Meet the SFIDA Cycling staff at Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) or at a designated hotel.
Our two hours transfer will take us to Aosta, still in Italy but a perfect place to start our trip, keep in mind that there are quite a few mountain passes between Italy and Switzerland, is a long and mountainous border. After checking at our hotel in Aosta we will proceed with our orientation meeting, lunch, and bike set up before heading up to the hills to test our legs. There are a good number of riding options out of Aosta, we decided to ride a loop route up to Pila.
Nonetheless than six times we will be crossing the Italian – Swiss border. The bordering climbs are worth the effort. The first one will be the Col du Grand Saint Bernard, this historical road is one of the oldest passes in the Alps, with traces back to Roman times. The opening of a tunnel in 1964 has meant that nowadays the higher parts of Col have less traffic and are ideal to climb on a bike.
At the top of the climb, already on the Swiss side, we find the Hospice du Grand Saint Bernard, founded in 1049 to help stranded travellers. It is here where later on they started to use the Saint Bernard dogs for rescue operations. After spending some time a the top of this mountain we will keep riding, a long descent to the small town of Orsieres where a scenic road will take us up to Champex Lac.
From here a thrilling descend will take us to Martigny, from there is all flat riding until our final destination in Saillon, along the Rhone valley. Don’t miss the Thermal Park at our hotel after our ride!
Today we start our ride in the prosperous wine region of the Valais.
Note that today both climbs have only one side, so we will be descending the same way we climb them, the main reason to take our clients up to Derborence and Col du Sanetsch is very simple: both routes are so stunning that we must share it with you!
Derborence is a mix of cliff road with tunnels with amazing views, at the top of the valley we will find the Derborence lake, that marks the end of our climb.
Col du Sanetsch is one of the great unknown HC climbs in the Alps, also is considered one of the nicest, time to discover this dormant monster climb. A spectacular descend will take us to Sion, the capital of the Valais Canton, inhabited from prehistoric times, nowadays the Castle of Tourbillon dominates the landscape of this interesting city. After the ride, we will have a 1H30 transfer to Ulrichen.
HOTEL: Hotel Astoria
Today we are starting our ride at the foot of the Nufenenpass. With 14km at 8%, this is a long and steady climb with plenty of hairpins and great views. From the top is a long descent to Airolo, note that we started the day in French, climbed in German and descended in Italian, time perfect your accent!!
From Airolo we will start one of the most memorable climbs in the Alps, the Passo del Sant Gottardo/ Sankt Gotthardpass is live history. We will join the Tremola road and for the last 7 km we will be riding in the cobbled section, unforgettable. My advice, ride slow, stop to take pictures, enjoy every meter of this singular climb.
Descending towards Andermatt, we will still ride some sections of the old road. We are spending two nights in this centrally located town, lots of climbs starting from here.
Today’s ride is one of the most famous loops (and beautiful) that you can ride in Europe. Riding Anticlockwise from Andermatt we will link three of the most iconic passes in Switzerland, in this order: Sustenpass, Grimselpass and Furkapass, all over 2000mts and very scenic.
Expect some amazing picture opportunities on this amazing ride, especially from the top of the Grimsel pass over the Furka pass!
HOTEL: Hotel Sonne
Leaving Andermatt behind we start the longest ride of the trip, luckily the two climbs today are not too hard, the Oberalppass and Lukmanierpass. This last one is on the border with Italy, today we will cross the border twice!
Our hotel is situated in Soazza, on the slopes of the Passo San Bernardino.
We start our ride climbing up to Passo San Bernardino, another giant climb that becomes more scenic the closer you get to the top, definitely one of the most beautiful rides in Switzerland. This is another historical route, open to traffic in 1770, at the top, there’s the Ospizio San Bernardino, used to give shelter to travellers, sited by a small lake, very picturesque.
Our descent will take us to the start of the Splugenpass, we will climb the last 9km of this bordering pass before descending into Italy.
It’s a long downhill before we start our last climb of the day, the Malojapass, the last kilometres of this pass will be memorable with a continuation of switchbacks.
Today our hotel in between the lakes Silser and Silvaplaner, at the top of the pass.
HOTEL: Hotel Post Sils
Last ride of the trip and we have spared you the highest climb for last! We will start the day with a pleasant ride along the valley to Zernez, from here starts the 22km climb to the Ofenpass, a gentle one after the ones we had to endure in the last days.
A fast descent will take us to Santa Maria, here starts the infamous Umbrailpass. This is the climb where Tom Dumoulin got in trouble in the Giro d’Italia 2017 but still got to hold the maglia rossa until the end. Our last climb is also the highest. At the top we will cross the border into Italy for last time, then we will descend on the Stelvio side into Bormio.
After breakfast, morning transfer to Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP). Expect to arrive there by 13:00. Plan your flights accordingly.
TWIN room: $5,950 AUD
SINGLE Supplement: $900 AUD
Rental bike: $750 AUD
$1000 AUD when making the booking. Balance to be paid 90 days before the trip starts.
8 nights accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars
1 lunch on day 1.
7 Picnic lunches during the rides.
8 dinners, including wine.
Hotel extras: mini-bar, spa, massage.
Tips for the staff.
We will have ride leaders and at least one mechanic on our trip.
Our staff/client ratio is 1:4 staff.
Our passenger vans come fully equipped with all necessary to give the best support during the rides.
We carry gels, energy bars, powder mix, water, fruit, riding food, tools, pumps, spare tubes and tyres to make sure our first class support helps you through the trip.
Professional first aid kit.
91 days before the trip starts – the return of deposit less $300 AUD cancellation fee.
61 days before the trip starts – the return of the full amount of the trip less $300 AUD cancellation fee, plus any amount that we can’t recover from our hotel and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
31 days before the trip starts- the return of 50% of the full amount paid.
Less than 30 days before the trip starts – no amount will be refunded. We will, however, try to credit as much as possible towards a future trip. This depends on the amount that we can get back from the hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.