We are excited to announce that in 2017 we will be running a one week tour that incorporates all the best parts of cycling in northern Italy.
The Grande Tour Italia has been designed and planned by our team of experts who can consider northern Italy home. The IBT team will take the stress out of your cycling holiday, allowing you to focus on cycling and taking in the beautiful views.
Starting in Bergamo, before heading north via Lake Endine and Lake Iseo we will tackle some of Italy’s most iconic climbs. Including: the Passo Stelvio, Passo Gavia and Mortirolo before heading back to the picturesque mountain top town in Presolana.
Our team of guides, mechanics and tour managers will be on hand to make sure the tour goes seamlessly. Providing cyclists with a level of dedication and expertise that make us leaders of the pack.
All hotels used during the tour have been used by IBT in the past and we are proud to be greeted by our first names when arriving at hotel receptions!
The tour is a challenge for the average cyclist, but equally offers days for rest and recovery combined with some real climbing days!
We welcome all cyclists, particularly those who are in training for the Maratona and other Gran Fondo events.
Stage 1 Sunday, 17th September Bergamo – Lago d’Iseo (85km)
Stage 2 Monday, 18th September Lago d’Iseo – Ponte di Legno (100km)
Stage 3 Tuesday, 19th September Ponte di Legno – Bormio (65km)
Stage 4 Wednesday, 20th September Bormio – Passo Stelvio – Bormio ( 60km)
Stage 5 Thursday, 21st September June Bormio – Aprica (85km)
Stage 6 Friday, 22nd September Aprica – Presolna (110km)
Bergamo Citta Alta, Lago d’ Iseo, Edolo, Ponte di Legno, Passo Gavia, Bormio, Passo Stelvio, Mortirolo, Aprica, Passo Vivione, Presolana.
On arrival at one of the Milan airports, you will be met by the Italy Bike Tours team who will assist you in getting all your luggage and bike boxes to the waiting vehicles to transfer you to our hotel for the evening.
Situated with stunning views of Citta Alta, the hotel is the ideal place to relax and prepare for an epic week of cycling. Our mechanic will be on hand to assist you with your bikes.
After dinner, your tour manager will give you details of the next day’s ride, including some tips on how to tackle this epic week of cycling.
After departing from the most beautiful city in the region of Lombardia, our first 20 km of cycling take us on roads that are used in ‘The Race of the Falling Leaves’ (Giro d’Lombardia). On heading north up Val Seriana, you will quickly notice the terrain change as you head into the foothills of the Alps.
The first of two climbs of the day will take you up over Razanico, where you will enjoy a spectacular view at the top. From here you can see Lago Endine in all its splendour and the mountain made famous by Marco Pantani (Montecampione) in the 1998 Giro d’Italia.
Once you have circumnavigated Lago Endine, another climb awaits as you head up over Solta Colina to the foot of Italy’s fourth largest lake: Lago d’Iseo, where a stop for an obligatory coffee on the lake is a must. The final 25 km of riding involves hugging the lakeside along several overhanging cliffs. A truly wonderful end to the first day’s riding.
The second longest day of the tour starts, with a relatively flat 25 km as we ride parallel to the River Oglio. We continue heading north through old villages, over ancient bridges and on quiet roads, passing classic Giro d’Italia climbs, including: Passo Vivione (more of that later in the week), Crocedomini and Montecampione.
As the ride begins to climb steadily towards Edolo you will notice a difference in the style of houses and certainly the quality of the coffee! Italy is truly a wonderful country and the variety of the culture and food in each area is self-evident.
On entering Edolo you will turn right under a bridge that has stood for hundreds of years and then head along the final 30 km of your ride. Along the way, you will pass the base of Mortirolo (more of that later) and quickly realise that you have reached the ski resort of Ponte di Legno. Seeing a ski resort in the summer for the first time is a strange thing for some but for others, it is a familiar sight.
Pont di Legno is the gateway for cycling in the Alps and a popular destination for riders looking to get a good night’s sleep before taking on the challenge of the next day’s riding.
Everyone has a favourite climb, one that conjures up happy memories and gives them butterflies in the stomach. For us here at Italy Bike Tours, that climb is Passo Gavia. Whether you ride it in splendid sunshine or with snow piled up along the road, Passo Gavia never fails to inspire and always leaves you thrilled.
After a healthy breakfast, there’s a chance to have a quick spin and get your legs loosened before reaching the bottom of the Gavia. The first few kilometres meander through the valley before you hit a sharp ascent. However, it is not until you reach the final third of the climb that the road becomes narrower, the hairpins sharper and the views more spectacular.
On reaching the summit, you can consider yourself part of an elite bunch that have conquered one of Europe’s most iconic climbs. Of course, a photo is needed at the Gavia sign and a hot chocolate to warm the cockles before your descent into Bormio and Valledentro.
If you thought yesterday was hard, today you will climb to the top of Passo Stelvio. By now the legs should be well used to riding uphill, and hopefully you will be feeling strong as the climb to the top reaches 2670m. With its 48 switchbacks, Passo Stelvio has a mythical place in cycling folklore and is rightly considered to be one of the hardest climbs in the cycling world.
