Tuscany Cycling

From: $3,499

per person dbl occ

Dates: May-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 7

Activity Level: 3-4

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1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Tuscany Cycling

Price:

2014/2015

REI member: $3,499

Non-member: $3,799

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $899

Trip Dates:

2014

  • May 2–8
  • May 16–22
  • Jun 6–12
  • Sep 5–11
  • Sep 19–25
  • Oct 3–9

2015

  • May 8–14
  • May 15–21
  • Jun 5–11
  • Sep 4–10
  • Sep 18–24
  • Oct 2–8

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 3-4

Activities:

  • Cycling

Accommodations:

Hotels, 6 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the lush hillsides of Tuscany on a fully-supported bike tour
  • Pedal past scenic vineyards, Renaissance towns, and beautiful pastures
  • Enjoy fresh cuisine and taste Italy's famed wines
  • Ride 30-40 miles a day, with ample opportunity to explore and soak in the views

The spirit of Tuscany is one of generous exuberance, immediately apparent in the mild climate, lush vineyards spilling over country hillsides, and welcoming warmth of the Tuscan people. Our destinations range from the Renaissance town of Pienza to the Crete Senesi, whose stark, beautiful hills and solitary cypress trees starred in The English Patient, and finally to enchanting Siena – an atmospheric city filled with majestic gothic architecture.

Throughout our journey we visit the finest hill towns in Tuscany, and savoring traditional cuisine and wine tastings as we ride among centuries-old fortified towns, villas, and palazzi. We bike approximately 40 miles a day through rolling hillsides, our views filled with pastures and forests. Our local guides and support crew show us Italy in a truly memorable fashion, introducing to charming villages, historical sights, and local artisans as we pedal across the countryside. Join us on an unforgettable bike tour of Tuscany!

See more trips in Italy.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Our first ride takes us from lovely Pienza to charming San Quirco.
  • Day 2 - A loop ride takes us past landscapes that inspired Renaissance painters.
  • Day 3 - Ride across Val di Chiana to Montelpulciano, and on to Cortona.
  • Day 4 - Pedal to Trequanda, set between Val di Chiana and the Val d' Asso.
  • Day 5 - Traverse the Crete Senesi before entering Chianti, famed for its wine.
  • Day 6 - Pedal hills blanketed with vineyards and forests en route to Siena.
  • Day 7 - Depart Siena any time or continue exploring this enchanting city.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Our first ride takes us from lovely Pienza to charming San Quirco.

    Your trip begins in Chiusi, Italy. Situated on the main line from either Florence or Rome, the Chiusi train station is a convenient place to meet your guide and fellow travelers for the group transfer to Pienza, a lovely renaissance town conceived by Pope Pius II. Our hotel occupies a 15th century convent located in the center of town. After checking into our rooms and changing into cycling clothes, our guides conduct a bike-fitting session. A warm up ride takes us to Bagno Vignoni, a thermal village located in the Val d'Orcia Artistic, Natural and Cultural Park. The village is famous for its thermal spa, which has been in use since Roman times. This evening we enjoy a welcome dinner in a local trattoria where we have the chance to taste homemade pici pasta. Dinner included.

    Driving: ~1 hour; Cycling: 12.5 miles; Terrain: Rolling hills; Elevation gain and loss: ~840'.

  • Day 2 - A loop ride takes us past landscapes that inspired Renaissance painters.

    We begin our day with a loop ride into the rolling countryside of the Val d'Orcia, A UNESCO World Heritage Site. The distinctive landscape, with its flat chalk plains interspersed by conical hills topped by fortified settlements, inspired the Sienese artists Daccio and Lorenzetti. Their paintings illustrate the beauty of Renaissance agricultural landscapes where inhabitants are depicted as living in harmony with nature. The first several miles out of Pienza are mostly downhill with some gently rolling hills along quiet country roads. We then climb to reach Radicofani, an enchanting medieval village with a landmark rocca (castle) dating back to 987. It is one of the most impressive fortresses in Tuscany, with extraordinary views over the Val d'Orcia and the surrounding region. After a stroll around the stately old town, we head back into the country along winding cypress-lined roads to Pianporcino Farm for a light lunch and cheese tasting. Pianporcino produces over thirty different types of cheeses and is known for its unique ewe's milk cheese, "pecorino di Pienza". Late this afternoon we cycle back to our hotel in Pienza. Breakfast and lunch included.

    Cycling: 41 miles; Terrain: Rolling hills then ~1400' climb; Elevation gain: ~3,335'; Elevation loss: ~3,445'. Optional: 20 extra miles; more challenging.

  • Day 3 - Ride across Val di Chiana to Montelpulciano, and on to Cortona.

