Are there better ways to spend time than experiencing one of many cycling holidays in Italy? Fine wine, finer food and a country that has cycling in its blood. Italy is one of nature’s masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity allowing you to enjoy a variety of cycling. From the notorious passes of the craggy Dolomites to the glacial lakes of Como, Maggiore and Garda, you can ride through magnificent landscapes. Take a trip south into Tuscany and enjoy the rolling Chianti hills or head into Italy’s boot and explore traditional trulli and whitewashed medieval towns in Puglia. This country stirs the soul and is one of the best cycling destinations in the world.
Embark on an incredible cycling adventure in Italy and explore breathtaking views, local villages and winding roads that will take you to some of the most beautiful and historical sites in the world. With a cycling holiday in Italy, you'll have the chance to discover hidden gems, sample delicious food, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Cycling Holidays in Italy
Cycling holidays in Italy are the perfect way to get up close and personal with the beauty of this classic destination. Spend your days exploring world-class cycling routes, from meandering back roads around hillsides carpeted with vineyards, to incredible alpine climbs of up to 2,700 meters. With its Mediterranean climate and delicious food at every turn, Italy is the ideal host for a cycling holiday combining culture and exercise in equal measure. The country's varied terrain is suited for all abilities - whether you’re a leisurely cyclist or an experienced road warrior - so hop on your bike and immerse yourself in the wonder that is Italy.
For a truly unforgettable experience, explore the mountains of northern Italy, such as the Dolomites and Alps. Here you'll find some of Europe’s highest peaks, stunning scenery and thousands of miles of cycling routes that allow you to cruise down quiet roads and mountain bike trails with unparalleled views. With sites like the Great War museums in Rovereto or hiking trails around Cortina D'Ampezzo, this area will give even non-cyclists plenty to do when the group stops for a lunch break or to rest their legs. Whether touring leisurely through babbling brooks or conquering snow-capped summits, these rugged landscapes make for an epic cycling holiday perfect for cyclists aged 10 - 100!
If you’re looking for both challenge and unforgettable views, try a cycling holiday in the Alps or Dolomites. Ride through some of the highest passes in Italy, passing spectacular lakes, glaciers and stunning villages. With breath-taking ascents and descents, you'll feel like you're on top of the world when touring this incredible region.
One of the most popular routes for a cycling holiday in Italy is the Dolomites, crossing several passes and reaching altitudes over 2,000 meters - making it one of the most challenging experiences you’re likely to have. For a spectacular ride, try the Sella Ronda: a 55 kilometre loop that passes around the magnificent peaks of the Dolomites. The Giau is a monster of a climb and you can experience over 5,000m of climbing on the Maratona dles Dolomites which features each July.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, head to the Alps and tackle Passo del Stelvio, among Italy's highest mountain roads with grades up to 12%. Whichever route you choose, these incredible mountain roads and majestic views will make your holiday truly memorable.
We have put together our top 5 climbs in Italy featuring the Passo del Stevio, each a mammoth challenge for any cyclist.
Exploring Tuscany on Two Wheels
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful bike destinations in Italy and it's easy to explore this region with a cycling holiday. With rolling hills, winding roads and stunning views, you'll be amazed at what this region has to offer. From exploring vineyards and small villages to ancient sites such as Pisa's leaning tower, a cycling holiday in Tuscany will offer an unforgettable experience.
Tuscany is ideal for cyclists of all levels as you can find routes tailored to your ability and experience. Whether you’re looking for challenging climbs or leisurely rides, there is something suitable for everyone. From its undulating hills to the unique countryside and coastal views, there is plenty for cyclists to discover throughout their Tuscany adventures. Highlighted by its ancient buildings, churches, vineyards and monasteries, riders can look forward to discovering exquisite landscapes and renowned landmarks along every route. With beautifully paved roads and great weather, cycling holidays in Tuscany promise a relaxing journey that you won’t forget. Whether you're an amateur cyclist or a professional cyclist, cycling holidays in Tuscany have something special to offer everyone.
Read more about the best cycling routes in Tuscany.
The delights of Puglia
With its ancient towns, stunning coastlines and valleys of olive trees, Puglia has an abundance of cycling routes to choose from. Whether you prefer mountain or road biking, there are plenty of options to meet your needs - some designed for beginners, others for advanced riders.
If you want to explore Puglia’s vineyards and trullos, the best route is a path called “Apulian Geothermal Road.” This stunning stretch of road takes you through cork oak forests, olive tree plantations and breathtaking hilltop towns. For something a little more challenging, try cycling from Santa Maria di Leuca in the south up to Lecce in the north - this 248km cycle route showcases Puglia’s entire coastline! Although it may take some time to reach your end point, it will be worth it for all the amazing views along the way.
Cycling in Sardinia
Love Velo will take you inside the heart of sun kissed Sardinia. With it's crystal blue water and rugged coastline, it offers superb cycling in a region dating back to ancient times. The cycling, particularly in the south offers a journey like no other. You'll visit lush forests, sandy beaches and the ancient ruins at Nora.
Read all about the best cycling in Sardinia here.
Cycling in Italy doesn't get much better than riding in Garda and the surrounding towns. Recognising how incredibly beautiful it is to ride by the lake, the local councils are building a 140km path that circumnavigates the lake. A large part of the network is already open and it is truly stunning. Paths hang over the lake offering a jaw dropping view of the waters below and you can enjoy the ride completely traffic free.
If you want to do some serious climbing, Garda offers so many options. The climbing through the forests is unrivalled and on the slopes of Garda are stunning vineyards. Stay in Riva del Garda in the north to experience a delightful lakeside town or Peschiersa del Garda in the south, for access to famous beautiful towns such as Bardolino.
