A week of high mountains and their great Alpine passes where Giro d’Italia legends were born. Our Great Alps bike tour follows the tracks of those who embarked on epic battles on two wheels: unforgettable endeavours linked to the big names in international cycling.
Surrounded by glaciers, mountains and unspoilt nature, we will retrace the exploits of the great champions and our idols. We can, therefore, expect a week in the Alps which is demanding, but extremely rewarding and Road Bike Tours Italy will make this trip accessible to all participants, thanks to the constant presence of the minibus and technical guidance throughout.
Bormio, renowned and enchanting ski resort, known for hosting the Ski World Cup and home to the famous Spa, will welcome us, for a week, in the heart of the Alps on the Giro d’Italia roads. Also, the delicious cuisine of the Valtellina is awaiting us every evening: a well-deserved reward for our challenging efforts by road bike.
Welcome from the staff and bike tour presentation. Dinner based on local product and excellent wine from the Valtellina in a typical mountain restaurant.
Starting off from Bormio the first step on our tour will be the least demanding pass of the week: Gavia Pass. One of the highest mountain passes in Europe, it represents one of the epic climbs of the Giro d’Italia: unforgettable images broadcast around the world of exhausted cyclists in the snow in some editions of the Giro.
Starting from Bormio we head towards Santa Caterina on a wide road with substantial gradients which, as the road narrows, become really demanding. This very special ride alternates easy stretches, that allow us to enjoy the beautiful view, with demanding sections, with an average gradient of 5.4% and a maximum of 15%. After the effort of the climb, once we have reached the top and put on the protective clothing provided by our loyal minibus, we carefully face the descent to enter the province of Brescia, in Ponte di Legno, famous ski resort, in the splendid Valle Camonica. This valley is well-known for its rock etchings, prehistoric remains that led to the area becoming the first UNESCO world heritage site in Italy in 1979. On the same day the same recognition was awarded to sites such as the gardens of Versailles and the Egyptian Pyramids.
Going down the valley we reach Monno, crossroads for Valle Camoica and Valtellina. Here starts a new extraordinary ascent: Mortirolo Pass. This side of this epic pass is easier than the Valtellina side, but after have done Gavia Pass, it will be a great challenge.
Get to the top a fast down hill take us in Bormio. Our first day ends here, we load our road bikes onto the minibus, and return to Bormio to enjoy an evening in good company, with excellent local food and wine.
After breakfast, transfer to Tirano where the climb is, at once, rather demanding, to reach Lake Poschiavo. Here we get our breath back for a moment before getting back on our bikes to continue the climb, short of breath, but also with the constant presence of the minibus at our side, to reassure us and provide any necessary assistance. A very large difference in altitude, with an average gradient 5.5% and a maximum of 12% … but the breathtaking landscapes and fabulous scenery of the Bernina glaciers will give us the strength to conquer the Pass with our road bikes.
It is a Swiss pass that connects the Valtellina and Upper Engadine. Here we have a spectacular panoramas towards the Alpine peaks Pizzo Bernina (4049m) Pizzo Palù (3906m) and the Morteratsch (3751m) with its imposing glacier. After this spectacular Pass we head to Livigno, a beautiful mountain village called Little Tibet too, a really famous ski resort.
The last effort takes us to Foscagno Pass where Start the descent towards Bormio. As a reward we can expect an abundant and excellent dinner, as always based on products of Valtellina: pizzoccheri, sciatt (although the name, in Valtellina dialect, means “toads”, do not be fooled: they are delicious savory croquettes with melted cheese in the middle) polenta taragna (made from cornmeal and buckwheat flour) and bresaola, all washed down with local wines.
Just like professional cyclists during the big races, also our cycling team needs a more relaxing day to recover our energy. Immediately after breakfast, with the bikes on the minibus, we head for the lower Valtellina.
Today’s ride is an easy trip completely on the flat. Enjoying the incomparable beauty of Lake Como, we will arrive in Varenna and then reach Bellagio by boat. In Bellagio starts our climb towards the famous Madonna del Ghisallo, The Patron of Cyclist.
Then we come back in Bellagio where the ferry wait for us for our transfer in Menaggio. From there, riding on the east shores, we will conclude the day.
Full of energy once again thanks to the pleasant and relaxing previous day, after breakfast, we take the minibus to Mazzo, the starting point today. The climb par excellence is that on the Valtellina side, which stretches for 12.5 km, with a difference in height of almost 1300m and a steep but steady gradient (average 10%; maximum 18%). These characteristics make it one of the most popular but also hardest ascents in Europe; it became famous when it was included in the Giro d’Italia route in 1990. It was here that, in 1994, the great Marco Pantani broke free, winning the stage, and in memory of the epic endeavours of the “Pirate” a monument was placed in his honor at Km 8 on the Valtellina side in 2006.
Passo del Mortirolo is “the pass of all passes”, where the toughest, most important and exciting battles of the Giro d’Italia are fought. We too will have the opportunity to try out this ascent, always with the minibus for support should it be required. We return via a different route, through Trivigno, to reach the Aprica Pass. Thoroughly deserved after so much effort, a succulent dinner, as always based on the best local products, awaits us.
A generous breakfast will help us to face the last of our epic climbs, from Bormio to the Stelvio Pass: average gradient of 7% with peaks of 15%. This is the highest Italian pass open to motorised vehicles and connects the Valtellina with Val Venosta in the province of Bolzano.
An impressive series of hairpin bends and breathtaking nature write the story of this famous climb. The grandeur and majesty of the Ortler, with its huge glaciers, will be the reward for our efforts. After getting warm clothing from our minibus we head downhill to visit the Trentino side, from Prato dello Stelvio up to the fortified town of Glorenza, a few kilometers from the Swiss border
After we passed the Swiss border, another epic ascent is waiting for us: Umbrail Pass. From the top of this pass we return to Bormio for our dinner to end an unforgettable week.
Breakfast and departure.
Yes, we provide your transfer from the airport/station on the arrival day and to the airport/station on the departure day.
You don’t need to be an athlete to take part in one of our tours. We offer different levels of difficulty, from the easy/medium tours in Tuscany, the Northern lakes Area, and Piedmont to the more demanding on the mountains. In any case, our van is constantly with the group to provide any kind of assistance.
In order to provide the best service and guarantee the best cycling vacation to our guests, we have chosen to organize tours only for small groups, a maximum of 7 people. So, in case of tiredness, bad weather, or others reason, a spot in the van is always guaranteed. Our team is made up of a bike guide and a driver, these guides are focused on the group, taking pictures, and providing assistance during the stage.
Our van is constantly with the group, providing any kind of assistance. Two guides will take care of the group and being in a small group, everyone will be assisted.
Yes, being a boutique Tour Operator, we are specialized in private and tailor-made tours. If you are a group of friends, a family, or a cycling club, write us your preferences and we’ll come up with the perfect tour for you.
We can provide different types of bikes, speaking about road bike tours we can rent:
For tailor-made and private tours, we can rent the bike most suitable for you.
“Medical Assistance Insurance” is included in all of our tours. We can’t provide Cancellation Insurance to extra Schengen clients, so we strongly suggest to our guests purchase Cancellation coverage.
Fill out the form with your details, pick the date you prefer and send us your request! We will reply you as soon as possible!