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South Monte Baldo tour by E-MTB, Lake Garda

Violet Tour: cross-country route from Monte Baldo to Malcesine via Novezzina and San Zeno di Montagna

porko
Text

Matteo Facchinetti

Mountain bike, trekking and snowboard
Angela Trawoeger
Photo

Angela Trawoeger

Creator, photographer and content manager
Also with a guide, From 60€ per person

This E-MTB tour of Monte Baldo, the Violet Tour, is so little known that, although well marked, it has yet to be found online. 

We liked it for its ease, which, however, always makes it exciting, with striking views of the Adige Valley and Lake Garda. Asphalt sections in beech and oak forests are interspersed with more technical passages on dirt roads through pastures. 

The tour is just over 60 km long, including about 600 m of ascent and 2200 m of descent, which can be tackled with a single-axle bike in about 5 hours. We rode it in June and witnessed an incredible bloom that only the Hortus Europae can give!

E-mtb Monte Baldo Sud

Mappa e traccia GPS

South Monte Baldo tour by E-MTB, Lake Garda

Also with a guide From 60€ per person

Details

  • Technical characteristics

    • Starting point
      Malcesine
    • Endpoint
      Malcesine
    • Route
      Malcesine, Tratto Spino, Novezzina, Due Pozze, San Zeno di Montagna, Castelletto, Malcesine
    • Starting height
      1760m
    • Highest point
      1760m
    • Altitude – ascent/descent
      602 m/2261 m
    • Distance
      60,8 km
    • Duration
      5 Hrs
  • Difficulty

    • Difficulty
      medium to easy
    • Technical difficulty (1 to 5)
      2
    • Physical training (1 to 5)
      2-3
  • Scenic appeal

    • Experience (1 to 5)
      4
    • Landscape (1 to 5)
      4
  • Type of route

    • Round tour
    • Cable car ascent/descent
    • Panoramic route
    • Insider tip
  • Best time of year

    • From May to October
      without snow

Partner

Hotel Ideal malcesine 360gardalife
Hotel Capri 360gardalife en 1
Hotel Villa Edera Malcesine 360gardalife en

Points of interest along the route

This trail traverses almost all the climate zones of Lake Garda from 1780 meters at loc. Tratto Spino to about 70-80 meters above sea level in the Garda villages. You will go from forests to meadows to olive fields until you reach the beach.

Along the way, you will find:

Sacrario del Monte Baldo
  • The “Sacrario del Monte Baldo” is located in Ferrara del Monte Baldo at about 1,000 meters above sea level. This monumental complex was built in 1982 to remember the fallen soldiers of all wars born in the municipalities of the province of Verona. In an amphitheater-like garden are 98 white stone memorial stones bearing the names of Verona’s Municipalities. In the center, a flight of steps leads to the altar and flag-raising. It does not accommodate corpses.
  • The Novezzina Botanical Garden, where exclusively native species of Mount Baldo are collected. Recent redevelopment work has made it possible to enjoy this place and the 700 species discovered by botanists over the past centuries have been collected and cultivated for educational, popularization, conservation, and scientific research purposes

Route description

Take the Malcesine Cable Car, and check the website for dedicated bike ride times. The tour starts at the top station, where you will find signs indicating this route as the “MTB Violet Tour.”

Violet Tour: E-mtb

Head north, and immediately after the fence, take the easy downhill dirt road that, with a view of Mount Altissimo, which takes you past farm buildings and brings you to the paved road.

Take the Monte Baldo Provincial Road – SP3 to the right at the crossroads and keep it downhill or false flat for about 15 km. The road has a pleasant, smooth surface, little traffic, and passes through meadows and woods. 

Pass Novezzina and its Botanical Garden until you reach Rifugio Al Cacciatore. Here, keep right at the fork with signs for Verona. The MTB Violet Tour signs are there but could be more visible. The road, meanwhile, becomes SP8.

