Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Cycling through idyllic Tuscan countryside, picturesque olive groves and vineyards.
  • The Renaissance and Medieval architecture in the cities of Pisa, Lucca and Florence.
  • Exploring charming country villages, steeped in history and culture.
  • Wonderful hospitality, delicious Italian food and wine accompanied by stunning views.
  • Fascinating insights into the life and work of Leonardo Da Vinci in his home town.

Discover quintessential Tuscany on two wheels. From the world-famous city of Pisa and its iconic tower, you pedal through the Tuscan landscape, past scented vineyards and verdant olive groves towards Florence: birthplace of the Renaissance and city of timeless beauty.

Gorgeous golden hillsides, rich artistic heritage, gentle cycling paths and great food and wine at the end of a day’s cycling make this holiday a perfect mix of what makes Tuscany great. This tour is available as either a five or seven day trip and each cycling day has a short, easier option as well as a longer, more challenging route, giving you maximum flexibility. You will cycle along quiet country and secondary roads, cycle paths and tracks as well as slightly busier roads close to larger towns.

After your first night in Pisa, just minutes from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, your first cycling day is spent exploring the beautiful architecture and historic monuments of Pisa, with an optional longer route through the countryside and past the grandiose Certosa di Calci Monastery.

The following day you pedal to the red-hued walled city of Lucca, either along the flat banks of the River Serchio or a more challenging ride through the Monti Pisani mountains. The next day is your chance to explore the Lucca further, with a circular ride past Renaissance villas and their luxurious gardens, after which you can look forward to your second night in Lucca at a beautiful country hotel or agriturismo.

Then it’s on towards Vinci, passing the fascinating Padule of Fucecchio nature reserve, the largest inland wetlands of Europe, a bird-lovers paradise. Your final cycling day is a circular route of Vinci, birthplace of the renowned Leonardo Da Vinci. Spend the afternoon viewing his original designs and inventions at the two museums dedicated to his work. You can drop your bikes off at the hotel ready for your transfer to Empoli, where you catch the train Florence for a night in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Your holiday includes six nights’ accommodation at a selection of country hotels, contemporary city hotels, and welcoming farmhouses. Breakfast each morning, luggage transfer, emergency support from our local representatives, transfer from Vinci to Empoli train station, detailed turn by turn route notes and maps are of course included.

DAY 1: Arrive in Pisa

The city of Pisa is famous the world over for its iconic leaning tower and beautiful marble architecture. After checking in to your hotel, enjoy a stroll through the narrow streets of the charming city and along the banks of the Arno River before sampling a glass of local Chianti and heading back to your hotel.


Overnight: Airone Pisa Park Hotel***This family run hotel offers a relaxing retreat with a swimming pool, close to the centre of Pisa.


Alternatively the Hotel Novecento*** is a historic property located in the heart of Pisa, offering a friendly and comfortable base.


DAY 2: Circular route of Pisa & surroundings

Long route: Cycle through the beautiful countryside between Pisa and Monte Serra. Pause to visit the grandiose Certosa di Calci Monastery, founded in 1366, which houses the magnificent Natural History Museum, before heading back to Pisa where you can spend the afternoon cycling the short route.


Short route: A gentle ride along minor roads and bike paths which lead you to Miracle Square, where you can admire the architecture and Pisa’s many churches, palaces and towers. 


Cycle: Long Route: 25-33km, ascent/descent 70m. Short Route: 13km, ascent/descent 90m.


Overnight: Airone Pisa Park Hotel *** or Hotel Novecento ***, Pisa


DAY 3: Pisa to Lucca

Today’s ride is incredibly scenic and nearly all flat! Cycling along the pretty River Serchio, you will have plenty of time to explore the fortified city of Lucca and ride along the tree-lined walls of its perimeter, before visiting Piazza Anfitheatro, a second century Roman amphitheatre and the city’s impressive bell tower.


Cycle: Long Route: 33km, ascent 330m, descent 320m. Short Route: 25km, ascent 300m, descent 295m.


