Published on: 1 March 2014 | Last updated: 2 March 2018
The Trentino probably has Italy’s best cycleways - although the neighbouring Südtirol has a pretty good claim to the title, and its other neighbours - the Veneto and Lombardia - are catching up.
There are two major national cycle touring routes that run through the Trentino: the Ciclopista del Sole, which is part of the eurovelo 7 and runs to Rome and beyond, and the Via Claudia Augusta which offers the option of heading to Venezia or Ostiglia on the Po - where it connects with another national/international route the Ciclovia del Po (part of eurovelo 8).
Both of these routes use the Ciclabile della Valle dell'Adige. This is very popular with cycle travellers - both those heading for Rome and the south and those heading the Lago di Garda.
In addition there are 8 local cycleways:
- the Valsugana cycleway
- the Val Rendena cycleway
- the Val di Sole cycleway
- the Ciclabile delle Dolomiti (Dolomites cycleway)
- the Giudicarie cycleway
- the Trentino-Garda cycleway
- the Valle dei Laghi cycleway
- the Valle di Ledro cycleway
Jump to the Overview map.
Ciclabile della Valle dell Adige
The major cycleway in the area is the Ciclabile della Valle del Adige. This forms part of the national and is very popular with cycle travellers. It follows the Adige towards the city of Trento. Heading south there are three main options: many people turn off at Mori onto the Basso Sarca cycleway to go to the Lago di Garda, but the main cycleway continues south towards Trento and on from there towards Rovereto and the Veneto. At Trento one variant of the Via Claudia Augusta heads for the Lago di Caldonazzo where it picks up the ciclabile della Valsugana heading towards the Veneto.
Heading north the cycleway continues on to Bozen (Bolzano) where again you have the choice of continuing on the main Ciclopista del Sole or taking the Via Claudia Augusta as it heads towards the city of Meran (Merano).
The cycleway within Trentino is 89.3kms. Entirely traffic-free and surfaced.
More detailed article on the Ciclopista del Sole
The Trentino-Garda cycleway
Th Trentino-Garda cycleway (also known as the ciclabile del Basso Sarca) is cycle route runs for 16.5 kms from Mori to Riva del Garda via Torbole and Nago. The traffic-free cycleway runs between Mori and Nago - 8.7kms: the rest of the route is on quiet roads.
The Ciclabile della Valsugana
The Valsugana cycleway follows the Brenta river through the dramatic Canale del Brenta - on either side of the gorge are massive 800-metre high rock walls. The core of the cycleway is surfaced and traffic-free, but there are sections that follow quiet roads. It runs for 50 kms between San Cristoforo al Lago and Primolano.
If you are following the Via Claudia Augusta the route turns off towards the town of Feltre, but you have the option of continuing, following the Brenta river, to Bassano-del-Grappa and from there via Padova to the coast near Venezia.
The Ciclabile delle Dolomiti (Dolomites cycleway)
The Ciclabile delle Dolomiti di Fiemme e Fassa (also known as the Ciclabile del Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa) runs for 48kms from Molino del Fiemme to Canazei, from where you are in reach of the Marmolada glacier and some of the most famous passes in the Dolomites. When I rode the cycleway in 2012 they were busy asphalting the only unsurfaced section of the cycleway between Fontanazzo and Canazei.
Read the more detailed article: The Ciclovia delle Dolomiti
Ciclabile Val di Sole
The Ciclabile del Val di Sole (Vale of Sunshine cycleway) starts at Cogolo (although it’s definitely worth making the climb to Pejo) and runs for 35 kms from there, following the Noce river to the bridge at Mostizzolo via Malè, Dimaro e Pellizzano.
A section of the Val di Sole cycleway forms part of the DolomitiBrentaBike and you can follow the route from Dimaro to Madonna di Campiglio, where it connects with the Val Rendena cycleway. There’s a fairly big climb on an unsurfaced track - but when I was there a local taxi-driver had just invested in a cycle trailer and launched a Bici-Bus service.
If you are heading towards or from the Passo del Tonale and the border with Lombardia, the cycleway provides a peaceful, scenic, alternative to an otherwise dull (and fast) road.
The Ciclabile della Val Rendena
The Ciclabile della Val Rendena proper starts at Pinzolo, but there’s the option to start at Sant’Antonio di Mavignola near the ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio and from there cycle for 34 kms via Carisolo, Pinzolo, Darè and Villa Rendena.
There is a variant of the cycleway that leads on quiet roads to the little church of Santo Stefano at Carisolo. The detour is well worth the effort to see the frescoes by Simone Baschenis - especially in mid-summer when the volunteers open the church to visitors and you can see the magnificent fresco of the visit that Charlemagne (‘Carlo Magno’) allegedly made to the area.
The route is surfaced. Note that the descent from Sant’Antonio di Mavignola is relatively steep (even steeper if you have to climb it).
Read the more detailed article The Val Rendena cycleway
The Giudicarie cycleway
The Giudicarie cycleway (proper title Giudicarie Inferiori - also known as the Ciclabile Valle del Chiese) will link the Lago di Ledro with the Val Rendena cycleway. There is continuous stretch of cycleway running from Condino south for the final 10 kilometres, and some newer sections of cycleway and cycle route between there and Tione. The local authorities in the area have now (Autumn 2013) given the go-ahead for the completion of the cycleway - committing 10 million euros to the work.
