Do you want to cycle with the whole family through the magical landscapes of the Dolomites? Or are you looking for an exciting experience in e-bike, mountain bike or downhill? Then you have to make your way to Trentino, to Val di Sole. Here you will find a thousand kilometres of mountain bike routes, 100 kilometres of cycle paths and 3 bike parks. Discover the bike routes not to be missed!
In western Trentino, nestled between the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park and the Stelvio National Park, lies the Val di Sole. As its name says, the Val di Sole is literally kissed by the sun. Immersed in a breathtaking natural setting, between protected reserves and peaks over 3000, glaciers visible throughout the year, waterways and the spectacular Brenta Dolomites (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
But the Val di Sole is not only this. It is a valley that has decided to focus on green mobility and cycling. And so it has become over the years, a destination for cyclists and riders from all over Europe and on some occasions from around the world.
A cycle path crosses the whole valley. And then there are dozens of mountain bike trails for a total of 300 km and 3 bike parks for downhill and trial. Every year there is a stage of the UCI World Cup MTB, the stage of the national circuit of E-Enduro and the World Cup Trials.
Here, from the Brenta Dolomites to the Adamello and Presanella glaciers to Lake Garda, there is one of the largest bike areas in Italy. Whether you are a biker looking for adrenaline, a mountain biker or you are planning a bike ride with your family, in Val di Sole you will surely find the perfect itinerary for you.
Let’s discover together 5 unmissable bike routes.
1. The Val di Sole Cycle Path
This is the cycle path that runs along the entire Val di Sole, from Mostizzolo to Pejo and Vermiglio, for a length of 36 km. It develops along the course of the Noce river and is totally immersed in nature, in the splendid panorama that the valley offers. Starting from Pejo and descending to Mostizzolo, the uphill difference in height is only 200 m and is therefore easily practicable by all, even those who do not climb by bike for a long time. The highlight of the cycle path is the Trento-Malè-Mezzana railway. You can load your bike into the train, which takes you to the starting point and can be used to return to Trento.
An example of a ring-route can be found with the departure from Malè, in Arco. From the village of Malè you proceed towards Trento, you arrive at the Fucina Marinelli, then you pass through Terzolas, Samoclevo with its ancient fortress and finally you arrive at Mostizzolo. From here you can take the cycle path and return to Malè, for a total duration of about 3 hours.
Not to be missed: the second recommended route passes through some interesting places such as the Fucina Marinelli, an ancient forge that uses hydraulic energy and is still working! The town hall of Terzolas, which was once the noble residence of the Malanotti family, and the fortress of Samoclevo, also once a noble residence.
Our green tip: book your stay at Vittoria snow family bike ***S, it is a biker-friendly structure, a small paradise for bike lovers with all the services for riders, including free bike rental. A breakfast based on local and organic products and a restaurant serving typical Tyrolean dishes including products of the Adamello-Brenta quality mark.
2. By mountain bike on the Waterfall Route, Val di Rabbi
This is a route of medium technical difficulty, but not too long, in Val di Rabbi, one of the most beautiful and wild places in Val di Sole. A dirt track, among ancient villages, huts, bridges and to the discovery of suggestive waterfalls. The route is 20 km long, with an 800 m difference in height and an estimated duration of 2 hours.
Starting from the centre of San Bernardo (1095m), go up on the right side of the Rabbies stream to Ponte Praolongo. Crossing the bridge, the dirt road becomes a beaten path, passing alongside the old hamlet of Ruaje. You will reach Ponte Casna, pass next to the Venetian sawmill and arrive at Bagni di Rabbi, a spa. Continue on the asphalt road in the direction of “Plan”, up to the bridge where there are signs for the Ragaiolo waterfall, where it is worth a short refreshing stop before the uphill stretch towards Malga Fratte Bassa. This 2 km stretch is demanding, but it pays off the view over the whole valley once you reach the malga. Continue following the signs for Malga Stablasolo – Fontanino. From here, on the way back, the route passes through the pastureland of the malga and reaches the locality of Fontanino. Continue along the asphalt road and just before the houses of Somrabbi take a small wooded road on the left. With a few ups and downs you reach the Serra locality and then, in a rapid descent, you pass through Cavallar, Penasa, up to San Bernardo.
Not to be missed: The old Venetian sawmill restructured by the Stelvio Consortium. The spa Bagni di Rabbi, with a taste of the ferruginous water.
From Fontanino, a visit to the waterfalls of Saent (in the photo) is certainly worthwhile, which can be reached in 1 hour’s walk.
Our green tip: Sport Hotel Rosatti, with a super competitive price, offers guests a wellness center, swimming pool, breakfast with local and organic products. You should also try the restaurant with typical recipes and a large cellar. If you want to fully experience the magic of the Val di Rabbi, stay in this typical mountain farm managed in an eco-sustainable way, surrounded by the unique landscapes of the Stelvio Natural Park.