Overnight: Located 5km from the centre of Lucca, set in the beautiful countryside Hotel Carignano offers spacious modern rooms and an excellent restaurant specialising in local Tuscan dishes. Or Agriturismo Al Podere di Rosa. A traditional farmhouse producing its own wine, olive oil and vegetables, all rooms are furnished in a simple, rustic style.


DAY 4: Circular route of Lucca

Today’s two options are of similar length but of varying difficulty. Cycle past the palatial Renaissance villas on the outskirts of Lucca and choose between an easy, flat route or a more challenging route with exceptional views on hilly terrain.


Cycle: Long Route: 40km, ascent /descent 450m. Short Route: 33km, ascent/descent 170m.


Overnight: Either Hotel Carignano or Agriturismo Al Podere di Rosa.


DAY 5: Lucca to Vinci

Cycling towards Vinci you pass the Roman town of Altopascio, before reaching the Padule di Fucecchio nature reserve- one of the highlights of today’s route. The largest inland wetlands in Europe, the nature reserve is a lush, verdant marsh where you can spot native birds, as well as many species of migratory birds who stop here en route on their journey further South.


Vinci is of course where the famous inventor/artist Leonardo Da Vinci was born.


Cycle: Long route: 54km, ascent/descent 270m. Short route: 29km, ascent/descent 200m.


Overnight: You will stay either at the charming Agriturismo Il Piastrino which produces its own wine, grappa, vin santo and honey and offers homely, cosy rooms or Hotel Monnalisa*** within the picturesque town centre, where you can relax on the terrace with a cappuccino.


DAY 6: Circular route of Vinci

You once again have the option of a harder or an easier route for your circular tour of Vinci. Explore the pretty town, the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci, widely recognised as a remarkable scientific and artistic genius, and visit the two museums dedicated to his designs and inventions.


After your circuit you can drop your bike off at the hotel and take a private transfer to Empoli, from where you will catch the train to Florence, for your night in the beautiful city. 


Cycle: Long route: 12km. Short route: 8.2km.


Overnight: Enjoy a night at the beautiful Hotel Park Palace**** a Florentine villa set in beautiful gardens, close to the Ponte Vecchio. Alternatively, the Hotel Loggiato dei Serviti*** is a historic residence in the heart of the old city, as is the Hotel Malaspina*** a 19th Century residence, minutes from the Fortezza da Basso.


DAY 7: Depart Florence

Your holiday ends after breakfast. Make your own way to Florence Airport (or we are able to provide a transfer at a supplement), or take the train for onward travel from other airports.


Additional Nights and Extensions

You can add additional nights at any point before, during or after the tour or elsewhere in Italy.

Accommodation

Accommodation for this trip is a mix of comfortable, traditional family-run 3* hotels in historic centres and countryside agriturismos, all with en-suite rooms.


Alternate accommodation

During high season, or when your stay falls on a closing day, you might be booked into a different accommodation which is not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Travellers


If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.
This holiday is available for solo cyclists but as some costs are not shared there is a supplement payable.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. You can pick up a picnic lunch before you set off or stop along the route in one of the villages. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby restaurants.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

Availability

This cycling trip is available from beginning of March to end of November. The price depends on the season, and will increase in the summer months. You can start on any day of the week. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.


Additional Nights and Extensions

You can add additional nights at any point before, during or after the tour or elsewhere in Italy.


Grade

This cycling tour is graded easy to moderate depending on the choice of route. Each day you can choose the difficulty, with the longer/steeper routes requiring a reasonable level of fitness. The routes follow surfaced country roads and secondary roads. There are some cycle paths and dirt roads around Pisa and Lucca. Near larger towns there are some roads with more traffic.


Navigation

We supply you with detailed turn by turn route notes and maps for each day’s journey, so you should have no problem following the route.


Single Rooms & Solo Travellers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is available for solo cyclists but as some costs are not shared there is a supplement payable.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. You can pick up a picnic lunch before you set off or stop along the route in one of the villages. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby restaurants.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which lists everything you need to pack.