Spectacular, amazing and awesome are just some of the words used to describe the climb. At 22 km in length, the climb is one that must be respected and so appropriate fuel and pacing is needed to reach the top. Your Italy Bike Tours team will be on hand to give you advice and assistance. For many, having the opportunity to grab a water bottle from the support vehicle or leaving the warm weather gear in the car is a major help. It’s not a day to carry any extra weight!
The descent is one to be taken carefully, and make sure you stop plenty of times to take some photos that will capture great memories of this legendary climb.
You will be pleased to know as you leave your base, close to Bormio, that your journey will continue in a downhill direction through several pretty little towns, before you reach the bottom of Mortirolo. Lance Armstrong still describes the climb as the hardest in world cycling and you are about to find out why!
The Mortirolo is not for the weak-willed, as it offers no place to hide. With the support vehicle in place, no one will be allowed to get off the bike before making it to the Marco Pantani memorial, approximately 5 km from the summit of the climb. At an average gradient of 12% for 12 km, it is tough, especially as you will already have the Gavia and Mortirolo in your legs.
Many cyclists underestimate the Mortirolo for a number of reasons, one being that when you reach the top, the hard work isn’t over! In fact, the ride along the top, with spectacular views of Switzerland to your right, is a real challenge. It is not steep, but there are little rhythm-breaking ‘bumps’ along the way.
A fast descent into Aprica follows and the familiar smell of great food and coffee which awaits the riders who have conquered three epic climbs in just three days.
Aprica, so often the finish of many stages of the Giro d’Italia, will be the start of your final day on the bike, and what a day of riding you have in front of you! The final day offers challenge and beauty in equal measure as you head south through Valcamanica, Italy’s second largest valley.
Today, you have not one, but two climbs to finish off the week. The first of these is the breathtaking but relatively easy 20 km climb up Passo Vivione. Featured in the Giro d’Italia, this provides unparalleled views over seemingly endless forest and mountains. The final 3 km offer the greatest challenge, and riders must keep a little in their locker for this. A wonderful café and bar awaits thirsty and hungry riders in need of a cool drink and a bite to eat.
A winding descent follows before you set off on your final climb of the week to the ski resort at Presolana. Steep in sections, this is the quintessential Italian climb, with stunning views, quiet roads and picturesque hairpin bends for 10 km.
A celebratory drink will be ready for you on your arrival at the hotel, where there will be time to relax and reflect on an epic week of cycling. The evening will be spent sampling great food and wine in a private cellar during a celebratory dinner!
All good things must come to an end, and this morning we will transfer you to your airport in plenty of time for your flight home.
Italy Bike Tours is a division of EuTravel Ltd. Providing secure booking and financial security for our clients
Registered Number: 09858567
Reservation & payment details:
To reserve your place on a Italy Bike Tours holiday please visit our website www.italybiketours.co.uk. On choosing the package you wish please contact us using the form located on the contact us page. Your reservation is only confirmed upon receipt of your deposit.
Final and full payment is due no later than 60 days prior to trip start date. Direct bank transfer or cheque or PayPal (fees may apply) payments are accepted.
Italy Bike Tours will not be liable if any additional expenses are incurred through delay, accident or disruptions of planned itineraries beyond our control, e.g, terrorist activity, strikes, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, fire, technical problems of transport, closure of ports or airports, cancellation or changes of schedule by scheduled airlines, or similar events beyond our control. Such expenses are the responsibility of the customer.
Instructions for bicycle use is assumed and not provided, and all customers assume all risks associated with the activity they have booked. Customers affirm they are familiar with the operation of a multi speed bicycle. By booking a package with Italy Bike Tours you affirm that you are in good health and are physically capable of engaging in the activity you are booking. Helmet use is essential and not optional.
Italy Bike Tours are not liable for personal injury, death, damage to property or other loss whether arising from accident, cancellations, delays or any other situation that may arise. Italy Bike Tours clients should insure against all such possibilities.
All clients travelling with Italy Bike Tours must have adequate travel insurance which must include cover for medical expenses arising from accident or personal injury, cycling abroad, loss of luggage and cancellation. A copy of your insurance certificate must be sent to Italy Bike Tours no later than one week prior to your tour commencing. Italy Bike Tours reserve the right at any time to substitute alternative accommodation or to make any other alteration to the tours which become necessary due to circumstances beyond their control and undertake to inform participants as soon as possible.
90+ days prior to trip start date: full refund, less 100% of deposit
61-90 days: 50% refund of trip cost, less 100% of deposit
31-60 days: 25% refund of trip cost, less 100% of deposit
0-30 days: no refund
Italy Bike Tours is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation for any cancelled trips, such as airline tickets. we recommend confirming your trip with Italy Bike Tours before making rail/air arrangements that might be non-refundable. Italy Bike Tours reserves the right to make route and hotel modifications as needed.Italy Bike Tours reserves the right to cancel any private custom trip at any time if there are fewer participants than originally specified.
