The Via del Sale trail from Limone to Ventimiglia, 3 days by Ebike over 2.000m high

A mythical route, a great little adventure, with incredible landscapes and the challenging passage of Monte Toraggio

€ 499

The Via del Sale (The Salt Route), the mythical route between Piedmont, France and Liguria which was the main trade route in ancient times. Salt was one of the most important commodities.

Cycling this route is a dream for many.

With an e-bike this fantastic adventure becomes possible for bikers with a minimum of experience, able to face mountain roads, paths and mule tracks.

We will do this route in three days, to allow us to recharge the batteries (ours, and the bikes’) at the end of each day, starting from Limone Piemonte with a first stage of 30 km (and 1300m altitude gain) with the climb to the Col di Tenda and then follow the military road that will take us to the military fortifications that characterize this border area. After dinner and staying at Rifugio Don Barbera we will leave for the second day that we will spend among mule tracks and military roads, to arrive to the Colle Melosa where we will spend the night. On the third day we will travel along the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, with the spectacular passage around Monte Toraggio, and then descend towards the sea to our final destination, Ventimiglia: it will be exciting after days in the mountains to have an ice cream on the beach before return by train to Limone for the end of the journey.

In this tour everyone will carry with them the luggage necessary for the 3 days: all the necessities must fit in the backpack (or in the saddle bag / handlebar) - a real mtb adventure, not to be missed, we are waiting for you!

Length: 130 km
Elevation gain: 4.000m

This version is technically challenging due to the route of the third day around Monte Toraggio. We have also created a medium-challenging level version with a third day that descends from a mixed asphalt-dirt path through picturesque villages such as Dolceacqua, you can find it by clicking here.

Map E-bike salt route

difficulty level:Challenging

A physically / technically challenging tour, suitable for riders that routinely use mountain bikes (or e-mountain bikes) on trips with long uphills or very rough off-road stretches (mountain trails). 

Day 1 - the Tenda pass and the military fortifications
After crossing the town of Limone Piemonte, we will start to climb on asphalt from 1,000m of the starting point to over 1,800m of the hill of Tenda, where we will have lunch. We will then take the military road that will take us through military fortifications, to end the day at the Don Barbera refuge, where we will dine, sleep and recharge our bike batteries.

Length: 35 km
Elevation gain: 1.400m

 

Day 2 - the bosco delle navette forest and Mount Saccarello
The second leg of our tour begins with a very panoramic climb, at the end of which we will begin the long descent through the bosco delle navette forest. During the day we will alternate many climbs to as many descents, reaching, among others, the Saccarello summit, which with its 2,200m is the highest peak in Liguria, and we will end with the final descent up to the 1,600m of the Melosa hill, where we will stop for the night.

Length: 45 km
Elevation gain: 1.300m d+

 

Day 3 - the Toraggio mountain and the arrival at the sea
The last day will take us, after climbing back high, to face the most technical and difficult part of the tour, the path around Mount Toraggio that will keep us busy for about 10km. After completing this stretch all in single trail, the road will become wider and we will begin the long approach to Ventimiglia, almost entirely on unpaved and rough roads. Once we arrive at our destination, there will be time for a dip in the sea and a beer, before getting on the train that will take us back to your starting point in a couple of hours.

Length: 50 km
Elevation gain: 1.300m d+

Marco
Marco

Marco is the head of our biking tours. Master motorbike traveller, he's been everywhere in Europe in the last 16 years, he loves heavy metal music, eating jam directly from the jar with a spoon, living in the country and solving a Rubik's cube in less than 50 seconds. He's got super brains, he has a solution for everything but his stinky socks!

Never without: a Rubik's cube

Favourite quote: "It could be worse... It could be raining!"

There will be dirt roads and at times challenging trails, both up and downhill, with the presence of small jumps / drops, possibility of slippery surfaces depending on weather conditions  In particular, a part of the third day - about ten km long - has "exposed" passages (not protected), which in the event of loss of balance (and consequent fall) can be dangerous (see section "Is this a dangerous tour?")

This is one of our CHALLENGING tours.

This is a bike tour dedicated to cyclists with good experience and adequate physical and technical preparation, and in good health.

If you need any clarification or additional information in addition to what you find on this page, you can contact us by email or by phone, or via whatsapp 

We recommend wearing padded cycling shorts as you will be riding for many hours. 

In all our eBike tours it is essential to wear a helmet, if you don't have one we can lend it to you. If you rent one of our eBikes, the helmet is included in the price.

eBike HARD

The first two days of this tour do not present particular risks: we will ride on military mountain roads, traveled every year by thousands of hikers, cyclists, motorcyclists and some motorists. As always when going to the mountains the right attention and the right caution are needed.