Bike Hire (not included)



Question


Answer


Brand


Customized ELIOS, Aluminum bike


Bike Type


Trekking


Frame types


gents, ladies


Sizes


//


Front suspension


RST lockout


Stand


yes


Mud guards


yes


Luggage rack Rear/Front


Not specified


Paniers


1 rear side bag


Handle bar Bag/ map holder


1 handlebar bag with map holder


Bottle holder/Water bottle


Yes


Computer meter


Yes


Interchangeable pedals


Yes, standard size


Front gear set


Shimano Deore


Back gear set


Brakes


Shimano V-Brake


Helmet included


No, on request


Puncture repair kit


Yes (1 spare inner tube, tire lever, hand pump)


Spare inner tubes/ how many


1


Pump


Yes


Lock


Yes


Saddle


Bassano saddle. Saddle gel cover on request


Tires


Schwalbe Marathon plus puncture resistant


Others


//




Getting to Pisa

By Air: The most convenient airport to fly into is Pisa, although Florence and Bologna are easily accessed also. EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways all fly direct to Pisa from the UK. Frequent trains and buses connect Florence and Pisa (1hr) and well as Bologna and Pisa (2hr, via Florence) Please see www.trenitalia.com for train times, or www.raileurope.com


Getting from Florence

By Air: Florence airport is serviced by Meridiana and Air France for flights to the UK. Travel back to Pisa (1hr) or Bologna (1hr) by train is also possible.


Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.

Getting to Pisa

By Air: The most convenient airport to fly into is Pisa, although Florence and Bologna are easily accessed also. EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways all fly direct to Pisa from the UK.


Frequent trains and buses connect Florence and Pisa (1hr) and well as Bologna and Pisa (2hr, via Florence)
Please see www.trenitalia.com for train times, or www.raileurope.com


Getting from Florence

By Air: Florence airport is serviced by Meridiana and Air France for flights to the UK. Travel back to Pisa (1hr) or Bologna (1hr) by train is also possible.


Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.

Included

  • Accommodation for 6 nights in three star hotels, country house hotels and farmhouses.
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport of 1 bag of up to 20kg per person as required.
  • Transfers form Vinci to Empoli
  • Detailed route descriptions and pre-departure information pack
  • Maps of the routes
  • 24-hour assistance from our local representative

Excluded

  • Cycle hire
  • Bike Helmet
  • Flights and transfers to and from Pisa/Florence
  • Train from Empoli to Florence
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the programme

Extras

  • Bike Hire (excludes bike helmet)
  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Solo cyclist supplement if applicable
  • Airport transfers
  • Additional nights during the holiday

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Don't hesitate to contact one of our Italy specialists if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This cycling tour is graded easy to moderate depending on the choice of route. Each day you can choose the difficulty, with the longer/steeper routes requiring a reasonable level of fitness. The easier routes have a climb of between 100m-400m.

What happens if I have a problem with my bike?

You are expected to be able to take care of minor repairs and punctures. In the case of a major mechanical problem we would send our representative to assist.

When is the best time of year?

The cycling is fabulous from March to November, and I would particularly recommend the Spring and Autumn. July and August can be very hot and there is not much shade on the roads so you will have to start early to miss the heat of the day.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this area is extremely popular. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans so just ask.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need normal cycling clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers and warm clothes in the Spring or Autumn. A detailed kit list will be provided in your information pack.

Which is the best airport?

The most convenient airports to fly into are Pisa or Florence.  Both of which are well-served by major and low-cost airlines.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureTuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling
 
4.5

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (12)
  • Fun (11)
  • Great accommodations (9)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (11)
  • Trying something new (9)
  • Relaxation (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Occasional traveller (7), World traveller (5), Avid adventurer (4)

Reviewed by 13 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Tuscanny: Pisa to Florence Cycling

By Rob

from Calgary, Canada

About Me Occasional Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Great Accommodations
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday

    Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

    Accommodation we chose were agri-tourisms, which were good, but sometimes too far out of town. Next time we would chose accommodation in or closer to towns. We previously went on a bike holiday in Holland and found that country to be much more 'bike friendly' than Italy. On our Pisa to Florence trip, we found ourselves on very busy roadways, many times, which was unnerving and we did not feel safe.

