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Established in 2010

Gusto Cycling - Tuscany Cycling Holidays

Bike through the Brunello and Montepulciano Wine Region

The Tuscan landscape of the Val d’Orcia will warm your heart like a classic photograph as you penetrate its natural beauty. You are in for a thrilling ride along steep valleys, dense forests, rivers and the legendary “badlands” eroded clay slopes. Mountain bike by picturesque farmhouses nestled amidst olive groves, vineyards and fig trees on your way to the hot spring hamlet of Bagno Vignoni and the heavenly Renaissance city of Pienza. You shall visit captivating palaces, Romanesque churches, thermal baths, and prestigious wineries serving the divine local red “Brunello”. Soaring up high on invigorating hilltop towns, you’ll revel in delight.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in a quintessential Tuscan Estate with onsite wellness resort and organic food production. The restaurant serves entrees prepared primarily with their own local produce. Visit the natural, artistic and cultural treasures of the Val d’Orcia, on the UNESCO heritage list Wonderful landscapes, wide open fields, cypress lined hills and vineyards Incredibly well preserved medieval and renaissance villages and hilltop towns Peaceful country roads, friendly Tuscans and delicious regional culinary specialties

8 day Day by day Program

Day Itinerary ã Daily km Climb Mt.
1 Arrival in Buonconvento Buonconvento
2 Buonconvento to Murlo and La Befa round tour Buonconvento 31.0 550
3 Buonconvento to Montalcino round tour Buonconvento 38.9 600
4 Buonconvento to Pienza Pienza 38.0 700
5 Pienza to Bagno Vignoni round tour Pienza 24.0 300
6 Pienza to Montepulciano round tour Pienza 33.0 750
7 Pienza to Buonconvento via San Quirico d’Orcia Buonconvento 34.0 350
8 Depart from Buonconvento

Day 1 Arrive in Buonconvento ã Buonconvento

Upon arrival in the charming medieval town of Buonconvento, rich in history and architecture with 700-year old walls, a transfer will take you to the agriturismo (farm house) where you will stay for the next four nights. A delicious Tuscan dinner awaits you! If you have rented bikes with us, they will be waiting for you at the accommodation.

Day 2 Buonconvento to Murlo and La Befa round tour ã Buonconvento

Ride through the bountiful, uncontaminated countryside to Murlo and immerse yourself in the dense woods as you ride by the Crevole River. Continue past steep cliffs to the sweet smell of bright yellow flowers and through an enchanting oak tree forest to La Befa. A short part of the trail is too narrow or rocky to cycle (about 300m) however the exhilarating views are more than worth the effort.

Day 3 Buonconvento to Montalcino round tour ã Buonconvento

Pedal through vibrant fields of sunflowers past Buonconvento to the heart of the Brunello wine district. The Monte Amiata volcano lures above as the surrounding countryside transforms into endless olive groves and vineyards. Ride steeply up to the fortified city of Montalcino where you can visit its magnificent 14th century fortress and Palazzo Comunale, then return to Buonconvento along remote back roads.

Day 4 Buonconvento to Pienza ã Pienza

Climb uphill to the renowned monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore with its delightful frescos and botanical garden. After replenishing your soul, follow a winding route past isolated villages to until you reach a row of hundreds of cypress trees, inviting you to visit the stunning Sant’Anna in Camprena monastery. Admire the frescos then finish your day in the lovely town of Pienza.

Day 5 Pienza to Bagno Vignoni round tour ã Pienza

Today is a relaxing day in which you will travel on smooth country roads to the medieval hamlet of Bagno Vignoni where you can rest and swim in its healing thermal waters, enjoyed by the Romans and home to the legendary water nymphs. Ride back to Pienza along gently undulating hills through unspoiled countryside and embrace the essence of Southern Tuscany.

Day 6 Pienza to Montepulciano round tour ã Pienza

From Pienza, travel along an immensely panoramic road past the medieval stone-built hamlet of Monticchiello. Ride up a remarkable limestone ridge and enjoy breathtaking views of the Val d’Orcia. Gather your strength as you make the climb up to Montepulciano. Upon arrival, celebrate with a glass of the famous local Vino Nobile wine. Head back down happy and giddy towards Pienza.

Day 7 Pienza to Buonconvento via San Quirico d’Orcia ã Buonconvento

Day 7 offers you a brilliant medieval experience. Follow an ancient pilgrimage route to the fortified town of San Quirico d’Orcia. Promenade its narrow streets full of well-preserved history and visit a 16th century Italian garden. After a ride across an arched medieval bridge and past the Tuoma stream, the road climbs and opens, revealing enchanting 360° views of Southern Tuscany’s majestic landscape.

Day 8 Arrivederci Val d’Orcia

After breakfast a short transfer takes you down to Buonconvento (arrange the time with the reception in advance), where you can catch the local bus or train to the airport, unless you have booked a transfer or extra services with us.

