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Italy

Lakes of Lombardia

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,740 P.P.
Italy

Lakes of Lombardia

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,740 P.P.
BOOK NOW
A superb road cycling holiday in Italy which explores its Northern Lake District, an area synonymous with cycling history. The Giro d’Italia almost always visits this region and, perhaps even more famously, it is the setting for the Tour of Lombardy, or 'the race of the falling leaves', the autumnal one day classic which, each year, marks the end of the pro-cycling calendar.
Focusing on the lakes and the alpine foothills, or 'pre-alpi', our own Tour of Lombardia has been designed to appeal to discerning cyclists who like to combine their riding with the finer things in life such as good food, fine wine and stylish accommodation.
Our route through the Italian Lake District is not without challenges but it is thoroughly rideable and will take us into some of Italy’s most idyllic scenery. Evenings will be spent in classic Italian style in lakeside towns such as Bellagio, Sarnico and Riva del Garda, assuring us of beautiful views to wake up to each morning!
Upon arrival we transfer to Angera on the shores of Lake Maggiore where we spend our first evening. The region is renowned for its mild climate, lush vegetation and regal architecture. Maggiore is Italy’s second largest lake and set against the resplendent backdrop of the Monte Rosa Massif, a stunningly beautiful starting point for the tour.
The following day we will enjoy a brief visit to Switzerland as we make our way to Cernobbio on the shores of Lake Como. No cycling trip to Como would be complete without a visit to Madonna del Ghisallo, the famous hilltop cyclist’s shrine and the fascinating museum which accompanies it. More superb riding follows as we make our way to our ultimate destination on the shores of Lake Garda where we will enjoy our final evening.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Riding into Switzerland from Lake Maggiore to Lake Lugano
  • The ascent to Madonna del Ghisallo and the world famous cycling museum
  • Picture postcard views of the Monte Rosa from Lake Maggiore
  • Conquering Passo Maniva and the sweeping downhill to Lago di Idro
  • Relaxing with a post-ride drink overlooking yet another beautiful lake
  • Enjoying good food, fine wines and quality accommodation

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One of the most incredible experiences I have ever had! I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it to another cyclist.

James, Newcastle

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Milan Malpensa Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Dinner

Following your arrival in Italy at Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) we make the 45/60 minute transfer to our accommodation in Angera. On arrival at the hotel there is time to unpack and build bikes. There may also be the opportunity to explore the local area before we depart on our bikes tomorrow morning.

Day 2
Angera to Cernobbio
56 Miles / 90 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 900 Metres Approx.

Starting from Angera, a medieval fortified town on the shores of Lake Maggiore, we ride north along one of Italy’s major lakes. It is a gentle warm up to our week’s riding, following the shoreline on a scenic and picturesque road, riding past splendid villas and gardens created in the 19th and 20th century. In Luino we leave Lake Maggiore and head towards Lake Lugano and after just a few kms we cross into Switzerland, where we continue our journey along the quiet shores of the lake. Riding through numerous quaint villages we finally reach our destination; the Como lakeside town of Cernobbio, a place where George Clooney has his second home.

Day 3
Cernobbio to Bellagio (via Ghisallo)
47 Miles / 75 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.

The morning ride through Como and the east lakeside will take us towards the renowned town of Bellaggio. Avid cycling fans will know that Bellagio is set at the very start of the Giro di Lombardia’s last and decisive climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, the little church of the patron saint of cyclists where you can admire the bikes of the great Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali. After a final steep descent and an incredibly scenic ride along the lakeside of Lecco, we finally reach Bellagio, allowing time to wander around town and take in the stylish Italian atmosphere.

Day 4
Bellagio to San Pellegrino
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,500 Metres Approx.

We set off in the morning with a beautiful short ferry ride across Lake Como from Bellagio to the town of Varenna. Today we ride on a long cycle route along the Valsassina Valley overlooking the Grigne, one of the most famous rock climbing training sites in Italy and home of the Ragni di Lecco – ‘Spiders of Lecco‘. We then leave the main road and start our climb into Barzio and finally the Culmine di San Pietro; another one of the Giro’s classic climbs. After a long winding descent, the ride along Bergamo’s Val Taleggio is really spectacular! Tonight we overnight in the thermal town of San Pellegrino where we can relax and indulge in its thermal waters.

Day 5
San Pellegrino to Clusane
62 Miles / 100 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,800 Metres Approx.

Today we ride across to Lago di Iseo, in the upper region of Bergamo and Brescia, a popular training ground for the Giro di Lombardia. One of the most important cycling events in Italy after the Giro d’Italia, this is where Fausto Coppi, Alfredo Binda and Gino Bartali became heroes of old-time racing. Leaving San Pellegrino, also famous for its spring water, we meander through the lower alpine hills toward Clusone to then head south to Lago d’Iseo – a lakeside ride that takes us to our accommodation in Clusane.

Day 6
Clusane to Lago d’Idro
44 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,900 Metres Approx.

We are now getting closer to the Alps and a great Alpine stage is ahead of us today! After a first warm up climb from Iseo and a cake stop at an excellent pasticceria in Gardone, we embark on a gradual cycle along Val Trompia before the final climb to Passo Maniva where we stop for our well-deserved picnic lunch in true alpine scenery. Suitably replenished with local delicacies, we are rewarded for our efforts with a long winding descent down to Lago d’Idro.

Day 7
Lago d’Idro to Lago di Garda
59 Miles / 95 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,200 Metres Approx.

A great final ride through alpine scenery on our way to Lake Garda. We start the ride following the beautiful Valli Giudicarie heading towards the Dolomiti of Brenta, towering high above us at some 3,000m. With only two short climbs, the final section towards Lake Garda is a great flowing descent to its northern shores. Riding into the main lakeside square of Riva del Garda, is a wonderful way to conclude a perfect week of riding. Following the obligatory cappuccino, ice cream and no doubt a chilled beer, we make our way to our hotel for our final evening. There are some fantastic restaurants close by, so be prepared for a final delicious evening meal, over which you’ll be able to reflect on your week of cycling.

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

Following breakfast we take a 75/90 minute transfer to Verona airport (VRN) for your flight home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

Most of the climbs are relatively short, when compared to say the Stelvio for example, and the gradients are, in the main, very manageable although there are a few short stages which reach between 10-12% and are therefore a little more challenging. Road surfaces are good, however some descents on narrow roads with tight bends do require good bike handling skills. Traffic is generally light and we spend as much time as possible on minor roads although heavier traffic may be encountered on the short stages along valleys which connect the smaller roads. Italians are big fans of cycling and despite stereotypical reputations most drivers are considerate and courteous to cyclists. A friendly toot of the horn will often precede a passing car leaving you plenty of space. A challenging day 6 take you up to Passo Maniva and the only alpine stage.

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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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The route of the tour was fantastic, delivering some challenging riding in spectacular surroundings. The tour leader dealt most admirably with the group dynamics!

Bruce and Piera, Essex

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
19/06/2021
Return Date
26/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,740.00
Start Date
10/07/2021
Return Date
17/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,740.00
Start Date
21/08/2021
Return Date
28/08/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,740.00

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 Milan Malpensa airport (MXP)

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 Milan Malpensa (MXP) by 12:30 for a 13:00 transfer.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer the group to Verona airport (VRN), with an estimated arrival time of 10:00 – 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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News, Reviews & Stories

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Reviews

20

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