On your bike, get set, go!
After a good rest, it was finally time to go on Monday morning. Our first cycle tour together could begin. After a delicious breakfast in one of our partner hotels, we saddled up our bikes. Incidentally, we were on the road with the brand-new rental bike PLUS, which we both thought was the perfect choice for this tour. The daily luggage transfer made it possible for us to only fill our saddlebags with the essentials, so nothing stood in the way of a comfortable journey.
With a relatively fresh temperature of 15° outside, cloudy and windy weather, we travelled on the right bank of Lake Reschen, along the asphalt cycle route towards Merano. Overwhelmed by the fantastic view of the lake, it made it much more difficult for us to make quick progress at the beginning, as we had to make stops again and again to soak up all these impressions and to capture one photo after the other.
It became clear to me that this trip would be one of the most impressive and worth seeing in terms of landscape. With vast views of the foothills of the Ötztal Alps and the Ortler massif, our journey led us mainly downhill along the Etsch, past numerous typical South Tyrolean villages such as St. Valentin, Burgeis, Schleis, Glurns and Göflan as well as castles and palaces. In between there was always one or another opportunity to stop for a break at various restaurants, which are a popular meeting place here in the country, especially for bikers.
In the afternoon, after a breathtaking first bike stage, we reached our final destination for the day: Silandro, which is also known as the main town of the Vinschgau. Just in time, because when we parked our bikes the clouds over the valley and drizzle set in. I would say perfect timing!
Sunny views & unique vegetation
As the saying goes: “When angels travel, the weather will tell.” Verena and I were woken up on our second day of travel with a wonderful sunrise. The weather gods were looking down on us after yesterday's downpour and getting up early in the morning was made a little easier for us. After an extensive, delicious breakfast in one of our organic hotels, we went on strengthened in the wonderful Vinschgau valley. We couldn't wait to get on our comfortable bikes and were excited to see what new impressions this day would bring. There were only about 40 kilometres by bike from Schlanders in the direction of Merano ahead of us, so we could take it a little easier today.
Apples, apricots & wine
We went through apple orchards, past apricot trees and grapevines, full of sweet chestnut trees and the view of the rugged peaks of the Ortler Mountains wandering around us again and again.
Bit by bit we got closer to our destination, the Meraner Land, which was also noticeable in the rising temperatures. So nothing stood in the way of a little cooling on the edge of the now raging Adige.
In the early afternoon we were rewarded with a breathtaking view of Merano and covered the last few kilometres in serpentines
To know Merano is to love it!
With its green promenades, extensive parks, botanical gardens, watercourses, medieval arcades and palm trees, this climatic health resort simply exudes a special flair. Characterised by buildings from Art Nouveau and modern Italian life, Merano is a must for every South Tyrol lover. It is worth staying a day or two longer here and enjoying the old town of Merano with its Mediterranean climate.
Unfortunately, this was not possible for us this time due to lack of time, but it was not our first and certainly not the last visit to this wonderful Sissi town. Merano - we'll be back!
South Tyrol as it is and how it is now
From Merano our journey took us between apple orchards and vineyards along wonderful small towns like Lana, Nals, Andrian, Terlan. Now we were finally in the typical, idyllic South Tyrol, which my girlfriend loves so much. Now I understood what she was always talking about when she talked about her second home. She knew her way around here like the back of her hand and lit up at the sight of the mountain ranges and the area that was familiar to her.
In addition to our sporting activities, we observed farmers doing their hard daily work in the vineyards and orchards, experienced South Tyrolean hospitality and learned a lot about South Tyrolean history and viticulture during a conversation or two. It is truly the people and the stories that make South Tyrol what it is.
With an overwhelming view of the rose garden and the Schlern, past Sigmundskron Castle, we finally landed in Bolzano.
A visit to small village shops made our culinary hearts beat faster. From sausage to ‘speck’ and mountain cheese to Schüttelbrot - we found everything our gourmet hearts could desire. Fortunately, there was luggage transport. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely try the delicious Strauben, which is a sweet dessert in South Tyrol.