INCLUDED IN THE 8 DAYS PROGRAM

  • 4 nights on HB basis (drinks excluded) in an organic estate near Buonconvento.
  • 3 nights on B&B basis in a centrally located hotel with swimming pool in Pienza
  • Arrival and departure transfer from Buonconvento to the Fattoria Pieve a Salti Estate
  • Luggage transfer on day 4 and 7
  • 24-hour telephone assistance (simple puncture not covered)
  • Detailed road book and maps

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE 8 DAYS

  • 21 speed hybrid bike hire, helmet (puncture repair kit, pump, lock).
  • Flights and public transportation
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Admissions and entrance fees of any kind (when not previously agreed upon)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal extras and expenses such as meals, drinks, phone calls, etc.
  • Any items that have not been mentioned in the program
  • There is a CITY TAX “tassa di soggiorno” to be paid in cash on the spot in all the cities of this tour (it varies depending on the city and on the hotel’s category)

5 day Day by day Program

The 5 days program includes day 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 of the 8 days program

Day Itinerary ã Daily km Climb Mt.
1 Arrival in Buonconvento Buonconvento
2 Buonconvento to Murlo and La Befa round tour Buonconvento 31.0 550
3 Buonconvento to Montalcino round tour Buonconvento 38.9 600
4 Transfer to Pienza and ride to Buonconvento via San Quirico d’Orcia Buonconvento 34.0 350
5 Depart from Buonconvento

INCLUDED IN THE 5 DAYS PROGRAM

  • 4 nights on HB basis (drinks excluded) in an organic estate near Buonconvento.
  • Arrival and departure transfer from Buonconvento to the Estate
  • Client + bike Transfer to Pienza on day 4
  • 24-hour telephone assistance (simple puncture not covered)
  • Detailed road book and maps

NOT INCLUDED IN THE 5 DAYS PROGRAM

  • 21 speed hybrid bike hire, helmet (puncture repair kit, pump, lock).
  • Flights and public transportation
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Admissions and entrance fees of any kind (when not previously agreed upon)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal extras and expenses such as meals, drinks, phone calls, etc.
  • Any items that have not been mentioned in the program
  • There is a CITY TAX “tassa di soggiorno” to be paid in cash on the spot in all the cities of this tour (it varies depending on the city and on the hotel’s category)

OPTIONAL SERVICES for EITHER THE PROGRAMS (to be booked in advance):

  • 21 speed hybrid bike hire, helmet (puncture repair kit, pump, map holder, lock)
  • Additional nights in Florence, Siena or at either hotels or elsewhere in Italy
  • Airport arrival and departure transfer
  • Beauty treatments at the Fattoria Pieve a Salti Estate
  • Guided tour of Siena or any other town on the trip with a local private city guide

 



PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Group Size Minimum 1 person
Activity characteristics: Moderate to intermediate trip on hilly terrain, very little shade on roads (Daily climb 350 to 750 mt.). The rides follow mostly well asphalted country lanes and smooth turf roads (approx. 35% of the time) with very little traffic. More traffic near larger towns.
Best arrival & departure airport: Florence, Pisa or Bologna
Best arrival & departure stations: Siena or Buonconvento train stations
Trip availability: Any day from 23/03 to 31/10

Level of Difficulty

With a certain athletic attitude, the majority of the tours are not really demanding. In South Siena you’ll be in a position to fully enjoy the exhilarating sections through unspoilt country and nature areas. Four days you make circular tours, during these days you can eventually intercalate a resting day. Several days you can lengthen or shorten the rides.

Getting there and away

The Florence airport has both major and low cost international flights. Several low cost carriers serve Pisa and Bologna. You can reach Buonconvento by train.

Accommodation & Meals

The accommodation in Buonconvento is a true organic farmhouse (agriturismo) nestled amidst the magnificent rolling countryside of the Crete hills south of Siena. This large Tuscan estate produces olive oil, organic cereals and pasta that are used to prepare the typical regional dishes you will enjoy at their restaurant.

It has cosy rooms located in the main building where you find the reception, the restaurant and the large open swimming pool. Another set of rooms and apartments are located in the other building 1 km distant where you also find the wellness area with indoor heated pool and the horse stables.

The accommodation is 3 star equivalent, decorated in rustic Tuscan style, the rooms are simply and snug, with private bathrooms, telephone, hair dryer, central heating, TV and Air Condition. The large outdoor pool near the restaurant is open from June to September, the rest of the year you can enjoy the indoor heated pool and the wellness centre where they also have a Turkish bath sauna, massage and manicure and pedicure. There is a large horse riding centre and they are very dedicated to cyclist.

