Narrow alleys, cozy cafés and dreamy Italian charm. Time for another espresso then it's off to ride more around the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio. Here, in one of Europe's largest nature reserves — high up in Northern Italy — fantastic natural discoveries await you — all readily explorable by bike. After all, in an around Bormio, everything revolves around cycling.
Stelvio National Park is a place where rides can switch characters between challenging and flowing. All it takes is a moment. And with miles of trails suitable for both beginners and experts alike, it's the perfect place for bikers of all levels. Fancy a challenge? Crank up those hills. Want to take it easy? Take the lift up to the top of the trailhead and enjoy the descent back down. Whatever you're into, it's catered for here. In fact, even after your hours on the bike are long over, the dolce vita continues: It's time to enjoy Italian delicacies in quaint, authentic restaurants, to enjoy the views from a cozy mountain hut, or to stroll the historic streets of the old town. After all of that, if you're still not satisfied, you can grab a gelato and relax in the world-famous thermal baths — ready for your next day on the trails.
Bormio lies in the Valtellina, the valley of the Adda, in the north of Italy, very close to the Swiss border and supposedly only a stone's throw away from Austria and southern Germany. However, the journey through the middle of the Alps requires a certain amount of patience: there is no motorway to Bormio. Instead, various pass roads lead into Valtellina. Arrival by train is possible, but then the journey - which leads via Milan — becomes part of the adventure. From there, it takes another two hours by regional train to Tirano. The last part to Bormio is by bus. Whether by train or car — it is best to plan several days directly for your stay in Bormio. That makes the long journey all the more worthwhile and you will have, above all, more time to explore the area.
"La Romantica" - the name does not necessarily stand for a leisurely excursion with the favorite human around the turquoise-blue mountain lake. In this case, romantic feelings are more likely to occur when you are on real, demanding mountain biking in the alpine terrain. Exactly then you come on this short but intense tour completely at your expense.The "Romantica" Trail is about the same, which means for the road cyclist the asphalt driveway up to the Gavia. In other words, he's a challenge high on your bucket list when you're in the area. You drive on a narrow single trail, sometimes very demanding and sometimes with a steep slope on one side of the road. Always present is the really impressive landscape and the view of the rugged mountains. More mountain biking on such a short distance is not really possible.Tip:
Various shuttle providers bring you and your bike straight up the Gavia. Treat yourself to a little snack at the top and enjoy the great view. Maybe you also take a "packed lunch" with you and enjoy a little refreshment on the trail - at the latest then the trail lives up to its name in the original sense of the word.
This tour perfectly combines the optimal infrastructure of Bormio with the rough but beautiful mountains around it. The short lap does not cost you much time, but thanks to the lift, you are immediately in the bike pleasure (the lift will easily save you an hour's uphill). At a little over 20 kilometers, you will mainly be flowing downhill on action-packed single trails, through idyllic spruce forests and over open trail passages with stunning views of the mountains and valleys all around.Pure enjoyment - even after the tour: In Bormio there are plenty of nice opportunities to refresh and strengthen you. Bikers are always welcome and there are even a few bars and restaurants that are totally devoted to cycling. A stop at the Stelvio Experience Bicycle Café, for example, is a real treat after every tour.
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Bormio and the surrounding area have everything they need for a great adventure. Lifts make it easier for you to get ahead and overcome many meters in a short time. Cabins extend your radius of action by providing you accommodation for the night. So you can continue your tour the next day and enjoy the special atmosphere of an overnight stay in the middle of the mountains.To use all this is the idea of this tour, which consists of two parts. Of course you can also ride them individually, but the overnight stay at Rifugio Arnaldo Berni is without a doubt the icing on the cake for your biking adventure in the Alps.In order to get to your camp, you twice take the help of lifts, which save you about 2,700 meters of altitude and thus hours of pedaling. In addition, they are the direct access to the trails, which you can achieve otherwise only by detours. It starts directly with the mountain railway in Bormio, which brings you up to the Cima Bianco at 3,000 meters altitude. There you will be spat out directly on a challenging trail, which will take you from Santa Fe to Santa Catarina, surrounded by fantastic views without any significant ups and downs. Here is a short break. Strengthen yourself, enjoy the Italian charm of the small village and look forward to the "S. Caterina - Vallalpe "mountain railway that takes you straight to almost 2,800 meters.Once at the top, you are right back on the trail, which leads you to the goal of the tour or shortly before on the Gavia Pass Road, where you pedal the last few meters comfortably to the Rifugio. If you still feel like it, we recommend you to drive a few meters further to the Gavia Pass, where the view is especially beautiful. Back to the hut, it is guaranteed only downhill.
