Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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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. 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(with an optional longer route through the countryside and past the grandiose Certosa di Calci Monastery). 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. 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. 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.

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.

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.


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.


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 Rental

21 speed touring bikes are available to rent. Rental bikes come
equipped with a basic repair kit, pump and helmet (though we recommend
using your own). If you’d like to rent a bike, please let us know your height and frame size you currently
ride.


EBikes are also available for hire if you would like a power assisted ride. For more information on EBikes please click here.


If you would prefer to bring your own bicycle please ensure it is
thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate bike for this trip such as
Scott Sub, Trek 7200 or similar.


If you do intend to bring your own bike, please do let us know at the
time book as extra transfer arrangements may be required for any large
bike cases/boxes.


 



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
  • City taxes
  • Flights and transfers to and from Pisa/Florence
  • Train from Empoli to Florence
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses

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.


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