Cycle the Dolomites & Italian Alps: Road Cycling

8 Days from $2,695

START: Treviso

FINISH: Como

AGES: 16 - 99

THEME: Active Adventures, Cycling

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Description

Welcome to road cycling – the Intrepid way. This trip takes you from the jagged Dolomite Mountains to the mighty Italian Alps as you ride through the same terrain as the Giro d’Italia. Earn your bragging rights as you conquer the legendary climbs of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Passo Gavia, Passo Pordoi, Mortirolo and the iconic hairpins of the Passo Stelvio. Add the 100 hairpins of the stunning Sella Ronda route, a visit to the Ghisallo, home of the Patron Saint of Cycling, plus uncover some hidden gems that only local cyclists know about, and you’ve got the perfect Italian road cycling trip. This is an adventure that will test your cycling skills while rewarding you with sublime mountain vistas, thrilling downhills, great company and an excuse to eat as much pizza, pasta and gelato as you want!

Start: Treviso

Finish: Como

Ages: 16 - 99

Theme: Active Adventures, Cycling

Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights)

Destination: Como

Highlights

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Cycle in the tyre tracks of the Giro d’Italia, and up (and down) some of the world’s best climbs, including the 48 hairpins of the mighty Passo Stelvio – Italy’s most famous ascent.
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Ride at your own pace among some of the most stunning scenery known to cycling and discover some hidden gems that only local cyclists (and your leader) know about!
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Visit the church of the Madonna di Ghisallo – the ‘Patron Saint of Cycling’ and witness an amazing collection of cycling memorabilia from cycling legends including Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx.
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Cycle the 100 hairpins of the stunning Sella Ronda route, possibly the best day you'll ever have on a bike.
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Enjoy a free day to relax and rest your legs in the beautiful town of Bormio, or if you can’t get enough of the wide-open road, take the opportunity to ascend the Stelvio along an alternate route.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Treviso (Venice)

Benvenuto a Treviso! Your cycling adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. If you arrive early, check out the Treviso Cathedral, Casa dei Carraresi, wander the ancient walls or chill out with a good Italian expresso in the charming Piazza dei Signori. Alternatively, you may want to spend some time in vibrant Venice, located a short 30-minute train ride away. If you’ve brought your own bike, it’s a good idea to assemble it today to ensure that everything is in perfect working order. There are a number of good quality bike shops in Treviso, but please note that most close around 7 pm on a Saturday and don't open Sundays or Monday mornings. For those that have brought their own GPS device, we can upload each day's ride directly to your device so that you never get lost no matter what pace you’re going.

icon check Day 2 : Cortina d'Ampezzo

After breakfast start the day with a drive approximately 100 kilometres (65 miles) from Treviso to the small town of Lozzo di Cadore, on the border of the mighty Dolomites. After a quick bike check, set off on your first ride. Start by finding your cycling legs on a quick warm up ride on the relatively flat road before commencing a gradual climb through the valley of Cadore. You first cycle past Lake Auronzo with its pristine glacial waters to then follow the river upstream through a lush green valley with towering Dolomite peaks above. Climbing higher, the valley narrows with dense pine forests around. The gradient picks up getting closer to Misurina Lake before leaving the main road for the last 7km push up to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The gradient really starts to bite in the last 4 kms (consistently above 10%) but the views are stunning as the pine forest gives way to jagged peaks with frequent glimpses of the valley far below. The three peaks of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo are the symbol of the Dolomites and the 360 degree views at the top will take your breath away. Take a short break for a coffee or cool drink from the café and admire the view before descending the same road to Misurina Lake and carry on the descent to the town of Cortina d'Ampezzo. Perhaps enjoy an evening walk around the delightful Centro Storico (Old Town) and enjoy dinner at one of the many well priced restaurants.

