Published on: 11 June 2019 | Last updated: 15 February 2020
At a glance
Mainly easy but there are some short climbs.
Almost entirely traffic-free except for a couple of short stretches through villages.
Entirely on paved cycleways or roads.
There are several train stations along the eastern part of route; these are supplemented by a bicibus service.
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.
Map and altitude profile
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|Cogolo to Fucine di Ossana||6 kms|
|Fucine di Ossana to Pelizzano||3 kms|
|Pelizzano to Mezzana (train station)||3 kms|
|Mezzana to Dimaro||7 kms|
|Dimaro to Cavizzana||6 kms|
|Cavizzana to end||6 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.
Getting there and getting back
There’s a train service from Trento to Mezzana, 12 kilometres from the start of the cycleway at Cogolo. There’s a connecting bus service, although it doesn’t run every day, and doesn’t connect with every train. Many people ride the ciclabile as an out-and-back loop from one of the train stations on the route, for example, Mezzana or Dimaro.
You can ride the route in either direction.
The start of the cycleway is at Cogolo (1160m), but if you fancy something more challenging, you could climb by road to the lovely old village of Peio (altitude 1580m).
The official end of the cycleway is at Mostizzolo, but access to the station is a bit tricky as it involves a left turn onto a main road and then a short section on the road. If you’re riding with younger children, and planning on catching the train back, the stations are at Croviana and Malè are more accessible.
In more detail
Cogolo to Fucine di Ossana
The route starts near to the resort-village of Cogolo. While you’re in Cogolo, it’s worth making a short detour to check out the frescoes on the village church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo.
You should be able to pick up a map of the cycle route from the tourist office on the Via Roma, in the same building as the municipio (council offices).
The access point for the cycleway is just as you come into Cogolo look for the signs for the pista ciclabile on your left-hand side as well as a sign for the Localita’ Plaza. You go down a very short slope and over a bridge over the Torrent Nero river. After the bridge, there’s a fairly sharp climb up the valley side for a half kilometre. Once you’re at the top, it’s a downhill cruise towards Fucine d’Ossana.
As you approach Fucine, look out for the castle (the Castel San Michele) on the hill on the heights of the river. The castle is open during the summer.
Fucine di Ossana to Dimaro
At Fucine there’s a tricky crossing over the main SS42 road — you need to turn right and then ride the main road for a bit under 50 metres before turning left and into the village. The official route then turns left at the little square with a water fountain in front of the tourist office, but you might just as well continue straight on and cross over the river, and on then other side turn left, heading for the entrance of the Camping Cevedale. The cycleway takes you past the campsite reception and bar, and under the yellow bridge that links its two halves. You then follow the river for a short stretch, before turning inland, and passing the rafting centre (where there’s a friendly bar). From here, you stay on the right bank of the river (looking downriver) until you get to Dimaro.
After the rafting centre, the next stop is Pellizzano a couple of kilometres further on. As you come into the village make a sharp right just before you get to a bridge over the river. Pellizzano is one of the few villages that the cycleway actually passes through, and it’s a gem. The highlight is the church of Santa Maria della Natività, with its wood-shingled roof — on your left as you come into the pretty piazza in the village centre. Look for the painting of the Annunciation on the portico of the church, and the other frescos on its ceiling. These were painted by Simone Baschenis in 1530. Simone Baschenis was a member of a family of painters who worked on churches in this area for over two centuries. Inside the church are frescoes painted by two other members of the dynasty, Giovanni and Battista, 60 years before.
On your right, as you leave the village, is the BiciGrill Pellizzano. From here the cycleway continues on the right bank of the Noce to the Mezzana station 3.3 kilometres from Pellizzano. Mezzana itself is on the other side of the river and the main road.
The cycleway mainly keeps to the right bank of the river, passing three more stations. The most useful is probably the Daolasa station where there are a bar-café, and baby-changing facilities. A little further on, you cross the river and come to a picnic/play area.
Just under 3 kilometres on from here you come into Dimaro, the largest town on the route. The town centre is to your right on the other side of a large roundabout. The cycleway itself turns left to cross over the river and go past Dimaro’s train station.
Dimaro to Malè
From Dimaro the cycleway follows the left bank of the Torrente Noce with a two-kilometre stretch immediately beside the river.
