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Self-guided tours

IT104

Italy / Tuscany

The heroes' hills

An unforgettable tour that takes in the Tuscan countryside and its most beautiful cities. Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena and small historical towns like Montalcino, Pienza, Volterra and Vinci. Wonderful ascents up to Monte Serra and on the Apuan Alps and a memorable stage along the Eroica race route, the classic unmade road that leads to Siena.
  • Day by Day

    1. Pisa
    Cyclists make their own way to Pisa.

    2. Pisa – Lucca (70 km, + 960 m, 4 h)
    You leave Pisa, heading for San Giuliano Terme, cycle around Monte Serra and tackle the ascent up the Buti side, the historic testing bench for professional cyclists such as Bartoli, Ulrich and Contador. The road climbs evenly and there is a unique view from the top: the Tyrrhenian Sea with the islands of Elba and Giglio. You then follow a slightly winding route towards Lake Massaciuccoli, ending this stage in wonderful Lucca.

    Ferri says:
    the view from the top is amazing and while pedalling up the Buti side you come across a whole load of cyclists with one eye on their stopwatch. Enjoy this legendary ascent and challenge the great names, remembering however that today is only your first day. Make frequent use of gear ratio 34–26.

    3. Lucca – Apuan Alps – Lucca (130 km, + 1,300 m, 6 h)
    You leave Lucca for Camaiore, climbing gently to reach Massa Carrara. An ascent takes you into the heart of the Apuan Alps, a new peak of white rock offering a spectacular view over the Tyrrhenian Sea. You yhen cycle down, crossing the valley which then takes you back to Lucca.
    Variation (70 km) via Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi.

    Ferri says:
    the stage that goes up to the Apuan Alps is wonderful, with fabulous scenery as you rise; take care in the tunnels and in the rain, as the road becomes very slippery. The valley that takes you from Castelnuovo Garfagnana to Lucca is quick, but a bit busy towards the end. The short route, on the other hand, is very pleasant if you love the sea and... the good life!

    4. Lucca – Florence (100 km, + 610 m, 4 h)
    From Lucca the road seesaws up and down until a long descent takes you down to Vinci, Leonardo’s birthplace, where you can visit the museum dedicated to this genius. Afterwards you tackle the Vittolini ascent that takes you to Florence.

    Ferri says:
    this is a very pleasant route, the ascents are pretty easy and it’s worth forgetting times and enjoying a slice of history (must visit is Vinci and the home of Leonardo). This evening, Florentine steak for dinner with a glass of good Chianti: tomorrow you’ll need your legs!

    5. Florence – Siena, along the Eroica (90 km, + 1000 m, 4 h)
    Leaving Florence along the River Arno, we pedal towards Greve and Radda in Chianti; these are broad, tarmacked roads, graced by the iconic hills and vineyards of Chianti. The climbs are gentle (5% at most) and culminate with the spectacular Strade Bianche ("White Gravel Roads") – a throwback to the heroic cycling feats of Binda, Gagliardoni and the young Bartali. Arrive in Siena's Piazza del Campo and enjoy a deserved glass of quality wine – just like the champions did in their day.

    Ferri says:
    after Greve there's a 3 km climb followed by a descent. 1 km or so ahead, make sure you savour the views to your right, a photographer's dream. Picturesque Radda in Chianti offers some good cycling shops. The roads of the Eroica welcome you home at the end of the stage: tranquillity, absence of traffic and the illusion that you are pedalling in the 1930s are all emotions you will cherish for a long time.

    6. Siena – Montalcino – Pienza – Siena (120 km, + 1,200 m, 5 h)
    A route that follows the Cassia road south to the wonderful town of Montalcino. After about 40 km, the ascent that takes you up to the town is intimidating, but it opens up into the most fabulous panorama and once at the top your reward is a glass of good wine, bread and salami. The rest will get you ready to tackle the next uphill-downhill stretch that takes you to Pienza and then back to Siena. Variation (70 km).

    Ferri says:
    my favourite stage: here we combine (pleasant) effort with unique views, great wines and local culinary specialities. Stopping to eat in Montalcino or Pienza is almost obligatory!

