Geneva to Venice 13 Days


  • 1,154km / 721 miles of riding
  • 12 nights accommodation & all meals included
  • Qualified guide, baggage van & mechanical support included
  • From the high passes to the Veneto flatlands & the Venitian barrier islands
  • 13 days / 12 nights
  • Ride the Stelvio (2,757m) & Gavia (2,652m) Passes
  • Journey ends on the beautiful Lido di Venezia
  • Ride the climb to the Madonna di Ghisallo Cyclist’s Chapel
Number of Days: 13
2020 Land Only Price From: £2,595
Grade: Spicy
Group Size: 6-14
View: Kit List


Mon 22 June – Sat 4 July 2020
Mon 07 Sept – Sat 19 Sept 2020 

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

Trip Overview

Day 1 Fly, Arrive, Ride

Arrive at Geneva Airport between 12:00 & 16:00.  Build-up bikes and then ride to our accommodation in Thonon-les-Bains via Yvoir.  Bike bags and luggage transferred to accommodation in our baggage vehicle after 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.  A flat and gentle start today along the shores of Lac Leman before climbing into a stunning Swiss chocolate box landscape via the Union Cycliste Internationale’s HQ & Velodrome in Aigle.
108km / 68 miles. Overnight in Zweisimmen in a hotel /motel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 3 Elementary my Dear Watson

Ride from Zweisimmen to Meiringen.  A gentler ride today and one which is one of our all time favourite rides in Switzerland.  Incredible scenery and beautiful towns & villages using a mix of excellent Swiss cycle routes and the quieter roads when available.  As we usually arrive around lunch time in Meiringen, of Sherlock Holmes fame, suggestions for the afternoon include visiting the town’s Sherlock Holmes museum and nearby Reichenbach Falls or there will be 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 Tip Top Passes

Ride from Meiringen to Andermatt.  It’s a two pass day today and the route profile is like a saw – up, down, up, down.  First up is the Grimsel Pass (2,165m).  It’s a long climb through a stunning valley which is then topped off by some steeper zigzags up the headwall to the top.  The view from the top is stunning on a clear day and the descent that follows is a cracker.  Next up is the brilliantly engineered Furka Pass (2,429m).  A technical descent follows and soon we arrive in the pretty small mountain town of Andermatt.
85km / 53 miles. Overnight in Andermatt in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 5 Cobbled Descents & Lago di Lugano

Ride from Andermatt to Lago di Lugano.  A “half pass” starts the day as we ascend Passo San Gottardo (2,106m) from Andermatt.  The descent begins with a cobbled section down the unique and historic Via Tremola.  Rejoining the tarmac the exhilarating descent continues for many miles down the valley.  After Bellinzona we make the short climb up Monte Ceneri before dropping down to Lago di Lugano on a mix of back roads and cycle routes.
120 km / 75 miles. Overnight in the Lago di Lugano area in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 6 Following Famous Wheel Tracks

Ride from Lago di Lugano to Bellagio.  We start today with a flat lakeside warm up before we tackle to fairly short but very steep Intelvi Pass, crossing into Italy near the top.  The downhill that follows is beautiful and the road passes through a number bustling villages.  Next we ride along the Western shores of the very beautiful Lago di Como before our ferry crossing to Bellagio.  We take lunch in the gardens of our hotel befor eour afternoon ride up the famous climb to Madonna di Ghisallo – the cyclist’s chapel and museum.
80km / 50 miles. Overnight in Bellagio in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 7 Back into the Mountains

Ride from Varenna to Bormio.  As they say in the Grand Tours, today is a transition day.  It’s also a ride that’s a bit tougher than it looks on paper.  The climbing comes at the end of the day and the valley winds can also often be a factor.  We start with a short ride and then a ferry crossing to Varenna on the Eastern side of Lago di Como.  Next we have some flat lakeside miles to get warmed up and then much of today’s ride is on a stunning cycle path and we enjoy many miles of traffic free riding.  After Tirano the road starts to ascend and we gain height from here all the way to Bormio, a stunning mountain town.
130km / 81 miles. Overnight in Bormio in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 8 Passo Stelvio

