The Italian Alps: Four Days Three Passes – Stelvio/Gavia/Mortirolo

The Italian Alps: Four Days Three Passes – Stelvio/Gavia/Mortirolo


Sun 21 June – Wed 24 June 2020

Total Distance 249km
Total Height Gain 7,859m
Flights NOT included
Bring your own bike

This year we bring you yet another bucket list challenge for the serious cyclist – but with accessible options for those with some grit and determination that want to give it a try! The Stelvio is considered by many to be the number one climb in Europe and with an elevation of 2747m (9045 feet) is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Alps.

Take on this challenge and we’ll give you an opportunity to climb THE Stelvio – the greatest piece of mountain asphalt on Italian soil, with all of its 48 switchbacks - fully supported. But that’s not where it has to end. Ride the Stelvio (once or twice) and finish there, or push on to day two and climb the equally impressive Gavia and Mortirolo. You can choose, one, two or all three climbs. We will be based in Bormio, a charming medieval Italian town surrounded by breathtaking alpine scenery, so there’s some heavenly downtime factored in too, with a great hotel where we are based for the entire challenge.

Itinerary BOOK NOW
Day 1Sunday 21 June • Bormio to Torre di Fraele
Cycle 33km
Early morning flight from Heathrow to Milan Malpensa , arriving late morning. Transfer by coach to our hotel in Bormio to arrive at approximately 14:00. Bike set up and a warm up, local afternoon ride with evening briefing.
Day 2Monday 22 June • Stelvio

Bormio/Stelvio x 1 • Cycle 43km • Height Gain +1586m/-1585m

Bormio/Stelvio x 2 • Cycle 93km • Height Gain +3439m/-3435m

Passo dello Stelvio (Bormio)

Weather permitting, we will head straight out and ride the Stelvio climb from Bormio. The climb from this side is 21.5km long, and rises by a total of 1533 metres. The average gradient is 7.1% and there are sections of 8 to 10%. For many this will be enough - you’ll have done it - and they’ll be a group ride back into Bormio where you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon to recount the adventures of the day.

Passo dello Stelvio (Prato)

For the more ambitious, there will be the opportunity to cycle from the Stelvio summit down to Prato, and then climb from this side. This is the ‘classic’ climb you see in the pictures, with a total of 48 hairpins which at times, looks like you’re cycling up a sheer rock face. This climb is 24.3 km long, with a total ascent of 1842 metres, at an average gradient of 7.4%, and maximum gradient of 11%.

Day 3Tuesday 23 June • Mortirolo and Gavia

Bormio to Mortirolo • Cycle 72km • Height Gain +1917m/-1916m

Bormio to Mortirolo and Gavia • Cycle 107km • Height Gain +3144m/-3142m

Mortirolo (Monno)

Today we will head on a circular route, that will include 2 more of the well know climbs in the local area, the Mortirolo and the Gavia. However if you are not feeling strong enough to do the full loop, then there is the option to ride to the top of the Mortirolo, then head back to Bormio for rest and recuperation.

The Mortirolo climb from Bormio starts 30km into the ride, and often features in the Giro D’Italia – one of the toughest climbs, with an average of 8.3%. It’s 12.8km long and rises for a total of 1222 metres with gradients that hit 10% and rarely ease up for 10km - even the corners of the hairpins are steep!

Passo Gavia

If you are doing the full loop, then we will descend to Ponte Di Legno and then it’s a steady climb up the Gavia – another monster. It’s a gentle start, but the Gavia climb is 17.3km long, and averages 7.9%, with a maximum gradient of 16% once we get up to the remote high mountains. With a total climb of 1363 metres, the views are stunning. Approached with respect and paced by the team, it’s your final triumph!

Day 3Wednesday 24 June
An opportunity to spin the legs in the morning with a short local ride with a coach departure of 12.30pm for the 3 hour drive to Milan Malpensa - arriving back into Heathrow early evening.
What’s included BOOK NOW
3 nights half board accommodation staying in a 4 star hotel in Bormio. Prices based on twin sharing with limited singles available on request and at an additional charge.
Airport Transfers to/from Milan Malpensa airport if taking the recommended flights/meeting at the specified point and time.
Fully supported ride with organised water/rest stops, lead rider, mechanic and support vehicle
Lunches and water/gels/energy powder on the support vehicle(s)
Paced ride leader support
2 way radio communication between ride leaders and support vehicle
FREE Norwood cycle jersey

What’s not included

International return flights. We recommend BA LHR to Milan Malpensa
Airport transfers outside of the times of meeting the recommended flights
Bike hire or and personal cycling equipment, clothing or helmet
Optional bike transfer from UK to Bormio (by road) £108pp return based on 13 bikes being transferred
Travel insurance, tips, gratuities and personal expenses
How challenging is it? BOOK NOW

This is a serious physical challenge requiring stamina, good health and a good level of aerobic fitness – plus a whole lot of willpower! You should be used to putting in regular training rides most weekends, with some good long rides. Expect a mixture of distance and difficult terrain (hills!!!).

The support vehicle will stay towards the rear and will keep an eye on the group. The cycling leader will be towards the front of the group, pacing you carefully to ensure your greatest chance of success. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consider carefully whether you should be joining the challenge. Please ensure you fill in the booking form accurately and honestly, this is important. In the case of serious conditions (epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions, recent illness or operations), please discuss the challenge with your GP. Please also ensure you notify us of any allergies or similar.

This itinerary may be subject to change.


Any questions?

Talk to Challenges on 020 8420 6811 or email