Pedal through history in France
Delve into French history on a Softies holiday, from the beaches of Normandy and the lavender fields of Provence to the majestic châteaux of the Loire.Read more
A stunning self guided cycling tour in one of the most cultured regions of the world.
Romance, art, history and great food come together on our most popular trip for beginning cyclists. From the canals of Venice, the bridges of Comacchio and the early Christian mosaics of Ravenna to the Renaissance architecture of Florence, this tour features six days of pedalling through the heart of Italian culture and cuisine.
Along the way you'll pedal through vineyards and fruit orchards, and discover colorful ceramics in Faenza - while of course enjoying gourmet meals in Emilia-Romagna, Italy's foremost pasta region.
• Delightful 3-star and 4-star hotels
• Delicious restaurant meals
• High quality aluminium frame touring bikes
• GPS navigation tracks provided via 'Ride with GPS'
• Tour roadbook including maps, cultural info and lunch suggestions
• Personalised bike fitting and detailed briefing
• Luggage transferred between your hotels
• E-Bikes available upon request
• 100% financial security through ABTA and ATOL
Day 1 | Tour begins in Chioggia
Welcome to Chioggia and the wonderful Venetian Lagoon. We meet for your full tour briefing this afternoon at our hotel in the center of Chioggia. Our Destination Manager will fit your bicycles and go over route details. Then take the chance for a walk around the center of Chioggia and admire the canals, bridges and main pedestrianised streets. If you arrive early we can suggest a ride along one of the islands in the lagoon.
Day 2 | Pedal the Po River Delta | Distance 36 miles (58km) to 63 miles (101km)
We leave the Venetian lagoon today towards the Po River Delta. Enjoy cycling on levee roads and some super opportunities for bird-watching. Grab some picnic supplies from the local grocery store or stop at a cafe for lunch today. Those who want extra mileage can enjoy a great ride into the delta in the afternoon. Our destination tonight is a small country farm bed and breakfast.
Day 3 | Po River to Comacchio | Distance 46 miles (74km)
It's another day of leisurely riding today. Our destination is a small lagoon town that at one point was more powerful than Venice in the 700 and 800s. The lagoon town of Comacchio has a fabulous museum that showcases a Roman boat and its cargo that was excavated from one of the canals. Built on 13 islands, this town is now landlocked but surrounded by the Po River and fresh water wetlands. Enjoy a small float around the canals with a local fisherman before dinner.
Day 4 | Comacchio to Ravenna | Distance 31 miles (49km)
We pedal along the Comacchio wetlands towards Ravenna, the last capital of the Western Roman Empire and home to more early-Christian mosaics than any other city in Western Europe. You can walk to Dante's tomb and the mosaics of San Vitale, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia this afternoon, as our hotel is near all the city sights.
Day 5 | Ravenna to Faenza | Distance 32 miles (51km)
Exiting Ravenna, you have the choice to visit another very important Byzantine masterpiece: Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Cross the plains through fruit plantations and arrive to Faenza. Your hotel is a restored convent near the central square of this regional market center and famous ceramics town. Enjoy the bustle in the market square and the main "piazza" which is always full of bicycle riders of all ages. Faenza is world-renowned for its hand decorated ceramics; we recommend a visit to the International Ceramics Museum as well as several of the local artists' studios specialized in this colorful pottery.
Day 6 | Over the Apennines | Distance 9 miles (15km) or 39 miles (63km)
We head into the Apennines today, passing first through the medieval village of Brisighella. Take a break and pick up some snacks for the climb if you feel like it. If you decide you want to train up and over the mountain, feel free to do so.
For those who decide to bicycle, begin climbing (easily at first!) over the Apennines -- remember to look around as you pedal since the scenery changes dramatically as you leave the plains and enter the mountains. Just before we reach the toughest part of our climb there is a very conveniently located train station which allows you a choice in how you reach our destination!
Note: It’s possible to catch a train either from Brisighella, or from Marradi.
