- Riding between two of Italy’s most iconic cities
- Exploring Pisa, home of the world-famous Piazza dei Miracoli
- Cycling along quiet country lanes through Tuscan countryside
- Cycling past fairy tale Renaissance palaces and villas
- Visiting Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci
- Spending a free day in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance
Today is your arrival day in Pisa, located on the Arno River and home to the famous Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), all part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Time to explore and get ready for your week of cycling!
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 400 Metres Approx.
This morning you will receive your welcome meeting and also your bike fitting (if renting). Now is the perfect time to ask any questions to your welcome representative.
Today is your first day in the saddle as you meander through Pisa, along the river towards the northern outskirts. From here, you’ll ride along a path that follows an ancient water duct to the hills that separates Lucca from the fertile plains of Pisa.
As you skirt around the hills, you’ll ride through Asciano and St Giuliano Terme on your way to the Serchio River. Once you’ve crossed the river, a quiet country road will take you past cultivated fields and after a short cheeky climb a fabulous decent will lead you back to the river (not before stopping off to admire the quaint castle of Nozzano!) Once back on the Serchio, the cycle path will lead you to the fortified city of Lucca. You can’t miss out on riding around the defensive walls of Lucca and cycling the whole perimeter of the city. These defensive walls represent one of the best preserved city fortifications in Europe. Plenty of time to explore the hidden gems of Lucca or simply relax in one of the squares watching the bustle of Italian life.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 500 Metres Approx.
You’ll start the day riding alongside the Serchio river again, heading north out of town. Turning east, you’ll cycle through the Lucchese hills, immersing yourselves in the stunning countryside dotted with superb Renaissance villas and olive groves. Some of these villas deserve a visit with their stunning staircases in the middle of superb parks such as Villa Oliva, Villa Mansi and Villa Reale.
Particularly beautiful are the olive groves that terrace the hills of Lucca. Meandering through the countryside you’ll eventually reach Montecarlo, a little hamlet perched on the top of a hill, with narrow cobbled streets and alleyways overlooked by a fortress. With a lovely selection of rustic Trattorias serving traditional Tuscan food, including bruschetta dipped in fresh local olive oil, and great hospitality, this is a great place to spend the night.
An additional, optional loop ride is available if you wish to visit Collodi (around 9miles/15 Kms), where the author of Pinocchio spent his childhood. Here we recommend visiting the famous park and adjacent Villa Garzoni.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 350 Metres Approx.
Today’s route is relatively short offering the possibility to spend some time exploring the most famous thermal city in Italy and taking a stroll down the narrow lanes of Montecatini Alta.
Setting off from Montecarlo, the narrow lanes meander through cultivated fields and along small canals. The first part of the ride will lead you to the lower hills of Buggiano. Here the riding becomes a little bit more challenging as the route gradually weaves itself up to Castello di Buggiano and Massa. There is plenty of time to stop and wander through these charming hamlets, admiring the view of the rolling hills and expanses of olive groves.
The reward is a fun descent that will lead you straight into Montecatini Terme. From here, you can head up to Montecatini Alto by taking the short cable car. Alternatively, enjoy some of the Spa facilities that are available in town (you’ll need to book in advance).
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 250 Metres Approx.
Back on your bikes, you’ll head south, cycling among the villas of the Medici family, olive groves, vineyards and beautiful farmland. The route will take you south of Pistoia, edging Monte Albano. A short detour near Lamporecchio will take you to Villa Rospigliosi, once belonging to Pope Clemente IX, and now a luxurious estate.
Moving on, you’ll soon reach the small hamlet of Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace. There should be plenty of time to visit the museum and absorb the atmosphere of this small town before heading to your accommodation which is a short cycle away.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 550 Metres Approx.
A slightly more challenging day on the bike today on the way to Florence. Leaving Vinci, the route will take you over the rolling hills of Carmignano, riding through small villages and gradually climbing to the highest point on this trip, 400mt/1312ft. The views across to the west and Florence are stunning. What goes up must come down, and the rewarding gradual descent will lead you down to the Arno river, first cycling through the narrow streets of the charming town of Signa. From here, the riverside Arno cycle path will lead you all the way into Florence.
