Tag Archives: leisure cycling

A cycling classic! Two wheels in Tuscany

With its quaint medieval towns, intoxicatingly tasty local fare and some of the most idyllic scenery you’ll encounter in Italy, it’s little wonder Tuscany is a must-visit destination. Now, imagine pedalling through these perfectly manicured landscapes, soaking up all the stunning sights and sounds on offer! Need more convincing? Time to read on…

You say:
“This was the first time we had done a cycling holiday and having visited Tuscany before we thought this would be a great way to explore. I can honestly say we were not disappointed! The routes took us through some fantastic countryside and we stayed in a variety of towns that gave us a great experience of what Tuscany has to offer.” Alison on Pisa to Florence

The Telegraph say:
“Beneath a cloudless sky, Tuscany is a picture: the fields not yet cut and dried, but spring green and ablaze with poppies. Cypresses line the road and prick the skyline in a landscape lifted from a Renaissance painting.” Adam Ruck, ‘How to tackle the most beautiful cycling route in Italy’ (Feb, 2018)

Our guides say:
“Welcome to Tuscany – lots of rural winding roads and cheeky climbs! You’ll ride through many beautiful old towns which were all built on picturesque hilltops. But this is leisure cycling, so our day always starts with a relaxed and delicious Tuscan buffet.” Cristina on the Via Francigena (Tuscany to Rome)

All roads lead to…
If you’re feeling inspired by this email and can’t wait to get pedalling in Tuscany, click here to check out our great holiday selection.

Customer Story: Lofoten Islands

Norway’s beautiful Lofoten Islands are often referred to as one of the most stunning spots on the planet and you are about to find out why. There’s so much culture, history and a whole range of otherworldly landscapes here that will simply leave you speechless, and the best way to truly take it all in is by bike, of course! Check out our latest customer story from Randall Brophy and Pippa Bradbrook, who visited Norway with us, and prepare for immediate wanderlust…

‘Thinking back on our many years of cycling trips, I remember plenty of over-loved destinations. Not so with Norway. We waited until my wife was about to turn a major milestone birthday before going there. Fears of arctic isolation, $20 drinks, icy-cold weather and frequent rain turned out to be based in truth but greatly overdone. Surely we needed more clothing, and there was rain, but we were prepared for that. Plus, there is the Norway of Oslo and Bergen, then there are the Lofotens, a completely different world.

I’d read the Lofotens have the warmest weather for their latitude in the world, but what we got was far better than that superlative. Five consecutive days of full blue-sky sunshine with tee-and-shorts temperatures began our trip. Our energetic, knowledgeable and boundlessly likeable Norwegian guide, Sandro, met us at the ferry arrival around 9:30 PM and took us to our accommodation where he gave us a briefing and our bikes, despite still having to drive two hours back to his home afterward. The sun had risen in early June and wouldn’t set until late July.

This wouldn’t be a typical bike tour with turn-by-turn instructions and looking at the maps as much as looking at the road. There’d be no crowded tourist sites to try to book ahead, and no disappointments from waiting in any queues to see anything. Most of the time, we felt like the only people out there seeing these beautiful fjords for the first time, along with a scattering of staunch locals who enjoyed the midnight sun but also endured the arctic winters too. Every day we were treated to towering snow-patched mountains, deep blue clear waterways, clean air, and the most pleasant accommodations we’d ever experienced on a bike trip. The overnights featured an ideal mix of self-catering and restaurant options. Any hill climbs were quite tame. Many of the routes had cycleways, including some very scenic bypasses around tunnels. Where we were on the main road, we found drivers to be respectful and careful of cyclists.

One of the highlights was a round of golf in the middle of the night at Lofoten Links. That was also our last clear day, with a light rain moving in the following morning. Still plenty of atmospheric low-cloud formations on mountains to see, and while the weather wasn’t the best, the sky would clear at odd times (like 11 PM), making for stunning late-night excursions up hills, above fjords, and through fishing villages with postcard views of the golden sunshine on the mountains and shoreline. It was a time to liberate oneself from the daily schedule and go with a different flow for a while.

Unlike some other cycling trips, the Lofoten Islands tour in June featured a very different environment to stay each day. From Svolvaer’s variety, practicality and beautiful inland lakes, Henningsvaer’s quaint but tidy strips of shops and homes along canals with a cool edge to it, Gymsoy’s remote and stark beauty, Balstad’s utilitarian aspect, to Sakrisoy’s beautiful and rustic simplicity, we experienced a Norway as yet unspoiled by a mass influx of tourists, yet enough visitors to share the awe. And there was plenty of that. Every day.’

Feeling inspired? Check out our cycling holiday in Norway based on the breathtaking Lofoten Islands, whose dramatic, rugged beauty offers one of the most impressive natural landscapes in our leisure and family range!

Cycle Umbria: Italy at its most charming

Italy’s heartland or ‘Green Heart’, Umbria has an unrivalled beauty in this beloved country. Its lush landscapes are a pristine patchwork of woodland, olive groves and wildflowers, punctuated by refreshing springs and medieval hill-towns that are steeped in tradition and works of art. For lovers of Italian food, wine and culture, our new cycling holidays in Umbria are a must.

Best for: Leisure cyclists seeking a gentle place to place journey
Holiday: Green Heart of Umbria
Duration: 8 days | Trips: April to October | Grade: 2

Cycle from one medieval treasure to the next along the Valle Umbra, visiting the World Heritage Site of Assisi and marvel over Giotto’s art in the Basilica of San Francesco. Sounds good so far? This gentle trip leaves you with ample time to explore each stunning town and treat the taste buds in the process.

Best for: Families looking for plenty of fun on and off the bike
Holiday: Spirit of Umbria
Duration: 7 days | Trips: May to October | Grade: 2

Our brand new family cycling holiday offers the best of both worlds on and off the bike. Our routes are gently undulating and mostly traffic-free through the Valle Umbra’s gorgeous green and mountainous landscape, stopping at the hilltop towns along the way for gelattos galore. Accommodation has been carefully selected and we’ve even included a pizza making evening!

Looking for more Italian gems to push the pedals?
Explore all the incredible corners of Italy by bike with us in 2018. Take a peek at our amazing range of tours here.