Part two of an unforgettable alpine adventure starts at the top of the Gavia Pass. If you have stayed in the cabin before, your adventure will start at over 2,600 meters in a wonderful morning mood. Of course, if you want to do this tour individually, you can. Then you can, for example, take you by bike shuttle from Bormio to the Gavia. In any case, the tour starts with a flowing, moderate trail descent, which leaves you enough air to enjoy the breathtaking views.After about ten kilometers, the first challenge awaits you: the uphill to Passo Zebrù. It's going to be steep and technical and you'll have to push your bike here and there on the exposed trail passages. But do not worry: this is part of it and that makes you enjoy the following descent even more. However, you should allow enough time, because you will not get ahead very quickly.You reach the Passo Zebrù at around 3,000 meters, which makes it one of the highest alpine crossings that you can conquer by bike. It is associated with a great downhill, but also with driving challenges and a certain preparation. You are in the middle of high alpine terrain, so you should be prepared for anything. Replacement parts, first aid kit and weather change clothing are standard on your backpack. You should also bring along a certain basic fitness as well as driving technique if you dare to go to such terrain. Then you will experience an unforgettable mountain adventure.Incidentally, various huts invite you to stop on the way - take your time, strengthen yourself and enjoy the incredibly impressive and beautiful landscape, before you go back on the trail.
In and around Bormio there are a lot of events around cycling all year long. One of them is the Alta Valtellina Marathon, whose start in Valdidentro is just a stone's throw from Bormio. The event is popular and quickly booked. Of course, there is nothing wrong with pursuing the demanding lap just just for fun.At around 100 kilometers with more than 3,000 vertical meters, the Marathon Round is a demanding day program. Take enough time and remember to bring enough to eat and drink. On the way you will always come across huts or pass small places but it is safer if you are well prepared. Then nothing stands in the way of an unforgettable, beautiful bike experience. Because the route is really great, it leads you past impressive lakes, framed by the majestic mountain scenery in alternation with breathtaking views.Tip:
If you realize on the way that you have made something too much, you can shorten the distance slightly by about 20 kilometers, by omitting the two loops that branch off at the Lago di San Giacomo.
This tour follows the course of one of the stages of the Italian "Superenduro" racing series. Accordingly, the motto of the route is: As easy as possible uphill, so you can fully enjoy the descent.Therefore, this tour also takes the help of the gondola in St. Catarina, which brings you up to 2,800 meters and saves you a lot of time. From here it is mainly downhill and even the short transit passage on the Gavia Pass road is quite as enjoyable, because the panoramic view here is just beautiful.Incidentally, the eponymous Dynamite Trail in the first part of the tour is an old military road from the First World War, over which mules were then driven. Again, a view awaits you that will only amaze you! Get an impression of the trail in this short video:
The bike park in Bormio is a great starting point for fantastic tours. You can also limit yourself to the area of the actual bike park: Three lifts and seven built tracks provide enough material for an action-packed day on the bike, just outside the gates of Bormio.The bike park offers the right offer for every taste. There are easy, flowing descents, which are particularly suitable for beginners, but there are also demanding routes to the race track, which has already proven its high level in 2017 in the Italian downhill championship. Variety is ensured by a North Shore course and a jump terrain. If you want to improve your driving skills, you will find the right offer in the "Downhill School".All routes have in common that you are brought by lift to the start. From Bormio the first train takes you up to the Bormio2000. From here, take the chairlift up to the "Cimino", where most of the trails start, or head up the "Whitelady3000" gondola to Cima Bianca. All three lifts are open during the summer and with one ticket you can use all three.This short video gives you a little insight into the possibilities of the bike park: