Mori-Torbole cycleway Ciclabile Mori-Torbole

Published on:  | Last updated: 9 September 2019

Cyclists on the cycleway between Mori and Torbole on the Lago di Garda

Cyclists on the cycleway between Mori and Torbole on the Lago di Garda

This cycleway connects Torbole on the northern coast of the Lago di Garda with the Adige valley cycleway. It has some very scenic parts, but its main importance is as the most practical route between Trento and the northern Lago di Garda. It's also the only altern­ative to the SS240 which is off-limits to bikes for most of its length between Torbole and the Adige valley.

At a glance

Distance

13 kilometres

Difficulty/​terrain

Easy. If you are heading toward the Lago di Garda, the cycleway involves a very limited amount of climbing, but heading the other way there's a fairly steep (10%) climb out of Torbole.

Traffic

Most of the route is on roads that are restricted to bikes and agricul­tural vehicles. While not exclus­ively reserved for cyclists and pedes­trians in practice, they are traffic-free. The final kilometre or so into Torbole is on a quiet road.

Surfaces

Paved cycleways or roads.

Signposting

Well signposted.

Connections

Connects with the Adige cycleway

Public transport connections

Good connec­tions at Mori (train) and Torbole (ferry-boat)

Also known as …

Ciclabile Adige-Garda

Notes

Distance: this guide isn't divided into daily stages, as people differ in how fast and how far they want to travel each day.

'Traffic-free': many cycle routes include sections with roads with restricted access for residents or people working on the adjoining land. You may, very occasionally, encounter an agricul­tural vehicle like a tractor pulling a trailer of hay, but most of the time there is no motorised traffic. They are often indis­tin­guishable from the cycleways that are legally set aside for the exclusive use of cyclists and pedes­trians.


Getting there and getting back

The Mori rail station is close to the start of the route (but note it's a little way out of the village itself). A cycleway connects the station with the main Valle dell'Adige cycleway, which in turn connects with the Mori-Torbole cycleway.

Unfortunately, there's no station at the other end. There are three main transport options for returning to the start point:

  • buses. The extraurbane bus services operated by the regional bus company (Trentino Trasporti) will take up to two bikes in the luggage compartment;
  • during the summer there are regular boat services linking towns on the lake. The most bike-friendly option are the two old car ferries which have plenty amount of space for bikes. There are four sailings a day
  • private shuttle. There are several firms in Torbole and Riva offering bike shuttle services. These are mainly geared to mountain­bikers, but if there's a group of you, then they might be an option.

There are several bici-bus services out of Riva and Torbole, but there isn't one that will get you back to Mori.

Cyclists on the Adige cycleway near Mori approaching the junction with the cycleway to Torbole on the Lago di Garda

Cyclists on the Adige cycleway near Mori approaching the junction with the cycleway to Torbole on the Lago di Garda

Options and variants

You could continue, following the lakeshore to neigh­bouring Riva del Garda, but bear in mind that, in peak season, the lungolago gets very busy. You can also connect with the Valle del Sarca cycleway which starts where the Sarca river flows into the Lago di Garda between Riva del Garda and Torbole (see italy-cycling-guide.info: Valley of the Lakes).

Many people following this cycleway will be riding it as part of a longer route ending at the Lago di Garda. If you are heading for the southern part of the lake, then you can ride the Valle dell'Adige cycleway as far as Rivoli Veronese and turn off there.

The cycleway can be ridden either direction if you don't mind the initial climb out of Torbole.

Map and altitude profile

Powered by WP-GPX Maps

tips for using the map

Map screen grab

Run your cursor over the graph to show the elevation, and distance from the start, for any given point on the route. (Note: the altitude graph is not shown where the route is flat).



map detail

Click the little icon in the right-hand corner to see the map fullscreen


Distances
Start to Mori 2 kms
Mori to Nago 9 kms
Nago to Torbole 2 kms

About this table

The table doesn't neces­sarily show the distances from one city centre to the centre of the next town — if a route skirts around a town the distances are measured to the nearest point on the route from the centre.



