Mythical Mountains – Austria, Italy and Switzerland – Grossglockner, Stelvio, Gotthard, Furka and Many More

The Mythical Mountains of Austria, Italy and Switzerland are simply some of the finest in the world. Yet they are unknown to many cyclists who focus their attention on the mountains of the Tour de France. Join us on our latest cycling tour as we journey off the beaten track onto mountain toll roads, the world’s best road, a cobbled monster, the scene of James Bond’s most famous car chase and many more truly iconic moments in the saddle that will stay with you for a lifetime. A collection of climbs, unrivalled by any other, for the true connoisseur. Riding from Austria, to Switzerland, via the Dolomites and Italian Alps, over six stages. Pinch yourself, this is actually happening. Epic rides, superb support, a lifetime of memories.

The Mythical Mountains six stages of cycling perfection begin on the Austrian/Italian border with the climb of the Grossglockner mountain toll road, which takes us into three days of the best climbs in the Italian Dolomites and Alps. From the best road in the world, the Stelvio Pass, to an off the beaten track mix of six of the Giro d’Italia’s back catalogue of passes, our route majors on the spectacular, while presenting an achievable challenge for the seasoned mountain rider. From the top of the Stelvio we descend into Switzerland on the incredible Umbrail Pass and begin our Swiss adventure. For the uninitiated Switzerland is simply mind-blowing, offering some of the world’s greatest climbs, that very few cyclists have had the pleasure of riding, with us ticking off a total of eight Swiss brutes.

The Mythical Mountains cycling tour ends with one of the greatest day’s riding imaginable as we ride the Swiss Alps’ most famous loop. Beginning with the Grimsel and Nufenen, we then join one of the most unique passes in the world, the cobbled Tremola ascent of the Gotthard Pass. With motor traffic diverted along one of two alternative routes over the pass, we have this road to ourselves. Whether you ride it in one, or stop to soak in the unique atmosphere and stunning views, you will remember this one for a lifetime. The day and indeed the tour ends with the Furka Pass, home to James Bond’s Goldfinger car chase and the abandoned Belvedere Hotel, with the epic descent offering unrivalled views of the Rhône glacier, the source of the mighty river which shares its name.

All this is delivered with our first class supported riding service, excellent hotels and meals, airport transfers and a team you can trust – ensuring all you have to do is focus on enjoying these mythical mountains and the time on your bike in this incredible corner of Europe.

To view our other tours across the mountains of Europe click here or buy your Le Domestique Cycling T-Shirts here.

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Dates & Prices

22 - 29 June 2019 7 Nights - Twin Share £1699pp - £700 Deposit BOOK NOW
22 - 29 June 2019 7 Nights - Solo Occ £2099pp - £800 Deposit BOOK NOW
17 - 24 Aug 2019 7 Nights - Twin Share £1699pp - £700 Deposit BOOK NOW
17 - 24 Aug 2019 7 Nights - Solo Occ £2099pp - £800 Deposit BOOK NOW
12 - 19 Sep 2020 7 Nights - Twin Share £1699pp - £700 Deposit - Until 1 July BOOK NOW
12 - 19 Sep 2020 7 Nights - Solo Occ £2099pp - £800 Deposit - Until 1 July BOOK NOW
Private Groups Dates Throughout June-Oct 2019 By Quotation BOOK NOW
Private Groups Dates Throughout June-Oct 2020 By Quotation BOOK NOW

Itinerary

Day 1 - Collection from Salzburg

Riders will be met at Salzburg having arrived on the morning flights or the previous evening, before transferring to our hotel at the start line in Kaprun, where we build the bikes, take a short shake down ride and receive our welcome briefing, before a big dinner and early night.

Day 2 - Kaprun to Lienz - 95km - 2500m

Our tour opens with one of Austria's finest roads and a world famous ascent in its own right, cycling the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. This mountain toll road offers an incredible introduction to the tour and sets the standard for what is to come.

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Day 3 - Lienz to Corvara - 130km - 2800m

Today sees us leave Austria as we begin the day cycling to the Italian boarder. Once in Italy we head onto another mountain toll road, this time to the incredible Tre Cime di Lavaredo toll road which takes us deep into the stunning beauty of the Dolomites, with incredible views and a challenging climb. From he we descend, enjoy a short climb to the Passo Tre Croce, then descend once more to Cortina d'Ampezzo. The day ends with the Dolomite's classic Passo Falzarego, with a final descent to our hotel in Corvara.

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Day 4 - Corvara to Prato allo Stelvio - 115km - 2800m

We finish the day in the shadow of the Stelvio but before we can tackle this monster we tick off the last of the Dolomite's amazing climbs. Our three pass day begins with the Campolongo out of Corvara, heading south on a stunning 35km descend to tackle the San Pellogrino, finishing the day's riding with the Costalunga. On reaching Bolzano we finish the day with a one hour transfer to Prato also Stelvio to avoid the only major road we encounter on the tour.

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Day 5 - Prato allo Stelvio to Thusis - 158km - 4200m

The Stelvio is widely regarded as the world's greatest road and today you will find out why as we tackle the 48 hairpins of the famous eastern ascent. On reaching the dizzying heights of 2757m we descend into Switzerland on the mind blowing Umbrail Pass, before tackling the steady ascent and long descent of the Ofenpass. The stage ends with one of our personal favourites, the Albulapass, a road we are almost guaranteed to have to ourselves.

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Day 6 - Thusis to Innertkirchen - 152km - 3600m

A big day in the saddle today with a relatively steady opening third punctuated by one shorter climb on route to the Oberalp Pass that rises and falls to the famous resort of Andermatt via its own stunning mini-Stelvio hairpins. From the top we descend through Andermatt on an epic technical course that gives way to a fast and straighter route before a sharp turn onto our final pyramid of the day. The Susten Pass closes things out in epic style, with absolutely amazing Alpine scenery and one of our highlight climbs.

