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Italy

Abruzzo - Appennini d'Abruzzo

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,150 P.P.
Italy

Abruzzo - Appennini d'Abruzzo

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,150 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Abruzzo, tucked away between Lazio and Umbria, is one of Italy’s most hidden gems. The region will captivate, not only lovers of anything Italian, but also any serious cyclist looking for something a little bit different. With its four National Parks, high mountain passes, deep gorges and medieval villages it really does have all the ingredients for a perfect road cycling trip.
The adventure starts relatively gently as we spend time riding through the terraced vineyards and olive groves on the lower slopes of the Gran Sasso range. Our second day on the bikes will include the infamous Passo Lanciano and Blockhaus of Majella where Nairo Quintana took an infamous victory in the 2017 Giro d’Italia.
The challenges keep coming as the week progresses as we head into the higher ranges of the Majella National Park and the Parco Nazionale dell'Abruzzo. Finally we visit Parco Velino, returning to the stunning Gran Sasso where our adventure began, but this time we climb into the Campo Imperatore, the scene of Marco Pantani’s 1999 pink jersey-winning challenge and possibly one of the greatest mountain rides in Italy.
Throughout our journey we will stay in carefully-chosen, locally-owned hotels and agriturismi where we can enjoy rich regional cuisine all washed down with a glass or two of the local Montepulcino d'Abruzzo. 
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Highlights

  • Riding through and over the 4 National Park areas of the Abruzzi
  • Taking on the challenging Blockhaus in the Majella Park
  • Cruising through the Gorge of San Venenzio
  • Re-fueling with the hearty regional mountain food of Abruzzo
  • Riding through the big scenery of Campo Imperatore in the heart of the Gran Sasso
  • Riding down endless sweeping descents after the challenges of stunning climbs

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I don’t think I have ever been on a holiday before where I have given so much excellent and positive feedback. Thank you!

Angela, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Pescara / Loreto Aprutino
Non Riding Day

The Skedaddle team will meet you on arrival at Pescara airport (PSR) and we will transfer together to Loreto Aprutino, on the lower hills of the Appennines. This small town, set like a diamond between the Pescara coast and the Gran Sasso, is one of the most beautiful in Abruzzo and is steeped in culture and history. On arrival at our hotel we will build and fit bikes, and after an initial briefing we’ll head out and explore the medieval town before sitting down to indulge in a mouth-watering meal.

Day 2
Loreto Aprutino to Abateggio
50 Miles / 80 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,600 Metres Approx.

Our first ride is designed to warm us up and break us in gently for what lies ahead for the rest of the week. We leave the town and head into the seemingly endless rolling slopes that lead from the Apennine mountains and quiet country roads that take us through a landscape of pretty rolling vineyards and olive groves.

Our route proceeds in a westward direction and a gradual climb leads us to the dramatically located medieval hamlet of Corvara d‘Abruzzo, where we stop to admire the impressive views across the Majella range. Next we move south, dropping down and crossing the plain of the Pescara and Orta rivers to then head onto a gradual climb towards the Majella range.

Our destination is Abateggio, a small town within the national park, designated one of the prettiest towns in all of Italy.

Day 3
Abateggio to Pacentro
50 Miles / 80 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,600 Metres Approx.

We’ll take on the first big challenge of our tour as we head higher into the Majella National Park.

The day begins with a short descent to Lettomanopello from where the climb officially commences. Initially the road weaves upwards through a forest, leading us onto an open plain from where we can see the Blockhaus and its summit ahead of us. 11km and averaging almost 8%, it delivers us to Passo Lanciano, where our efforts are rewarded with magnificent views of the Majella mountain range. We roll on for a further 7.5km to the summit from where can enjoy some stunningly beautiful views of the Adriatic below us.

The thrilling descent which follows leads us through Roccamorice and onto Caramanico Terme where we stop for a well-deserved picnic lunch, after which we commence a beautiful and gradually-winding climb up to Passo San Leonardo. Averaging around 3.5%, the riding this afternoon is gentle compared to what we did this morning, however with amazing views of Mount Morrone and Mount Amaro on either side of the valley as we climb, it is no less rewarding.

A jaw-droppingly beautiful switchback descent follows and leads us finally to Pacentro, a medieval hamlet perched precariously on the ridge line which will be our home for the evening.

Day 4
Pacentro to Pescocostanzo
68 Miles / 110 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 2,600 Metres Approx.

We begin gently today as we enter Valle Peligna, riding firstly to Sulmona, a bustling Italian town with a charming historical centre. The flattening valley forms a natural border between the Majella National Park and the Parco Nazionale dell‘Abruzzo, which we will explore during today’s stage. After leaving Sulmona, we reach Anversa degli Abruzzi, situated at the entrance of the Gole del Sagittario – a deep gorge that leads the way into the park and mountains.

From here we embark on a beautiful climb through the twisted canyon which takes us high into the mountain range. We pass through Colle San Michele, a tiny hamlet perched on the side of the rocky canyon and then Scanno, where we might well stop for a coffee in one of the little piazzas where the gentle pace of life doesn’t seem to have changed for centuries.

From here we continue climbing steadily up the valley as the landscape gradually becomes more alpine and the forests give way to open meadows and views of distant mountains. We’ll wrap up a little at the summit of Passo Godi (1,630m), surrounded by floral pastures and high peaks, before we embark on the long descent to our lunch stop in Barrea.

