Bike

Medium-easy mountain bike route from Monte Baldo to Malcesine: Red Tour

Cross country route: from Tratto Spino to Lake Garda via Brentonico and Loppio

davide fambri
Text

Davide Fambri

Mountain bike, ski touring and paragliding
Angela Trawoeger
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Angela Trawoeger

Creator, photographer and content manager

A medium-easy route suitable for anyone who has a basic experience of mountain biking.

You go up by Cable Car from Malcesine along the western slopes of Monte Baldo, you then descend and re-ascend northwards along the eastern Trentino slopes of the mountain range.

This is a long route (35 km – or 50km if you return to Malcesine from Torbole by bike) which usually takes 4 hours. You will be going up 375 msl and down 1958 msl and the terrain is varied from asphalt to cement, from bike path to mule track.

Map and GPS track

Details

  • Technical characteristics

    • Starting point
      Tratto Spino
    • Endpoint
      Malcesine
    • Route
      Tratto Spino – Bocca di Navene – Bocca del Creer – Malga Bes – S.Valentino – S.Giacomo – Festa -Brentonico – Castione – Loppio – Nago – Torbole – Malcesine
    • Starting height
      1760m
    • Highest point
      1760m
    • Altitude – ascent/descent
      375m/1958m
    • Distance
      35 km
    • Duration
      4 hrs
  • Difficulty

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

    • Experience (da 1 a 5)
      3
    • Landscape (da 1 a 5)
      4
  • Type of route

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

    • From may to october
      without snow

Partner

e bike malcesine 360gardalife 1
Hotel Maximilian 360gardalife
Hotel Capri 360gardalife en 1

Points of interest along this bike trail

The environment is very varied – you start in typical mountain surroundings and finish on the shores of Lake Garda riding through mountain woods and pastures.

Monte Baldo Red Tour description

This route is well marked by signs of the Malcesine Monte Baldo cableway indicating “MTB Red Tour”.

When you get to the top of the Cable Car, go left and follow signs to Bocca di Navene along path no. 651 which takes you down an easy off road route (gravel and hairpin bends) to Bocca Navene where you will find a Refuge.

From here you start the uphill climb to the Graziani Refuge (Bocca del Creer). This section is along a tarmac road and is 3km long. It is possibly the most difficult part of the whole route but is not very steep or tiring.

Go across the parking next to the Refuge and go straight down along path no. 650. The first 100m, until you get to the cattle grid, are quite difficult and then the path gets wider and the surface more level.

Keep right until you get to an easy grit road. Go over a cattle barrier and you will find yourself in the Malga (farm) Bes enclosures. Carry on on the right downhill on the rough track until you find another cattle barrier to go over. Straight on until you reach the tarmac road and then go left downhill.

Follow the tarmac road downhill for a few kilometres going through the hamlet of San Valentino after which there is a short uphill climb which brings you to San Giacomo. After the San Giacomo hotel on your left, you will find yourself in front of a small church: here you turn left, leaving the main road and keep the church on your right.

Go across the car park and you will find a fast up and downhill track which you follow until you find a closed gate.
Here there is a path that goes steeply downhill on your right with loose stones and which is fairly technical. If you find it too difficult, get off and push! Be patient – it’s only a couple of hundred metres long!

The path then becomes wider and eventually becomes a concrete road which bears right and brings you to the hamlet of Festa. You will find yourself in front of a large pasture – go right then straight away left on a tarmac road going around the side of the pasture.

Where the tarmac ends, turn right on a path that brings you to the town of Brentonico (above the football field). Turn left and then straight away right on another small path. You get back onto the concrete road going downhill following the signs “mtb red tour” until you get to the small village of Castion.

From Castion, carry on on the road on your left until you get to a 4 road crossroad – go right to Sano. Go through the centre of the village and then turn left and then right taking a small road that goes downhill to a fork in the road. Go left and go straight on on a gentle downhill that brings you to the cultivated fields of Loppio.

At the next fork, go right to Loppio near the ‘bicigrill’ bike repair shop. Now you are on the bike path which you follow in the direction of Torbole – Lago di Garda, going around the ancient Loppio Lake and up to the San Giovanni pass.
At the traffic lights, cross the road and you will find yourself in Nago. Here go right onto the old downhill road from Nago to the Lake at Torbole.
Watch out for cars coming up the hill!

When you get to Torbole, you can return to Malcesine by cycling down the Gardesana road taking care in the tunnels which are narrow, dark and full of cars! Otherwise, you can opt for comfort and take the ferry boat that leaves Torbole every hour and goes back to Malcesine via Limone.

Variant

You can’t do this ride in the other direction.

Our suggestions

  • If you stop at the Bocca di Navene Refuge, go down to the terrace where there is a wonderful view.
  • When you have finished the uphill climb, stop to have a drink at the Graziani refuge which is the last mountain refuge before you drop down towards the lake.
  • Watch out for grazing cows near Malga Bes – they aren’t aggressive but they wander over the path! GO SLOW!
  • On the final downhill from Nago to Torbole (on the old road), after the long fence on the first bend on the left, you will find a wonderful view point on the right over Torbole and the whole lake. Leave your bike and go sown the few steps to have a look – it’s worth it!
  • If you do this route in the summer, leave early as it is much cooler!

The tour during the winter

The tour is not rideable with the snow.
You can’t take your bike up to the top of Monte Baldo from San Michele on the cable car in winter.

Shelters, huts or bivouacs along the trail

Partner

Hotel Villa Edera Malcesine 360gardalife en
Hotel Ideal malcesine 360gardalife
Mmove 360GardaLife

How to reach the starting point of the trail

At the top station of the cable car Malcesine Monte Baldo.

The trips from San Michele (the half way station of the cable car) up to Monte Baldo start in Spring to coincide with the opening of Road no.8 up Baldo, and this all depends on when the snow melts.
Here to see rates, timetables and opening times.

Parking

  • In Malcesine
  • In Malcesine, at the cable car station
  • In San Michele, at the cable car middle station

Public transport

None

Safety tips

We recommend that you take the ferry from Torbole to Malcesine. Apart from being safer, you will enjoy a beautiful and relaxing trip in the ferry.
If you do decide to cycle, make sure you are very visible with good lights and a reflective jacket or strip.

Also with a guide From 86€ per person

Find out more

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