Cycling tours in Italy, Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice

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29 Apr 2017
£ 1199
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06 May 2017
£ 1249
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20 May 2017
£ 1399
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03 Jun 2017
£ 1449
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17 Jun 2017
£ 1249
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01 Jul 2017
£ 1299
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15 Jul 2017
£ 1399
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22 Jul 2017
£ 1399
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05 Aug 2017
£ 1399
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19 Aug 2017
£ 1399
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02 Sep 2017
£ 1299
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16 Sep 2017
£ 1299
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30 Sep 2017
£ 1249
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07 Oct 2017
£ 1199
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28 Apr 2018
£ 1379
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05 May 2018
£ 1379
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19 May 2018
£ 1499
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02 Jun 2018
£ 1499
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16 Jun 2018
£ 1399
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07 Jul 2018
£ 1399
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21 Jul 2018
£ 1499
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04 Aug 2018
£ 1499
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18 Aug 2018
£ 1499
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01 Sep 2018
£ 1359
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15 Sep 2018
£ 1359
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cycling tours in Italy, Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice

Environment

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!) although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and to use markets to purchase traditional handicrafts.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 7 nights in a mixture of locally-owned hotels and inns. Our local partners try to ensure that the trips benefit the local communities by using mostly family run hotels that source as much produce locally as possible. With only breakfasts included, we have the opportunity to eat in local restaurants and buy products from local shops along the way. We support the local economy by spending our money in smaller villages that line our route as well as seeing local wine production in Ora, Egna and Salorno.

Local Craft and Culture:
As our route spans two regions of Italy (Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige), we try to encompass a variety of the local craft and culture on offer in both areas. We support local vineyards and orchards on the way to Trento and then we visit a number of beautiful, historical buildings and monuments in Vento, Vicenza and Padova.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on responsible tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. We also use transfers and hire a bike locally, which has a positive effect on the community.

Charity:
Since 2001, our local operators have been donating 1% of salaries to Mani Tese (Hands Outstretched), which is one of Italy’s most established humanitarian charities. The organisation runs several projects in developing countries, in particular those linked to tourism. Other charities supported include Doctors with Africa CUAMM, Emergency and ViaFirenze21, a local charity for the disadvantaged in Vicenza.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Cycling tours in Italy, Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The cycling

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring clothes for all weathers. We had one day when we needed sunscreen and a hat, and the next it was freezing rain. It's not a tremendously demanding ride,
but you do need to be able to ride 30 miles a day and climb a hill or two.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We did spend money in local cafes and retaurants, and biking's definitely better than car or coach. I would have liked to see fewer disposable cups and other
items in the hotels though.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a fantastic holiday. Beautiful scenery, great food, enthusiastic leader, good company.

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