ExperiencePlus! - Bicycle Tours since 1972

Cycle and Soak Hidden Tuscany Plus!

  • Itinerary Summary

    The Etruscans gave Tuscany its name and inhabited this coastal area with twelve major settlements. After the classical age the epicenter of Tuscany moved to the valley of the Arno River to the north of Siena, so this area of Tuscany was largely forgotten--until today. Modern Italians have re-discovered this scenic area for its landscapes and spas, and we're happy to offer you an opportunity to discover it, too.

    Come and bicycle through Tuscany's history as we visit small medieval towns and Etruscan sites, and then relax at resorts and thermal spa hotels. Bicycle this remote region from north to south between vineyards and low olive-clad hills along the Etruscan coast.

    ***If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 10 days, check out our Cycle and Soak Hidden Tuscany tour, which features the first 7 days of this itinerary.***

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    1. Day 1: Arrive in Casciana Terme, near Pisa

      Highlights: Spa town of Casciana Terme

      Arrive today in Casciana Terme not far from Pisa. Casciana Terme is one of Tuscany's many thermal spa towns. The Romans knew of the hot springs here and the Pisans built a minor spa here as early as 1311. It wasn't until the 17th century when the Tuscan aristocracy moved from the cities to the countryside in large numbers, however, that the present spa developed. Our hotel is close to the spa and we're happy to help you make reservations. We fit bicycles this afternoon and you'll have time to go out for a test ride if you wish.

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D



      Lodging: Hotel Margherita

    2. Day 2: Bicycle a loop ride into upper Maremma region

      Highlights: Traditional Tuscan landscape, Medici fortress in Lari, hill towns of Tuscany

      Our loop ride today takes us to several of the villages around Casciana Terme. This is classic Tuscany in the Pisan hills with small hilltop villages, olive trees, vineyards and cypress trees punctuating the landscape on the horizon. For centuries this area was a border region among the historic rival cities of Pisa, Florence and Volterra. By 1509, though, Florence consolidated its control over the area. Our ride takes us through Lari with its sizeable 16th century Medici fortress. The villages in the area flourished under the Medici family as farm towns and for summer residents of the aristocracy from Pisa and Florence.

      Distance: 40-43 km (25-27 miles), depending on your choice of loop rides. Meals: B



      Lodging: Hotel Margherita

    3. Day 3: Bicycle from Casciana Terme

      Highlights: Spectacular views

      Today we leave the rich farm villages of the Pisan hills and head south to ride along a scenic ridge. Small roads and sweeping views across to the sea lead us to the small town of Pomaia, famous today for the largest Buddhist study center in Europe. Meditate as needed to prepare for the short 5 km (3 miles) uphill where we'll reach our highest point - the perched village of Castellina Marittima. A flat ridge and coasting descent brings us to our hotel.

      Distance: 43 km (27 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Antico Borgo San Martino.

    4. Day 4: Bicycle through the northern Maremma region

      Highlights: Wine village of Bolgheri, Maremma region of Italy, outdoor pools

      We have another scenic ride in store today as we bicycle through the Maremma region of Italy, famous for its "cowboys" and small, medieval towns. The first part of our ride is along the coastal plain; this entire section underwent agricultural reclamation from the late 19th century through Mussolini's rule in the early-mid 20th century. Swamps were drained and roads and other infrastructure were built, and the region is now rich in olive oil and wine production. We pedal through the tiny fortress town of Bolgheri, famous for its red wines, including "Sassicaia". Talk with the locals if you can find one; according to one spry 89-year-old we met in the town square, there are only twenty-six residents left! Another gentle forested climb brings us to world-class gelato before a gliding downhill which customers have called, "the best ride in the world" and ends in a tiny stone village, worth a peek before continuing on. Our hotel pool is perfect for soothing tired muscles after four days of cycling.

      Distance: 73 km (45 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Calidario

    5. Day 5: Loop ride to Populonia and the beach

      Highlights: Etruscan sites, beaches, Medieval architecture

      We've planned a casual bike ride today to give you a sampling of history and geography from the Etruscan time through the Renaissance. We head first to the ancient Etruscan port of Populonia, the most important Etruscan port town. We'll have a guided visit of the tombs and the "industrial" area, learning about the Etruscans' practice of metallurgy, where they mined tin and iron from local deposits and processed them into valuable commodities for trade throughout the Mediterranean. After our visit, you can ride to the village for the view, enjoy some beach time, have lunch by the sea, return to the pool or head off for some more mileage.

      Distance: 24 km (15 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Calidario

    6. Day 6: Bicycle to our agriturismo

      Highlights: Cycling remote country roads, wine tasting, staying at an agriturismo

      Today's ride takes us into the interior as we follow several river valleys before heading south to the small hilltop towns of Gavorrano, Ravi and Caldana. We're headed to our agriturismo, a working farm that produces olives and wine while providing superb lodging and gourmet cuisine. A dip in the pool before a wine tasting overlooking the view is a perfect end to the day before dinner together.

      Distance: 65 km (40 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Agriturismo Montebelli

    7. Day 7: Rest Day or Loop Ride

      Highlights: Etruscan site of Vetulonia, fishing village of Castiglione della Pescaia

      Today is a day to relax, bike to the beach or visit some more Etruscan sites. You can enjoy the grounds of the agriturismo, relax by the pool and take it easy. Those wanting to explore can take a ride to the coast to enjoy lunch in the nearby historic fishing village of Castiglione della Pescaia. Anybody wanting a shorter ride can bicycle to the hilltop Etruscan ruins of Vetulonia, once an important Etruscan center that dominated the surrounding area. Regroup this evening at our country hotel where we'll enjoy a home cooked meal together.

