Le Marche is a good choice for cyclists: the gentle, green chains of hills can be experienced much more intensely on a bike tour than on a quick drive through by car.
Our bike experts, Elke and her husband Otto, are sharing a beautiful tour along the Esino River. The route is mostly car-free, completely flat and at the same time offers beautiful views of cultural landscapes and the Esino River. It is ideal for trips with children or as a simple, leisurely tour for everyone. Since it mostly leads over unpaved white roads, it can only be recommended to a limited extent for racing bikes. Otto was indeed on his mountain bike and Elke was on a normal e-bike – both went well.
The cycle path along the Esino is a project that takes shape every year. Theoretically, the path leads from Fabriano to Falconara Marittima on the sea, but the section that crosses the Gola della Rossa, inside the Regional Park Frasassi, is sadly interrupted by never-ending construction works. I am not sure when, and if, we are ever going to see that section open again…
The different sections of the route cross many different municipalities and so the realization and quality of the cycle path varies greatly. Elke’s favorite stages are those between Mare di Mergo and Moie and the one from Monsano to Falconara Marittima:
“The route is quite short at 17.5 kilometers (35 kilometers round trip). We want to drive them comfortably and have a nice lunch break on the beach before we drive back.
The entrance next to the motorway exit at Monsano is still quite unspectacular and leads parallel to the motorway up to the height of Interporto. It seems to me that every few hundred meters we have to pass under the motorway. But the path is well developed and so we quickly leave the piece behind us.
After Interporto it gets nicer, because we drive through changing cultural landscapes: Here a corn field, there a beautiful field of sunflowers, there olive trees or a shady avenue. There is even a walnut tree forest along the route. We are in the middle of summer and so we also see large, harvested wheat fields, which doze tranquilly and lazily next to old, partly abandoned farmsteads.
The route is well signposted and we initially head in the direction of Chiaravalle.
Chiaravalle is the birthplace of the famous teacher and doctor Maria Montessori, to whom a beautiful museum is dedicated here, which also has interesting things for children. If you want, you can make a short detour to the museum. The cycle path itself takes us around Chiaravalle on paths and roads with very few cars.
After that we follow the signs for Falconara Marittima, which look a little different from the previous ones – different municipality, different signs!
The paths are easy to ride (and I’ve also seen project drawings that envisage further expansion!) You occasionally cross the Esino Valley, via dedicated bicycle and pedestrian bridges, from where there are beautiful views of the river and its flora and often fauna. The Esino is currently quite empty due to the drought and full of green algae, but the further we get towards the sea, the more water there is. At one point, in front of a water mill, I even see a bunch of fish splashing around.
However, the last bridge before Falconara Marittima leads to a shock that I don’t want to withhold from you or talk nice about: We’ve just driven through idyllic river landscapes when suddenly the view opens up to the sea and we see one of the eyesore of the Marche: The Falconara Marittima Oil Refinery! This wonderful cycle path ends in one of the ugliest spots on the entire Marche coastline, 170 kilometers long!
We therefore leave the refinery on the left and drive through the town of Falconara Marittima. There are mostly cycle paths here, but in some places we have to squeeze through the car traffic – be careful with children!
The beaches begin south of the monumental station building, which are mainly used by the locals from Ancona and the surrounding area and which we like to frequent. Even in the high season at the end of July we could still sit comfortably, cheaply and without much hustle and bustle by the sea and eat pasta with mussels. However, that was on weekdays – I would avoid the weekend in season as it will probably be busier then.
In a good mood and strengthened with beer and delicious pasta, we get on our bikes and make our way back to the starting point.
Tips and background info:
If you don’t want to return the same way, you can also take the train: From Falconara Marittima train station, trains go to Castelferretti (airport), Chiaravalle, Jesi, Castelbellino, Castelplanio-Cupramontana and on to Genga and Fabriano. Since last month, the regional trains on this route have extra bicycle compartments and taking bicycles with you on regional trains in the Marche is even free of charge! Here is the Trenitalia page in English, where you can look for the relevant trains.
Here are various links to the course of the cycle path. It’s often signposted, but it’s better to use a map or GPX track to avoid missing a turn. You can choose what is easiest for you:
- GPX track on our eccolemarche google drive for direct download
- Komoot link (from there it is also possible to download both the map and the GPX track; or use Komoot directly via your mobile phone for navigation).
- I found the entire cycle path from Genga Stazione to Falconara here on the Internet, also with the option of downloading it as a GPX track. (but beware, the piece through the Gola Rossa is currently closed!).
- Incidentally, the Cupramontana tourist office has a small brochure, the “Walking and Cycling Guide”, in which the route of the Esino cycle path from Genga to Falconara is drawn in great detail and is useful for anyone who still uses paper maps and not electronic navigation systems. apps want to work. If you want, you can also download the route and map as an “alltrails” link from the tourist office’s website.