Munich to Rome
Cycling in Germany, Austria & Italy conjures up a myriad of thoughts and ideas. The lush valleys, lakes and mountains of the Tyrolean north; the romance and old world charm of regions like Tuscany and Chianti; the sheer cultural heritage of the beautiful medieval walled towns; lazy lunches, great food, history, architecture, wine and company, oh and a spot of cycling too. Perfect!
Starting from the iconic city of Munich we venture southwards through Bavaria to the Austrian border. We cross Austria and cycle in Switzerland very briefly before crossing the border into Italy, marked by a giggle inducing descent to Merano. From here we continue to Lake Garda and Verona before arriving at the historic city of Mantova. A flat day across the Po plain takes us to the Appenini mountains and on into Tuscany where we have a well earned rest day in the stunning medieval walled city of Siena. More stunning views and classical Italian towns and villages await as we continue to the final destination of Rome, where you may wish to spend an extra day or two exploring this magnificent city.
Italy is a hilly country and there are a number of climbs throughout this tour as we traverse the Appennini mountains with a number of challenging days riding in the hills. The tour is comparable to our Lands End to John o Groat’s tour in terms of difficulty (actually a bit harder) although we do have a rest day in Siena which is a great place to explore and rest your legs.
The ‘Munich to Rome’ tour will be undertaken over twelve days cycling with an arrival and departure day either side. We aim to keep away from busy roads wherever possible. The tour encompasses some of Italy’s most spectacular countryside and exhilarating cycling. It should be noted that the road surfaces in Italy aren’t as good as in France so a minimum of 25mm tyres is recommended with hard wearing tread. Italy can also get very hot during the summer which is why we choose slightly cooler months when the temperatures should be in the 20’s (as opposed to the 30’s – 40’s in the height of the summer.
You are provided with detailed route notes and for those with Garmins we also have TCX/GPX files of the route (or you can hire a device from us with the route loaded on). A tour leader cycles at the back of the group and there is a support vehicle on hand should you require assistance. We also carry a few spare bikes just in case you have any major mechanical problems. Lunches are provided at a restaurant or a café each day and all your luggage is moved for you.
Whilst emphasis is always on safety we aim to provide a relaxed approach to cycle touring and wish to facilitate a fun and enjoyable tour with many laughs and memorable moments along the way. Our training days in the Peak District are designed to build confidence and discuss some of the logistics of completing a successful long distance cycling tour.
To view details of our training weekends please click here.
The distance we will travel is approximately 770 miles, with an average mileage of 65 miles per day. It should be borne in mind that a reasonably fit cyclist will average around 10 miles per hour and therefore we will be in the saddle each day for around 6 – 7 hours.
The arrival point for the tour is Munich. We will meet you at the airport on the first Saturday and have our first group meal and overnight in this vibrant Bavarian city. On Sunday we begin our cycling adventure. At the end of the tour we finish cycling on Thursday and stay in a hotel close to Rome city centre. The tour guides will start the long journey home on Friday morning and the hotel can arrange transfers to the airport for onward travel. If you can get your bike to us at the start of the tour then we can take your bike over for you and also bring it back for you at the end of the tour.
You can view a blog from the first tour here or see a photo gallery of the first tour here or one from the June tour here Please note that these photo’s are from the ‘Italian Job’ tour which had about half of the same route as the Munich to Rome tour (the middle half).
2019 Tour Dates:
Sat 25th May – Fri 7th June 2019 – Places available
Sat 14th September – Fri 27th September 2019 – Places available
Itinerary details will be updated by the middle of November 2018
Arrival Day – Saturday: Arrive Munich
After your arrival in the Bavarian city of Munich we will have our first group meal and initial brief.
Day 1 Sunday: Munich to Mittenwald (67 miles) Elevation Gain: 4075ft / 1242m
We stay in the south side of the city to allow an easy route southwards to the Bavarian Alps. A lovely ride by the Stranberger lake is a nice flat introduction to the tour before we start to see a few hills as the scenery becomes more and more spectacular and the town of Mittenwald, nestled amongst the stunning Alpine peaks, is a great place to spend our first night on the road.