The accommodation in Pienza is a small comfortable family-run 3 star hotel, located 100 meters from the city gates of the historic village of Pienza. The hotel is in a quiet area, with a nice garden, swimming pool and private car park. All the bedrooms have private bathrooms, mini bar, satellite TV, AC and telephone. The hotel also has a spacious reception area and breakfast room. When the weather is nice, you can enjoy breakfast out on the terrace overlooking the garden.

In Pienza it is possible to upgrade to 4* hotel depending on availability.

Extended continental buffet breakfast is included each day of the tour and a 3-course dinner (drinks excluded) every night at the accommodation in Buonconvento. Dinner is not included in Pienza.

Alternative accommodation

During high season, you might sleep in different accommodation to the ones indicated in the description. In some cases it is possible that your list of accommodation differs somewhat.

This means that start or end of the routes can be slightly altered. Therefore, you should check to see if your accommodation is the same as that mentioned in this program. If not, you must be alert at the start and end of the routes. In choosing alternative accommodation, we have tried to maintain the same standards and quality. We have also tried to stay in the same towns and villages, in order to change routes as little as possible.

Luggage transfer

Luggage transfer is included in your package. If you are unable to ride, you can always ask if the luggage transporter can take you with him when transporting your baggage, but this is not always possible and sometimes you have to pay a small fee locally. In some countries there are special insurances for transporting peoples and sometimes the car is not suited for transporting persons.

A note on our self guided adventures

Self guided walking or cycling requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!) Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of if as the vast majority of our first time travellers attest.

Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide a 7day service hotline in the event of any problems. There is a certain level of the unknown that comes with self guided trips; however with a methodical approach potential problems will be averted. The freedom of a self guided trip is something that, once experienced, is sought time and time again.

Fitness preparation

The concept behind most of our trips is action holidays and the fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself. This walk is graded introductory to moderate. We expect participants to take responsibility for their fitness and preparations on a consistent basis prior to departure, and INCREASE the regular weekly training schedule in the two months leading up to departure. That way, when you start walking, you will feel relaxed and comfortable and strong, having done more than sufficient preparation for the trip. You will also have more energy to enjoy the views, take photos and explore the sights in your spare time, rather than just make it to the next hotel. During the day is when the most interesting features of interest will be found, and being fit allows you to optimize every situation you encounter.

As a minimum, we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic type exercise; running, swimming, biking, hill walking, or gym work two to three times a week for two to six months leading up to your walk. Note the best training is the activity that you are actually going to be doing; walking up and down hill, and cross-country. Practice this as much as possible. Training should be stepped up as you get closer to departure, to an amount you feel appropriate (you don’t want to cause yourself an injury!).

Using your gear before departure (boots, daypack, clothing etc) gives familiarity and comfort whilst on the walk. It makes sense to know that all your gear ‘works for you’ BEFORE departure, rather than discovering how things work or fit (or don’t!) on the trip you have invested so much in. Use the philosophy of ‘getting fit to go walking’, rather than ‘going on a walk to get fit’, to avoid problems.

Cycling Responsibility

Bicycle touring has its inherent risks. It is a sport whose safety is dependent upon the judgment and alertness of the cyclists. As a cyclist you are responsible for the way you ride and the condition of your bicycle. We, nor the local agent, are responsible for possible damages (physical or not) to the participants due to: physical activity during the tour, not following road regulations, alcohol consumption, breaking of means or materials, lack of medical assistance in far-off places or other not predictable circumstances.

Rental Bikes

If you have rented a bike with us, you will find it waiting for you in the Hotel’s storage room, fitted to your requirements. Our adult hybrid-bikes are provided with comfortable seats, reliable components, 21 gears and Shimano Alivio components. All bikes, before being handed out are cleaned and overhauled.

All bikes are equipped with a padlock and key that must be used at all times when not riding the bike, luggage pannier attachments at the rear and 1 rear side bag per bike, 1 front bag and map compartment, front and back lights, puncture repair kit, pump and spare inner tube, all of which you should know how to use. One every 2 bikes there is a KM distance counter.

You are expected to know the vary basics of bike mechanics and how to mend a puncture or change a tire. If something more serious happens to the bike that you cannot repair on the spot, call the shop and they will help you fix it or suggest the best and fastest solution.

For further information please contact marco@gustocycling.com

Prices for Tuscany South 5 Days Cycle Tour are:

April 8 – October 28 2017

Dates of the trip Price
double/twin room: 520 €/person
triple room: 439 €/person
Other prices Bike rental (3 days). 95€

 
Prices For Tuscany South 8 Day Cycle Tour

April 8 – October 25 2017

Dates of the trip Price
Double/Twin room: 760 €/person
Triple Room: 629 €/person

 

Bike rental (6 days). 120€
Helmet rental 10€
Electrical bikes may be available and subject to availability

Cafe in Tuscany Tuscany Cycling Holidays

San Gimignano

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