In more detail

The cycleway starts about five kilometres south of Rovereto, and from here it heads for the village of Mori. There's a very small initial climb over about half a kilometre. At first, the route follows a quiet road (the Via San Biagio), but just before it comes out onto the main SS240, it turns left onto the Via Giovanni XXIII. Again you turn left just before the SS240, and a short piece of dedicated cycleway takes you round in a circle to an underpass. On the other side of the main road, you carry on into the village centre and the main Piazza Cal di Ponte.

From the piazza you follow the Via Garibaldi, and then, after about 400 metres, turn left onto the Via Fratelli Benedetti. The Via Benedetti takes you to a junction with the SS240 where you need to cross the road to pick up a section of cycleway (the start of the cycleway is to the right of the CONAD super­market). There's a pedes­trian crossing if you need it.

The ciclabile runs alongside the main road, but separated from it by a line of trees, for nearly 600 metres to the junction with the Via Paolo Orsi. The cycleway has the whole of the right-hand lane of the road.

When you get to a modern building with grey stripes, the road branches off to the left, and the cycle route continues on a road that's marked with no-through road signs. The road is restricted to bikes and agricul­tural vehicles, so it's a cycleway in all but name.

The cycleway heads across country through farmland and vineyards for two and a bit kilometres. It follows the course of the main strada statale but a couple of hundred metres from it. Eventually, the relat­ively peaceful section comes to an end, and you come out beside the main road, and for the next 3 kilometres, the ciclabile runs alongside it. If this feels like a good moment to take a break, there's a picnic area, and, a little further on, the Bicigrill Duchi. There's also a campsite ((the Albero delle Mele))

This section isn't very inter­esting, but things start to look up a little way after the bicigrill when the cycleway goes under the SS240 and then passes through the Loppio biotopo (nature reserve) on its way to the Passo San Giovanni.

Google Maps shows the cycleway running beside a lake — the Lago di Loppio. When I rode past there wasn't much sign of a lake, although there is an area of marshy wetlands. In the 1950s, a tunnel was dug between the Adige river and the Lago di Garda as a flood defence measure. The tunnel passes directly under the biotopo and diverts away most of the water that once fed the lake.

This section of the cycleway follows the course of the old railway line that ran between Mori, Arco and Riva del Garda. The train line closed in 1936. There's a period postcard showing the train steaming past the lake.

There's then another brief section beside the road before the cycle route leaves the road behind. As you approach the village of Nago, you come to a fork in the cycleway with a picnic area and an inform­ation board. The cycle route sign points to the right. You could also go left, and take a slightly more direct route into Nago, but I think the signposted route is the better choice. The cycleway brings you out onto a road. Keep following the signs and turn right. A short stretch of road takes you under the main SS240, and then, on the other side, you bear right and onto a road (the Via Bertoldi).

The Via Bertoldi leads into the Via Stazione, and I'm guessing from the stone retaining walls, and the way that it sweeps through a graceful arc, that this was also part of the old rail line. It takes you first through vineyards, and then through groves of olive trees (the Garda area is known for its mild climate which means that olive trees will grow this far north).

In the footsteps of Goethe

The German poet Goethe passed this way when he travelled through Italy. Well almost — in fact, he took the nearby Strada Santa Lucia that's now a hiking route. Goethe wrote:

I could have been in Verona tonight, but I did not want to miss seeing Lake Garda and the magni­ficent natural scenery along its shores, and I have been amply rewarded. After five, I started off from Rovereto up a side valley which discharges its waters into the Adige. At its head lies an enormous rocky ridge which one must cross before descending to the lake. … At the end of the descent, one comes to a little village with a small harbour, or rather landing place, at the northern end of the lake. Its name is Torbole. On my way up the ridge, I had frequently seen fig trees beside the road, and when I descended into the rocky amphi­theatre, I saw my first olive trees which were laden with olives.

Even if the olive trees are not in fruit, there is something special about the sunlight on their silvery-green leaves At its best this is a magical stretch of cycleway.

The cycleway between Mori and Torbole on the Lago di Garda

Olive trees and vineyards beside the Mori-Torbole cycleway as it approaches the Lago di Garda

Unfortunately, the approach into Nago is anything but magical. Just before the end of the Via Stazione, the cycle route signs tell you to turn right, onto the Via del Trenim. The Via del Trenim brings you to a junction with the SS240 and a round­about. the round­about is very confusing. Basically you need to go round the round­about, as if you are heading back the way you came, taking the third exit by the Tex Mex restaurant that is immedi­ately after the round­about it (or before it, depending on your point of view). There is a cycle route sign on the round­about but it's easy to miss among all of the other signs. The cycle route sign has been supple­mented by cycle picto­grams painted on the road.

