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Italy

La Via Claudia

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,390 P.P.

E-BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE

This holiday is well-suited to both regular bikes and pedal assist e-bikes, and you can choose to hire either when you book your holiday with us. Confident cyclists will enjoy the boost from a battery for those cheeky climbs, and with less effort required on the bike, you’ll have more energy at the end of the day for off-the-bike activities.

 

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An easy-paced cycling holiday in Italy, ideal for those wishing to experience the beauty of the Alps and Italy in style. 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.
Your journey begins at Lake Resia, famous for its submerged church, showing only the church tower. From here, your ride will continue via apple plantations, vineyards and historic castles, with plenty of time during the week to sample the food and wines for which the region is famous!
Riding south, you'll enter the Etsch Valley which will lead you straight into the bustling city of Trento, where you can spend an afternoon soaking up the trendy Italian atmosphere in the numerous gelaterias and capuccino bars. You'll leave the Alps and enter the lower hills of the Valpolicella and on to Verona, your destination for the week. Verona has always been the center of the trading routes since Roman times and, like in old times, an ideal stop to enjoy the delights that the city of Romeo and Juliet has to offer.
The Via Claudia was 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 cycling route, along secondary roads, narrow country lanes and cycle paths, and the navigation app will allow you to navigate the day's rides with ease.
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Highlights

  • Waking up to beautiful views of the snow-capped Alps
  • Cycling beside the vivid blue waters of the River Etsch
  • Absorbing the history of an ancient trade route, all by bike
  • Exploring Merano – The Jewel of South Tyrol
  • Wine tasting in Caldaro, part of the Strade del Vino
  • Enjoying an apperitivo in Piazza Arena in Verona

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Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and I would highly recommend it!

Donald, Hampshire, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Verona Airport - Transfer to Verona City

Following your arrival into Verona airport (VRN), we’ll transfer you to Verona, where you can settle into your accommodation. The afternoon is dedicated to meeting Elisa and her team, who will fit you to your rental bikes and chat to you about the week of cycling ahead. You’ll then have your evening free to enjoy Verona.

Day 2
Transfer to Lake Resia - Ride to Silandro
29 Miles / 47 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 200 Metres Approx.

Following an early breakfast, you’ll set off for the transfer to Lake Resia (around 3.5 hours) not far from the Austrian border. Here you will be dropped off at the stunning blue Lake Reschen, surrounded by stunning views and the white peaks of Ortler (3905m/12811ft). The building of this lake caused 163 homes and 523 hectares (1,290 acres) of cultivated land to be submerged. Now, when the lake freezes in winter, the tower of the main church is accessible by foot. Legend has it that during the winter one can still hear church bells ring!

Enjoying the landscape you’ll take a fast downhill into the Vinschgau Valley; stretching from the Reschen Pass to Kastelbell/Tschars, and bordering Switzerland and Austria, it’s a beautiful valley of sparkling lush meadows, gigantic glaciers and glittering lakes. The Via Claudia route takes you via the charming village of Glorenza and Prato allo Stelvio, right on the foot of the famous Stelvio.

Your final destination today is Silandro. A stunning location, with small lanes, historic buildings, typical Tyrolean Wine Taverns (Buschenschanken) and cafes with sun terraces just perfect for a post ride tipple.

Day 3
Silandro to Merano
22 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 100 Metres Approx.

Setting off from Silandro you will re-join the cycle path, heading now through apple plantations which supply many European markets. The cycle path will then follow the River Adige and with a gradual downhill bias, it’s time to sit back and relax in the saddle! From the valley you’ll be able to see castle Juval, which belongs to the famous Alpine climber Reinhold Messner.

Your last port of call today is a jewel of the South Tyrol; Merano. Merano is 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 climate and enables a wide variety of colourful, Mediterranean and sub-tropical plants to thrive. You’ll have plenty of time to explore Merano in the afternoon.

Day 4
Merano to Appiano
29 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 600 Metres Approx.

Leaving Merano, you’ll re-join the cycle path to then head off onto small country roads, riding through more apple plantations and vineyards, taking in superb panoramic views, small villages with market squares and historical sites along the way. Today you will tackle your first real climb, as you leave the Adige riverside near Bolzano and you gradually climb, on a cycle path, towards San Paolo and San Michele, small Tyrolean-style villages located on the terraced vineyard area of “La Strada del Vino”.

Before arriving at today’s destination, you can 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 Gewuerztraminer white wine originating here. Time to relax and recharge the batteries!

Day 5
Appiano to Trento
37 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 200 Metres Approx.

Today you’ll notice the mountains surrounding you have become rougher on the side of the Etsch Valley, as you continue towards Trento. With the terrain very easy going now, as you follow the River Adige, and with you well in your stride, you’ll cover the distance with ease.

Positioned in a wide glacial valley, where the Fersina and Avisio rivers join the Adige, 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. You’ll have the afternoon to explore Trento and its picturesque backstreets.

Day 6
Trento to Belluno Veronese
35 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 250 Metres Approx.

You’ll continue your journey south following the Adige cycle path, through the wide and open valley of plantations. Stopping in Rovereto (with plenty of time for Gelato!) you’ll continue on, heading south and following the Adige river once again. Along the way you’ll enjoy fantastic limestone landscapes towering high towards Mount Baldo.

Your destination for today is a homely agriturismo offering a warm welcome, cheering you on, on the last leg of your journey to Verona.

Day 7
Belluno Veronese to Verona
29 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 350 Metres Approx.

