Italian

Adige river cycle path: from Merano to Verona by bicycle

Living in Trento and having a racing bike, it happened to me many times, especially at the beginning of the season, to train along the Adige cycle path which runs along the bottom of the valley and often, in summer, it happened to me to meet many cycling tourists, first of all German: the route is indeed ideal for those wanting to skip the traffic and is well linked to other routes that combined can make a trip by bike rather varied and interesting.
The Adige cycle path is the longest cycle path in the whole province and continues in the nearby provinces of Verona and Bolzano, being a perfect route for those who love the tranquility of pedaling with no effort and with good cultural-touristic alternatives along the way.

Map

 

Technical data

Adige river cycle path

ITINERARY DETAILS
Start/Finish Meran/Verona
Time 3-4 days
Elevation gain
/
Length 197 km 
Terrain
Asphalt 100%
VOTE
Difficulty Facile
Panorama Molto Bello
WHEN TO GO
MarzoAprileMaggioGiugno
LuglioAgostoSettembreOttobre
Novembre

Elevation graph

Adige cycle path

adige cycle path elevation graph
 
 

Adige valley cycle path

The Adige cycle path runs along all the valley from Merano (actually the cycle path starts from Lake Resia but for convenience we will tell you about it in another article!) to Verona, with a few " trespassing" on secondary and countryside roads. In Merano the majority of population speaks German and you’ll be surprised to see the tangle of cycle paths that run through it.
Merano smells of freshly baked cereal bread and strudel with vanilla cream so before leaving buy some stocks for lunch. Cycling from Merano where there’s the starting point also of the cycle path of the Venosta Valley and the cycle path of the Passiria valley, in about 30 km you reach Bolzano where you can visit its historical center starting from the Walther square and the wonderful Roncolo Castle. You go down towards Trento passing through the vineyards of the excellent Gewurztraminer in the area of Lake Caldaro (where you can find many MTB itineraries) first and Lake Teroldego then, passing through the Rotaliana plain. Adige cycle pathArrived to Trentino’s main city, you’ll be welcomed by the Buonconsiglio Castle and the Duomo with the fountain of Neptune. Continuing to the south, you run along the Adige cycle path flanking the river till Castel Beseno and Rovereto. From the city of the Mart you go down passing by Mori, Ala, Avio with the beautiful Sabbionara Castle and coming to Borghetto, the last village in Trentino. In the Veneto region you follow the new cycle path with mild ups and downs till the last climb to the fortress of Rivoli. From Rivoli Veronese you can decide to continue towards Affi along the “Ciclopista del Sole” (cycle path of the sun) or towards Verona along the cycle path of the Venetian rivers. Let’s see the Adige cycle path more in detail starting from Bolzano and reaching Verona or Affi through the deviation along the “ciclopista del Sole”...

From Bolzano to Trento between Isarco and Adige

Bolzano, provincial seat of the Alto Adige region, is the starting point we chose, but it’s possible to connect to this city from the Resia Pass following the cycle path of the Venosta Valley till Merano. Cycling from Merano, where starts also the cycle path of the Passiria Valley, you continue to the south along the Adige and you reach Bolzano in about 30 km. Alternatively you can arrive to Bolzano also from the Pusteria Valley (continuation of the Drava cycle path in Austria) which reaches the city after a stretch of the Isarco Valley. After visiting Bolzano, you go down towards Trento passing through huge stretches of vineyards: those of the excellent Gewurztraminer of the area of the Lake Caldaro and those of Teroldego in the Rotaliana Plain. Close to the railway station of Ora there’s the starting point of the route for mountain bike (also feasible with touring bikes) of the Vecia Ferrovia (Old railway) - from Ora to Molina di Fiemme which connects right the Adige Valley to the Fiemme and Fassa Dolomites.bici e agricoltura ciclabile adige
The cycle path enters the territory of Trentino after passing past Salorno. The valley gets narrow before opening close to San Michele all’Adige, where starts the Rotaliana Plain. Here there is also the Sabino - San Michele connection that passing through Mezzolombardo leads to the Non Valley. Continuing instead to the south, with the sharp top of Mount Bondone as a reference, you pass by the area of the asparagus of Zambana to reach Lavis and do a large horse-shoe route around the mouth of the Avisio that flows into the Adige. It’s only a few kilometers to reach Trento, where you enter catching sight of the Doss Trento and the church of Sant’Apollinare on the right orographic bank of the Adige. Arrived to Trentino’s main city, you’re welcomed by the Buonconsiglio Castle and the Duomo Square with the fountain of the Neptune.ciclabile adige salorno

