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Monte Velo - Passo Santa Barbara - Monte Bondone

Valle dei Laghi, Dro & Drena, Val di Gresta, Arco, Riva del Garda
Duration in hours
Distance in km
Suggested period

Almost 3000 metres of steep gradient for one of the toughest routes we offer for road bikes. Three climbs, each one harder than the one before, complete an extremely popular loop, a particular favourite with climbers.

This itinerary proposes a variant of the classic Mount Velo loop, upping both its distance and its difficulty. After climbing to the Santa Barbara Pass, we descend towards Ronzo-Chienis, but instantly make our way back up again through another pass, nestled in the vegetable gardens of the Val di Gresta. At the Bordala Pass, a long downhill section begins, leading to the foot of Mount Bondone, the mountain overlooking Trento. Another ascent leads to the Viote basin of Mount Bondone, at an altitude of 1570 metres. We return to the Garda area through the Cavedine Valley.

A very taxing route designed for those who like a challenge. Three climbs for true grimpeurs, rewarded by three very pleasant downhill stretches. Those who might want to spare themselves the last uphill section can return through the Lagarina Valley but should follow the specific itinerary provided for this route.


Further information and useful links

For more information on routes and bike services: rentals, workshops, shops and cycling friendly accommodation - APT Garda Trentino  Tel. +39 0464 554444 

Route info
Route number
102,7 km
7 h 00 min
Altitude difference (+)
2.726 m
Altitude difference (-)
2.738 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Highest point
1.566 m
Lowest point
69 m

All the climbs of the day are very hard, but there are also lots of bends: make the most of them to catch your breath between one steep slope and another!

Safety guidelines
  1. Give your bike a regular checkup, especially if you've had it for years.
  2. Be seen: you must wear a high vis jacket (or sash) in tunnels and on country roads after sunset.
  3. Always wear your helmet.
  4. Make sure your front and rear lights are working.
  5. Put out your arm to give advance warning of your intention to change position and before you do anything, check there are no vehicles coming up behind you.
  6. Don't use headphones or your mobile phone handsfree kit: you need all your concentration on the road!
  7. Obey the road signs: stop at traffic lights and don't ride on the wrong side of the road.
  8. If you are cycling in a group, always go in single file.
  9. You've got a bell: use it to let pedestrians know you're there. Don't ride on footpaths. If you have to then get off and push your bike.
  10. If there are cycle paths use them. It's your safety that's at stake and the rules of the road say you must.
Punto di partenza
Riva del Garda

Cycle north along the cycle path in the direction of the bridge of Arco. At the roundabout turn right in the direction of Bolognano. After other 2 roundabouts turn left where the the Giro d'Italia race stage, as well a King of the Mountains climb, starts. Go uphill the Mount Velo for 12 km through woods enjoying the striking landscape of the Trentinian Garda, get over the hump at Santa Barbara Pass, elevation 1130 m. After a fast downhill road reach the village of Ronzo Chienis.

From here on go up again turning left towards the Bordala Pass passing through the vegetable gardens of the Valle di Gresta valley. From the pass onwards, take an initially difficult afterwards more gentle dowhnill road up to the crossroad to Villa Lagarina. Carry on straight towards the Lake Cei after an alternating of ups and downs, go downhill up to the crossroad to Aldeno, at this point turn left an go uphill towards Cimone and Terme di Garniga, a demanding climb but with a marvellous sight on the Adige valley.

After Garniga Terme enter into woods from which you will exit only by the “barracks” right before arriving at the nature reserve of Viote  at the foot of Palom del Bondone, a breathtaking natural terrace on the Dolomiti di Brenta. Turn left and go downhill passing by Lagolo and Castel Madruzzo. At the crossroads turn left again and cycle slightly uphill along the Cavedine valley arriving at the S. Uldarico Pass before descending towards Drena and trough the “Marocche”. Once arrived in Dro, turn left again in the direction of Arco and afterwards get back at the starting point Riva del Garda.

public transportation

The towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Torbole sul Garda and Arco – are connected by several urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point or in the immediate surroundings.

For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes

You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service.

How to get there
Where to park

Free parking in Riva del Garda at the old hospital (via Rosmini) and the old cemetery (Viale D. Chiesa).

Pay parking at the Public Gardens Porta Orientale, Roman Baths, Viale Lutti (Ex Agraria), Monte Oro, shopping center Blue Garden.

Riding your bike requires specific clothing and equipment, even for relatively short and easy trips. It is always better to be prepared… e.g. for bad weather or a drop your energy levels. The unexpected things also make up a part of the fun!

Do not compare a road bike with a mountain bike. They are very different, especially in technical terms, and facing a hill with a road bike could be much more difficult than facing the same hill with a MTB. Therefore, remember to throughly evaluate the type of route you plan to do and the locations you plan to cross. Do not forget to consider the current season. Has it been raining? Attention: the paint of the crosswalk could be very slick.

What do I need to bring on my bike tour?

  • Bike helmet
  • Bike gloves
  • Bike glasses
  • Waterproof/Windproof jacket
  • Headlights and rearlights
  • Reflecting suspenders
  • Plenty of snacks (for example, dried fruit or energy bars)
  • Water Bottle
  • Bike repair kit (tire levers, mini bike pump, bike tube)

It is always advised to let someone know where you plan to go and how long you expect to be.

Emergency telephone number 112.

E-Bike Stop Malga Zanga - Monte Velo
bike stop
Dro & Drena
E-Bike Stop Camping Resort - Drena
bike stop
Riva del Garda
E-Bike Stop Info Point Riva del Garda
bike stop
E-Bike Stop Info Point Arco
bike stop
Dro & Drena
E-Bike Stop City Hall Dro
bike stop
Dro & Drena
E-Bike Stop Bicigrill Dro
bike stop
E-Bike Stop Parking Caneve - Arco
bike stop
Torbole sul Garda - Nago
Carpentari Cycling Stories
Riva del Garda
bike shop
Torbole sul Garda - Nago
Garda Bike Shuttle
always open
Moser Sport Arco
bike shop
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