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Italy

Tuscany - Sacred Routes

Guided Mountain Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

$2,325 P.P.
Italy

Tuscany - Sacred Routes

Guided Mountain Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

$2,325 P.P.
BOOK NOW
The Tuscan landscape hosts this fantastic mountain bike trip in Italy. The famous sights of Tuscany are combined with great biking exploring woodlands, hills and valleys with some great tracks and routes that link famous hilltop towns such as San Gimignano, Siena, Pienza. This biking trip in classic Tuscany will enchant with its natural beauty as well as reward with the quality of the riding. While perhaps better known for the rolling hills and quiet roads, Tuscany's long history of trade and agriculture has resulted in an extensive network of trails of all kinds. Thrilling forest singletrack is mixed with scenic country lanes and the rolling landscape gives us challenging climbs and fun descents.
After arriving in Pisa we'll drive through the beautiful Tuscan Landscape, arriving at our first accommodation in the countryside of San Gimignano. Here we'll stay in a stunning Agriturismo surrounded by vineyards where our host will treat us to our first Tuscan banquet. Over the next 3 days we'll bike across forested hills, through vineyards, down river valleys, across streams, past abandoned farmhouses and up to tiny fortified villages. Some rides follow the ancient Via Francigena pilgrimage and the Eroica roads, hence calling this trip the “Sacred Routes”! The Via Francigena was a trail which once connected Canterbury in the UK, to Rome, while the Eroica routes are gravel roads used in the Giro d'Italia, before tarmac was common.
Midway through our Tuscany mountain bike tour we arrive in Siena, steeped in Italian Renaissance atmosphere. Scattered with great restaurants and superb Gelateria, this is the perfect place to end the first part of the trip. For the next three days we enter the Crete Sinesi, where we are in for some thrilling riding along steep valleys, dense forests, rivers and the legendary “badlands” eroded clay slopes around Siena and Val D'orcia. Here the riding is a roller coaster of tracks and trails riding from lowlands to open ridge views, enjoying descents that will leave you smiling all day!
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Highlights

  • Staying in a Tuscan farmhouse overlooking stunning landscapes
  • Riding the Montagnola trails, the location of a well-known Sienese MTB race
  • Sampling the best wines of Chianti, Montepulciano and Montalcino
  • Riding down the Crete Senesi on a roller-coaster ridge ride
  • Enjoying the journey across Tuscany on a variety of terrain
  • Visiting the famous hilltop towns of San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, San Quirico d‘Orcia and Pienza

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What an opportunity to see the Tuscan countryside in such an intimate way!

Sarah, USA

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Pisa: Transfer to San Gimignano
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Dinner

You will be met at Pisa airport and transferred to San Gimignano (transfer approx 90 mins), staying in an accommodation set in the outskirts of the famous town. With a plunge in the pool overlooking vineyards, the holiday is really starting. Dinner is at the estate.

Day 2
San Gimignano to Monteriggioni
27 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,000 Metres Approx.

Today we set off with a fun off-road section down into the lower valley before looping back towards St Gimignano. We journey south following a mix of dirt roads and trails through woods, over hills and crossing streams, through a constantly changing rolling Tuscan landscape. Most climbs will be on farm or forest gravel routes, which lead onto sections through vineyards and fields, trails and paths used mostly by local people and farmers. It can be muddy at times!

Our destination for today is Abbadia Isola, a small medieval hamlet set within stone walls not far from Monteriggioni. After stopping in the square for a well-deserved beer we move on to our accommodation, where you can enjoy a dip in the pool before heading out for dinner.

Day 3
Monteriggioni to Siena
21 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.

We start the day with a steady off-road climb through the Montagnola range which offers many options of trails and routes. This area is a well known destination for the Gran Fondo Sienese MTB race. This area is also ideal for some fun mountain biking, as we explore the network of dirt tracks leading into the hillside forests, looping on fun rolling singletracks towards little hamlets and twisting down over rolling fields.

A final fun section of singletrack winding through forests will lead us to the outskirts of Siena. One last push on tarmac and we roll into the old walls of this quiet town. There is time to wander through Siena, visit the Palio Square and Duomo, before heading out to dinner for a mouthwatering Tuscan meal.

Day 4
Siena to Buonconvento
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,000 Metres Approx.

We leave Siena through the ancient town gates and continue our journey south on the Eroica route and into the Crete Sienesi. Arriving near the ancient Etruscan hamlet of Murlo, we enjoy a fun ride on narrow trails by the Crevole River, then up a former mining railway track to Murlo itself.

