Tuscany cycling holiday through Siena & Chianti, Italy

“Traverse some of Italy's most idyllic landscapes on two wheels, cycling from village to picturesque village via ancient cities, rolling olive groves and renaissance hill towns - pausing to refuel with delicious Tuscan fare.”

Highlights

Cycling through the Tuscan countryside | Wine town of Montepulciano | Spa village of Bagno Vignoni | Murlo | Siena | Castellini, Chianti | Le Crete | San Gimignano | Monteriggioni | Panzano | Greve | Florence

Description of Tuscany cycling holiday through Siena & Chianti, Italy

The word “Tuscany” evokes dreamy images of rolling hills draped with olive groves, vineyards and cypress-lined roads, each hill topped with ancient stone towns. Our small group, Tuscany cycling holiday makes the most of these classic landscapes – as well as the superb food and wines it produces. There is only one way to truly immerse yourself in the Tuscan way of life – and that is to be unhurried; this is a cycling holiday, but with time factored in for sitting in piazzas with a glass of Chianti, watching the world go by.

Over the week, we’ll explore several of Tuscany’s distinct regions, including the stunning landscapes around the Renaissance hill town of Montepulciano, the hills of Chianti and the scenic region of “Le Crete”, cycling along quiet roads and through steep passes to reach picturesque towns and villages. Continuing onto Siena, you’ll have a free day to explore this compact Gothic city with its renowned Piazza del Campo and cathedral.

We’ll take a scenic detour past the San Gimignano towers, tucked between hills, and stop off in terracotta-producing villages – before continuing on to Florence, a city that needs no introduction. Stroll around the city, exploring the Duomo, the art galleries and the Ponte Vecchio over the River Arno – or simply rest your legs and sip an Aperol spritz or a dark, restorative caffè.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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Date
Price
Basis
02 Sep 2017
£ 1319
including UK flights
Full
 
16 Sep 2017
£ 1319
including UK flights
Full
 
30 Sep 2017
£ 1169
including UK flights
Full
 
12 May 2018
£ 1199
including UK flights
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26 May 2018
£ 1469
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16 Jun 2018
£ 1219
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28 Jul 2018
£ 1449
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18 Aug 2018
£ 1449
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01 Sep 2018
£ 1369
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15 Sep 2018
£ 1219
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29 Sep 2018
£ 1219
including UK flights
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Vouchers
Accepted
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: Tuscany cycling holiday through Siena & Chianti, Italy

Accommodation and Meals:
On this tour we will spend 7 nights in small hotels. All accommodation is locally owned and staffed, which provides employment and income alternatives for many locals. Where meals are provided, there is a focus on using locally sourced produce and traditional ingredients in locally-run establishments. For meals that are not included, clients are encouraged to eat in authentic, family-run restaurants that showcase the best of Italian cuisine prepared from local produce and to ensure the local communities benefit from our visit. In the village of Vescovado di Murlo we will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by Gianluca, the owner of the small, family owned Albergo di Murlo.
The wild Boar Pappardelle or Pici is a must try dish here.

Local Craft and Culture:
This tour is packed with culture: we visit the cities of Florence and Siena and also a number of small towns along our route like San Quirico, one of the most beautiful and charming medieval towns of the Orcia Valley, the thermal baths of Bagno Vignoni and we cycle the Via Francigena.

Community:
This trip is designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; we buy local produce, eat local food including a few gelatos made from artisans parlours, some of which who make unique flavours like blackberry, lavender, gorgonzola cheese and walnuts on top of the favourites, all produced daily with the freshest ingredients. When visiting Castello di Brolio, the guests have the opportunity to taste some of the region’s finest wines including the Barone Ricasoli, recently selected by Wine Spectator as one of the five best wines in the world.
This cycling tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover the real Tuscan life.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital to provide water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Our guides always provide large bottles used to fill the singular bottles.

Activity:
Cycling trips in general have a minimal impact on the environment; clients are briefed on managing food waste on cycling days- litter can be collected by guide in support vehicle and disposed of appropriately, in respect of local recycling policies. As this is a cycling trip, clients will interact with locals on scheduled stops, but also on the roads while cycling.

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 in place, 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.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that may not have otherwise benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

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