From Trento to Rovereto, from one city to another

With the elegant  Duomo Square behind and the cathedral that watches over the cycling tourists, you go along Via Verdi flanking the university and the many bars. At the parking of Sanseverino you turn right and access the cycle path of the Adige Valley at the first roundabout. Looking to the north you spot the beautiful church of Sant'Apollinare below the Doss Trento, while a little higher the Sardagna cableway offers an alternative point of view on Trento. The cycle path continues to the south meeting soon the Palazzo delle Albere of the XVI century and the Muse. In front of the Science Museum was set up a large public park where to relax or have a picnic. Along the bank of the river Adige it’s not difficult to spot a fleeting rabbit jumping into the vegetation while you cycle towards Rovereto. Close to the Ravina Bridge you cross the Adige and continue to follow it on the right orographic bank. The countryside skimming the cycle path are dotted with vineyards and apple trees that in spring bloom in white.
From Trento you can reach many other areas of Trentino province. To the west you can climb mount Bondone, to the east, with a little climb on the hills, you can reach Pergine and the Valsugana cycle path that reachs Bassano del Grappa.
Adige cycle path
You cross the Gianni Caproni  Air Force Museum reachable through the new cycling link road. In Mattarello, a district of the municipality of Trento, you cross again the Adige going to the left bank in sight of the Vigolana Massif. The cycle path stays alongside the water stream while the state road remains higher passing close to the villages of the valley. Shortly before entering in Besenello, dominated by the majestic Beseno Castle dating back to the XII century, the cycle path diverts passing again the Adige. To visit the manor house it is necessary to follow the itinerary towards Besenello and then go up to the entrance of the fortress.adige cycleway
Just beyond the bump of the Beseno Castle, for those who have this kind of passion, you have the possibility to do a retour from the route to visit the Pietra Castle, a kind of fortified village still inhabited nowadays. The villages of Nomi, Volano, Villa Lagarina come in succession while you come closer to Rovereto. Along a hilly road, upstream of Villa Lagarina, plunged in the vineyards there is the Noarna Castle of the XI century. Known for a witch trial which lead to the death of five women, the Noarna Castle houses a cellar with a cool 35000 wine bottles.adige cycle path
Rovereto is now close with its unmissable Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Mart, the Museo Storico della Guerra (Historical Museum of War)(this year with its Centenary you cannot miss a visit!), the historic center, the Leno riverfront, the Bell and the Sacrario dei Caduti (memorial monument to the fallen) where you enjoy a wonderful view on the Vallagarina valley. Before arriving in town the cycle path crosses the countryside and then comes closer to the urban center and shows the cycling tourists the Opera ciclica, an installation dedicated to the bicycle. Shortly before the Leno ends its journey in the Adige you find yourself in front of a crossroad: continuing to the south, Mori and the Garda cycle path, Ala and Avio with its castle and then Affi and the “ciclopista del Sole” (cycle track of the sun) or take some time to devote to beautiful Rovereto following the river Leno to the north-east and its historical center.Adige cycle path

