Meet the SFIDA Cycling staff at Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) or at a designated hotel.
Our two-hour 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, which is a long and mountainous border.
After check-in 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.
We will be crossing the Italian – Swiss border no less than six times. 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 today the higher parts of the 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 the use of Saint Bernard dogs for rescue operations began. After our picnic lunch at the top of this mountain, we will keep riding, it is a long descent and fun to the small town of Orsieres where a scenic road will take us up to Champex Lac.
From the top of Champex Lac, a thrilling descent will take us to Martigny, our hotel is on the outskirts of this town, which was supposed to host the UCI Road Championships in 2020!
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 them with you!
But before we get onto those amazing climbs, we ride a few kilometres up through the Valais vineyards, some narrow and steep roads, perfect warm-up! and very scenic too!
The climb up to Derborence is a mix of cliff roads with tunnels and amazing views. When we reach the top of the valley, we will find Derborence lake, this marks the end of our climb.
The second majestic climb of the day is Col du Sanetsch, one of the great unknown HC climbs in the Alps, and also is considered one of the nicest. We are happy to bring our lucky clients to discover this dormant monster climb. A spectacular descent will take us to Sion, the capital of the Valais Canton, inhabited since prehistoric times, today the Castle of Tourbillon dominates the landscape of this interesting city. After the ride, we will have a 1H30 transfer to Ulrichen.
HOTEL: Hotel Walser
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.
The top of the Nufenen pass is the end of the canton de Valais, and once we start our descent to Airolo, we are in the Tesino, an Italian-speaking canton.
From Airolo we will start one of the most memorable climbs in the Alps, the Passo del San Gottardo or 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, and 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, a lot of great climbing starting from here, and we will surely show you a few tomorrow!
Today’s ride is one of the most famous loops (and beautiful) that you can ride in Europe. Riding Anticlockwise from Andermatt we will climb three of the most iconic passes in Switzerland, in this order: Sustenpass, Grimselpass, and Furkapass, all over 2000mts high and very scenic.
Expect some amazing picture opportunities on this amazing ride, especially from the top of the Grimsel pass over the Furka pass!
And of course, we will try to get a picture of each one of you when riding through the iconic Belvedere Hotel. One of the most photographed switchbacks in the Alps.
HOTEL: Hotel Sonne
We have decided to stay an extra day in Andermatt, this is for two reasons: to have a bit of a rest after a huge day the day early and also to enjoy this magnificent spot in the Swiss Alps.
So we are doing one of those “famous” recovery rides SFIDA style, only one climb!
The Furka pass from Andermatt, we would have descended this side the day earlier and we are sure our clients will be keen to ride up this way.
After our return to Andermatt, we will do a short ride in the direction of Wassen following the bike path. Just outside Andermatt, there are a couple of very interesting spots to visit: the Teufel bridge and the Suworow Russian memorial.
45km / 1,160m
CLIMBS: Furka pass 2,429m from Andermatt.
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 mountain that becomes more scenic the closer you get to the top. Definitely one of the most beautiful climbs in Switzerland. This is another historical route, open to traffic in 1770, at the top, there’s the Ospizio San Bernardino, which used to give shelter to travellers, sited by a small lake, very picturesque.
An incredible descent will take us to Splugen, where we start the second climb of the day, the Splugenpass top is also one of the many mountain borders with Italy. This pass has some great views the closer you get to the top.
The descent of the Passo della Spluga on the Italian side is a kind of “mother of all the descents”. It has everything you dream of a perfect descent, a lake at the top, switchbacks, tunnels, switchbacks on tunnels, mostly on a great new paved road.
Once we reach Chiavenna, we start our last climb of the day, the Malojapass, on the way up, we cross into Switzerland again. The last kilometres of this pass will be memorable with a collection of switchbacks that are shown very often on different Instagram pages.
Today our hotel is in between the lakes Silser and Silvaplaner, at the top of the pass. A great place to rest after one of the top days at SFIDA Cycling!
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 the last time, and we will continue for another 3 km to the top of the Passo del Stelvio.
We think this is the way to end an epic trip!
A beautiful descent will take us to our hotel in Bormio, time to celebrate!
DAY 10: After breakfast, morning transfer to Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP). Expect to arrive there by 13:00. Plan your flights accordingly.
TWIN room: 4,650 Euros pp
SINGLE Supplement: 950 Euros
Rental bike: 750 Euros
Rental e-bike: 800 Euros
Bike bag/box transfer fee: 150 Euros
800 Euros when making the booking. Balance to be paid 90 days before the trip starts.
9 nights of accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars
ALL MEALS INCLUDED.
9 lunches during the rides, some picnic style.
9 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 the 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 ensure our first-class support helps you through the trip.
Professional first aid kit.
Adapting to the changes in international change after the COVID-19 pandemic, and incoordination, with most of the hotel’s terms and conditions, we are adjusting our cancellation policy accordingly as follows:
120 days before the trip starts – the return of your deposit minus any expenses that we may not be able to reimburse.
90 days before the trip starts – partial refund of the amount of the trip less 300 Euros cancellation fee, plus any amount that we can’t recover from Hotels, and other costs that we may have already incurred in the trip preparation.
Less than 60 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.
We highly recommend to contract travel insurance as soon you pay the deposit and buy your international flights.
Make sure your travel insurance covers:
- Refund of the amounts paid in case you need to cancel for any reason.
- Covers the cost of possible damages to your rental bike. Check our T&C for this.
For the reasons, we won’t be holding any spots until the full deposit has been paid.
Hotels are now more strict with how many rooms they are willing to have on hold for groups, so until deposit payments are made we won’t be able to confirm your spot.