Valle di Ledro cycleway Pista Ciclabile Valle di Ledro

Published on:  | Last updated: 9 September 2019

Cyclist on the Valle di Ledro cycleway

Cyclist on the Valle di Ledro cycleway

The waymarked section of the Val di Ledro cycleway runs for about 8 kilometres from the Lago d'Ampola to the Lago di Ledro. However, it's worth extending it by following the peaceful road along the southern shore of the Lago di Ledro, which takes you to the village of Pieve di Ledro.

At a glance

Distance

13 kilometres (to Molina di Ledro)

Difficulty/​terrain

Easy— if you are heading east to west it is mainly downhill.

Traffic

Partly on traffic-free cycleway and partly on very quiet roads

Surfaces

There is a section on an compacted aggregate cycle path , but there is a road altern­ative.

Signposting

Partly signposted.

Public transport

There is a bicibus service from/​to Riva del Garda and Torbole.

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 back

A bicibus service runs 2 or 3 times a day between Riva del Garda and Ampola. For timetables see: vallediledro.com: bicibus-trek

There are also several firms in Riva del Garda and Torbole who offer bike shuttles to destin­a­tions in the Val di Ledro (ask at the tourist office) or the gardatrentino.it website.

In addition, according to: visittrentino.info: Cycling Path of Valle di Ledro, the bus 214 between Riva and Storo can carry three bikes .

It's pretty easy to ride between Ampola and the Lago d'Idro on a quiet road with a gentle gradient.

Options and variations

The route can be ridden in either direction.

The waymarked section of the cycleway ends at Pieve di Ledro on the western end of the lake, but you can continue on to Molina di Ledro on the southern shore of the lake.

You can descend to the Lago di Garda, on the Strada del Ponale. If you are on a mountain (or off-road capable) bike, then the Strada del Ponale is a spectacular altern­ative that you'd be mad to miss, but the final section of the descent is on a rough track that would be unrideable on a road bike. (Important note: the road between Ledro and Riva del Garda involves a long tunnel that is off-limits to bikes).

You could combine it with the Valle del Chiese cycleway, by taking the road via the Passo d'Ampola (see: italy-cycling-guide.info: Valle del Chiese cycleway).

What to see along the way

  • Lago d'Ampola boardwalk
  • Lago di Ledro. You can't swim in the Lago d'Ampola, but you can make up for lost time at the Lago di Ledro with its three beaches, and a lively lakeshore area at the eastern end.
  • the UNESCO-listed stilt house village (Museo delle pallafitte)
Distances
Lago d'Ampola to Lago di Ledro (Pieve di Ledro) 8 kms
Lago di Ledro (Pieve di Ledro) to Molina di Ledro 13 kms
Molina di Ledro to Riva del Garda by the Strada del Ponale 10 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.


Kilometre marker on the Valle di Ledro cycleway

Kilometre marker on the Valle di Ledro cycleway

In more detail

The bike-buses from Riva del Garda stop at the Locanda d'Ampola, at the junction between the SP127 and the SS240. This is as good a starting point as any.

From the locanda, you have a couple of options: one is to head along the SP127 for a couple of hundred metres or so, and then take the track that starts on the left-hand side of the road. The track skirts round the southern side of the lake and, after a kilometre, becomes a tarmac cycleway.

Be sure to make a stop to see the lake, which is now a nature reserve, and in summer is covered with water lilies. There are paths that lead to a couple of viewing platforms on the lake shore.

The track is in reasonable condition, but it's easy to avoid it by riding on the SS240, which is fairly quiet on this stretch.

The road option doesn't mean missing out on the lake. Turn off the road when you get to a small turning area that is the entrance to the biotopo. If you want to see more of the lake, there is a boardwalk that takes you into the heart of the wetland. Note that you must get off your bike to use the boardwalk; if you push your bike the short distance to the end of the boardwalk, there's a clearing where you can safely leave it well away from the road.

Water lilies on the Lago d'Ampola

Water lilies on the Lago d'Ampola

After a little over 700 metres, from the locanda there's a turning on your right-hand side on the bend just after a farmhouse. On the corner, there is a sign that says 'Casa RL'. On the other side of the road is a turning leading to an Agritur (agriturismo/​restaurant). Turn right, and then, a little bit further on, you should come to a sign that says Transito Biciclette.

The cycleway starts at a junction a hundred metres from the main road where you turn left. The cycleway continues from here to the Lago di Ledro, keeping the main SS240 to the left. This section is signposted and waymarked with the Provincia di Trento kilometre markers.

A little further on, you come to a junction where you follow the sign to turn left, and less than a hundred metres further on you come to one of the kilometre markers for the Pista Ciclopedonale Ledro. The markers count down from here.

At the seven-kilometre marker, you come to a junction where you turn left (there didn't seem to be any signs). This road heads downhill, passing a large sawmill. At the bottom of the hill, just before you get to the junction with the main road, turn right following the brown cycle route sign. This takes you past the local football ground.

Timber and forestry seem to be the main economic activity of the area as the route passes more sawmills.