You are now in the city of Romeo and Juliet, with Renaissance palaces, the Roman arena and many cosy corners. Setting off from your accommodation, you’ll start today’s ride cycling south along the cycle path and, as you get closer to the Valpolicella region and the southern side of Lake Garda, the valley will narrow, mountain cliffs roaring vertically above you. A cheeky climb and descent into Rivoli Veronese will be a farewell to the mountains as the route again follows the Adige cycle path towards the lower plains of the Veronese, leading you into Bussolengo. This is an ideal stop for a rest before the last section into Verona.

You’ll have time to enjoy a stroll through this remarkable Renaissance city, recently named as a World Heritage Site; Verona has delighted painters, poets, travellers and celebrities for centuries. It is a work of art in itself: a fascinating crossroad of historical periods and cultures (both classical and Germanic), a blend of both Nordic and Mediterranean influences.

After settling into the hotel, you’ll have an evening to explore Verona and try out one of the many quality restaurants in town.

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

Ciao! Time to say goodbye and head to Verona airport for flights home. The transfer will take around 20 minutes.

If you would like a slightly longer trip, you could consider adding a stop over in Riva Del Garda (on the shores of Lake Garda).

Please note, there will be a cost of an extra day’s bike rental for both a standard or electric bike. Please let us know if you’d like to take this option!

Alternatively, if you wish to extend your trip to 12 days you can extend your ride all the way to Venice and Chioggia by joining up onto our Lake Garda to Venice trip. Please enquire for further details

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The Cycling

Terrain

Designed to retrace the steps of the ancient Roman route across the Alps, most of the riding of the Via Claudia follows quiet, mixed-use cycle paths (both cyclists and pedestrians) and quiet country roads.

The route will take you along Alpine valleys, with daily climbs averaging around 300m /985 ft, with a downward bias overall as you follow rivers towards the sea.

Only around 15% of the route sees you sharing the road with low levels of traffic, with some busier roads as you enter the towns of Merano, Trento and Verona.

A hybrid bike is recommended for this tour, but a gravel or e-bike would also be suitable. If you fancy a boost up some of the cheekier climbs, an e-bike will help make your trip even more leisurely. please click here

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2 : Gentle

Distances generally between 15-30 miles / 24-48 kms per day

For those looking for an easy-going route

Mainly on the flat

Some undulations and the odd cheeky challenge

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?

Maybe you have recently got into cycling and would like to do more over consecutive days, or maybe you‘re looking for a more energetic alternative to your usual vacation? If you’re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these trips might be for you. You’ll come across some gently undulating terrain and the odd cheeky challenge, so we’d generally expect those on a Grade 2 trip to ride their bikes relatively frequently at home, perhaps commuting to work or heading out for some leisurely rides at the weekend.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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Dates & Prices

Daily departures available. The season prices below are per person and are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.

2024 22 Apr – 30 Oct

Season 1 – $2390 22 Apr – 17 Jun and 04 Sep – 30 Oct

Season 2 – $2635 18 Jun – 03 Sep

2025 21 Apr – 29 Oct

Season 1 – $2520 21 Apr – 16 Jun and 03 Sep – 29 Oct

Season 2 – $2780 17 Jun – 02 Sep

If you‘re looking for a longer holiday, our Lake Garda to Venice route links into this tour perfectly; two self-guided tours of a similar grade that you‘re able to do back to back. Contact us if you’d like more info on this!

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a $250 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,390.00

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) Local representative (with bike delivery and welcome meeting)

D) Access to the navigation app for holiday information and navigation

E) Luggage transfers

F) Transfer on day 2 from Verona to Lake Resia

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

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

I) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

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

C) Single room (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Meals not stated in the itinerary

F) Personal clothing and equipment

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

H) Possible city tax to be paid in cash at each hotel (amount varies)

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

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. We ask that you fly into and back from Verona airport (VRN). Please aim to arrive between 09.00 and 16.00 and depart between 10.30 and 19.00.

If flying from the UK, often the BA flight from London Gatwick (and back with easyJet), and Jet2 flights from Manchester work well. Most flights from North America require overnight travel, and a stop over in an intermediary airport. Flying from North America may involve multiple travel days.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements.

Please note If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for your 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 or double rooms) will usually be en suite in 3* hotels or guesthouses. We also have an upgrade option available, which will see you staying in a mixture of both 3 and 4* hotels and guesthouses. Please select your preferred option at the time of booking.

Please note some hotels do not have twin rooms with separate beds available. Often a twin has 1 bed frame with two mattresses and separate duvets and sheets. Please bear this in mind if opting to share a twin room or let us know if you require two separate beds and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent.

These bikes are typically Velo de Ville hybrid/touring bikes. Depending on the size needed, the bikes may have a cross bar, or have a step through frame (usually the smaller models). If a smaller frame is required, occasionally a mountain bike with semi-slick tyres adapted for road use may also be provided.

E-bikes are available on request and it may take a day or two to confirm we have one available. Please request at the time of booking by selecting the e-bike supplement and we will confirm as soon as possible.

Rental bikes will be provided with a pannier rack and 1 bag, a tool kit, a spare inner tube, a bike lock, a bike pump and a phone mount.

We can provide a helmet locally if requested at the time of booking.

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News, Reviews & Stories

Why we love Italy!

Here are 7 things you'll only understand if you've cycled in Italy and why we're so eager for you to join us here...

Customer Story: La Via Claudia

David recently discovered the stunning scenery of La Via Claudia...

Reviews

1

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