icon check Day 3 : Bolzano

This is pure cycling country and the nearby climbs are a regular feature in the Giro d’Italia. Today you have a double treat in store as you climb two nearby iconic passes: the Passo Giau (2236 m/7335 ft) and the Passo Pordoi (2239 m/7345 ft) and enjoy part of the legendary Sella Ronda route. Beginning your ride from the hotel, you’ll soon ascend the mighty Passo Giau – one of the more challenging climbs in the Dolomites. The effort is well worth it for the amazing panoramic mountain scenery and snaking hairpins, on a clear day it is a truly unforgettable sight! This is what cycling dreams are made of. After the obligatory photos (believe us when we say you’ll take plenty!) descend down to the small hamlet of Santa Lucia to top up your energy levels with a well-earned drink and bite to eat before commencing your next section of riding. Catch your breath while you ride along a narrow valley toward Arabba before the road heads upwards once again. Leaving Arabba the climb begins almost immediately with small switchbacks, rising steadily for 10 kilometres (5 miles) until you reach Passo Pordoi (also known as Cima Coppi). This is a tough ascent, but once at the pass you are rewarded with yet more stunning scenery with the iconic Sella range towering above you high above the trees and green meadows. Putting on layers, it is time to ride the lightening quick descent to Canazei in time to pack the bikes into the support vehicle for the 65-kilometre (40-mile) drive to the South Tyrol province and the charming city of Bolzano where a hot shower and relaxing afternoon awaits.

icon check Day 4 : Bormio

After an early breakfast, depart Bolzano and start the day with a 72-kilometre (45-mile) drive towards the Italian Alps and on to Laas, a delightful small-town featuring a beautiful variety of pastel-painted buildings. To warm the legs up after yesterday’s exertion, enjoy a leisurely ride of approximately 10 kilometres (6 miles) along the flat valley before commencing perhaps the cycling highlight of the trip – the mighty Stelvio Pass. Often designated the ‘Cima Coppi’ (the highest point of the Giro d’Italia), at 2758 metres (9050 feet), it’s the second highest paved road in the Alps and a formidable – and beautiful – climb. Starting from Prato, cycle up the ‘quieter’ side of the Stelvio, a 24-kilometre (15-mile) climb with stunning mountain and forest scenery, and 48 hairpin bends to help keep your mind off your legs along the way. Those hairpin bends are numbered backwards from the Pass so that you always know how far you are from the top! After reaching the top, the real fun begins as you ride the long descent through multiple switchbacks down to the cycling and ski mecca of Bormio. The rest of the day is free for you to explore and perhaps enjoy a tasty pizza or pasta dinner.

icon check Day 5 : Bormio

Time to relax! Today is officially a rest day and you may choose to simply put your feet up or walk around town – there's plenty to see and do in Bormio. For those craving more cycling, there are a number of optional rides nearby, including going back up the Stelvio from the Bormio side (approximately 40 kilometres/25 miles and 1540 m/5050 ft of elevation gain), a loop ride up and down Passo Gavia (2618 m/8590 ft) or up to the Laghi Di Cancano (1962m/6440ft), included for the first time on the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Please bear in mind that these optional rides will be unsupported, and you will need to navigate the routes without the assistance of your guide.

icon check Day 6 : Bellagio

Leaving early from Bormio, ride 30 kilometres (18 miles) slightly downhill along the green valley to the small town of Mazzo di Valtellina before leaving the busy road and heading uphill along the forested narrow road and 32 signed hairpins to the iconic Passo del Mortirolo (1854 m/6080 ft). Nicknamed Salita de Pirata or ‘Pirate’s Ascent’ after local legend Marco Pantani this strangely lonely climb is one for the purists - keep an eye out (at hairpin 11) for the monument honouring the much loved Italian cyclist. This is a challenging climb, at an average gradient of 11% over 13 kilometres (8 miles) and you’ll use every gear your bike has, so hopefully yesterday’s rest day will have helped you recover! Once at the top, enjoy the fast 14km (8 mile) descent down to Grossio (take it easy on the narrow roads!) then shake the legs out on a cruisy 16kms to Tirano where your ride concludes for the day. From here drive (95 kms/59 miles) to the lake side town of Varenna, from where we catch the ferry across the blue waters of the lake to the beautiful village of Bellagio located on the shores of Lake Como. Known for it’s cobbled (mostly car-free) streets, colourful yet elegant buildings and charming waterfront Bellagio is the picture perfect Italian lakeside village and a great place to relax after a week's cycling in the mountains.

