now offered in Tuscany
on trips after 9/1/13.
Call for availability
Tuscany & Umbria Biking New!
- Soak up the medieval flavor and ancient traditions of charming hilltop towns
- Taste splendid wines, like Sagrantino and Montefalco Rosso
- Simple yet delectable local specialties: hearty ribollita, panzanella, fresh pastas and delicious pastries
- Gracious hotels with distinct local flavor: a family villa, a former mill and a converted farmhouse
- Get to know our favorite friends and colorful local characters
Undiscovered Umbria to Cortona, Land of the Tuscan Sun
No doubt you'll arrive with certain expectations. After all, artists and writers have waxed hyperbolic on the glories of Umbria and Tuscany for centuries - how can you not have preconceived notions? But somehow it's still a surprise, the sensory feast that surrounds you. You're still floored by the beauty of silvery olive groves and endless acres of vineyards. By springtime poppies. Summertime sunflowers. Harvest-ready grapes in the fall. By the symphony of flavors in even the simplest of dishes. And the sheer warmth and passione of the local people. Expectations exceeded? Just another day in the heart of Italy.
Days 1-2 Soak up the medieval flavor and ancient traditions of charming hilltop towns Beneath rolling Umbrian hills, enjoy a riverside spin on the Assisi-Spoleto bike path Wander in timeless Bevagna, perhaps pausing to browse for ceramics and silver Beauty abounds in Assisi, from the stunning Basilica of Saint Francis to the verdant valley below Taste splendid Umbrian wines, like full-bodied Sagrantino and Montefalco Rosso.
Day 3 Welcome to Tuscany! Imagine you've pedaled into a postcard as you head along a sinuous ribbon of road flanked by cypress trees and undulating hills Spin through the Orcia Valley, where fortified towns and distant Mount Amiata provide a dramatic backdrop Explore Pienza, the Renaissance utopia of Pope Pius II - and birthplace of heavenly pecorino cheese Join our friend Vittorio in his cozy cantina for a private degustazione For dinner, we're welcomed like family at La Chiusa - you'll understand why we've been coming here for years!
Days 4-6 Cruise past olive groves and sunflower fields to La Braccesca wine estate for an exclusive visit and picnic Spin through the Chiana Valley, where white Chianina cows graze Pedal gentle terrain to historic hilltop Cortona, surrounded by 3,000-year-old Etruscan walls, and the setting for Under the Tuscan Sun Giovanni, our longtime local guide, leads us through this celebrated town Savor a classic Tuscan tableau during an easy ride past ancient farmhouses, vast wheat fields and cypress-lined roads.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
For us it was a truly amazing and educational experience. Loved the physical challenge, loved the cultural interactions and loved the way that the Backroads team made it appear effortless and that we were the only riders on the road, the only customers at the hotels and restaurants. A joy, every minute of it.
This truly was a remarkable, memorable trip. I feel that biking allowed us to truly experience Italy in an intimate way. We met people on the roadside picking mushrooms...we could see Tuscany, feel Tuscany, and smell Tuscany!- Sammamish, WA
Absolutely the best trip that I have ever been on and quite possibly the best week of my life. It was really a great experience.- Wayzata, MN
Relais Villa Zuccari
San Luca (2 nights) In the Zuccari family since the 1500s, this gorgeous villa is surrounded by expansive rose-filled gardens and the vineyards of Montefalco. (pool)
Relais La Chiusa
Montefollonico (1 night) The Hideaway Report describes this welcoming country inn as a "family-run stone manor that looks across to the medieval hill town of Montepulciano."
La Corte dei Papi
Cortona (2 nights) An elegantly appointed 18th-century country house nestled in the foothills a short distance from town. (pool)
Dolomites Biking New!
Epic Alpine Passes in Northern Italy
Piedmont Biking New!
A Food & Wine Lover's Paradise
Ancient Civilizations & Mediterranean Sensations
This Trip Is Rated Level 1-4
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
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|Cortona guided walk (1.5 hours)|
* Includes a shuttle