Once back in the saddle our second climb of the day will lead us back towards the perimeter of the Majella Park and the towns of Castel del Sangrio and Roccaraso where the road eases into a beautiful glacial valley. After one final small climb we reach the picturesque village of Pescocostanzo which will be our home for the evening.

Day 5
Pescocostanzo to Rocca di Mezzo
60 Miles / 100 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,600 Metres Approx.

Once again we start the day with a short descent before joining a quiet road that gradually climbs through the valley below the ridgeline of Mount Porrore. We’re rewarded for yesterday’s efforts by a wonderful 35km descent back to Sulmona into Valle Peligna where we’ll re-group and enjoy a coffee before we start heading north towards the Parco di Velino and Silente. Next up is the beautiful San Venanzio Gorge and then a series of traditional villages such as Castel Vecchio Subequo and Gagliano Aterno, perfectly situated for lunch and a little contemplation of the surrounding mountains.

Travelling further into the National Park we reach the limestone massifs and ride in the shadows of the frequently snow-capped and alpine-like Mount Velino and Mount Silente. Reaching the town of Rocca di Mezzo, where we will spend the evening, is like stepping back in time and here we will have an opportunity to enjoy traditional local mountain fayre such as truffles and wild boar – usually washed down with the locally-made house wine!

Day 6
Rocca di Mezzo to Santo Stefano di Sessanio
37 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,100 Metres Approx.

As we leave Rocca di Mezzo we have the option of extending the ride up to Ovindoli (1,400m), in the heart of the National Park. It’s an ideal location for a morning coffee before heading back down the winding roads that leads us to the undulating agricultural land of the lower valley and the Parco del Gran Sasso.

Today is an intentionally shorter stage, designed to allow extra time to enjoy Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a unique village perched like an eagle’s nest on top of a rocky outcrop in the middle of a green valley.

Day 7
Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso to Loreto Aprutino
59 Miles / 95 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,600 Metres Approx.

A fantastic last day on the bike awaits and one which sees us ticking off a true Italian classic. Campo Imperatore, in the heart of the Gran Sasso will take us high into Apennines, via the highest road in central Italy.

The steady climb on a single lane road leaves the town of Santo Stefano turning to a series of switchbacks before leveling out onto a plateau. Here we ride through open pastures with stunning views of the rocky pinnacles of Corno Grande. Eventually we turn off the road and head for Campo Imperatore, a somewhat deserted ski station during summer months which at a remote and rarefied 2,100m above sea level can leave you quite literally breathless. The views are incredible.

After re-tracing our tracks for a short section, we carry on east, riding along the high open plain where cattle and wild horses graze peacefully in the colourful meadows. All that remains now is 20km of joy as we descend through the forest and vineyards, back towards Loreto Aprutino where our adventure began one week ago.

Sadly it is time to pack the bikes but we before we do so, we might enjoy and glass or two of Montepulciano d‘Abruzzo before one final Italian dinner. We can celebrate the end of a great trip, sharing the sense of satisfaction of having explored some lesser known climbs and a stunningly beautiful, yet hidden, region of Italy.

Day 8
Departure: Loreto Aprutino / Pescara
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, dependent on flight times, there may be some time to relax, before it’s time to pack our gear up for the last time and take the transfer bus to Pescara airport and say our final farewells.

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The Cycling

Terrain

As you might expect, riding in the Apennines is not without challenges. Whilst not the most challenging tour that we offer, the route includes numerous significant Giro d‘Italia ridden cols and a fair amount of climbing. You can expect at least one significant climb per day, some of which will include steep and challenging sections.

Road surfaces are generally OK, although mountain weather can take its toll. Caution should be exercised, especially when descending, as potholes and gravel patches do occur.

Descents are as frequent and as long as the ascents and many feature tight bends and switchbacks. Competent and confident descenders will undoubtedly enjoy the downhill stages, however all riders will be expected to exercise caution. Traffic is generally light throughout however it can become busier approaching towns and villages.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 - 4: Moderate/ Challenging

Distances between 50-75 miles / 80-120km per day

For more regular riders who like to push themselves a little from time to time

Not extreme but certainly challenging on occasions with some good climbing opportunities

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 an enthusiast. Road cycling is probably your main hobby and you ride regularly at weekends, staying on the bike for much of the day. You’re in pretty good shape, and you might also participate in cylo-sportive events. You also love a challenge and are looking for a tour with some good climbing, preferably with an opportunity to tick off some famous Tour de France cols, or the like. You’re a competent descender, and you’re not afraid of speed, but you ride safely and within your limits at all times. You understand road etiquette and you’re comfortable riding in a bunch. You might even take a stint at the front of the pack if the need arises.

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Exploring the region of Abruzzo was a very special experience, a place hidden and off the beaten track.

Kate, UK

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
01/08/2021
Return Date
08/08/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,150.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin/double rooms) in good quality 3* hotels / agriturismo

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 Pescara airport (PSR)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Pescara airport (PSR)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental(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) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts and finishes in Loreto Aprutino.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your tour. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Pescara airport (PSR) by 18:00 for a 18:30 transfer.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer the group back to Pescara airport, with an estimated arrival time of 15:45 – 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 trip.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your trip and to ensure your arrangements 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

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en-suite in 3 star hotels/agriturismo. Family run, personable, charming and homely are boxes we tick when looking for places to stay in Italy. A million miles away from chain style hotels, all with unique touches and offering great Italian hospitality.

Bike Hire

If you have opted to rent, 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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