From Bolzano it is worth taking the ascent on the cycle route to Appiano, as you will be rewarded with an indescribable view of the Kalterersee on the journey between the vineyards. A dip in the cool water on hot days is always worthwhile here, as it is one of the warmest lakes in the Alps. So don't forget: pack your bathing suit! A detour to the two Montiggler lakes is also possible and worth seeing if you have enough time.
Border area of South Tyrol – Trentino
After Kaltern we left the scenic vineyards and moved further downstream, always along the Adige until we said: ‘goodbye South Tyrol.’ We were now in the area of Salurner Klause, which makes up the end of the South Tyrolean Wine Route and marks the beginning of the Italian province of Trentino, as well as the German-Italian language border. The landscape was now made up of rugged mountains and rocks, the valley widened, and the characteristic Italian architecture was visible on the buildings. After a 70km cycle, and the longest stage of the tour, we reached Trentino in the late afternoon.
The best pizza of my life
After a short rest in one of the charming hotels, we used the rest of the day to explore the beautiful town of Trento. The centre, which is rich in monuments, palazzi and castles, offers a multitude of possibilities to experience the city. We decided to take a leisurely stroll through the lively streets, where there were countless photo opportunities.
Numerous restaurants and pizzerias with typical Italian flair made it difficult for us to resist pizza or pasta. I definitely ate the best pizza of my life, a pizza ‘Buffala’, here in Trento.
Lake Garda, here we come
Today our stage led us again on asphalt cycle paths along the Adige. At the small village of Mori we had to turn inland to reach the path towards Riva del Garda. Cypresses and oleanders now embellished the beautiful Italian landscape. After a short, steep climb in Mori, we were more than rewarded for the effort in the Bologna ice cream parlour with what is definitely the world's best pistachio ice cream. Total “food porn”. If you haven't tried it, it's your own fault! On this day, the Italian weather did not spare us, and we cycled in the baking midday heat up the probably steepest ascent of the tour towards Torbole - about 100 meters of sweaty cycling madness! But as the saying goes: "First the work, then the pleasure."
Once at the top, we were rewarded for our efforts with a wonderful view. There it was, the largest lake in Italy: Lake Garda, embedded in a breathtaking mountain backdrop. Simply magical!
After a short stop and a walk on the waterfront, we continued our journey by boat. This was followed by a boat trip of several hours across the entire length of Lake Garda, until we reached our accommodation on the lake in Desenzano at sunset. Our strength did not allow more than a short evening stroll with repeated pizza enjoyment on that day.
Ending in Verona
The last day of our cycle tour took us from Desenzano to Verona. Our Eurobike app skilfully guided us through the Italian countryside, and we roamed places and areas that you would otherwise hardly be able to pass. Italian country estates, cypress trees - olive plantations, small villages, churches, castles delighted our eyes along the entire route until we reached our destination Verona in the afternoon full of joy and pride. Yes - we did it!
And Verona itself. Well, what can I say, the city of Romeo and Juliet, the city of love. Probably one of the most beautiful places in Italy. A stunning charm envelops this city, which was built on both sides of the meandering Adige.
There are numerous possibilities here to spend a few unforgettable days. As it was our second visit to Verona, it wasn't too difficult for us to find our way around and we were able to enjoy the tour of the city's most important sights in peace. The imposing Arena di Verona - a Roman amphitheatre, the Scaliger castle Castelvecchio, the Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's house), the picturesque Piazza delle Erbe - the heart of Verona, with bars, cafes, shop windows, markets, the Church of San Zeno, and much more. If you want to do something good for yourself after the efforts of the past few days, you should probably extend your holiday for a few more days and end your holiday in Italian serenity and dreamy surroundings.
Summary of our first cycle tour with Eurobike
With numerous memories and unforgettable moments to take home in our luggage, we were reluctant to return home after 8 days of biking life. By actively experiencing my new work area, I learned to better understand various processes related to this tour and I was able to take away a lot of positive things for my logistical work. For everyone else who has planned their holiday, a rich spectrum of experiences, sensory impressions and encounters will be revealed on the entire route of this cycle tour. Whether the different natural landscapes, the cuisine, the culture, the people - here truly numerous needs are satisfied.
The entire tour offers enough space for enjoyment, discovery and definitely makes you want more cycling adventures. But try it for yourself! I'm personally looking forward to my next one.
Kind regards, your Sebastian