Cycling Italy's Piedmont Plus! Lake Maggiore

Cycling Italy's Piedmont Plus! Lake Maggiore

Italy's Piedmont region is surrounded on three sides by a great arc of the Alps as they rise out of the Mediterranean Sea and curve north and east through France, Switzerland and Italy to Austria. Within this great curve of mountains the Po River rises, forming a broad, fertile plain that forms Italy's longest river flowing into the Adriatic Sea. It was in the western part of this valley that the Kings of Savoy built castles and fortified cities to protect wine merchants from intrusions by marauding pirates. And it was here that Count Camillo Cavour first proposed the idea of a unified Italian state. The food, the history and the landscape make the Piedmont an ideal destination for cyclists. This cycling tour through the Piedmont region and the Lakes District tour combines the best of Italian and French cuisine and wine with scenic pedaling through rolling hills dotted with vineyards and castles.

***If this sounds great but you prefer a shorter tour check out our Cycling Italy's Piedmont tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jul 20-31, 2019
USD$4995
USD$650
Guaranteed to Go.
Sep 21-Oct 2, 2019
USD$4995
USD$650
Guaranteed to Go 

* 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 12 Days
  • Total Distance / 578km (359 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 58 km (36 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 3.5
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Cuneo / Intra-Verbania
  • Price / From USD$4995
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Piedmont vineyards and wine tastings, Gourmet regional cuisine, 2 nights in the Langhe area famous for its wine, cheese and truffles, 2 nights in the Roman town of Acqui Terme, Monferrato, Lake Maggiore, A complete overview of this amazing region, Guided visit of Bene Vagienna Archaeological site
  • Includes
    12 days, 11 nights accommodation; all breakfasts, 2 light lunches, 7 dinners with wine; 2 wine and a cheese tasting; guided visit of Bene Vagienna Archaelogical site; and the usual (see below).

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) or Turin Caselle Airport (TRN)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    77km / 800m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 3.5
    3
    69km / 579m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    4
    41km / 790m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    5
    50km / 791m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    6
    40km / 814m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    7
    47km / 741m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    8
    70km / 991m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    9
    59km / 1131m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    10
    87km / 476m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    11
    97km / 958m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    12
    Last day

    Tour Level Note:

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Gather in Cuneo, south of Turin

Highlights: Provincial capital of Cuneo, Alpine views, Arione Bar and Confectionary, welcome dinner

Gather today in Cuneo, south of Turin. We'll fit bicycles this afternoon, then you will be free to explore the town and to take a warm-up ride. Be sure to look up the Arione Bar and Confectionary, famous for its "cuneese al rhum," a chocolate rum candy (Hemingway stopped by here to pick up some of these on a trip to Italy in 1954, the year he won the Nobel Prize.) This evening, we'll celebrate the beginning of our tour with a traditional Piedmontese dinner together.

DAY 2: Cycle deep into the Alps along an Alpine Valley

Highlights: Alpine scenery, the 19th century fortress of Vinadio, optional mountain ride

Your ride today follows the Stura di Demonte River valley to the fortress of Vinadio along an historic military road that has now become mainly a bike path. The Vinadio fortress was built by King Carlo Alberto of the house of Savoy in the 1830s and '40s to protect the Piedmont from possible invasions from France. You'll be back in Cuneo late afternoon to enjoy a stroll through town.

  • Distance: 77km (48mi)
  • Gain: 800m (2624ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Bicycle from Cuneo to Monforte D'Alba

Highlights: Town of Bene Vagienna or Roman "Augusta Bagiennorum," the Langhe wine region

Your ride today takes you through the small town of Bene Vagienna as you follow an ancient Roman road. We'll have a light lunch and guided visit of the large archeological park of Augusta Bagiennorum. Tonight we will be in Monforte d'Alba, one of many picturesque wine villages in the Langhe region of Piedmont.

  • Distance: 69km (43mi)
  • Gain: 579m (1899ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Loop ride to the wine villages of Serralunga, La Morra and Barolo

Highlights: Le Langhe wine region and wine villages, including Barolo, wine tasting

A loop ride today takes you through the vineyards of Le Langhe and the famous hills of the Nebbiolo grape. Along the route you'll pass through the stunning landscape of La Morra, as well as vineyards around Barolo, Verduno and La Mora. The town of Barolo gives its name to Italy's most famous wine. The village has an interesting ethnographic and wine museum to visit. We'll enjoy a wine tasting together this evening.

