Trentino by bike
If you like biking, you’ll love Trentino with 1,700km of MTB trails, 480km of cycle paths, and some of the most beautiful hill climbs in the Alps to choose from, we’ve got something special for every kind of two-wheeler.
When it comes to biking, Trentino is blessed. Here, stunning mountain scenery combines with every conceivable type of two-wheeled terrain, from rollercoaster hillsides to broad, flat valleys. Meanwhile, a climate that averages over 300 days of sunshine a year keeps everyone smiling, and conditions benign.
Even so, we haven’t rested on our laurels. What makes Trentino so exciting is the combination of these natural advantages with a highly-developed cycling infrastructure. To help MTBers explore our mountain landscapes, we’ve developed a vast network of waymarked trails, bike-friendly accommodation, and luggage transfer services. On the valley floors, dedicated cycle paths keep two-wheelers away from the traffic. And for those in search of pain-free pedalling, there’s a growing network of e-bike rental centres and recharging points.
It all adds up to a busy and purposeful cycling scene – and one that’s perfect for a summer holiday. Whatever your level, and however hard you want to push yourself, there’s a challenge for you here, and plenty of ways to relax afterwards as well. After all, this is Italy. No adventure should end without a scoop or two of gelato or a glass of sparkling Trentodoc Spumante.
Five majestic MTB circuits - and 1,700km of trails
The first thing you’ll notice in Trentino are the soaring cliffs and spires of the Dolomites - recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. But look beyond the scenery and you’ll find we’ve got a lot more to offer mountain bikers than spectacular views.
Central to the MTB scene are our five trail networks. New this year is the 154km Tour de Non, a circular tour in four stages which explores the Val di Non, and takes in the 2116m summit of Monte Roen in the Brenta Dolomites. It’s a challenging and ever-changing experience: one that plunges you deep into the natural world, as you bike from a landscape of orchards and castles into dramatic high-mountain terrain.
Not all our trails are so technical. One of the key features of the dramatic Dolomiti Brenta Bike tour is that can be tackled on two routes of differing difficulty. The Expert Trail is every bit as challenging as the Tour di Non – a rip-roaring 171km adventure that climbs through 7,700 vertical metres. For one kilometre the terrain is so tricky you’ll actually have to carry your bike. But by way of contrast, the Country Trail is a much gentler prospect, which sidesteps the tougher climbs and serves up lush landscapes of Alpine meadows and orchards.
There’s a similar sense of variety in two of our other trail networks. At the heart of Dolomiti Lagorai Bike is a magnificent, six-day “Grand Tour” which winds through the most famous Dolomite massifs and can be biked clockwise (342 km) or anti-clockwise (349 km). But if all you want is to cruise gently downhill through farmland and forests, you’ll find plenty of routes to oblige – with the region’s cable cars on hand to take the sting out of the climbs. In all, there are 1,100km of trails to explore.
Meanwhile, the trails of Mountain & Garda Bike will introduce you to the ravishing landscapes of Lake Garda, where towering cliffs plunge straight into the water, and the climate is balmy enough to grow olives. Here, cycle paths and gentle climbs allow you to explore the area at a gentle pace. Or you can tackle the toughest of all our tours: a 200km circuit which climbs through a staggering 10,000 vertical metres.
Finally, the 100km dei Forti is a three-day trail, which explores the fortresses of the Great War, dotted across the Alpe Cimbra in southern Trentino. Following the route is both an act of remembrance and a lesson in the folly of man, as you bike past battlefields more suited to mountain goats than armies.
In every case, you’ll find the trails are backed up by an impressive infrastructure, which includes detailed mapping and route descriptions, downloadable GPS coordinates, and logistical support. Luggage transfers, overnight storage and bike-wash facilities are available on many routes. Book one of our mountain packages, and you can even get a complete holiday for a single all-inclusive price, covering MTB hire, biker-friendly accommodation, baggage transfers and maps.
Downhill all the way: eight world-class bike parks
For technical bikers and adrenaline addicts, the ultimate challenge comes courtesy of our bike parks. The most challenging offer everything from north-shore and four-cross tracks to slope-style courses and parabolic pipes. But a new breed of family-friendly parks is also being introduced – offering children (and their more adventurous parents) the chance to get their tyres dirty.
Both terrain and facilities are world-class: and to prove it, the MTB World Cup Finals will be held in the Val di Sole in August 2017.
