See the section for Italy of
the Trento Bike Pages.
By Gerald G. Fuller (
ggf@RIO.Stanford.EDU), Thu, 21 Sep 95
Monte Conero is an impressive mountain with an elevation of 572 meters
jutting into the Adriatic Sea just south of the port of Ancona. It is
featured in the book, "Wild Italy" published by the Sierra Club.
Monte Conero is a fovorite spot for local mountain bikers and can be
explored by numerous trails. I purchased a trail map at the tourist
office in the center of Sirolo, the small town just south of the
mountain (scale 1:20000). This map only shows larger, jeep trails, and
not the numerous single track that also exists.
There are many point from which the mountain can be climbed. The
following route describes an "intermediate" ride that will only take
between 40 minutes to an hour to complete. It mainly involves travel
on the jeep trails with only about a quarter of it on single track.
Clearly, once one is familiar with the mountain, many variations can
be devised that include more single track.
Start at the village of Poggio, which is just north of Sirolo. The
trailhead is found just off of the 90 degree corner of the main road
at the center of this small town. Parking is readily available. If you
have trouble finding the trail going up the mountain, simply ask any
of the local people for directions.
The jeep trail upward is steep, but rideable. The surface is very
rocky, but it is not loose. This can make sections fairly
technical. The way up is very easy to follow. In general, you are
ascending the mountain in a counterclockwise fashion, so you will
choose left turns taking you upward. You will also stay on the larger,
jeep trail, and not take any of the numerous single track. Two items
to watch for:
The jeep trail ultimately joins a paved road which you take to the
right for a short distance. Straight ahead you will see a high gate
closing off a military installation. The pave road turns to the right
and there is a jeep trail to the left. The jeep trail is used for the
descent. The paved road can be used for an extension to the trip that
is described below.
At one point the main trail will turn to the right and you will see a
single track trail coming straight down towards you. This trail is
bordered by a wooden railing on the left. This is the trail used in
Further on you will pass an abondoned stone house on your right. At
this point you need to go left up a fairly steep climb, but this is
As pointed out in the previous description of the ascent, the descent
begins at the jeep track leading from the metal gate that closes off
the radar installation. Take this trail and take the left turn at the
first fork. As you descend, you will be generally be going clockwise
downhill. The main trail ultimately comes to a deadend at a small
clearing overlooking the coastline extending from the town of
Portonovo below. This is a spectacular view and I would recommend
bringing a camera. To continue the downhill, backtrack about 20 feet
to a single track that angles down from the main trail. It is a fast
ride down to connect with the main trail that was used in the
ascent. Along this single track, you may notice the very
technical single track off to the right that will take you down to the
town of Portonovo. I found that this trail was very humbling and is
not part of the present route description.
On the main trail down to Poggio, you will come across a fork that you
may not have noticed on the way up. Take the right trail down to the
town. If you go left, you will come across an abandoned stone house I
felt was worth a picture.
Extension of the Tour
From the trailhead for the descent, take the
paved road down to a parking lot of a Restaurant/Hotel complex. The
restaurant is actually reasonably priced and fairly good. If you have
chosen a day when there are not many people around, you can ride your
bike down a very fun, technical single track to a fabulous vista point
overlooking a secluded beach many hundreds of meters below. This Trail
is found by riding along the left side of an old abbey or monestary next
to the hotel. The trail will take you to a clearing and at the clearing,
take the single track down to the left. Although there are no notices
against bikes, I got the impression my presence was not welcome when I
tried this on a Sunday afternoon and ended up walking my bike down part
way. On "off days" when I tried this, it was not a problem.
You will know when you have reached the vista point. This is a large
clearing from which you can look down onto the beach mentioned above. To
return, simply go back the way you came.
Hike Down to the Secluded Beach
The beach that is seen from the vista
point described in the section above is accessible by foot, but involves
a steep climb. From the vista point you can see the trail winding down
off to the right. It took me 40 minutes each way for both the climbs
down and up. If you bring your bike, pack a lock because you cannot hike
down with it.