Join The ElliptiGO Tour of Switzerland, Austria and Italy!
January 5, 2017
Like to ride your GO through some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet? Enjoy great meals? Savor fine wine? We did all this and more in 2016 – And my wife (Lynn) and I are gratified to say we got rave reviews! This amazing 9 day ride is tailored for ElliptiGOs and showcases Switzerland, Austria, and Italy like no other tour can. Sold out last year, we want to share it again in 2017.
The route flows downhill along the Inn River in Switzerland and the Adige River in Northern Italy. Yes, we climb from one river valley to the next, but the stunning mountain vistas make our daily workouts worthwhile.
Three and fourstar hotels welcome you each afternoon, so this tour is comfortable. But we eschew the extra frills and coddling that make some “bicycle vacations” so expensive.
Who we are…
We don’t discriminate! Spouses and friends who regular bicycles are welcome to join the fun. Here’s our first group photo on the shores of Lake St. Moritz last September.
Born bicycle tourists, Lynn and I began leading bicycle tours for American Youth Hostels in the late 1960s. I worked in tour and travel marketing for ten years before embarking on a career in the bicycle industry. We now own Urban Bicycle Outfitters, a rental and retail business in San Clemente, CA. We offer weekly ElliptiGO rides from the shop, where we service and sell a range of bikes and ElliptiGOs. –Ciao! Pete van Nuys
Here’s our daily itinerary for The Tour:
Day 1. Meet in St. Moritz, Switzerland
Three hours by impeccable Swiss train from Zurich International, St. Moritz is world famous as a jet-setting winter resort. In late summer it’s an active sports paradise with an idyllic lakeside setting. Set up your ElliptiGO or check out your rental bike, test ride or take a leisurely ride ’round the lake.
Art lovers, check out he Segantini Museum, showcasing the uniquely mystic landscapes of painterGiovanni Segantini. And we can add an extra day at the start if you’d like to hike Europe’s “Continental Divide” (Lunghin Pass) or ElliptiGO ride up the epic climb to the Romans’ historic Julier Pass.
Day 2, 22 mi. Our first day on the road starts with you riding–no kidding– the bobsled run down into the valley of the Upper Engadine. Glacial blue water races beside you as you roll over the cobblestones of picture perfect villages of the Inn Valley. We’ll ride through Samedan with it’s historic Old Tower, La Punt, where you may pause to visit the frescoes in the early Gothic church of San-Andrea. Lunch if you like in the village of Zuoz with stained glass windows in the church of San Luzi.
Overnight is in Zernez, the gateway to the Swiss National Park, the oldest in Europe. Drop into the Park Visitors Centerto meet Ibex, Chamois, Lynx and other speciesnot roaming our National Parks.
Day 3, 22 mi. We roll downstream through charming Lavin with its character of an old mountain village; detour to the covered bridge over the Inn. Then up to the real Alps and the village Guarda with its spectacular valley views. Honoured for preserving its Engadiner heritage let’s snack and snap photos of its centuries old architecture. Next our first spectacular downhill brings us to Ardez, and another climb high above the valley through forest, over streams, and through alpine pastures– cow bells ringing. Now prepare before an even more amazing descent past the castle Tarasp, swooping into our hotel inScoul. There our hosts offer fresh meats and game hot off the BBQ, not to mention a pool and sauna to soothe those tired muscles.
Day 4, 40 mi. OK, breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Austria, and dinner in Italy today. We swoop downstream to Martina on the Swiss/ Austrian border. Then we climb 1,100 feet toNorbertshohe, a popular challenge for touring cyclists and a landmark on the ancient Roman Claudia Augusta road. Your reward might be Spazle mit Kase, the most mind-blowing mac n’ cheese you’ve ever tasted.
Then it’s a quick downhill to Nauder and 400 more vertical to the summit of theReschen Pass in Italy. A beautiful ride around a lake and the famous Belltower of Lake Resia rising from its glacial waters procedes a satifying downhill on theAdige River. Celebrate your accomplishments tonight around the dinner table in our hotel inBurgeis. This charming town sits below a 12th Century Benedictine abbey and anchors west end of the lush Vinschgau valley.