On the rare occasions when Italy Bike Tours must cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances, natural disaster or civil unrest, all payments received to date will be refunded, less the deposit, which constitutes full settlement.
A valid passport is required to gain entry to Countries outside your country of residence. Clients are responsible for ensuring that their passport is valid and also for ensuring they have the correct visa required to enter the country of the trip. Foreign nationals are advised to contact their local embassy to check their visa requirements.
Very rarely Italy Bike Tours may be forced to cancel a trip. We reserve the right to cancel a trip for any reason up to 30 days prior to the date of departure. In these circumstances, you will be entitled to either book any other available tour from our website. If the cost is less, you will be refunded the difference, but where the cost is more, you will be expected to pay the additional cost, or alternatively, Italy Bike Tours will provide a full refund of money already paid.
In the event that it is necessary for Italy Bike Tours to cancel a specific tour, Italy Bike Tours will not be liable for any flight costs incurred. Refunds are paid by direct bank transfer.
No cycling holiday can be enjoyed without the right amount of challenge and the right amount of coffee breaks. We pride ourselves on getting to know our clients and have a range of different packages that cater for all levels of ability and cycling aspirations. Of course one rider’s ‘easy’ is another rider’s ‘medium’ but we hope with the information we have given in our itineraries and support and advice we give before booking, that everybody finds what they are looking for.
Below is how we categorise our cycling breaks. If you are unsure about anything then we will be delighted to answer your questions.
Barbaro – Packages designed by people who enjoy pain! If you are a rider that gets a thrill from hours in the saddle and riding uphill on a regular basis then these trips are for you. An excellent level of fitness is needed as the demands placed on you and the bike from riding one of these packages is savage!
Difficile – It is too easy to say that these packages are for club cyclists. However they are for club cyclists along with riders who take cycling and training seriously. An appetite for long distances and riding uphill are needed as the rides will be long, challenging and at times fast.
Medio – Designed with the average cyclists in mind these packages offer the rider the chance to experience flats, rolling hills and the odd mountain top finish. If you have realised your days in the pro peleton are over but you still love cycling, then these holidays are for you.
Facile – If you are booking on one of our ‘Easy’ packages then prepare yourself for plenty of flat riding and flat white coffees. These steady paced and enjoyable weeks are designed to appeal to those looking for a holiday with cycling.
With a fantastic spa boasting everything you could wish for and superb restaurant we rate this as one the best hotels in the whole of the region.
A place to relax and rewind after a hard day in the saddle.
*Based on twin room sharing
With stunning views over Lake Iseo and magnificent mountains, it is no wonder that La Pieve is considered to be the top hotel on the northern tip of Lake Iseo.
The hotel offers riders the very best in Italian welcomes. A fantastic spa, outdoor pool and award winning restaurant are just a few highlights to be enjoyed. Situated in the ancient town of Pisogne it is offer clients the perfect opportunity to sample a warm Italian evening, drinking wine (maybe!?!) and overlooking the lake.
Situated near the start of the final stage in the prestigious multipurpose center of Torri Bianche Vimercate.. The hotel offers original and comfortable rooms, where guests can feel like at home.Monza Hotel Cosmo offers a touch of luxury away from Milan city centre. The perfect place to relax after an epic week of viewing the Giro d’Italia’s 100th edition.
Located in the popular ski resort of Presolana, Hotel Milano offers riders the perfect place to rest after the final stage of the Grande Tour Italia. With spectacular views and rooms with more than a touch of luxury, you are sure to enjoy your last evening in Italy.
The final evening meal will be spent in the hotel’s magnificent basement dining room, which provides an authentic dining experience to celebrate the week’s achievements and gives riders a great chance to recount stories from an epic 6 days in the saddle.
The Hotel Larice Bianco is situated only 200 metres from the start line of La Campionissimo. Within easy walking distance of bars, cafes and cycling shops, the Larice Bianco is popular with cyclists looking for a great stay in Aprica.
The hotel boasts a great restaurant and the menu is designed with cycling specific needs in mind. The breakfast is legendary and much needed with plenty of climbing to do over the weekend. The bar and garden are popular with riders looking to relax when off the bike. What can be better than a cold beer whilst overlooking the Alps.
You’ll stay in at least a 3 star hotel in Bergamo.
We’re finalising details at the moment to ensure you get a great night at a comfortable and friendly hotel.
Hotel Tentuta Colle Piajo is conveniently positioned on the outskirts of Bergamo it is the choice of many professional teams and a favourite of Alberto Contador when staying in the region for Giro Lombardia. With beautiful views and great food Hotel Tentuta Colle Piajo is the perfect place to start your cycling trip of a lifetime.
Hotel Asolo is steeped in history and offers our clients the perfect retreat to relax and unwind in the beautiful region of Veneto. The hotel offers different kind of rooms, all furnished with color and designed to make every room a small autonomous universeSplendid views of Monte Grappa and a traditional Italian welcome can be looked forward to.