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Italy Guided Bike Tour – Tuscany & Umbria
Tour Dates: Sept. 8 – 16, 2018

This tour will be accompanied by Chuck & Judy Nichols

Charters Tours Available

Welcome to biking in Italy with Nichols Expeditions! Our Tuscany and Umbria Bike Tour will take you to the Italy of your dreams. Beginning in Assisi, Umbria, this remarkable bicycle tour traverses a countryside rich in history and scenery. Quiet country roads pass through majestic vineyards and lead to beautiful medieval towns where history comes alive. As we enter Tuscany, the crete landscape lends a softness to the horizon and the stately hilltop towns give us commanding views of the vineyards and surrounding countryside.

We rate the Tuscany and Umbria Bike Tour moderately difficult. There are E-bikes, hybrids and road bikes for rent, and each day a support van travels with us for anyone wanting a lift. We will be riding well-planned routes on quiet roads and all breakfasts and dinners included.

Join us for an unforgettable Italian cycling experience in Tuscany and Umbria where each day is filled with exceptional cycling, incredible hilltop towns, amazing Renaissance art, boutique lodgings, great food and exceptional wine. We hope to see you in Italy!

2018 Price: €2,250 Euros per person, based on double occupancy

Single Supplement: €350 Euros
Hybrid Bike Rental: €175 Euros
Road Bike Rental: €200 Euros
Electric Bike Rental: €250 Euros

Price Includes:
  • 8 nights lodging
  • all breakfasts and 8 dinners
  • luggage transfers and van support with local guide/driver
  • maps and route directions
  • Chuck and Judy Nichols will personally accompany this tour and be there to handle bike maintenance and logistics.
Price does not include:

International flights, bike rentals (you may choose to bring your own bike), lunches, beverages

Tour Difficulty

This is a moderately hilly bike tour that fit riders of all abilities will enjoy. Our routes follow winding secondary roads and average 45 – 65 kilometers per day, with more riding available for the hearty.

  • Difficulty: Moderately Hilly
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid, Road or Electric Bike

Tour Highlights

  • Ancient walled cities
  • Hillsides covered with olive trees
  • Etruscan tombs and Renaissance art
  • renowned wine regions
  • Tuscany’s most interesting hill top towns

Tour Overview

This unforgettable bicycle tour traverses Tuscany and Umbria, two of Italy's most scenic regions where quiet country roads lead to historic medieval cities. Our tour features great riding, fantastic scenery, comfortable lodgings with all breakfasts & dinners included and luggage transfers.

Our tour begins in Assisi, Umbria, where the medieval flavor takes you back to the enchantment and mystery of the Middle Ages. The province of Umbria is known as the "Green Heart" of Italy and our route is surrounded by vineyard clad valleys and hillsides covered with olive trees. Ancient walled cities, Etruscan tombs and Renaissance art are a treat for the eye, and Baci, the world-famous chocolate covered hazelnuts from Perugia, are a delicious treat for the palate!

The classic charm of Tuscany is picture book perfect. The countryside is an exquisite patchwork of green fields and stately farmhouses silhouetted by Cyprus trees. Extensive vineyards and acres of sunflowers are bathed in pastel sunlight. Our route passes through several renowned wine regions and takes us to some of Tuscany’s most interesting hill top towns. Enjoy strolling centuries old streets that lead to magnificent cathedrals and grand plazas with charming shops and sidewalk cafes.

All of the accommodations were specially selected to reflect the warmth and hospitality of the region and provide a real sense of the living history of the region. The scrumptious meals served on the tour are made with local ingredients and seasoned with tasty olive oil and fresh herbs. You will have a chance to sample some of Italy’s best cheeses and most famous wines – the Brunellos from Montalcino and the bold Vino Noble from Montepulciano.

All riders will have a map and route directions, so you can choose to ride with the group or travel independently at your own pace. You will carry only what you need for the day on your bike and our van will be there for support when you need it. Chuck and Judy Nichols will accompany this tour.

Our Tuscany Bike Tour, with its fantastic riding, wonderful lodgings and gourmet meals, is your opportunity to experience the delightful countryside, charming towns and wonderful people of Italy. We hope you will join us in Tuscany!

Tour Map

Tour Video

Day 1: Arrival

We meet in Assisi for a mid afternoon orientation and bike fitting. Join us for a Welcome dinner. Airlines from a variety of European cities fly into Perugia and the airport is close to Assisi. Trains from Rome, Florence and Milan service Assisi. Overnight in Assisi.

Day 2: Assisi - Solomeo Ride: 52 Km

Our route through Umbria is highlighted by a visit to Deruta, a town famous for its ceramics.Overnight in Solomeo.

Day 3: Solomeo- Cortona Ride: 65 Km

A curvy road will lead us to Lake Trasimeno whose shores teem with migratory birds. We’ll cycle near beautiful olive groves to Cortona, the setting for Francis Mayes’s best seller, Under the Tuscan Sun. Overnight in Cortona.