    7. Siena – Pisa (113 km, + 770 m, 4.30 h)
    Along the provincial road you come to Colle Val d’Elsa and then head towards San Gimignano, the marvellous city dominated by its fourteen medieval towers. The stage continues along secondary roads, bringing you to back to Pisa, where the round trip and your holiday finally come to an end. Possibility to add an extra night in Pisa on request.

    Ferri says:
    a demanding route, uphill to the 60 km mark, then much easier until Pisa. This is the last stage, very beautiful and peaceful, excellent for making memories of Tuscany.

    8. Pisa
    Departure after breakfast.

    Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way you may find temporary deviations caused by roadworks, which cannot be foreseen; in this case please follow the indications you will find on site.

     

     

  • Route profile

    Total length: 623 km

    This is a demanding tour because of the sloping landscape of Tuscany. There are some long and difficult ascents. However, it is easy to shorten the stage or to find different easier ways to the next hotel. 

    Hilly areas, numerous climbs and downhill stretches. Suitable for regular cyclists with a good level of fitness.

     

     

  • How to get there

    Pisa is connected with the following airports:
    Pisa: about 5 km, Florence: about 90 km

     

    Trains
    For further information on timetables and prices you can consult the following website: www.trenitalia.com.

     

  • Accommodation and meals

    We personally choose all the hotels mindful of your comfort as well as the proximity to cycling paths and any relevant local sites.

    You will be accommodated in 3/4* hotels.

    All rooms have en suite facilities and air conditioning.

    When you book the tour please specify the type of room requested:
    - double room is a room with one double bed
    - twin room is a room with two single beds
    - triple room is usually a room with one double bed and a single bed or a sofa bed.

     

     

  • Bikes and accessories

    The rental bike for this tour is a high-end roadbike with top range carbon frame.

    Due to the lack of rear rack these bikes do not have panniers. We suggest you to bring a small backpack.

    We remind you that you are responsible for the rental bike and its accessories during the whole tour. The bicycle must always be locked and possibly secured to a pole, even for short periods.

    We remind you to bring you own pedals (and wrench to fix them).


    Accessories
    The rented bike is provided with:
    - 1 bottle cage
    - 1 combination lock
    - reparation kit (2 inner tubes, pump, tire levers)

     

     

  • Accompanying material

    The Information Pack (one per room) includes:

    - final hotel list: due to overbooking or organizational needs your hotel list may be changed just before your arrival
    - luggage labels to be attached to each piece of luggage to be transported
    - hotel vouchers to be handed in to the hotel reception upon arrival
    - Travel Guide with valuable information about the history, artistic heritage, landscapes and natural treasures of the areas visited on the tour
    - GPS tracks and maps of the itinerary

     

     

  • By your side

    For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us as follows:
    - office +39 0444 1278430 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30
    - emergency phone number every day 8:00-20:00. The number will be specified in the Final Tour Details.

     

Tour details

 

from 790 €

8 Days / 7 Nights, 3/4* hotels

Tour type

Self-guided

 

Departures

SA from 28.03 to 10.10.2020
Special departures for at least 5 people.

 

Seasons
Season 1: 28.03 - 10.04 and 26.09 - 10.10.2020
Season 2: 11.04 - 15.05 and 6.09 - 25.09.2020
Season 3: 16.05 - 5.09.2020

Price per person
790 € in double room, 3/4* hotels

Included

  • 7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Breakfast buffet
  • Travel Guide, Maps
  • GPS tracks for the stages (device not provided)
  • Luggage transportation  
  • Hotline service


Not included

  • Local taxes (approx 10-15 €)
  • GPS device
  • Everything not mentioned in the section "Included"


Supplements
240 € single room
80 € season 2
110 € season 3

Extra nights in double/single room with breakfast:
60/90 € in Pisa

Rental bikes:
270 € high-end road bike

Reductions
150 € 3rd person in room

 

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Our speciality! Once you have chosen the itinerary, we study the route and find accommodation; what’s more, a tour leader can join you, not only as a travel companion but also as technician and trainer. Our options are diversified:

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