Italy: Cycling Holiday in Tuscany – Pisa & Florence (7 Nights)

  • Tuscany

Cycling Holiday in Tuscany

Self-Guided

8 Days / 7 Nights (6 Days Cycling)

Category “Charm”: Superior Hotels with Special Character, Most with Pools

Category A: 3* & 4* Hotels, Some with Pools

Category B: 3* Hotels

Distance: 188-219 miles / 300-350 km

Level: Moderate / Hard

GPS Tracks Available

Luggage Transfers Included

Bikes & Electric Bikes Available

Departures every Saturday from 4 April to 10 October 2020

Bed & Breakfast from €797 pp, with Discounts for Children

Cycling Tour of Tuscany from Montecatini Terme to Pisa & Florence

Join us for a cycling holiday in Tuscany. The Tuscan “Chianti Country” is renowned for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and influence on high culture. Regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Tuscany has been home to many influential figures in the history of art and science. In addition, Tuscany produces many fine wines, including, of course, the inimitable Chianti.

With its own strong linguistic and cultural identity, Tuscany is sometime considered “a nation within a nation”. The area has over 120 protected nature reserves, and seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites, including those at Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano and Siena –  all of which feature in this wonderful cycling tour.

On this cycling holiday in Tuscany, you will make your way from Montecatini Terme, via Pisa, to Florence on well-waymarked and usually traffic free cycling routes.

This is a moderate / hard tour that requires a reasonable level of fitness and cycling experience.  We offer hand-picked accommodation and breakfasts in luxurious country hotels and selected 4* and 3* hotels, together with daily baggage transfers, a comprehensive information pack and guide book, and emergency support. We can also provide good quality touring and electric bikes.

Cycling Holiday in Tuscany: Itinerary

(click to enlarge)

Given the variety of accommodation options and the different routes that may be selected between them, all daily distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrive in Montecatini Terme.

After checking into the hotel, you should take time to have a look around Montecatini Terme. The largest and most famous of Tuscany’s spa towns, Montecatini Terme has been revered for its curative waters since at least the 16th century, when the first baths were built here. Take the historic funicular railway train to Montecatini Alto for fantastic views of the surrounding area.

There will be a welcome meeting at your hotel at 7:00 pm, to review the route documentation and hand over hire bikes. If you can’t make it for 7:00 pm, don’t worry! Everything will be waiting for you on your arrival.

Day 2: Loop Tour to Vinci, Approx. 35 miles / 55 km.

Breakfast

The first ride of your cycling tour of Tuscany is a loop tour to the town of Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci. You will cycle across the vast plains of the Valdenievole Valley, passing through Tuscan villages and olive groves on your way to Vinci.

We recommend visiting the museum in the castle at Vinci, which is home to one of the largest and most original collections of machines and models of the great inventor. Afterwards, you will return by quiet roads to Montecatini Terme.

Day 3: Montecatini Terme to Pisa, Approx. 25 or 56 miles / 40 or 90 km.

Breakfast

Today you will leave Montecatini and travel to Pisa, the city known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city’s cathedral).

On your way to Pisa you will pass through the medieval wine town of Monte Carlo, where one of the few white wines of Tuscany flourishes, and through Lucca, a city famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls. You can take a ride around the walls of Lucca, which offer magnificent views of the many churches and towers that rise above the countless rooftops of the city.

It is possible to take the train from Montecatini to Lucca, thereby reducing this route to 25 miles (40 km). (The train ticket is not included in price of holiday.)

From Lucca, you will continue to Lake Massacciuccoli (also called Lake of Giacomo Puccini), with stunning views of the sea and of Pisa, before heading on to spend the night in the city.

Day 4: Pisa to Casciana Terme, Approx. 31 miles / 50 km.

Breakfast

This morning, the bike path will first lead you along the river Arno. You will pass through fertile fields as you continue through the Pisan hills, on whose gentle slopes grapes, olives, and juicy peaches grow and whose tops are dotted with small medieval villages. Your destination for the day is the pretty spa town of Casciana Terme.

Day 5: Casciana Terme to San Gimignano, Approx. 35 miles / 55 km.

Breakfast

Today you will cycle on beautiful trails through vineyards and rolling hills, enjoying the stunning views of Tuscany so often recorded by artists over the centuries. Your home for the night is the small, walled, medieval town of San Gimignano, known as the “Town of Fine Towers”.

San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls, forms an unforgettable skyline.

