Road

Sondrio | Road 50 km | The definitive Valtellina road ride – vineyards, orchards, tiny roads.

In winter it’s hard to know which roads are still passable by bike – is that stretch of tarmac getting any sunshine at all? A safe bet is to keep high on the south-facing slopes. That’s exactly what this sublime route does. A breath-taking excursion into Valtellina’s wine territory. We think it is unrivalled!

You’ll head eastwards up the valley along the main road for a short stretch – it’s very quiet though. After a few minutes of pedalling you’ll find yourself on back roads that careen along the bottom of the valley, taking you on a whistle-stop tour of the orchards to Chiuro. Once you reach Chiuro, there’s the beautiful Castionetto climb that takes you up to the Panoramica. That road, the Via Panoramica, is something else entirely. Unbeatable views, fairly quiet on the traffic front, it’s a real pleasure to cruise along. This route doesn’t follow it for long though; you’ll be spewed out onto back roads that bypass the bigger villages and go all-in for authenticity. Expect little archways, ancient buildings and a whole lot of character through the vineyards.

This route starts and finishes at Sondrio train station, which even in the winter should get a fair amount of sun.


Have a good one!

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Chiuro | Road 58km | A for adventure, B for b-roads, C for Chiuro

Loose description of 'road', this one wouldn't be averse to somewhat extra grip on certain roads on the northside of the valley. The first half is almost totally traffic-free until you reach the main pass road down from Aprica. In summer this gets a little busy so just watch out for motorbikes careening their way up the pass, in a mad dash to overtake lorries. It's not great but it'll whizz by. Then you're back onto small roads. You have to rejoin the main road super briefly before you start the climb to Teglio, but it isn't a dealbreaker, we promise. 

A hilly route, but unfortunately off the cards in winter. All of the climbs will be worthwhile. 

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Mortirolo | Road 137km | A more mellow approach

From Sondrio you'll first ride the Passo Aprica before a long, swooping descent to Edolo. From here it ramps up gentle to Monno before a steep climb under a canopy of trees takes you up towards the Passo Mortirolo. You'll ride a few kilometres along the top before hitting the pass sign and the top of the much steeper side. Start going down that descent but take a right turn towards Grosio. Safer and a lot less steep, this narrow downhill pops you out on the far side of Grosio. From here, follow the small roads or even the Sentiero bike path back towards Tirano and Sondrio. 

The Mortirolo doesn't usually open until late May/early June.

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Teglio | Road 87km | By b-roads

This is 87 km with a lot of bang for your buck. Exciting, tiny roads that wiggle across the valley sides. It might be easy to brush this route off but it's a great starting point for bigger rides. The climb from Bianzone up to Teglio is included in the Gran Fondo Stelvio Santini but gets so crowded with inept climbers during the gran fondo that it's much better to do in your own time, on your own ride, away from the masses. 

There's a section on the Statale that's almost unavoidable, but you could take the Sentiero Valtellina if you really hate the main road. 
The route back to Sondrio teases with the 'Via Panoramica', which is delightfully short of traffic and swoops and swerves its way back along the south-facing slopes. It's an exciting route that provides amazing views. There's always the option to stick to the Via Panoramica if you prefer to bypass the super scenic, slightly arduous route that is outlined here.

Year-round.

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Mello | Road 70km | Sunny-siding in Basso Valtellina

A staple loop that's rideable all year. Join this route from absolutely any village and add in extra  climbs if you're feeling fresh. Up and down, fast and furious. Cuteness overload with some of the villages. 
 

Year-round but watch out for the shady descent into Val Masino as it can be treacherous in the depths of winter. Your alternative is to descend to Morbegno from Dazio on a beautiful, newly tarmacked fast road.  

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