Self-guided style bike tours

self-guided cycling in Italy

You ride the bike. We do the rest.

Self-guided cycling is perfect for those who have an independent spirit, want the flexibility to choose their own dates, and don’t need van support. It’s the perfect way for those who enjoy DIY experiences to bicycle tour on their own, without dealing with the hassle of securing hotels, finding the best possible route, and being weighed down by panniers.

Each self-guided itinerary we offer is designed with first-hand knowledge accumulated over more than 50 years of designing and leading bicycle tours across Italy and most of Europe. All you have to do is select your tour and departure date of choice and then prepare to follow your biking bliss (and GPS directions!). Our expert, local team takes care of the rest.

Additionally, we can help you personalize your tour by offering longer rides, signing you up for cooking classes, or booking a guided walking tour. A few weeks before your departure, we’ll email you access to a RideWithGPS Experience that you load on your phone through a free app. The Experience houses all itinerary, hotel, route, sightseeing and contact information you’ll need for your tour.

Then, we meet you in person on day one for your bike-fitting and tour briefing. Once you head off cycling, we’ll transfer your luggage between hotels. The adventure is all yours.

Keep in mind: self-guided means self-supported

  • When it rains, you should have rain gear because there isn’t a van to pick you up.

  • If you get a flat, you or someone in the group should know how to fix it

  • You have to know how to read a digital map, follow step-by-step navigation instructions, and use a GPS device or navigation app on your phone.

  • Your interests and curiosity will shape your experience. We provide information on additional activities that will make for a richer experience, but it’s up to you to take advantage of that information.

Self-guided tours differ dramatically from our guided tour offerings. If you’re not sure whether this tour format is right for you, review our side-by-side comparison and don’t hesitate to call with your questions.

What’s Included

  • Premium bike and accessories: Select from our fleet of expertly maintained, lightweight titanium hybrid or road bikes and tandems. E-bikes are available with a surcharge. Your bike comes with a rear flashing safety light and rear rack pack outfitted with a lock, pump and tool kit.
  • Professional bike fitting and tour briefing: We will meet you and provide a full trip briefing and bike fitting on the first day.
  • Lodging: You’ll sleep in locally-owned 3 and 4-star hotels that reflect the regional culture and are centrally located or in a picturesque setting on the outskirts of town.
  • Meals: All breakfasts are included and will almost always be at the hotel. Your itinerary will call out any additional included meals.
  • Navigation: Your bicycle comes with a GPS device that is loaded with tracks, maps, elevation profiles, and turn-by-turn cues for all rides.
  • Ride With GPS Experience: You will receive access to your personalized Ride With GPS Experience — a digital guide that you’ll download to your phone through a free mobile app — two weeks prior to your trip. Your RWPGS Experience contains daily routes, maps, elevation profiles, ride descriptions, cultural and sightseeing recommendations, hotel itinerary, emergency numbers and more.
  • Luggage transfers: Your luggage will be swiftly transferred between hotels while you ride your bike.
  • Daily mileage options: If you crave longer days on the bike, we can provide longer ride options. Just submit a request no less than two weeks before your departure and we will add additional tracks to your Experience and GPS device.
  • Local experiences: Enjoy special activities and cultural and artisanal visits as described in the trip itinerary. Additional activities can be added (fees apply). See itineraries for details.
  • 24/7 emergency support: Your RWGPS Experience includes local emergency contact numbers and details.
Self-guided tour icon with waypoint symbol

Learn more about what to expect on a self-guided bicycle tour.

  • Support vehicle
  • Tour leaders
  • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour, including flights and ground transportation
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Helmets – we ask that you bring your own to ensure the safest fit
  • City hotel tax (5 – 7 euros per traveler, per night).
  • Trip Insurance – learn more about trip insurance at our travel planning pages

Find a tour

Self-guided: Taste of Italy, cycling Emilia-Romagna

A cycling and culinary adventure through Italy’s renowned foodie destination! Emilia-Romagna is known by Italians as the gastronomic heart of the country, located just north of Tuscany. This 8-day tour includes two-night stays in charming Parma and in a wonderful farm estate (with its own parmesan cheese factory!).
Tour departs any Sunday between March 1 and October 31
8 days
From USD$1895
Self-Guided Level 1.0
  • Sep 29, 2024 – Oct 06, 2024

Self-guided: Umbria – Cycling the Green Heart of Italy

Start in Perugia the ancient and modern capital of Umbria, then explore Assisi home of Saint Francis, and pedal through vineyards, past chestnut and oak forests and over rolling hills to monasteries, castles, and hilltop villages virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages.
Tour departs any Monday between March 1 and October 31
8 days
From USD$1995
Self-Guided Level 3.0
    No dates currently scheduled.
    Private departures available.

Self-guided: Italy’s Alpine Valleys – Sud Tyrol, Lake Garda and Verona

This low-difficulty itinerary also offers challenging rides easily reachable from the main route, to epic mountain climbs and passes. Great tour for couples, friends or families of mixed cycling abilities (and even for kids!) blending the culturally unique Austro-Italian north with everything expected from an Italian bike tour – great food, cycling and scenery!
Tour departs any Sunday between May 1 and September 30
8 days
From USD$2295
Self-Guided Level 2.0
  • Jul 17, 2024 – Jul 24, 2024

  • Sep 22, 2024 – Sep 29, 2024

Self-guided: Cycling the Majestic Dolomites! Cortina to Bolzano

The postcard valleys of the Dolomites are a paradise for any outdoor activity, and the gentle bike paths that criss-cross the region are perfect for bicycle travel. On this flexible self-guided itinerary, you can choose to cycle on the rolling valley floors, or challenge yourself on epic mountain climbs.
Tour departs any Saturday from May 1 to September 30th.
8 days
From USD $2295
Self-Guided Level 2.5
  • Sep 23, 2024 – Sep 30, 2024

Self-guided: Southern Tuscany – Cycling Cortona to Siena

Come cycle through this beautiful corner of Tuscany, stopping in Cortona, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino; crossing the postcard Val d’Orcia region; and ending in the one-of-a kind city of Siena. The perfect Italian cycling itinerary!
Tour departs any Monday between March 1 and October 31.
8 days
From $1895
Self-Guided Level 3.5
  • Oct 14, 2024 – Oct 22, 2024

Self-guided: Bicycle Romagna – Heartland of Italy’s Homemade Pasta

Start in fabulous Ravenna, cycle through scenic countryside and picturesque, off the beaten path towns, ending in glorious Bologna, Italy’s culinary capital!
Tour can start on any Tuesday between March 1 and October 31.
7 days
From USD$1550
Self-Guided Level 2.0
    No dates currently scheduled.
    Private departures available.