Punta Larici, in Trentino Alto Adige, is absolutely worth visiting, especially for nature enthusiasts during their bike holiday.
Approximately 30 km there and back, with a total elevation difference of approximately 800 m. The meeting point for the route from Torbole to Punta Larici is in Piazza Leitzmann, Torbole, on the northernmost tip of Lake Garda.FIND OUT MORE
Start out along the cycle path which leads to the centre of Riva del Garda, along the lake which will reward all our efforts with a beautiful panoramic view.
From here head towards Limone sul Garda. Bear right just before the first tunnel and ascend along the tarmacked road, then go left and take the Ponale dirt path. The ancient Ponale path zig-zags along the mountainside and leads along a steep descent towards the western bank of Lake Garda. It offers a truly unique experience. The ascent leads uphill without any particular difficulties, past signs useful for excursionists and bikers who have never taken this path before.
A quick description of the history of this road. On the 14th June, exactly 157 after construction permission was granted to Giacomo Cis, the creator and planner of the road which connected Riva del Garda and the Ledro Valley, the former Ponale road was reopened as a pedestrian and cycle path.
This route offers unbeatable views and spectacular stretches on foot or by bike, one of a kind in Europe. A veritable Mecca for runners and/or bikers, attracting visitors from all over the world during all seasons, even when its highest stretches are covered in snow.
The ascent presents a comfortable and near-constant 5% uphill gradient which rewards you with a breathtaking view as you pedal along a terrace over Lake Garda, towards the Presagine or Ledro Valley.
You'll discover a number of breaches, tunnels and Austrian Hungarian fortifications along the route, initially erected to prevent the descent of Garibaldi's troops from the Ledro valley towards Garda, and then to defend the Austrian Hungarian Empire-Italian borders before the First World War. The exceptional tunnelled fortification system consists of a myriad of corridors and trenches directly above Lake Garda, offering unique panoramic views. The complex is known as the Theodosius Fortress, or Tagliata del Ponale.
The dirt path leads onto a tarmacked stretch. On your left you'll pass Ponale Alto, to the wonderful Bar della Ponale with its panoramic terrace, a unique venue for you to stop and enjoy some refreshments before continuing along your journey. Approximately 100 metres after the bar you'll come to a fork in the path leading to the Valley. Bear left and start an upward climb along which straight stretches and bends. This was once the road which led up to Pregasina from Riva del Garda. Continue your ascent up to the end of this stretch, offering panoramic views which will stay in your heart forever. To your left you'll find the Regina Mundi monument in a small cove, offering the perfect views for a photo facing north: from Riva del Garda to Torbole sul Garda and Nago, followed by Arco with its towering castle. Continue along the tarmacked road towards Pregassina, you'll cross a small valley immersed in peace and tranquillity, with panoramic views of Mount Baldo. Upon reaching the centre of the town you'll come across a fountain from which fresh water always flows.
Now that you have quenched your thirst, you're ready to tackle the remaining part of your biking adventure: half way there now, we need to head towards Punta Larici. The route takes you along tarmacked roads with turns as well as a few straight compact gravel stretches. Challenging at times, it leads through natural highland landscapes.
The route now continues along a compact dirt path through the woods, therefore visibility is scarce. We now come to the enchanted Bocca Larici, in front of you to the south you'll see the lake. To your right you'll notice a plaque installed in May 2014 to celebrate the bike festival and its ties with the Garda Trentino area.
Our destination is Punta Larici, so you need to bear left, continue along a brief, flat stretch and on your left. You'll come across two small houses. Get off and push your bike for a few minutes, right up to the summit: 907 m asl.
The view from this location is truly wonderful, you can see almost all of Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains: what a panorama! You can now return to Torbole along the same route. Maintain a steady speed from Predasina to the fork in the path and take the road leading to Ponale, take care because there are cars and the road is narrow. Go slow along the Ponale until Riva del Garda, as there are pedestrians along the path.