A bit under a kilometre and a half from Dimaro you come to a junction with the road. To the right, there’s a bridge over the river, and to the left, the road leads to a level crossing, and on from there into Monclassico. The cycleway continues straight on, but Monclassico is worth a short detour to see its collection of over 50 meridiane (sundials).
The sundials are the work of a cultural association formed by villagers in 2002. Each year five artists are invited to create meridians in the village in collaboration with the villagers and gnomonisti (sundial experts — the English word is gnomonist). Most of the sundials are murals on houses and other buildings. Each one also has a motto, my favourite is:
Si muove l’ombra al ritmo della vita. Il tempo è sinfonia, le ore sue note
(The shadow moves to the rhythm of life. Time is the symphony; the hours are its notes).
Mural by Antonella Toccoli and Loris Bolognani (Casa Veronica e Monica Cavallar, Via Borgo 25, Presson).
You can find a map and a picture gallery on the website the village’s Associazione Le Meridiane (meridianemonclassico.it). There’s also lots of information about the artists, and about gnomonica.
The cycleway continues, following the left bank of the river.
Outside Croviana you come to a junction. The cycleway goes straight on, but if you want to visit the village, or go to the train station, the road to the left (the Via al Molin) leads to a bridge that takes you safely over the SS42. There’s a direct route to the station from the bridge. On the other side of the bridge, there’s also a picnic area and water fountain.
You could also make a short detour in the other direction. Heading to the right, the Via al Molin takes you over the river and to an old watermill (the name means ‘way to the mill’). The mill has now been converted into a museum: the Mulino Museo dell’Ape (MMape) — the mill-museum of the bee (mmape.it). The museum was closed when I went past, but according to its website it is captioned throughout in English as well as Italian, and they also offer guided tours in English. It also gets top five-star reviews on TripAdvisor. There’s also a bar (the Paint Bar) a little way further along the riverbank.
About 700 metres further on the cycleway goes under a bridge as it passes Malè. You can exit here if you want to go into the village, or go to the station. On the other side of the bridge is the Trentino Wild rafting centre/adventure park which advertises a Bici-Grill with a workshop for bike repairs (as well as a bar-restaurant and accommodation).
Malè to Mostizzolo
Up to this point, the route has been pretty much an uninterrupted cruise with a gentle downhill gradient. In the next section there’s a lot more saliscendo (up-and-down). The route also crosses back over the river and follows the right bank of the Torrente Noce.
Look out for the impressive Castel Caldes on the heights on the other side of the river. Built to control the trade through the Val di Sole, the castle was owned by the Thun family. In its tower there’s a frescoed room called la prigione di Olinda. The legend is that the frescoes are the work of Marianna Elisabetta Thun who was imprisoned here by her father after having fallen in love with the court minstrel. According to the legend, she also died here.
From here the route takes you past the village of Cavizzana. The is the only village on this side of the river on this section of the route.
The cycleway is nearing the junction between the Val di Sole and Val di Non. The Val di Non is one of Italy’s major apple-growing areas, and the woodland of the upper sections of the route gives way to fields planted with precisely laid-out lines of apple trees.
At about the 6 kilometres mark, there’s a short sharp climb that takes you up to a road where you turn left, and the cycleway runs beside the road for a short way heading downhill before continuing on, following the signs for Mostizzolo. If you want to visit Cavizzana cross the road and head straight on.
The last six kilometres are pretty uneventful as the cycleway follows the wooded valley side on towards Mostizzolo. The cycleway comes to a pretty abrupt end at a junction with the SS43. If you want to go to the station at Mostizzolo, you need to turn left, cross over the river, and then left again at the junction with the SS42.
Alternatively, you could follow the SS42 as it climbs towards Fondo in the Alta Val di Non and on from there to the Südtirol. You could also turn right and take the SS43 to the pretty town of Cles. I wouldn’t recommend taking the road on from Cles as traffic funnels into a narrow corridor near Mezzolombardo.
There’s a bar-ristorante/paninoteca (sandwich bar) on the corner on the other side of the bridge. It also has accommodation.
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs etc
This is a well-established tourist area, with several ski areas, so there are plenty of hotels and other accommodation available. Most of the tourist information websites on this section of the route have accommodation listings:
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.