    Our ride begins with a fun descent from Pienza. Passing the villages of Castelmuzio and Petroio, the landscape is rich with gray-green olive groves, geometrical vineyards and slender cypress trees. Our lunchtime destinations is Montepulciano, a medieval and Renaissance hill town perched high on a limestone ridge. It is world-renowned for its Vino Nobile, a red wine that is considered among Italy's best by wine enthusiasts. Montepulciano is also a known for its pork, cheese, pici pasta, lentils and honey. We explore the Piazza Grande with its duomo (cathedral), the wine cellar Cantina Del Redi in the Palazzo Ricci, and the magnificent Temple of San Biagio. Returning to our bikes, a pleasant five mile descent through vineyards into the Val di Chiana is followed by a 2.5 mile climb towards Cortona, the delightful hill town made famous by Frances Mayes in her bestselling novel Under the Tuscan Sun. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana. We dine at a lovely restaurant in a 12th century building overlooking the central square. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Cycling: 43 miles; Terrain: Rolling hills until Montepulciano then relatively flat ending with a ~2.5 mile climb to Cortona; Elevation gain and loss ~3,050'. Optional: 25 extra miles on hilly terrain.

  • Day 4 - Pedal to Trequanda, set between Val di Chiana and the Val d' Asso.

    Leaving Cortona, there is a pleasant descent to the valley floor where we pedal through olive groves, vineyards, and depending on the time of year, fields of brilliant sunflowers. We cycle into Lucignano, a remarkably well preserved medieval-walled hill-top village that is elliptical in shape. Today, Lucignano is known for its agricultural and artisan traditions, providing a rich variety of products including extra-virgin olive oil, honey, ceramics and pietra serena - a sandstone used in architecture and sculpting. We continue to Rapolano Terme, a small village celebrated for its spa waters. Tonight we stay at a resort with five thermal pools declared by the Ministry of Health to provide healing properties. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Cycling: 32.5 miles; Terrain: Rolling hills, hilly; Elevation gain: ~1,650; Elevation loss: ~2,300'. Optional: 20 extra miles on hilly terrain.

  • Day 5 - Traverse the Crete Senesi before entering Chianti, famed for its wine.

    Pedaling north, we pass two charming southern Tuscan towns before making a stop at Castelnuovo Berardenga, the gateway to the Chianti Classico region. Continuing on, the vineyards of the acclaimed wineries Castello di Bossi and San Felice provide a rich landscape to our cycling route. The Castello di Brolio winery, one of the oldest wineries the world, is where Chianti wine was born. The Ricasoli family, owners of the Castello di Brolio since 1167, is responsible for the special blending of grapes we now consider Chianti Classico. We make our way to Gaiole, located along the river Massellone, for a lunch stop. This city was ranked by Forbes magazine as "Europe's Most Idyllic Place to Live." A few more miles bring us to Radda in Chianti, our home for the night. Radda is a town with origins dating back to 2,000 B.C. Today its inhabitants are involved in the production of handicrafts as well as fine wines and olive oils. This afternoon we taste the region's famed wine and learn about its production at Castello di Albola winery. Breakfast included.

    Cycling: 31 miles; Terrain: Hilly; Elevation gain: ~3,300'; Elevation loss: 2,700'. Optional: 15 extra miles on hilly terrain.

  • Day 6 - Pedal hills blanketed with vineyards and forests en route to Siena.

    The previous days have prepped our legs for the famed hills of Chianti! The first stretch crosses an unbelievably scenic clutch of hills blanketed with vineyards and thick forests. It's breathtaking, and so is the ride. We bike along a winding panoramic road to Castellina in Chianti, home to many important archaeological finds hinting at its ancient past. The gothic towers of Siena materialize on the horizon as we continue our ride towards this enchanting city. We pedal to the front door of our hotel, perfectly situated on the edge of Siena's historic center. Late afternoon will afford the opportunity to shop, wander the medieval backstreets or relax in the famous square and watch local residents stroll by. A farewell dinner provides the opportunity to enjoy the region's renowned cuisine and toast to a great cycling adventure. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Cycling: 34 miles; Terrain: Hilly; Elevation gain: ~3,020'; Elevation loss: ~3,640'. Optional: 15 extra miles on hilly terrain.

  • Day 7 - Depart Siena any time or continue exploring this enchanting city.

    Our adventure ends after breakfast at the hotel. Siena offers easy connections by train to Florence or Rome. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. 

Bicycles

We provide Italian-made bike frames that our guides have built up with the perfect low gear ratios for cycling the hilly terrain in Tuscany. Travelers have the choice of an aluminum frame flat bar road bike or a carbon frame road bike with drop bars. The flat bar bike is equipped with a triple chain ring up front and 10 speeds in the rear. The road bike with drop bars is equipped with Shimano Ultegra compact (50/34 front and 12/27 rear) gearing. Both bikes have road wheels and narrow road tires for low rolling resistance, carbon forks, a map case and bicycle computer. Handlebar bags are available for the flat bar road bikes.

