November 30 – Time to plan next year’s vacation! Please contact us for the tour of a lifetime, an affordable adventure that offers spectacular scenery, exercise, food, and fun.
Perfect for first-timers and experienced riders alike this amazing 9 day ride is tailored for ElliptiGos and showcases Switzerland, Austria, and Italy like no other tour can.
The route flows downhill along the Inn River in Switzerland and the Adige River in Northern Italy. Yes, we climb from one river valley to the next, but the stunning mountain vistas make our daily workouts worthwhile.
Three- and four-star hotels welcome you each afternoon, so this tour is comfortable. But we eschew the extra frills and coddling that make some “bicycle vacations” so expensive.
Who we are
We don’t discriminate! Spouses and friends who ride regular bicycles are welcome to join the fun. Here’s our first group photo on the shores of Lake St. Moritz in September.
Born bicycle tourists, Lynn and I began leading bicycle tours for American Youth Hostels in the late 1960s. I worked in tour and travel marketing for ten years before embarking on a career in the bicycle industry. We now own Urban Bicycle Outfitters, a rental and retail business in San Clemente, CA. We offer weekly ElliptiGo rides from the shop where we service and sell bikes and ElliptiGos.
–Ciao! Pete van Nuys
Day 1. Meet in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Three hours by impeccable Swiss train from Zurich International, St. Moritz is world famous as a jet-setting winter resort. In late summer it’s an active sports paradise with an idyllic lakeside setting. Set up your ElliptiGo or check out your rental bike, test ride or take a leisurely ride ’round the lake. Art lovers, check out the uniquely mystic landscapes of painter Giovanni Segantini in his Museum just down the steet. And we can add an extra day at the start if you’d like to hike Europe’s “Continental Divide” (Lunghin Pass) or ElliptiGo up the epic climb to the Romans’ historic Julier Pass.
Day 2, 22 mi.
Our first day on the road starts with you riding–no kidding– the bobsled run down into the valley of the Upper Engadine. Glacial blue water races beside you as you roll over the cobblestones of picture perfect villages of the Inn Valley.
We’ll ride through Samedan with it’s historic Old Tower, La Punt, where you may pause to visit the frescoes in the early Gothic church of San-Andrea. Lunch if you like in the village of Zuoz with stained glass windows in the church of San Luzi. Overnight is in Zernez
, the gateway to the Swiss National Park, the oldest in Europe. Drop into the Park Visitors Center
to meet Ibex, Chamois, Lynx and other species not
roaming our National Parks.
Day 3, 22 mi
. We roll downstream through charming Lavin with its character of an old mountain village; detour to the covered bridge over the Inn. Then up to the real
Alps and the village Guarda
with its spectacular valley views. Honored for preserving its Engadiner heritage let’s snack and snap photos of its centuries old architecture. Next our first spectacular downhill brings us to Ardez, and another climb high above the valley through forest, over streams, and through alpine pastures– cow bells ringing. Now prepare for an even more amazing descent past the castle Tarasp
, swooping into our hotel in Scoul
. There our hosts offer fresh meats and game hot off the BBQ, not to mention a pool and sauna to soothe those tired muscles.
Day 4, 40 mi.
Today it’s breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Austria, and dinner in Italy . We swoop downstream to Martina on the Swiss/ Austrian border. Then we climb 1,100 feet to Norbertshohe
, a popular challenge for touring cyclists on the ancient Roman Claudia Augusta road.
Your reward might be Spatzle mit Kase
the most mind-blowing mac n’ cheese you’ve ever tasted. Then it’s a quick downhill to Nauder and 400 more vertical to the summit of the Reschen Pass
in Italy. A beautiful ride around a lake and the famous Belltower of Lake Resia rising from its glacial waters precedes a satisfying downhill on the Adige River
. Celebrate your accomplishments tonight around the dinner table in our hotel in Burgeis.
This charming town sits below a 12th Century Benedictine abbey and anchors west end of the lush Vinschgau valley.
Day 5, 36 mi.