So far as I know, there are no hostels in the area.
The campsites along the route are:
Places to eat and drink
There are lots of drinking water fountains along the route.
Most of the villages in the valley are on the main road, and the cycleway bypasses them. Options for getting something to eat or drink on the route itself including:
- Cogolo (kilometre 0): there are lots of places to eat and drink in the village
- Fucine d’Ossana (kilometre 6): probably the best option is the bar at the Eurorafting rafting centre
- Pellizzano (kilometre 9): there are a couple of bars on the main Piazza Santa Maria, as well as the Bicigrill on the way out of the village
- Daolasa (kilometre 16): there’s a bar beside the train station
- Dimaro (kilometre 19): there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants in the centre of the village, but it means negotiating the roundabout on the main road
- Croviana (kilometre 23): there’s a small bar (the Paint Bar) at the paintball centre on the other side of the river from the cycleway
- Malè (kilometre 24): there ae several places to eat and drink in the village itself, which is relatively accessible from the cycleway (there’s an underpass to take you under the main road)
- Caldes (kilometre 27): there’s a bar at the Trentino Wild rafting/outdoor sports centre
- Mostizzolo (kilometre 34): there’s a bar-paninoteca close to the end of the cycleway
- Commezzadura: Bike Center Val di Sole | Centro Bike Val di Sole
- Dimaro: Folgarida Sport | Rosatti Sport | Val di Sole Bike Rent & Tour
- Mezzana: Lodo Sport Mezzana | Promescaiol Sports center | Cicli Bettega
The Val di Sole tourist information website has a listing of firms that rent out bikes: outdoor.valdisole.net: Bike rental
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.
Trains and buses
The trains are operated by the regional train company Trentino Trasporti. The normal trains have spaces for four bikes, but in summer there are special services that have spaces for 18 bikes. These run a couple of times a day in either direction. In addition to the trains from Trento, there are also trains that run from Mostizzolo, close to the end of the route, to Mezzana. During the summer there are four trains a day with a carriage that takes up to 60 bikes.
Access to the station at Mostizzolo is a bit tricky, as it involves a left turn onto a main road and then a short section on the road. If you’re planning on catching the train back, the most accessible alternative stations are at Croviana and Malè.
Bike tickets cost 2€ (2018). So far as I know, you can’t reserve bike spaces. If you’re staying in the area, ask your accommodation provider about a Trentino Guest Card. These give you free transport during your stay.
Note that the Trentino Trasporti station is next door to the main station in Trento.
There are also bike buses that run between Mezzana and Passo del Tonale and between Dimaro and Carisolo. Note that these don’t run every day, so be sure to ask at a tourist office, or download the Find your bikebus & biketrain leaflet (valdisole.net: Find your bikebus & biketrain .). Both bus services connect with the Trentino Trasporti train services.
Tourist information websites
- Val di Sole cycleway
- valdisole.net: Bike
- visittrentino.info: cycling-and-mountain-biking
- visittrentino.info: road-cycling
The Val di Sole tourist office produces a useful leaflet showing the bike-friendly train services serving the Val di Sole together with linking bike-bus services to the Passo del Tonale and Val Rendena (Carisolo): valdisole.net: Find your bikebus & biketrain
You can download a pdf copy of the timetables for the Trentino Trasporti trains from the train section of the company’s website: trentinotrasporti.it: train.
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
Trentino Trasporti timetables
You can download a pdf copy of the timetables for the Trentino Trasporti trains from the train section of the company’s website: trentinotrasporti.it: train.
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.
- Val di Sole cycleway gps files
(.zip file containing 4 gpx 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 .
GPX? POI? WTF? … about the GPS files
The GPS downloads are zip files containing files with tracks and waypoints. You can use these with a GPS (eg a Garmin), or using an app on a smartphone or tablet. Depending on the software you use, the track files will display the route on a map, and let you view an altitude profile. The waypoint files show the location of places of interest, as well as other useful things like drinking water sources, train stations and campsites etc.
The track files will just display a line on a map; they won’t give you turn-by-turn directions.
The POI files will only work on Garmin GPSes. They work best on the handheld receivers (eg the eTrex family). They also work, but not as well, on the Edge cycling GPSes.