Rolling Hills
Gorgious Wines
Ancient Lands
Majestic Tuscany
Tuscany Cycle Map

Wild Tuscany, 6 Days, Slow Cycling Tour Tuscany, Italy

From: CHF 1,950

 

 

 

Cycling Tour Tuscany – A 5-night cycling and walking journey through the peaceful, remote forests and hilltop villages of central Tuscany. Only 12 places.

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All about the Wild Tuscany, 6 Days, Slow Cycling Tour Tuscany, Italy.

Wild Tuscany, Slow Cycling Tour

 

Overview

  • 6 Days, 5 Nights

  • Flexible, Small Group Cycle Trip

  • A No-Rush Approach

  • E-Bikes Available

  • English Speaking Guides

  • Riding and Walking

  • Amazing Food and Wine

Why Do We Recommend It?

The “Slow Cycling” approach is perfect for exploring Tuscany.

An experienced and trusted cycle tour operator.

Superb food and wine to discover.

An iconic must-see destination.

Is It Right for Me?

You’ll be riding and walking through the Tuscan landscape, which is hilly, so a good level of fitness will make it more enjoyable. That said, many guests choose to use one of our e-bikes, which will make the days far less tiring.

The ride is mostly on quiet back roads and gravel trails with very few cars.

This is a great tour for somebody looking for an active holiday without anything extreme. Perfect for single travellers or couples that want to really experience Tuscany without rushing.

Oh, and do you like great food and wine, OK it’s for you!

What People Say About The Trip

Thank you for making our cycling trip so special. I feel privileged to have seen such beautiful and remote parts of Italy.

Can I Go Anytime?

The tour is scheduled for specific dates, which are the best for this tour, and you can find those while checking availability in the fields above. However, not all dates are guaranteed to run and some may already have filled. So, just enter the dates you’re interested in and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible with confirmation of availability. We always do our best to get the trip that suits you best.

 

Itsy Bitsy Details

  • Where: Tuscany
  • Duration: 6 Days
  • Tour Starts: Volterra, Italy
  • Tour Ends: Scorgiano, Italy
  • Fly To: Pisa International Airport, PSA
  • Fly From: Pisa International Airport, PSA
  • Group Size: 12 max
  • Operated By: The Slow Cyclist
  • The Cycling: Mostly quiet gravel roads, rolling hills

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The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Airport transfers (for recommended flights) & support vehicle
  • Slow Cyclist host & English-speaking local guides
  • All accommodation, meals, snacks & drinks
  • All activities
  • Bicycle & helmet hire
  • 100% financial security

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Single Supplement £250
  • Electric Bicycle Supplement £150
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Flights
  • Personal costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if required)
  1. Day 1 ARRIVAL, VOLTERRA & MAZZOLLA

    For those arriving on the recommended flight, we will provide a free transfer to Volterra (1 hour). After a light lunch, we will have a guided tour of the town with a history dating back to the 7th Century BC. Not yet on two wheels, we will take a short drive to the tiny hilltop hamlet of Mazzolla, your home for the night. As the afternoon wanes, a local sommelier introduces us to some of Tuscany’s finest wines, and then we dine in the village’s trattoria, where Beppe, resident owner and chef, will prepare our first night’s feast.

  2. Day 2 MAZZOLLA TO PAUGNANO

    Cycling 35 kms It is onto bikes for the first time this morning, downhill from Mazzolla towards the Riserva Naturale di Berignone, an extensive protected forest with hugely diverse flora and fauna. On from here, we will lunch at Erta, a tiny winery with views towards the Mediterranean that is owned by our friend Varno. After lunch we’ll cycle to Mensano, a town long fought over by Siena and Florence, and from where we can spy Podere Paugnano, a working sheep farm and dairy and our home for the night.

  3. Day 3 RADICONDOLI AND AROUND

    Cycling 28 kms – Walking 2 hours During the morning, we will travel westward towards Anqua, enjoying spectacular views reaching out towards the sea. From there it’s on to Serraia, the home of Cristina and her family, our lunchtime hosts. In the afternoon we will walk uphill to Radicondoli, a town known for its sense of community, farm-to-table cuisine and sustainable lifestyle before we return to Paugnano. Our dinners and breakfasts here will be at the farmhouse table with the family, the farm workers and whoever else happens to be there.

