When Verdi famously wrote “You may have the universe if I may have Italy” he was overlooking Lake Garda contemplating the staggering beauty of Italy. Meticulously planned and handcrafted for both riders and non-riders Our Tour of the Lakes offers clients the opportunity to discover just why Verdi was so in love with Italy. There is nothing like riding in Italy, the smell of freshly prepared bread, the sound of bustling market places and of course where else in the world can you combine ice cream and coffee as part of a ‘mini-stop’!
Discover for yourself the very best of the Italian lake region. Our once if a lifetime trip encompasses the essence of Italy and we will visit some of Italy’s most famous tourist destinations. We also will take you to some less known places, small jewels that shine brightly but yet discovered by mass tourism. The riding is as one might expect extraordinary with views that will take your breath away. Rides are designed with the occasional cyclist and keen cyclist in mind and this package is great for couples who wish to share in the joy of riding. Join us for an unforgettable week of great in northern Italy.
Welcome to Italy! Our friendly staff will be waiting for you at the airport and by only to delighted to assist you with bags before transferring the short distance from Milan airports to Desenzano on Lake Garda. The Hotel Palace offers great views and a traditional Italian welcome for it’s guests. On arrival you will have time to relax and enjoy the hotels many facilities.
In the late afternoon we will have a short briefing where you will be introduced to our staff. This is a great time for you to ask any questions you may about the week. A short discovery ride is planned for those wishes to stretch legs and spin those pedals.
Dinner will be served in our favourite restaurant, a chance to enjoy great scenery and the cooking skills of chef Pippo! The restaurante is famed for it’s amazing fish dishes and super fattening deserts.
After a yummy breakfast and a cup of the very best coffee we will head off on the bike followed of course by our support vehicle and back up staff. Giorgio your guide is an expect of this area and he will set a steady pace as we circumnavigate around the southern tip of Lake Garda. Where possible we will take the cycle path thus allowing you the opportunity to feel the breeze in your air and fresh lake air in you nostrils.
We will stop for coffee? Yes! This is a week of drinking coffee and cake that is interrupted by cycling. On reaching Bardolino we will have plenty of time for photos before riding the 20km back to the hotel. This is a totally flat day and a perfect way to start the holiday.
The afternoon we have arranged for you to have spectacular boat trip, heading north this is a journey back in time as you visit Garda Island, the Catullo caves and Scaligero Palace. For many of our clients this is a real highlight of the week. Dinner will be served in the hotels award winning restaurant.
It is time to say goodbye to beautiful Lake Garda as after breakfast we are on the bikes as we pedal towards Franciacorta wine region. Lombardy is Italy’s most diverse region offering mountains, lakes and wine regions that simply aren’t found anywhere else in Italy. The ride this morning offers greater challenge than yesterday as the flat roads are replaced with rolling hills.
In Franciacorta we will meet the non riders at the family run vineyard called Al Roco. Alessandro and his family have been making wine using traditional methods for over 100 years. Franciacorta is famed for it’s sparkling white wine and this is your chance to sit back and taste a selection of Al Roco’s finest. A splendid lunch will be served before those that wish continue to ride the last 20km to Hotel Kinzica on Lake Iseo.
Hotell Kinzica is one of our favourite hotels in Lombardy and has all the hallmarks of an Italy Bike Tours hotel. The private beach is a must for everyone before dinner is served in the award winning restaurant.
After yesterday’s long ride todays ride is both shorter and flat but know less beautiful. Lake Iseo is rightly considered to be the best lake to cycle around in Europe. It has several excellent cycle paths and the traffic is at a minimum. This morning our journey around the northern tip of the lake takes through the ancient villages of Pisogne and Riva di Solto. On arrival at Riva di Solto we will catch the small ferry to Monte Isola. This oasis of calm and beauty is popular 1 2months a year with Italians looking to escape the hustle and bustle of life.
Monte Isola offers the perfect place for cyclists as it is a car free zone! Many of our clients can’t resist taking tip in the clear blue water while others simply enjoy and ice cream while watching the world pass them by.
After breakfast it is time to bid farewell to Hotel Kinzica and splendid Lake Iseo. Today will be a day full of highlights as riders andiron-riders are transferred to Lake Como via Bergamo. On arrival at Bergamo we will be meet by our tour guide who will accompany us on a walking tour to learn about this ancient walled city. Cycling fans will know that Bergamo is used to either host the start or finish of Giro Lombardia. After plenty of free time and lunch we will content our journey to Lake Como.
Yes, George Clooney has a house here and yes the houses near the lake are that expensive! Lake Como really is the gold standard in Italian lakes. Nowhere in Italy boosts such scenery and with so many cool bars and restaurants this really is a playground for the rich and famous.
We have an optional ride organised for the late afternoon before we head out for a fabulous Pizza in a nearby Pizzeria in the early evening.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Lake Como unless we visited Bellagio and this mornings ride along the shore of Lake Como takes us north from Lecco along the quiet roads of Malengo towards Bellagio. The road is undulating but not difficult. On arrival at Bellagio it is not difficult to understand why this is a pilgrimage for so many tourists. As always we will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the town, we will also meet up with non riders as they join us for stroll around the many shops and markets.
The ride back to Lecco is optional as we offer transfers for those wishing to get back to the hotel early in time to enjoy Lecco before heading out in the evening to explore the local restaurants and cafes.
From Como to Lake Maggiore we will pass through the hills of the Varese valley. Varese not only offers a rich cycling history but also a small lake called, unsurprisingly, Lake Varese . This however is not our final destination as we are heading for Lake Maggiore. A real show stopper of a lake and a particular favourite of non -riders. Lake Maggiore is considered to have the greatest concentration of beautiful gardens in the whole of Italy.
A ride is organised in the late afternoon for those wishing to pedal one last time in Italy before we take a boat trip to Borromme Island to visit it’s history Palace. Our last dinner together will be served in a secret location that which will be surprise for our guests and great way to finish the holiday of a cycling lifetime!
Sadly all good things must come to an end and we will be delighted this morning to transfer you to the relevant airport and assist you with any further connections.
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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.
• 3 nights accommodation
• Breakfast and 2 evening meals
• Priority Race entry, briefing and guidance
• Transport to and from race
• Private Airport pickup/dropoff
• Mechanical team and full support team.
• 2 Beautifully planned rides.
• Guided rides