Arco is one of the most famous climbing areas in Europe with excellent climbing on limestone in a beautiful setting. It offers perfect climbing opportunities all year round. Since you can climb there even in winter, my friend Judith and I left Innsbruck in January by train and bike to escape the snow and enjoy the Italian sun.
How to get there
From Innsbruck, you take the train to Rovereto: For the more expensive but faster option, take the direct connection with the ‘Eurocity’ (less than 3 hours from Innsbruck). You can als board the Eurocity in Munich (which then takes 4.45 hours). The cheaper but slower option is to take the train to the Brenner and change trains here (3.5 hours from Innsbruck).
From the train station in Rovereto, take the cycle path to Arco, which also runs along the shores of Lago di Garda. In total, you cycle 180 hm uphill and 270 hm downhill in about 1.5-2 hours. Depending on the train route and fitness, the total journey to Arco takes between 4.5-6 hours. You find the cycling route here:
Where to stay
We stayed in an apartment in Arco, which is ideal as you don’t have to carry as many things by bike. But there are also campsites in Arco like Camping Zoo or Camping Arco. If you want to stay closer to the lake, there are also apartments and campsites in Riva del Garda. You can cycle from Riva to Arco in about 25 minutes along a beautiful cycle path.
How to reach the crag(s)
You find many different crags around Arco (with easier or harder routes as well as family-friendly crags) which can be reached within 10-30 minutes by bike: For example Calvario (15 minutes), Padaro (30 minutes), Massone (20 minutes), L'Orto (30 minutes), Muro dell'asino (30 minutes). For more crags, you can check the local guidebook for climbing areas close to Arco.
There are many supermarkets in Arco, which you can reach by bike in 5-10 minutes.
On restdays, you can cycle in around 25 minutes to the Lago di Garda for swimming and ice cream, or stay in Arco and stroll through the beautiful town. If you are keen on cycling, a trip to Lago di Tenno is highly recommended.
Besides sport climbing, Arco also offers great multi-pitch climbing, some of them very close to the town of Arco, which can be reached by bike in about 15 minutes, like Colodri and Monte Colt.
You also have the option of leaving your bike at home and reaching Arco only by train and bus: Instead of cycling from Rovereto to Arco, you can take the bus from Rovereto to Arco and then walk to climbing areas, which are close to Arco like Massone or Calvario. To access more crags around Arco, you can also rent a bike in Arco. The bus to Arco leaves directly in front of the train station in Rovereto and takes around one hour. You can view the timetables of the bus here. The tickets can be bought at the train station in Rovereto. For a cheaper ticket and to see the timetables of the bus more clearly, we recommend the App Openmove.
How to book the trip
You can buy train tickets for the Eurocity or the train to Brenner including a bike ticke here. It is worth comparing these ticket prices with Trenitalia or Deutsche Bahn, as the prices can vary between those three websites. When chosing the option where you are changing the train at the Brenner (waiting time ~30 minutes), you can buy a train ticket to Rovereto including a bike ticket at the ticket machines on site.