The apennine way
9 days 8 nights
Half Board accommodation
from £1,276 per person (sharing a twin/double room)
Guided: minimum 6 people
15 to 23 June and 7 to 15 September 2019
Custom dates for groups of 5 or more
Total distance: 637 km Total climb 10200 mts
average mileage: 91 km/day
average climb: 1450 mts/day
Located only an hour east of Rome, Abruzzo offers some of the most exciting cycling you will find in Italy by way of four National Parks, memorable climbs and descents, a greenbelt of hills dotted by olive trees, a network of enchanting back roads, Renaissance villages lost in the wilderness and much more. The Appennini range is the mountain backbone of the peninsula with highest peaks at over 2000 mts. Family run farming guarantees fresh and organic ingredients for its sumptuous regional cuisine and wines. You will love the warm hospitality and rich taste of the local red Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine.
GIRO D'ITALIA: most often coincides with this Abruzzo itinerary in which case we like to share the excitement of a Giro stage arrival with you. If your group feels the itch for a bit of competition or simply wishes to be part of a great cycling event, with a only a few changes we can customise participation in a GRAN FONDO race at a small supplement. Only a handful of riders battle for elite placing and the remaining hundreds of men and women of different age and fitness level are in for the fun of it. Some professional racers ride the Gran Fondo for training purposes.
our price Includes:
8 nights Half Board accommodation in Agriturismo and 3 and 4 star hotels
Transfers from and to Pescara airport
Baggage transfers throughout the tour
Daily maps and cue sheets
Full van support throughout the tour
Bicycle case storage (max 4)
We meet you at the airport in Pescara for transfer to the Agriturismo located in the hills outside Loreto Aprutino. It would be best to arrive early morning to allow a visit to the cycle shop of former cycling pro Luciano Rabottini, followed by a swim and some sunbathing at Cerrano Beach or relaxing poolside sipping wine beneath olive trees.
Stage 1: Loreto Aprutino loop 81 km - 1500 mts total climb
This stage is along the eastern side of the Gran Sasso massif, a green belt of hills dotted by olive trees, vineyards and ancient villages. The rolling start leads to great views of the Maiella mountains. The ups and downs continue on quiet roads followed by two longer climbs that will lead to an amazing terrace overlooking the green pastures of the Gran Sasso. Then, mostly descending, we reach Penne for a lunch stop. As we are only 10 km away from the end we can indulge in a glass or two of the local Montepulciano wine.
Stage 2: Loreto Aprutino-Sulmona 99 km - 1800 mts total climb
We leave Loreto to head toward the Maiella mountains crossing charming villages through hills and the Aterno River after which, with a few breaks to loosen up, we begin the 35 km climb to Passo S.Leonardo. The gradient rarely goes over 6% and the views are stunning. The first section of the climb is followed by an easier stretch to the spa town of Caramanico Terme. The going gets harsh again but the last 10 km are easy. At the summit we can admire the entire valley and the fairy-like hamlet, after which we descend along the other side for a lunch stop in the medieval town of Pacentro. A few more km downhill and we arrive in Sulmona, the set for George Clooney’s film, ‘The American’. Here we stay two nights in a 4 star city centre hotel.
Stage 3: Sulmona-Alfedena 74 km - 1400 mts total climb
This stage is set in the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, the oldest wild Park in Italy. The first amazing view will be that of villages silhouetted against high rocks. We cross through tunnels, then gently rise into the Sagittario river canyon following the roaring stream until we reach the intense green mirror that is Lake S. Domenico. The road levels up along the shores of Lake Scanno, its village a jewel of Renaissance architecture famed for traditional lace and jewelry. We climb on long but steady grades to Passo Godi, followed by the long descent to Lake Barrea and finally, Alfedena where our ride ends with a sumptuous lunch before travelling back to Sulmona by van.
Stage 4: Sulmona-Roccaraso-Sulmona 96 km - 1600 mts total climb
This stage is the easiest of the tour. From Sulmona we head north along the river and cross the S. Venanzio Gorges outside which the valley opens up, showing its medieval villages lost in lush greenery: castles and Renassaince churches mark our route. The course is almost completely flat and we’ll see the mountains from a distance. We arrive in L’Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo, where we stay 4 nights in a charming hotel in the oldest part of the city.
Stage 5: Sulmona-L'Aquila 71 km - 600 mts total climb
This stage is the longest of the tour. We start with a long climb in the woods to Passo Capannelle and reach Campotosto Lake whose clear waters mirror the Gran Sasso and Laga mountains We will circle most of it before descending to Amatrice to feast on its succulent local speciality: pasta all’amatriciana. We then have a long but easy way back.
Stage 6: L'Aquila loop 121 km - 1500 mts total climb
We climb the highest peak of the Appennini. The first section ends at Fonte Cerreto which will be our last chance for a cappuccino break before embarking on the bare moonscape ahead. The second summit is Monte Cristo, then only a brief descent before resuming the climb up to the 2150 mts of the Gran Sasso, the King of the Apennini and the highest paved road south of the Alps. On the way down we stop for lunch in one of Abruzzo’s most enchanting villages, after which we travel by van, or ride, back to L’Aquila.
Stage 7: L'Aquila loop 95 km - 1800 mts total climb
This last stage is in the Parco of Velino-Sirente mountains. We cruise the Aterno Valley farmland to the Renaissance village of Fontecchio. A few ups and downs lead us to Secinaro where we begin the long ascent to the highland of the Sirente where eagles are a common view. When we reach Rocca di Mezzo we can toast the end of our fatigue. Castles and monasteries perched high on rocks will watch upon us along the descent to L'Aquila where we later take a stroll along stone paved alleys, have a succulent dinner and a bit of nightlife.
After breakfast we transfer you back to the airport in Pescara for your journey back home.
Lunches and beverages
Single room supplement of £180
Airport transfers other than Pescara airport
Bike hire: from £180 (includes cycle computer, repair kit, pump, lock)
Gratuities and items of a personal nature
Bicycle case storage for more than 4 bikes
For groups of 5 or more:
All our cycling itineraries can be customised to your specific tastes and requirements