      Distance: 0-63 km (0-39 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Agriturismo Montebelli

    8. Day 8: Bicycle to Magliano in Toscana

      Highlights: Hilltop village of Magliano di Toscana

      We cross the flat plains and wetlands today to head into the first line of olive-clad hills paralleling the coast. We'll skirt the city of Grosseto, provincial capital, as we enjoy a gentle climb amid olive trees and typical Mediterranean vegetation with gorgeous view on the coast, the islands and the hilltop villages that dot the countryside. Our destination is Magliano in Toscana, with its imposing town walls and narrow medieval streets. Our accommodations for the next two days are located just outside the village, set amidst peaceful olive groves. You'll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside while you relax poolside.

      Distance: 79 km (49 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Borgo Magliano

    9. Day 9: Loop ride to Capalbio and the Giardino dei Tarocchi

      Highlights: The prototypical hilltop village of Capalbio and the one-of-a-kind Giardino dei Tarocchi

      Our ride today takes us to yet another hilltop village, Capalbio. But this village may have set the standard for hilltop villages throughout Italy. Enjoy getting lost in the intricate alley ways of this tiny village. You won't be lost for long, but you will understand the defensive purpose of building villages that feel like a maze. We finish our ride with a visit, at your option, to the Giardino dei Tarocchi, one of the most amazing outdoor sculpture gardens in the world. Opened by the French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle in 1998, it is something between an Antonio Gaudí or Salvatore Dali exhibit and a Cristo installation. You'll have the choice of bicycling or shuttling back to our lodging.

      Distance: 60-80km (37-50 miles) if you pedal both ways. Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Borgo Magliano

    10. Day 10: Shuttle to the train in Grosseto

      Highlights:

      Our ride ends today as we provide a shuttle to the train station in Grosseto. Enjoy your travels and thanks for joining us to explore the coast of Tuscany!

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      Thermal pools, Roman natural hot springs, Etruscan ruins, Fabulous Tuscan food grounded in olive oil, tomatoes, basil and rosemary, Ridge rides looking out across vineyards, cypress trees, olives, and the Tyrrhenian Sea, four 2-night stays
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 10 days, 9 nights, 7 dinners with wine, 9 breakfasts; Day 1 shuttle from Pisa airport to the tour start; entrance and guided visit to Populonia; spa entry Days 1 - 7, accommodation on Days 8 & 9 pool, no spa; shuttle to the train station in Grosseto. plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Italy
    • Begin/End

      Casciana Terme (near Pisa); Magliano in Toscana
    • Arrive/Depart

      In and out of Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) or into Pisa & out of Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
    • Total Distance

      339-434 km (209-268 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      42-54 km (26-33 miles)
    • Rating

      201-301 Some climbing almost every day with mileage options on many days; some ridge top and river valley rides. Longer mileage on the last three days.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Single Supplement Notes
    May 3-12, 2015 $4625 $650 Book it
    Sep 6-15, 2015 $4625 $650 Book it
    Sep 27-Oct 6, 2015 $4625 $650 2 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • I told the people I cycled with on the Puglia trip the week after I left Tuscany that they would have LOVED the soak at the end of every day. The thermal spas were one of the coolest things EVER! And the riding on the Tuscany trip is soooo lovely!!

      Nikki J., Portland, OR
    • A great mix of cycling, cultural experiences and great food! Wonderful hotels/resorts. LOVED being in most of them for 2 nights instead of moving every day.

      Margaret V. Boulder, CO
    • The entire trip was amazing!

      Bill M., Denver, CO
    • A great tour with a great set of leaders.

      Peter K., Williston, VT
    • A great trip in every way.

      Reg F., Colorado Springs, CO
    • Excellent adventure great tour leaders wonderful experience (as usual).

      Joan K., Palatine, IL
    • Probably the best tour of Tuscany I have taken. The daily distances were perfect, excellent roads, hill top towns and I really liked the two day stays and the loop rides out of the towns.

      Sonny L., Boulder, CO
    • Ciao Monic e Mara Elena, Il tour era incredibile, meraviglioso, bellissimo e tanti altri aggettivi tutti positivi. Mi piace Hotel Balestro a Firenze. Grazie mille del suggerimento!

      John or Gianni, S., Boulder, CO
    • The chalk arrows are brilliant, we enjoyed staying at the agriturisimo and riding into the coastal resort towns. Appreciated the variety of experiences.

      Nancy & Richard L., Columbia, MO
    • Thanks so much to you all!! I'd never use a different tour company.

      Pamela M., Eugene, OR
    • My favorite experience: Martelli macaroni factory tour Agriturismo. Getting to see the olives go from the trees to our table to be enjoyed as olive oil at dinner.

      Jane Z.,
    • Wonderful biking through roads with olive trees, vineyards and sunflowers; access to beaches and pools in hot weather! Enjoyed side visit to pasta factory, bike company in Grosseto and ruins.

      Burt S., Baltimore, MD
    • The agriturismo was so awesome and you get the feel of real farm life. Thank you all for making it such an enchanting trip. We will never forget May on the Tuscan Coast!

      Adele D., Fort Collins, CO

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