Our adventure started in the capital of the Dolomites, Bolzano where we would cycle for three days and hike for three days. After an evening in Bolzano, we shuttled to the high alpine meadows of Compaccio, where we set off on a bike ride on the Selva Route, a cycle with 1,100’ gain and 2,100’ loss. We cycled through mountain switchbacks and enjoyed some of the most beautiful vistas we’ve ever seen in the world. We refueled with a hearty Tyrolean lunch prior to heading through the Gardena Valley and onto our five-star hotel, Alpenroyal Grand Hotel.
On day two, we set off for a trek on the Geisler route, a 7.1 mile 1,500’ gain hike that took us through the Geisler Odle mountain group in the heart of the Dolomites. After a gondola ride back down to the valley, we refueled with a Michelin-starred dinner at the Alpenroyal Grand Hotel. Day three was another hiking day where we enjoyed the 4.3 mile 600’ elevation gain on the Colfosco Route and concluded our day with spa treatments and a wine tasting at La Perla hotel in Corvara.
On day four, we shuttled to San Vigilio in Marebbe and hopped back on our bikes on the Pederu Route for an 8 mile, 1,100’ elevation gain. This was our favorite bike of our trip because the route took us through little villages, into a forest, and up to the stunning Rifugio Pederü where we dipped our toes in glacial fed water and drank Aperol Spritz’s with a view of the mountains. After this, we headed to the charming village of San Vigilio di Marebba, where we flew through the sky on Europe’s largest zip-line system.
For our final full day with Backroads, we hiked through World War I Memorial sites, through trenches, bunkers, and tunnels that were used in WW1. We packed our lunches and dined right next to a former WW1 hospital in the middle of the mountains with a perfect view of the Cinque Torri, a gorgeous grouping of five rock towers. After our hike, we headed to the ritzy town of Cortina d’Ampezzo where we stayed at our favorite hotel of the trip, Hotel Cristallo. That evening, we dined at the Michelin-starred organic restaurant, AGA. On day 6, we had the option to bike, but we chose to forego the adventure and instead pamper ourselves at the spa at Hotel Cristallo before we were shuttled to Venice, where our Backroads travel would officially come to an end. We had an incredible week cycling and hiking through the Dolomites and we can’t wait for our next Backroads trip!