The third day, when we descend to the sea, includes a stretch - about ten kilometers long - that goes around the Toraggio mountain. In this section there are sections in single trail, with an irregular bottom, with some obstacles to overcome "bikes in hand" and with "exposed" passages (not protected), which in case of loss of balance (and consequent fall) can be dangerous.

We will walk along some mountain paths, which must therefore be tackled with due care and full mastery of the bike.

In even clearer terms, and without wanting to scare anyone, in this stretch a fall from the bike can lead to falling for several tens of meters, with deadly consequences.

At the end of this stretch, which is ten kilometers in all, the road "widens" and keeps being "easier" all the way to Ventimiglia.

If you want to go along the Via del Sale from Limone Piemonte to Ventimiglia, but you are not sure to tackle this stretch of the third day, you can choose our other alternative tour, which differs only for the third stage (you always sleep in a shelter, you can see the forts, and landscapes, the "hairpin bend" of the hill of Boaria, etcetc ...) In this alternative route we will see villages such as Pigna, Isola Bona and Dolceacqua and we will be able to enjoy landscapes and some stops in the tavern.

PROTECTIONS
After having cycled this route many times and met / crossed hundreds of cyclists, only 2 of them had knee pads and a full-face helmet (with the chin guard).
There are no real "enduro" traits, and considering how much there is to ride, Marco prefers to do it without knee pads / elbow pads.
But if you feel more comfortable wearing them, you can of course do!
(Instead the helmet, just to remember it, is mandatory for all of our tours) 

The salt roads were paths used by sea salt merchants. Thus there was no official "Via del Sale ®": every place, region, had a network of paths to transport goods towards the sea, and from there return with a load of salt, indispensable for preserving food.

The routes, especially those of smugglers, passed mostly on the ridge, to avoid controls and customs, and were walked or using mules.The routes, especially those of smugglers, passed mostly on the ridge, to avoid controls and customs, and were walked or using mules. Towards the end of the 1800s, new roads were built, "carriage roads", wider and suitable for the "cartùn" (horse-drawn carts), along which refreshment points began to rise, for men and horses alike.

Over the last century the salt roads have been abandoned by traders (and also by smugglers) to become a destination for hikers, cyclists and motorcyclists.

The one that links Limone Piemonte to Ventimiglia is one of these, perhaps the best known and one of the most used by enthusiasts, full of charm for its history and for the views it offers. When we talk about 'Via del Sale' today we usually mean this route, and this is the path we have chosen.

Usually, on mountain bikes, this ride is done in 2 days, someone does it in one day. We prefer to do it in 3 days, for several reasons:

  • the 'ascent' part, which we do in the first two days, is the most spectacular and interesting from the landscape point of view, and we have included some variations that make it even more beautiful, such as the passage to Fort Tabourde on the first day and Mount Saccarello (the highest in Liguria) and the Christ the Redeemer on the second day
  • arriving fresher, having a beer together, chatting, enjoying the mountains, is a way of traveling that we prefer compared to rushing to then collapse exhausted at the end of the day
  • with the ebike, it is also necessary to consider the need for recharging given the considerable height differences

This is how we like it! :)

(we have a second version of the Via del Sale, authentic and adventurous as well, different from this one only on the third day in which we descend to the sea avoiding the most difficult path, the Monte Toraggio, and instead we take a road, mixed between asphalt and dirt road ,which passes through villages like Pigna, Isolabona, Dolceacqua. It's a way to enjoy the views and the adventure but in a more gentle and relaxed way. You can find this version here.)

Once we reach the sea (we usually arrive around 4:00 pm), we have time to freshen up with a dip in the sea, or with a cold beer (or with both), before reaching the station, load the bikes in the bike carriage and return to the starting point.

Why didn't we organise to come back with a van + bike cart? One of the reasons is also to contain the cost (already "substantial", given that in addition to the accompaniment it includes all lunches, dinners and overnight stays (and the train ticket).

But the main reason is that, in our opinion, the return by train is an integral part of the "via del sale experience": there is a tension phase when loading all the bikes (sometimes they are quite many to fit in two carriages), then we take a seat and in the two hours of travel (on a particular route, panoramic and interesting also to do on the train) we retrace the most beautiful moments with our fellow travelers, we share the experience with other cyclists, who may have taken a different route, or talk to other travelers trying to explain why we like doing these strange things, instead of spending 3 days on the beach on a deckchair.

Or, you can rest your head on the window and get some sleep :)

For this trip we recommend using a full suspended electric mountain bike.

You can come with yours, but if you prefer you can rent it from us, at an additional cost of 150 euros for the 3 days of the tour, including the helmet.

