(8 reviews)

Self-guided Cycling / Bike and Barge

Web code IT040

Italy / Bolzano - Mantua

Pre-trip extension - Dolomites and Lake Garda

You will be delighted by the remarkable variety of this tour, offering you a unique opportunity to combine a more classical bike&hotel tour with a bike&barge trip in the Po Valley till Venice. The cycling route starts in the heart of the superb Dolomites and following the course of the river Adige takes you to the palm-lined shores of Lake Garda. Further on you will reach the enchanting Renaissance town of Mantua, where you will embark aboard the Ave Maria or the Vita Pugna.
  • Day by Day


    1. Bolzano
    Individual arrival. Located along the Isarco river, bilingual Bolzano has always been at the crossroads between the Mediterranean and central Europe. Today it is an important commercial and tourist centre.

    2. Bolzano – Trento (65/70 km)
    You will start riding along the River Adige cycle path, through orchards and the vineyards of the renowned Wine Route. Half way between Bolzano and Trento you will reach Salorno, which represents the linguistic border between the German and the Italian world. It is possible to shorten the stage by taking the train in several train stations along the way.

    3. Trento – Desenzano/Peschiera (50 km by bike + ferry)
    The river Adige will take you to Rovereto, famous for its museum of modern and contemporary art. After a short ascent to Passo di San Giovanni, you will enjoy a superb view over the Garda Lake and the little town of Torbole. Then in Riva del Garda you will take a ferry to reach the southern part of the lake.
    4. Desenzano/Peschiera – Mantua (70/45 km)
    Today you will cycle following one of the most famous Italian cycle paths, which runs parallel to the River Mincio. The stage ends in Mantua, where you will embark aboard your barge. We welcome you aboard your new home-from-home from 4.30 p.m. onwards, and then regroup for the introductory briefing – at 6.30 – with your tour leader, skipper and crew, along with a first refreshing aperitivo. After dinner we can stroll into town and savour the historic centre at its most evocative: Benvenuti a Mantova!

    Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way you may find temporary deviations caused by roadworks, which cannot be foreseen; in this case please follow the indications you will find on site.

    In case of strike, bad weather conditions, technical breakdowns, safety problems or any other reason preventing the regular departure of the ferry boat (from Riva del Garda to Peschiera/Desenzano), the ferry boat company can delay, cancel or deviate the navigation without notice.
    In case of cancellation the ferry boat service will be replaced by alternative means of transport (usually by bus). The same applies if the ferry boat service is no longer foreseen (for example at the end of the season).



  • Route profile
    • Total length: 160/190 km
    • Total vertical up: 190/590m
    • Terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved
    • Train connection among the overnight stays: day 2, 3, 4
    • Possibility to shorten the itinerary by taking the train: day 2 and 3

    From Bolzano to Mantua you will ride on well-planned cycle lanes, part of which run along the Adige banks. Towards Garda Lake there is a bit more challenging climb to face. From Mantua to Venice you will pedal along rivers and canals on tarmac cycle paths or roads with low traffic.


    Leisure cycling in mostly flat areas, with only a few short ups and downs. Little effort required, suitable for everyone.



  • How to get there

    Bolzano is connected with the following airports:
    Innsbruck: 120 km, Verona: 150 km, Bergamo: 240 km, Venice: 280 km, Treviso: 280 km, Milan: 300 km

    For further information on timetables and prices you can consult the following website: www.trenitalia.com



  • Accommodation and meals

    We personally choose all the hotels mindful of your comfort as well as the proximity to cycling paths and any relevant local sites.

    You will be accommodated in 3/4* hotels.

    All rooms have en suite facilities. Some hotels located in mountainous places of northern Italy can be without air conditioning.

    When you book the tour please specify the type of room requested:

    • double room is a room with one double bed
    • twin room is a room with two single beds
    • triple room is usually a room with one double bed and a single bed or a sofa bed.


  • Bikes and accessories

    Girolibero bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model:

    • Touring bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
    • E-bike 9-gear Shimano


    • aluminium frame
    • mudguard
    • rear rack
    • comfort gel saddle
    • anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
    • ergonomic bicycle grips
    • Speed Lifter system

    We remind you that you will ride the same unisex bike for the whole duration of the tour, from Bolzano to Venice.

    All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

    • 1 cycle computer  
    • 1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
    • 1 front bar bag per room
    • 1 repair kit per room: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers
    • 1 combination bike lock

    At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61 cm. All our helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.


    Important notes:
    We recommend that you bring your own reusable water bottle with you.

    In order to cycle smoothly following our App, we suggest that you bring with you a holder for your mobile phone to be fixed on the handlebar, as well as a power bank (even if the App can be used offline, too).



