This was the first cycling holiday that we (Malin & Angus) took together. For a complete novice, it was slightly daunting going on a holiday purely by bike. However, Angus promised to tow all the stuff in his BOB trailer so I agreed. As it turns out we spent some days cycling then five days windsurfing before jumping on the bikes for another three days.
We flew into Verona and spent two nights here at a nice campsite over looking the city of Verona. After a day of sightseeing we started our cycle towards Lake Garda. The route from Verona to Lake Garda was easy to navigate and followed roads covered with fruit trees. We reached Lake Garda at the southern parts, an area that have been developed with the German tourist in mind, it seems. Fairly soulless but with an excellent selection of amusement parks and campsites.
The next day we rode clockwise up the western shores of the Lake. Lake Garda has a road running around the entire length along its shores. There are few options of alternative routes, but when you do find them they are generally steep up the mountainside, but often reaches a small village with beautiful houses and plants. However, we were here in September and traffic along the major road was not bad. Our second night we spent at a small campsite north of Gargnano. We camped next to a German couple with a camper van. They were going out for dinner that night and kindly offered us to use their chairs and table. A small gesture of generosity that was appreciated greatly by two tired cyclists.
The next day we jumped on the ferry that took us across the lake to Malcesine. Malcesine is a picturesque village on the eastern shores with cobbled streets full pf cafes, restaurants and tourists shops.
Another great asset of Malcisine is its cable car. It takes you up to the top of Monte Baldo (2000 m). The queues were long at the cable car, and normally I would expect grumpy faces at the ticket booth when you say you have two mountain bikes and a trailer too. But they are obviously very used to mountain bikers and we were actually skipping the entire queue to pile into a cable car run for mountain bikers only.
During the journey up – the views are good and once at the top they are spectacular. You can see all of Lake Garda and surrounding mountains. We had managed to pick up a map in Gargnano and set out on a route dropping the 2000 m again to the coastline further north of Torbole. This was excellent riding – mainly downhill – through forests, fields, vineyards, “mule tracks” etc. That evening we reached Torbole.
We then spent five days in Torbole windsurfing. The winds are suppose to be really good, but unfortunately for Angus it was an exceptionally calm week. However the pizzas, the wine and the company was good. On our last day in Torbole it started raining. And for the next 48 hours it did not stop. We were returning to Verona airport via the eastern shores of Lake Garda. I am sure they are nice looking, but my overriding memory of this part is that it was wet! On one campsite we had to dig a moat around our tent because there was so much water flowing past! An enjoyable holiday nonetheless…