  • Distance: 41km (26mi)
  • Gain: 790m (2591ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Bicycle from Monforte d'Alba to the town of Alba

Highlights: Beautiful vineyard landscapes, regional wine museum

Your ride today takes you through some of the most beautiful vineyard landscapes in Italy. If you are interested in wine we recommend a stop at the regional wine museum in Mango before continuing on through Neviglie and Trezzo Tinella, villages of less than 500 inhabitants, on the way to Alba.

  • Distance: 50km (31mi)
  • Gain: 791m (2594ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Ride from Alba to Canelli for a winery visit shuttle to Acqui Terme

Highlights: Alba, Ferrero chocolates and visit to Coppo, one of Italy's most famous vineyards

You'll want to take time to visit Alba before leaving this morning. Not only is Alba the capital of the Langhe wine region it is also home to Ferrero Rocher, the chocolate maker that manufactures Nutella and Kinder chocolate. From here you'll pedal on to Canelli to visit one of the oldest and most famous wineries in Italy, Coppo. Enjoy a wine tasting and lunch before shuttling on to our hotel in Acqui Terme.

  • Distance: 40km (25mi)
  • Gain: 814m (2670ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Loop ride from Acqui Terme to Mombarruzo and back

Highlights: Thermal Spa, amaretto

Acqui Terme has been a spa town since Roman times and you'll be here two nights! If you wish to take the day off to enjoy the thermal spa this is your chance. Otherwise hop on your bike and head to the hill town of Mombaruzzo, home to one of Italy's famous "amaretto" makers. Amaretto is a yummy cookie made from a base of almond paste. Take time this afternoon for a walk in town or to enjoy the spas.

  • Distance: 47km (29mi)
  • Gain: 741m (2430ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Bicycle from Acqui Terme to Asti

Highlights: Culinary city of Asti, Asti Spumante

Our destination today is Asti, an elegant town famous for its architecture, wines and culinary traditions. Along the way you'll pass through Castel Rocchero originally a military garrison that guarded the road that leads from Acqui into the Belbo Valley. Next up -- the rich vineyards of Canelli and the Moscato grape, which is believed to be the birthplace of the Italian sparkling wine "Asti Spumante".

  • Distance: 70km (44mi)
  • Gain: 991m (3250ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Bicycle from Asti to Lu

Highlights: Small country roads, Moncalvo and fortified hilltop villages, cheese tasting

Head north today through the hills of Monferrato. This is one of the most densely settled agricultural areas in Italy and features a rich network of tiny farm roads and small fortified hilltop villages. Over the years it has become fashionable to convert the town fortress into a villa. Our accommodation tonight is in the Castle of Lu. This afternoon we'll enjoy a cheese tasting at our hotel.

  • Distance: 59km (37mi)
  • Gain: 1131m (3710ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Enjoy a flat ride across the Po Valley today

Highlights: Flat riding, rice farm, views of the Alps

Leave the hills behind and cross the Po River in Casale Monferrato this morning. Casale sits on the south bank of the Po River and enjoys a deep architectural heritage due to its varied history because of its critical position along the Po River. Pedal north through one of the largest rice growing areas in Europe. Along the way, you'll pass through no less than fifteen small farm villages, including San Nazzaro Sesia, a village built around an 11th-century Benedictine abbey. This afternoon we'll visit one of the area's rice producers to discover more about the history of the crop and harvest techniques.

  • Distance: 87km (54mi)
  • Gain: 476m (1561ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Bicycle into the Pre-Alps and the Italian Lake District

Highlights: Spectacular views of the Alps and pedaling along Lakes Orta, Mergozzo and Maggiore.

Your final day of riding takes you into Italy's spectacular Lakes District. This breathtaking series of lakes was created as glaciers retreated from northern Italy some 20,000 years ago. Your first lake is Lago d'Orta, then tiny Lago di Mergozzo, and finally Lago Maggiore. The journey ends in Verbania, along the shores of beautiful Lago Maggiore. This evening, we'll enjoy a farewell dinner together.