Day 4: Cortona - Montepulciano Ride: 50 Km

Today we will enter Tuscany through the magnificent wine country of Montepulciano, one of Tuscany’s highest hilltop towns. Renowned for its Vino Nobile, Montepulciano also boasts a unique blend of Renaissance architecture and is perched on a narrow ridge of volcanic rock. We will spend 2 nights in our favorite villa in Italy! Overnight a few Kms from Montepulciano.

Day 5: Montepulciano Loop Ride: 50 Km

Today’s loop ride takes us to Montefollonico, a lovely 12th century hilltop town. We’ll also ride to Montepulciano where we’ll have time to visit the town and can also sample the Vino Noble wines in many of the local wine shops. We’ll return in time to enjoy an afternoon swim and relax in our amazing villa. We return to our same lodging near Montepulciano. Overnight in Montepulciano.

Day 6: Montepulciano – Bagno Vignoni Ride: 50 Km

Today we ride an amazing Cyprus lined downhill to Monticchiello, climb to Pienza for lunch, descend to San Quirico and continue to our lodging near Bagno Vignoni, a famous Roman spa town. Our lodging is a romantic country inn that is a finely restored 16th century horse and carriage station. Overnight in Bagno Vignoni.

Day 7: Bagno Vignoni to Montalcino: 30 Km

Our ride takes us to the gorgeous abbey of Saint Antimo, a well preserved 12th-century church that still echoes with Gregorian chants. We finish our ride among the vineyards en route to Montalcino, a 13th century paradise and the home of Brunello wine. Our ride is shorter today and we plan to arrive in Montalcino at lunch time, so you will have plenty of time today for shopping and sampling some of the fine Brunello wines. Overnight in Montalcino.

Day 8: Montalcino - Siena Ride: 53 Km

The road winds through hills and oak woods to Monte Oliveto Maggiore, the most impressive abbey in Italy. Then it’s on to Siena, our final destination. Siena is one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Italy. Its famous Piazza Del Campo is an open-air museum and architectural gem. Overnight in Siena.

Day 9: Departure

Your tour ends after breakfast. There are both train and bus stations in Siena with easy access to both Rome and Florence.

Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions bike tour?

You can expect a spirited mix of singles and couples in their 20′s to 80′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references for any trip that you are interested in joining.

Can I charter this tour?

Yes! You bring the people and we will take care of all the details! This tour can be chartered as either a Guided Tour or Self Guided Tour. Call us for details and availability, 800-648-8488.

The Food

This region has earned its reputation of having the best cuisine and wine in all of Italy. You will be staying in hotels and inns that serve gourmet meals with enough variety to please everyone. As per the itinerary, breakfasts and 8 dinners are included and lunches are on your own. Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated with advanced notice.

Weather

Weather can be changeable, so be prepared for riding in both sun and showers. Daytime temperatures are 60º to 85º F. and nights are 50º to 70º F. There is always the chance of rain, so to ensure your personal comfort please make sure you have a good quality rain jacket with a hood and rain pants, too. For the sunny days, we recommend using SPF 30 sunscreen and lip screen. If you are really sun sensitive, we suggest sun-blocking clothing.

Rental Bikes

We rent good quality road and hybrid bikes with a bike bag, a water bottle cage and flat pedals without toe clips and straps. You are welcomed to bring your own pedals and seat. We will supply full mechanical support during the tour. NOTE: You will need to provide your own helmet.

Camera Gear

Whether you shoot a digital or film camera, bring more media storage cards or film than you think you need! A portable hard drive may be the answer for digital storage. Other useful items are plenty of extra batteries, lens cleaner, lens tissue, lens brush, a mini tabletop tripod and a clean toothbrush to remove grit from your camera.

Language

You do not need to be able to speak Italian, but it can be lots of fun, and our Italian guide can always help you with the finer points of the language. A small dictionary and some creative sign language are helpful, and many people at airports and hotels speak English.

Money

The currency of Italy is the Euro. You will need Euros for lunches, meals before and after the tour, beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for the Italian guide. We suggest starting with a minimum of $250US (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).

Tipping

On the tour: we suggest $125 per guest to cover our local guide and various service people at the lodges during the tour. On your own: most restaurants include a service charge, but an additional 5-10% for exceptional service is always appreciated. We suggest a small amount for baggage and taxi service.

Cash & Credit Cards

US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or Master Cards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.

Passport

U.S. citizens must have a current Passport to enter Italy. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!

Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.

Travel Information

This trip begins in Assisi and ends in Siena.

Travel Delays

Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!

Learn more about the Travel Insurance.

About Tuscany

Tuscany (Italian: Toscana, pronounced [tosˈkaːna]) is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres (8,900 sq mi) and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence.

Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture.
~ Wikipedia

About Umbria

Umbria (Italian pronunciation: [ˈumbrja]), is a region of historic and modern central Italy. It is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries. It includes the Lake Trasimeno, Cascata delle Marmore, and is crossed by the River Tiber. The regional capital is Perugia. Umbria is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy, and influence on culture. ~ Wikipedia

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