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Italy

Dolomiti Discoverer

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,690 P.P.
Italy

Dolomiti Discoverer

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,690 P.P.
BOOK NOW
For decades the Dolomiti of northern Italy have been the setting for some of the most epic and thrilling riding in the world of professional cycling and without a doubt they are one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in Europe. 
Ladled with spectacular scenery, beautiful roads and, of course, legendary climbs of the Giro d’Italia, this completely revised itinerary serves as the perfect introduction to this beautiful region. With shorter daily distances and a more relaxed itinerary than some of our other Italian mountain tours, never before have the Dolomites been so accessible to recreational road cyclists.
Following arrival in Verona we transfer to Cavalese at the head of Val di Fassa, in the heart of the Dolomites. We will spend the next few days exploring the National Parks of Marmolada, Sella and Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
We’ll begin riding in the upper Fassa Valley where we’ll get a small taste of what lies ahead as we find our legs on some lesser-known climbs such as Passo San Pellegrino. The early stages set us up nicely for tackling the legendary mountains waiting for us later in the week, an impressive roll call of classic climbs comprising Passo Giau and Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Passo Falsarego, Passo Pordoi and, of course, the Sella Ronda.
Designed as an introduction to mountain riding, the distances have been kept deliberately low to relieve time pressure and allow time to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. However extensions and slightly more challenging options are possible most days for those wishing to push themselves a little further.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Admiring from various angles the classic grey and orange jagged peaks of the Dolomites
  • Riding the Sella Ronda, part of the Maratona delle Dolomiti, one of Italy’s biggest Gran Fondo events
  • Riding the dazzling descents and climbs you yearned to ride whilst watching the Giro d‘Italia
  • The sense of achievement at the end of the tour having conquered many climbs at your own pace.
  • Superb, mouth-watering and filling Italian food after a day on the bike – plenty of carbs!

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Verona Airport
Non Riding Day

The Skedaddle team will meet you at Verona Airport, after which we will transfer together to our accommodation in the town of Cavalese. The journey will take approximately 1h 45 mins. On arrival we build bikes and/or fit bikes before spending what is left of the day relaxing and getting to know our fellow riders.

Day 2
Cavalese to Alleghe
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,400 Metres Approx.

Our first stage is a fantastic introduction to the region and it isn’t long before we find ourselves surrounded by the domineering 3,000m peaks. It’s a comparatively easy start, which breaks us in gently for what lies ahead. After a short warm up along the valley road, leading to Moena, we get our first taste of climbing in the Dolomites as we head for Passo San Pellegrino (1,918m). The climb itself is also relatively gradual and leads us along a dense forested valley which eventually opens up into an expansive pasture. After taking some time to rest at the summit we’ll head down the other side towards Falcade before taking the valley road to the idyllic lakeside village of Alleghe where we will spend the night.

Day 3
Alleghe to Cortina
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,600 Metres Approx.

Today things will become a little more serious as we tackle Passo Giau (2,236m), one of the most important passes in the Dolomites, and a regular inclusion in the Giro d’Italia which sometimes features as the Cima Coppi – (the highest point reached during any particular Giro).

We continue along the valley toward Caprile where the road begins to rise gradually through a dense forest, a short section of rolling downhill from where we can clearly see the high mountains ahead, then delivers us to the start at Giau. The early stages of the climb are a shock to the system with gradients quickly ramping up into the low teens. Things do settle down after the first few kilometres, although the gradient rarely dips below 9% all the way to the summit where we are rewarded in spades for our efforts with magnificent 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.

The thrilling descent from the summit brings us back down to earth in Cortina which will be our home for the next two nights.

Day 4
Cortina Loop Ride
34 Miles / 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,500 Metres Approx.

Considering the rigours of yesterday, and with a much shorter day ahead of us, we’ll allow ourselves a relaxed start. Today’s loop ride takes us gently upwards into the National Park of Ampezzo where we head for the Misurina Lake. From the lake we’ll take a detour to see the magnificent Tre Cime di Lavaredo (the Three Peaks of Laverado). It’s a steep and challenging climb to get the best view but well worth the effort to see this most iconic, dramatic and unmistakable of all Dolomitic landscapes in all of its glory.

After taking in the views and resting for a while we will turn around and roll generally downwards to Passo Tre Croci (1,809m) before heading back down to Cortina where we can spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring some of Cortina’s many cafes, restaurants and bars.

Day 5
Cortina to Canazei
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,900 Metres Approx.

We leave Cortina heading west today, with two important passes separating us from our destination near the Dolomites of Sella. The route out of Cortina rises gradually through a forested valley and an alpine prairie landscape scattered with numerous pretty villages and hamlets.

