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Chapel at the summit of the Madonna del Ghisallo
Views across Verona
Small terracotta-roofed villages
Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy
Lake Como
Wonderful views to keep you cycling

Great Italian Lakes Cycle Challenge

Italy Cycle
CycleHotelTerrainORANGE 2
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About the Challenge

This exciting and beautiful route is so much more than a journey between two iconic Italian cities – on the way it takes three of the great Italian lakes: Garda, Como and Iseo, as well as the Romeo and Juliet city of Verona.

With a route that takes you from Venice on the Adriatic Coast, though flat plains and forested hills to the famous lakes-and-mountains scenery of Lombardy, there’s enough variety to please any cyclist. Each day offers a great climb to test your legs, but with our highest point at 754m – the famous Madonna del Ghisallo with its cyclists’ chapel – these aren’t the high cols, and it’s an achievable ride for anyone willing to train.

Add in small terracotta-roofed villages, overnight stops in picturesque lakeside towns, good roads, and plenty of opportunities for recharging on Italian coffee and gelato – this is the ultimate Italian cycle challenge!


Great Italian Lakes Cycle Challenge


OPEN 6 DAYS
  • Venice is renowned for its beautiful waterways and buildings, such as St Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs, and the Rialto Bridge. Dependent on flight times, you can enjoy some free time exploring the sights of this wonderful city. We meet up at our mainland hotel in the evening, and ensure our kit and bikes are fully prepared for the start of our challenge tomorrow. Night hotel.

    (Lunch not included)

  • Leaving Venice behind, we start cycling! We head south through fertile fields, crossing many small canals and rivers which drain into the Venetian Lagoon, still only a few miles to the east. Our terrain today is predominantly flat, allowing us to ease ourselves in relatively gently: it is, however, a long day in the saddle! We avoid the larger towns, but pass through several small towns and villages, all with a distinctive Italian flavour. Our halfway mark is celebrated with the only real climb of the day, as we cross a verdant region of hills dotted with thermal spas; continuing east on flat roads again, we cross the wide River Adige, Italy’s second-longest river, and head to Verona. This beautiful city, setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, offers plenty of sights if you have the legs for an evening wander. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 146km (91 miles)

    Route Profile

    Venice to Verona Route Profile.png

  • Our terrain becomes more rolling as we ride on back-roads towards the lakes of Lombardy. After only a few miles in the saddle, we reach spectacular Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. As we ride around its southern shore, we can enjoy views of the steep green slopes plunging down to the lake’s edge. Today’s big climb crosses the forested hills between Lake Garda and Lake Iseo – probably the toughest 10 miles of the route for many of us. It twists and turns up into the wooded hills, passing small communities with striking churches and open pastures. Surrounded by magnificent views of the verdant peaks, the scenery inspires us to keep going. After a fabulous descent, our road levels out to a relatively flat run-in to Lake Iseo. Passing through the medieval town of Iseo, we ride around the lake north to beautiful Lovere; we are close to the mountains here and the buildings have more of a Swiss influence. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 154km (96 miles)

    Route Profile

    Verona to Lovere Route Profile.png

  • Our main climb comes earlier today, as we leave the beautiful shores of Lake Iseo and head up on a quiet road that twists through trees and areas of open pasture, with great views back down over the lake and surrounding green hills. The well-earned descent is longer than the climb, and brings us out of the hills through a string of river-side towns and villages as we ride along the valley towards Bergamo. From here it’s more rolling terrain, with a couple of sharper climbs, as we head towards the southeast arm of the inverted ‘Y’ that is Lake Como. The region to the south of the lake is dotted with smaller lakes and towns and makes for varied cycling; one last short climb and descent brings us to Como, on the southwest arm of the lake. An historic town with plenty to see, an evening wander is a good way to soak up the atmosphere. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 115km (72 miles)

    Route Profile

    Lovere to Como Route Profile.png

  • Our last day features one of the most spectacular stretches of road, our highest point, and for any keen cyclists, the most famous climb!  We set off from Como and ride the undulating road along the magnificent lake shore to Bellagio, the northernmost point on the triangular southern shore. Here we head away from the lake and onto the famous climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, where the chapel on the summit (our highest point at 754m) has become a shrine to cyclists. Made famous by the Tour of Lombardy and Giro d’Italia, it’s a challenging ascent, but our legs should feel great by now, and we will be spurred on by the chance to visit the chapel, packed with cycling memorabilia, and where an eternal flame burns in the memory of cyclists who have died. We then freewheel almost all the way on quiet roads right to the outskirts of Milan, our descent taking us through beautiful scenery east of Milan. Once at sea level, we join a lovely flat canal-side cycle path, leading us into the city centre and our finish! We celebrate the end of our incredible challenge in one of Italy’s most iconic cities. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 104km (64 miles)

    Route Profile

    Como to Milan Route Profile.png

  • After a leisurely breakfast, we have time to relax on the canal or wander the cultured streets until it’s time to transfer to the airport.

    (Lunch not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 25 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £2,000 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £1,500 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,000 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

     

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    All food except where specified, and accommodation on a twin share basis

    Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers

    Full vehicle support throughout the trip

    Maps and route information

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary

    Flights and transport to/from start/finish point of ride

    Travel insurance

    Bicycle

    Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles

    Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks

    Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities

    Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 25 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £2,000 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £1,500 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,000 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

     

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    All food except where specified, and accommodation on a twin share basis

    Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers

    Full vehicle support throughout the trip

    Maps and route information

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary

    Flights and transport to/from start/finish point of ride

    Travel insurance

    Bicycle

    Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles

    Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks

    Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities

    Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 25 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £2,000 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target £1,500 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £99 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,000 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

     

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    All food except where specified, and accommodation on a twin share basis

    Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers

    Full vehicle support throughout the trip

    Maps and route information

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary

    Flights and transport to/from start/finish point of ride

    Travel insurance

    Bicycle

    Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles

    Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks

    Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities

    Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

Challenges 2019-2020

Get our latest Brochure

Our 2019 / 2020 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download