Day 2 Monday: Mittenwald to Nauders (80 miles) Elevation Gain: 4780ft / 1456m
This ride has to be one of the most stunning routes of any tour that we do. This challenging day takes us across Austria for the most part along the turquoise waters of the cascading Inn river where you’ll see many thrill seekers white water rafting. Constantly surrounded by spectacular mountains this route is generally easy going with a sting in the tail at the end of the day as we make way to Nauders on the edge of the Austrian/Italian border.
Day 3 Tuesday: Nauders to Bolzano (76 miles) Elevation Gain: 2689ft / 819m
Although this is a long day you will descend 6233ft along this amazing route. After an initial short climb away from Nauders you will cross the Austrian border into Italy and start one of the best descents you are ever likely to do. Again the scenery is spectacular throughout with amazing views opening up around every corner. Our destination of Bolzano is an opulent city with a distinctly Germanic feel and many people here speak German as their first language.
Day 4 Wednesday: Bolzano to Riva Del Garda (75 miles) Elevation Gain: 4133ft / 1260m
The route continues downhill through a number of attractive Alpine towns and villages as we skirt the Dolomites where we cut west across another Alpine Valley to the stunning vista which opens up across Lake Garda. We drop down to the lake and cycle along the waters’ edge to our overnight stop at the northern shore of the lake at Riva Del Garda.
Day 5 Thursday: Riva Del Garda to Mantova (54 miles) Elevation Gain: 1087ft / 331m
We start the day with a scenic ferry ride across the lake to the eastern shore to avoid some dangerous tunnels and busy road. Disembarking at Garda we will meet the vans with the bikes and climb out from the lake up through the vineyards and then hook up with a cycle path by a canal to explore the beautiful city of Verona. After cutting south from Verona we head through pastoral land on to Mantova (or Mantua) a lesser known jewel in the areas crown with some fantastic architecture and, more importantly, tasty restaurants!
Day 6 Friday: Mantova to Guiglia (81 miles) Elevation Gain: 1800ft / 548m
A long cycling day is in prospect as we head south across the vast flat section of Italy called the Po Plain. Our route follows a network of raised canal levees and Po tributaries along a completely flat route for most of the day. After a hearty lunch, the afternoon remains flat until the latter sections of the day which sees us heading up on undulating, country roads towards the base of the Appeninnes and then at the base we have a final tough climb of the day up to our evenings accommodation for a well earned rest in the quaint village of Guiglia.
Day 7 Saturday: Guiglia to Pistoia (67 miles) Elevation Gain: 5308ft / 1618m
A tough but fantastically rewarding day in the saddle is in prospect today as we pick our way across the Appeninnes. These impressive mountains stretch the length of Italy and take us from Emilia Romagna into the Tuscany region. The scenery changes dramatically as we weave our way through the picturesque mountain villages and on to our Tuscan Villa for a deserved drop of something chilled and maybe a dip in the pool!
Day 8 Sunday: Pistoia to Siena (72 miles) Elevation Gain: 3345ft / 1019m
This picture postcard route takes you through immaculate olive groves and vineyards, Romanesque churches, honey coloured farmhouses and imposing castles from the Middle Ages. This is one of the toughest days of the tour with a number of climbs throughout. Our destination for the day is the perfectly preserved medieval city of Siena.
Day 9 Monday: Rest Day in Siena or optional Tuscan bike ride (0 – 62 miles)
Siena is a great city to explore. The Piazza del Campo is the vibrant heart of the old town and the historic centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Siena is well known for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. A local guide will give us a tour of the city to help get a better understanding of the city’s fascinating history. If you prefer to get a bit more cycling in then we have a fantastic optional ride to the town of Asciano before looping back through the attractive Tuscan landscape back to Siena.
Day 10 Tuesday: Siena to Casciano dei Bagni (61 miles) Elevation Gain: 4770ft / 1453m
Details to follow by Mid November 2018
Day 11 Wednesday: Casciano dei Bagni to Vetralla (77 miles) Elevation Gain: 4467ft / 1361m
Details to follow by Mid November 2018
Day 12 Thursday: Vetralla to Rome (76 miles) Elevation Gain: 4419ft / 1346m
Details to follow by Mid November 2018
Day 13 Friday: Tour ends.