The price of this The Via del Sale trail from Limone to Ventimiglia, 3 days by Ebike over 2.000m high tour, of 499 euro per person, includes:

  • Assistance from Marco, that will cycle the whole tour with you, will tell you about history, nature, traditions and will help you in case you need it during the throughout the tour. 
  • 2 nights with breakfast
  • An additional welcome breakfast
  • 3 lunches
  • 2 dinners
  • train ticket from Ventimiglia to Limone
  • Giroola’s technical t-shirt

The cost does not include the rental of the ebike (total cost for the whole tour for the rental of a full suspended ebike: 150 euro)

It is possible to add a night at the beginning or end of the trip, and join us for the transfer from Turin to Limone Piemonte.

The tour starts in Limone Piemonte at 10.00 am.

The meeting point is usually the car park in via Cuneo, click here for the Google Maps coordinates..

Before departure we will confirm to the registered travelers the exact place of the appointment.

The end of the tour is scheduled, at the same point of the meeting, on Sunday at about 7:30 - 8:30pm

It is possible to stay in the Hotel Artisin at night and leave the following day.

If you want to discuss further details, or get help to plan your stay before and after the tour, you can get in touch with Paola, who will be happy to help you.

You can also reach us directly in the chat on this page.

This tour does not involve carrying luggage, so everyone will have to carry the bare necessities

Even though each participant will carry their own, so each can decide based on their own experience, the advice is to keep it "light" and not overdo the weight. If you want to have a hint, this is what Marco will bring:

for the day by bike

  • helmet
  • short-sleeved technical fabric sweater
  • padded shorts

(technical bike clothing - shirt + shorts - gets washed in the evening and can be worn again the next day)

and:

  • long-sleeved technical fabric jersey
  • rainproof light jacket
  • Gloves
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • spare bike tube
  • charger (!)

do not forget

  • Water
  • some snacks and/or mineral salts

The protections (knee pads / elbow pads / back protectors) are not mandatory, and for this type of tour Marco does not wear them, but considering that the route will be mainly on roads and (even very bumpy) paths, if you feel more comfortable you can bring it with you and wear it when you think it best.

We recommend arriving already "dressed for biking", so as to be ready to go.

 

evening clothes / underwear (in the saddle bag)

  • light trekking trousers (possibly of the type that can be converted into shorts)
  • cotton t-shirt
  • fleece / sweatshirt
  • Underwear
  • socks
  • toothbrush/toothpaste/soap
  • sneakers
  • microfibre towel
  • light sleeping bag for the first night at the mountain hut (this can be rented at the hut)

 

If you come with your own ebike, it is important to make sure that the bike is in perfect working order:

  • tyres in good condition
  • working brakes
  • suspensions in order and correctly calibrated
  • chain not overly worn or damaged
  • charged battery 🙂

Finally, Marco has in his backpack the necessary items to carry out small repairs, but some spare parts are not universally compatible, so it would be good if everyone had in their backpack some spare parts of the type and size suitable for their own eBike:

  • spare bike tube
  • chain connecting link
  • a pair of brake pads
  • the gear fork

The list is long, but with a little attention everything will fit in a backpack and a bag 🙂

All our tours are directly made by us, Giroola Srl, via Amorosa 3, 10030 Villareggia (TO) (P.iva 11671600010, Scia 19022017-1520 Suap 9007)

During the tour you'll be covered by our Civil Responsibility Assurance (Reale Mutua Assicurazioni, via Corte d'Appello 1, 10122 Torino, nr.2007/03/2276452).  

We adhere to the Guarantee Fund (art.50 Dlgs 23.05.2011 n.79) which can be used by all travellers provided they have a contract in case of bankruptcy or insolvency for the refunding of the price paid. (Fondo Garanzia Viaggi Srl, via Nazionale 60, 00184 Roma, certificate n. A/146.1485/5/2017).

 

Booking Policy, from the General Terms and Condition for the Sale of Tour Packages:

3) RESERVATIONS

Acceptance of reservations by Giroola Srl is subject to availability. Reservations will be considered final following confirmation by Giroola Srl,  even via e-mail or fax, to the client.

Indications relative to the tour package not contained in the contract documents, brochures or other forms of written communication, will be supplied in time by Giroola Srl prior to the initial starting date in compliance with its duties as envisaged by Legislative . decree n. 79/2011.

4) PAYMENT

Upon booking, a registration fee and a deposit of 25% of the total amount is required. Full payment is due 30 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 30 days of departure, full payment is due upon booking. Lack of payment of the abovementioned sums on the dates established constitutes grounds for cancellation of reservations such as to determine, on the part of Giroola Srl, the right to terminate the contract.

5) TRANSFER OF CONTRACT

The client renouncing the contract may be substituted by another person provided that:

a) Giroola Srl be given written notice at least 4 weekdays prior to the date of departure, together with the necessary personal data of the transferee;

b) The transferee be able to satisfy all the conditions for the fruition of the service ( ex article 10 of Legislative decree n.111/95) and in particular the requisites relative to passports, visas, health certificates;

c) The transferee refund Giroola Srl for all expenses incurred for the transfer of the contract for the sum specified before the transfer.