There are now eight parks in the province: the Brenta Bike Park on Doss del Sabiòn in Val Rendena; the Bike Park Passo Tonale above the Val di Sole; the Paganella Bike Park at Fai della Paganella; the Bike Park Lavarone, in the heart of Alpe Cimbra; the San Martino Bike Arena above San Martino di Castrozza; the Fassa Bike Park in Canazei and Pozza di Fassa; Val di Sole Bikeland; and Bike Park Garda Trentino at the northern end of Lake Garda.
Mud, sweat and gears: Enduro racing in Trentino
Enduro combines the sweat of pedalling with the thrill of precipitous descents, and Trentino is home to several areas where terrain, soil type, and wide open spaces combine to create the perfect racing environment. The Bear Trails on the Paganella plateau, the Tour delle Malghe in Madonna di Campiglio and the Valsorda Enduro Trail near San Martino di Castrozza are just a few on offer.
If you’ve never tried Enduro – but fancy a crack at this bone-rattling, mind-sharpening sport - you can rent gear at several specialist hire centres, including bikes, full-face helmets, goggles, and kneepads.
Easy riding on 480km of cycle paths
If you prefer to do your pedalling at a less frenetic pace, you’ll love our 480km network of cycle trails, which thread a gentle path through our most spectacular valleys. Where possible, old roads, disused railway lines, and country lanes have been put back into use, and most of the network is reserved exclusively for bicycles. Imagine a smooth asphalt trail, skirting a lake, with a panorama of mountains in the distance, and you’ve pretty much got the picture. Whether you’re training for a race, or enjoying a day out in the sunshine with your kids, it’s the ultimate stress-free way to explore our region.
The network of cycling paths is subdivided into 11 areas – and in each the routes are clearly signposted, with maps, virtual tours and GPS coordinates available on the website www.ciclabili.provincia.tn.it. You’ll also find rest areas equipped with benches, bicycle racks, fountains and twelve “Bicigrill” – offering workshops for minor repairs, information on local attractions, and restaurants or snack bars.
E-biking: more fun, less effort
The boost provided by an e-bike’s electric motor means you can cover bigger distances at a more consistent speed, and soak up even more of our gorgeous scenery. So it’s no wonder e-biking is so enthusiastically supported in Trentino.
Prominent among our e-biking projects is FiemmE-motion - the Val di Fiemme’s scheme which has made e-bike rentals available to all holders of the FiemmE-Motion card (visit www.visitfiemme.it for details). In Primiero the Green Way Bike project now offers 28 electric mountain bikes for hire, rechargeable at five different stations (www.sanmartino.com). Meanwhile, the Val di Non has joined the Movelo network, an e-bike rental circuit now available in many Alpine resorts (www.valdinon.it). You can also hire e-bikes in the Dolomiti Paganella, Giudicarie, Valle di Ledro and Garda Trentino areas.
The mythical climbs of Trentino
Our province is full of switchback roads, hill climbs and mountain passes: many of which have had starring roles in the Giro d’Italia and the UCI cycling World Cup. Last year, the Accademia della Montagna and Trentino Marketing gathered the best of them together into Le 23 Grande Salite del Trentino. These are our 23 most famous, most challenging and most beautiful climbs, and every serious road racer needs to try at least a couple of them.
They could do a lot worse than tackle one of our top five climbs. These range from the ascent of Monte Bondone - scene of the Legendary Charly Gaul race - to the Passo Pordoi, one of six mountain passes to be tackled in stage 14 of this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Shuttle services for cyclists
We’re always looking for ways to make cycling easier – and shuttle services for cyclists are among them. Take the Bike Shuttle Garda-Dolomiti for example. Operating from June to September, it connects the north shore of Lake Garda to key areas in the Brenta Dolomites, including Terme di Comano and the Altopiano della Paganella. Meanwhile, the Bike Express Fassa-Fiemme service operates daily, except Saturdays, between Molina and Alba di Canazei, serving the 48 km cycling path through the Val di Fassa and the Val di Fiemme.
Cyclists who want to use our railway network to transport their bikes need to look out for services carrying the special cycling pictogram. Throughout the year, the trains running the Ferrovia del Brennero between Verona and Bolzano are equipped for the transport of 6-18 bicycles. In July and August, the trains on Ferrovia della Valsugana between Trento and Bassano can carry up 32 bikes, and some trains on the Ferrovia Trento-Malé-Marilleva are authorised to transport up to 18 cycles.