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20 Alpen The Alps

20 Alpen The Alps airberlin magazin 6 / 2015 Get on your bike and go! Why head for the mountains? “Because they’re there”, a well-known climber once said. Mountain bikers tend to agree, although they prefer to do it on two wheels. The greater range means that cyclists have it easier than the climbing fraternity. ith a strong will and decent training, a mountain biker can leave the cold north behind and be sipping a cappuccino on the sunny southern side of the Alps by the end of the weekend. And with great views of the Tre Cime, Monte Cristallo and Marmolada peaks – the dream Dolomites destinations for every biker. Only thirty years ago, crossing the Alps on a bicycle was considered quite absurd: there were just too many rocky obstacles. But then the first cyclists gave it a go. Pioneers like Andi Heckmair, Uli Stanciu and Achim Zahn saddled up and set off. These “institutions” of the cycling world hacked across crumbling military roads and ancient mule paths, leaving their own knobbly imprint on newly forged routes. Nowadays, transalpine cyclists can devise their own individual routes from a dense network of trails. All of them have one thing in common: whether you’re a full-suspension or hard-tail fanatic, love e-bikes or rely on pedal power alone, they are a pure delight. One of the most beautiful and adventurous passages across the Eastern Alps is the route across the Stelvio Pass from Oberstdorf to Lake Garda. Traversed for the first time in 1995, the “Joe Route” (“Serac Joe”, alias Achim Zahn) is a classic. It leads over the Lechtal and Verwall Alps before crossing the Sesvenna range into the Vinschgau Valley. After passing the wall of the Ortler range on the Stelvio Pass, the path briefly follows the course of the “Giro d’Italia” before winding its way between the Adamello and Brenta mountains and on to Lake Garda. Various highlights lie in store: the precipitous aluminium ladder across a section of the Schrofen Pass, the emerald-green Pian Palù lake beneath the Monte Cevedale glacier, and Signorina Serena’s delicious pasta for the ravenous traveller. 435 kilometres long and with an elevation gain of some 15,000 metres, the Joe Route can be managed in seven stages by the average rider. According to pioneer and author Achim Zahn, “the Western Alps are ideal for cyclists who already know all the eastern passes”. And Zahn, a native of the Chiemgau, has performed ground-breaking work in the great arc Transalp tour organisers With guided tours, most operators provide a luggage shuttle service and return transfer. Free-riders can use this service too. Serac Joe mountain bike adventure tours www.seracjoe.de ALPS transalpine mountain biking tours and events www.go-alps.de Craft BIKE Transalp – the race: From 19 July to 25 July 2015: two teams of mountain bikers compete in one of the world’s toughest races. Start: Ruhpolding. Finish: Riva del Garda. 7 stages (the fourth features the most famous peaks in the Dolomites: Cinque Torri, Pelmo, Civetta, Marmolada, and others) www.bike-transalp.de

airberlin magazin 6 / 2015 Erhebender Anblick: Wenn nach einer erlebnisreichen Fahrt auf der letzten Etappe der Blick hinunter auf den Gardasee fällt, werden neue Kräfte mobilisiert. Sublime view: a new surge of energy is released when Lake Garda comes into view on the last stretch of an exciting trip. Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr. Photos: LOOK-foto/Jan Greune (2), mauritius images/imageBROKER/Norbert Eisele-Hein (2), picture-alliance/ASA/Marco Toniolo between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean Sea too. His 18-year quest to find the ideal route unearthed ancient, yet beautiful trails in the Upper Valais and on Mont Blanc, which take the cyclist through stunning mountain landscapes of different cultures. And just to show that adventure tours are still alive in civilised Europe, there’s the “Alpine Tour de France” with a total distance of 800 kilometres and 28,000 metres of elevation gain spread over 13 stages. Whether long or short, on your own or with a guide, a transalpine tour represents the peak of achievement. • airberlin fliegt mehrmals täglich von vielen deutschen und internationalen Flughäfen zu Zielen in den Alpen. Alle Details unter airberlin.com F r a n k r e i c h Genf Basel Genfersee D e u t s c h l a n d Friedrichshafen Zürich S c h w e i z Mailand I t a l i e n Mittelmeer airberlin flies to destinations in the Alps several times a day from many German and international airports. For details, please visit airberlin.com Innsbruck München Gardasee Verona Adria Earn Double topbonus Miles with Choice Hotels ® until 31 August * Book Now at ChoiceHotels.com *Terms and Conditions: Available to members of the topbonus rewards program for airberlin airlines; learn how to become a topbonus member by visiting airberlin.com/topbonus. Earn double topbonus miles with arrival between June 1, 2015, and August 31, 2015, when paying an eligible rate, as defined at ChoiceHotels.com, at any Choice Hotels franchised property in Europe (excluding Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden), the U.S., Canada, Middle East, Mexico, Central America, Australasia (including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Fiji) or the Caribbean. Valid topbonus member number must be provided upon check-in for the stay to be eligible or Choice Privileges members must have selected topbonus as their earning preference within their Choice Privileges account prior to the stay. Allow 6-8 weeks for miles to post to your account. Standard amount of topbonus rewards miles is 500 per stay; a stay is defined as any number of consecutive nights at one hotel, regardless of check-ins or check-outs. For program details and eligible rates, visit choiceprivileges.eu. © 2015 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved. 15-287/05/15

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