Looking ahead to 2024, you should be looking for unique experiences to fill your time and try a new style of holiday that you’ve maybe never even considered before! Here at Hooked On Cycling, we can offer you a fun, new experience through our cycling tours of various European destinations.
And when we’re thinking about the best cycling experiences, our minds automatically go to Lake Garda and the rest of the stunning Italian routes you can choose to explore.
Read on for a guide on why Italy and Lake Garda are great choices for a cycling holiday, as well as the specific routes the team here at Hooked On Cycling offers.
Why Choose A Tour of Italy By Cycling
Cyclists also flock to Italy because of the stunning variation in scenery and routes there are to experience. You can go through everything from green hills and hidden valleys to coastal paths and lakeside retreats, as well as experience both big, modern cities and small, historic towns. It is an incredibly picturesque country, where you’ll never be bored of the landscape.
Venice is a big highlight, with its canals crisscrossing the city, while you can head to Florence to explore a plethora of museums and galleries to explore Italy’s rich history. Hedging down south there is of course Rome, but we also recommend Naples and Palermo to fully appreciate all Italy has to offer.
Moving away from the big cities you can experience the more authentic and historic Italy very easily on a cycling tour. Sicily’s rustic towns are stunning while heading to the alpine city of Bolzano is an experience few can say they have accomplished.
Infrastructure & architecture
Many choose to cycle in Italy as the country has fully embraced the art of cycling. There is plenty of infrastructure specifically designed with cyclists in mind, so you can ride safely on cycleways and dedicated paths without feeling like you’re in any danger.
But alongside this, you will also encounter stunning architecture that dates back hundreds of years. Highlights include The Leaning Tower of Pisa and St. Peter’s Basilica but head to smaller, more historic towns to see equally awe-inspiring sights.
Did you know that Italy as we know it only formed in the middle of the 19th century? Before this, it was a number of individual states that operated separately from each other. This is why when exploring Italy nowadays you will notice there can be a lot of variation in the culture you encounter from place to place.
This can include the languages spoken or traditions involving food, sport, religion and art. Taking a cycling tour will enable you to experience this diversity with ease.
While not cycling-focused, we can’t mention Italy without mentioning the food. Italy is one of the cultural capitals of the entire world when it comes to food. Each region of the country has their own speciality, so as you traverse the country on your bike you will be able to experience the best of what they have to offer. This could include Neapolitan pizza one day, then sampling white truffle in Piedmont the next.
Connections To Other Countries
Italy is also ideal if you want to explore more than just Italy on your holidays. You can easily reach other destinations such as France, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Switzerland.
People love to visit Italy because of the great climate that you will experience. The weather can depend on what part of the country you’re in, but in the summer you’ll experience plenty of sunshine and lovely weather while you cycle. The south of Italy is typically a bit warmer, with places in the north a bit more of a comfortable temperature.
Lake Garda Fun Facts
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, stretching over the provinces of Brescia, Verona and Trentino. It also cuts into the edge of the Italian Alps along its over 50-kilometre length. Because of its size, it has plenty to offer along its shores and has made its mark as one of the best vacation destinations in Italy.
Firstly there are the stunning views. It is a gigantic blue lake bordered by large mountains and picturesque villages, as well as stretches of beach. The lake is a crystal clear blue, and when it sparkles in the sun it is truly one of the best things you may ever see.
We’ve mentioned how diverse Italy can be, and you can see this summarises perfectly around Lake Garda. There are towering mountains to witness in the north but the south side is covered with green fields and hills aplenty.
There is also plenty to do whatever you’re interested in doing. As well as cycling around the lake, there are also a lot of hiking opportunities, both around the lake or from the top of mountains accessed by cable car. Other activities include rock climbing, kayaking, sailing, spas, beaches and historical sites to explore.
Hooked On Cycling’s Bike Tours In Italy
Here at Hooked On Cycling, we love the Italian cycling experiences, which is why we have a giant selection of tours on offer. Here is just a small selection of our favourite tours, and you can find the rest of them here.
Cycling Around Lake Garda
As we’ve mentioned Lake Garda a lot so far, it feels only right to begin with our Cycling Around Lake Garda tour. This is a 7-night self-guided tour, starting from Bussolengo. For this, you will get access to 7 nights of 3 or 4-star accommodation and all the information you need for your tour.
We have rated this a level 2 difficulty, taking you on easy cycle paths and side roads where there is not likely to be much traffic. From Bussolengo, you will do a loop of the River Adige to Verona then take to the shores of Lake Garda near Peschiera and spend the next few days travelling around, with a cable car and ferry ticket included to reach out-of-reach spots.
Apulia/Basilicata Southern Coast to Coast
Aoulia and Basilicata are some of Italy’s quietest areas due to how remote they are, but they are also stunning places to explore. This tour will take you from the east to west coast, covering the region known as ‘the boot of Italy’. This is a 7-night tour, with accommodation each night in 3-star hotels and guest houses.
We have given this a level 3-4 difficulty, so is not for the faint of heart. You’ll be covering distances of around 50 miles each day, as well as taking to remote roads that are off the beaten track. But for this, you’ll expect little to no traffic, as you cross beautiful valleys, mountains and coastal roads.
Venice to Porec
This cycling holiday will take you across countries, starting in Venice, Italy and ending in Porec, Croatia. It is a level 1-2 ability holiday, so should be suitable for beginner cyclists or a family holiday!
It is a stunning holiday which will keep you close to the Adriatic Sea as you journey through various small towns. There is also a lot of choice in this route, able to travel along separate paths to eventually reach the same destination at the end.
Innsbruck to Lake Garda
While we’re classing this as an Italy cycling holiday, this tour actually begins in Austria. It will take you from Innsbruck to Lake Garda over 7 nights. It is mostly through cycle paths and country lanes, mostly downhill but with some short climbs.
Lake Garda Cycling & With Hooked On Cycling
Here at Hooked On Cycling & Walking, we offer a great selection of self-guided hiking and cycling tours in Italy and countless countries across Europe. With our tours, you can explore the best a country has to offer over a few days, exploring countless cities and towns as well as traversing a range of terrains to immerse yourself in the culture of the region.
We offer holidays for all ability levels, so whether you’re after an easy ride suitable for the whole family or an advanced cycle for an experienced biker, we have something to suit you. We can take care of all the details, with you only focusing on hitting certain checkpoints and accommodations each day, where you can then relax for the evening before starting your next section of adventure.
If you’d like to ask any questions about any of our holidays or wish to get started on booking one, get in touch with the dedicated team at Hooked On Cycling today.