From Rovereto to Verona (or Affi) by bicycle

From the historical center of Rovereto you cycle to the south till you bump into the stream Leno that goes down from the Vallarsa to flow into the river Adige. Along the water stream you go on quietly among the vegetation, families by bicycle and the sweet sound of the stream. To reach the Adige cycle path it is necessary to follow the cycle road signs to Trento or Lake Garda till you find yourself on the banks of the river.Panorama on Adige valley
Turning to the south you can then continue your trip by bike towards Ala, Avio and Affi. The Leno ends its course in the Adige but the cycle path doesn’t stop. Beyond the river, on an eye-catching bump, are preserved the ruins of the Pradaglia Castle, mentioned for the first time in the year 1183. From the cycle path you have views also on the Baldo that in spring is often still covered with snow. Just after Ravazzone which lies on the right bank of the Adige, you cross the river and find yourself in a district called Daone, at the mouth of the Biffis drain. The cycle path goes down to the south and cross the drain just before the crossroads to Mori and the Garda cycle path to the lake. If you want to cycle towards Nago, Torbole and Lake Garda this is the deviation you have to take.
Continuing along the Adige Valley, close to Marco, you cross again the drain and the river and get back to the left orographic bank. On top of Marco, a district of Rovereto, there are the so called lavini di Marco, a nature area made up of old landslides of limestone rocks where dinosaur prehistoric imprints were found. Among the vineyards of the Vallagarina valley you run towards Serravalle dell'Adige, parallel to the Brennero highway and the railway (regional trains that carry bicycles stop in every station and are a good support to go along the cycle path). At the presence of the attentive Mount Zugna you cross the Adige entering the territory of Chizzola where the castle with the same name of 1100, now in ruins, stood out.Adige valley
Ala is closer and closer: the Saiori Castle and an old military hospital lie forgotten in the vegetation of the Baldo, while a bit higher the Brentonico plateau anticipates the fortifications of the Corno della Paura. The cycle path meanders crossing Pilcante and finding at the foot of the Sabbionara d'Avio dominated by its evocative castle. From the opposite side of the valley the Sega di Ala stands out, a road very demanding to be faced by bike, being indeed the access road to the Lessini Mountains.
The valley gently tightens, closed in the grip of the Baldo and the Lessini, crosses Borghetto, the last municipality of the Trentino region, and enters Veneto crossing the motorway by means of an overpass. After Borghetto, once village on the border between the Austrian Trentino and the Italian Veneto, nowadays simply last village in the autonomous province of Trento, the newly built cycle path continues on the right of the Adige allowing to reach with a short bike ride Belluno Veronese, in the province of Verona. The cycle path follows the Biffis drain before raising a few meters and running parallel to the provincial road on the right of the Adige. piedicastello doss trento
Later on the cycle path crosses the provincial road getting to its left and continuing to the south. Before Rivalta the route crosses again the road and get lost in the vineyards. Beyond Preabocco you go past the Santuario Cristo della Strada, dedicated to all the men who died at work, due to sudden or violent death. Cycling on the Eurovelo 7, in Italy the “Ciclopista del Sole”, you cross Tessari till you reach the gates of Canale. Before the deviation to enter the village or to visit, a little further, the ruins of the tagliata d'Incanal, the “ciclopista del Sole” turns again into a cycle path to all effects starting its determined ascension to the Forte Rivoli. This stretch of the route is rather in the shade and offers, after some climb, a panoramic point on the Adige Valley which is unusual and very pleasant. 
Close to the Rivoli Fortress you reach the highest peak of the hill: it’s better to take advantage to have a last look at the countryside of the surroundings where vineyards are grown, the building which is a testimony of the Great War and the Adige Valley. From the fortress you go down till Rivoli Veronese where you can choose between two possibilities: turning right continuing the journey on the Eurovelo 7 to Affi or going straight along the cycle way of the Venetian rivers towards Verona. Along the Ciclopista del sole the itinerary is partly signaled: just pay attention at every junction like that of Coletto where you have to leave the road to turn left and go into the beautiful Venetian countryside. At the end of the straight line with slight ups and downs you turn again but this time to the right on an easy dirt road towards Colo. From Colo you continue always straight ending the itinerary suggested in Affi, a peaceful town laid down on the stream Tasso from where to start many other routes on secondary roads or by mountain bike.Adige valley cycle path
If you want to reach Verona from Rivoli Veronese you can follow the Rivoli – Bussolengo cycle path, a part of the cycle way of the Venetian rivers, which flanks the Biffis drain passing through Gaium, Ragano, Piovezzano and ending in Bussolengo. After crossing the town you continue till almost the end of the drain, you divert flanking the park of villa Pullè and then go back to flank the river Adige for a short stretch. You enter Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet with the majestic arena overlooking the Brà Square, along the Camuzzoni industrial drain. The alternatives in the area are many and pleasant: from Bolzano you can climb up again the stream of the Adige and go into the Venosta Valley and then trespass in Austria from the Resia Pass, where you can visit the famous bell tower in the lake. In the surroundings of Rovereto (more precisely from Mori) instead you can divert towards Torbole to reach Lake Garda and flank it (from Torbole onwards on the “Gardesana orientale” provincial road) till Peschiera to take again a cylce route of thel Mincio which will lead you till Mantova. So, the Adige valley and its cycle routes offer an excellent opportunity for families and those who love journeys by bike with not so many difficulties.Bridge Adige cycle path

