Italian Alps cycling tour

Lago di Fedaia and cycling in the Italian Dolomites

Tour Description

Welcome to the roads of cycling legends! This cycling tour will take you through the Veneto Prosecco wine region, up and over the epic Dolomites and Stelvio National Parks before finishing on the beautiful shores of Lake Como. This tour is perfect for cyclists who would like to challenge themselves on some of Europe´s biggest climbs. You will enjoy amazing bucket list climbs, such as, Sella Ronda (Pordoi, Sella, Gardena & Campolongo), Passo Giau, Passo Falzarego, Passo Fedaia, Passo dello Stelvio, Passo Gavia and Passo Mortirolo!

The tour has also been designed to give you the time to relax and enjoy northern Italy. With multiple nights in Valdobbiadene, Arabba, Bormio and Bellagio there will be many opportunities to soak up the Italian summer and explore this beautiful part of the world at a leisurely pace.

As a special treat escapes to tackle Monte Grappa, Monte Cesen, Passo San Boldo, Passo Ghisallo and the Sormano wall also await. From the mythical Giro d’Italia roads to the race defining climbs from Giro di Lombardia this tour has it all!

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Daily Tour Overview

Day 1 – Venice to Valdobbiadene (Prosecco)

This morning we collect you from Venice. For those looking for a challenge on a classic Giro d´Italia climb then look no further than Monte Grappa. For Italian cyclists, riding Grappa is a tradition and for many just as important as the Stelvio Pass. It is the location where the Italian troops held back the constant attacks of the Austro-Hungarian and German armies during WWI and where the famous motto “You Shall Not Pass Here” was born.

The climb rises out of the Veneto plain and measures 27km at an average gradient of 6%. The Giro d’Italia has visited Monte Grappa (1775m) on 6 occasions and was last used during Stage 20 of the 2017 edition. Hosting the penultimate stage of ‘Giro 100’ is saying something about its national importance. At our accommodation we will go through a tour briefing and welcome dinner with the guides. Some epic cycling awaits!

Distance: 90km / Meals: Dinner Included / Sleep: Valdobbiadene

Day 2 – Prosecco wine road to Monte Cesen

Today you will cycle a brilliant loop through the rolling hills of the Prosecco and Cartize wine area. Following the landscapes of Italy’s prized sparkling wine will be a major highlight. For those looking for a challenge then Monte Cesen which soars above Valdobbiadene, capital of Prosecco wine region, will break up this vineyard spin. The 18km climb at 7% average takes you up through the forest before passing the treeline and presenting its expansive views over the Veneto valley. This is a perfectly designed route to get your legs ready for the Dolomites which are fast approaching!

Travel is all about combining great food and wine and tonight we would like to invite you to our favourite agriturismo restaurant in the region accompanied with a crisp glass of delicious Prosecco!

Distance: 85km / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner Included / Sleep: Valdobbiadene

Day 3 – The limestone Dolomites peaks

Riding from the hotel and you encounter some stunning scenery on the Passo San Boldo climb. The road near the summit includes a series of five switchback tunnels carved into the rock!  The 6km climb at 7.5% average was last contested during Stage 19 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia which an emotional Esteban Chaves went on to win! Rolling across the top of the plateau offers incredible views to the distant Dolomites. Is that snow we often get asked? No, there you have the limestone peaks of the soaring Dolomites!

After a coffee stop the cycling continues along the edge of ‘Lago del Mis’ and this valley ride hugs the edge of this beautiful lake! There are two short climbs following quiet backroads still to navigate before a well earnt lunch stop. From here you can choose your own story! Take the support van through to the hotel and be rested for tomorrow’s Sella Ronda stage or cycle through to the hotel in the heart of the Dolomites National Park.

Distance: 70 or 100km / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Arabba

Day 4 – Ride the 4 x Sella Ronda peaks

One of the world´s most iconic cycling routes is on offer today: the Sella Ronda loop!! The Sella Ronda is a must for any cyclist who visits the towering Dolomites mountain region. There are 4 steps to become a member of the Sella Ronda club: Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena and Passo Campolongo. The views of the jagged limestone peaks, pine forests, alpine meadows and winding roads will be etched into your memory for a lifetime!

Don´t let the relatively low kilometre count trick you today as each pass goes accumulating elevation, almost 1850m of elevation gain! We often find that Day 4 can be difficult for some on tour so the Sella loop will provide excellent motivation and also the chance for an early ride finish and afternoon of important recovery.

Distance: 60km / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Arabba

Day 5 – Passo Giau and its southern ascent

Our base in Arabba allows the perfect chance to enter deeper into the heart of the national park for another classic Dolomites loop ride. For all the Giro d’Italia tragics out there you would have heard about the southern approach of Passo Giau! For most cyclists who have travelled Italy in and out ‘Passo Giau South’ will be in their top 10 climbs. This beauty measures 9.5km and the 9.4% average grade takes you up to 2236 metres elevation. A little like Alpe d´Huez in the French Alpes, Km 1 of this pass is its toughest with ramps constantly reading 10-12%. At the summit you will be in awe of the seemingly sculptured mountain peaks surrounding you (Nuvolau, Lastoni del Formin, Cernera, Croda da Lago and Tofane). This could well be your most scenic coffee stop yet!

From Giau the ride continues with a 17km descent which glides all its way towards Cortina d’Ampezzo. The road winds its way through fields filled with grazing cows and the 6-8% grades make it much friendlier than the torturous southern approach. In combination with its fascinating landscape Giau is also connected with Passo Falzarego which will bring today’s route back towards our hotel.

