The Stelvio is one of the toughest road bike passes in the world: 48 hairpin bends, over 24 km (from Prad), 1,800 metres in altitude and a maximum gradient of 14 %. The superstar among the Alpine passes with 2,757 m is only passable in summer and is one of the things that every road cyclist must have visited once in their life. The route runs from Prad in the Vinschgau Valley, through the Trafoier Valley along the Suldenbach stream. Cult factor: 10 out of 10.
On the Sonnenberg, a low-traffic panoramic road stretches from Schluderns to Tanas, up to 1,560 metres in altitude. Right at the beginning, the route climbs over meadow slopes with a decent gradient. The uphill from Schluderns hardly allows any views, but after reaching the plateau, the wide valley lies at your feet. Continuing towards Tanas, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the Ortler Alps opposite. The downhill run is from Tanas to Allitz and on to Laas or to Kortsch. The Vinschgau High Road is an intensive road bike tour far away from the hustle and bustle of the valley.
Recommendation: The dry Sonnenberg is often unbearably hot in high summer, so this racing bike highlight is only recommended in the early morning or late evening hours in summer.
Uphill from Kortsch: 800 hm, uphill from Schluderns: 680 hm, uphill from Laas: 680 hm;
Flanked by steep talus slopes, this side valley of the Vinschgau leads into the Ortler Alps. Martell (Italian: Val Martello) lies in the middle of the Stilfserjoch National Park and was part of the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2014 (Ponte di Legno - Gavia - Stelvio - Martell). The starting point for the road bike tour is Goldrain (Italian: Coldrano), directly on the cycle path. With the first hairpin bends behind Morter, the route always runs uphill to Gand. Straight ahead past the chapel at 1,560 m (St. Maria in der Schmelz), the biathlon centre and on to the lake at 1,850 m. If you want, you can cycle further into the rear Martelltal valley to the Schönblick Gasthaus at 2,100 m. The valley is also recommended in high summer because there is little car traffic.
Highlights of the tour: Zufrittsee lake, ruins of Hotel Paradiso, strawberry fields;
Route: good two-lane road up to Gand, then the route narrows.
Uphill: 1,950 hm, length: 45 km;
The approach is via the Vinschgau cycle path from Naturns in the direction of Tschars. In front of the bike bar in Staben there is a wooden bridge to the Vinschgau farm shop with a large car park. Juval Castle is already clearly visible from the cycle path at the entrance to the Schnals Valley. From the car park, the road starts immediately with gradients of up to 14%. Curve after curve, the road climbs to 1,000 m above sea level and reaches the castle after 4 km. The asphalt road continues for about 3 km.
Note: This tour is also located on the Sonnenberg, it can get very warm in summer! A shuttle bus takes visitors to the castle museum, so be careful when descending (from end of March to the beginning of November).
In the immediate vicinity of the farm shop at 560 m - see starting point for Juval Castle - is the turn-off to Schnals (Italian: Val Senales).
The 24 km trip begins with an ascent in the 1 km long illuminated road tunnel and stretches into the Ötztal Alps. The route leads in a lonely landscape past the idyllic village of Katharinaberg, right at the entrance to the Schnals Valley, on to Karthaus and the main village of Unser Frau at 1,450 metres. There, a few serpentines lead to the highlight of the road bike tour at 1,700 m: the Vernagt lake. Along the lakeshore, the road leads into the rear Schnals Valley to Kurzras to the glacier cable car at 2,010 m.
Uphill: 1,500 m, good physical condition required;
In the lower Vinschgau Valley, high above Merano, you find the mountain village of Aschbach at an altitude of around 1,350 metres. The cable car near Rabland takes hikers and mountain bikers to the high plateau; for racing cyclists, the ascent to Aschbach starts in Töll. The road climbs steeply (19 %) through the densely forested Nördersberg. After about 10 km, a winding mountain road leads to the top station of the cable car. Worth seeing: The "Maria Schnee" Chapel on a promontory.
Altitude difference: approx. 840 m
The most beautiful passes, valleys and tours of the Vinschgau Valley (Italian: Val Venosta) for racing cyclists:
One of the most beautiful and diversified bike paths in the Alpine region.read more