The bike-grills of Nomi, Avio and Trento-south

Born to assist and allow those practicing cycle tourism along the Adige cycle path to rest and have useful information, the bike-grill of Nomi is between Trento and Rovereto and consists in a facility equipped with bathroom and bar service. Along the Adige cycle path you’ll happen to spot the signposts in wood which indicate its presence a few kilometers away. Once arrived close to Nomi, instead of following the Adige cycle path on the bridge crossing the river, go straight for 150 meters and you’ll find yourself at the Bikegrill. If you have some doubts about journey and distance, ask for information at the managers and have a look at the map of the Adige cycle path shown outside. In Trento south, when the Adige cycle path passes close to airport/Caproni Museum, you can stop at the bike-grill for a light meal or to drink an iced draught beer.
Another newly-opened facility is the bike-grill of Avio "Ruota Libera". You’ll find it cycling to the border between Trentino and Veneto and you’ll have the chance to take advantage of it to eat a snack or relax a bit admiring the Sabbionara d'Avio Castle! Also in South Tirol there are facilities similar to the bike-grills, the last one you’ll meet is in Salorno, exiting from the autonomous province of Bolzano.Cycle path Adige
 

What to see along the Adige Cycle Path

 
The Adige cycle path  runs through the whole valley with the same name following the flow of the river from Merano till the provincial capital of Altoadige and Trentino till you reach Verona. Besides these four cities, Merano, Bolzano, Trento and Verona, which surely deserve a visit because of their cultural, historic, art richness, it’s pleasant to cycle among the vineyards of the Appiano Wine Road or crossing the Rotaliana Plateau famous for Teroldego and Trento doc. The Adige cycle path  continues to the south passing under the Beseno Castle, which you see on the left and the Isera Castle, on the right above Villa Lagarina. By bicycle you go beyond some bridges on the Adige and flank the town of Rovereto, famous for the Mart, its festivals and landmarks in memory of the soldiers and civilians died in the bloody global conflicts. The mountains frame the valley offering landscapes really worthy: Bondone, Zugna, Finonchio, Stivo... Going down towards the Veneto region the Avio Castle and many colored villages lying on the river greet us. The valley slowly widens and in the distance you spot the fortresses you’ll reach in the continuation of this journey by bike on the Adige cycle path. Once entered the Veneto region, from Borghetto onwards, the cycle path is present only for some stretches: the rest of the itinerary by bike must be covered on secondary roads.  san michele adige
 
The connections with trains and coaches offering services dedicated to cycling tourists are more and more frequent and used... even if the bike must be paid more than the passenger ticket! In summer however, those who stay in Trentino are offered the Trentino guest card with which to access transport, museums, castles and many other services for free or at a discounted rate.

If you are looking for further information: for the stretch in Trentino on the website of the Province of Trento there are further details. On this page you find news on the stretch between Merano and Bolzano.

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Leo

Slow bicycle traveller with a passion for writing and photography. If he's not traveling he loves to get lost along the thousand paths that run through the beautiful mountains of Trentino and Lake Iseo surroundings where he lives, both on foot and by mountain bike.
Eternal Peter Pan who loves to realize their dreams without leaving them too long in the drawer, has devoted much of his life to cycling, traveling in New Zealand, the Balkans, Norway Argentina and many other countries. Lately he spent ten months by bike in South East Asia and crossed the Andes by bike.

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