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Road bike France

Road bike crossing of the most famous cols of the Italian Alps from the Adriatic to Lake ComoRef CR84

There are projects that every ambitious road cyclist should dare to dream of. The east-west crossing of the Alpine arc from the Adriatic to the French Mediterranean coast is definetely one of them. Given its length of nearly 2,000 km, we have cut it up in three parts. In this first part - the Italian Alps - you ride in 7 days from the lovely town of Trieste on the shores of the Adriatic Sea to Chiavenna, north of Lake Como in Lombardy. In total, you have to master 675 km and 9,000 metres of climbing on the way. You will cross some of the most stunning and UNESCO labelled mountain landscapes on the sunny side of the Alps: the Triglav National Park in Slovenia, the Julian and Carnic Alps, the fantastic Dolomites and finally the Ortles range. Endless climbs and perfect roads on the Stelvio, Gavia, Maloja and the many Dolomite passes, among which the famous Sella ronda.

Duration : 7 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 0 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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In the event that there are official travel or mobility restrictions in France or in your country of origin at the booked tour dates (official travel warning, quarantine upon return, closed borders) which make it impossible for you to undertake the trip, we offer to defer your booking to a later date at no extra charge. If no suitable date can be found, we offer a full reimbursement.
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Highlights

  • A fantastic route that shows you the full extent and diversity of the Italian Alps
  • The possibility to "bag" a unique selection of major Alpine passes that have shaped the history of the Giro
  • Riding on less known mountain roads such as the Vrsic Pass in Slovenia with its 50 hairpin bends
  • The crossing of the Dolomites from east to west
  • The cultural diversity along the route (Italian, Slovene, Tyrolian)

Description

Comments

  • Choose between two differents routes each day, with varying distances and profiles, depending on your daily shape, weather and route preferences.
  • This road bike tour is part 1 of our east-west crossing of the entire Alps, the Alpine Arc Traversee (see the programme tab for more information). It is possible to combine this trip to the Crossing of the Swiss Alps in 6 days, starting in Chiavenna.
  • Special offers available for private groups. Please contact us for a quote.

Physical level

Choose each day

Each day you choose between two different routes with varying distances and altitude gain (2 and 3 wheels).

Cycling across the Alps from East to West

There are projects that every ambitious road cyclist should dare to dream of. The east-west crossing of the Alpine arc from the Adriatic sea to the French Riviera on the Mediterranean coast is definetely one of them. Based on our great experience as an Alpine road cycling tour operator, we have designed a unique route that takes you through the natural heart of Europe`s most famous mountain range: the Alpine Arc Traversee. In total, the route is 2,000 km long and offers some 40,000 m of climbing. Given these numbers, we have cut it up in three challenging parts of 6 to 8 cycling days each.

Along the route, you will enjoy countless national and regional Nature parks of varying and outstanding beauty: Triglav, Dolomites, Ortler, the Valais and Bernese Alps, Mont Blanc area, Vanoise, Ecrins and finally the French Maritime Alps. The route is an absolute must-do for "col-baggers" as it takes in the most famous mountain passes of the Alps but also lesser-known ones: Vrsic pass, Tre Cime, passes of the Dolomites and particularly the Sella Ronda, Stelvio, Gavia, Bernina, Maloja, San Bernadino, Gotthard, Furka, Susten, Colombière, Roselend, Iséran, Galibier, Izoard, Vars, Cayolle, Turini... and many many more.

We offer the Alpine Arc Traversee route in 3 separately bookable, fully-catered tours with support vehicle:

  • Part 1 in 7 days (Triglav, Dolomites and Stelvio Traversee, this trip), crossing of the Slovene and Italian Alps from the Adriatic to Lake Como, approx. 700 km und 9,000 m in climbing (level 2, level 3 available)
  • Part 2 in 6 days (Swiss Alps Traversee), crossing of the Swiss Alps from Lake Como to Lake Geneva, approx. 650 km und 14,000 m in climbing (level 2 only)
  • Part 3 in 8 days (Route des Grandes Alpes), crossing of the French Alps from Lake Geneva to Menton, approx. 700 km und 17,000 m in climbing (level 2, level 3 available)

All three parts can also be ridden in a row. The ultimate challenge.

Any questions regarding arrival and departure logistics? Please contact us, we are happy to help.

Day 1: Trieste - Tolmin

Trip start: Rendezvous with the organisation team is on day 1 at 9 am at the train station of Trieste. On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Trieste. We can also organise a transfer from Milano or Venice airport on day 0 as our support vehicle arrives from France (Chambéry).

Highlights of the day

  • A beautiful balcony climb over the Adriatic Sea to the small Prosecco pass (those who embark on the entire crossing will not see the sea again until Menton a little over two weeks later!)
  • The discovery of Slovenia with its large spruce and coniferous forests, its pastures, its numerous vineyards (we are on a wine route), its orchards (mainly apple trees) and its villages with colourful houses.
  • The view of the Alps over the Slovenian hills.
  • The end of the stage is a rolling one on an almost flat road that weaves its way through a wooded valley along the Idrijca river.
  • The hairpins through the forest that lead to the final Col.

