Day 1: Arrival at the Lake Reschen
In glorious sunshine, my husband and I arrived in Reschen am See, a village of 900 people living just over the Austrian-Italian border. We stayed in Eurobike partner hotel Alpenhotel Panorama. The owner Toni was waiting for us and greeted us warmly with a home-made schnapps! 😊 After we unloaded our things into our very bright and spacious room, we took in the wonderful view. Shortly after we made our way to the sunken steeple of Graun. Definitely worth seeing if you are travelling in the area! For dinner we ate at the “Schwarzer Adler”, a good restaurant with excellent South Tyrolean cuisine in the centre of the town.
Day 2: Lake Reschen – Merano
After a hearty breakfast we received tour information, important tips and our rental bikes from our station manager. Although it was sunny, the temperatures were fresh, so we had packed some warm clothes. As we cycled along the deep blue Lake Reschen we had to overcome a few small inclines, but they were effortless and totally manageable. We continued to the Haidersee and the village of St. Valentin. From Burgeis the Adige was our constant companion. We travelled pleasantly downriver and with each meter towards Merano it became noticeably warmer. Past the villages of Mals, Latsch and Lass, we headed on to Schlanders, the capital of the Vinschgau. Normally, this marks the end of the first stage of the cycle tour.
However, due to time constraints, we combined the first two stages. So after a short refreshment, we made our way to Merano. The Adige cycle path runs through orchards and tranquil villages such as Kastelbell and Naturno. Further along the river you have a wonderful view of the city and the Merano Oberland, just before the final destination. After a long descent, and about 90km of cycling, we arrived in the Mediterranean spa town. Our hotel, the newly renovated Hotel Flora, is located right on the Passer River and was easy to find. In the somewhat hidden restaurant Laubenkeller we ate a well-deserved meal of traditional specialties.
Day 3: Merano – Bolzano
On this stage there are two ways to cycle to Bolzano. Either further downstream along the Adige, or a more scenic route over Lana. We opted for the latter. Shortly after Merano we followed the cycle route to Lana. The beginning of the cycle path lies next to a busy road and required a little more careful navigation. But with our Eurobike app it was easy to find the right way. Then we travelled through orchards as far as the eye can see. Some farmers were busy harvesting as we cycled by. The track was consistently flat to Nals, followed by a short climb in Andriano. Then it went back downhill and back on the Adige cycle path. After a few kilometres we could see Sigmundskron Castle, which towers over Bolzano.
We cycled around 8 kilometres on the very well developed cycle path to the centre of Bolzano. From Waltherplatz we pushed our bikes, as it proved difficult to cycle through the crowded centre. This town is popular during the week, with visitors flocking to the old town. We reached our hotel, Scala Stiegl, quickly – a 4 star hotel, located in the centre and with a historical flair. In the evening we explored the old town and noticed people were speaking more and more Italian – compared to the earlier German. For dinner we went to the recommended restaurant Fink to eat pizza.
Day 4: Bolzano – Trento
Today was the second longest stage of our bike tour, with 70 kilometres ahead of us. How could we possibly do anything else but cycle south along the Adige? The route was only on cycle paths and consistently flat. Vineyards and orchards dominated the landscape. As it continued straight, we could really enjoy the beautiful scenery. The climate grew milder. We were wearing our shorts and t-shirts – a stark contrast to the first day where we wore scarfs and thick jackets. The weather was just fantastic! Soon we left German-speaking South Tyrol behind and arrived in the Italian speaking Trentino.
For lunch we ate in the restaurant La Cacciatora, which is situated directly on the Adige cycle path and serves a delicious choice of pasta. Back on the cycle path, we left the river just before Trento to avoid a nature reserve. From there it was only a few kilometres to the cultural city of Treno. We stayed in the stylish NH Hotel, which is located in a newly built neighbourhood. In the evening we walked to the old town, which impressed us with its cathedral and palace. It was clear we had now arrived in ‘real’ Italy. Our evening was spent enjoying restaurant Everest!
Day 5: Trento – Torbole
It’s hard to believe, but this was the last stage of our trip. The track was a bit hillier than previous days. First we went back onto the Adige cycle path and through the charming town of Rovereto. Then we left the river to go towards Lake Garda. We cycled through the beautiful little village of Mori and stopped at the ice cream parlour Bologna to taste the well-known pistachio ice cream. Without exaggerating, this was probably the best ice cream I have ever eaten. Simply delicious! So we picked up another ice cream and lingered on the sun terrace. Finally, we continued towards Lake Garda. Shortly before Torbole came the biggest climb of the tour – about 100 vertical metres.
But then came the highlight of the trip – the fantastic view over Lake Garda! This view definitely compensated for the effort expended during the trip! The grand finale was followed by a long descent to Torbole sul Garda. After our arrival in the hotel Caravel, which was easy to find, we walked along the waterfront to Riva in the late afternoon sun. We took the ship back. At the end of our cycle tour we enjoyed a fish platter and a glass of Vino Bianco in restaurant Geier, which is right on the lake. We reminisced about the beautiful experiences of the last days.
Day 6: Departure day
On the last morning our colleague Andrea, the guest supervisor on site, picked us up punctually. We went back to Reschen, where our cycle tour started five days previously. On the way we passed some of the places we had cycled through. So we were able to see them from a different perspective and the lovely memories came back quickly.