San Giovanni - Bondiga (Cross Country)
Garda Trentino Verified partner Explorers Choice
The tough climb to PadaroPhoto: M. Giacomello, Garda Trentino
Quite a considerable elevation gain without any particular technical difficulties to take you to one of the classic destinations for cyclists in the area: San Giovanni.
Signage: 743a. Variante San Giovanni
If you don’t mind long ascents on the road, this tour offers a bird’s eye view of the Sarca Valley and the chance to earn yourself a meal with a view of the lake. The descent is for the most part on easy forest roads towards the Tenno area through marvellous woodland which means the scenery changes dramatically from one season to another.
With minor variations you can also easily reach points of interest like Lake Tenno, the medieval village of Canale, the mountain hut Rifugio San Pietro, and more. This route can be done from early spring to late autumn. In recent years, it has also become possible to do it even during the winter period, especially if you go with a pedal assist bike.
Malga San Giovanni, with its typical Trento cuisine, is a stop-off point no biker can afford to miss.
Rest stopsRifugio Malga San Giovanni
MONTE CALINO "SAN PIETRO"
Rifugio San Pietro
ITRS - International Trail Rating System
The ITRS is an objective way to assess trails and routes from a biker’s perspective, evaluating four aspects:
- Technical Difficulty: riding skill level needed
- Endurance: combined effect of length, uphill and downhill
- Wilderness: amount of planning required based on mobile phone reception, rescue options, water supply and wildlife
- Exposure: consequences of a fall
Discover more about the ITRS system and check the classification of this tour in the photo gallery.
- Always wear your helmet.
- Plan your ride.
- You share the trail with other users. Yield right of way to hikers.
- Let your speed be determined by your experience.
- Ride slowly on crowded trails, overtake with politeness and respect.
- Cycle only on authorized and open trails.
- Avoid muddy trails in order not to damage them further.
- Respect public and private property.
- Always be self-sufficient.
- Do not cycle solo in remote areas.
This information is subject to inevitable variations, so none of these indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason, we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case, it is advisable to check environment and weather conditions before setting out.
Tips and hints
For more information on routes, bike services (rentals, workshops, shops) and cycling friendly accommodation: Garda Trentino - +39 0464 554444
The starting point is in Arco, in the car park at the bridge over the River Sarca. The route is signposted from Varignano, at the church about 2 km from Arco and 4 km from Riva del Garda.
The first stretch is fairly traumatic, from the very start you are pedalling on a gradient of 15% in the direction of Padaro. About 2 km from the starting point you will find a spring as you enter the village. From here the gradient is constant at around 10% and, following the main road, you will pass Mandrea and Doss del Cléf. When you get to San Giovanni al Monte, you can stop at the pasture of the same name to have something to eat in the mountain setting. It is a classic stop-off point for cyclists in the area, but you have to continue another hundred metres or so to reach the highest point on the route. Follow signposts for the tour in the direction of Prai da Gom as you begin to run downhill, finally on a dirt road. Continue along easy forestry trails through lovely woodland as you pass Gorghi, Treni and Ranciom. When you come to the wide clearing at Calino Cross, you can take a short detour to one of the most panoramic mountain huts on this side of the mountain, Rifugio San Pietro, which is clearly marked from here.
Otherwise, keep following the trail signposting and continue with your descent on the paved road, going down as far as the junction with the road for Tenno. You are now in the vicinity of Ville del Monte. At the stop sign continue to the left until you come to the nearby church where you immediately turn right. The directions for the trail will only be visible when you are in front of the church. Follow the directions, take the dirt road which leads in the direction of Tenno. You come back onto the road at the village, keep to the right and follow the road downhill until you come to the castle ruins. Shortly after, cross the road to take a trail heading gently uphill on your left. When you crest the brow of the hill, you are overlooking the Alto Garda again. Now follow the signposts down the dirt road called Strada del Pil. Once you come to Volta di No, you are back on the paved road again, and following the directions, head towards Varignano, out point of departure. The final part of the descent among olive groves is largely on a cement surface and very steep.
The main towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Nago – are connected by several urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of tours or in the immediate surroundings.
You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service.
Find out how to reach Garda Trentino.
Parking in Caneve (5 minutes walk to the town centre).
Paid parking: Foro Boario, near the bridge (Via Caproni Maini) or the post office (Via Monache).
Author’s map recommendations
Garda Trentino BIKE Map – Available in the info points of Garda Trentino (Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Ledro, Comano Terme)
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 sudden drop in your energy levels. The unexpected things are part of the fun!
Remember to thoroughly evaluate the type of route you plan on doing, the locations you intend to cross and the current season. Has it been raining? Attention: The paths may be slippery and require more caution.
What do I need to bring on my bike tour?
- An adequate water supply according to your needs (considering temperature, possibility of refuelling and duration of the route)
- Plenty of snacks (for example, dried fruit or energy bars)
- Waterproof / Windproof jacket
- A spare top / spare socks (Descending in a sweaty garment, will make you cold).
- Bike gloves/mitts
- Map or GPS device
- Bike lights: best placed on your helmet or handlebars. (It is always best to be prepared)
- Bike repair kit for punctures and mechanical breakdowns
- First aid kit
- Emergency whistle
It is always advised to let someone know where you plan to go and how long you expect to be.
Emergency telephone number 112.
- 10 Waypoints
- 10 Waypoints
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