After over a year of dealing with restrictions and varying degrees of lockdown all over the world, it feels even more liberating to pack the bags, bikes, and friends for a trip to a cycling mecca. Cycling gives us the chance to get to know our own regions more intimately, but also fills us with the wanderlust to discover new, exotic, and intriguing destinations.
In the pantheon of cycling destinations, few could be rated higher than the Südtirol with the Dolomites, Girona with its access to climbs like Rocacorba, and Tuscany with its white roads and incredibly beautiful undulating terrain. Is it any wonder that all three locations act as home bases for cycling pros?
Not surprisingly, the friendly people, fascinating history, generally warm weather – though maybe not in the mountains! – and excellent cuisine make these two countries top destinations for non-cyclists as well as cyclists. Having been in all three regions in the past several years, the Isadore team can recommend each one very highly if you are looking for your next cycling and touring adventure.
But please be aware that we are not yet out of the covid woods. It is important to pay close attention to the various covid restrictions that may apply to each country. Always be certain to observe all safety regulations and avoid the risk either of catching or indeed spreading covid on your travels.
an alpine paradise
Whether you are looking to tackle some of the epic climbs that regularly feature in the Giro d’Italia and Tour of the Alps, or want to have an inclusive family holiday on car-free cycle paths, the Südtirol offers opportunities for all ambitions and skill levels. Beyond that, the region is unique for its mix of Germanic and Italian influences that will be apparent in everything from the food to the architecture as well as the languages.
perched between sea and mountains
If you are a professional cycling fan, then you’ll be amazed at the number of daily pro sightings you’ll have. And even if you couldn’t tell a Meier from a Millar, you will be charmed by the Girona old town, the architecture, the food, and the warmth of the people. The cycling options are almost unparalleled, where you can test yourself on massive inland climbing routes or enjoy stringing coffee stops together along the Costa Brava.
food, wine, and white roads
Tuscany holds an important position in everything from Italian history to art to language to cuisine, and finally Italian professional cycling. But more than that, Tuscany has always been a magnet for leisure cyclists looking for adventure and fun. We’ve all been drawn to riding the white gravel roads towards hilltop towns, filling up on delicious local produce, meat products, and sweet delicacies after hard efforts on two wheels. It’s difficult not to get excited at the thought of epic rides followed by gorgeous meals washed down with local vintages.