Picking up the Eroica route we head to Buonconvento were we have time to stop for a refreshing break and if inclined visit the fortified walls. A short afternoon section will lead us to our accommodation.

Day 5
Buonconvento to Pienza
24 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,100 Metres Approx.

Our mountain bike pilgrimage continues as we head towards Pienza, right in the heart of the Unesco heritage site of Valle d‘Orcia. The route takes us along the ridge lines of the “crete” offering 360 degree views. The trails are a mix of farm tracks and dirt roads, with cheeky steep sections which will get you out of the saddle!

Today is a shorter day, and after joining a section of the Eroica we reach our accommodation, a special Agriturismo estate set amongst ancient olive trees and with a pool and small spa there is everything we need to relax and rest, it is a holiday after all and not a race! Dinner is at the agriturismo.

Day 6
Pienza Loop - San Quirico d'Orcia, Bagno Vignoni
27 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,050 Metres Approx.

Different options are available for today’s ride. Whichever way we decide to ride the various terrains and routes will take us to San Quirico d‘Orcia. From here we descend quite steadily on a fast gravel track into the Orcia valley then loop back through fields, dense woods and past castle hamlets, until we reach the medieval hamlet of Bagno Vignoni with its healing baths and home to the legendary water nymphs.

After resting and taking time to explore the hot water springs, we head right into the centre of the Unesco heritage site of Valle D‘Orcia. From there we start a steady climb towards Pienza along some well surfaced strade bianche. Time in Pienza to absorb and visit the local sites, to then carry on back to our accommodation for another relaxing evening. We head into Pienza for dinner.

Day 7
Departure: Transfer to Pisa
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast we transfer back to Pisa to say our farewells and savour the memories of a fantastic week on our bikes (transfer approx 2h45).

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The Cycling

Terrain

Tuscany is a region with rolling hills of cultivated fields, woodland and chalky landscape, with quaint little hamlets dotted on hilltops.

Riding is on a mix of chalky double track or “Strade Bianche” so it can be fast rolling in dry conditions, or of course, get a bit more sketchy in the wet. A mountain bike with off-road tyres is the best choice. The wider tracks will be alternated with some fun, flowing narrower trails that can be rocky and with roots in sections. On the Montagnola range near Siena, fun sections of singletrack can be a bit rocky with limestone making the trails a bit tricky in places.

There are a few steep, and a few long climbs, so fitness is more important than off-road riding skills – of course all the climbing leads to some great descents.

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Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 - 4: Moderate/ Challenging

25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day

Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips

For mountain bikers with some experience of singletrack and steeper terrain

May include rocky features and switchbacks

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?

Trips that are graded as a 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips. If you have experience of off road riding on a variety of terrain, and would like a taste of more challenging terrain, a grade 3-4 trip could be for you. Terrain will include singletrack and steep sections (both up and down) which require more bike handling ability. Shorter technical and demanding features suchs as rocks, roots and tricky climbs will be encountered on occasion on most days. A day’s ride can see you on the trails for around 8 hours (with breaks) and covering between 25-50 miles depending on the terrain. If you’re generally fit and manage to ride frequently this could be the level for you.

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A truly memorable trip and has already got us planning to revisit the area. Thanks so much!

Ian, UK

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
11/09/2021
Return Date
17/09/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
$2,325.00
Start Date
28/05/2022
Return Date
03/06/2022
Duration
7 days
Price
$2,325.00
Start Date
10/09/2022
Return Date
16/09/2022
Duration
7 days
Price
$2,325.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en-suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in First Aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Pisa airport (PSA)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Pisa airport (PSA)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Travel insurance

E) Single room (available if required)

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en-route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts in San Gimignano and finishes in Pienza.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your tour. To join the airport transfer on arrival you’ll need to arrive into Pisa Airport (PSA) before 13.00 for a 13.30 transfer.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer the group to Pisa Airport (PSA), with an estimated arrival time of 10.30 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Most flights from North America require overnight travel and may involve multiple travel days, with a stop over in an intermediary airport. Flights are available with various airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa and Delta. Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your tour.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your trip and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

The majority of our accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be ensuite in 3 star guest houses, agriturismi or hotels. Occasionally accommodation will include a swimming pool.

The fabulous hospitality will be one of the highlights of your week.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have hardtail bikes available to rent. These bikes are typically very good mountain bikes featuring front suspension, disc brakes and good quality components.

We can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets at the time of booking.

If you choose to rent a bike from us you are welcome to bring your own saddle with you, and if you would like to use SPD/clipless pedals you will need to bring these with you.

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