Read more about Lake Garda here.
The Best Cycling Holidays in Italy For Families
If you're looking to ride with the family in Italy, unless you're exceptionally experienced riders, we recommend avoiding the Alps and the Dolomites. The best places to ride for families is further south, away from the climbs. Tuscany offers rolling hills and stunning scenery and there's a great ride from Pisa to Florence, taking in the north of Italy, which is perfect for families. You'll be transferred out of the cities so all your riding is on quiet country lanes and traditional Tuscan strada bianche (white roads).
Further south is Puglia, home to probably the best food and wine in the country. This trip takes you through traditional medieval towns and along the vibrant Adriatic coast, guiding you to the best restaurants for you and your family to enjoy in the evenings. Most of the wheat grown for traditional Italian pasta is grown in Puglia, in Italy's boot. Explore traditional trulli, stone lined roads and whitewashed villages. For those wanting to hit he beaches post ride, very few places in the whole of Europe can offer the beauty that Sardinia offers.
The Best Trips in Italy on a Budget
What makes Love Velo unique in comparison to other cycling travel companies is the adaptability of our cycling holidays. Whether you're cycling on a budget or money isn't a factor, all you have to do is let our experience team know and we'll tailor any of our holidays to suit your requirements. If you're looking for am inexpensive trip in Italy, then Puglia pr Sardinia offer the best value. You can also ride in Tuscany and stay in small agristurismos which are budget friendly.
The Best Cycling Holidays in Italy For Experienced Cyclists
The Maratona Dles Dolomites is one of the most famous cycling sportives in the world and our favourite event. As one of the sportive's official tour operators, we can guarantee your entry to the event. We will also organise your accommodation, transfers, meals and guided practice routes before the big day. You’ll climb the Passo Campolongo for 5.8km at a 6.1% gradient as well as Passo Sella for 5.5km at a 7.9% gradient. These are two of the best climbs of the trip however, it is the whole trip that makes your Maratona experience so good. If you fancy riding in the Dolomites and not riding the event itself, just let us know and we can organise a trip to take in the best climbs in the Dolomites.
If you’re a seasoned rider and would prefer to go on a self guided holiday then we love our Tuscany holidays. Whilst we have recommendations regarding the best routes, places to stay and places to eat, our trips are fully flexible and we’d love to work with you and organise the best holiday possible. You can choose to ride varying distances and stay in different locations.
Love Velo's Favourite Climb in Italy
Whilst the Maratona and the Dolomites offers incredible climbing, it's hard to look past the Stelvio. The highest paved road in the Alps offers probably the toughest climb in the country. The 48 hairpins from Prato provide an unrelenting challenge for any cyclist. Combine the ride with a weekend taking on other famous climbs such as the Mortirolo or the Gavia, for a truly epic cycling holiday.
The Best Places to Cycle in Italy with Friends
Italy is a great place to spend a cycling holiday with friends. The variation in landscape means riders, experienced or not, can choose how far and how high they want to climb, there’s really something for everyone. Our trips in Tuscany are perfect for friends who want to combine relaxing accommodation with stunning scenery and flexible cycling routes. Each night you’ll be placed in a beautiful hotel amongst the rolling countryside of Chianti, in the busier by equally charming city of Florence or somewhere else in the Tuscany region. We recommend spending 8 nights exploring the area. With an average of 60km per day, a distance that is fully adjustable, you will become immersed in the area, discovering new, delightful places to eat with your friends.
All of our routes in Italy are perfect for groups of friends and this country is certainly one of our most popular for large bookings. With multiple destinations to choose from, you can be sure that you’ll find something for each group member on your holiday to Italy and, as we can tailor make each trip, we will be more than happy to accommodate each individual member to ensure they are getting the experience they want, whether that involves more climbing, luxury pools or great places to eat and drink.
Love Velo's Favourite Italian Destination
Our favourite base for an Italian cycling holiday has to be Tuscany. The blend of luxurious countryside and famous, captivating towns, makes for a perfect holiday experience. We have great links with the area so we are able to tailor your holiday to the finest detail depending on your expectations. You could choose to spend short days on the bike in luxury accommodation exploring the region or you could ride around Tuscany, staying in different accommodation each night. San Gimignano, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a particularly beautiful popular spot whilst Florence's beauty is unrivalled. You'll find something for everyone in this region, making it the perfect hub for an Italian cycling holiday.
The Best Cycling Holidays in Italy For A Great Picture or Selfie
One of the highlights of cycling in Italy is seeing San Gimignano, the medieval hilltop town, on the horizon as you cycle through Tuscany. Once you reach the top, the views over the vibrant countryside are unique to Italy and provide you with an incredible photo opportunity. Also known as the ‘Town of Fine Towers’, you’ll find there are incredible places to eat and grab a coffee in San Gimignano. Spend some time exploring the town (and taking plenty of pictures) before riding back down and continuing your Tuscany cycling holiday. The trip to San Gimignano features on many of our Italian holidays as we love cycling around the area and witnessing the views from the top so much.
Why Travel to Italy with Love Velo?
Italy hosts an incredible selection of different rides, places to stay, landscapes and coastal areas. We've made it a priority of ours to make sure you can enjoy the highlights of the country without the hassle of spending hours searching for accommodation, transfers, routes etc. When you book a cycling holiday with Love Velo, you can be confident that you will enjoy your stay, however long you decide to spend in Italy. From the iconic mountains on the Maratona to the vibrant, peaceful countryside in Chianti, there's really something for everyone. Don't hesitate to give us a call on 0207 157 1519 or email [email protected] if you're interested in a trip to this incredible country. If you're still not sure what it is you want then our cycling experience team will be more than happy to talk through your options and find the best holiday for you.