Day 7 | Cycle in to Florence | Distance 26 miles (41km)
There's a small climb this morning to Vetta le Croci, then it's downhill to the old Etruscan city of Fiesole, where you'll enjoy a great view of Florence rising from the valley floor. We recommend waiting until after lunch to ride into town and the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this capital of Renaissance Italy.
Day 8 | Tour ends in Florence
After a buffet breakfast in the hotel, we say Arrivederci! and you're ready to become a tourist again. You're on your own now, so get out there and visit Michelangelo's David at the Accademia, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and the other masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery, and more.
This chraming hotel is set in an early 19th-century building in the pretty Piazzetta Vigo square in Chioggia's historic centre, the 4-star Hotel Grande Italia is well appointed and offers stunning views of the Venetian Lagoon.
The Agriturismo Forzello lies in the heart of the Park of the Po Delta and is made up of three cottages; inside of them you can find well furnished apartments. It is a great location to explore the nature and birdlife of teh Po Delta. There is a large garden with a big swimming-pool.
One of the oldest osterias in Comacchio, the Hotel La Comancina has a charming 'retro' facade that reflects off the Canal Maggiore. It is located close to the clock tower in the heart of the old town centre.
The palace-hotel ‘Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi’, in Ravenna, is an ancient noble residence of the historic centre dating back to the eighteenth century. The Palace is located in front of one of the most beautiful churches in the city, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and a few steps from the Dante Alighieri Theatre.
The Hotel Vittoria is located in a period building in Faenza's historic centre, a short stroll from the central Piazza del Popolo and close to the town's main attractions: the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, one of the world's finest and most complete collections of ceramics, and the Museo Carlo Zauli, dedicated to the well-known ceramicist and sculptor from Faenza who died in 2002.
The restaurant and hotel 'La Rosa' is situated in Ronta, a small village in the green countryside near Florence. La Rosa offers a peaceful and rustic experience in the natural beauty of the Mugello Valley.
Hotel Silla is an elegant 16th-century building, set on the left bank of River Arno, just 400 metres from Ponte Vecchio. The rooftop terrace with bar offers unique views of Florence.
|Departure Date 2019||Nights||Group Size||Adult Price|
|April - October||7||2||£1795pp||Enquire Now|
|April - October||7||3/4||£1575pp||Enquire Now|
|April - October||7||5+||£1465pp||Enquire Now|
|Departure Date 2019||Nights||Group Size||Adult Price|
|April - October||7||2||£1995pp||Enquire Now|
|April - October||7||3/4||£1775pp||Enquire Now|
|April - October||7||5+||£1675pp||Enquire Now|
Departure days: Saturdays and Wednesdays (other days available on request but may incur a small supplement)
E-Bike Supplement: £185 pp
Premium Titanium Bike Upgrade: £105 pp
GPS Device Rental: £35
Single Supplement: £275 pp
Child prices and solo traveller supplements are available on request. Please speak to our Activities Experts on 020 7471 7760 for more details.
Britain's original ski travel agency and tailor-made ski tour operator, Ski Solutions has been arranging ski holidays for over 30 years across Europe and North America. The Ski Solutions team are all skiing experts, and their knowledge and passion for the mountains will ensure you experience a truly memorable ski holiday.Visit website
The ultimate collection of European Cycling Holidays. BSpoke's cycling experts can tailor-make your perfect holiday where you can travel at your own pace or in a group of like-minded individuals. A BSpoke Tour is all about being as restful or as adventurous as you desire.Visit website
Wilderness Scotland offers an inspiring range of guided and customised adventure holidays, in the most remote and beautiful regions of Scotland. The Wilderness Scotland team know how to create enriching adventure holidays and know the wild places of Scotland better than anyone.Visit website
Specialists in offering a range of adventure holidays, tours and incredible wilderness experiences. Wilderness Ireland take their clients to the most remote and beautiful regions of Ireland, all while staying at the most welcoming accommodations and delivering outstanding customer service.Visit website
Sign up for our newsletter to receive exclusive offers, expert advice and insider access to all the latest cycling holiday news.