Published on: 16 March 2013 | Last updated: 17 March 2018
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This cycleway is mainly traffic-free and tarmac. It provides a useful link between Lombardia’s lakes and the region’s mountains and the classic climbs around Bormio and Livigno.
There are a number of sections of the main strada statale (the SS38) that are off-limits to bikes so the cycleway is an essential alternative.
The official cycle route takes you through to Grosio but there’s a semi-official cycleway that connects to Bormio. The semi-official cycleway makes use of a section of the old strada statale to take you past the site of a a huge landslide.
The cycleway follows the river Adda. Along the way you might want to consider taking a ride on the Ferrovia Retica a spectacular train ride from Tirano to Sant Moritz. The railway is a UNESCO World Heritage site. (Top tips: avoid the more expensive Bernina Express trains and instead opt for a ride in the open wagons that (in good weather) are attached to the back of the trains).
There’s another branch of the Sentiero Valtellina that leads to from Chiavenna towards the Passo dello Splugen on the border with Switzerland.
The route goes past the foot of the climb to the Passo di Mortirolo which vies with the Monte Zoncolan in Friuli for the title of Italy’s toughest climb.
You could also climb from to Tirano the Poschiavo and the Lago di Poschiavo - Poschiavo is an attractive small town and the lake is very beautiful. You could also go on to the Passo di Bernina. It’s a big climb but the views are spectacular.
Heading eastwards towards the Lago di Como you could pick up the Western Lakes route.
The other major site along the way is the Santuario Madonna di Tirano, which is on the route itself.
Maps to print out or view offline
About the maps
The maps are in two versions: A4 portrait format - for printing and maybe also for viewing on an iPad, and A5 for smaller tablets and smartphones. (A4 and A5 are international paper sizes).
Links open in new windows unless you ‘save as’ etc.
- Sentiero Valtellina gps files
(.zip file containing 2 gpx track files)
- Italy Points of Interest
POIs are like waypoints, but while you can usually only store a limited number of waypoints on a device, you can store thousands of POIs. These files include information about campsites and hostels, bike shops, train stations, drinking water sources as well as warnings for tunnels and roads where bikes are banned. Please check the ReadMe file for instructions. Updated April 2018. The file format is only compatible with Garmin GPSes .
Places to stay
Transport and services
There are train stations at Tirano and Sondrio.