Italy’s mountain refuges offer amazing atmosphere, hearty food and spectacular views - we travel the back roads of the Valle d’Intelvi to reach this one-of-a-kind place.
This tour is perfect for anyone with experience cycling a full day in the mountains as today we will be riding a grand total of 80km! Departing from the charming agricultural hamlet of Cardano in Grandola ed Uniti with it’s cobbled streets and stone houses, we head in the direction of Lake Lugano. Our route crosses the quiet natural reserve of Lake Piano and the shores of Lake Lugano before heading uphill and into the Valle d’Intelvi. Gorgeous shady mountain roads take us ever closer to our destination. As you head out of the forest you find yourself in a vast wonderland of open fields and vistas. We ride the easy gravel road for 4 km uphill along the crest of Monte Galbiga until we reach our 'rifugio' at an altutide of 1576m. This is the last uphill stretch , for which you'll need some stamina, before we are rewarded with a fantastic lunch and a chance to rest. The rustic mountain refuge is a place where lover's of nature, hiking and cycling all congregate for a lunch of local specialities - this is the best place to try a plate of 'pizzocheri', polenta or cheeses produced at km 0. Breathtaking views of Lake Como are our backdrop. The joy of this tour is that we reach a spectacular destination, much loved by the locals while completely avoiding the busy main lake road.
Set Lunch Menu
Starter – Platter of local cheese and cold cuts
Dish of the day - Choice of pizzocheri (buckwheat pasta with cheese and cabbage); braised beef; casserole; sausage or pork shank served with polenta
Dessert – Squares of homemade jam tart
Water, soft drinks and coffee included
Any items not included in the set menu or variations to the menu to be paid directly at the refuge. Food intolerances accomodated only if communicated in advance.
Suitable for: minimum height 155 cm; minimum age 15 years.
Distance: 80 km
Technical difficulty: Low - Stretch of non-technical gravel road. Non-technical uphills and downhills.
Physical exertion: Challenging - Not suitable as a first-time cycling experience due to the distance and amount of uphill riding. You will need endurance on the hills today.
Total elevation: 1.674 mt uphill. 1.674 mt downhill