San Giovanni - Bondiga - Rancion (All mountain)
Garda Trentino Verified partner Explorers Choice
The tough climb to PadaroPhoto: M. Giacomello, Garda Trentino
Quite a physically challenging tour with much of the ascent on paved road. The surface varies greatly throughout the descent; in particular, the stretch from Ranciom to Vandrino has some steep loose sections.
Signage: 743b. Variante Rancion - Trail
With its 1300 m elevation gain and a distance of just over 30 km, this tour involves a fair amount of physical effort. The long ascent which leads from Varignano to San Giovanni al Monte, very steep at the outset, is entirely on a paved road. Then you proceed on easier forest roads through lovely woodland.
As mentioned, one stretch of the descent is, in its present condition, quite challenging: it is not exposed and the trail is quite wide, but the gradient is considerable and the surface very loose. If you would rather reduce the technical challenge of the route, you are advised to follow route 744. The scenery along the route is spectacular and you will find fresh water springs in Padaro and San Giovanni al Monte.
Malga San Giovanni, with its typical Trento cuisine, is a stop-off point no biker can afford to miss.
Rest stopsRifugio Malga San Giovanni
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 of this trail is on the cycle path at the Caneve car park. Following directions, cross the River Sarca and head towards the centre of Arco. Do not be expecting to see signposts in the historic centre telling you which way to go. However, once you reach the church, hard to miss, it is easy to find the nearby via delle Magnolie and you must take this street. Now keep going straight along via dei Capitelli. Pass the hospital and the Casa di cura Eremo nursing home. Continue on straight until you come to via Giuseppe Verdi where you turn right and then left into via Nicola Bresciani.
You have now come to Varignano, and following directions for route 745, near the church, you take the road in the direction of Padaro. The road suddenly heads steeply uphill, reaching a gradient of 15%. at the village, where you will find a fresh water spring, the climb levels off a bit but the gradient is still in the order of 10%. The town is about 2 km from where you started out and the water spring is on the outskirts. Keep on straight following the main road and pass Mandrea and Doss del Cléf. Once you come to San Giovanni al Monte, you can always stop off for lunch on the mountain side. It is a classic destination for cyclists in the area, but you need to go on a further hundred metres or so to reach the highest point on the route.
Following signposts for the tour, continue on in the direction of Prai da Gom, where you start to go downhill, finally on a dirt road. Continue on easy forestry trails through lovely woodland and pass Gorghi and Treni. When you come to Ranciom, the signpost points you onto a forest road you will find on your left. A gentle downhill run at first, it gradually gets steeper with lots of loose rocks which really interfere with steering. Following the main trail you will come to a fence where you keep to the left and ride around it, keeping it on your right. Follow directions to Vandrino where, shortly after going back onto the paved road, you will come to a crossroads. Here route 745 leads towards the right to take you to Tenno Castle, about 1 km away on the main road. If you want to avoid the main road, keep to the left at Vandrino crossroad, follow directions for route 773 and after about 2 km you will come across route 745 again which heads off to the left on a dirt track. If you stay on track 745, you soon come to the main road which you follow downhill. Shortly after you pass Tenno Castle, turn onto a side road, running gently uphill on the left. You crest the brow of the hill overlooking Alto Garda once more and clear signposting leads you down the dirt track called “Strada del Pil”. When you get to Volta di No, you return to the paved road again and follow clear directions towards Varignano. When you get to the town centre, keep left at the church and follow the quiet streets to the olive groves at the foot of the Placche de Baone slabs. There is still one final uphill stretch before you run downhill and into the centre of Arco and back to your departure point.
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.
Up-to-date information on timetables and routes.
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.
- 9 Waypoints
- 9 Waypoints
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