GERHARD'S ODYSSEYS

 

 

Bicycle BAVARIA & NORTHERN ITALY

Downhill biking in southern Bavaria, the Dolomites & the Veneto

Neuschwanstein

Join us on a tour that explores three distinct regions in a spectacular part of Europe. Arrive in Munich, the lively capital of Bavaria and the gateway to Germany’s most towering attractions, the Bavarian Alps. Bavaria is a timeless land of fairy tale castles, half-timbered houses and painted buildings. Everywhere is picture-postcard scenery and rural charm.

The Dolomites are the most beautiful mountains in Italy and the most impressive of the European Alps. Their sheer rock walls are landmarks that can be seen for miles. This area in the north of Italy offers a spectacular landscape of emerald green meadows, crystal clear lakes, medieval walled villages and distinctive whitewashed stone houses.

The gentle rolling countryside of the Veneto plain showcases the vast backdrop of the snow-capped mountains and the magnificent ancient city of Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On our bikes we will pedal through these regions of scenic beauty and rich history, culminating with the discovery of the uniqueness and splendor of Venice.

Meals will feature the local specialties. Germany’s traditional sausages and sauerkraut, Rolladen and Spaetzle (homemade noodles) will be tasty highlights. In Italy fresh fish and seafood from the nearby lakes and the Adriatic will be complemented by fresh produce and excellent wines, all reflecting the influence from neighboring countries. We’ll enjoy traditional Apfelstrudel and Italy’s famous coffee-soaked, rich and delicious Tiramisu. No need to worry about gaining weight as after a day of biking you will deserve to try it all.

flat and downhil in Northern ItalyWednesday, Munich.  Take time out to enjoy this enchanting city where the fun loving locals look upon the pursuit of pleasure as a full-time calling. You will want to join them in one of the tree-shaded beer gardens. Visit the Alte Pinakothek with some of Europe’s finest art treasures and the Deutsches Museum of science and industry. 

Thursday & Friday, Füssen.  We transfer to our spa hotel situated in the foothills of the Alps. A warm up bike ride in the afternoon followed by our cocktail reception and dinner. Friday we bicycle the nearby lakes and woods to the mad King Ludwig’s ornate Neuschwanstein Castle and to his father’s castle, Hohenschwangau.

Saturday, Burgusio.  Our coach takes us on to the top of the mountains in Austria to start a long downhill ride into Italy, following an ancient Roman trade route. We’ll pass the beautiful man made Lake Resia with its 14th century church bell tower emerging from the waters.

Sunday & Monday, Merano. Merano is known as "the door to the land of the sun". It is a center of tourism with a distinct Tyrolean atmosphere and a strong historical and cultural link with Austria. Monday morning we bike the Passirio River valley with castles that cling to the precipitous, terraced slopes. Afternoon walking tour of Merano with our local guide.

Tuesday & Wednesday, Bolzano.  After cycling to Bolzano, our guide will introduce us to this beautiful little town of piazzas and museums. Work on the town’s Gothic Cathedral began in 1280.  The archeological museum is the home of the Copper Age iceman Otzi. Wednesday morning we transfer to one of the neighboring ski resorts for an exhilarating downhill ride back to our hotel. You can also use the day to hike one of the mountain trails to an Alpine village.

Thursday, Trento.  Our cycling route follows the Adige River, lined with apple orchards, vineyards and hillsides of delightful villages and castles. In the nearby hills some of northern Italy's top wines are produced. Trento is beautifully situated in the heart of the Trentino Alps, with inspiring views from high or low. There is lots of well-preserved Renaissance architecture, gardens and frescoes in this charming city.

VeniceFriday & Saturday, Lake Garda. Peaceful scenery as we cycle to Lake Garda with flowery gardens, groves of olives and lemons, and forests of pines and cypress. Saturday we visit Verona, the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet and second only to Rome in its number of Roman ruins. Our guide will introduce us to the city's highlights and medieval market squares. In the evening you will learn why the region is distinguished for its outstanding wine and cuisine.

Sunday, Venice.  Easy cycling today through the countryside of the Veneto region and along the Brenta Canal arriving in Venice in time for a mid afternoon espresso or glass of prosecco. Farewell reception followed by a memorable dinner of local specialties.

Monday.  Breakfast at leisure and transfer to the Venice train station or airport for your flight home or to other parts of Europe. Venice Airport has direct, non-stop flights to North America and a tremendous selection of flights to all the major European capitals. If time allows, we suggest staying one or two days longer in Venice to experience the palaces, museums and the maze of canals by traghetti, gondola or water taxi.

Tour price: Depends on number of people in your group and hotel standards requested.
Tour date: you choose the date (13 days/12 nights)
Tour Leaders: Gerhard, Darlene & Tina

Tour cost includes:
Hotel accommodations for twelve nights, buffet breakfast each morning, one lunch and nine dinners. Gratuities, taxes and service charges. Historic walking tours with local guides and special wine tasting. Most of our hotels offer spa facilities to enjoy at the end of a biking day. The support vehicle transfers all luggage, offers mechanical assistance and limited spare parts, and provides a lift if a tour member should tire during the cycling day. It is equipped with a mobile phone and a small library of information on the areas that we visit. In addition to the support wagon, a small coach will also accompany the group on some days

Daily biking distances:
The majority of the standard cycling routes are on bike paths and designated bike routes. Detailed maps and route sheets will be provided. On most days we’ll have three cycling options with average distances of 26, 34 and 48 miles. Shortcuts will be available as well as the option of longer and more challenging rides. To include the most scenic and interesting parts of the region in the tour, there will be several group transfers during the trip.

Bike rentals:
Good quality bike rentals can be arranged at € 175 (Euro). All frames are hybrid style with upright handlebars and have a choice of men’s or women’s frame. They are equipped with Shimano components, 27 gears, rack, handlebar bag, odometer and a rear view mirror. If you prefer to use toe clips you must bring your own pedals. Should you choose to bring your own bike, details will be outlined in the pre-departure information packet.

View the Tourist Office Web sites for some of the destinations we visit.

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