Passes on the menu

  • Prosecco Pass
  • Col Pass, 863 m

Distance and altitude gain

  • approx. 120 km and 400 m (level 2)
Day 2: Tolmin - Moggio Udinese

Highlights of the day

  • The impressive limestone peaks of the Triglav National Park rising above the forests.
  • The peaceful lake of Predi nestled in a valley.
  • The long and winding descent of the Paso di Nevea through a beautiful forest.
  • The Vrsic, one of the most famous passes of the entire Alpine arc: steep hairpins in the extraordinary high mountain landscapes of the Triglav National Park. (level 3)

Passes on the menu

  • Passo di Predil, 1,156 m
  • Passo di Nevea, 1,190 m (level 2)
  • Vrsic-Pass, 1,611 m (level 3)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 100 km and 1,400 m
  • Level 3: approx. 150 km and 2,000 m
Day 3: Moggio Udinese - Tornede

Highlights of the day

  • The Col del Pura, a small hidden pass that winds its way along a lonesome road...(level 3)
  • The winding road in the heart of the narrow gorges of Lumiei.
  • The lake and the valley of Sauris, Alpine postcard landscapes
  • Two passes in one (with no downhill in between) in a wild and beautiful area. Larch trees, pastures and panoramic views of the Alps

Passes on the menu

  • Passo del Pura, 1,425 m (level 3)
  • Sella di Razzo, 1,760 m
  • Sella Ciampigotto, 1,790 m

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 90 km and 1,600 m
  • Level 3: approx. 130 km and 2,000 m
Day 4: Tornede - Campitello di Fassa

Highlights of the day

  • An unforgettable day through one of the jewels of the Alps: the Dolomites. Huge and impressive vertical cliffs tower roads made legendary by the Giro. A difficult day (the hardest of the week) but simply unforgettable
  • The climb to the Antorno lake, at the foot of the Tre Cime, a small jewel in which the sparkling face of the Tre Cime is reflected. A rarely reached percentage for a sublime reward (level 3).
  • Stop-over in the resort town of Cortina d'Ampezzo
  • The cliffs of the Sella massif and the cols of the Sella ronda (level 3)

Passes on the menu

  • Foot of Tre Cime, 1,900 m (level 3)
  • Passo Tre Croci, 1,805 m (level 2)
  • Passo di Falzarego, 2,105 m
  • Passo di Valparola, 2,192 m (level 3)
  • Passo Pordoi, 2,239 m
  • Passo di Gardena, 2,121 m (level 3)
  • Passo di Sella, 2,244 m (level 3)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 80 km and 2,400 m
  • Level 3: approx. 120 km and 2,800 m
Day 5: Campitello di Fassa - Naturno

Highlights of the day

  • An easy day of cycling for level 2, which doesn't hurt after the Dolomites traversee
  • A bit of nostalgia as we climb our last real dolomitic pass (Paso di Costalunga)
  • The quiet and short Passo Nigra at the foot of the famous Cattinaccio massif (King Laurin's rose garden)
  • Possibility to take a walk through the beautiful historic centre of Bolzano.
  • A change of scenery after leaving the Dolomites, with a very "Tyrolean" atmosphere during the ascent of the Mendola and Palade passes (level 3).

Passes on the menu

  • Karerpass, 1,745 m
  • Nigerpass, 1,688 m
  • Mendelpass, 1,363 m (level 3)
  • Gampenpass, 1,518 m (level 3)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 100 km and 600 m
  • Level 3: approx. 140 km and 2,100 m
Day 6: Naturno - Predamio (Bormio)

Highlights of the day

  • Simply another great day: we climb one of the most iconic passes in the entire Alpine arc, the Passo dello Stelvio. A monument of the road cycling universe. The countless final laces, with the backdrop of the glaciers of the Ortles massif, are an unforgettable moment.
  • The wilder Gavia pass via a return trip from Bormio completes our bucket list of famous "Giro" passes... Still one hell of a "bump" with 1500 meters of difference in altitude! (level 3)
  • The historic centre of Bormio is ideal for a drink on the terrace of a café before discovering its labyrinth of narrow streets.

Passes on the menu

  • Passo dello Stelvio, 2,757 m
  • Passo di Gavia, 2,621 m (level 3)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 85 km and 1,000 m
  • Level 3: approx. 140 km and 2,500 m
Day 7: Predamio - Chiavenna

Highlights of the day

  • On the ascent of the Passo de Foscagno, beautiful views of the Ortles glaciers between the larches...
  • The glaciers of the Piz Bernina then take over on the descent to the pass of the same name.
  • The Livigno valley with its large grassy slopes and rocky peaks.
  • We pass through the mundane St. Moritz and its pretty lake, which heralds others (we pass the lakes of Silvaplauna and Segl).
  • A very playful descent with laces one on top of the other to finish the day, and our trip.

Passes on the menu

  • Passo di Foscagno, 2,291 m
  • Forcola di Livigno, 2,315 m
  • Passo del Bernina, 2,328 m
  • Passo del Maloja, 1,815 m

Distance and altitude gain

  • approx. 100 km and 1,700 m (level 2)

Trip end: The trip ends in Chiavenna in the afternoon. On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Chiavenna or organise a transfer to the next airport or train station (Bergamo, Milano).

We offer 2 options for an extension of the trip:

  • Option 1: On an additional road bike stage we ride until Bergamo (better connections for departure). We take in the Passo San Marco (1,985 m). Stage length approx. 120 km & 2500 hm. Additional services: Overnight stay in Chiavenna and 8th stage with support vehicle. End of services in Bergamo.
  • Option 2: Rest day in Chiavenna. Best option if you want to tackle the 2nd part of the Arc Alpin Traversee across the Swiss Alps (coordinated dates). 2 nights in Chiavenna.

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

This tour has not yet received any reviews.