You could take the most direct route, avoiding the round­about, by pushing your bike over the pedes­trian crossing that leads to the restaurant.

Assuming you've made it around the round­about, or across the pedes­trian crossing, you should be in a small piazza paved with brick pavers. With the Tex Mex restaurant is to the left, a ristorante-pizzeria in front of you, look for the brown cycle route signs. Follow the sign that points to Torbole and Riva del Garda (there's also a sign for Arco, according to the OpenStreetMap maps this route is an aggregate-surfaced).

The route brings you to the Forte Alto — a fortress built by the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 1860s to defend what was then the border with Italy. It's now a restaurant (Il Fortino).

The Garda north shore is of course much more built up than it would have been when Goethe came through, but the first sight of the lake, surrounded by mountains as the Alps make their last hurrah before the plains of northern Italy, is a memorable one.

From the Forte Alto, the route descends on a quiet road into Torbole. Bear in mind, as you blast down the Via Europa, that the bottom there's a sharp, blind corner.

At the bottom of the hill, the route brings you into Torbole. Turn left if you're planning on taking a ferryboat, or the lake shore road south towards Malcesine, otherwise turn right. In theory, after a short distance on the main road, you can turn left onto the Via Benaco and from there follow the lake shore, but if it's busy, you may find it more practical to continue on the main road.

First sight of the Lago di Garda seen from the cycle route between Mori and Torbole

First sight of the Lago di Garda seen from the cycle route between Mori and Torbole

More information

Places to stay

The northern lake is a magnet for sailors, windsurfers and kitesurfers, who, for obvious reasons, want to be close to the lake. You may find it easier to find accom­mod­ation (or get a better deal) a little further from the lake shore. Nearby Arco is defin­itely worth consid­ering.

Hotels and B&Bs etc

Tourist information websites with accommodation search facilities
Find and book places to stay with Booking.com

Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:

About these links

If you use these links to book accom­mod­ation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.

I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirm­ation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accom­mod­ation.

I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the oppor­tunity to let me know if there’s a problem.

Many properties offer free cancel­lation but it’s a good idea to check the condi­tions as these vary from property to property.

Hostels

There's a hostel at Rovereto (Ostello di Rovereto) and one at Riva del Garda (the Ostello Benacus). If you're planning on travelling on, there's the Meet Hostel in Peschiera del Garda.

Campsites

Most people will be intent on reaching Garda, but there is a nice little agricampeggio (the Albero delle Mele), that is almost right beside the cycleway at Loppio. There's another one near Nago, (the Camping Grumèl), but it's not quite as accessible from the cycleway.

The Lago di Garda has probably more campsites per kilometre than any other stretch of coastline in Italy — although the mega sites with hundreds of pitches are on the southern end of the lake. Again, for the best chance of finding a place, and/​or more space try looking away from the lake and consid­ering Arco. That said, the Camping Al Porto found me a nice little pitch tucked away in a corner behind a hedge. The Camping Brione is also worth checking out: it's close to, but away from, the lake shore.

Campsites on the Lago di Garda

There nine campsites on the Lago di Garda at Riva del Garda and Torbole: Camping Bavaria | Camping Al Lago | Camping Brione | Villa Speranza | Camping Maroadi | Camping Arco Lido | Camping Europa | Camping Al Porto | Camping Al Cor

There are also four sites around Arco, 6 kilometres or so from the lake: Arco Bed & Camping | Agricamp Alto Garda | Camping Arco | Camping Zoo

Transport and services

Transport

Trains in the Adige valley

Train companies in the Adige valley

The main train line through the region runs through the Adige valley — with Verona to the south and Bozen (Bolzano) to the north (and after that, the line continues to Innsbruck and beyond).

There are three companies running services along the line:

  • Trenitalia
  • Deutsche Bahn/​ÖBB Eurocity
  • Trentino Trasporti

Trenitalia operates services to Brenner on the border from Verona and Bologna. These can get very busy, and you may find that there's no space left. Don't forget that you need a ticket for your bike (3.50€, or the single fare).

