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If you love dramatic mountain backdrops, this tour is hard to beat - especially as the cycle route means you get to drink in the views without having to do the climbs (enjoy an amazing train journey up into the mountains). Cycle along riverside paths, along valley floors, and through lovely villages; experience the glamour of St. Moritz, and the serenity of Lake Como.
Arrive at Milan. Transfer by minibus, taxi or train to our base hotel in Tirano, just 2km from the Swiss border. Located at the crossroads between Valtellina and Val Poschiavo, this is where the ‘Bernina Express’ terminates - a spectacular mountain railway which climbs over the Alps and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008.
Tirano to Grosio: 22 miles (35km). After breakfast you’ll be equipped with your bicycle. Before heading off for the day you might like to have a quick look around Tirano, a small town with a big mountain backdrop. After wandering along its winding streets, perhaps stopping for a latté in one of the sunny piazzas, and admiring the view as you look down the narrow river Adda that cuts through the town, it’s time to get on your bike and cycle to Grosio. The route takes you along the ‘Sentiero Valtellina’ cycle path which follows the river to your destination, an ancient medieval village dominated by two castles and inhabited since prehistoric times. While you’re here you’ll have time to visit the park and the Romanesque church of San Giorgio before pedalling back to Tirano.
Tirano to St. Moritz: 15 miles (25km). Today starts with blissful ease: a train journey on the Bernina Express, ascending from Tirano high into the beautiful Swiss Alps as far as the Bernina Pass. Arguably the most scenic Swiss train ride of all, you’ll enjoy incredible panoramic mountain views all the way to the top. From here it’s time to get back on your bike for the wonderful downhill stretch to Pontresina, a tiny village dominated by a pentagonal Moorish tower and the Santa Maria Chapel, with frescos dating from the 13th and 15th centuries. The descent continues into St. Moritz, the best known tourist resort of the Engadine. A renowned ski resort in winter that has lured celebrities and royalty for over a hundred years. There’s plenty to see and do here in summer too, with its shimmering aquamarine lake, emerald forests and dramatic mountains, the town really sparkles. And when it comes to shops, bars and restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
St. Moritz to Chiavenna: 30 miles (50km). This morning the route takes you along the plateau of the Upper Engadine, surrounded by mountains and forests. You’ll come across the sparkling emerald waters of the Silvaplana, Champfèr and Sils lakes on your way - there are lots of lovely picnic spots here. From here you’ll reach the Maloja Pass, not far from the source of the river Inn. Your legs will enjoy a brief rest as you take a private transfer bus down to Val Bregaglia, a beautiful valley that connects Graubünden with Italy. The cycle route from here takes you back into Italian territory, where the Cycle Route of Val Chiavenna begins.
Chiavenna to Colico: 19 miles (30km). After staying in the small medieval town of Chiavenna for the night, the route now follows the course of the river Mera, to Lake Mezzola. From here you continue southwards along the ‘Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve’ until you come across the river Adda, which flows into the Lake Como. Colico is your stop for the night, a small town on the northern edge of Lake Como, at the base of the Alps Orobie slopes. Explore the town, relax on the lakefront beach or visit the famous Cistercian Piona Abbey, just 2km away. With sublime views of the lake and the snow-capped peaks in the distance, it's no wonder monks still live here today, selling the goods they make on site to the public.
Colico to Sondrio: 30 miles (50km). Bidding farewell to the shimmering waters of Lake Como, today we follow the 'Sentiero Valtellina' cycle path to Morbegno, known for the typical Bitto cheese. We then continue along the valley floor as far as the Sanctuary of the 'Madonna of Sassella', on the threshold of the town of Sondrio, the regional capital of the Valtellina. The endless terraces of vines on the mountains around the town remind you that you're now very much back in Italy...
Sondrio to Tirano: 19 miles (30km). Your final cycle day continues along the Sentiero Valtellina, through little villages on the banks of the river Adda until you finally reach Tirano, your original destination. You should have time for one last wander around, and a visit to the Renaissance Basilica with its impressive organ, and the chapel of the Apparition.
We say “Arrivederci” before transferring you direct from Tirano to Milan by train or minibus.
A fine selection of options to choose from
Hotel Corona is a stylish hotel located just 100 yards from the departure point of the famous Bernina Express red train. The hotel has a large outdoor veranda, where you can enjoy a drink and a generous buffet is served daily in the breakfast room. All rooms are en-suite and come with a smart TV and Wi-Fi
This family-run hotel is set on the bank of the Mallero River and is connected by a private walkway to the pedestrian centre of Sondrio. Each room is complete with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. Your room overlooks either the mountains or rooftops of Sondrio. The restaurant at Albergo Europa is open at both lunch and dinner and serves a delicious mix of regional and Italian specialities.
Hotel Risi is located right on the shores of Lake Como and just a 15-minute walk from the beach. Set in a 19th Century building, all rooms come with air conditioning and flat screen TVs. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and serves classic Italian Cuisine. The centre of Colico is just 200 yards away.
This well-located hotel has a contemporary style with well-equipped rooms and a restaurant with an excellent menu. The hotel has views of the mountains and the Church of San Lorenzo.
Offering a stunning panoramic view over St. Moritz, this hostel provides free public Wi-Fi and a games room with billiards and table tennis. The rooms are bright and modernly furnished. Guests can unwind in the lounge area with an open fireplace.
Tour Only Prices
Saturday Departure Only
|2018 Departure Dates||Nights||
|9th June 2018 - 22nd September 2018||7||£1050|
Package Prices (Flights and Transfers Included)
|2018 Departure Dates||Nights||Adult Price|
|9th June 2018 - 22nd September 2018||7||£1325|
Childrens prices on request.
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