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Austria and Italy

La Via Claudia

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,205 P.P.
Austria and Italy

La Via Claudia

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,205 P.P.
BOOK NOW
This cycling tour in Austria and Italy, is ideal for those wishing to experience the beauty of the Alps in style. At times somewhat challenging, the riding is concentrated along the Via Claudia Augusta, a 2000 year old Roman built road which was for many centuries the main commercial route across the Alps. Originally used for the transportation of wine and olive oil from Spain, oysters from the Mediterranean and even spices from Asia, it now serves as the perfect biking route through an area of stunning views and historic sites.
 
The journey begins in Austria on the slopes of the mighty Zugspitze (2692m/882ft) and takes in some of the most beautiful Tyrolean landscapes imaginable. From our first night's stay in Lermoos our journey heads off on a series of rolling forest trails and across undulating countryside trails, before heading upstream alongside the icy waters of the River Inn.
 
Crossing the border into Italy via the Reschen Pass, the panoramic views open up as we roll gently down into the Vinschgau Valley and South Tyrol. The ride continues via apple plantations, vineyards and historic castles and of course we'll take time during our meals to sample the food and wines for which the region is famous.
 
As the week draws to a close we'll enter the Etsch valley which leads us straight into the bustling city of Trento, where we can spend an afternoon soaking up the trendy Italian atmosphere in the numerous gelaterias and capuccino bars. We'll save some energy for the last day of riding through the Sarca Valley and onward to our final destination, Lake Garda, a grand finale to our Via Claudia adventure. 
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Highlights

  • Waking up to beautiful views of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak
  • Cycling beside the vivid blue waters of the River Inn
  • Absorbing the history of an ancient trade route by bike
  • Exploring Merano – The Jewel of South Tyrol
  • Winding your way through the lovely Vinschgau Valley
  • A post-ride, tasty gelato on the shores of Lake Garda

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This was my first Skedaddle trip and will be a very hard act to follow. Our two wonderful guides went to enormous effort to make sure that everything ran smoothly.

Fiona, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Munich Airport - Transfer to Lermoos
  • Meals: Dinner

Following your arrival into Germany’s Munich Airport (MUC), we’ll transfer across the border to the Austrian village of Lermoos. The village is situated in a lovely meadow and offers a beautiful view of Germany’s highest peak Zugspitze (2692m/8832ft). The transfer will take around 2 hours and we’ll spend our time in Lermoos preparing our bikes for the week ahead. Should time allow, we may even sneak in a quick leg stretch before our welcome drinks and evening meal, which we’ll take at the hotel. During the meal we’ll have an informal chat with our guides about the week to come.

Day 2
Fernpass to Landeck
37 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 740m/2427ft.

Today’s ride, probably the toughest of the trip, is a wonderful introduction to the area and takes in Fernpass, the castle of Fernstein and Lake Schanz, one of the most beautiful and breathtaking Alpine lakes of the Außerfern region. This is our only real off road section of the trip, with the remaining time spent on cycle paths and quiet minor roads. The morning will be a varied affair of forest trails, undulating dirt roads and a short but tricky descent, before an easy off road stretch as we come into Nassereith. For those not familiar with off road riding, we will advise when it is best to walk with your bike for certain very short sections. Alternatively, this section may also be done entirely on road (although sometimes quite busy) and then we would all re-group at a café or bar.

A little further on and we’ll reach Imst an ancient little town beautifully situated on a terrace above the River Inn at the mouth of the Gurgl Valley. From here we’ll crisscross the ice blue River Inn over its many bridges, as we continue along the Via Claudia towards Landeck where we’ll stay for the evening.

Day 3
Landeck to Nauders
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,200m/3937ft.

We’ll continue once more through the Inn Valley with its meadows, fields of flowers and impressive mountains. Passing typical Austrian villages along the way, we’ll arrive at the famous Kajetansbrücke.