icon check Day 7 : Como (Cernobbio)

Today is your final ride, and it’s a good one. Leaving the mountains behind, experience more breathtaking scenery with frequent views over picturesque Lake Como. Your last climbing challenge of the week starts right from the hotel as you leave the lakeside and cycle inland and follow the 9kms (5 miles) of sinuous roads featured in Il Lombardia, Italy’s famed cycling monument, up to the church of the Madonna di Ghisallo – the Patron Saint of Cycling. This small church (probably the only religious site in the world that welcomes people wearing tight lycra!) is home to an amazing collection of cycling memorabilia from Fausto Coppi, to Eddy Merckx and more modern champions – this is a ‘must visit’ on any cyclist’s wish list. After paying your respects to the cycling legends, cycle back down to Bellagio. From here we take a short ferry ride (approx. 15 mins) across to the charming town of Menaggio then cycle the undulating lakeside road heading south with stunning views over the lake. We pass regal villas and quaint villages before arriving in Cernobbio, our final destination, on the far end of Lake Como. Time permitting, you can hop on a ferry over to Como for a visit. Often known as a playground for the rich and beautiful, Como is famous for its Gothic Como Cathedral, a scenic funicular railway and a waterfront promenade, as well as the jump off point for boat tours around the lake itself. This evening, celebrate your achievements – perhaps over dinner and a few beers or wines on the waterfront with fellow travellers – you've earned it!

icon check Day 8 : Como (Cernobbio)

Your cycling adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are free to leave at any time, but with so much to see and do in the city of Como and its surrounding area, you may wish to stay on for a day or two and we will be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

5 Breakfasts
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Transport

Bicycle, Support vehicle, Ferry
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Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

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Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
Jun 14, 2020
Jun 21, 2020
$2,695
Available
Jun 28, 2020
Jul 05, 2020
$2,695
Available
Jul 12, 2020
Jul 19, 2020
$2,695
Available
Sep 06, 2020
Sep 13, 2020
$2,695
Available
Jun 13, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
$2,695
Available
Jun 27, 2021
Jul 04, 2021
$2,695
Available
Jul 11, 2021
Jul 18, 2021
$2,695
Available
Aug 15, 2021
Aug 22, 2021
$2,695
Available
Sep 05, 2021
Sep 12, 2021
$2,695
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Hotel Maggiore

Str. Terraglio, 140,

Treviso

31100

ITALY

Phone: 39 04224093

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Hotel Centrale

Via Regina 39

Cernobbio

Como

22012

ITALY

Phone: 39 31511411

Fax: 39 31341900

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

PHYSICAL PREPARATION

There are regular rest breaks each day, however it is important to note that you will be riding over multiple and consecutive days in a climate and terrain that may be unfamiliar. While it can be tempting to start out riding as hard and fast as you can (we get it!) we recommend taking it easy on the first few days while your body gets used to the rides and the climate.

As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential!

It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle, both solo and in a group environment.

CYCLING DISTANCES:

The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

This is a very active trip, requiring a good level of physical fitness. While there is a degree of flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the terrain and weather adding to the physical effort.

As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling and, if possible, try and include routes that contain plenty of ascents – the longer the better! The more you are physically prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful cycling in the mountains. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential!!

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

1. Bicycle hire is not included in your trip price. Please advise us if you wish to hire a bike at time of booking and provide your height so we can organise a suitable sized bike. See the Transport section of the Essential Trip Information for bike details.

2. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. There are several local options to purchase a helmet if you do not wish to bring your own.

3. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and a support staff that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker when needed.

4. While we will always endeavour to ride the advertsied route, due to the quickly changing weather in the mountains there may be times when the leader chooses to vary/shorten or even cancel the route due to safety concerns.

5. A Single Supplement is not currently available on this trip.

6. Many of the hotels and restaurants on this trip only reopen in June, and services are usually a bit slower in the early part of the season.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

All of our Road Cycling leaders have excellent experience in running cycling trips in their local region, and have a good insight into the local conditions. There may be times when they offer you advice on how to improve your cycling in the mountains (it really is different than back home) and the are always happy to share their knowledge.