  4. Day 4 PAUGNANO TO SIMIGNANO

    Cycling 32 kms – Optional woodland walk After breakfast, we ride to the highest point of the trip through the protected nature reserve of La Selva, then downhill in the direction of the ‘Montagnola Senese’, a range of hills older than the Apennines. We will once again cycle uphill to the tiny hamlet of Molli for lunch, with views of the Duomo of Siena. After lunch, the journey through chestnut woods to the tiny hamlet of Simignano is downhill all the way. We’ll stay in a house just outside the village, while dinner is with Fabrizio and Anke in their house in Simignano: wood-fired pizzas and folk songs played by their friends.

  5. Day 5 SIMIGNANO TO SCORGIANO

    Cycling 21 kms – Walking 2 hours Today we will be crossing the ‘Montagnola Senese’ and cycling across countryside quite different from the previous days. Our first stop will be at the ‘Romitorio’ of Villa Cetinale, once the summer residence of Pope Alexander VII, with spell-binding views. From here, we will take a short ride to lunch at Castello di Celsa, where we will be given a guided tour overlooking a wonderful landscape stretching from Siena to Monte Amiata. After lunch, we will head to Marmoraia, downhill past the hamlet of La Senese to the impressive Bichi Borghesi Estate at Scorgiano, home to Gigliola Brini Simonelli, her son Niccolò and his wife Valentina, where we will have our final night’s feast and overnight.

  6. Day 6 DEPARTURE

    After an early breakfast, we will transfer to Pisa Airport and say a final farewell before your departure.

Tour Details

Slow Cycling Tour Tuscany

ABOUT THIS JOURNEY

Tuscany is known as one of Italy’s, and the world’s, most beautiful and engaging travel destinations. The cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa and the towns of San Gimignano and Lucca have attracted visitors for centuries. Yet there are parts of the region that feel a million miles away from these tourist centres, and during your time with us, we’ll take you on a journey to explore some of our favourite hidden corners. So, join us on a 5-night, supported and guided journey, on bikes and on foot, and along the way enjoy wonderful hospitality in local homes, visit beautiful hilltop villages and immerse yourself in vast nature reserves. Above all, we invite you to move at your own pace through a land of staggering cultural and natural beauty.

ETHOS

Of the many guests we have hosted, the vast majority have been curious travellers with a bit of juice in their legs, approaching their time with us as a slow journey rather than a test of fitness. That’s not to say we don’t ride hard sometimes, just that we are often distracted by the food, history and people that make this place so special. When we see something interesting, we tend to stop and take it in rather than race by.

SEASON

May in Tuscany is typically mild and pleasant. The place has well and truly returned to life after a long winter and the wildflower meadows are rich and abundant. Daytime temperatures are typically around 20-27°C, although clearly weather extremes may occur. Rainfall and storms can occur at any time of year. Evenings tend to be cool.

HISTORY OF TUSCANY

People make a place, and never more so than in Italy. Tuscany was the homeland of the Etruscans, annexed by Rome in 351 BC. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, it came under a succession of rulers based around several city-states including Pisa, Siena, Arezzo, Pistoia, Lucca and Florence. Over time, Florence rose in importance, with the Medici family providing huge wealth for the flourishing art and culture of the Renaissance. In the 18th century, the Medici dynasty came to an end and, after a succession of Austrian Dukes of Lorraine, Tuscany joined the kingdom of Italy in 1861. Florence was then the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1871. The region’s incredible history means that today it’s a wonderful place to spend time slowly exploring. And very much part of Tuscany’s story is its food and wine, both particularly enjoyable after a day on the move in the outdoors. Local food is essentially simple fare, with the best fresh ingredients bringing out local flavours. Tuscan wine is world renowned, home to Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and the ‘Super Tuscans.’ The region also has an amazing and flourishing array of wildlife in national parks, reserves, mountains and vast woodlands. Deep in the Tuscan countryside, you may come across hare, deer, porcupines, badgers, red foxes, pheasants, wolves and wild boar, eagles, hawks and tawny owls. So, keep your eyes peeled as you pedal along!

ITINERARY

DAY 1, SATURDAY

ARRIVAL, VOLTERRA & MAZZOLLA

For those arriving on the recommended flight, we will provide a free transfer to Volterra (1 hour). After a light lunch, we will have a guided tour of the town with a history dating back to the 7th Century BC. Not yet on two wheels, we will take a short drive to the tiny hilltop hamlet of Mazzolla, your home for the night. As the afternoon wanes, a local sommelier introduces us to some of Tuscany’s finest wines, and then we dine in the village’s trattoria, where Beppe, resident owner and chef, will prepare our first night’s feast.