3. By mountain bike through the woods, from Mezzana to Lake Caprioli
This is an itinerary of medium difficulty, which has a difference in height of 800 meters and a duration of about 3 hours. We are in Mezzana, the terminus of the Trento-Malè train and we go towards the peaks of Adamello in an itinerary full of waterways and with some waterfalls. A bit like most of the itineraries in Val di Sole. The route requires a minimum of physical preparation or the rental of an e-bike in one of the many bike-rent in Val di Sole.
We start in the direction of Ossana and passing the castle of San Michele and the church of San Vigilio, we arrive at a dirt road at the mouth of the Val Piana. You pass through the woods and reach a plain where you can make a stop. Continue following the signs for the Malga Bassa Fazzon. The latter is also a visitor centre to the Adamello-Brenta Park and is 1 km from Lake dei Caprioli, towards which we continue. This could be a good place to stop and enjoy the view. Continue to Malga Fazzon Alta, keep left in the direction of Marileva and descend along a steep road that leads back to the center of Mezzana.
Not to be missed: Lake dei Caprioli is an artificial lake, but it is located in a beautiful setting and with clear, emerald-colored waters. The recently restored castle of San Michele has no particular structures inside, but for its position overlooking the valley and its imposing structure is definitely worth a visit.
Our green advice: an environmentally friendly structure, excellent starting point for this beautiful route. The Hotel Val di Sole, in Mezzana. With swimming pool and wellness center and many services for families including a water park and a playground with climbing wall. The hotel uses clean energy and organic, zero-mileage products. The hotel is easily accessible without a car, by train or public transport.
4. Climbing up the Val di Pejo in E-Bike
A flat route, next to the walnut river, through some historical structures of the valley such as the ancient iron mines and the Pejo water source. It is a 12 km route that can be done starting from the bike path and is therefore also reachable by train.
We start from the village of Ossana and descend towards Fucine, meeting the bike path we then pass through Fucine, which was once known for the presence of iron smelting furnaces. Turn in the direction of the industrial area and once passed this you find yourself on a dirt road that climbs next to the river Noce. You arrive at a bridge that crosses the river and you enter the Val di Pejo, with the snow-capped peak of Monte Vioz in front of you. Continue in the direction of the village of Comasine, where once there were iron mines and reached the old mill (now a restaurant), a dirt road on the right enters the slopes of the valley floor. This is a road that in winter is used for cross-country skiing and that takes us to the hamlet of Cogolo, home of the Pejo mineral water. From here we continue to the cable car of the municipality of Peio, a locality famous for its springs and thermal baths of Peio.
This could be an excellent place for a break of even half a day. From here you can return by taking the asphalt road or retracing the road of the outward journey. In addition, from Peio there are many mountain bike trails that depart towards Mount Vioz (3645 meters), for more information contact the info point of the municipality.
Not to be missed: the Baths of Pejo and the Wildlife Area of Pejo, two destinations that may also be the main reason to take this path. Eventually, there are many tracks that depart from Pejo, or you can return to the valley following the road made for the climb.
Our green tip: Hotel San Rocco is an eco-friendly hotel offering a magnificent panoramic view of the Pejo Valley. Included in the stay is the Trentino guest card, which includes lifts and free bicycles for guests.
5. The ancient emperor’s road
In this case we are talking about a much longer route with a high difference in height. It is in fact the route of the “Dolomiti di Brenta Bike Tour”, with some changes. The estimated walking time is 6 hours and with a difference in height of over 1500 meters. However, it is possible to shorten the route in some points, making it a little less tiring.
The departure is from the village of Dimaro, passing through the hamlet of Carciato and in the Senasega area, take a pebble road that climbs towards the woods. From here you go towards the banks of the Meledrio, up to the point where you cross it passing over a wooden bridge. Continue uphill for a few hairpin bends to a crossroads where you turn right for Pont de Pastin and continue to the malga Presson. Keeping to the right, continue and you will arrive near the state road, Madonna di Campiglio-Dimaro, in the locality of Prà del Mazza, where you will cross the Meledrio again. Continue and you will reach Malga Mondifrà, an excellent place to stop just below the Dolomite peaks. We proceed along a pasture and arrive at a golf course in Campo Carlo Magno.
Before crossing the road again, take a path which continues in the same way as the main road in the direction of Dimaro and from here starts the return journey. Follow the signs for Malga Darè, when you reach it, continue to Malga Dimaro. Keeping to the left, continue to the Orso Bruno Refuge, then descend to Malga Panciana. From there take the road towards Marilleva, then Malghetto di Mestriago, Almazzago and finally reach Dimaro. It is as mentioned at the beginning of a path for experts that requires a good physical preparation.
Our green tip: Hotel Caminetto, in Folgarida, The eco-friendly hotel is located along the bike path. It has a Wabi-Sabi spa where you can relax after your long ride. The hotel uses clean energy, natural cleaning products, organic and local food, and puts in place numerous other attentions to minimize the environmental impact and respect the nature of the valley.