The Deutsche Bahn/​ÖBB Eurocity services have a dedicated wagon for bikes. However, you have to have a bike reser­vation, which costs 10€. They are a good option if you are planning to head for say Innsbruck or München, but less handy if you are only planning a short hop.

Bus services

The train and bus services are supple­mented by several bicibus services. These are buses with bike trailers — in most cases these can carry at least 28 bikes, and sometimes more.

The cycleways with bicibus support are:

  • the Val di Fiemme-Val di Fassa cycleway
  • the Val di Ledro
  • the Val Rendena (on the central section between Carisolo and Tione di Trento)
  • the Val di Sole (services between the station at Mezzana and the start of the cycleway at Cogolo)

In addition, there are bicibus services that provide transport to or from cycleways. These include a bus that runs between Dimaro in the Val di Sole and Carisolo in the Val Rendena.


You can take bikes on the extraurbane buses run by the regional transport company (Trentino Trasporti). In general, these take a maximum of two bikes.

Boats on the Lago di Garda

During summer the towns on the Lago di Garda are served by frequent boat services. You could use these to connect with the mainline train network at Peschiera del Garda. The most bike-friendly option are the two old car ferries, which have a huge amount of space for bikes. These sail a couple of times a day in either direction, giving four sailings in total. The smaller boats (batelli) have only limited space for bikes, and bikes aren't allowed on the fast hydrofoil services.

Bike shops and bike hire

Torbole and Riva del Garda are the main centres for cycling on the lake. There are more bike shops here than in any other place I've been to in Italy. The area is primarily a mountain­biking destin­ation, but road cyclists are also catered for.

Places to eat and drink

There are bars and restaurants in both Mori and Nago, as well as the bicigrill at Loppio.

Wine bottles on the tables at the Duchi's bicigrill at Loppio on the Mori-Torbole cycleway

Wine bottles on the tables at the Duchi's bicigrill at Loppio on the Mori-Torbole cycleway

Guest Cards

If you're spending time in the region, it's worth checking out the Trentino Guest Card. The major benefits for cyclists are free use of the train and bicibus services, as well as free entry to many museums and other attrac­tions.

The card is available from parti­cip­ating accom­mod­ation providers (including hostels and campsites). For a list see: visittrentino.info: Guest Card: parti­cip­ating accom­mod­ation providers . You need to be staying for a minimum of two nights — but the website also suggests that you ask about the card even if you are only staying for a single night, as you can buy it for a very special price. If you're planning on doing a lot of sight­seeing, you can also buy the card for 40€ for a week.

There's a pdf map/​brochure if you want to find out more. There's also an app for Android/​iOS.

Most of the holiday areas in the region have a local Guest Card that offers similar benefits.

Resources

Tourist information websites

Cycling information

visittrentino.info: Mori-Riva del Garda cycleway.

The Garda Trentino is a big mountain biking destin­ation with lots of waymarked routes. There's also a lot for road and touring cyclists. The best starting point for touring cyclists is this page: maps.gardatrentino.it: Cycle routes, but you could go to the inter­active map with over a hundred cycling routes around the Lago di Garda: maps.gardatrentino.it: Cycling (use the dropdown menu to filter for the types of route you're inter­ested in)

There are also a couple of very useful brochures one for mountain­biking and one for roadbiking. You can get these from the tourist offices in Rival del Garda and Torbole, or order them from the Brochures page: gardatrentino.it: brochures as well as download the pdf versions.

Transport information

The visittrentino.info regional tourist inform­ation website has a useful page on taking your bike on public transport in the region: visittrentino.info: cycling-and-public-transport. For inform­ation on taking your bike on Trentino Trasporti trains see: Trentino Trasporti: Transporting Bikes

You can take bikes on the extraurbane buses run by the regional transport company (Trentino Trasporti). In general, these take a maximum of two bikes.

For ferryboat timetables, go to the Lago di Garda section of navigazionelaghi.it. Note that many services only operate in summer, so the winter timetables aren't much help for travel planning.You can also download the timetable as a pdf navigazionelaghi.it: Lago di Garda timetable Summer 2019 .

Articles in this series

 




Get in touch

Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.

Join the mailing list?

If you’ve found this site useful why not sign up to the mailing list for occasional updates about new routes.