The tour price includes 13 nights accommodation, 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 1 evening meal, snacks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, etc, full trip support including a tour leader that cycles with the group, back up van with spare parts and a few spare bikes, detailed route notes and GPS files so that you can cycle at your own pace, certificate, luggage transfer each day, transfer from Munich airport to hotel in Munich.
What’s Not Included?
Evening meals, lunch on day 2 and on the rest day, cycle hire (available for a fee), Garmin hire (available for a fee), transport to Munich, transport from Rome, transfer from hotel in Rome to the airport.
The group will be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 25 people. We feel that this size of group works best as there will always be enough in the group for some good company but there won’t be so many people that it becomes overcrowded.
You have a choice sharing a double or a twin room or, if you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option or sole occupancy of a double. All rooms are en-suite.
Details to follow by Mid November 2018
All of your breakfasts and lunches (lunch not included on day 2 and the rest day) are included in the price of the trip. Breakfast in Italy is most definitely not what you will be used to as it consists mainly of cake! (there is at least one person in this office that is not too put off by that thought!) A lot of the hotels will offer some form of alternative continental and we will endeavour to press the hotels for a little more choice for our groups for your cycling legs. Lunches (but not drinks) will be provided each day and will generally be at a restaurant or cafe with pasta salads, pizza, sandwiches and local fare . Evening meals are not included and can be bought at your accommodation or in nearby restaurants. We also have fruit, biscuits, nuts etc in the back up van that you are welcome to pick at throughout the day and if there are specific snacks you would like, as ever, just let us know.
An experienced tour leader will cycle with you each day and be on hand to help with any bike problems that may occur. You will have detailed route notes and TCX/GPX files so that you can go slower or faster than the leader if you prefer or you can cycle behind the tour leader so that you don’t have to navigate at all, although they will be at the back of the group.
A back up van will leap frog the group a number of times each day so that help is never far away. We carry a range of spare parts so that repairs can be made en-route and we will have a spare bike available in the event that your bike has a serious breakdown.
We highly recommend that you use a bike that you are used to and feel comfortable riding. Your bike should be fully serviced and in good condition before you start, this will reduce the risk of mechanical problems and unnecessary stoppages along the way. Either a road bike or a hybrid bike is preferable for the trip. We have a range of road bikes, touring bikes and hybrid bikes available for hire if you need one. At the end of your trip we can arrange for your bike to be sent to your address (£70 in mainland UK) if you don’t want the hassle of transporting it yourself.
This tour is suitable for someone with a good level of fitness and who wants a challenge. If you do plenty of training beforehand you should have no problem completing the ride. We will have a training day in the Peak District available if you would like to join the group before the main event.
It must be stressed that a good amount of training before the ride will make your tour much more enjoyable and ensure that you finish your ride. We are always happy to advise you about training plans in preparation for the ride.
Clothing & Equipment
Clothing for all weathers is recommended so waterproofs are essential. A full recommended kit list is provided & we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
It is compulsory that you take out adequate insurance to cover against, personal accident, loss of belongings and cancellation cover.
How do I get to Munich?
You can get to Munich from all major UK airports which all have regular non-stop flights. We can pick you up at the airport when you arrive on Saturday and transport you to your first nights accommodation.
What happens when I arrive?
If you would like collecting from the airport we will meet you and take you, your luggage and your bike to the hotel in Munich where we will spend our first night. We will have a group meal 19.30 on the Saturday night so if you are arriving much earlier you have the time free to yourself.
What happens at the end?
On the final day we finish cycling on Thursday mid- afternoon and spend the night at hotel close to Rome city centre. We have a ‘final supper’ where we all get together for a last group meal. On Friday morning the guides will begin the long drive back to the UK. As many people will spend an extra day or tow in Rome, the fact that there are a few different airports and people will be leaving at different time we don’t include the transfer to the airport.
What mechanical knowledge do I need?