At the 6-kilometre marker, bear right.

Just before the 5-kilometre marker, the route crosses over a small river (Rio delle Sacche) and then, a hundred metres or so further on, crosses back over it. There's then a section of quiet road (the Via Alla Costa).

A little under 700 metres further on you come to a cross­roads where the cycle route makes a bit of a detour. You could opt to continue straight on, but otherwise, you turn right and then head briefly uphill before turning left again onto a stretch of cycleway. The route takes you past a play area and a water tap. Keep following the yellow cycleway markings, and this should bring you to a bridge, just after the bridge, you turn left, passing the Parco Don Renzo where there's another water tap. You then come to a junction with a church on the corner, where you turn right, rejoining the Via alla Costa.

Just after the three-kilometre marker, a bridge takes you over a river (the Torrente Massangia). From here you follow another quiet road, the Via Imperiale for 1.4 kilometres until you come to a junction where you need to bear right onto a section of cycleway that takes you to the Lago di Ledro. If you want to go to the village of Pieve di Ledro, stick with the Via Imperiale and keep straight on when you get to the strada statale.

The Lago di Ledro

The Lago di Ledro

The Lago di Ledro

The final stretch of the cycleway brings you to the Lago di Ledro with its lively lakeside.

The official cycleway seems to stop here because there are no kilometre markers or signs after this point, but I could be wrong. I would defin­itely advise continuing around the south side of the lake to Molina di Ledro. (If you have an off-road capable bike then the descent to the Lago di Garda on the Strada del Ponale is unmissable).

If you decide to carry on, bear right on the road that goes past the two lakeside campsites. You can then bear left at the turning just after the Camping Al Lago, and follow the unsur­faced lakeside cycleway for a little over a kilometre. It is very scenic, and in good condition, but if you prefer, you can continue by road: bear right, and then, after a brief climb, go left, heading downhill and then left again. The road descends back to the lakeside, and there's a very scenic and peaceful section of lakeside road that takes you for the next three kilometres or so into Molina di Ledro.

The lungolago takes you past the Museo delle Palafitte del Lago di Ledro. The museum includes a recon­struction of a couple of bronze-age stilt-houses. The remains of the village were found when the lake was partially drained during the construction of the hydro-electric plant in Riva del Garda. The site is one of 111 pile-dwelling sites that have been listed by UNESCO as part of World Heritage (whc.unesco.org: Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps). For more see: vallediledro.com.

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs etc

There are lots of hotels and other accom­mod­ation around the Lago di Ledro. See the listings on

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 two hostels within reach of the cycleway: the Active Hostel at Ponte del Caffaro, on the Lago d'Idro, and the Ostello Benacus at Riva del Garda.

Campsites

There are four campsites on or near the route:

Other campsites in the area

Transport and services

Between mid-June and the middle of September, there's a network of five bicibus services in the north-western part of the region (the area between the Lago di Garda and the Brenta Dolomites). In general, the services run four times a day in each direction; three of the lines run every day, while the other two run five days a week.

The five lines are:

  • Line 1: Carisolo-Madonna di Campiglio-Dimaro. Links the Val di Sole and Val Rendena cycleways
  • Line 2: Comano Terme-Tione-Carisolo. Supports the central section of the Val Rendena cycleway
  • Line 3: Sarche-Comano Terme-Molveno-Fai della Paganella
  • Line 4: Torbole-Riva del Garda-Comano Terme. Buses on lines 3 and 4 connect to provide a return option at the end of the Sarca cycleway
  • Line 5: Ampola-Lago di Ledro-Riva del Garda. The service links the Val di Ledro cycleway with Riva del Garda.

Fares depend on the distance travelled, with a flat 2€ per bike, but you can travel for free with the Trentino Guest Card or one of the other local guest cards. You can buy the tickets on the bus.

The buses (or at least all the ones I've seen) have trailers that can carry 28 bikes.

According to the leaflet: you have to book before 18:00 for buses the following morning, and by midday for services in the afternoon. The Italian text of the leaflets says booking is advised; it's probably a good idea to book, but even if you don't have a booking it may be worth turning up anyway.


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.

There are also several firms in Riva del Garda and Torbole who offer bike shuttles to destin­a­tions in the Val di Ledro (ask at the tourist office) or the gardatrentino.it website.

There's also the bus 214 between Riva and Storo, which can carry three bikes (according to: visittrentino.info: Cycling Path of Valle di Ledro).

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 rental

Ledro Bike Rentals is based at the Camping Al Sole. There are loads of bike shops in Riva del Garda and Torbole:


Places to eat and drink

  • Ampola (0 kms): the Locanda Ampola
  • Lago di Ledro (8 kms): there are restaurants at the lakeside near Pieve di Ledro
  • Molina di Ledro (13 kms): more places to eat
  • if you decide to continue to Riva del Grada there's the Ponale Alto Belvedere bar, which has quite possibly the best view of any bar anywhere on the Lago di Garda

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

General tourist information

Cycling information

Transport information

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 .

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.

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