There may also be times when they notice aspects of your cycling experience or health/fitness that may cause a potential safety issue. In these situations they will discuss it with you but may ask you to travel in the support van if there are particular sections of the route, or local weather conditions such as high winds, that they feel will be a realistic risk to you. Please respect this decision.

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed) There may be times when a client is asked to be the back marker, ensuring no one else rides behind them, if the vehicle cannot travel directly behind the group. Your leader will discuss this at the initial group meeting.

On this trip we have a team of 2-3 staff – a guide that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle. For groups larger than 7 we will have an extra guide driving the second support vehicle.

To ensure our cycling guides are fresh (so they can keep up with you!) each guide will ride with the group on alternate days

There may be times when a client is asked to be the back marker, ensuring no one else rides behind them, if the vehicle cannot travel directly behind the group.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride.

All of our Road Cycling leaders have excellent experience in running cycling trips in their local region, and have a good insight into the local conditions. There may be times when they offer you advice on how to improve your cycling in the mountains (it really is different than back home) and the are always happy to share their knowledge. There may also be times when they notice aspects of your cycling experience or health/fitness that may cause a potential safety issue. In these situations they will discuss it with you but may ask you to travel in the support van if there are particular sections of the route, or local weather conditions such as high winds, that they feel will be a realistic risk to you. Please respect this decision.

In this destination the traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road. Drivers are generally respectful and careful of cyclists but it is important to be aware at all times.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

Visas for Italy are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

Cycle in the tyre tracks of the Giro d’Italia, and up (and down) some of the world’s best climbs, including the 48 hairpins of the mighty Passo Stelvio – Italy’s most famous ascent.

Ride at your own pace among some of the most stunning scenery known to cycling and discover some hidden gems that only local cyclists (and your leader) know about!

Visit the church of the Madonna di Ghisallo – the ‘Patron Saint of Cycling’ and witness an amazing collection of cycling memorabilia from cycling legends including Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx.

Cycle the 100 hairpins of the stunning Sella Ronda route, possibly the best day you'll ever have on a bike.

Enjoy a free day to relax and rest your legs in the beautiful town of Bormio, or if you can’t get enough of the wide-open road, take the opportunity to ascend the Stelvio along an alternate route.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise, but every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Our ‘Road Cycling’ trips are physically the hardest Cycling trips we do at Intrepid and can be a definite physical challenge. However, we believe that anyone confident and competent on a bicycle, with a good level of fitness, can both complete and enjoy them.

Although this is a group trip, the differing levels of cycling fitness are more pronounced in the mountains. There will be times when you are likely to be riding on your own (but safe in the knowledge that the support vehicle/s and group leader are never too far away). At the initial group meeting we can provide downloadable files of the route for your GPS device to make sure you never get lost.

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back-marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back-marker. For groups of 8 or more we will have a second support vehicle.

The route is designed so you cycle on the best parts and includes driving portions on most days. The support vehicle/s will almost always be available in case you need to take a break for an hour (or a day).

There may be times when the leader asks you to use the support vehicle for your own safety (such as on steep descents on windy days, or poor weather) – please respect this decision.

As the riding is on sealed roads there are no off-road technical cycling skills required. However, we highly recommend frequent downhill cycling practice before your trip to best prepare for the long and steep descents.

The weather in the Dolomites and Italian Alps is notoriously unpredictable, even in summer. There may be times when we need to reroute ir even cancel a ride due to unsafe weather conditions.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

Our Road Cycling range is physically the most chalenging of all our Cycling trips, and as such requires a higher level of physical fitness to complete all of the included rides (keeping in mind tat you do have a support vehicle if needed)

Along with regular cycling as training we highly recommend getting a health checkup with your local doctor/health professional to ensure you are in good physical health.

CYCLING HEALTH

Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues.

By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride.

Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. Pharmacies are well equipped in Europe and widely available, however, we recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained in some of the rural locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Food in Europe is varied and differs significantly between countries and regions. Expect to sample delicious local meals in almost every location you’ll visit on this trip. However, if you do not feel like having a local delicacy, world type food is also widely available, especially in bigger cities. European diet is mostly meat based; vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

European breakfasts are often basic and may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)

There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

BANKING

Since the introduction of the euro (€) life has become much easier for travellers, and it is likely you will be using Euro elsewhere on your travels. As the popularity of ATMs has increased, the need for traveller's cheques has diminished. On all our trips you will require additional funds for extra meals, drinks, souvenirs and incidental expenses. The balance of your holiday funds can be split between cash, ATM withdrawals and credit card. As some of our hotels are in rural areas or small villages where you will not always have access to banks or ATMs, we recommend you take about half your estimated needs in Euro cash.

Cash: The simplest solution is to exchange your money into Euro at home and bring the cash with you. In addition, you might want to bring a couple of hundred dollars as ‘emergency funds’.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are fairly widely accepted throughout Europe and are an easy way of settling hotel bills, restaurant accounts etc.

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

CURRENCY

Italy has adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (€), divided into 100 cents.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

If you are bringing your own bike please see the TRANSPORT section for bike-specific items you should bring with you. If you are bringing your own bike our hiring one of ours then please consider bringing the following: HELMET Regardless of the local laws or the regulations in your own country helmets are compulsory on all Intrepid cycling trips. We recommend bringing your own but if you don’t have one you can purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). BIKE GEAR • Pedals and bike shoes – our hire bikes do not come with pedals attached so you will need to bring our own from home. We recommend also bringing a spare set of cleats, especially if you ride a less common brand like Speedplay. • Saddles – the saddles on our hire bikes are standard, unisex models. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • GPS device and mount (e.g. Garmin) – we can preload the riding routes for you at the start of the trip • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). • Small front and rear light (for riding in mountain/avalanche tunnels) CYCLING CLOTHING While most of our trips run in Spring/Summer/Autumn the weather in the mountains can be very changeable, even if you start out riding in the sun, hence we recommend packing for most conditions. We’d rather you bring it but don’t use it than miss out on riding due to insufficient clothing. • Padded bike shorts – at least 2 pairs (as washing & drying can be a challenge in the mountains at times) • Quick-dry jerseys – having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates – we recommend bringing at least 2 or 3. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – short and long fingered are recommended to ensure you’re covered for all conditions. • Light, breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Cycling cap or thin warm hat • Arm warmers • Leg warmers • Buff • Overshoes • Lightweight Base layers CYCLING ACCESSORIES • Chamois crème – love it or hate it, it definitely makes a long day in the saddle more comfortable (and the anti-bacterial properties help on those hot and sweaty days too!) • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle as well as altitude can really expose you to the sun • Lightweight Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. FOOD & DRINK Energy bars & sports drink mixtures - If you have particular dietary needs or favour a specific brand it’s best to bring your preferred food with you. Stores like Decathlon offer a wide (and competitively priced) selection of energy bars & sports drink mixtures but please note it can be difficult to get to these stores at times. Ask your leader at the initial group meeting for details on opening hours. LUGGAGE As space in our support vehicle/transport is very limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case. • Padded bike shorts • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall. • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier. • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding. • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

As space in the support vehicle is very limited we request that travellers bring only a small bag, no more than 20kgs with them.

**NOTE** If you are wanting to bring your own bike on this trip, please see the 'Transport' section of your Essential Trip Information.

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HOT WEATHER

Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Conversely, shoulder and off season can bring a variety of weather, from strong winds and even snow at higher altitudes to pleasant and warm spring days. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

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Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

Intrepid's local operator: +39 089 79 1896, +39 393 9375299 or +39 328 64 81 735

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

DRESS CODE

In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle.

In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. A bicycle means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, providing a profound and lasting positive effect for the individual as well as their community. Bicycles For Humanity collect donated (used or new) bicycles, repair them if needed and send them to Africa.

Along with donated bicycles each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed, helping the community to move away from aid dependence.

For more information see http://www.bicyclesforhumanity.com/

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusYour fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience.

Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. Sharing a room can be a great way to get to know people quickly and make close friends. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

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ITINERARY CHANGES

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

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Hotel (7 nights)

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