We don’t expect you to be an expert bike mechanic but there are a few simple skills that will be a great benefit to you. The most important skill you need to know is how to fix a puncture. It is quite likely that at some point you will have a puncture or two so it is essential that you carry a puncture repair kit and a spare tube or two with you. It is also helpful if you know how to change your brake pads and adjust your brakes & gears however this isn’t essential. Our guides will help you with any repairs and adjustments en-route.
What are the lunches like?
We arrange a lunch at a restaurant or café each day. This will be a mixture of sandwiches, salads, soup, pizza, pasta salad etc and will be different at each place. There will always be enough to go round so don’t worry if you are at the back of the group. The lunch stops provide a good opportunity to re-group and catch up with others and compare notes.
Will I be left behind?
No, a tour leader cycles at the back of the group so that you won’t be left behind if you are worried about cycling too slowly. Throughout the group there will be a mix of abilities and cycling speeds so you will usually be able to cycle with others that cycle at a similar pace. Some people like to cycle fast whilst others prefer to take their time, stop for coffee & cake or stop to take photos etc so whether you are a ‘speed demon’ or more of a ‘tourer’ there usually will be someone to cycle with each day.
Do I need to be super fit?
No, you don’t need to be super fit but a good level of fitness is important as long distance cycling is challenging at times. The fitter you are and the more training that you do before hand will add to the enjoyment of your tour and improve your chances of succeeding the challenge. If you need any advice about fitness please contact us and we will be happy to discuss any questions and concerns that you may have.
What are the groups like?
Obviously each group is different but generally our Peak Tours customers are a fun, friendly, helpful and adventurous bunch. There will be people of all ages and from all walks of life. We tend to get quite a few older riders although there will always be a few younger riders as well. So far our youngest rider was 15 & the oldest 78. We think that a group of 20-25 is ideal as there will be plenty of people with similar interests and character without being such a big group that it becomes too much.
Generally the group will be split 50/50 between people travelling alone & people that travel as a pair such as two brothers, two friends, two partners. There will be plenty of people to socialise with throughout the day and in the evening.
How do I get my bike home at the end of the trip?
As always, if you can get your bike to Peak Tours HQ in Derbyshire then we can take it and bring it back for you free of charge.
If you are flying with your bike then you will need to box your bike or put it in a bike bag before you board the plane. If you choose to do this then please be aware that there is only room in the vans for a limited number of soft cases that will fold down. Hard cases are not generally taken as they take up too much room but we have made exceptions for people in the past in mitigating circumstances. If you use a cardboard box for your bike we can easily fold that down and lay it flat on the floor of the van.
If you would like us to post the bike back for you after the trip to your home address the way it works is that the bikes will be boxed (this usually means that they will remove the front wheel, pedals, saddle & turn the handlebars) and posted to your address. The price for this service is £70.00 per bike. If you would like to use this service please let us know & we will book it in for you.
What happens in the evenings?
Once you have arrived at your accommodation you should have chance for some time to relax, have a shower, explore etc before the evening meal. Generally we will recommend a number of places to eat each evening so that you can explore some of the fantastic towns and cities that we will stay. Sometimes we arrange group meals but we don’t do this every night as it can become a bit restrictive.
Does the support vehicle follow the group?
No, the back up van doesn’t drive behind the group at all times but the van shouldn’t be too far away if you require assistance. In the morning we have a group brief and set off cycling, meanwhile the backup driver will collect all the luggage from the various hotels. Once all of the luggage has been loaded, the support vehicle will leapfrog the group stopping when necessary. The backup driver will be at the lunch stop should you need anything from the van and in the afternoon will go on ahead to ensure that your luggage is in place before you arrive.
How much luggage can I take?
There is limited space in the back up van to store luggage. We therefore request that you try to keep your luggage size to a minimum and try not to bring too much with you. The ideal size for luggage is 70 x 50 x 30 cm and a weight of 15 – 18kg (or less).
What training should I do?
The more the better. We will provide a training guide for you so that you can build up your cycling strength and prepare for the ride in the correct way. It is important that you cycle two long days back to back whilst training and also that you cycle on some hills. We hold a training weekend so that you can meet with others in the group, ask any questions you may have and also test yourselves amongst the hills of the Peak District.
