Wilkommen and welcome to Germany! Munich—or Munchen in its native Deutsch tongue—is the capital of Bavaria and perhaps one of the most quintessentially German cities. We’ll meet in the hotel lobby at 12:30 pm to have an intro lunch and then a bike fitting. Afterwards, we’ll do a short ride to Nymphen Palace. We’ll come back for a guided visit of the town center, and then we’ll dine with beer in one of Munich’s famous beer halls. We recommend that you arrive a day or two early, since Munich is a very large city and there’s so much to see.
Dießen am Ammersee
Today the ride begins as we venture into Bavaria, passing stunning forests, lakes, and mountains. We’ll stop at the Andechs Monastery at lunch. We’ll end our ride in Dießen am Ammersee—a peaceful setting and a nice change of pace from Munich. If you have some energy to spare, consider visiting the Carl Orff Museum, which is in honor of a musician and educator who promoted elementary music education.
Leaving Diessen, we pass the beautiful church and Augustine monastery, Sankt Marien. We’ll start climbing into the hills of the pre-Alps, criss-crossing on the Claudio Augustus, Romantischer and Konig cycle routes. We end the day in Füssen, the medieval gem situated near the Neuschwastein Castle, which we will visit in the morning. Take some time to visit the old center of Füssen.
Our journey today is to an extra-special destination. Neuschwastein Castle is known as the ‘fairytale castle’ and rumored to have inspired Walt Disney himself. Built for King Ludwig II between 1869 and 1886 on a rugged cliff against a scenic mountain backdrop, this castle was intended to “embody the true spirit of the medieval German castle,” as the king wrote in a letter to Richard Wagner. Trust us: enjoying this scenery firsthand is a once-in-a lifetime experience! After, we bid farewell—auf wiedersehn—and goodbye to Bavaria to enter the Austrian Tirol. This charming country region was the setting for The Sound of Music, and your ride will surely prove these hills are alive!
We’ll pass Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze, and the Wetterstein mountain chain, as well as many lakes and waterfalls. Before our final stop in Ehrwald, we’ll take a break to savor local milk and cheese.
Today’s route is a big long, but provides amazing scenery! We zig-zag through Germany and Austria until we make our final descent into the Inns Valley. Continuing along the Inns River our journey today ends in the region’s capital: Innsbruck. This city is especially well known as a winter sports destination, and has hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976.
Take a break from cycling as we spend a full day and second night in Innsbruck. For a spectacular view of the Austrian Alps, we recommend taking the famous Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen Cable Car to over 6,500 feet in altitude, which is included on this Top Guide tour. Another option for your rest day is to take a 25-minute shuttle to the Swarovski factory to admire the coveted jeweler’s crystal works. In the early evening we’ll have a walking tour of Innsbruck with a local guide.
Get ready for the biggest climb of the tour! Today we’ll conquer the Brenner Pass, a swath of mountainous farmland which forms the border between Austria and Italy and was often a battleground in the 19th century. Today, it’s a part of the Italian Sud Tirol region. Our reward for making it over the pass is a pleasant stay in Vipiteno. Originally a Roman military camp, the town is now one of the most beautiful cities in Italy—it’s also become quite famous for its yogurt.
Today we’ll move further into Italy as we follow the Eisark River south to Bolzano. The hilly farmland of the Brenner Pass gives way to the gently rolling vineyards of Sud Tyrol. You’re now on the ‘wine roads’ of Sud Tyrol. Here, the Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon blanc rate at the top of the world! We’ll have a cooking class and lovely dinner in Bolzano as well.
The terrain begins to flatten out today as we make our way past vineyards, orchards, and rivers toward Trento. The scenery of Lake Caldero is a definite highlight of our time on the Ciclopista del Sole—’the bike path of the sun.’ We’ll arrive in Trento after lunch, leaving plenty of time for a guided tour of this Roman town.
Our final ride of the tour brings us to Verona, the undeniably romantic town of Romeo & Juliet. Our ride will consist of rolling through the vineyards of Amarone and Valpolicella, crossing the Adige Valley. Though the world’s favorite star-crossed lovers are fictional, that hasn’t stopped countless visitors from flocking to this charming Italian city. Verona has embraced the tradition, building attractions like Juliet’s balcony, a statue of Juliet, and a wall for the lovelorn to leave letters for Shakespeare’s ill-fated daughter of the Capulets. Uncover all of Verona’s romance and charm before a final farewell dinner with the group.
It’s time to say arrivederci! There will be a group shuttle after breakfast that will take you to Verona Airport or Verona Porta Nuova railway station to make your connections.