Valle dei Laghi
This cycleway runs for 38kms from Torbole on the Lago di Garda north to Terlago. The first 10 kilometres following the river Sarca are mainly traffic-free (with a brief break going through Arco). There’s then about 14 kilometres on quiet roads to Pietramurata. At this point there’s a gap which means you have to take the busier road for three kilometres before turning off to go round the Lago di Santa Massenza. From Vezzano a second section of cycleway takes you onto Terlago.
The Valle di Ledro cycleway
The Valle di Ledro cycleway links the Lago di Ampola - 13 kilometres. Not all surfaced - section on the Lago di Ledro unsuitable for road bikes. the cycleway takes you almost, but not quite, to the Lago di Garda, but a short ride on back roads gets you to the Strada del Ponale which takes you down to Riva del Garda (see brow for more information about the Strada del Ponale.
The Val Rendena cycleway forms part of the DolomitiBrentaBike circuit around the Brenta Dolomites. This comes in two variants the Expert which is a challenging mountainbike route. The less challenging variant is known either the ‘country’ or ‘family’ route. Most of this route is pretty easy, but bear in mind that there is still an unsurfaced climb from Dimaro to the Campo Carlo Magno above Madonna di Campiglio.
Show route statistics
|Maximum altitude||1666 m|
|Unsurfaced track||115 km|
The Strada del Ponale
The Strada di Ponale isn’t a cycleway as such (it’s an ‘itinerario consigliato’ advisory route) - it’s the old road that leads down into Riva del Garda. the road was cut by a landslide and the road bypassed by a tunnel. The tunnel is off-limits to bikes but the road makes for a truly spectacular descent down to the lake. There’s only one problem … as you get down to the bottom the road turns into a gravelly path, but even if you have to walk the final few hundred metres it’s worth it. This video will give you a pretty good idea of what's involved:
Watch this space
You’ll probably have noticed by now that the cycleways aren’t very interconnected. This is something the area’s local authorities are working on. For example they have committed to spending €10 million on completing the Giudicarie cycleway to connect it to the Val Rendena cycleway and DolomitiBrentaBike. Another important link is the cycleway between the Valle dei Laghi cycleway and the Val Rendena cycleway. There’s an impressive new section through the Farro di Limarò
- Val di Sole and Val Rendena cycleways: on an unsurfaced track (part of the DolomitiBrentaBike) that climbs from Dimaro to Madonna di Campiglio. The main road is also pretty quiet. Alternatively, at the end of the Val di Sole cycleway pick up the DolomitiBrentabike via Cles, Andalo and the Lago di Molveno;
- Val Rendena and Giudicarie cycleways:: you can fairly easily connect between these following quiet roads - although there are a couple of short stretches on the main SS237;
- Valle dell Adige and Valsugana cycleway: this is a bit tricky (or at least I managed to end up on the narrow strada statale as it climbs out of Trento - I should have taken the less direct route). See the interactive map for the Via Claudia Augusta. (Alternatively you can always get the train).
- Valle dell’Adige and Dolomiti Fiemme e Fassa cycleways: you can connect between these following the course of the old Predazzo-Ora rail line as it leads to the Passo di San Lugano. This is not surfaced and the provincia advise using a mountain bike. You can also follow the very scenic SS612 from Lavis through the Val di Cembra. Note that there is a tunnel at Grumès but you can avoid it simply by bearing right through the village. Unfortunately the bike-bus service that operates along the route doesn’t seem to connect with the station at Lavis - but it might be worth asking the tourist information office especially if there’s a group of you.
- the Giudicarie and Valle di Ledro cycleways: there’s a quiet and scenic road via Storo and the Val d’Ampola that takes you to the Lago d'Ampola where the valle del Ledro cycleways. At the Lago del Ledro you can pick up the old Via del Ponale as it goes through Molina di Ledro and then to Pré di Ledro keep on the old road until just after Piacesa where you need to cross the bridge and ride the main road for a short stretch until you reach the mouth of the tunnel. The Strada del Ponale takes you down into Riva del Garda where you can pick up the Trentino-Garda cycleway and the Valle dei Laghi cycleway. Unfortunately although Terlago is relatively close to Trento the road connections don’t look very bike-friendly;
- the DolomitiBrentaBike and the Valle dell’Adige cycleway I think the best bet is probably to take the SP64 road from Andalo via Fai della Paganella and from there to Mezzolombardo. At Mezzolombardo there’s a scary-looking junction and a couple of tunnels (off-limits to bikes) fortunately you can divert off go under the main road and into Mezzolombardo itself. From Mezzolombardo you take the SP29 into Mezzocorona crossing the Noce river, and then continue over the Adige to pick up the cycleway.
The Provincia Autonoma di Trento provides downloadable maps and gps tracks from its site dedicated to the cycleways in the area. the index page has links to all of the maps and gps files. (GPS files also available from this page). For each cycleway there's a page with a description in Italian (use Google Translate) and a photogallery the links to the specific pages are:
- Valle dell'Adige | photogallery
- Trentino - Garda | photogallery
- Valsugana cycleway | photogallery
- Ciclovia delle Dolomiti
- Val di Sole cycleway | photogallery
- Giudicarie cycleway | photogallery
- Valle dei Laghi | photogallery
- Val Rendena cycleway | photogallery
- Valle di Ledro | photogallery
The independent site tr3ntino.it (it/en/de) has some useful descriptions and photo galleries:
- Valle dell'Adige
- Trentino - Garda
- Valsugana cycleway
- Val di Sole
- Giudicarie cycleway
- Valle dei Laghi