Gotra Levanto, Italy

Ride to the Italian Coast

South of Genoa there are some superb coastal cycling routes. This ride to Gotra is a great little warm up to the more challenging rides in  Northern Italy. Once you’ve spent some time at the coast, why not head to the Lakes and Mountains, for more adventures.

A long climb through the forested hills of the Vara valley, on some typical twisting roads, leads to a summit with great views, before it’s down all the way to the coast. However, a small sting in the tail nearLevanto awaits, which is rewarded with a final descent. Then reverse the route home again on the same.

This being Italy, there are ample opportunities for refreshments along the way, then there’s time for ice cream when you arrive at the coast.

Sibiu to Start of Transfagarasan

Distance and ascent: 120km and 5916 feet of climbing before return leg


1. Leave Gotra on the SP523 towards Benonia, climbing steadily for 10 miles to 3200 feet, passing through Spallavera along the way. This excellent road, twists and turns in true european fashion, before the descent begins as you cross from Parma into Uguria, and the views open up across the hills.

2. The winding road then take you down at speed, with superb views all around. The twisting descent eventually evens out at Varese Ligure, continuing more steadily down, and passing through San Pietro Vara, where you take the road around to the left (SS566) signed towards Sesta Godano. Passing through Sesta Godano, continue along the SS566 until a small roundabout is reached, with a banked high wall to the right of the road.

3. At the roundabout (the 30 miles), take the road right, signed towards Levanto, with a few more twisting bends, as you make your way under the main E80 motorway and down to the coast. The Ligurian coast comes into view as you make the final descent. Signs for Centro take you to the tree lined streets, leading you to the coast. Time for a real coffee and some pasta before heading back up the route for a return leg.

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