Cycling experience on the Stelvio

Free PDF maps and routes around the Stelvio and Bormio to help get you started with your planning for your next cycling experience on the Stelvio.
We understand what a cycling holiday on the Stelvio means to cyclists all over the world who look forward to visiting one of the most famous cycling destinations.

Stelvio cycling experience

The best times of year for climbing up are June and early July then from mid August until the end of September, but it depends on weather conditions. Early August is the peak of the Italian summer holiday so the mountain is busy and not so much fun on a bike.
To help you make the most of your cycling holiday on the Stelvio we have put together:

  1. some maps (PDF) regarding the area and
  2. 12 road cycling routes around Bormio.

Cycling holiday on the Stelvio - maps

The first one shows the overall area around Bormio. You can upload on your smartphone and consult it during your cycling holiday on the Stelvio.
The other three maps are more detailed but heavy (34 MB): Northern part of the area, Western part of the area, Southern part of the area.
You can download:

  1. Stelvio-Bormio-map PDF - (7,2 MB)

  2. Charta Itinerum - North part PDF - (34 MB)

  3. Charta Itinerum - West part PDF - (34 MB)

  4. Charta Itinerum - South part PDF - (34 MB)

Cycling holiday on the Stelvio - routes

There are three route options available for climbing the Stelvio (2,758 mt. a.s.l.).
The north-east ascent starts in Prato allo Stelvio (Italy), the south-west in Bormio (Italy), and there is a third way up from Santa Maria (Switzerland), using Passo Umbrail, which joins the south-western ascent three kilometres below the Stelvio’s summit.
The Stelvio is in the Italian Alps, close to the Swiss border

Other classic climbs around the Stelvio are the Passo Gavia, the Passo Mortirolo, the Passo Bernina.
The Passo Gavia (2,618 mt. a.s.l.) is a long climb at 26 km averaging 5% with steeper sections near the top. Once you have gone up and over the Gavia, a way home is over the very steep Passo Mortirolo (1,852 mt. a.s.l.). There are numerous ways up here (all steep) with the hardest being 12 km at 11%. Not far away in Switzerland is the the Passo del Bernina (2,330 mt. a.s.l.).

Suggested cycling routes:

  1. Bormio - Passo dello Stelvio
    distance 21 km, climb: avg. 7.3%, max. 13% - Elevation chart

  2. Prato dello Stelvio - Passo dello Stelvio
    distance 25 km, climb: avg. 7.4%, max. 11% - Elevation chart

  3. Bormio - Passo Gavia
    distance 26 km, climb: avg. 6.5%, max. 14% - Elevation chart

  4. Bormio – Passo del Foscagno – Passo Eira – Livigno
    distance 38 km, climb: avg. 6.2%, max. 12.5% - Elevation chart

  5. Livigno – Passo della Forcola – Passo del Bernina
    distance 22 km, climb: avg. 6.2%, max. 12% - Elevation chart

  6. Livigno - Santa Maria - Passo Umbrail - Passo dello Stelvio
    distance 56 km, climb: avg. 8.2%, max. 11% - Elevation chart

  7. Ponte di Legno – Passo Gavia
    distance 18 km, climb: avg. 7.9%, max. 12% - Elevation chart

  8. Tirano – Lago Poschiavo – Passo Bernina
    distance 34 km, climb: avg. 7.5%, max. 9.5% - Elevation chart

  9. Bormio – Mazzo – Passo del Mortirolo
    distance 42 km, climb: avg. 10.5%, max. 18% - Elevation chart

  10. Bormio – Grosio – Passo del Mortirolo
    distance 36 km, climb: avg. 8.3%, max. 12% - Elevation chart

  11. Bormio – Bormio 2000
    distance 10 km, climb: avg. 7.5%, max. 12% - Elevation chart

  12. Bormio - Carcano
    distance 14 km, climb: avg. 6.9%, max. 8.5% - Elevation chart

What makes a cycling experience on the Stelvio Pass so challenging?