DAY 2, SUNDAY

MAZZOLLA TO PAUGNANO

Cycling 35 kms It is onto bikes for the first time this morning, downhill from Mazzolla towards the Riserva Naturale di Berignone, an extensive protected forest with hugely diverse flora and fauna. On from here, we will lunch at Erta, a tiny winery with views towards the Mediterranean that is owned by our friend Varno. After lunch we’ll cycle to Mensano, a town long fought over by Siena and Florence, and from where we can spy Podere Paugnano, a working sheep farm and dairy and our home for the night.

DAY 3, MONDAY

RADICONDOLI AND AROUND

Cycling 28 kms – Walking 2 hours During the morning, we will travel westward towards Anqua, enjoying spectacular views reaching out towards the sea. From there it’s on to Serraia, the home of Cristina and her family, our lunchtime hosts. In the afternoon we will walk uphill to Radicondoli, a town known for its sense of community, farm-to-table cuisine and sustainable lifestyle before we return to Paugnano. Our dinners and breakfasts here will be at the farmhouse table with the family, the farm workers and whoever else happens to be there.

DAY 4, TUESDAY

PAUGNANO TO SIMIGNANO

Cycling 32 kms – Optional woodland walk After breakfast, we ride to the highest point of the trip through the protected nature reserve of La Selva, then downhill in the direction of the ‘Montagnola Senese’, a range of hills older than the Apennines. We will once again cycle uphill to the tiny hamlet of Molli for lunch, with views of the Duomo of Siena. After lunch, the journey through chestnut woods to the tiny hamlet of Simignano is downhill all the way. We’ll stay in a house just outside the village, while dinner is with Fabrizio and Anke in their house in Simignano: wood-fired pizzas and folk songs played by their friends.

DAY 5, WEDNESDAY

SIMIGNANO TO SCORGIANO

Cycling 21 kms – Walking 2 hours Today we will be crossing the ‘Montagnola Senese’ and cycling across countryside quite different from the previous days. Our first stop will be at the ‘Romitorio’ of Villa Cetinale, once the summer residence of Pope Alexander VII, with spell-binding views. From here, we will take a short ride to lunch at Castello di Celsa, where we will be given a guided tour overlooking a wonderful landscape stretching from Siena to Monte Amiata. After lunch, we will head to Marmoraia, downhill past the hamlet of La Senese to the impressive Bichi Borghesi Estate at Scorgiano, home to Gigliola Brini Simonelli, her son Niccolò and his wife Valentina, where we will have our final night’s feast and overnight.

DAY 6, THURSDAY

DEPARTURE

After an early breakfast, we will transfer to Pisa Airport and say a final farewell before your departure.

THE CYCLING & WALKING

Tuscany is a hilly place, and you should have a good level of general fitness and be happy cycling up and down hills, off and on-road. Tuscany’s hills are frequent and can be quite steep along the route, making an e-bike the preferred option for many of our guests. The cycling terrain will consist of quiet gravel roads, forest trails, mule tracks and tarmac back roads, with very few cars. The walking will all be done on paths and trails. One car you will see every now and again is our support vehicle which will often – but not always – be on hand if required. Although some days may feel hard, you will always have the time to take in the magnificent views and relish your surroundings.

BIKES & E-BIKES

You will be cycling on and off-road throughout your time with us, so we provide hardtail (front suspension) mountain bikes. We also have electric mountain bikes, so if the prospect of pedalling up the hills without puffing is appealing, then we recommend you opt for one of these. Pedalling is assisted so you’re able to choose how much energy to expend. No one, on any of our trips, has regretted it.

A FLEXIBLE APPROACH

There are very few people who know the hills, villages and people in this corner of Tuscany better than our local guides. We believe that travel is at its best when flexible so we do, where we can adapt routes when necessary. With that in mind, please treat this itinerary as a guide to how you will spend your time with us. You are bound to have experiences, see places and meet people that we haven’t listed here. Equally, there may be occasions when, for good reason, we cannot fulfil every detail in the itinerary. Please treat distances as estimates as the routes may vary

“Thank you for making our cycling trip so special. I feel privileged to have seen such beautiful and remote parts of Italy.”

