Treasures of Tuscany
This is the ideal tour for those who want to enjoy Tuscany but with slightly more emphasis on cycling.....certainly it's not too tough and is feasible for anyone with a reasonable amount of cycling fitness, but there are slightly longer days in the saddle and a couple of fun 'up and down' days of riding! We would anticipate around 4 to 5 hours daily in the saddle. However, the rewards are worthwhile with wine, culture and beautiful local sights.
Need to Know
Day 2 – Assisi ‘loop’ cycle: 50km / 31 miles
After a little briefing on the route and the cycling that week, along with all your route notes and maps, not forgetting the bikes – it’s time to hit the road to start cycling! The first stop of note is a town called Spello, a pretty little authentic Italian village where you may be the only ‘tourists’ that day! Continually cycling through wonderful olive groves along flat tracks, do save a little energy for one final challenging climb (remember, e-bikes can really benefit and are available!) back to Assisi again!
Day 3 – Assisi to Solmeo: 50km / 31 miles
A day of ‘soft’ hills, pretty little villages and, not forgetting, wine! Towns en-route today include, while also passing beautiful Lake Trasimeno, Deruta, Torgiano where the opportunity to sample some of the local Lungarotti wine is a fun highlight of the day. Some tasting is, of course, on offer and recommended, but if you are worried about cycling after a spot of vino you might simply choose to sample the wine museum instead! Preserving a little energy is recommended though, there are a few up and downs to come before rolling into an authentic Italian ‘agroturismo’ type hotel where you can finally relax by the pool in its incredible Tuscan setting.
Day 4 – Solmeo to Cortona: 50km / 31 miles
Today’s next beautiful cycle skirts around Lake Trasimeno, with stunning views across ‘il lago’ from Montecolognola. You can even take a boat out to Isola Maggiore, before continuing around to Cortona.
Day 5 – Cortona to Montepulciano: 45km / 28 miles
This is where you really experience the Tuscan treasures as you venture into true wine country finishing in the famous wine town of Montepulciano. There are a couple of smaller lakes to enjoy from the cycling though, but today is all about the conclusion where you must visit the famous local Montepulciano cellars and experience the notorious red wine production for yourself.
Day 6 – Montepulciano to Buonconvento: 45km / 28 miles
The first recommended stop of the day is the local San Biagio church before heading toward the papal town of Pienza, home of Pope Pio II and the joyous landscape en route to this Renaissannce town is not to be missed. Aside from Pienza, other great towns you’ll love cycling through include Montichello and Bagno Vignoni, where you can stop and relax with a cappuccino or glass of wine, with the latter ‘spa town’ and its incredible main square being a real highlight!
Day 7 – Buonconvento to Siena: 50km / 31 miles
The final cycling day! Today’s first real worth stop is the Monte Oliveto Monastery, however it’s a bit of an up and down day and there is a gentle climb there from Buonconvento! The rolling hills theme continues through Asciano until Siena, so while the riding is a little tougher it is truly rewarding with stunning landscapes all around. Remember, it’s the last of the cycling though so congratulate yourself a rewarding moment and little drink when you reach Siena and you’re done!
Day 8 – Siena: Some free time in Siena to visit the town before your departure after breakfast.
Hybrid bikes are provided and included in the cost of this tour, as they are ideal for the nature of the route and the terrain involved, as well as offering a reasonable level of comfort over the daily distances shown.
As for all of our tours, electric ‘E-Bikes’ are available with an additional supplement.
Bikes are provided fully equipped with helmets, pump and puncture repair kit, pannier bags, bike lock and bike computer, all included.
This is a SELF-GUIDED cycle tour, while comprehensive maps and route notes are provided. It is available from around mid-March to mid-October, while the months of July and August are of course the busier times and the weather can be very warm to cycle, however this does not mean it would not be enjoyable! We ask for 48 hours to confirm our tours, yet this may be slightly longer in the aforementioned peak July and August period.
