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Mountain Bike

Mountain biking in the Upper Garda area

The mild climate of Lake Garda is famous for the unforgettable days of beautiful weather that its guests enjoy. Due to the Venturi effect of the local winds, the Upper Garda area, in particular, often has sunny skies even when the rest of the lake is covered with clouds. These mild cloudless days attract athletes from all over Europe.
Due to this particular climate, all sorts of outdoor sports activities can be enjoyed all year round, even during the winter: from mountain climbing to mountain biking.
Even daring windsurfers can take advantage of the constant breeze.
It is a genuine paradise that offers all sorts of athletic, cultural and historical opportunities.
Pleasant surprises are in store for people with a curiosity of the unknown and a desire to learn about and explore the horizon, and to wander about the great outdoors.
Exploring the history and traditions of the upper lake area by bike can be a memorable adventure.
Mountain bike fans who want to ride along the trails in the lake area will have at their disposal accurate guide books with detailed maps and descriptions of the routes.
There?s a wide variety to choose from.
You can travel along the trails that lead to castles sitting on tall cliffs, or you can meander from one town to another in search of Renaissance palazzos.
Or you can travel along the roads used during WWI or follow itineraries that lead from one beach to another.
The offer is vast and of great value.
The Upper Garda area is there to be explored.
From Mount Baldo, a nature reserve that is famous in Europe, to Limone, which sits beneath the steep cliffs on the Brescian coast, the upper lake area is a natural sports arena, both for professional events such as the famous X-treme race that takes place in the mountains of Limone and for leisurely biking excursions.
Yes, the upper lake area and mountain biking are truly a winning duo.

Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

Campione, Tremosine. – Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary #11 – Starting out from Campione, before you get to the soccer field near the tunnel for Riva, take the abandoned carriageable road the climbs up along the rocky cliffs overlooking the lake. Bearing left, the old road enters the province road. You’ll reach a dark tunnel, which you’ll avoid and keep to the right. Several curves indicate that you’re about to enter the beautiful, cool Brasa ravine. Once you’ve passed the ravine, you’ll head to the village of
1) Pieve, where you’ll turn right and follow signs for Vesio. At Priezzo, turn right on the Via Levante road, where you’ll reach an old church. At this point, you’ll turn left on the Via Pionese road, then immediately turn right, under a portico, riding downhill to the
2) Brasa Valley. Bearing left in the next two junctions, you’ll end up on an unpaved road where you’ll see century-old windmills and ancient barns, some of which have been renovated. When you reach the asphalted road, you’ll meet up with the provincial road and turn right. After 300 meters, you’ll turn left on the unpaved Via Era road. The road climbs uphill to the hamlet of
3) Voiandes. At the curve, do not take the road on the left, but go straight on the Via S. Carlo Borromeo road, where you’ll meet up again with the provincial road. Turn left and after 50 meters, turn left again, following the signs for Secastello. The asphalt road travels through lush green cattle pastures. At the next junction, turn right. The road climbs uphill to
4) Bocca di Nevese, near a home with vegetable patch. Turn right, and go through the wire gate (make sure you close it carefully!). After traveling 100 meters, turn left on the hill. Turn left where the road widens and, further on at the elbow curve, turn left again. The road travels downhill to the village of Sermerio. Turn left onto the asphalted city road, which descends to the cemetery, where you’ll take the small road that flanks the cemetery entrance and is unpaved in sections. Traveling downhill you’ll pass a road on your right. About 50 meters ahead, turn left: the road descends sharply and borders a vineyard. The striking route in this untamed natural setting travels along a road on the edge of a cliff that leads to the valley. You’ll turn left at the next intersection. The road rises slightly and passes the hamlet of Cadignano. You’ll end up on the municipal road, enter the village of Pregasio and, from the center of Pieve, return to Campione along the Brasa ravine..

Zone: Tremosine
Map: Kompass K102
Access: along the Gardesana occidentale n. 45 bis road
Departure: Campione, near the soccer field
Length: 23.20 km
Maximum altitude: 810 m
Difference in altitude: 744 m
Time: 3 hr 30 min  4 hr 30 min
Bikeability: total
Beauty (1-5*): ****
Difficulty: average difficulty
Base: Pro Loco info office, in the Pieve square
Note: right from the start, the itinerary is full of striking scenery.


Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

Malcesine, malga Fiabio – Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary #6 – The itinerary starts out from the parking lot and heads south on the Gardesana road. After 700 meters you’ll turn left and follow signs for the Strada panoramica (panoramic road). You’ll ride uphill amidst homes and olive groves until you reach Hotel Panorama, then turn right on the road to s. Marggiore. At the next junction, you’ll 
1) turn left and head uphill to S. Maggiore
. Once you’ve reached the village, with a level meadow dotted with a few restored old farm houses, the itinerary continues straight on the unpaved trail with the CAI trail marker. Now comes the toughest part, because the gravel makes some stretches difficult. Further ahead, the cement road makes riding easier, even though the pitch is at the very limit
2) and the rider risks flying head over heels. Your leg muscles will relax only on the green meadows of malga Fiabio. Beyond the malga farmhouse, you’ll turn left on the uphill road for S.S. Benigno and Caro. This last sharp ascent takes you to
3) the highest part of the itinerary in Porta del Vescovo. After a few
4) steep hairpin curves on the hill, you’ll reach the S.S. Benigno & Caro Hermitage, where the two saints lived in the 9th century. Two hundred meters before the Hermitage, look for several tunnels on the left: these tunnels from W.W.I merit a visit. Follow the signs for Cassone and you’ll begin a descent that is one of the most technically difficult in the area: this arm breaker is an old cobblestone trail that quickly takes you to the area with old farm houses. As the road descends, you’ll have a glimpse of old washing troughs and fountains. At km 13,30 you’ll turn right on the unpaved road that is closed to motor vehicles. Once you reach the square in Cassone, you’ll then head downhill to the Gardesana road and turn right to reach Malcesine.

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Malcesine. Thanks to its position, its castle and Goethe, Malcesine is one of the most popular and best equipped tourist spots on the lake. Although its origins are unknown, the castle was rebuilt by the Franks, and Pipino, the first son of Charlemagne and King of Italy, lived there. The town was under Venetian rule from 1405 to 1797, and the renowned German poet Wolfgang Goethe stayed there in 1786.
The world’s shortest river. Ri River (the world’s shortest river) flows near the bridge on the state road in Cassone, a district of Malcesine.

Zone: Malcesine.
Map: Kompass n. 102.
Access: Gardesana orientale S.S. n. 249 road.
Departure: Malcesine, parking lot in front of the cableway.
Length: 18.40 km.
Maximum altitude: 855 m.
Difference in altitude: 766 m.
Time: 2  3 hours.
Bikeability: complete.
Beauty (1-5*): ***
Difficulty: very difficult
Rest stops: none.
Nota: short but very difficult itinerary. The descent is ideal for expert bikers with very good technique.

 

Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

Varignano, S. Giovanni, Tenno – Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary #1 The itinerary starts out from Varignano, a hamlet of Arco, in the square in front of San Michele church. Take the province road for S.Giovanni al monte (the first 2 km are the toughest) until you reach the sunny Padaro basin. The road gently rises to
1) Mandrea, with a wonderful view of Valle dei Laghi and Mount Brento. A group of rustic homes announces the arrival at
2) S. Giovanni al monte, a quiet area with lovely scenery. You can stop for a break at the refuge, then follow the signs for Gorghi-Prati di Gom. After a slight ascent of 300 meters, the asphalted road ends and you pass a group of homes. A lush forest opens onto green meadows that descend northwest from Mount Biaina. At an altitude of 1,150 meters, the highest point of the itinerary, you can see Mount Misone and, further away to the north, the vertical walls of the Brenta Dolomites. Once again riding through the forest, you’ll come to a junction. Bear left and follow the trail until you reach Gorghi, then bear right and take the no entry road to S. Pietro. Making your way through the thick forest, turn left onto the next forest road you encounter. At the next junction, turn right on the paved road that descends to Croce in Bondiga, a panoramic spot on Lake Garda. Follow the signs for S. Pietro-Tenno. At the intersection in
3) Treni (km 17.42; m 820) , take the road on the left that gradually ascends. Now, on the asphalt road, you reach the top of the hill after 1 km. Descending the road, you’ll pass rustic homes and farmland. Bear left at the junction. You’ll pass Calvola and Ville del Monte, two hamlets of Tenno on the southeastern hills of Mount Misone, at an altitude of approximately 600 m. In Villa del Monte, you’ll cross the province road for Ponte Arche-Lago di Tenno, then head for
4) Tenno, to the castle. You’ll ride along the road to Riva for about 50 meters, then turn left onto another road which is flat at first, then slightly ascends to Volta di No. At the junction with the Giudicarie road, turn left onto the unpaved road, following the sign with the bicycle. After a difficult descent, you’ll find yourself at the point of departure once again in Varignano.

