Road Bike Travel
Biking the Heart of Veneto: Prosecco to the Dolomites
- Explore the Prosecco region of northern Italy, discovering the steep cycling roads and hillside vineyards, and the coveted sparkling wine they produce
- Bicycle over breathtaking Dolomite mountain passes, enjoying fabulous ascents and jagged Dolomitic peaks followed by descents into beautiful valleys
- Explore Cortina d’Ampezzo and gaze upon the Tre Cime di Lavaredo – a true highlight of the Dolomites
- Visit one of Palladio’s most famous villas, the Villa di Maser, and behold the stunning frescos created by Veronese
From the foothills of the Dolomites, to the Dolomite Mountains themselves, this itinerary offers a beautiful, challenging landscape to cycle through, combined with incredible wines and cuisine along the way!
Beginning in the Prosecco region of the Veneto, you’ll ride over the foothills, or prealpi, set half-way between Venice and the Dolomites. Covered with grapevines, destined to produce the liquid gold we so lovingly call Prosecco, the breathtaking vistas perfectly complement the gorgeous wines produced here. Elevations ranging from 50 and 500 meters (150-1,500') create steep sunny hillsides that have been covered with vines for generations. This verticality makes the area difficult to cultivate, much less for the vintners to stand on the hillside as they tend their grapes, but are perfect for cyclists looking for a challenge!
The entire Prosecco region is full of charm and atmosphere. Historical and artistic attractions abound, from a 12th century abbey, to Palladian Villas from the 16th century, to historic and contemporary wineries that produce Prosecco. What’s more, you’ll find exalted Michelin-star-rated restaurants that will amply complement the refined taste of the most renowned Proseccos available. And the entire region, with its exciting views and its natural beauty, is perfect for cycling! Truly, the magnificence of the sparkling wine produced here mirrors the loveliness of the landscape, and is amply celebrated with the pop of a cork each day.
Next you’ll discover why cycling is one of the best ways to explore the Dolomite Mountains. As you ride, the spikey peaks and deep valleys of these mountains appear to open up right before your eyes. Each pass you summit, and each valley you descend into, will help you begin to grasp its scale of the Dolomites, as you watch the landscape change around every corner. You’ll ride the famous Passo San Boldo, the windy “Road of the 100 Days” created during World War I, and gaze upon Tre Cime di Lavaredo, world renowned, and certainly the most recognizable mountain in the Dolomites. What’s more, you’ll experience a melding of cultures, where Italian gives way to Austrian influences, and the native Ladin is still an official language. The diverse cultures, proximity to the sea, and a focus on local produce leads to incredible cuisine, ranging from branzino to venison, delicate pastas to hearty stews, plus traditional cured meats and cheeses – truly unique and exquisite mountain fare!
After touring the Dolomites, you’ll retrace your steps, descending through the foothills of the Veneto region, back to Prosecco. Throughout your journey, not only will you relish riding through breathtaking surroundings each day, but also the different cultures, the different villages, the changing geography and geology. Enjoy the luxurious bike-friendly hotels… luxuriate in a spa after a long ride… take in the true delights of traditional cuisine and regional wines… you earned it after all! You’ll soon see why bicycle is the ideal vehicle to savor the atmosphere and the reality of northern Italy.
Ride Dolomites foothills and high passess, exploring from the Prosecco region to Cortina d’Ampezzo on this moderate to challenging road bike trip! You’ll explore the Veneto region of northern Italy, experiencing winding roads built during WWI, and sampling the fine sparkling wines produced here.
Day 1 – Arrival
Arriveat Venice’s Marco Polo International Airport (VCE), and enjoy a private transfer to the Prosecco region (1 hour), and check in to your hotel in Follina.
Situated on the “Strada del Prosecco” (the Prosecco wine route), Follina is a picturesque village with ancient origins, immersed in the lush green landscape of Veneto's “pre-Alps” (foothills). This small community is situated in the foothills of the Treviagian Alps, halfway between Valdobbiadene and Vittorio Veneto. The town was developed in the 12th century by a group of Cistercian monks, who used the abundant water supply of the area to establish a flourishing industry in woolen goods. Today, the town is an important cultural center, composed of seventeenth century palazzi (palaces), as well as being a hub of industry and craftsmanship, resulting from the buoyant hotel trade.
Option for a warm up ride in the surrounding area, riding the beautiful Pre-Alpine hills around Treviso. Additional option to visit the Prosecco vineyards of Valdobbiadene, and taste this delicious and famous Italian sparkling wine.
D… Hotel in Follina
Day 2 ~ The Prosecco Wine Road
In the morning, meet your bike guide for a trip briefing and orientation.
After a hearty breakfast, start for your beautiful cycling day along the Strada del Prosecco – the most sought-after of all the Italian wine routes. The golden nectar produced here is tended and cherished among the rolling hills that border Treviso. The panorama that opens up between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene is breathtaking: moving up from the plains, you can make out the grandeur of the Dolomite Mountains, catch a glimpse of the solemnity of the ancient castles scattered about, breathe in the spiritual peace of the churches and abbeys or admire the splendour of the noble villas and mansions.