     
    4.0

    Good Value

    By Rick

    from Niagara Falls Canada

    About Me World Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun

    Cons

    • Confused

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

    Overall we enjoyed the bike trip. It is well represented in terms of the itinerary and type of biking we encountered.

    All the accommodations were fine. We were not able to get the preferred hotel in Pisa but were upgraded to a similar or better alternative. For us staying in the city is best, we can park our bikes and walk around town to eat dinner of have a drink. Some accommodation is a little out of town so if you plan on dining in the town, it may prove a challenge. Pisa was a positive experience.

    In Lucca we stayed in the Podere di Rossa, a wonderful ancient farm house with a organic vineyard attached. The hosts were terrific and helpful.
    It is @ a 3-4 KM distance to the centre of Lucca. We asked about a cab to town at night for dinner and while I am sure it is possible, they were hesitant. We followed their recommendation to walk to a local Trattoria which was an excellent meal. Be aware you will have to ride your bike or walk at night for 1 KM+ to reach the restaurant along a dark road with some traffic. We used our cell phone lights so the approaching cars could see us.
    The second night the hosts were cooking a dinner at the farm for a party and we were invited to join. We sat with other travellers and were treated to a wonderful meal of home cooked fare and the estate wine. All at a overly reasonable price. If you stay do inquire ahead about this option.

    The ride to Vinci has the greatest hill challenges and while I would say we were warned, there are 2-3 which required a stern ride or a walk up to the top.

    There was a few hiccups, our instruction package was missing some of the "loop" maps around the towns and our bags were delivered to the wrong hotel in Vinci. Mac was able to send the missing maps to our Pisa hotel where they were printed out for us and the Hotel manager in Vinci was able to locate our missing luggage at the other hotel and arrange delivery.
    Overall I was pleased with the trip, the hiccups were corrected and we enjoyed our trip.

     
    5.0

    Lovely Cycle trip fro Pisa to Vinci/Florence

    By Peter

    from Sawtell, NSW, Australia

    About Me Occasional Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Great cycle tour for those who have not tried it
      • Holiday
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

      Our trip was well organised and the route through Tuscany was lovely. Plenty of time allowed for exploring. Would be an ideal tour for people who have not dome a lot of this type of cycling holiday.

       
      5.0

      Perfect vacation

      By Gaby

      from Michigan, USA

      About Me World Traveller

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Independence
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Thrill Seeking

        Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

        Everything was well organized, on time, efficient and affordable.

         
        5.0

        I would recommend our cycling tour to others

        By Tom and Bini

        from BC West Coast Canada

        About Me Avid Adventurer, frequent, physically active travellers in 60's

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • combine physical activity with education
          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

          We liked the selection of accommodations and the fact that we could stay two nights in two accommodations; more enjoyable than moving to a different location every day. Also enjoyed the opportunity to combine some physical activity (after all the pasta and wine ...) with the learning about history, arts, architecture and the Italian way of life – we added an extra day in Florence, and 4 days each in Venice and Milan.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Biking Tour

          By Oldster

          from Hemel Hempstead

          About Me Keen cyclists, Occasional Traveller

          Pros

          • Excellent quality hire bikes ideal for touring
          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Lovely countryside, and historic Tuscan towns
          • Well Organised

          Cons

          • Following route notes quite challenging

          Best Uses

            Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

            Really excellent tour, well designed and planned, good documentation,
            suitable mid-range hotels, and excellent bike hire service.
            We did 4 night-3 -day abridged version covering 150 km .

