Dolomites cycling holiday in Italy
Description of Dolomites cycling holiday in Italy
Explore Italy’s dramatic mountain range with this Dolomites cycling holiday in Italy, where you’ll get to take it easy on the bike while still getting the most of this beautiful area. The secret is the network of purpose-built cycle paths and quiet lanes, plus return transfers at the end of long days, which make the trip a little easier on the thighs. What’s more there’s no packing and unpacking involved as you’re based in one hotel, so you can relax and focus on sightseeing. Any aches can be soothed in the hotel spa, and you’ll even get a day off from cycling to explore on foot or by public transport.
Each day brings a new adventure. Highlights include a gentle ride down the Val Pusteria to the town of Brunico, a jaunt along the Drau cycle path, a pretty, traffic-free route that follows the river downhill into Austria, and a ride along an old railway track through illuminated tunnels towards Lake Landro and the iconic Tre Cima di Lavaredo, the three dramatic rock formations that the Dolomites are famous for.
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PlanetAccommodation & meals:
We spend the week in the family-run Hotel Adler in Villabassa, an area of the Dolomites which doesn’t see much tourism in the summer months. All breakfasts and six dinners are included, the hotel food is homemade, using locally produced and sourced goods and the hotel is well known for having an extensive herb and vegetable garden and using lots of its home grown produce in the restaurant. We have planned stopping points throughout the tour allowing our groups to eat lunch in independent restaurants and cafes and we actively look to only use independent restaurants which highlight the amazing local cuisine of the Dolomites.
The Hotel Adler has recently undergone extensive work and updated all fixtures and fittings with modern energy saving versions. This includes lighting and electricity that only turns on if a guest is in the room, toilets with multiple flush options to reduce water usage and better insulation to reduce lost heat throughout the hotel.
Hotel Adler is currently doing a project with Alperia (local energy supplier) in order to save energy usage at the hotel. They are also cooperating with the local heating plant that uses local wood for heating
Waste: Clients are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle in the trip notes packing section. The tap water in the hotel is drinkable so clients are encouraged to fill up water bottles at the hotel at the start of each day. Water bottles can be filled up throughout the days ride at public fountains and restaurants as all tap water in the area is from the mountains and drinkable. Picnic lunches are eaten at designated picnic areas and all waste goes into the supplied recycling or general waste bins where appropriate. This is the leader’s responsibility to ensure that all recyclable waste is recycled and our picnic areas are left clean and tidy.
As a cycling holiday, this trip has very limited detrimental impact upon the environment, residents and communities in the regions we visit. Use of the bikes allows us to cover fairly large distances, while offering very little adverse impact, like pollution and threat to wildlife. Cycling also allows for easy access to the local population, shops and restaurants, which facilitates cultural exploration. Lots of the cycling on this trip follows the newly constructed parts of the Euro Velo bike paths through the Dolomites, these routes make use of disused railway tracks and tunnels to link the towns surrounding Villabassa and allow access to areas that would not normally be visited by tourists. By hiring our bikes locally, we also give our business to small Italian suppliers, which is beneficial for the community. Through this activity, we are able to raise local awareness for a kind of tourism which refuses to sacrifice the environment and allows real connections with people.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in a unique, family-run hotel that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK office. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
At several points on the trip our groups visit market towns like Brunico, Lienz and Cortina. Here they have the opportunity to shop at small stalls and local shops for handmade gifts and local produce, not only is this a great opportunity to interact with the local community it also ensures that money is being directly injected to the community. The hotel Adler host themed evenings on each night of the tour and brings in local businesses and people from the community to supply food, music, drinks and entertainment for hotel guests. One of the most popular nights is Bavarian night when the local butcher supplies and serves all starters for the evening meal and the town accordion players supply the music.Christian (Hotel owner) is a member of the South Tyrol Little Lions club. They support and encourage local children to get involved in outside projects and activities in the local area. Lots of these projects and events are based at the Hotel Adler.
We use a local provider for our hire bikes, transfers and accommodation. All staff employed by our local partners are from the South Tyrol area, most are from the town of Villabassa where the tour is based. This part of the Dolomites is best known for its winter activities; operating a cycling tour in the summer months enables local business and people to work throughout the year. Our local partners pay their employees well. There is a high demand for cycling guides, mechanics and drivers with trailer licences in this area which ensures good wages are paid out in order to keep staff. There are a lot of qualifications needed to operate cycling tours in the Dolomites; this ensures that all our staff are well trained and up to date with relevant courses and training opportunities. All services (bike hire, internal transfers, airport transfers, route logistics, mechanics) are supplied through a local company who are based in Toblach, a town also in the Puster Valley.