Day 6: San Gimignano to Siena, Approx. 31 miles / 50 km.

Breakfast

The beautiful Tuscan landscape on today’s stage will help you to forget the small climbs on the route (probably!). Passing through the small fortified village of Monteriggioni, you will feel as if you were in the Middle Ages. However, today’s highlight is undoubtedly the architectural paradise of Siena, one of Italy’s most visited attractions.

Day 7: Cycle from Siena to Greve then to Florence by Bus, Approx. 31 miles / 50 km.

Breakfast

Today’s route takes you into the midst of the wide Chianti region, the only place in the world where the renowned “Chianti Classico” wine is grown.

On your way to Greve, known at the capital of the Chianti region, you will pass through the charming wine village of Castellina.

At Greve you will hand your hire bikes over to our representative, who will be happy to transport your own bikes to Florence or Montecatini too. You will continue your journey to Florence by public bus. (Transfer included in holiday price.)

The delightful city of Florence is the capital of Tuscany and has the nickname “La Bella” (The Beautiful One). Florence is famous for its history. It was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time.

Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been called the “Athens of the Middle Ages”. Due to Florence’s artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city is noted for its history, culture, Renaissance art and architecture, and for its monuments.

Day 8: Departure from Florence.

Breakfast

There are direct flights from Florence and Pisa to many European cities. However, why not take time to explore Tuscany before you leave? We can easily arrange an extension for as long as you like.

Dates & Prices

This self-guided cycling tour of Tuscany departs every Saturday from 4 April to 10 October 2020.  The price differs according to season and category of accommodation.

  • Category “Charm”: Selected traditional-style country hotels.
  • Category A: 4* and Selected 3* hotels.
  • Category B: 3* hotels.

Prices

Price per Person (pp) in Twin or Double Room, with Breakfast
Arrival Date (Saturday)
Category "Charm"
Category A
Category B
4-24 April & 26 September to 10 October
€999
€899
€779
25 April to 29 May & 5 to 25 September
€1029
€939
€799
30 May to 4 September
€1069
€969
€829
Single Supplement*
€379
€289
€199
Extra Nights
Montecatini Terme
Double (pp)
€89
€69
€55
Single
€138
€88
€70
Florence
Double (pp)
€115
€115
€69
Single
€204
€204
€128
Bike Hire & Other Services
Hybrid Bike
€85
Plus Bike
€129
Electric Bike
€189
Kids Bike, Trailer or Seat
POA
Purchase Helmet (sizes 56-60 cm only)
€40/center>
Transfer from Florence to Montecatini Terme
€29 pp

*There is no additional supplement for a solo traveller on this tour.

Local tourist taxes are payable in some hotels.

Payment may be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), or by transfer to our Spanish or UK bank.

We do not charge a handling fee if you pay by credit card. 

Check the price in your currency here: XE Currency Converterxe.com

Discounts

There are a number of great discounts available on this cycling holiday in Tuscany:
  • Child up to 5 years sharing room with 2 adults- FREE.
  • Child 6-11 years sharing room with 1 or 2 adults – 50%.
  • Child 12-14 years sharing room with 1 or 2 adults – 25%.
  • Child aged 15 years and over or adult sharing room with 2 adults – 10%.
  • No luggage transfers – €25 pp.

Services Included

This cycling holiday includes:
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in specially-selected hotels and inns. Double, twin or single rooms with en-suite bath/shower rooms.
  • 7 breakfasts.
  • Daily luggage transfer – 2 items per person. Maximum weight 20 kg per item. (Discount if not required).
  • 1 x Bus transfer, from Greve to Florence, including own bike.
  • Information pack, including cycle map with detailed tour description in English (1 per room).
  • GPS tracks.
  • Service hotline, 7 days a week.

Extra Services

The following services are not included in the price of this cycling holiday, but we would be delighted to help you to organise them:
  • Travel to and from Montecatini and Florence, including flights and airport transfers.
  • Dinners, lunches drinks and snacks.
  • Local tourist taxes.
  • Helmet hire.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Extra nights in Florence or at any point along the route.
  • Tickets for concerts and attractions.

Accommodation

Our cycling tour of Tuscany offers 3 distinct levels of accommodation:

  • Category “Charm”: Selected traditional country hotels. Most are located on the outskirts of towns, but within easy reach of the town centres by public transport. In Montecatini Terme and Florence the hotels are 4* hotels, centrally located. All hotels, except Florence, have a seasonal swimming pool.
  • Category A: Selected 3* & 4* hotels, all with air conditioning, some with swimming pool.
  • Category B: Selected 3* hotels.

