The wonders of Alpago: a paradise for tourism and mountain biking

On the last weekend of June, the fourth and decisive stage of the Internazionali d’Italia series will be held in Chies d’Alpago (BL), an area rich in opportunities for lovers of outdoor sports.

From 28th to 30th June, the fourth and decisive stage of the Internazionali d’Italia series will be held in Chies d’Alpago (BL), as it was last year.

The Alpago basin, in the heart of the Belluno Dolomites, is an unmissable destination for lovers of nature and outdoor sports: it includes Lake Santa Croce, with peaks over 2000 metres such as Teverone, Col Nudo and Monte Cavallo, and the magical Cansiglio forest. This enchanting corner of Veneto offers a variety of breathtaking landscapes and a wealth of activities to satisfy every type of traveller, starting with mountain bike enthusiasts.

Mtb: emotions on two wheels

The Alpago is a true paradise for mountain bike enthusiasts, thanks to its well-marked and well-maintained paths that wind through luxuriant woods, green meadows and imposing peaks. The forest roads of the Cansiglio and the trails near Lake Santa Croce offer numerous looping routes with stunning panoramic views. These trails cater to all skill levels, from beginner-friendly paths to the most technical and challenging tracks. Every biker can find a trail that matches their abilities and expectations. The most famous of which is certainly the Alpago Trophy – the same one that will host the next stage of the Internazionali d’Italia series – and where two European Championships were held in 2005 and 2016.

A route that, as expected, has gone through some changes this year, as Michele Casagrande – Technical Coach of the Wilier-Vittoria Factory Team XCO – explains: “The main differences between the route of previous years and the one we will race on 29th and 30th June are some technical “artificial” sections. These are not particularly difficult sections, but they certainly add to the technicality of the course and, as they are very close to the start/finish area, they are absolutely in favour of the fans and the spectacle. These are necessary changes that allow us to keep up with the times. XCO has changed a lot in recent years, the bikes have evolved so much that more and more technical courses are needed, and in this respect Lamosano is getting closer to the World Cup courses, while offering a fair compromise for all the categories that will be competing this weekend. The significant difference in altitude could favour light and strong athletes on the climbs.” while the rocks and logs in case of rain could make it even more challenging and easier for more experienced athletes. I think it will be a good show until the last corner. “ Giada Specia, rider of the Wilier-Vittoria Factory Team XCO, shares the same opinion. After scouting the course, she said: “I agree with Michele (Casagrande) when he says that the course is now much more like the ones we’re used to riding in the World Cup. It is shorter and faster than before. When I did the recon, the terrain was still wet from the recent showers. I think that if it rains during the weekend or in the days leading up to the race, the boulders and trunks could make it even more challenging, making it suitable for more experienced athletes. I really think it will be a good show until the last corner.”

Not just mountain biking: trekking, sailing and winter sports

But Alpago is not just about mountain biking. This area offers a complete range of outdoor activities for all seasons. It is a paradise for hikers, with over 200 km of marked trails, from easy walks such as the one to the Rifugio Dolada, to more challenging excursions such as the ascent of Monte Cavallo or Col Nudo, to Lake Santa Croce, an ideal place for water sports. Its equipped beaches are perfect for a day of relaxation and fun.

In winter, the enchanting snowy landscape offers cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails, a peaceful alternative to the crowded ski resorts. Downhill skiers can reach Nevegal, a short distance away, with slopes for all levels.

Culture and traditions

Alpago is also an area rich in history and traditions. The villages of Chies d’Alpago, Pieve d’Alpago, Puos d’Alpago and Tambre offer a journey back in time, with typical architecture and local museums that tell of the life and history of the Cimbrian community, an ethno-linguistic minority still present today between Tambre and Chies d’Alpago. Not to be missed are the fairs and popular festivals, which allow visitors to immerse themselves in traditions and taste typical local products and wines, as well as mountain honey.

Hospitality and links 

Accommodation facilities, refuges, agritourisms, B&Bs and hotels are available to meet the needs of every type of tourist. Not to mention, thanks to its proximity to the A27 motorway and the Alpago railway station on the Conegliano-Ponte nelle Alpi line, Alpago is easily accessible from the main cities of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.