Ride the Passo Stelvio (2,757m) from Bormio.  The giant Passo Stelvio is rightfully one of the iconic Italian climbs and the ascent from Bormio is a mini journey in itself with over 1,500m of height gain.  We normally treat today as a free day and everyone rides at their own pace and regroups in Bormio later in the day.  For those that wish a gentler day there’s many fine roads and climbs from Bormio and we can advise a route to suit.  For those that wish a tougher challenge, and a true Cima Coppi post ride beer, there’s always the Stelvio to tackle from both sides.
44km / 27miles. Overnight in Bormio in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 9 Riding High

Ride from Bormio to Cles via the Gavia (2,652) and Tonale (1,884m) Passes.  A cracking ride today first over the beautifully rugged Gavia Pass and then over the lower and gentler Tonale.  On the ride down the Val di Sole we stick to the old roads and cycle paths and avoid the main road.  Cles, tonight’s stop, is also the home of World Road Race Champion Maurizio Fondriest.
The Passo Gavia holds a very special place in cycling folklore.  I’ve heard an older local describe with crystal clarity how, when he was a boy, he rode out with his brother from the village of Cellidizzo on heavy utility bikes and watched Bartalli and Coppi race past in the Giro – add in the epic 1988 Giro stage, in the snow …. we don’t need to say any more.
120km / 75 miles. Meal/s included: B, L& D

Day 10 Up to the Asiago Altopiano

Ride from Cles to Asiago.  A superb day’s riding with a sting in the tail.  Dropping down to cross the valley North of Trento we cut across country to Levico Terme.  Taking a very narrow back road we tackle a sustained steep climb up an escarpement onto the Asiago Altopiano, or high plateau.  This climb is often thought to be the toughest on the entire trip.  The last hour of the today’s ride, however, is almost all downhill to the historic small town of Asiago.
120km / 75 miles. Overnight in Asiago in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 11 Down to the Veneto

Ride from Asiago to Cittadella.  A deliberately short day today to give us time to linger over and savour the ride and also to have some exploring time in tonight’s destination, the charming walled medieval “city” of Cittadella.  Today’s ride is a journey from the high plateau of the Asiago Altopiano to the flatlands of the Veneto via a very special but lesser know cycling gem.  A walk round the walls of Cittadella is recommended, as is a spin on the bike around the lanes of the region.
70km / 44 miles. Overnight in Cittedella in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 12 Across the Veneto Flatlands

Ride from Cittedella to Lido di Venezia.  After a tough, mountainous trip today’s ride across the flat Veneto is ideal for spinning the legs out and savouring the journey.  The Veneto itself is a fascinating mix of agriculture and canal systems and is dotted with beautiful small villages, often with magnificant architecture.  Crossing onto the Venetian lagoon barrier islands from Chioggia, itself a mini Venice and working port, we end our journey with one of the finest views in the World ….. Venice in all it’s splendour.
150km / 93 miles. Overnight in Lido di Venezia in a hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 13 Departure Day

Today, depending on the time of your return flight, you may have time to explore the Lido or Venice itself.  If departing from Venice Marco Polo Airport your transfer to the airport is best undertaken using a water taxi shared betwen those returning on flights at a similar time.
Meal/s included: B

What’s Included

  • 12 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.
  • Lago di Como ferries (Days 6 & 7) & Lido di Venezia ferries (Day 12).

*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.
  • All airport transfers – for riders, bikes & baggage.
  • Travel Insurance – Compulsory.
  • Visa/s if necessary.
  • All drinks e.g. bottled water, coffees, teas, alcohol, etc.
  • Entry fees e.g. to visitor attractions, 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 700x23c 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.