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– Varignano (600 inhabitants), a hamlet of Arco, sits on an alluvial cone of the Bordellino River in Val del Tof and is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Until the Sixties, it was the home of the only silk spinning mill in Trentino.
– the Tenno Castle was built in the 12th century on the ruins of a prehistoric fortress. It was of great strategic importance due to its position that overlooks several roads: the Riva – Bocca di Trat – Val di Ledro road, the Giudicarie road through the Ballino Pass, the road between Basso Sarca and the Giudicarie Esteriori via Passo dei Trenti – Lomasona. The castle, in a fabulous panoramic location, is now privately owned.

Zone: S.Giovanni al Monte
Map: KOMPASS n. 101
Departure: The square in front of the S. Michele church in Varignano
Access: on the state road from Arco to Riva, you’ll find the signs for Vigne- Varignano, 2 km from Arco
Length: 29 km
Difference in altitude: 1,049 m
Maximum altitude: 1,150 m
Time: 3 hr 30 min. – 4 hr
Bikeability: total.
Difficulty: average difficulty.
Beauty (1-5*): ****.
Base: Rifugio S.Giovanni al monte and Rifugio S. Pietro refuges (refreshments and accommodations)
Note: the first part of the itinerary might seem monotonous along the steep asphalted road. From the 101 m of Verignano you climb in just 13 kilometers to 1,150 meters and Prati di Gom. The second part of the itinerary is more exciting, traveling through the vineyards and the chestnut and olive groves.

Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary #2 – Brenzone di Magugnano, Prada – The itinerary starts out in Magugnano, a hamlet of Brenzone. Take the Gardesana road north for approximately 400 meters, then turn right and follow the signs for Castello. The ascending road passes the village of Bocine and flanks the typical terraced olive groves. After 2 km, you’ll reach
1) the hamlet of Castello and pass the church: a slight descent takes you to the intersection for Prada. Now comes a hard, steady climb for 7 grueling kilometers. After the tough ascent, you’ll reach the
2) Costone di Trovai rest area. Further ahead, at the bottom of the valley, you can take a refreshing sip of cool spring water at the “Trovai Grottos” just below the road. Now, in the easiest stretch of the itinerary, you’ll arrive at the Prada plateau where you’ll enjoy the slight descent amidst the pastures. At kilometer 11.60
3) you’ll arrive at the “Da Tano” trattoria. Follow the signs on the right for Castello, trail nr. 33. Now comes one of the toughest and most technical downhill sections. At a rest area you’ll bear left. After half a kilometer from the beginning of the trail, you’ll bear right and keep following trail nr. 33. The descent is truly a psychological and physical challenge, and in some points, only the bravest (or luckiest) are able to survive unscathed. After 14.3 kilometers, you’ll reach the
4) small S. Antonio church. Do not take the side road to the left. Once you reach a large house with a capital, flank the house and go straight on trail nr. 31. When you come across a group of homes, leave the main road and turn left on to the narrow trail that leads to the asphalted road. The descending road will take you back to your point of departure.

Zone: Prada
Map: KOMPASS K102
Access: Gardesana orientale S.S. n. 249
Departure: parking lot of the church in Magugnano di Brenzone
Length: 17.90 km
Maximum altitude: 1,135 m
Total difference in height: 1,065 m
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes – 4 hours
Bikability: total; difficult descent
Beauty (1-5*): ***
Difficulty: very difficult
Base: Prada
Note: the itinerary requires training due to the ascent, but also the descent should not be underestimated. Recommended for athletes who like technical descents.

Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

Medieval Villages. – Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary #3 Starting out from Torri del Benaco, you’ll head south to
1) Punta S.Vigilio, where you’ll take an unpaved trail on the left of the Gardesana road that leads to a white road uphill marked with the red-and-white CAI n. 41 “Crero” sign. You’ll pass the bar and, after the road widens you’ll encounter a fork in the road. Bear right and you’ll pass another bar. The road enters the forest and borders a crumbling stone wall. When you reach the junction, bear left and head towards a group of homes. Bear right on the asphalt road, which levels off and then turns into an unpaved section. The road, asphalt again, bears right and passes above a tennis court. Keep following the CAI signs. After 9 km, you’ll end up on the province road for Albisano. When you come to the curve, turn left and follow the signs for Coi. You’ll admire the picturesque fountains and capital, then turn left on the descending road,
2) entering the quiet hamlet of Coi. Turn left, then right onto the Via Lombroso road. When you reach the hamlet of Rossone, take the road uphill on the right. At the next fork in the road, bear right on the steep road that descends to an intersection. Turn left and follow the CAI signs: you’ll reach a point where water erosion has turned the road into a canal, so you’ll have to get off your bike and walk for the next 100 meters. In some sections the old road is barely a trail. The itinerary
3) follows the straight road that heads to Crero, near the bar restaurant. You’ll travel 100 meters north until you meet up with the old S. Siro church, then continue on the panoramic unpaved road amidst the green olive groves. Further on
4) the road curves, then ends on the Gardesana road. At this point, it’s an easy ride back to the parking lot.

Zone: Torri del Benaco
Map: KOMPASS K102
Access: Gardesana orientale S.S. n. 249 road
Departure: Torri del Benaco, parking lot near the Castle
Length: 23.10 km
Maximum altitude: 220 m
Difference in altitude: 153 m
Time: 2  3 hours
Bikeability: total; you have to get off of the bike and walk for a 100 meter stretch
Beauty (1-5*): *****
Difficulty: easy
Base: bar in Crero
Note: this easy itinerary enjoys a gorgeous view and beautiful scenery. You’ll ride along old roads that meander through terraced olive groves and medieval villages.

Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

Vesio, Tremalzo-Rifugio Garda, Passo Nota – Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary #4. Starting out from Vesio, follow the signs for Polzone. After less than 1 km, turn right on the unpaved road to Val S. Michele valley that skirts the meadows and cornfields. Once you pass a small dam (at 5.3 km), head for the Tremalzo Pass. Beyond the bridge, you’ll go uphill and take a winding road. The steeper ascent will require changing gear speeds: don’t overexert yourself right away because the road is difficult and steep. After 13.37 km, you’ll take the road to the right, which is the only stretch that gives you a chance to rest a bit as you head to the Pisù Falls. At
1) Malga Ca dall’Era you’ll leave the woods and head to the alpine meadows on a road with a 10% gradient (in 1.5 km, there is a 129 m difference in altitude!) that puts your physical condition to the test. Once you reach Cocca Pass, the most difficult stretch is behind you. In just 4.8 km, along an unpaved road with a gradient that does not surpass 6%, you’ll reach Malga Ciapa. After 600 meters you’ll encounter
2) Garda Refuge, which is built below Mount Tremalzo. You are still 1.8 km away from the highest point of the itinerary. When you enter the tunnel after 3 hours and 22.30 km from the departure, you need to change clothes. Once you exit the
3) tunnel, you’ll come across an incredible series of curves along a tough descent. The first part of the road is full of potholes and bumps. After 7.30 km downhill, you’ll reach the beech trees on
4) Nota Pass: the road to the left takes you to the nearby A.N.A. Vesio refuge, then heads to the Segala chalet (A.N.A. Limone refuge) and Lake Ledro, but you’ll take the road on the right and follow the signs for Tremosine. The unpaved road, which turns into an asphalt road further ahead, takes you to the bottom of the Bondo Valley. After you cross the bridge on the left, the road levels out and takes you to Pertica, then Vesio.

Zone: Mount Tremalzo
Map: KOMPASS n. 096
Departure: Parking lot in the center of Vesio
Access: from Riva, take the S.S. n. 45 bis road for Limone, junction for Tremosine-Vesio
Length: 39.80 km
Difference in altitude: 1,313 m
Maximum altitude: 1,863 m
Time: 6 – 7 hrs
Bikeability: Total
Difficulty: very difficult
Beauty (1-5*): *****
Base: Malga Ciapa, Garda refuge, A.N.A. Vesio refuge on Nota Pass
Note: although this itinerary, which covers a considerable difference in altitude, requires physical preparation, it’s worth the effort due to the beautiful scenery and the route. Due to the altitude, it is inaccessible in the winter and early spring.

Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary #5. – Salò – The itinerary starts slightly before Salò, near the junction of the state road for S. Michele. The first stretch is on the Gardesana road heading to Brescia. Beware of the traffic. After 0,5 km, take the second road to your right and travel the steep S. Bartolomeo road. The steep incline on the cement road forces the rider to use lower speeds: this is a tough start for muscles that are still not warmed up. Further up, bear right and do not take the private road that goes straight. Once you’re back on the asphalt road, you keep climbing, riding past several homes and take the wider road. At the intersection you go straight along the cobblestone road, which requires more physical exertion. Finally, the road is less steep and opens onto the town road for S. Michele, near the
1) rest area that overlooks the gulf of Salò. The itinerary continues on the road. At the first intersection, go straight for Serniga. The stretch leads to a plateau with meadow. At this point, take the unsurfaced road on the left to Serniga. Once in the village, take the first road to the left, then the next right. You’ll arrive at the church where you’ll travel along the old trail that flanks the soccer field and travels through the thick vegetation. In some places the old road is narrow and difficult to pass. You’ll end up in a meadow near a hut. Further on, take the asphalted road that climbs to the
2) sanctuary. The itinerary continues along the unpaved road on the right that starts to climb. You’ll reach the
3) highest point near a house with cement road. The cement road quickly descends to Val Sabbia. Turn left at the church. You’ll enter
4) Gazzane, a neighborhood of Roè Volciano. Follow signs for Salò. Once you reach the Gardesana road, you’ll return to the point of departure.

Zone: Salò – Roè Volciano
Map: KOMPASS K102
Access: Gardesana occidentale 45 bis road
Departure: Salò, along the Gardesana road, from the parking lot near the junction for S.Michele
Length: 14.00 km
Maximum altitude: 647 m
Difference in altitude: 557 m
Time: 1 hr 30 min. – 2 hr 30 min.
Bikeability: total
Beauty: ***
Difficulty: average difficulty
Base: in the hamlets of Serniga and Gazzane.
Note: The first part, which is very difficult, can be avoided by starting out at the junction for S. Michele.


Lake Garda : Biking Itineraries

The old Mill road – Mountainbike on Lake Garda: Itinerary 10 – You’ll take the “Regina Adelaide”(*) lakefront boulevard heading south. After 700 meters, you’ll ride through the pedestrian area between the lake and the state road, then you’ll take the
1) white road. In Bardolino (km 3.10), you’ll take the main road until you turn left onto the Gardesana road. After 200 meters, you’ll turn right onto Via S. Colombano. The road climbs slightly. You’ll turn right at Via Palai (km 5, signs for Monte Baldo), which is a level road. The street is asphalted at first, then turns into an unpaved road. Keep following signs for Monte Baldo. You’ll pass through the hamlet of Vignol.
2) At the crossroads you’ll turn right at the strada del Bergam (Bergam road). After a few houses, you’ll go straight at the crossroads. After 50 meters, pass the road on your left and keep going straight, passing through the vineyards. Turn left at the next intersection and take the road that travels uphill. Keep on the main road and pass Castelletto. At the next junction, turn right at Galeazzo road, then turn left at the next two intersections near a group of homes. The itinerary travels along the main road: after a brief descent
3), you’ll reach the province road in Albarè. Here you’ll turn right to head towards Albarè. After 400 meters, turn left at Via Negri, which immediately becomes a country road. At the first intersection, turn left and at the second, in Fraimonti, turn right and follow the main road. In “Le Baesse”, turn right near the war cemetery, then turn left and right again. At the stop sign of the Castermano loop, cross the province road and go straight on via Becelli
4) climbing uphill to the church. Turn left at the church at Via Carpene. After 50 meters, turn right at the group of homes at the trail that is on the left of the football field. At the next intersection, turn right on to the unpaved road that descends to the valle dei Molini (The Mill Valley), then turn left. On the Provincial Road once again, turn right until you reach the Gardesana road in Garda, where you’ll turn right and return to the parking lot.

Valle dei Molini
The fascinating Valle dei Molini is named after the many mills that were an important part of the local agricultural sector. The valley was created by the continuous erosion of the Tesina Rive between the moraines of the Bran and Carpene mountains.
A few old mills still exist, such as the mill that can be visited at the Campagnari Trattoria, or the restored Giovanni Ferri mill, which is perfectly functioning and can be toured in summer months. During the descent in the narrow green valley, the homes tell a story of a water-based economy where wheels, grindstones, mules and wagons were an essential part of everyday life.

Zone: Garda
Map: Kompass n 102.
Access: Gardesana orientale S.S. n. 249 road.
Departure: Garda, parking lot near the wharf, in front of Villa Albertini.
Length: 16.90 km.
Maximum altitude: 245 m.
Difference in altitude: 178 m.
Time: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
Bikeability: completely
Beauty (1-5*): ***
Difficulty: very easy, perfect for families
Rest stops: all along the route.
Note: an easy excursion amidst the vineyards, olive groves and old homes of the inland area of Lake Garda.


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