Whether you’re a MAMIL, a FOSIL or just a plain old person who likes cycling, the Langhe is a biking paradise. Empty roads, rolling hills, breathtaking views, perfect weather, great coffee and, of course, some of the best food and wine in the world to help you recharge afterwards. The only problem is figuring out where to ride…. So, here are a three nice routes of varying length and difficulty to get you started. Any of them can be easily altered or expanded, and if you stay at Villa Ribota, which of course you should, I’ll be happy to share a few tips!
1. Novello – Serralunga d’Alba loop
- Length – 36km
- Climb – 800m
- Difficulty – Easy
This a great, easy ride, which is the perfect introduction to the area – taking in four of the region’s best villages, with some nice climbs and breathtaking views along the way. You can go in either direction (obviously, it’s a loop…) but I personally prefer Novello – Monforte – Serralunga – La Morra. There’s a nice climb from Monforte to Roddino, with great views along the way, a lovely, long, gentle descent into Serralunga and a great climb up to La Morra. You even get to tick off some local sights, such as the Cedar of Lebanon and Serralunga Castle.
If you want a bit more climbing, you can turn left at the bottom of the descent from Serralunga and head up towards Perno. From there, it’s a nice run down to Castiglione Falletto and then you’re back in the loop.
2. Monforte – Murazzano loop
- Length – 48km
- Climb – 1000m
- Difficulty – Medium
Essentially the next step up, this is a slightly longer ride, which takes you further up into the Alta Langa, and then back out the other side. As before, this is a loop so you can start anywhere and go in either direction. There’s a lovely long climb from Monforte, up through Roddino all the way to Peddagera. From there, you essentially follow the ridge all the way along to Murazzano (where there are a couple of good bars in the main Piazza). Then it’s a nice descent all the way down through Belvedere Langhe to Dogliani and an easy climb back up through the vines to Monforte.
3. La Morra – Grinzane – Alta Langa – Serralunga
- Length – 52km
- Climbing – 1200m
- DIfficulty – Generally easy to medium, with one hard bit
Much like the Novello – Serralunga loop, this is a great ride for getting to see the sights of the area, but it’s also got a couple of more challenging climbs. It takes in the famous Grinzane Cavour castle, Diano d’Alba, one of the highest villages around and also beautiful Serralunga. It also features a great descent past Sinio, followed by a killer climb up the other side.
It starts with a nice descent from La Morra all the way down to the valley floor, followed immediately by a long climb all the way back up the other side, past Grinzane Cavour, to Diano D’Alba. You then follow the lovely ridge road all the way to Pedaggera (there’s a nice bar just before the junction). Turn right and then immediately right towards Sinio. This is a great road if you like hairpin descents! The trouble with all that down, is it is almost certainly followed by some up… and in this case it’s a steep climb up to Serralunga. It’s a nice, quiet backroad through the vines though, and the views are great the whole way. From Serralunga it’s back down to the valley, and then back up the other side to La Morra.