Climbing in N. Italy, Switzerland, Austria. Where??

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

Starting to loosely plan a family vacation to Northern Italy, austria, and maybe Switzerland. I would likely be flying into Milan, rent a car, and go from there. Will likely spend the last 2-3 days between Belgium and Paris, finally leaving from Paris. No riding necessary in those few last days. Total trip will be almost 3 weeks total. I have stayed in Bormio before, which was great for at least 3 of the famous climbs seem commonly in the Giro (Mortirolo, Gavia, Stelvio). I am looking for similar places that would allow me to stay there for a few days and hit several climbs/routes nearby. Suggestions?

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Doyler
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by Doyler

I did a week in Sud Tirol and Tirol this summer. We moved around almost every day and hit loads of climbs. This was our itinerary...

Day 1: Stayed in Landeck
Cycled Alberg Pass and Bielerhohe.

Day 2: Stayed in Reschen Am See
Cycled Stelvio loop (drove down to Glurns and started there

Day 3: Drove to foot of Val Martello and rode to top.
Dead end climb, really nice
Drove on to San Leonardo (stayed one night), did the Jaufenpass when we arrived.

Day 4: Still in San Leonardo
Cycled Timmelsjoch

Day 5: Stayed in Oetz
Cycled Khutai

You could also stop in Solden and do the Galcier Strasse climb.
We drove up. It's steep but totally amazing up there. Bit of a long tunnel at the top.

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dogma85
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by dogma85

I know you didn't mentioned Slovenia, but last year I have been in Italy, Austria and Slovenia and I liked Slovenia the most.
Killing climb was Vršič-Trenta and then Trenta-Bovec (Mt. Triglav and Nat. Park), both sides made me still remembering that vocation :-)

On the side Trenta-Bovec there is nice river Soca that goes along with road. I liked it!
But I think there are guys from Slovenia here that maybe could give you more information if you decide for this...

jmartpr
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by jmartpr

If you can live with "smaller" climbs the Como area is not that bad and close to Milan.....also very nice for the other member if they don't ride.

Valbrona
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by Valbrona

The pre-Alpine area in northern Italy offers a more scenic and varied cycling experience than the monotonous 'sloggit up the Stelvio' one. Any of the hotels around Lake Como will fit the bill, and having a vehicle will mean that you can reach pretty much any part of the region. Major roads in northern Italy are busy and dangerous, and take lights for long and poorly illuminated tunnels or the shorter ones which can throw you into pitch darkness.

I suggest you heavily factor in the safety element, especially if you are in a family group. If you hit a district where the roads are just too dangerous be prepared to move on.
Last edited by Valbrona on Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

Have done the COMO and COMO lake area. The traffic scared the shit out of me and I live in south FL, capital of the dumb, blind, redneck, and decrepit!! I would rather go to a place I can ride/climb from without having to ride too far to get to the climb or possibly without having to drive far in a car.


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seanblurr
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by seanblurr

I live in Vicenza and there are amazing routes within the city limits. It's wonderful. I may head down south towards Pisa (Lucca) to see how the cycling is there. Stelvio was a check the block sort of ride, brutal, shitty road, crowded.
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micky
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by micky

@seanblurr, are you in Vicenza city or around the city?

If you've your family with you, you need a place with great cycing routes but also a place where you can spend time off the bike; my usual suggestion would be between the Lake of Garda and Verona.

airwise
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by airwise

What dates are you going to be in Northern Italy?

Traffic conditions and climate obviously vary enormously so dates would be good.

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Stolichnaya
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by Stolichnaya

The Alta Badia area in Sudtirol, Italy is excellent. Staying near the course of the Maratona dles Dolomites race gives you 360 degree access to big passo climbs. You can spend an entire week there and not get tired of the routes available. If you are ambitious then you can drive across the border to Lienz, Austria for a day trip and do the Gross Glockner climb, which is also epic.

seanblurr
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by seanblurr

micky wrote:@seanblurr, are you in Vicenza city or around the city?

If you've your family with you, you need a place with great cycing routes but also a place where you can spend time off the bike; my usual suggestion would be between the Lake of Garda and Verona.



I'm just a few minutes from the downtown area. There are amazing roads just outside of Downtown (Monte Berico backside for those familiar). You can string enough short distance climbs to make a killer ride. Going out towards the town of Asiago also provides a stunning route, however it is popular with motorcycles so it feel like you are riding on a race track. Staying around Vicenza is pretty much year round riding (just got back a few minutes ago), however, anything closer to the dolomites will start to have snow and is unridable this time of year.
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Chris_W
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by Chris_W

Andermatt in Switzerland - in the centre of several 2,000+ metre passes (Furka, Oberalp, Gotthard, Susten). They are not as well known for cycling because the most famous races (Tour, Giro) don't often use them, but they are at least as spectacular. From Andermatt, there are 3 different loops you can do that include 3-pass loops - it makes an awesome base-camp.

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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

micky wrote:@seanblurr, are you in Vicenza city or around the city?

If you've your family with you, you need a place with great cycing routes but also a place where you can spend time off the bike; my usual suggestion would be between the Lake of Garda and Verona.


I will certainly look into those 2 locations if we do Italy. We are in the very early stages of planing what or where we are going. Likely will be May or June due to schedules, but I realize lots of the big/popular passes will be still possibly closed and snowed in. We are wide open as to where to go. I would prefer to go somewhere that I have not visited before, hence the reason I added Switzerland, Austria, or Belgium to the list. It is a family trip (me, wife, and 2 boys- ages 10/12), so you are indeed right in that we have to find some other stuff to do for the rest of the day. I will likely go out to ride by 7Am and be back within 3-4 hr max.

@seanblurr,
I stayed in Lucca for about 10 days 2 summers ago. It is an awesome area to be in for riding as you can go 360 degrees from there to ride. Depending on your appetite for mileage or endurance, you can plot out some very nice rides from there. Hills, flat, scenic wine country, beach/sea front, and then this below:
Image

seanblurr
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by seanblurr

I'm heading to Lucca tomorrow.
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basilic
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by basilic

This will be in the summer, right?
If so I'm with ChrisW: Andermatt. One loop would be up Furka pass, down to Ulrichen, then Nufenen pass, down to Airolo, then up Gothard pass, on the old paved road (via Tremola). Another would be down to Wassen (follow the red cycling route arrows and get off the main road after the tunnels, to escape the traffic), up Susten pass, down to Innertkirchen, up Grimsel pass (add the extension at the col to see the glaciers, it's the small rd with a traffic light because cars cannot cross), down to Gletsch, up Furka pass and back to Andermatt. The third loop (Oberalp, Lukmanier, Gothard) is not quite as spectacular.
If you veer East into the Dolomites or even Slovenia it'll be a long drive to Belgium.

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