Continue slightly uphill, passing the Sacrario del Monte Baldo until you cross the signs for Malga Ime, where you leave SP8 to take an excellent asphalt road on the right among the pastures. 

Continue uphill past a few hairpin bends to Malga Valfredda, the asphalt giving way to an easy, hard-surfaced driveway path that becomes cemented in the steepest sections. Pass the Colonei di Caprino and Pesina and the malghe, and continue to Località Due Pozze.

Verso località due Pozze in E-Mtb

There are no significant sections of technical difficulty except for a couple of steep but cemented descents. In this section, you find a couple of cow gates to open and close manually.

Stay away from the Due Pozze parking lot at the junction with the paved road, but keep left downhill toward Prada and San Zeno di Montagna. The Road to Naole has a better surface than the previous ones. There are even deep potholes to watch out for. You are on the road with driveway traffic, so watch for cars and motorcycles. Due Pozze, the locality is bustling. Go between fun little curves until you get to Prada Bassa, keep left on SP9, and at the hotel, Il Castagneto (a big orange building), make the whole right turn and keep going down towards San Zeno di Montagna.

Lake Garda is always best seen among the vegetation! Particularly on a hairpin bend, you will get a beautiful view of the lower Garda! Shortly afterward, at the junction with the main road, keep right toward Brenzone, first slightly uphill and then downhill. Keep going downhill, passing the villages of Le Fasse and Fasor.

Discesa vista lago da San Zeno a Castelletto

Here, the views of the lake are truly magnificent. Pass the traffic lights, keeping the direction until you reach the locality Biaza, where I suggest you turn right between the houses downhill to enjoy the passage through the center of Castelletto, one of the beautiful villages of Brenzone sul Garda.

The asphalt gives way to cobblestones between the houses of Castelletto until you reach Strada Gardesana, which you must cross to take the lakeside bike path. From here on, keep to the bike path for about 13 km between the small ports of the hamlets of Brenzone, Cassone, and Val di Sogno in the direction of Malcesine. Respect the pedestrian areas by pushing your bike by hand, and be careful in the bay of Val di Sogno because you will proceed in the opposite direction of travel.

At the hospital in Malcesine, take the minor road to the left to get to the Malcesine lakefront, which takes you to the beginning of the village.

To return to the cable car, continue along Viale Roma pushing your bike on the wide sidewalk, go up and around the Town Hall, and at the central roundabout in Malcesine, take Via Gardesana to the left to get to the second roundabout and to Via Navene Vecchia, which takes you back to the cable car.

Variant

None

Our tips

  • Make an early reservation for the cable car bike ride; there are very few morning rides, and it is not a given to get a place in high season.
  • Bring water, snacks, and a windbreaker, even on summer days. At 2,000 m, the weather changes quickly.
  • If you stop to visit the Novezzina Botanical Garden, try the specialties of the Novezzina Refuge, made with zero-kilometer products. Their pasta with wild herb pesto is delicious! 
  • Cycling in the mountains on a road with little traffic (you’ll probably see more motorcycles than cars) it’s easy to get distracted and get in the way. Remember to keep to the right and watch out for motorcycles.

The route in winter

This route is not passable in winter, and bike transportation by cable car is suspended.

Rest stops along the route.

At the start, along SP3 and SP8 and in the section that bypasses Monte Baldo, there are several bars, mountain huts, and restaurants. You find many bars, restaurants, and agritourisms from Prada towards Malcesine.

Partner

Hotel Capri 360gardalife en 1
Xtreme bike malcesine 360gardalife
Hotel Nettuno 360gardalife

How to get to the starting point

The route starts at the upper station of the Malcesine Monte Baldo Cable Car.

Bike Shuttle

Parking

IN Malcesine:

Public transportation

None

Also with a guide From 60€ per person

Find out more

This route passes by Brenzone sul Garda

Before or after the route, during an excursion or on holiday, stop to visit the small villages of Lake Garda

Sport activities with local guides and instructors

Similar route

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