dolomites, their jagged rock walls overlook the deep green meadows, acres of fragrant apple orchards and, further south, the lush vineyards of Trentino below.
Pedaling on well-maintained cycle tracks from your starting point in the mountain range in Sudtirol, you'll head through the emerald Val Pusteria valley, passing three rivers (Rienza, Isarco and Adige) en route to Riva on the lemon-lined shores of Lake Garda - a lively town with a mix of sun-worshippers and activity-seekers.
Along the route you'll stay in some wonderful towns. Distinctively Germanic, Villabassa, Brunico and Bressanone boast wooden buildings, beautiful squares and riverside settings. Bolzano is the turning point where Italy creeps upon you, its large piazzas, linked by porticoed streets, all shadowed by the mountains. Onwards into Trentino, and to the town of Trento where Italy arrives with a bang, the volume rises, as you wander within the old walls, admiring the mix of buildings from the C13 castle, to Renaissance and Venetian piazzas and grand buildings.
The local food is a splendid blend of the Austro-Italian cultures, where you'll easily find a traditional German beef pancake soup (Fladlesuppe) or a meat schnitzel being served alongside a sliced steak salad (tagliata), or apple strudel (apfelstrudel) next to panna cotta. Two staples of the region are pizza and cured meat, which are perfect washed down with a fruity red or fresh dry white wine or a beer. They seem to take the best food from both cultures, so large buffet breakfasts come with good fresh Italian coffee.
En route you'll stay in **** hotels located in the center of the towns - offering the chance to sample the local food in a simple pizzeria or even a high-end restaurant. The accommodation styles vary from quaint Tyrolean-style hotels to a relaxing spa hotel in Riva. Four have swimming pools.
This holiday has been carefully crafted to include lots of 'out-of-the-saddle' experiences too. You'll visit riverside Merano, a place of retreat for Empress Elisabeth of Austria, beautiful Bolzano (ranked as the top city in Italy in a recent quality-of-life survey), and cosmopolitan Trento, whose rich architectural interest stems from its fascinating blend of Renaissance and Germanic influences.
This tour is rated "1 bike+" indicating that some small sections of the route will be slightly more challenging than an overall grading of "1 bike".
Additional Tour Details
||Venice airport (Pick up) at 15:20, then transfer to hotel, 2 hrs 40 mins, provided).
||Rovereto rail station by 08:02 (Drop off), transfer provided.
||Return: Rail Rovereto to Verona Porta Nuova 08:02/08:42.
||Inquire for prices.
||Add $27 per night.
||Room upgrade: Prices from $14 per person, per night based on 2 sharing. It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement. Please call us for further details and prices.
||***** (1 night), **** (8 nights)