             
            5.0

            Tuscany from Pisa to Florence

            By The GrimDons

            from Northern ireland

            About Me Liesurely cyclist

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Great Accommodations
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised
            • Wonderful trip

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Holiday

              Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

              Full marks to Mac Adventures. We had a ball . Everything went as planned and all accommodation was great. No problem in recommending this company to help plan your trip

               
              4.0

              I would definitely recommend this holiday

              By Green Celine

              from Ireland

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Pros

              • Fun
              • Great Accommodations
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Holiday
                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

                A most enjoyable holiday, beautiful scenery and mostly pleasant cycle paths. Some areas were not to be recommended however this was the exception!
                The maps and route planners were very user friendly. One thing that didn't tally with the brochure information was the lack of cycling helmet availability in the accommodation which was disappointing. I always wear a cycle helmet at home and would have preferred to wear one on this trip for safety reasons.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                This is so much fun. This is so much fun.

                By Girl Friday

                from Bisbee, Az

                About Me Avid Adventurer, Cyclist, Occasional Traveller, World Traveller

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Great Accommodations
                • Great Paths
                • Off The Beaten Path
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday
                  • Relaxation
                  • Seeing Unknown Parts
                  • Trying Something New

                  Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

                  Almost the whole time I was riding, I was thinking, "This is so much fun. This is so much fun." .
                  I loved this trip. I went solo and loved the freedom of traveling on my own schedule, stopping or wandering whenever I wanted, and even getting lost. It really seemed like the best of all worlds....someone else arranging details, having my bag waiting for me at my next stop, riding an unloaded bike, riding all by myself (I hate groups). But THE BEST was going where I would never have gone otherwise. It was like being given the map of secret pathways. A good mix of road/path surfaces and mostly low traffic made everyday's ride very enjoyable.
                  *I brought my own bike, so I can't comment on the rentals.
                  *I usually rode about double of each day's itinerary (see wandering and getting lost). Nice and easy, like a stroll on your bike.
                  **the stay outside Lucca at Al Podere di Rosa was EXCELLENT. Never wanted to leave.

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Excellent experience

                  By Ken the active traveller

                  from USA

                  About Me Avid Adventurer, Occasional Traveller, World Traveller

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Fun
                  • Scenic
                  • Well Organised

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Holiday
                    • Relaxation
                    • Trying Something New

                    Comments about macs adventure Tuscany: Pisa to Florence Cycling:

                    If you expect perfection with this or any tour, you will be disappointed. If you look for problems, you will find some. But if you maintain an open mind, a flexible attitude, and a healthy sense of humor, you will be rewarded with an excellent holiday. The route notes are sometimes confusing. The maps are ink-jet printed, not always legible, and are too compressed in scale to be of much use. Numerous intersections, forks and branches will appear in your path that are not mentioned in the notes or maps, and you must use your own judgement on which way to go. If you don't mind getting lost occasionally, riding half a kilometer in the wrong direction before realizing you made a wrong turn, then Macs may be for you. If you like to feel confident that you are always going in the right direction, then Macs may not be for you, unless you augment their guides with other forms of navigation such as GPS or better quality maps. The electronic digital odometer on the bicycle never agreed with the waypoint odometer readings in the Route Notes because the odometer was not properly calibrated with the wheel circumference of the bicycle. The technician at the rental shop spent an hour trying to fix this problem, without success. The odometer is complex, difficult to use, and does not come with instructions. There is no reason or excuse to not include printed instructions for the odometer with the bicycle. The rental hybrid bike was heavy and inefficient. I dismounted and walked for the longer uphill stretches: not fun. The lodging outside Vinci was at the top of a long steep gravel driveway: not what I wanted to see at the end of a 54 km day. Some hungry mosquitoes had already checked into my room before I arrived, and it took two hours to get the air conditioning turned on. Finally, keep in mind that not all of the cycling will be as scenic as the photos in the advertisements. You will ride along some busy roads, past truck stops, cement factories, and abandoned buildings with broken windows and graffiti. Despite all these cautions, I had a very enjoyable, memorable tour. A personal highlight was cycling back to the hotel from a restaurant in Pisa in the evening, riding alongside a 2000 year-old aqueduct, with my path illuminated not only by my headlight and the full moon, but also by thousands of fireflies. I hadn't seen fireflies in decades! It was a magical, unforgetable moment, just one of many on this outstanding tour.

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