Along your ride, you will have a chance to visit the old town of Asolo, the town of the 100 horizons: be sure to choose your favorite horizon! This attractive walled town of Asolo is in a picturesque setting in the lower forested foothills of the Dolomite Mountains and listed as one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. A bit further north, on a hilltop in Possagno you will see the Tempio Canoviano, or Temple of Canova. This Roman Catholic parish church was built in a severe Neoclassical style, based on the designs of Antonio Canova. Last but not least, visit Villa Barbaro in the village of Maser, just east of Asolo. Also referred to as the also referred to as the Villa di Maser, this villa was built for Daniele Barbaro, Patriarch of Aquileia, and his brother Marcantonio Barbaro, an ambassador of the Venetian Republic. It is the masterpiece of the Rennaissance architect Andrea Palladio.
(Bicycle ~98km / 60.8 miles, 1,450m / 4,757' elevation change.)
B,D… Hotel in Follina
Day 3 ~ Giro del Cansiglio
Today takes you on a beautiful loop through the woods in the pre-alpi, or foothills, of the Dolomite Mountains – the Giro del Cansiglio. While marvelous at any time of year, this circuit is simply spectacular in the fall when the colors arrive!
Begin cyclingfrom your hotel and ride to Passo Rolle, passing by the Grotte Caglieron before you reach the Cansiglio forest. Once called “Bosco del dogi,” it was a timber reserve for the dockyard of the Serenissima fleet of Venice. Today it’s a basin-shaped karst plateau attracts tourists thanks to its large forest, the second largest in Italy, surrounded by lush green meadows and malghe or traditional shepherd’s huts. In this forest, you’ll find beeches, European silver firs, larch, and birches, among which many animal species hide.
Continue your biking day, riding west to Lago Santa Croce. Here the light breeze that blows constantly is perfect for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing. Thanks to the lake and the wind, many events are held here, drawing a lot of water sport lovers from all over Europe. Return by bike to Follina.
(Bicycle ~98km / 60.8 miles, 2,210m / 7,251' elevation change.)
B,D… Hotel in Follina
Day 4 ~ Bike to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Dolomites
Today you’ll depart the Prosecco region, and bike up into the Dolomite Mountains!
From Follina, bike up to Passo San Boldo (706m / 2,316'). Known as “The Road of the 100 Days”, the road on the pass was built in 100 days in the Spring of 1918, during WWI. After the pass, continue to Belluno and stop for a drink in the main square. Belluno is the most important city in the Eastern Dolomites Veneto region. Bike to Ponte nelle Alpi and Pieve di Cadore, and on to Cortina d’Ampezzo (1,224m / 4,016').
(Bicycle ~120km / 74.5 miles, 2,400m / 7,874' elevation change.)
Cortina d’Ampezzo is a charming alpine resort town surrounded by stunning peaks, uniquely sheltered from the cold winds of the north, giving it a pleasantly mild climate that tourists can enjoy year-round. Host to the 1956 Winter Olympics, Cortina enjoys a reputation for great skiing in winter, and in the summer attracts hikers and climbers who challenge the rocky faces of the nearby mountains. This chic Venetian town also caters to the high society crowd, offering many year-round social activities, shopping, and fine dining.
B… Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Day 5 ~ Loop Around Cortina
Depart from Cortina d’Ampezzo and bike on the road up to Misurina, passing by Passo Tre Croci (1,805m / 5,922') and the famous Lago di Misurina (Misurna Lake). Ascend to Rifugio Auronzo (2,320m / 7,611'), at the foot of the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo. From here, descend back through Misurna, and bike up to Passo di Sant’Antonio (1,476m / 4,842'), followed by a short descent to Padola, a cozy alpine town in the heart of the Cadore area. Challenge Passo Monte Croce (1,636m / 5,367') and descend to Dobbiaco in Alta Val Pusteria. From here, you’ll ride on mostly flat terrain back to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
(Bicycle ~100km / 62.2 miles, 1,700m / 5,577.5' elevation change.)
B… Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Day 6 ~ Return to Follina
In the morning, take a private transfer to Agordo and from here bike towards the Valle del Mis. This valley represents one of the main entrances to the natural reserve Parco delle Dolomiti Bellunesi. On one side there is a river and an artificial lake, both of which take the name of the valley; on the other side are the peaks of the Monti del Sole Group, which create a sort of wall between this territory and the neighboring valley of Agordo. Bike up to Passo San Boldo again, and enjoy your final descent, complete with tunnels and ample switchbacks, returning to Follina.
Enjoy a special dinner tonight in a Michelin star-rated restaurant.
(Bicycle ~70km / 43.4 miles, 1,000m / 3,281' elevation change.)
B,D… Hotel in Follina
Day 7 ~ Depart
After breakfast, departure with a private transfer to the Venice airport.
EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE!
You've come all this way, why not stay a little longer? Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, Florence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!
Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, fitness levels and abilities of participants, and/or the recommendations of your guide.