Cycling & SPA in Italy’s mountains…a magic combination

The autumn is on its way and before snow and ice might keep us away from riding alpine passes, we wanted to test the “Grandi salite del Trentino”, the big climbs of Trentino, located in the most northern region in Italy, Südtirol-Trentino.

We have put up our basecamp in the newly opened Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti in Pinzolo (I), just a few km away from Madonna di Campiglio, the famous ski resort. That was a great choice, considering that the weather forecast is not the best and gives us always a potential plan B : the amazing Hotel SPA..

Our tour starts in Pinzolo after a great breakfast and a perfectly foggy autumn day. It feels more like being in the UK rather than in Italy, but luckily the summer temperatures have not faded away totally. After 15 easy and slightly downhill kilometres we reach Stenico, small mountain village visible already from some distance due to the impressive Castle on top of the hill.

After 32km we reach Ponte Arche, village named after the old bridge over the river Sacra, hat once connected the left and right side of the village. After a nice espresso at the local coffee shop we are getting ready for the first climb, the passo Duron. A 10km ascent will take us from the lowest point of our tour (400m) to exactly 1000m above sea level.

Luckily the weather stays dry and Sher Stella Vest and Due arm warmers are enough to keep us warm on the first descent to Preore. And yet we are already at the base of our second climb of this tour: the Passo Daone. With climbs between 8% and 11% we reach after more than 8km the top at 1291 m.a.s.l.

Later we will discover that stage 17 of this year’s Giro d’Italia from Bassano del Grappa di Madonna di Campiglio, the Passo Daone will be one of the waypoints. Ticked!

After the last downhill ride we have 20km more to go on a along a slight uphill road. After having been lucky throughout the whole tour, the last 4km we’re cycling under pouring rain which gives us one more reason to speed up and get to the place we were dreaming off all day: the SPA! But obviously not before drinking our well deserved beer after 75km and 1750hm in our legs.

Author: Claudia Rier

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