Florence is the gem of Italian Renaissance, so once you have checked into your hotel you should head out to explore!
- Meals: Breakfast
The Renaissance city of Florence is bursting with culture, and worthy of a full day of sightseeing. You’ll leave your bikes behind, as you explore the city on foot, winding your way through cobbled streets. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and must-see sights include il Ponte Vecchio, il Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, gli Uffizi.
This evening you’ll be free to dine in one of the city’s many restaurants; Tuscany is famed for its wine and fresh produce.
- Meals: Breakfast
Time to head back to the airport for flights home, after a final delicious breakfast of course!
If you’d like to extend and explore Florence for another couple of days, please do let us know and we can help organise this for you.
The tour follows mainly quiet roads along with some short sections of gravel roads (around 85% on asphalt roads and around 15% on unpaved roads).
The terrain is predominantly flat with some hilly sections. Day 5 will prove the harder of the days with a 9km gradual climb. Trains can be used to reduce distances if you choose (on day 3). Some roads will have local traffic, especially leading into Lucca, Montecatini and Florence.
We recommend a hybrid bike for this tour. For more information about riding an electric bike on our holidays please click here
Leisure Cycling Grade
Aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays
Suitable for those looking for some cycle friendly routes
Features some modest climbs
Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
Holidays that are graded as a 2-3, will have aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays. These tours are still suitable for those perhaps who have recently got into cycling, and offer an array of accessible, cycle friendly routes, cycle paths and quiet roads, however there will be some days / sections where you may have to tackle some ups and downs, the occasional steeper climb and perhaps some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc). Suitable for those with a decent level of physical fitness, looking for some leisurely rides with occasional (achievable!) challenges along the way.
For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.
Dates & Prices
Daily departures available. The season prices below are per person and are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.
2024 25 Mar – 30 Oct
Season 1 – £1235 03 Apr – 17 Jun and 04 Sep – 30 Oct
Season 2 – £1395 25 Mar – 02 Apr – 14 Apr and 18 Jun – 03 Sep
Alternatively for a great value holiday choose one of our scheduled departures below.
Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit
Book now with a £200 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in small hotels / agriturismi / guesthouses
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)
D) Access to the Skedaddle App for holiday information and navigation
E) Luggage transfers
F) Financial Protection through ABTOT
What's not Included
A) Bike rental (available if required)
B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
C) Single room (available if required, on request)
D) Travel insurance
E) Meals not stated in the itinerary
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Travel arrangements to first hotel or from final hotel
H) Local tourist tax (to be paid locally – Approx. 2€ per day)
E-bikes - everything you need to know
There’s no doubt that e-bikes are popular. We caught up with our expert to answer some of your burning questions!
Gary, New ZealandAbsolutely fantastic!
I would not hesitate to recommend your cycling holidays – its a mix of orienteering and cycle touring and its really a hell of a lot of fun. Sometimes you work hard – then you coast downhill for a beer. And all the way, awesome views of Tuscany. It was just absolutely fantastic.
This was the first time we had done a cycling holiday and having visited Tuscany before 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. Everyone was really friendly and helpful. From the conversations and e-mail I had confidence that we would get what we wanted and this proved to be true!
Rhydian, BedfordshireBeautiful Scenery!
The cycling trip to Vinci was the best day, with excellent weather and beautiful Tuscan scenery.
John, DevonThe service provided is absolutely excellent
This was my third Saddle Skedaddle trip and I was also the organiser for all three for our cycle club group. The service provided is absolutely excellent, from the website that is bursting with information about cycling holidays of all kinds, to initial enquiries, booking confirmation, answering queries and payments, to the superb support on the holiday itself both on the ground and digitally via the SS App which tells you everything you need to know. A fourth trip is on the cards for next year I’m sure.
Michael, SurreyEvery day was brilliant.
The small hotels were the best. The welcome and friendliness we received everywhere were worth an extra mention.