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Cycling

Kaltern Bike racing bike tour: "Nonstal-Schleife"

Caldaro Paese/Kaltern Dorf, Kaltern an der Weinstraße/Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino, The South Tyrolean Wine Road
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The Mendel Pass is the backyard mountain for bike racers from Kaltern / Caldaro, and many just ride up and down it for training purposes. But when you descend on the far side, you'll enter into the Non Valley – also known as the "Apple Basket" of the province of Trentino. It's sun-drenched slopes are crisscrossed by numerous paths and trails through pleasant little villages on your way to Cles, the valley's economic center. It is the ideal node of a loop for different expeditions offering plenty of variety. This is a tour from the vineyards to the apple orchards, from the South Tyrolean Etsch / Adige Valley into the Non Valley of Trentino. The Mendel Pass demarcates the boundary between the two provinces, and in the course of this tour, you will climb it twice – the long, sunny ascent from Kaltern / Caldaro in the fresh early morning, the short ascent from the Non Valley in the afternoon when the forest provides refreshing shade. Even the midday summer heat won't scorch you here because you can speed downhill to Kaltern with the wind to your back while enjoying the fabulous panorama. After the Mendel Pass, your exploration of the Non Valley will take you at first quickly along the shortest path to Cles. The villages of Brèz, Clòz, Romallo, and Revò are strung like pearls on a necklace stretching along the edge of the valley until you finally reach the shores of the reservoir, the Lago di Santa Giustina, the valley's main town, with its many cafes and restaurants where you can pause for a rest and refreshment. Once in Cles, you'll probably want to "fuel up" with a hearty meal. That's because you'll be returning to the Mendel Pass along a higher level. The road will take you up into higher elevations dominated by apple orchards to the town of Rumo. Afterwards, you will exit the apple-growing area and enter a world of wonderous alpine beauty. You will now continue climbing and pass into the Ulten Valley – one of South Tyrol's most pristine and authentic valleys. But you will be passing along only its outermost stretches. That's because you'll soon be taking a hard right turn into Laurein. You will now ascend to the Brezer Joch, an inconspicuous pass at 1,398 meters above sea-level which also marks the highest point of this tour. The route will now curve through partially denser pine forests – with occasional clearings – providing pleasant shade you'll appreciate after the sun-drenched segment through the Non Valley. After a short but exciting descent requiring a degree of concentration, the Non Valley Loop is now nearing its close. You will now proceed over a moderately steep end-spurt with about 500 meters of altitude differential to the Mendel Pass. You might want to leave the main road and cross the village of Ruffrè on the parallel provincial road. You can now breeze along the downhill road and enjoy the ride. Or stop and take a breather to admire the extraordinary view over Kaltern, the lake, the Etsch / Adige Valley, and the Dolomites.

Variants: The loop through the Non Valley can be taken in either direction. If you still have enough stamina, you can take the Gampen / Palade Pass from Fondo. By the end, you'll have clocked about 130 km and approx. 3,400 meters of altitude differential. And you'll feel that in your leg muscles!

Distance 101.7 Km
Ascent 2627 m
Descent 2627 m
Highest point 1398 m
Lowest point 429 m
Tour Details
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(incl. VAT / excl. local tourism tax)