From the gentle Morainic hills to the “hors catégorie” climbs, this is Lake Garda for road bikes. In this area of Italy, in fact, there is no shortage of exhausting ups and downs and long, constant climbs (from 5 to 10 km). The slopes of the ascents that riders will find here are not as extreme as in other parts of Italy, but these landscapes are not at all easy, with maximum gradients that even reach double digits (around 18%).
The name reflects the extreme exertion required for a climb that starts in Bienno, at an altitude of 445 metres, and reaches the summit at 1,892 metres after an 18.5 kilometre ascent. It’s not by chance that Crocedomini is considered “hors catégorie” (beyond categorisation), or rather, climbs you should do at least once in your life. From Bienno the gradients exceed 10% rather quickly and fluctuate constantly between 8% and 9% for the length of the ascent.
From Peschiera to “Little Stelvio”: Monte Baldo
Itinerary: Peschiera, Lazise, Avio, Monte Baldo, San Valentino, Caprino Veronese, Garda, Lazise, Peschiera
Elevation gain: 2,604 m
When the going gets tough, the tough get going… The well-known saying suits this itinerary, which takes you from Peschiera del Garda to Monte Baldo, also known as “Little Stelvio” because it has similar bends. After an initial lakefront stretch the route heads inland through Avio, San Valentino, Caprino Veronese, Garda and Lazise. The Monte Baldo climb is the only rough part.
In the Lake Garda hills
Itinerary: Peschiera del Garda, Castelnuovo del Garda, Lazise, Bardolino, San Zeno di Montagna, Caprino Veronese, Pastrengo, Castelnuovo del Garda, Peschiera del Garda
Elevation gain: 1,332
An itinerary of average difficulty nestled in the hills bordering Lake Garda, with contrasting colours ranging from the blue of the lake to the green of the hills. Peschiera del Garda is the point of departure and arrival, with constant rises and descents, a long climb (about 18 km with an elevation gain of 656 m) in the middle section, then more rises and descents and plains.
Through the land of Custoza
Itinerary: Sommacampagna, Sona, Bussolengo, San Giorgio in Salici, Salionze, Borghetto sul Mincio, Valeggio sul Mincio, Villafranca, Custoza, Sommacampagna
Travel through Italian history via the moraine hills of Garda. Various villas and historical courts along this itinerary, such as Pieve di Santa Giustina and the Scaligera Tower in Palazzolo di Sona, form the setting for the verdant hills dotted with the vineyards that produce Custoza’s fine wine. Take a break in Borghetto sul Mincio as well, a mill village along the Mincio River, ranked among the most beautiful hamlets in Italy.
Sirmione Wine Route
Itinerary: Sirmione, San Martino della Battaglia, Pozzolengo, Punta Gro, Sirmione
From Sirmione – one of Lake Garda’s most beautiful and evocative towns, with its Cascaligero Castle overhanging the waters of the lake – this pleasant, year-round route, winds mainly along bike paths, passing though San Martino della Battaglia, Pozzolengo and Punta Gro. The olives and truffles from San Martino della Battaglia are prized local delicacies, together with its renowned white wine.