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Blogger Ina en route from Bolzano to Venice

Between mountains, Lake Garda, cultural cities and the sea

Ina Ludwig from the travel blog "Sport, Tours & Travels“ inspires her community to be active and shares with us her impressions and experiences of her cycling holiday Bolzano – Venice. An unforgettable bike tour with a view of the Dolomites past wonderful vineyards, the largest thermal region in Europe and many other cultural sights to the Adriatic Sea:  

A year ago I went on an unforgettable cycling holiday on Majorca with Eurobike. This was my first longer cycling holiday – I enjoyed stunning scenery, picturesque towns and the sea.

My bike start from Bolzano to Trento

The cycle holiday started in Bolzano in the third week of June. I already knew the capital of South Tyrol because I often visit the beautiful mountain region. Bolzano can be reached quickly from Munich by car or train. This time I traveled by train. After the bike was handed over to me by the friendly employee at the Eurobike bike station in Bolzano, I cycled through the old town, along the Talferbach-stream and the river Adige and enjoyed the mountain view.

The first daily stage led from Bolzano to Trento. I rode mainly on the Adige cycle path and marvelled at the mountains, which were constantly changing their shape. Since it was very hot, I decided to make a detour to the idyllic Lake Kalterer See. There I spent an enjoyable hour on the shore and swam in the lake. I proceeded past many vineyards and picturesque places. I had lunch in a biker-restaurant located in front of a fabulous mountain backdrop. In the evening I visited the beautiful historic centre of Trento and ended the day with delicious food.

Lake Garda in sight

The next day I was headed towards Lake Garda. At first I leisurely cycled along the Adige cycle path, but shortly before Lake Garda I had to overcome a small pass with an altitude difference of 100 metres. I was richly rewarded for this with an enjoyable descent and fantastic views over the lake. I have been to the northern part of Lake Garda many times, but I did not know the southern half. I cycled along the shore through Torbole and Riva del Garda and enjoyed the Mediterranean flair – the turquoise blue water, the flowering plant world, the countless palm trees and the bright sunshine. I still had enough time for a spot of swimming and a visit to a restaurant. Then I continued by boat to Desenzano del Garda. During the five-hour journey, the ship stopped in many picturesque places such as Limone sul Garda, Gargnano and Malcesine – the views from the water were delightful. In the evening I visited the old town of Desenzano sul Garda.

From Desenzano del Garda to Verona and Vicenza

Before I left Lake Garda, I embarked on a small detour to the famous Castello Scaligero fortress in Sirmione and took a short swimming break at the beach. I reached Verona in the early afternoon and had plenty of time for the city tour. The most famous sights of the city are the Arena, the stone bridge Ponte Pietro and the Casa de Julieta. Before dinner I visited the Castel San Pietro, which is situated on a hill and offers a wonderful view of the city. At dinner I enjoyed the view onto the arena. The fourth stage of my cycling holiday was the most demanding route – I had to cover 70 kilometres with 600 metres in altitude difference.

I came across numerous wineries and picturesque places. The town most worth seeing was Soave, renowned for its wine and the medieval castle Castello Scaligero. After Vincenza I proceeded over the hills of Berici. I was compensated for the strenuous ascents with wonderful views and a fabulous descent. The big highlight here was the imposing Basilica of Santa Maria de Monte Berici – there you have a glorious view of the city. Vincenza is famous for its numerous buildings by the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. I was particularly impressed by the huge Piazza dei Signori and the small bridges decorated with flowers.

Verona Arena

From Vicenza to Padua and Venice

The fifth stage initially led in rural surroundings to Abano Terme. The place is famous for its thermal springs and spa hotels offering modern therapies. After a short stop I quickly proceeded to Padua. In the afternoon I went for a long stroll through the town. There are countless historical and cultural sights on the impressive squares of the Piazza dei Signori, Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza della Frutta and Prato della Valle. After dinner I was able to find out for myself that Padua is an important university town. On that hot summer evening, happy students were everywhere. They probably celebrated the passed exams. The destination of the sixth and final stage was Venice.

I cycled along the Brenta Canal, past many magnificent villas and palaces. When I saw the first gondola in the picturesque town of Dolo, I was delighted. Since the flat route was only 35 kilometres long, I reached my hotel in Mestre in the early afternoon. Venice is car and bike free, so the Eurobike route ends here. Buses often go from Mestre to the lagoon city, which is about ten kilometres away. I still had half a day to visit the city. I strolled through small alleys, past canals and visited the first few sights. I ended the evening in the restaurant on the wide Canale de Guidecca and looked forward to two more days in the stunning lagoon city.

Final destination Venice

I definitely recommend an extra day in Venice. I have been to Venice before, but only briefly and many years ago. That is why I stayed in the beautiful city for two more days after the cycling holiday. I explored Venice on foot and with ‚water buses‘ (vaporetti). I visited the most famous sights: St. Mark’s Square with the Basilica di San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, as well as the islands of Giudecca, Lido di Venezia, Murano and Burano. Since the famous lagoon city attracts tourists from all over the world, the most important sights and the colourful island of Burano were of course very crowded.

But when the day tourists left the city, Venice became more tranquil. I also discovered many quiet places, such as Guidecca Island. In the late afternoon I enjoyed a cold Aperol Spritz there with a view of St. Mark’s Square. I ended the final evening in a restaurant on a small canal on which many gondolas passed. After the enjoyable bike ride, I took the train home. The train ride from Venice to Munich took around seven hours. I took one last look at the bike route from the train window and was a bit sad that this amazing cycling holiday was over so quickly.

My conclusions

The cycling holiday Bolzano – Venice was a fantastic mixture of active holiday and city tour. All day long I was active in nature and marvelled at stunning sceneries. In the afternoon I still had enough time to visit the beautiful cultural cities. I enjoyed the convenient luggage transfer and the comfortable city hotels. In my suitcase, which was transported from one hotel to the next, I had enough clothes for a stroll through town and for going to restaurants in the evening. My sporty cycling holiday was completely carefree. I did not have to worry about a possible breakdown because I could contact the local Eurobike staff at any time if necessary. I could not have imagined a   better self-guided active holiday. 

Reading tip: Read Ina's travelogue on her travel blog "Sport, Tours & Travels“.

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