The hotels and accommodations provided here are of an excellent standard, they are traditional Italian hotels and authentic 'agriturismo' farmhouses, offering a warm welcome. They are specifically selected as being ideal places to relax after a hard day's cycling while offering a taste of the local culture.
Of course, single rooms are available at a supplement on the main tour cost, while this can again vary dependent on the overall package, whilst not forgetting that extra nights are always available too.
Assisi is 173km / 108 miles from Florence Airport and 174km / 109 miles from Rome Ciampino Airport. To reach Assisi by train from Florence airport takes around 3 hours. To reach Assisi by train from Rome Ciampino Airport takes around 3 hours. Again, for travel advice on any of the route options noted here, or alternatives, please do not hesitate to ask
Florence Airport is 79km / 80 miles and Rome Ciampino Airport is 246km / 152 miles from Siena. If you’re looking for international or domestic flights to Florence or Rome, please just ask and we will be happy to assist. Many international airlines will fly to both cities, especially the latter. To reach Florence Airport from Siena takes around 2 hours by train, while there is an Airport
Bus Service taking only 1.5 hours. To reach Rome Ciampino Airport from Siena by train takes around 3-4 hours.
Our hotel is located in central Siena allowing both easy travel from the train station and local walking access to the town on the day of arrival.
Most of our tours are available from early April until the end of October to enable you to make the most of the weather and scenery with some available year round. There is no ‘best’ time to go, this is really down to personal preference and your requirements however, peak summer months like July and August can be warm in southern Europe and busier so we would recommend these to sun worshippers. We would suggest that around May, June and September are the preferable months for comfortable and optimum cycling experience.
What clothing and kit should I bring?
Each individual tour provides slight variations in kit provided so we would always recommend checking your individual booking. In all cases bicycles are provided along with full puncture repair kit. In the majority of cases helmets will be provided and you will be given this information as part of the booking process. Where these are not provided there is the option to add this on or bring your own. Clothing is not provided but we would recommend suitable, comfortable clothing to cover all eventualities! Lycra and padded short are not mandatory but we would recommend these for your comfort. Breathable fabrics and light layers with a shower proof jacket will enhance your experience and we would also recommend comfortable footwear.
How do I carry this clothing and kit from A to B?
You don’t! Whilst we would recommend taking a small backpack or loading your panniers with daily essentials such as a light cycle jacket, water, snacks and your phone and camera the great news is your main luggage will be transported by ourselves between your accommodations allowing you to enjoy you day baggage free. We usually ask you to leave this the morning of the day you depart the particular hotel and should arrive by late afternoon at your next destination but we always aim to have this there before you.
How fit do I need to be to do the tours?
Every tour description gives an indication of the level of suitability along with details on the distances and terrains covered. However, the majority of our tours on Pedal & Break are open and suitable for all with a reasonable level of fitness and all age groups. As we say Lycra is optional and we actively encourage and truly welcome those on a first time cycling holiday. You also do not all need to be the same level to enjoy our holidays as a group. A basic level of cycling is a must in order to be confident on the roads and routes and we would recommend a good base level of fitness. Our routes are designed to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace with sightseeing and refreshment stops factored in, after all this is your holiday! The days should not be viewed as a leg of the Tour de France and don’t require you to cycle flat out from dawn till dusk. The e-bike is also an excellent option for those needing a ‘boost’. As a husband and wife partnership on our first holiday this worked perfectly for us and enabled us to enjoy our holiday together stress free.
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is an electric bike and does not require a license and nor should it be confused with a moped or scooter! An e-bike will be available on most of our tours and is the perfect option for the slightly more apprehensive cyclist, simply as these bikes provide the ideal boost when the legs feel a little tired or when facing a hilly section. You are still required to pedal as the bike is a modified standard bicycle and the e-bike merely gives you a helping hand. The electric element can be turned on and off as you like but from personal experience having this at a low level throughout with an extra boost added for setting off at junctions and up hills enabled my wife to enjoy her first cycling tour alongside me throughout and gave her the confidence she needed.