What bike should I use?
The most suitable bike for this trip is a hybrid, touring or road bike, however it is entirely up to you what type of bike you use. Some people may be riding mountain bikes, others hybrids & others on racing bikes.
Please ensure that your bike is fully serviced and in good working order before the start of the trip.
If you are riding a mountain bike then it is advisable to use slick tyres or if you are using a lightweight racing bike it would be better to use a wider tyre if possible as the route does include narrow lanes and some roads have a lot of pot holes. Tyre inflation and rubber composition is important & a tyre width of 25mm or more is recommended for this tour. Please ensure that you have hard wearing tyres with plenty of tread.
You are going to cycle 720 miles so it is important that your bike won’t let you down. You may want to fit new brake blocks, tyres & inner tubes before you start the ride and also bring 3-4 spare inner tubes, pump, puncture repair kit and multi-tool to carry with you each day. It is essential that you are able to fix a puncture.
It is also advisable to have lights from and rear lights on your bikes and try to be a visible as possible.
Can I hire a bike from you?
It is advisable to use your own bike if possible, however we realise that it is not always possible to use your own steed so you may wish to hire one. We have three types of hybrid bike available and two types of road bike. Details of these bikes can be found by clicking on the ‘Tour Extras’ tab.
All of our hire bikes come fitted with cycle computer, water bottle cage, bell, map holder, rear rack and front and rear lights. We can also provide a pannier with a multi-tool, pump, puncture repair kit, spare tube and tyre levers at no extra cost. All bikes have flat pedals so if you would prefer to use your own (and maybe your own saddle) then please bring these along with you. We can also provide a helmet for you at no extra cost.
What gear should I take?
We provide a suggested kit list so please contact us if you would like a copy sending to you.
What is the male / female ratio?
This varies with each group. There are usually more guys than gals but an average would be about 1/3rd ladies & 2/3rds gents although some tours have more ladies than men.
What are the Accommodation Options?
Double or Twin room option
It is fairly obvious that if you chose this option then you will stay in a B&B/hotel every night. If you are with your partner then you can have a double room each night of the tour. If you are with a friend/relative then you would have a twin room each night of the tour. If you are travelling alone and chose this option then you will be roomed with other members of the group (same sex) and stay in a twin (occasionally a triple) room throughout. Usually you will have an en-suite bathroom but occasionally you have a separate bathroom.
Single room option
Here you are guaranteed a single room each night of the trip. All rooms are en-suite.
Sole use of a double room option
Here you are guaranteed single occupancy of a double room. All rooms are en-suite.
To book a tour please send a completed booking form and (a) Deposit of £250.00 per person for tours of 7 days or longer or £50.00 for all other tours or (b) The full holiday cost. If only the deposit is paid at time of booking then full payment of the holiday is required no less than 8 weeks before the start of your holiday. No further reminder is sent. If you book your holiday within 8 weeks of the holiday start date, the full holiday cost is required at time of booking.
Cancellation by Us
In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the tour you will be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid or we will move you to a different tour date if you’re able to do so. If the tour is cancelled because the minimum number of people required to operate this tour hasn’t been reached then you will be notified no less than 3 calendar months before the departure date. If the tour is cancelled by us we will not be responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred such as travel expenses, visas etc & no compensation will be paid to cover these expenses.
Cancellation by You
If you have to cancel your holiday then please notify us as soon as possible. We always try to be fair and will always try to move you to different tour date if possible. If you cancel your tour less than 8 weeks before your tour start date then you will lose all monies already paid. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance to cover cover this.
Notice of Cancellation Charge (% of Full Price)
Length of time before the tour is due to start Cancellation Charge More than 60 days before start date Deposit Less than 60 days before start date 100%
Cooling Off Period
If you decide to cancel your tour after receipt of your booking form you will be entitled to a 14 day cooling off period. During this time you will be entitled to a full refund of any monies paid.