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Day 7 - Innertkirchen to Ulrichen - 140km - 4300m

Simply one of the greatest days it is possible to have on a bike as we tick off four of Switzerland's best known climbs, the Grimsel, Nufenen, Tremola and Furka. Each has a story to tell, from James Bond car chases, to abandoned high mountain hotels, via a truly unique cobbled pass and the source of the great River Rhône. Every single kilometre delivers a unique experience today and we guarantee this will stay with you for a lifetime.

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Day 8 - Return to Geneva

After breakfast we depart the hotel and head to Geneva for flights home, reflecting on one epic journey.

FAQ

  • What's Included?
    • Airport transfers from Salzburg based on morning arrivals and from Geneva based on afternoon departures (please check with us for recommended flight times for your dates), in modern air-conditioned vehicles, based on a morning arrival and an early afternoon departure.
    • Seven night’s accommodation in 3* mountain hotels on a twin share basis.
    • Six three course dinners and seven breakfasts supplemented with muesli, perfect fuelling for days on the bike.
    • Fully guided and pro level supported riding on all days driven by our expert LDT guides (one van and guide for groups up to eight riders and two guides and two support vehicles for groups larger than eight) with mechanical support and assistance, supplies of on the bike snacks (crisps, sweets and cookies, but not dedicated sports nutrition), water top ups and a crate of coke cans to be shared between the group.
    • Full Package Travel Regulations compliant financial failure insurance coverage which protects the funds paid by you to Le Domestique Tours, ensuring peace of mind when booking with us.
    What's Not Included?
    • Flights.
    • Lunches.
    • Travel Insurance.
    • Alcohol.
    • Dinner on the final night.
    • Incidental expenses/purchases.
  • Kit
    • The mountains can be extremely fickle and it is therefore difficult to predict the weather on any tour. Please therefore ensure you have a mix of kit to cover hot through to cold, along with wet weather. A definite must for packing is obviously a wind/waterproof gilet or jacket and full finger gloves, which are a good idea for the descents and mornings. Arm and knee warmers are also great as they are easy to adjust on the fly and help us keep things moving on the road. We also recommend that you bring your full wet weather kit in case we encounter any particularly poor weather.
    • We recommend that riders bring enough kit to cover the duration of their tour. Due to the nature of the route and the daily schedule, it is not possible to provide a nightly laundry service, so while riders can hand wash kit in their rooms at night, we recommend packing at least three sets of kit to ensure you can cope with any wet weather days.
    • We have a large tool kit with us which contains the usual torque wrenches, allen keys, pedal spanners, chain whips, cassette tools, chain splitter, track pump etc etc which guests are welcome to use throughout the tour. If you have any unusual bits on your bike such as proprietary bottom brackets or older/Campag group sets then you may want to bring your own specific tools as we can’t guarantee that we will have the correct tool in case of disaster.
    • We ask all riders to bring a spare rear derailleur hangar for their bike as these are unfortunately one of the more the commonly damaged items by baggage handlers at the airport and are almost impossible to source in country.
    • We recommend that you carry at least one spare inner tube along with a mini pump/co2 and a multitool with you at all times as a minimum so that if you do suffer a mechanical we can quickly take care of it.
    • The route takes us through several tunnels, which require all bikes to be fitted with front and rear lights and we also regularly encounter low visibility due to low cloud or fog, so please ensure that you have both front and rear lights with you for use in these circumstances (simple LED commuting lights are sufficient). Failure to carry lights can result in a fine from the police and also risks drivers not seeing you, so please do not forget to bring/use them.
    • You are required to ride wearing a helmet at all times.
    Supported Riding
    • One of the main benefits of choosing Le Domestique Tours, is our pro-level supported riding service, which is an integral part of all of our packages, with our guides meeting you throughout the day at set points and at the top of the climbs. As part of this we do ask that in order to best serve every rider, each rider listens to the instructions of our guides and keeps in mind the others on the tour.
    • We do not enforce an average speed requirement during our tours and will always strive to allow riders to cycle at their own speed (our two van support policy for groups larger than eight gives us the ability to provide our incredible supported riding service for 99% of the riders on our tours), however if there is a large speed differential between you and the rest of the group, we may require you to depart earlier/later, miss extended stops or in very extreme circumstances, complete sections of the route in the LDT support van.
    • Equally, if you are an extremely fast rider in comparison to the others in your group, or someone who does not like to stop during the course of your riding, we may have to adapt the level of support that we can provide for you.
    • If you are at all concerned about your ability level (whether quicker or steadier than average) prior to signing up to this tour, please contact us in advance of booking and we will provide further guidance.
  • Fitness and Gearing
    • The Mythical Mountains is a challenging yet accessible tour that requires riders to be comfortable with long days in the saddle tackling incredible mountains like the Stelvio. As a result we always recommend that riders ensure they are comfortable riding the distance required on each day on a back to back basis and have experience of, or have trained for, sustained climbing.
    • Further guidance on training can be found on our Training blog pages, while we also offer a full range of bespoke coaching options through Le Domestique Training.
    • While some riders do tackle the mountains on a standard double chainset (53/39), we generally recommend that riders opt for a compact chainset (50/34), accompanied by a 27T or 28T rear cassette. This gives a good spread of gears to cover most eventualities and ensures that you have a low enough gear to keep the pedals turning. Some riders do utilise triple chainsets, however in many circumstances this does not provide a lower gear than the ratios suggested above.
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