Your reward today: an all-downhill roll through the Vinschgau, sometimes next to the river, sometimes through fields and orchards. Glurns
, an 11th century walled city provides an early excuse to stop for the first gelato of the day and some quality sightseeing. Then on through apple and pear orchards, past castles, trout streams, and medieval ruins. Arrive with a dramatic descent past the Adige falls to Merano.
[Special Note on our Routes
: Bicycle Trekking is a tradition in Europe. Featuring “soft adventure,” it attracts families, lovers, and retirees. Historic roads, some dating to pe-Roman times, follow ancient river valleys. We’re roughly following the Inn Radweg (Inn Bike Path)
and the Radweg Vinschgau (Bike Path Val Venosta)
, but on our ElliptiGos we steer around longer unpaved sections which tend to run through natural preserves.]
. Kick back in Merano today, a town famous for relaxing since Roman times. Stroll the shopping streets or ease into the spa for a day
Feeling adventurous? Join us for the Optional
climb up famous Stelvio Pass
for lifetime bragging rights. We’ll travel to the base by train, then leave you to seek adventure on this epic ascent, often featured on the Giro d’Italia. Then by train back to Merano to bask in the comfort of our hotel’s own spa– and maybe a well deserved massage.
Day 7, 36 mi
. A day of transition, we descend toward the heart of northern Italy’s winemaking, along the Weinstrasse (Wine Road)
itself. Then leaving the Adige River valley for the afternoon, a converted rail route brings us to the verdant valley of Apianno
. Native varietals of white Gewurtztraminer and red Vernatch roll upon the landscape. Wineries and wine shops dot the route. Vino
with lunch? But of course. Descending steadily through vineyards and apple orchards we approach the tranquil edge of Lake Kaltern
. A final push brings us to the village of Auer
and a memorable dinner among its quaint streets.
Day 8, 22 mi
. We descend to the bike path along a former railroad
line for a gentle ride northward. We hug the river as it winds through a broad valley below the towering Dolomites. These peaks look very different from the Alps where we began our journey. The destination is Bolzano
, the small but vibrant capitol of South Tyrol. Italian speaking anomaly in this German speaking state, it has guarded the entrances of two alpine passes since ancient times. Enjoy the mix of culture and commerce strolling its downtown markets
. Cars are banned from the city center, it is a pedestrian’s dream.
or relax an additional night Bolzano. Play tourist in the Messner Mountain Museum
, and don’t miss the 5,000 year old iceman, “Ötzi,” in the world famous Archeological Museum
. Quality restaurants abound.
If you’re leaving us today, your rental ElliptiGo goes into our van; rental bikes we turn back to our tour company. Rail connections
to Leonardo da Vinci airport in Milan are frequent, but can you really pass up a couple days in Venice?
Hungry for France? Join our Gormond’s Lot and Dordogne Valleys. tour, September 16-26.
2018 Earlybird Price:
$1,898 per person, double occupancy.
That’s less than half the fancy-dancy Trek, Backroads, or other “bicycle vacation” tours. Price is subject to currency fluctuations and amenity adjustments before departure.
Included in the price per person are:
* 8 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels
* 8 breakfasts
* 4 dinners select hotels or restaurants
* Our own van large enough for 10 ElliptiGos plus bikes
* Luggage transfers on tour
* SOS support en route
* Route finding and leadership on the road
* 10 ElliptiGo 8C’s available
first come, first served $195 for the duration of the tour
* Hybrid bikes, E-bikes available €70 and €170 Euros respectively
Reserve now with your deposit of $190 per person. Price subject to change as the season approaches. Balance is due August 1. This button takes you to our PayPal account:
Reservation, Cancellations, and Air and Ground Transportation: Deposits are refundable through May 31. Tour subject to cancellation if fewer than 10 bookings before May 31. Airfare and ground travel to/from the tour is not included. Airfares and restrictions fluctuate greatly; we always recommend trip cancellation insurance, consult your travel agent. Zurich is the closest international arrival point for St. Moritz. Bolzano is convenient for additional travel to Milan’s Leonardo da Vince airport, amazing Venice, or the Lake District.