Later, as we proceed up and over the Passo Falzarego (2,109m), we find ourselves surrounded by the majestic pinnacles of Lagazuoi. After a visit to the café at the summit we set off again to enjoy a wonderful 10km multi-switchback descent followed by a further undulating 10kms along the Arabba Valley before we reach the start of Passo Pordoi (2,239m) our second and highest climb of the day.

We’ll take a breather at the summit where we can take obligatory photos in front of the Fausto Coppi memorial before beginning the long and thrilling descent to Canazei.

Day 6
Sella Ronda Loop Ride (Optional Rest Day/Guided Hike)
44 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,100 Metres Approx.

A real challenge awaits those who opt to ride today, with the opportunity to sample a section of the route taken by the thousands of cyclists who participate each year in the Maratona delle Dolomiti, the country’s biggest and most famous Gran Fondo event.

With four major mountain passes ahead of us we set off to explore the roads around the Sella Ronda Massif in the shadows of its enormous grey and orange craggy pillars. We’ll be presented with breath-taking views and jaw-dropping scenery as we take on Passo Sella (2,244m), Passo Gardena (2,121m) Passo Campolongo, and Passo Pordoi (2,239m) in succession, before making our way back to Canazei.

For those looking for a less strenuous day we also have an equally impressive option to take a cable car high into the mountains for a guided hike along some beautiful alpine trails. Alternatively some may opt to simply take it easy and relax in Canazei.

Day 7
Canazei to Cavalese
34 Miles / 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,500 Metres Approx.

Our last day in the saddle will offer yet more great riding, beautiful scenery and classic passes to conquer. We start the day gently again as we head out along the Val di Fassa to reach the start of the Passo Costalunga, by Dolomitic standards a moderately challenging 5km climb which tops out at 1,745m above sea level before a rolling plateau leads us to the fantastic 18km descent down the other side.

The road twists and turns through dense forest and past pristine alpine lakes until we the final challenge of our tour, Passo Lavaze (1,807m). After enjoying our final picnic lunch beside the lake at the summit we’re left only with the thrilling descent to Cavalese to complete our journey through the Dolomites.

Day 8
Departure: Verona Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast we head back to Verona for our return flights. Those with later flights and who wish to spend the day exploring Verona can easily leave luggage at the airport and hop on the bus into the centre of the city.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The Dolomites are one of the greatest cycling regions in the whole of Italy. Our route takes us up and over many spectacular passes and through lush valleys, so each stage includes significant amounts of both climbing and descending.

Roads in the Dolomites are generally a little steeper than other regions and the climbs are relatively long. Expect steeper gradients mainly averaging between 6-8% but which can, and do, ramp up into the mid teens on occasion.

Road surfaces are generally good although mountain weather can take its toll and caution should be exercised, especially when descending as occasional potholes and gravel patches do occur. Descents are as frequent and long as the ascents and many feature tight bends and switchbacks. Traffic is generally light, however it can become heavier in and around larger towns.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day

For riders with experience, good fitness & a decent level of skill

Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher grade tour

Most days include a couple of significant climbs

Some long days & some steep to very steep sections

Not for beginners

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re definitely not a novice rider, you’re fit, you ride regularly at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for much of the day, you love your bike! You also enjoy a challenge and if you haven’t already done so you’re keen to attempt a semi-serious to serious mountain pass or two. You’re as comfortable with the prospect of descending from the top of a col as you are with the idea of climbing it and you’re confident that you have the skills to do so safely. You’re not necessarily a “racer” but you can crank up the pace a little when it’s necessary and you don’t mind forgoing a coffee stop if the schedule demands it occasionally. You probably own and use clipless pedals. You have good control of your bike and can take a drink from a water bottle without having to unclip and put your feet on the ground. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 3 would be a good option for you.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
26/06/2021
Return Date
03/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,690.00
Start Date
24/07/2021
Return Date
31/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,690.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en-suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in First Aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Verona airport (VRN)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Verona airport (VRN)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Verona airport (VRN) by 09:00 for a 09:30 transfer.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer the group back to Verona airport, with an estimated arrival time of 15:00 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

The majority of our accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en-suite in 3* hotels or guesthouses.

Bike Hire

If you have opted to hire then your bike will typically be a Giant Defy or Contend with Giant/Liv Avails (alu frames) for those preferring a women’s specific frame. They are great bikes with good quality components and generally come equipped with at least one bottle cage, a saddle bag and a small pump. We can also include a helmet which should be requested at time of booking. Please note that your bike will come with flat pedals as standard, so please do bring your own if you use clip-in pedals.

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