It’s not the length of the climb, it’s not the gradient either. It’s the altitude. The reduced amount of oxygen in the air will put additional strain on your cardiovascular system, especially if you don’t have much experience cycling at high altitudes.
There is still snow at the top of Stelvio during the summer. The difference in temperature between the start of the climb and the summit could be up to 20C. That means you need to be well prepared and take adequate clothing with you.
The other challenge found at Stelvio is the unpredictable weather changes where the peak of the mountain ends up raining snow even during the summer seasons.

Stelvio, Mortirolo, Gavia are must-do climbs

The Stelvio, Mortirolo and Gavia climb around Bormio are a regular feature of the Giro d'Italia. Bormio is also home to a number of amateur cycling events such as the Stelvio bike day and the Granfondo Stelvio Santini.
Steeped in cycling history and mystique these climbs will give you a truly complete cycling experience of the very best that northern Italy has to offer.

However you could have problems

  1. The summer is the only time to ride the Stelvio, Mortirolo, Gavia.
  2. The weather in the Alps is changeable so you should be equipped for warm and cold weather riding. The key items of clothing to remember are long-fingered gloves, arm warmers, leg warmers and a jacket for the summit and descent (you may need more than this if the weather forecast is bad).
  3. The mountain passes could be closed during your cycling holiday.
  4. The hotels could be sold-out.
  5. There is much traffic and lots of people  on the Stelvio: motorcyclists, drivers as well as cyclists. Speaking of motorcycles, expect to meet a lot of them on the Stelvio. It’s also a surprise to come across skiers mingling with cyclists: the glacier is open to skiers from May to November.
Stelvio cycling holiday

We have a solution for you: climbs similar to Stelvio, Mortirolo, Gavia

  1. We provide cycling experience in a destination where you can tackle excellent climbs you’ve probably never heard of them (both gradient and length). They are mainly close to the upper part of Lake Maggiore between Italy and Switzerland.
    Top 10 toughest cycling climbs in the Italian-Swiss Lake District.

  2. The Italian-Swiss Lake District has good climatic conditions. April, May, June, September and October are the ideal months for a cycling trip. The weather is ideal and you’ll avoid the heat and extra tourist traffic of peak summer. The mild climate of the lakes is attributable to the particular topography of the territory, with the Alps and the Pre-Alps to the North, valleys and plains to the South.

  3. The area is accessed from the North via the Gotthard Pass or via Simplon Pass througt the Swiss Alps. From the South via Milan or Bergamo. It's also well-integrated into the Swiss rail network and into the Italian rail network. There’s Milan Malpensa Airport, Milano Linate Airport, Milan Bergamo Airport and a small airport in Lugano with flights from Geneva and Zurich.
    How to get here

  4. The Italian-Swiss Lake District is 140 km far from the Stelvio as a crow flies.


Cycling experience Stelvio

Lake Maggiore cycling experience

The climbs around the upper part of Lake Maggiore are right in the backyard of our Colmegna seconday base and provide some of the most varied and exciting terrain for cycling there is.

Our Escape Bike Tour is a cycling experience from our Camin hotel Colmegna on the shores of Lake Maggiore to the beautiful coastal towns of the lake across some of the most stunning landscapes around Laveno, Luino, Ascona and Locarno and including some climbs in the upper part of Lake Maggiore between Italy and Switzerland such Alpe Neggia, Val Verzasca, Monti Motti.

Varese cycling experience

Varese is our main cycling base. It's a 40-minute train ride from Milan Malpensa airport. Nestled in the heart of Lombardy and in the foothills of the Swiss-Italian Alps, it provides the perfect launchpad from which to explore the best lakeside riding and the mountainous roads in between. This area is rich in history and Italian cycling culture.

Our Weekender Bike Tour based in Varese offers the opportunity to see the best views and the hidden gems that the Varese region around Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano have to offer including some climbs in the area such Monte San Martino, Cuvignone, Sighignola.

Cycling holiday Stelvio

Italian-Swiss Lakes cycling experience

Discover for yourself our overall offering and uncover the unique charms of the Italian-Swiss Lake District and it’s fantastic riding.

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