  • Distance: 97km (60mi)
  • Gain: 958m (3142ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 12: End of tour on Lake Maggiore

Highlights: Beautiful Lake Maggiore

You are on your own today in one of Italy's most beautiful regions. This is a great starting point for further exploration of the Lakes District, or better yet - perhaps you'd like to join our cycling tour through the area! Whatever you choose, have a great time and thanks for joining us!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Gather in Cuneo, south of Turin

Lodging: Hotel Principe

Your tour starts with a complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle pick-up at the Torino Porta Nuova Train station on Day 1 of the tour at 12 noon. The drive will take 1.5 hours. Your spot on the shuttle is already reserved for you.

If you can't make the shuttle, you will be responsible for your own transportation to Cuneo (1-1.5 hours by train, or private transfer through hotel, around EUR 130.)

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Turin Airport (TRN).

Arriving at Torino Airport and meeting the ExperiencePlus! shuttle:

  • Sadem Bus from the Torino Airport to Torino Porta Nuova train station (every 30 minutes; 40 min/EUR 6.50-EUR 7.50)
  • or Taxi (30 min/EUR 40-45)

Day 12: Departure Information

End of tour on Lake Maggiore

Your trip ends on the final day after breakfast.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio

We recommend flying out of the Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP):

  1. Airport Shuttle from Intra-Verbania to the Malpensa airport (reservations required but payment in cash only on board) (1.5 hours/EUR 15)
  • Or: Taxi from the Malpensa Airport to the Day Hotel (1 hour/EUR 135-150)

*Note:If you are planning to depart by train, the train station name for Intra-Verbania is Intra-Pallanza. It is located 12 km outside of the village of Intra-Verbania. A taxi to the train station from the Ending Hotel costs EUR 18-20. Buses are also available every 20 minutes in front of the hotel.

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • Begin your chosen training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike & Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two), one water bottle , and a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • There were many "favorite" experiences but I can''t pick one in particular...beautiful landscape, challenging riding, excellent tour leaders, great food, nice cultural opportunities, fabulous Italian culture.

    Gary F., Fort Collins, CO
  • I thought this was a great tour--our best yet. Keep up the good work.

    Sharon S., Eugene, OR
  • This was our second trip with EP and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Your arrow system cannot be beat. Such a relief not to have to try to read directions while riding! This is how we prefer to travel and we will be back.

    Pat D., West Chester, PA
  • It was wonderful riding through a lesser-traveled part of Italy. The scenery was gorgeous from day 1 all the way through the end of the ride and the hills were challenging - but rewarding! This was our 10th EPlus! tour and I can''t wait to pick and go on our 11th!

    Laura E., Tacoma, WA
  • A beautiful hilly ride through wonderful scenic wine country filled with delicious food! Once again a wonderful experience, which is why we keep coming back. I love that fact that you use local guides that know the country and can give some interesting background information to the area we are cycling. While the cycling and scenery can be fantastic... the guides are the ones that make the trip memorable! Thank you!

    Deborah D., Owen Sound, ON, Canada - September 201
  • Italian wine country at its best. Outstanding food. Great rides. Challenging climbs. The absolute beauty of the hilly wine country...and we were fortunate to have sunny days for those rides.

    Jim B., Incline Village, NV
  • Wonderful experience - great guides - great routes - great towns - great riding - great food and wine.

    Jeff E., Pittsburg, PA
  • If you love really good Italian wine and really good Italian food and really gorgeous views of the vineyards, this is the tour for you. You know how much of an Experience Plus fan I am!! Love me some arrows :) Best way to ride. Thanks for everything!!!

    NIkki J., Portland, OR - September 2017
  • Beautiful vistas, delicious food and wine, great rides through low traffic roads and bike paths. FANTASTIC trip - thank you!

    Kristen L., Cambridge, MA - July 2018
  • Great guides. Great fun. Great company.

    Billy W., Mt Pleasant, SC
  • A great experience, good guides, fun people to ride with and Italy is always beautiful.

    Mary B., Newport Beach, CA
  • The scenery, food, other bicyclists, tour leaders, routes -- all superb. Thank you for providing the opportunity!

    David S., Eugene, OR
  • Biking, scenery, amenities, service, leaders ... all outstanding.

    Terry D., West Chester, PA
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