Distance: 90km / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Arabba

Day 6 – La Marmolada glacier & Fedaia Pass

After five consecutive days on the bikes feel free to enjoy a sleep in and long breakfast before a 45 minute drive to Canzei to meet up with the cycling group for lunch. For those keen to ride some more there will be a morning expedition to climb Passo Fedaia. ‘Fedaia’ is a classic climb and it was last used during the queen Stage 14 of the 2018 Giro d’Italia. To make things really interesting we hope to ride through the Sottoguda canyon at the base of the eastern Fedaia ascent but this will depend if the road is open to cyclists or not. Either way there will be a 14km climb up to the majestic Fedaia lakes which were used as the backdrop to the ‘Italian Job’ movie. A fast descent down to Canazei for lunch before a 2hr van transfer to near the base of the Stelvio Pass. Yes, the Stelvio Pass! Tomorrow is a big day visiting His Majesty so we all need to make sure we are in good condition to give it our all.

Distance: Rest Day or 45km / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Silandro

Day 7 – His Majesty the Stelvio Pass

From Silandro you will ride from the hotel along the bike path to the base of the Stelvio Pass. Past guests have found this 20km through the apple orchards and woodlands as a welcome warm-up. Now you will need to be ready to climb the mythical Stelvio north side with its 48 hairpin bends that rise up and up for 25km and which gain 1840 metres of elevation. Passo Stelvio (2758m) is the highest asphalted mountain pass in the Eastern Alpes, second only to Col de l’Iseran (2770m) in the French Alpes in elevation and with more than twice the number of switchbacks as the famous Alpe d’Huez. The climb is epic in every sense of the definition. At the top you can take a bow to his majesty the Stelvio Pass. Your sense of achievement will be at an all time high!

When it comes to Giro d’Italia history the Stelvio Pass has been contested on 12 occasions. It first appeared in 1953 when during the penultimate stage the Italian legend Fausto Coppi attacked on the Stelvio Pass to take the lead and secure victory in Bormio. This guy Coppi was pretty good right! This would be his fifth and final Giro title and all thanks to the Stelvio.

Distance: 60 or 80km / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner Included / Sleep: Bormio

Day 8 – Giro magic on ‘Gavia’ & ‘Cancano’

Like the Stelvio Pass, Passo di Gavia (2621m) also rises out of the Bormio sport village. This is just another mythical climb that has crowned many modern-day Giro d´Italia winners! ´Gavia´ with its 1400 metres elevation gain over 25km leaves one short of breath (5.5% average grade). From Bormio the climb begins as a major road accessing ski villages which then changes in a blink of an eye to a narrow remote mountain road which passes eerily through forest and later up into a barren glacier field. The ‘real’ Gavia road begins at Km12.5 with the first right hand switchback out of Santa Caterina ski village. We guarantee that you´ll never forget its tight switchbacks and steep ramps!

As we ride back into Bormio you can either have the guides drop you off at the hotel door or continue for an optional 10km climb up to the 2020 Giro Stage 18 summit finish on Laghi di Cancano. The first half of the climb scales the side of the valley before the final section converts into a series of curving switchbacks. At the 8km mark you pass the two medieval towers (Torri di Friale) and push on to the rifugio and the spectacular views over the lake.

Distance: 75 or 125km / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Bormio

Day 9 – Mortirolo/Pantani go hand in hand

The Stelvio and Gavia are two major cycling feats, so this morning some guests might prefer to sleep in and spend the morning exploring the Bormio village. In regards to cycling though there are always plenty of options around Bormio but the plan is to initiate those who are keen on the Mortirolo climb!

A road that was always a secondary mountain route became asphalted in 1990 and a new page in the Giro history books was opened. In those 30 years there have been as many as 14 Giro crossings and names such as Marco Pantani, Ivan Basso, Steven Kruiswijk and Luis Leon Sanchez have all lead the peloton over this 1851m elevation summit. It will be a great chance for everyone to test themselves on an authentic Italian wall. Post-ride there will be a 2hr transfer for everyone to Lake Como and our postcard perfect base for the final two nights.

Distance: Rest Day or 100km / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Bellagio

Day 10 – The cycling ‘walls’ of Lombardia

This morning the tour concludes with a classic cycling loop from Bellagio. Bellagio is considered to be the pearl of Lake Como. The grand finale concludes on the ´Ghisallo´ and ‘Sormano’ climbs which are used during the Giro di Lombardia professional race (5th cycling monument race alongside Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege). It is a wonderful experience arriving at Piazzale del Ghisallo with the church dedicated to cyclists and the new cycling museum. We will finish descending to our hotel for the final celebration with spectacular Lake Como views!

Distance: 55km / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner Included / Sleep: Bellagio

Day 11 – Arrivederci from Milan

Following breakfast we will transfer you to Milan Malpensa Airport. If you would like to spend additional days relaxing and enjoying the Lake Como area please feel free to ask us for more information. We hope you have enjoyed your ‘Dolomiti’ cycling experience and we look forward to seeing you again in the near future!

Meals: Breakfast included


Dates & Prices

Dates2021 dates subject to Covid-19
Duration10 nights / 11 days
Price (per person)4250€ (twin share)
Bike Hire350€
Single Room Supplement850€

5% Discount for Groups of 4 or more!

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Client Reviews (Dolomites)

Grant (Terang, VIC, Australia)

The experience, enthusiasm and expertise from Sierra Sports was obvious from the moment I was collected in Venice. Sierra Sports is a very professional outfit. The hire bikes to the accommodation and meals were better than I could have asked for. I am so glad I decided to ride the Dolomites with Sierra Sports & Tours. I do intend riding on your TDF tour next year.

Judy (Melbourne, VIC, Australia)

Hi Paul, We would like to thank you for a wonderful Stelvio tour. We couldn´t fault your attention to detail. We were made to feel very welcome and treated to some amazing experiences. Every day is etched into our minds.

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