B&B Option – double or twin
If you chose the B&B only option you will stay in a mixture of B&B’s, hotels and country pubs. If you are travelling with a friend then you will be roomed together in a twin or or if you’re with your partner then you will be in a double room (or a twin if you prefer). If you are travelling alone then you will be roomed with another member of the group in a twin room (same sex). The actual stopovers may change from the advertised accommodation providers, if this happens then an equivalent standard of accommodation will be used nearby. The majority of the rooms you stay in will be en-suite however you may stay in a couple of rooms that are not en-suite.
Single Room Option
If you choose the single room option you will have your own room for the duration of the trip. This will be in either a single room or single occupancy of a double room in a mixture of en-suite and non en-suite rooms.
Sole Use of a Double room Option
If you choose this option you will have a guaranteed double room to yourself throughout the tour. You will always have an en-suite each night of your tour. There may be a rare occasion when you have a separate bathroom but this is very unlikely.
YHA (Youth Hostel) Option
This option is only available for the 14 day LEJOG tour. If you chose the YHA option you will stay in a mixture of hostels, hotels & B&B’s staying in single sex dormitory rooms, single rooms, twin rooms & triples.
On tours with 8 people or less in the group then there may only be one tour guide with you who will drive the back up van each day. Tours with 8 – 15 people in the group will have two tour guides with one guide driving the back up van and the other guide cycling with the group or both guides driving a back up van each. Tours with 16+ will have a guide that cycles with the group plus two back up vans do provide support.
If you choose the cycle hire option you will be provided with your bike at the start of your tour. The bike comes with everything you need for your trip although some people like you use their own saddle, peddles and/or helmet (just let us know beforehand). At the end of your tour you can simply hand your bike back to us when you finish cycling. Please see the additional cycle hire sheet for details of the bikes we have available.
If the minimum number of people required to run the trip is not met then we will have to cancel the trip. You will be notified at least 3 calendar months prior to the start date of the trip if the minimum number (usually 8 people) hasn’t been met & you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.
In order to comply with EU Travel Regulations 1992 your deposit & final payment will be held in a separate account until your holiday is completed. This is to ensure the financial security of your holiday.
It is compulsory that you take out adequate holiday insurance including medical cover, personal accident, loss of belongings & cancellation cover. We cannot be held responsible for your own illness, injury or loss/damage of your bike or belongings while on holiday.
EHIC – European Health Insurance Card (for EU nationals travelling in Europe)
This card entitles you to greatly reduced or free state medical services throughout Europe, including Switzerland. We recommend you send off for one of these before the trip and carry it with you. It’s important to bear in mind that these cards are not a substitute for travel insurance and adequate travel insurance is compulsory for this tour. This link will give you all the information you need about the EHIC. www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC
Cycling is a potentially dangerous activity & the risks involved should be considered before undertaking such a trip. We will be cycling mostly on quiet back roads however there will be times when we cycle on busier roads where traffic density is higher. All persons undertaking this tour do so at their own risk & Peak Tours cannot be held responsible for any accidents that may occur whilst on the trip. For further details please see our risk acknowledgement statement here which forms part of these conditions.
By signing your booking form you agree to the booking conditions as outlined above. Peak tours will carry out our obligations as detailed in the tour itinerary & any information supplied to you.
DUE TO ‘BREXIT’ AND THE EVER DECREASING VALUE OF THE POUND WE MAY HAVE TO APPLY A SMALL SURCHARGE TO THIS TOUR IF THE SITUATION DOESN’T IMPROVE. PRICES WERE SET BEFORE THE ‘BREXIT’ VOTE AND SINCE THEN THE POUND HAS PLUMMETED AGAINST THE EURO. IF THE POUND CONTINUES TO FALL THEN UNFORTUNATELY WE WILL HAVE TO APPLY A SMALL SURCHARGE TO THE TOUR. IF WE DO HAVE TO APPLY A SURCHARGE THEN YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO CANCEL AND HAVE A FULL REFUND. WE HOPE THAT THIS WONT HAPPEN BUT IT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE OUR CUSTOMERS AWARE.
The following extras are available for this tour:
Here is a customer blog, written by Vajrin during his Italian Job tour in May 2017 – Vajrin’s Italian Job Tour Blog May 2017