Day 5, 36 mi. Your reward today: an all-downhill roll through the Vinschgau, sometimes next to the river, sometimes through fields and orchards. Glarns, an 11th century walled city provides an early excuse to stop for the first gellato of the day and some quality sightseeing. Then on through apple and pear orchards, past castles, trout streams, and medieval ruins. Arrive with a dramatic descent past the Adige falls to Merano.
Special Note on our Routes:
Bicycle Trekking is a tradition in Europe. Featuring “soft adventure,” it attracts families, lovers, and retirees. Historic roads, some dating to pe-Roman times, follow ancient river valleys.
We’re roughly following the Inn Radweg (Inn Bike Path) and the Radweg Vinschgau (Bike Path Val Venosta), but on our ElliptiGOs we avoid longer unpaved sections in favor of paved single lane back roads through villages and dorfs.
Feeling adventurous? Join us for the (optional!) climb up famous Stelvio Passfor lifetime bragging rights. Often featured on the Giro d’Italia, 6,000 feet of climbing in 15 miles brings you to the 9,200 foot pass where you can bag a trophy jersey, t-shirt, or just take your selfie under the Coppi summit sign. Then revel in the switchbacks and flying 40mph descent We’ll travel to the base by train, then leave you to seek adventure. Once back at the bottom the train returns us to Merano to bask in the comfort of our hotel’s own spa– and maybe an optional massage.
Day 6. Kick back in Merano today, a town famous for relaxing since Roman times. Stroll the shopping streets orease into the spa for a day. Our hotel can make your reservations.
Day 7, 36 mi. A day of transition, we descend toward the heart of northern Italy’s winemaking, along the Weinstrasse (Wine Road) itself. Then leaving the Adige River valley for the afternoon, a converted rail route brings us to the verdant valley ofApianno andCaldaro. Native varietals of white Gewurtztraminer and red Vernatch roll upon the landscape. Wineries and wine shops dot the route.Vino with lunch? But of course. Descending steadily through vineyards and apple orchards we approach the tranquil edge ofLake Kaltern. A final push brings us to the village of Auerand for a memorable dinner among its quaint streets.
Day 8, 22 mi. We descend to the bike path along a former railroad line for a gentle ride northward. We hug the river as it winds through a broad valley below the towering Dolomites. These peaks look very different from the Alps where we began our journey. Our destination is Bolzano, the small but vibrant capitol of South Tyrol. Italian speaking anomaly in this German speaking state, it has guarded the entrances of two alpine passes since ancient times. Enjoy the mix of culture and commerce strolling itsdowntown markets.
Cars are banned from the city center, it is a pedestrian’s dream…
Day 9. Arrivederci – or relax an additional night Bolzano. Play tourist in the Messner Mountain Museum, and don’t miss the 10,000 year old iceman, “Ötzi,” in the world famous Archeological Museum. Quality restaurants abound. If you’re leaving us today, your rental ElliptiGo goes into our van; rental bikes we turn back to our tour company. Rail connections to Leonardo da Vinci airport in Milan are frequent, but can you really pass up a couple days in Venice?
Book Before February 15! Our hotel agent is raising prices after 2/15. Right now we’ll hold your refundable deposit of $160 per person in our PayPal account. Deposits can be returned up to 1 month prior to tour departure. Balance per person is due at that time.
2017 Tour Price: $1,749 per person, double occupancy. That’s less than half the ‘fancy dancy’ Trek, Backroads, or other “bicycle vacation” tours. Price is subject to currency fluctuations and amenity adjustments before departure.
Included in the price per person are:
* 8 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels
* 8 breakfasts
* 4 dinnersselect hotels or restaurants
* Our own van large enough for 10 ElliptiGOs (plus other bikes)
* Luggage transfers on tour
* SOS support if you need it
* Route finding and leadership on the road
* Hybrid bikes, E-bikes available €70 and €170 Euros respectively
*10 ElliptiGO 8Cs for hire – available first come, first served ($195 hire for the duration of the tour).
Reservation, Cancellations, and Air & Ground Transportation:
Deposits are refundable through May 31. Tour subject to cancellation if fewer than 10 bookings before May 31. Airfare and ground travel to/from the tour is not included. Airfares and restrictions fluctuate greatly; we always recommend trip cancellation insurance, consult your travel agent. Zurich is the closest international arrival point for St. Moritz. Bolzano is convenient for additional travel to Milan’s Leonardo da Vince airport, amazing Venice, or the Lake District.