Geneva to Bergamo

Highlights

  • 625km / 390 miles of riding
  • 7 nights accommodation & all meals included
  • Qualified guide, baggage van & mechanical support
  • Madonna di Ghisallo climb, cyclist’s chapel & museum
  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • Ride the awesome cobbled Via Tremolo
  • Cross the Alps via stunning passes
  • Swiss scenery, Lago di Como & historic Bergamo
Number of Days: 8
2019 Land Only Price From: £1,545
Grade: Hot
Group Size: 6-14
View: Kit List

Dates:

Sat  20 July – Sat 27 July 2019 Ready To Roll
Sat 3 Aug – Sat 10 Aug 2019 Ready To Roll

Private Group?  Date above don’t suit? 
Other dates available by arrangement – please contact us for details.

Trip Overview

Day 1 Fly, Arrive, Ride

Arrive at Geneva Airport between 12:00 & 16:00.  We build up our bikes and then ride to our accommodation in Thonon-les-Bains, via the beautiful medieval bourg of Yvoire on the shores of Lac Leman.  The bike bags and luggage are transferred to our accommodation in our baggage vehicle after the last arrival/s at Geneva Airport.

47km / 29 miles. Overnight in Thonon-les-Bains in a hotel.  Meal/s included: D

Day 2 Into Stunning Switzerland

Ride from Thonon-les-Bains to Zweisimmen via the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle.  We’ve a flat start today along the Southern shores of Lac Leman before crossing the magnificent Rhone valley at Aigle.  Leaving the Rhone behind us we climb into the stunning Swiss landscape of the Vaud region.  Just before Sannen we cross into the Bern region and soon begin the descent into the Simmental Valley, our reward for the earlier climb, and our destination for tonight the charming small town of Zweisimmen.
108km / 68 miles.  Overnight in Zweisimmen in a hotel /motel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 3 Valleys & Lakes

Ride from Zweisimmen to Meiringen.  Descending down the Simmental Valley, of cattle fame, we pass through a landscape of summer pastures, ancient hamlets and craggy outcrops before leaving the valley at Wimmis.  Traversing the bustling town of Spietz we then ride along the shores of Thunersee and soon enter the resort town of Interlaken where, If the weather is clear, we’ll have a great view up towards the North Face of the fabled Eiger.

At the Eastern end of Brienzersee we pass close to the stunning Unterbach waterfalls before reaching tonight’s destination, Meiringen – of Sherlock Holmes fame.  The afternoon can be spent visiting the nearby Reichenbach Falls or there is an optional ride up the nearby Susten Pass (2,264m).

80km / 50 miles. Overnight in Meiringen in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 4 Two Pass Tuesday

Ride from Meiringen to Andermatt. A short climb over the hill to Innertkirchen starts the day and takes us to the foot of the first of today’s two passes, the Grimsel Pass.  A long, scenic climb follows and we ascend through changing terrain before cresting the summit (2,165m).

A stunning, serpentine descent down to Realp follows before the next challenge, the amazing Furka Pass (2,429m).  This climb must surely must have one of the finest panoramas in the Alps.  A final technical descent soon sees us in the pretty small town of Andermatt, which is well worth exploring.

80km / 50 miles. Overnight in Andermatt in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 5 Huge Descents / Smaller Climbs

Ride from Andermatt to Lago di Lugano via the Passo San Gottardo (2,106m).  A “half pass” start to the day as we leave Andermatt and make for the top of the Passo San Gottardo.  At the summit we pass the monument to the Russian general Alexandre Souvorov whose army crossed the pass en-route to Switzerland in 1799.

What follows next is simply brilliant and is, in our experience, unique – The Via Tremelo descent of the Gottardo.  This is a cobbled switchback descent set in a spectacular amphitheatre, and is also a registered Swiss National Monument. We descend to Bellinzona where our road starts to get busier as we ride over the small Monte Ceneri Pass and then drop down again, to Lago di Lugano and our hotel for the night.

120km / 75 miles. Overnight near Lugano in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 6 In Historic Wheeltracks to Ghisallo

Ride from Lago di Lugano to Bellagio via the Passo d’Intelvi (700m).  It’s a gentle start today along the lake shore road before we hit the steep climb of the Intelvi.  Soon we’re decending down to the shores of the very beautiful Lago di Como and the ferry across to Bellagio.

After lunch we’re back in the saddle again for the famous climb of the Ghisallo and a visit to the famous, and very special, Madonna di Ghisallo cyclist’s chapel and museum at the top.

70km / 44 miles.  Overnight in Bellagio in a hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 7 Forza, Forza

Ride from Varenna to Bergamo.  A gentle start to the day today.  Firstly with a ferry crossing to Varenna on the Eastern side of Lago di Como and then a flat ride along the lake shore to Bellano.  Climbing out of Bellano there’s beautiful views back over the lake before the sinuous road climbs through the trees and takes us into a high valley.  Later we climb the Passo San Pietro on very narrow roads before a stunning descent down to Ponti on the outskirts of historic Bergamo.

Once through the busy outskirts, we pick out way through Bergamo Old Town’s maze of quiet, narrow backstreets to our hotel and journey’s end.

120 km / 75 miles.  Overnight in Bergamo in a hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 8 Departure Day

Today, after packing up the bikes, and depending on the time of your return flights, there may be time to explore the historic and beautiful town of Bergamo.  The Citta Alta (Upper City) is a medieval hilltop town surrounded by 17th century defensive walls and it’s well worth a visit, even if it’s just for a coffee or two at a pavement cafe to savour the atmosphere.

Meal/s included: B

What’s Included

  • 7 nights Hotel accommodation*.
  • All meals as detailed in the trip overview.
  • Meal Key: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner. Please note that all lunches are picnic style and are designed to suit cyclist’s appetites.
  • All baggage transfers in our baggage vehicle.
  • The services of a Rather Be Cycling Trip Leader.
  • The services of a Rather Be Cycling baggage vehicle driver / assistant.
  • A daily provision of Clif Bar nutritional products.
  • Access to commonly required tools, mechanical advice & assistance.

*All accommodation is allocated and priced on a twin occupancy basis. Please contact us for Single Occupancy Rates.

What’s Not Included

  • International and / or Domestic Flight/s to and from the start and end points of the trip.
  • Transfer to your airport at the end of the trip.
  • Visa/s if necessary.
  • Travel Insurance – Compulsory.
  • All drinks e.g. bottled water, coffees, teas, alcohol, etc.
  • Entry fees e.g. to visitor attractions, museums, etc.
  • Spare / replacement bicycle parts & accessories e.g. tyres, tubes, wheel/s, etc.
  • Other expenses e.g. souvenirs, additional food, laundry, etc.
  • Tips – at your discretion.

Bike Spec

  • This is a road cycling holiday and a road, sportive or touring bike is ideal for this trip. We recommend 700×23/25c tyres and have found Michelin Pro 3 tyres to perform very well. Compact or triple gearing giving a bottom gear of between 30″ and 40″ is suggested for this trip. Alloy rims or carbon rims with alloy braking surfaces are preferable to full carbon rims for this trip.
  • Your bike should be fully serviced, and thoroughly tested, before your holiday.

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