Join the SkiHawks on a
guided Bicycle Tour in Italy!
The SkiHawks will be partnering with Vermont Bicycle Tours for a bicycle tour of the Como Lake region of North Central Italy in October of 2024.
Lake Como is the 3rd largest lake in Italy it covers 56 square miles and has 99 miles of shoreline. With a depth of 1,300 ft, it is the deepest lake in Europe, outside of Norway. The Como Lake region is a stunning destination famed for luxury villas, sparkling waters and pure tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The region is teaming with many ancient churches and historic monuments as well as beautiful gardens, restaurants and of course, wineries.
The SkiHawks are proud to partner with Vermont Bicycle Tours (VBT). VBT has been running bicycle adventure trips for over 50 years. Since its beginning in 1971, VBT has evolved to become a premier provider 1st class worldwide bicycle excursions. Check out the VBT website for more information.
Over the decades VBT has won numerous awards and accolades. Most recently VBT ranked number 6 in USA Today's, 2023 Readers' Choice best bicycle tour operator. Travel + Leisure magazine rated VBT as its 14th best tour operator. for 2023. For more accolades click more.
Upon arrival in Verona Italy, participants will be met at the airport by a representative of VBT who will provide car service transportation to the first night's hotel in Sirmione. Picturesque Sirmione has been inhabited since the Ice Age. Viewing the 13th-century Scaligero Castle and the Roman ruins of the Grotte di Catullo are top of the list for most visitors.
Day two will start with a motorcoach shuttle to Sulzano for a short, stretch your legs ride and welcome reception. Each day after that, you will ride from your hotel, be shuttled by motorcoach, ferried by boat or travel by train to that day's ride.
Rides will be accompanied by local guides. They range in distance from 7 miles (day 1) to 32 miles and take from one to five hours to complete. Ride difficulty is considered easy to moderate. Rides will visit local villages and cultural sites. A support vehicle will escort the ride.
Depending on the itinerary, you may or may not return to the same hotel that was left in the morning. If the itinerary calls for a change in hotel, your luggage will be transported to the new hotel.
The tour ends in Bellagio where you will spend the next two nights before departing from the Milan airport.
Please visit the tour's page on the VBT web site. It is very informative and contains details on the trip including a detailed itinerary, information on lodging, trip reviews and more.
Here is a short video from VBT on what to expect on a VBT tour.
- Round trip air fare from MSP
- Ground transfers
- 8 nights of lodging
- 6-day bicycle tour
- Bicycle rentals (e-bikes are available)
- 12 meals (the daily number and type will vary depending on each day's itinerary)
- Local tour guides
- Support vehicle
- Cultural side trips
- 2-night pre and posts trip extensions are available for a nominal charge.
- Space is limited to 20 participants.
- Registration is limited to SkiHawk club members until September. 15, 2023.
The tour will be staying in four unique properties during this trip, as called for by the trip itinerary. Each property is unique and full of charm and character.
Three properties are situated on lakefront with private access to the water and have easy access to restaurants, shopping and nightlife. The fourth property is situated in a picturesque mountain village that dates back to the 14th century. It also has easy access to shopping restaurants and cultural treasures.
Amenities will vary depending on the specific hotel. Amenities include onsite dining and lounges, private gardens, access to natural hot thermal baths, among others. All properties have wifi.
Rooms will be double occupancy. A single occupancy option is available for those that desire privacy.
Additional information and property photos can be found on the VBT website. Lodging.
VBT is offering two-night pre and post trip extensions. Details on the extensions can be found on the tour's page of the VBT website.
SkiHawk's club members have registration priority until September 15th, 2023. After the 15th, the trip will be open to the public.
- Full package: $5,445 per person, double occupancy includes the bicycle trip and round-trip airfare from MSP. For single occupancy, add $395.
- Land Only Package: $4,095 per person double occupancy. For single occupancy, add $295. Land only dates are October 9 to 15, 2024 (tour only).
- Pre-trip extension: 2-nignts in Sirmione, add $295.
- Post-trip extension: 2-nights in Bellagio, add $245.
- "Early Bird Special": save 5% by prepaying in full by Nov. 1st, 2023.
A minimum deposit of $350 will reserve your spot. Your deposit is refundable, subject to conditions as detailed later in the Cancelation and Refunds section.
Since this trip is administered VBT, all payments should be directed to them. Instructions will be provided by a VBT Trip Consultant upon registration.
Initial Deposit: $350 due upon registration.
Final Payment: Remaining balance must be received by VBT prior to July 8, 2024 (90 days prior to departure).
VBT Good Buy Deal Option: Pay in full by November 2, 2023, and save 5%.
Because this trip is administered by VBT and not the SkiHawks, VBT's trip Terms and Conditions will replace the SkiHawks' cancelation policy. Please familiarize yourself with the terms and condition of a VBT trip. VBT terms and conditions can be found here.
A cancelation received by VBT 91 days or more prior to departure would be subject a cancelation fee of $150 + nonrefundable fees agreed to ahead of time. Cancelation fees do increase closer to departure.
Flights will be arraigned by Vermont Bicycle Tours. In order to maintain flexibility, VBT does not utilize group air fare. Participants flying together will be limited to groups of nine or less.
Flight details will be published when flights are booked.
Since this is an international trip a current passport, valid to the duration of the trip is required. At present, the routine processing times for a new passport is 10 to 13 weeks once the US State Department has your application. This does not include mailing time, so plan ahead.
Beginning in 2024, the European Union will begin to require US citizens to register on the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to enter an EU country without a visa. Click ETIAS for more information.
Your trip leaders will be long time SkiHawk members Pat and Susan Pfau. The Pfau's have previously led a very successful ski trip and hosted other events. They are also veterans of multiple VBT tours. Don't hesitate to contact them with questions or to hear of their experiences with VBT.
You can contact the Pfau's using the following by phone, text or email. Click on either name to begin an email.
Given the cost and complexity of this trip, trip insurance is recommended. Travel insurance can be purchased on your own or through VBT. Click here for more info. VBT Travel Protection.
The SkiHawks does not endorse any specific insurance provider. If you have questions, please contact your Trip Leaders.
Trip registration will be handled by VBT. To reserve your spot, please call a VBT tour consultant at 800-245-3868, Option 1. Be sure to give them our group number of 338946.
We also ask that you register online with the SkiHawks so that we know who registered with VBT and to be sure we have your correct information for trip e-mails and other housekeeping concerns. You can get to the SkiHawks' registration page by clicking below.
If you would like to download a flyer with a trip summary, click Italy VBT Flyer.