At Martina we’ll cross the Swiss border (don’t forget your passport today!), which is followed by another challenging climb. Once at the top however, we can just sit back, enjoy the mountain pastures before rolling down to Nauders (1400m/4593ft). Situated in the border triangle of Austria, Switzerland and Italy and surrounded by the Weisskugel it’s a lovely setting.

Time permitting, we’ll take a stroll through the quaint streets of this mountain town, taking in the atmosphere. It’s here that we’ll spend our final night in Austria.

Day 4
Nauders to Lagundo
53 Miles / 90 Kms approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner
  • Ascent: 260m/853ft.

Buon Giorno Italia. Following another hearty breakfast we’ll cycle up the last 108 metres to reach the Reschenpass (1508m/4947ft). Arriving in Italy, a breathtaking view will open up before us: the white peaks of Ortler (3905m/12811ft) and the blue Lake Reschen, an artificial lake with a capacity of 120 million cubic meters created by the Montecatini company (now Edison Energia) in 1940. Now, in winter, when the lake freezes, the tower of the main church is reachable by foot. Legend has it that during the winter one can still hear church bells ring.

Enjoying the landscape we’ll take a fast downhill into the Vinschgau Valley. Stretching from the Reschen Pass to Kastelbell/Tschars and bordering with Switzerland and Austria, it’s a beautiful valley of sparkling lush meadows, gigantic glaciers and glittering lakes. Our path heads now through apple plantations and from here we’ll see the castle Juval belonging to the famous Alpine climber Reinhold Messner.

Our final destination today is usually Lagundo, situated at the entrance of the Vinschgau Valley. This is a lovely place, with small lanes, historic buildings, typical Tyrolean Wine Taverns (Buschenschanken) and cafés with sun terraces just perfect for a post-ride drink and a spot of exploring! Alternatively, dependant on accommodation availability, tonight may be spent in one of the small villages nearby.

Day 5
Lagundo to Adige Valley
40 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 600m/1968ft.

Our first port of call is the ‘Jewel of South Tyrol’ Merano (324m/1062ft). Merano is situated in a beautiful setting where the three valleys of Vinschgau, Etsch and Passier come together. This unusual geographical location where the town is sheltered to the north and east by high mountain ranges is the reason for its mild Mediterranean climate and enables a wide variety of colourful, Mediterranean and sub-tropical plants to thrive.

From here we’ll continue our way through more apple plantations and vineyards; taking in superb panoramic views, small villages with market squares and historical sites along the way. Before arriving at our destination, we’ll visit the small Roman chapel of St. Jakob in Kastelaz, in Tramin. The chapel houses the oldest Romanic frescos in this part of Italy and is well worth a few minutes of your time. This part of Italy is German speaking, with the famous Gewürtzraminer white and Kalterer See red wines originating here and you’ll be able to taste some of the local wines at dinner.

Day 6
Adige Valley to Trento
25 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 250m/820ft.

You will have noticed the mountains have now become rougher on the side of the Etsch Valley as we continue towards Trento. With the terrain very easy going now and you well into your stride, we’ll cover the distance quickly and should arrive around lunchtime.

Positioned in a wide glacial valley, where the Fersina and Avisio rivers join the Adige (the second longest in Italy) and surrounded by mountains, including the Vigolana (2,150m/7053ft) and the Monte Bondone (2,181m/7155ft) Trento is spectacularly placed. This is a bustling city bursting with Italian flair, with gelaterias, cappuccino bars and trendy boutiques all ready to lure a few Euros from your grasp. With this in mind, the afternoon is yours to do as you please.

Day 7
Trento to Lake Garda (Lago di Garda)
40 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,200m/3937ft.

Our final challenge lies ahead in the form of a ‘cheeky climb’ to Candriai from where we’ll roll down into the Mediterranean Sarca Valley. From here on in the route is relatively flat as we switch between quiet lanes and cycle paths alongside the River Sarca as we eat up the distance.

Along the way we’ll enjoy a fantastic landscape including glimpses of our final destination Lake Garda (Lago di Garda). Mid afternoon and congratulations are in order. Over the last six days you’ll have covered around 385kms/239 miles from Austria to Italy (plus a few minutes in Switzerland).

