3.2. Cycling through the Sarca Valley: from Arco to Fies
Garda Trentino Verified partner Explorers Choice
The Roman Bridge in CenigaPhoto: Archivio APT Garda Trentino (ph. Promovideo), Garda Trentino
This itinerary winds along the Sarca Valley and involves very little elevation gain. This means it really is suitable for all, even those who are not particularly fit and are looking for an easy route to enjoy a few hours on a bicycle. The landscape is very pleasant and relaxing, with the peaceful current of the River Sarca and a series of orchards along the route.
Along the river banks you will also come across educational information panels: you are in the Sarca River Park, a reserve along the entire length of the river from its source in Val Rendena to the point where it flows into Lake Garda.
Even your arrival point is in a nature reserve: the Marocche is an area which is protected because of its unique features. This post-glacial landslide, the largest in the entire Alps, is an extremely peculiar environment where you will find plants and animals that have had to adapt to these specific conditions.
The Marocche di Dro are a Site of Community Importance, belonging to the Natura 2000 Network.
- Give your bike a regular checkup, especially if you've had it for years.
- Be seen: you must wear a high vis jacket (or sash) in tunnels and on country roads after sunset.
- Always wear your helmet.
- Make sure your front and rear lights are working.
- 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.
- Don't use headphones or your mobile phone handsfree kit: you need all your concentration on the road!
- Obey the road signs: stop at traffic lights and don't ride on the wrong side of the road.
- If you are cycling in a group, always go in single file.
- 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.
- If there are cycle paths use them. It's your safety that's at stake and the rules of the road say you must.
The cycle pathe in Trentino are usually closed by the local authorities from November, 15th to April, 15th. Exceptions are the cycle paths along the River Adige and in the Basso Sarca/Garda Trentino, where cycling is prohibited only in case of ice or during a snowfall.
Tips and hints
- The route ends at what used to be Fies hydroelectric power station. This building looks nothing like a traditional industrial building but more like a castle built to defend the river. For some years now it has been the venue for an important festival and a creative hub for contemporary art in all its forms.
For more information on routes and bike services: rentals, workshops, shops and cycling friendly accommodation - APT Garda Trentino Tel. +39 0464 554444
The departure point is the car park situated at the bridge in Arco where the cycle path begins. Almost as soon as you set off you will pass the Climbing Stadium on your left, the venue for the Rock Master championships, one of the most important climbing competitions in the world. Keep following the directions and you find yourself cycling with the river on your left and vineyards on the right.
At the end of the cycle path turn left onto a side road leading to the little hamlet of Ceniga: here you take the first right and then the first left through the centre. Continue through vineyards until you come to a stretch which climbs gently. Turn right and then at the end of the road turn right again. At the stop sign, turn right again and go onto the roundabout where you take the third exit. The signpost at the side of the road gives directions for the cycle path. Go on for a short distance among the houses until you come to the start of the protected cycle path.
This route is well signposted and runs through the vineyards. The River Sarca is still on the left of the cycle path which takes you to the Fies Hydroelectric Power Plant. Here, against the backdrop of the Marocche, you have reached the end of the first part of the route.
Get back on your bike and follow the cycle path back the way you came and turn left shortly after the bar. This takes you onto the main road, heading downhill, and you must keep to the right. You are now cycling through an area full of apple orchards, vineyards and plum trees. Continue until the road bends to the right: here you keep going straight, cross the road and take a back road. Here too, you are cycling through lush orchards. Keep going gently downhill, then turn right passing close to two houses, take the underpass and turn left. Take the small laneway on the right (via Dossetto) and soon, after a short uphill stretch, you come to Ceniga. Here you cycle through the narrow streets of the centre, then turn right and, at the stop sign, turn left.
On this stretch, the River Sarca is on your left and the rock face of Monte Colodri is on your right. Keep going until you get back to where you started from.
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.
Getting to northern lake Garda / Garda Trentino
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.
Author’s map recommendations
- Bike Garda Trentino Map – On sale in tourist information offices in Riva del Garda, Arco and Torbole
- 8 Waypoints
- 8 Waypoints
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