Moreover, the transferor and the transferee are both accountable for the payment in full of the tour package price as well as for the sum as per item (c) of the present article.

As far as certain types of services are concerned, third party suppliers have the right to refuse the substitution of the transferee, even if effected within the time limit specified as per item (a) of the present article. Giroola Srl will therefore not be held responsible for the eventual non-acceptance of the substitution on behalf of third parties. This non-acceptance shall be notified in good time by Giroola Srl to the parties involved before departure.

6) WITHDRAWAL

In the event of withdrawing from the tour package contract, the client is, in any case, liable for the payment of the tour package price. If withdrawal takes place for reasons beyond those envisaged in article 7 of the present General Terms, the client shall pay, in compliance with ex article 1373, paragraph III, Italian Civil Code, cancellation penalties as specified below:

  • 10% of the tour package price within 30 days prior to departure
  • 30% of the tour package price from 29 to 18 days prior to departure
  • 50% of the tour package price from 17 to 10 days prior to departure
  • 75% of the tour package price from 9 to 3 weekdays prior to departure
  • 100% of the tour package price beyond these terms.

7) WITHDRAWAL OF CLIENT WITHOUT PENALTY

The client may withdraw from the contract, without incurring any penalty, in the following circumstances:

  • a significant change of one or more elements of the contract which can be objectively considered as fundamental for the fruition of the tour package in its entirety and proposed by Giroola Srl.
  • after the conclusion of the contract itself but prior to departure and not accepted by the client.

In the abovementioned circumstances, the client is entitled to the following options:

  • the fruition of an alternative tour package, with no increase in price or with the restitution of the excess in price, if the second tour package costs less than the first;
  • the restitution of any sum corresponded as partial payment. Said restitution must be made within seven weekdays from receiving the request for reimbursement.

The client must communicate the decision (to accept the change or to withdraw) within two weekdays from receiving notice of the price increase or change. In the absence of specific notice within the said term, the proposal made by Giroola Srl will be considered accepted. The client who decides to withdraw from the contract before departure for circumstances beyond those listed above shall pay, after deducting the account paid as per article 4, the penalty indicated in article 6.

8) TOUR VARIATIONS

Variations to the tour, requested by the client, after the confirmation of booking, could involve processing expenses for Giroola Srl and at times penalties charged by suppliers. If so, the customer will be charged. Partial withdrawal of some of the travellers under the same contract and the resulting decrease in number of tour members is to be considered partial cancellation and is consequently regulated as stated in article 6.

As specified in our General Conditions of Sale of tourist packages, when you travel with Giroola you are covered by our Civil Liability Insurance. For all that could happen and that was due to our negligence or error, we have signed a policy (Reale Mutua Assicurazioni, nr.2007 / 03/2276452).

There are other insurance policies that we recommend and for which we have chosen to work with Allianz Global Assistance, whose Globy range seems to us to be the most suitable for our travelers:

  • TRAVEL CANCELLATION - Our 8-person trips are often full months before the date of travel, and even if our cancellation policy is actually much more flexible than expressed in our Booking Policy (our travelers can attest to this, we are very available to move the trip in case of unexpected even the last minute), where other facilities are involved (hotels, rentals, etc) some expenses are not really refundable, and therefore a good trip cancellation insurance becomes a valuable ally. 
  • HEALTH and ASSISTANCE

We at Giroola are an agency of the Globy network of Allianz Global Assistance, and we can therefore provide you with all the information, make estimates and issue the policies directly with the booking.

For any information our Paola is at your disposal at the phone number +39 370 3506333, at the address [email protected] or in the chat directly on this page.

In case there are no more seats available, or if you want to arrange a personalized departure, the price starts from 499 euros per person for 8 participants, and varies depending on the number of people:

participants cost per person
7 - 8 499 eur
5. 539 eur
4 599 eur
3 699 eur
2 919 eur

What's included

Meals

3 breakfasts

3 lunches

2 dinners

Transport

  • Assistance for 3 days on the trails
  • Train ticket from Ventimiglia to Limone Piemonte

Accommodation

  • 2 nights with breakfast

Activities

  • 3 days of mountain bike trails on the legendary Via del Sale
  • Giroola’s technical t-shirt

Book this tour

You can book directly and quickly here on the site, or if you prefer us to assist you with your booking, click here to chat with us now, or call us at +39.370.350.63.33, we'll be happy to help!

If you are booking over a month in advance, only a deposit of 25% is necessary.

Itinerary and activities may vary depending on weather conditions, seasonal events, special events and group suggestions.

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