Time to celebrate with a few bottles of the fizzy stuff and another delicious dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 8
Departure from Lake Garda - Transfer to Verona Airport
  • Meals: Breakfast

With bikes packed the previous night we’ll have time for breakfast before heading to Italy’s Verona Airport (VRN) for flights home (transfer approx. 1 hour).

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The Cycling

Terrain

Designed to retrace the steps of the ancient Roman route across the Alps, most of the Via Claudia follows quiet cycle paths and country lanes. The paths run along Alpine valleys, alongside rivers and apple plantations. There are three important passes to cross, which will require a bit more effort than the rest of the route. Fernpass, has some off-road forest tracks with moderate climbs. The second is on the border between Switzerland, Austria and Italy, the challenge for the week: 800m/2624ft over 8km/5miles on a dirt road winding up and away into Austria. The last pass is in Italy, but you can take the chairlift to gain the 500m/1640ft, from where there’s just another 100m/328ft to climb on tarmac, and then a descent towards Lake Garda.

picturesque-leisurely-guided-cycling-italy.jpg

Leisure Cycling Grade

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

Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips

Suitable for the leisure cyclist who rides frequently, and who’s comfortable with some moderately challenging climbs

Some of the terrain may vary, potentially including sections of uneven or unpaved ground

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?

Trips that are graded as a 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips. These tours are suitable for those who keep themselves relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on the bikes at the weekend. Your preference may be for flatter terrain, but you don’t mind tackling some hills, the occasional steep climb and some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc.). It might be however that on some days the distances will be longer than a standard grade 3 trip, or some of the climbs may be quite challenging. You may also require some previous experience of tackling some uneven / unpaved ground to comfortably and safely ride certain sections of the route.

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Cycling towards Lake Garda I felt a huge sense of achievement. It is genuinely hard to believe that I managed it and really enjoyed it at the same time. For me, none of it would have been possible without your company and your guides.

Clare, UK

Dates & Prices

*

Late Availability

We want you to know which tours are coming up soon, so you don’t miss out! If a trip has this symbol beside it, it means you don’t have long to snap up your place.

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
* 03/07/2021
Guaranteed
Return Date
10/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
* 31/07/2021
Guaranteed
Return Date
07/08/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,205.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in 3* hotels and guesthouses

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 Munich airport (MUC)

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) Travel insurance

D) Single room (available if required, on request)

E) Meals not stated in the itinerary

F) Personal clothing and equipment

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

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 cycling holiday. You’ll need to arrive into Munich (MUC) and depart from Verona (VRN), according to the following schedules: Arrive into Munich airport before 10.00, for a 10.30 transfer. You will arrive into Verona airport for flights home at 14.50. Most flights from North America require overnight travel, and a stop over in an intermediary airport, with Norwegian combining with another airline being a common combination for this trip. Please note that flying from North America may involve multiple travel days. Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your trip.

Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your cycling 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 strong Germanic influence on the region is expressed in the Tyrol-style housing and accommodation, from the murals on the facade of the building to the wooden balconies and interior design. The majority of our accommodation (shared twin, double or family rooms) will usually be ensuite in 3* hotels or guesthouses. Please note that the hotels in Austria do not have twin rooms with separate beds available. They usually provide 1 bed frame with two mattresses and separate duvets and sheets. Please bear this in mind if travelling alone and opting to share a twin room with another solo traveller

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are typically Cube Aim or Scott Aspect mountain bikes (or equivalent). We can provide a helmet locally on request, please let us know if you’d like to hire when you make your booking.

Your guides will be carrying everything you’ll need for the day’s ride, including all necessary spares. Please bring along a rucksack and / or Camelbak, as panniers won’t be provided.

We have electric bikes available to hire on request. It may take us a day or so to confirm availability so please let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to take this option.

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News, Reviews & Stories

Customer Story: La Via Claudia

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