  • Accompanying material

    Before your arrival, you will receive an email from us with the digital information material. It contains:

    1. Link to download the App including maps, roadbook, points of interest and GPS tracks (you can use the App offline, too)

    2. Link to download the tour information material in Pdf:

    • Tour notes
    • Final tour details

    3. Digital travel documents:

    • Final hotel list: due to overbooking or organizational needs your hotel list may be changed just before your arrival
    • Hotel vouchers to show to the hotel reception upon arrival
    • Garda Lake ferry-boat voucher: show this voucher to the ticket office in Riva del Garda to get your passage by ferry-boat to Peschiera or Desenzano del Garda




  • By your side

    Staff support

    In the Final Tour Details you will find the contact phone numbers you can call during the tour in case of emergency.

  • 8 Client reviews
    • Catherine

      Departure 05-08 October 2022

      Online from 23 October 2022

      My husband, mother and myself just completed the 10 day cycling trip from Bolzano ( 3 day extension) to Mantua and then 7 days on the Ave Maria to Venice on October 5 to 15th.

      We loved every moment of our experience. Your team made the cycling trip one of the best travel adventures in our history. Francesco and Sylvia gave all their energy and enthusiasm and knowledge to each client. They greeted us with big smiles even though we arrived 4 hours early to the boat from our 3 day extension. Each day they guided us throughout each experience with preparation, knowledge, humour and positive energy. Ricardo was always visible and in charge of the boat while always assisting and helping each client when needed with a continual smile. The two chefs Alberto and Daniel made the dining experience delicious and catered to the particular needs. They gave us an eating experience to remember. The other crew members, the two Andres were also a strong part of the team.

      The boat and bikes were comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed.

      The communication from your office staff was also professional and always very quick in response to any emails or phone calls. Magdalena ensured all questions were answered and each inquiry had a solution.

      I highly complement your team and will highly recommend Girolibero.
    • Kelly

      Departure 17-27 August 2022

      Online from 07 September 2022

      Tour guide, Daniela, was exceptional! So knowledgeable, patient and kind, yet firm when needed. Barge was cool, but a bit too small for my comfort. Meals prepared by Silvia were by far the best I had during the 3 weeks in Italy! A true highlight. Loved it!
    • Patrice (Patti)

      Departure 17-27 August 2022

      Online from 01 September 2022

      Fun way to visit a country on bike.
    • Joseph

      Departure 17-27 August 2022

      Online from 01 September 2022

      Very relaxing
    • Matthew

      Departure 01-11 June 2022

      Online from 02 July 2022

      I would do this trip again. It could possibly be improved by a focus on local restaurants in the smaller cities/towns. I understand there might be too many people for one place and logistics, but Italy is all about food and we were eating cold cuts for lunch.

      Perhaps don't pack a lunch and but have a late lunch in one of several restaurants on your own, Then a small dinner on board? More of a trip focused on food and wine perhaps.

      Some sort of laundry on the boat would be great.
    • Ian

      Departure 01-11 June 2022

      Online from 19 June 2022

      A great experience with such a variety of scenery, lovely towns, local life and customs as it evolved from the Dolomite mountains, across Lake Garda and following the Po valley until Venice Lagoon. A fantastic combination. Exceptional food on Ave Maria, and comfortable accommodation. Thanks to tour guides who worked so hard to make sure we had the best time possible.
    • Philippe

      Departure 08-18 May 2019

      Online from 23 May 2019

      Amazing holiday. Special memories which will last forever!
    • John

      Departure 08-18 May 2019

      Online from 23 May 2019

      This is an amazing bike barge is clearly a 5 star trip.
      The accomodations, bikes, the food and the itinerary is superior.
      What a great value trip and so much fun.
      Loved the history.

Tour details


from 610 €

4 Days / 3 Nights, 3/4* hotels

Tour type




WE 19.04 - 20.09.2023

Arrival in Bolzano and continuation aboard Ave Maria:
WE 19.04, 3.05, 17.05, 31.05, 14.06, 28.06, 12.07, 26.07, 9.08, 23.08, 6.09, 20.09.2023

Arrival in Bolzano and continuation aboard Vita Pugna:
WE 26.04, 10.05, 24.05, 7.06, 21.06, 5.07, 19.07, 2.08, 16.08, 30.08, 13.09.2023

Price per person
19.04 - 20.09.2023
3/4* hotels

610 € in double room
730 € in single room
450 € 3rd person in triple room


  • 3 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • App including maps, roadbook, points of interest and GPS tracks
  • Digital tour information
  • Luggage transportation
  • 4-hours ferry cruise on Lake Garda (bike included)
  • Bike helmet (to book in advance)
  • Hotline service

Not included

  • Local taxes (approx. 5 €)
  • Everything not mentioned in the section “Included”

Supplements per person
Girolibero rental bikes
including insurance against theft and damage
60 € Touring bike | Unisex model
140 € E-bike

Extra nights in Bolzano
On request

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