All of the accommodation venues that we use are specially selected for their standards of service, warmth of welcome and character.

Your reserved accommodation will usually be confirmed not less than one month before your holiday start date.

Examples of Hotels

Nights 1 & 2: Montecatini Terme.

Night 3: Pisa.

Night 4: Casciana Terme.

Category “Charm”

Agriturismo Le Valli

Category A

Hotel Roma 3*

Category B

Hotel Stella 3*

Night 5: San Gimignano.

Night 6: Siena.

Category “Charm”

Hotel Garden 4*

Categories A & B

Hotel Italia 3*

Night 7: Florence.

Category “Charm”

C-Hotels Florence 4*

Category A

Una Vittoria 4*

Category B

Hotel Grifone 4*

Travel

Getting to Montecatini & from Florence

This cycling tour of Tuscany starts in Montecatini and finishes in Florence. Florence has an international airport, with flights to many European cities. Pisa airport, which is less than 1 hour away by bus or train is larger than Florence and has even more international flights.

There are direct train connections between Florence and many European cities.

We can arrange a transfer back to Montecatini Terme, for you and your bike, at the end of the tour.

If you don’t need to return to Montecatini to collect a car at the end of your tour, it is almost always better to arrange onward travel from Florence or Pisa.

Car parking is available in Montecatini Terme from €45 (category “Charm” & A) and €35 (category B) per week.

We would be very happy to arrange your flights and / or transfers.  Please ask for details.

Hire Bikes

Our most popular bike is the 21-speed hybrid, which has 28-inch wheels. Hybrid bikes are available with unisex frames, in sizes 43, 46, 51 & 56 cm. On request we can also supply men’s models (with a crossbar), in sizes 56, 60 & 64 cm.

We can also supply 7-speed unisex touring bikes with back-pedal “coaster” brakes, in sizes 46, 51 & 56 cm.

For those looking for a sportier ride, we can also supply our “Plus” rental bikes. These bikes feature a sportier posture and 27 gears, with even higher quality components and accessories (eg, Magura hydraulic brakes, Shimano Deore XT gears). Sizes: 46, 51, 56, 60 & 63 cm.

Our electric bikes are custom made. They feature unisex frames and a range of up to 180 km on a single charge! They are available in sizes “XS”, 46, 51 & 56 cm.

Bikes for children may be available on request.

All adult rental bikes are supplied with a speedometer, a pannier bag for the carriage of spare clothing and food, and a handlebar bag for the carriage of documents, maps and other small items. In addition, each room receives a lock, toolkit and pump.

Helmets are not compulsory for anyone in Italy, but can be purchased locally if ordered in advance.

When cycling at night cyclists must wear a high-visibility jacket. If you plan to cycle at night, please bring a hi-vis jacket with you.

Please see “Dates & Prices” for hire charges.

More Info

Difficulty Level

This cycling tour of Tuscany is a moderate / hard tour that requires a reasonable level of fitness and cycling experience. The route is clearly marked throughout and is generally smooth and traffic-free, though traffic will be encountered close to towns and cities. There are some short climbs, but they can easily be walked. There is sometimes the option of shortening or skipping legs by taking a bus, boat or train.

This is an unescorted cycle tour. The mileages given are approximate and are based on the suggested routes.

Luggage Transfers

Daily luggage transfers are included in the price of this cycling holiday in Tuscany. There is a limit of 2 pieces of luggage per person and each item must not weight more than 20 kg.

A discount is available if luggage transfers are not required.

Please note that any loss of or damage to luggage during transfer must be reported immediately. Our partners in Italy will accept responsibility up to a maximum of €200 per person in compensation. No liability is accepted for:
  • Items not usually carried in luggage.
  • Cash, credit cards or cheques.
  • Slight damage to the outside of luggage.
  • Damage to handles and wheels.
  • Damage to any piece of luggage weighing more than 20 kg.

Weather

The weather in Tuscany in April, May and October can be very changeable. It is usually warm, mild and sunny, but rain is a distinct possibility. June, July, August and September have very little rain and can experience some very hot days. Please check the weather forecasts and be prepared.

Outside of the summer months it will almost always be necessary to carry a waterproof jacket. Waterproof trousers may also be required at times. All items carried on the bike should be wrapped in plastic to avoid soaking. A sun hat and sunscreen are also often essential.