MANDY THOMPSON, OCTOBER 2018

GUIDES, HOST & SUPPORT

We know that guides can make or break a trip, which is why we are so pleased to have developed a fantastic team of local guides. They all live locally, speak great English, love sharing their region with our guests and, we’re sure, will become your firm friends by the time you leave us. In addition, the group will be accompanied by a member of The Slow Cyclist team from the UK who will act as host during your time with us. Your bags will be driven ahead each day and a support vehicle will be on hand in case you need a lift.

ACCOMMODATION

Most of the places we use in Tuscany are home or farm-stays or small guesthouses. There is more luxurious accommodation in the region, but we believe on this journey your overnight stays give a wonderful sense of place as well as access to local people. Rooms are en-suite when possible but some nights you may be required to share a bathroom. Wi-Fi or a good 4G/3G connection is generally available. Lodging is based on twin sharing although a single supplement is available.

FOOD & DRINK

Tuscan food is, of course, absolutely superb and you will eat extremely well during your time with us. Sometimes you’ll eat out in the open, at other times in private homes, trattorias and small guesthouses. Tuscan wines are world renowned, and for good reason; centuries of viticulture have determined the very best grape varietal selection for complementing local food – a delicious and rewarding combination. During the day we provide local snacks to keep your legs turning.

CLIMATE

Tuscany’s climate is typically mild and pleasant. The best time to visit is April, May and June, and then September, October and November. In the spring and early summer, daytime temperatures are typically around 20-27°C but can be as low as 8-15°C. In the autumn months, daytime temperatures steadily come down from around 27°C to 15°C but can be as low as 15-7°C. Clearly, weather extremes can occur, and as we’re travelling outside, always bring a full range of clothing to cover any weather eventuality. Rainfall and storms can occur at any time of year. Except in the height of summer evenings are cool.

FLIGHTS & TRANSFERS

Flights are not included in the cost of the trip. You are responsible for booking your own flights to and from Italy. If you book the recommended flight (below) you will be collected and dropped off without an extra charge being made. The recommended flights are:

4 May British Airways – London Heathrow (07.15) to Pisa (10.30)

9 May British Airways – Pisa (12.40) to London Heathrow (14.05)

21 September British Airways – London Heathrow (07.15) to Pisa (10.30)

26 September British Airways – Pisa (12.40) to London Heathrow (14.05)

5 October British Airways – London Heathrow (07.15) to Pisa (10.30)

10 October British Airways – Pisa (12.40) to London Heathrow (14.05)

ALTERNATIVES

If you would like to make alternative travel arrangements to and from the start of the trip, of course, you may. We will be happy to arrange transfers but we will not be able to provide a free service. You may wish to consider the following arrival and departure airports:

Florence: Vueling & British Airways – 1.5 hours by car to Volterra

Perugia: Ryanair – 2.5 hours by car to Volterra

FURTHER READING

A Tuscan Childhood by Kinta Beevor – In a largely lost Tuscany, a classic account of an idyllic childhood in between the wars.

Etruscan Places by D H Lawrence – His last travel book, a vivid account of the once great Etruscan civilisation, during his journey in Tuscany in the 1920s.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes – Frances Mayes bought and restored an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. This book describes the vibrant local markets, food, wine and Italian landscape.

Check Out More Bike Tours

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
  • Airport transfers (for recommended flights) & support vehicle
  • Slow Cyclist host & English-speaking local guides
  • All accommodation, meals, snacks & drinks
  • All activities
  • Bicycle & helmet hire
  • 100% financial security

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Single Supplement £250
  • Electric Bicycle Supplement £150
  • Flights
  • Personal costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if required)

Activity Level: Fairly Easy

Of course, we think this journey is fantastic, but it’s not for everyone. We like to think of our guests as ‘curious travellers with a bit of juice in their legs.’ Sometimes we ride hard but often we’re distracted by the culture, people, food and wine, and nature that make much of the world so special. So, our trips are about more than just cycling. There is always plenty of time to delve into a region’s history and to spend time with its people. When you see something interesting, we encourage you to stop and take it in rather than race by. In most groups we welcome there are novice and experienced cyclists, and those at every level in between. Our guides are skilled at spotting your ability and confidence level and reacting accordingly. This is your holiday and we’re here to make it a memorable one.

The cycling terrain will consist of quiet tarmac roads, gravel roads, mule tracks and forest trails.

Tuscany is a hilly place and if you are considering coming cycling with us you should have a good level of general fitness and be happy cycling up and down hills, off- and on-road.

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