May 2005 - Cycling the Adriatic Riviera/Italy
Riccione is alongside with Rimini the best known holiday resort on the adriatic riviera. In the summer, the Italian and non-Italian tourists lie side by side on their sun beds and hope to get red, err brown. To attract more tourists in spring (and autumn) seasons, some hotels founded the Riccione Bike Hotels association that offer special services for cyclists.
The landscape is suitable for a wide variety of cyclists as it offers a good mixture of flat and hilly routes. The hinterland is actually very nice with smaller roads and tiny little villages, but anything within three kilometers to the coast is as ugly as sin - very touristic, countless hotels, restaurants and other houses, crowded with cars, almost no nature. Be aware, that you will have to pass this area twice every day, usually more than four kilometers one way. I memorised this part of the routes better than anything else from the holiday. :-(
The Riccione Bike Hotels and the Provincia di Rimini have released a nice cycling map that details 20 routes (elevation profile, rough tour description, level of difficulty). Unfortunately, the map is neither available online nor am I allowed to publish it on this web site. You can get it only from participating hotels.
||We stayed from May 14th to May 25th, 2005 in Hotel Montecarlo in Riccione. The hotel is on the road running parallel to the beach, i. e. you can walk to the beach in less than in 1 minute. The hotel offers special service to cycling guests, e. g. a secure place to store your bicycle, free laundry service for cycling cloths, a lunch paket and free food in the afternoon to fill one's empty stomach. The staff was kind and the food better than in most middle-class tourist hotels. However there is always a downside: all double rooms were located to the fairly noisy Viale Gabriele d'Annunzio. We asked for another room after the first glance at our original one and were offered as an exception a triple room instead. But this "upgrade" was only possible because the hotel wasn't booked out...|
Rent a Bike
Instead of taking our own racing bikes with us, we booked them together with our room over the hotel. This service is available for all Riccione Bike Hotels. The racing bikes cost 90 Euro per week and the quality was okay. If you are happy with an aluminum fork instead of a carbon fork, you will pay only 70 Euro per week. The bikes were waiting for us in the hotel when we arrived. Just the way we like it!
Back in 2005, there were no cheap flights from Cologne/Bonn to Rimini airport. Therefore we decided to fly with Germanwings to Bologna and then go by train to Riccione. We didn't regret our choice as we liked the sightseeing in Bologna on the return day quite a lot.
However, if you want to avoid the hazzle in Bologna (you need to catch a local bus from the airport to the main station) or want to save some time, you can now fly directly to Rimini with TUIFly.com (from Cologne/Bonn, Hannover, Stuttgart and Munich) and EasyJet (from London Luton).
Riccione itself does not seem to have any famous sights. Rimini is known for its cathedral Tempio Malatestiano (charaterised by an elephants motive) and several other sights of which none is a "must-see".
If you want to do sightseeing, consider to go to Bologna (7 Euro per direction, 1.5 hours by train from Riccione). Of the numerous churches, piazzas, palazzos, gardens, muesums etc. you may want to visit
The weather was okay with quite some clouds, but only a little bit of raining. Temperatures ranged between 18 and 28°C. For more detailed info on the climate, you may want to use the service offered by WetterOnline. Click on "Rückblick". Be aware, it is all in German.
Guide and Map
We bought the guide book Italienische Adria from Baedeker for our holiday because it came along with a map of the Adriatic Riviera (resolution 1:300.000, no height information). However we did not use the map because the cycling map from the hotel was more suitable for our purposes. The guide itself was a disappointment as we usually like to browse through the information of one region rather than of one town which is impossible if the towns are ordered alphabetically... Look for another guide if you want one.
Rimini and the Emilia Romagna is an extremly popular tourist region in Italy and hence one shall not have any difficulties to make himself understood in at least German or English.