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 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.
Dießen am Ammersee
Today, the ride begins as we venture into Bavaria, passing stunning forests, lakes, and mountains. We'll end our ride in Dießen am Ammersee—a peaceful setting and a nice change of pace from Munich.
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!
Today we bid farewell to Bavaria to enter the Austrian Tirol. 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.
Continuing our journey through quaint Tirol, our ride 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. 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.
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 nineteenth 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.
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.
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.