Price Includes

Six nights accommodation; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; Day 1 group transfer from Chiusi train station to Pienza; choice of hybrid bike or road bike with map holder, and bicycle computer; skilled bi-lingual cycling guide; vehicle support while cycling; maps, trips notes and detailed route directions; luggage transfers; two wine tastings; one cheese and olive oil tasting.

Not Included

Airfare to Italy; train to Chiusi; transfer from Siena on Day 7; bicycle helmet (required, please bring your own); lunches and 2 dinners; beverages; optional guide gratuities; insurance of any kind; items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4] and consists of a combination of moderate and more vigorous cycling days covering 35-40 miles over predominantly hilly terrain with some long, steep climbs. Daily rides have total elevation gains and losses ranging from ~1,600'-3,500' with hill grades averaging 4-8% with short pitches up to 15%. Vehicle support is available when needed. All participants should have cycling experience that includes maintaining control of the bike, shifting gears, braking, ascending hills, descending hills, cornering, riding in groups, riding with traffic, and knowledge of bicycle safety, in addition to being comfortable in the saddle for 4-6 hours per day. While the majority of the cycling route is on a paved surface, the pavement may be uneven, potholed, or topped with gravel or other debris. Additionally, the inclement weather may affect any riding surface causing additional debris or the surface to become slick. All participants should be comfortable riding on a variety of surfaces in addition to paved roads such as cobblestone streets, as well as city streets with vehicle traffic, and country back roads.

The countryside in Tuscany is very hilly with few flat sections, so a regular conditioning program beginning at least 3-6 months prior to departure is strongly recommended. Cycling hills, walking, running on similar terrain along with a daily stretching regimen are all great ways to prepare for this adventure.

Weather

Departures are scheduled to avoid mid-summer heat and crowds while still traveling during periods that typically offer ample amounts of sunshine. Daytime temperatures range from 70 - 80 F, dropping 10-15 degrees at night. Early May and October departures have slightly cooler temperatures. Rain is possible on any departure; while rain is not typical, participants must bring appropriate rain gear.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Tuscany Cycling Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Flat bar road bike with a triple chain ring up front/10 speeds in the rear or drop bar road bike with compact gears (rider’s choice)
  • Flat pedals
  • Map case
  • Handlebar bag
  • Bicycle pump
  • Repair kit, including spare tube
  • Water bottle cage
  • Bicycle Computer
Required Cycling Gear
  • Helmet
Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Daypack, for sightseeing or to hold your spare gear in the support van
  • Luggage tags and locks
  • Security wallet/money belt
City Clothing
  • Sweater and/or light jacket
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Swimsuit
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana
Cycling ClothingArm warmers
  • Cycling jerseys, short sleeve
  • Cycling shorts
  • Lightweight wind breaker
  • Cycling raingear, jacket and pants, waterproof and breathable
  • Leg warmers
  • Cycling gloves
  • Head- or sweatband
  • Cycling socks
Footwear
  • Cycling shoes (see “Things to Consider”)
  • Cycling shoe covers
  • Comfortable walking shoes/sandals
Travel Accessories
  • Water bottle(s) or hydration pack
  • Sport/cycling sunglasses
  • Sun block and lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Toiletry kit
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
Optional Field Gear
  • Bike seat or gel seat cover
  • Pedal and shoe system (recessed cleats for easy walking are ideal)
  • Camera, memory and spare batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Laundry line and travel packets of soap
  • Plug adapter/converter/charger
  • Favorite energy snacks / drinks
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Travel pillow

Things to Consider

  • Always pack essential items such as your passport, REI Adventures final bulletin, money, set of cycling clothes and footwear, eyewear and medications in your carry-on baggage in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Helmets are required, so please bring your own. We also recommend brightly-colored bicycle clothing for visibility and safety.
  • Formal attire is not required at restaurants. Comfortable, casual clothes are appropriate for sit-down meals. We suggest bringing slacks, shorts that are mid-thigh or longer, skirts, or summer dresses in fabrics that are easy to wash and wear.
  • Rain is possible on this trip. While it can be difficult to stay completely dry while cycling in the rain, full raingear—jacket, pants, shoe covers, helmet cover and gloves—can help make you more comfortable. The best raingear is waterproof, breathable and seals well against the rain.
  • Cycling shoes designed for touring, sometimes called sport or touring shoes, are an ideal choice for this trip. They have recessed cleats and a more flexible rubber sole so that you can be as comfortable walking while off the bike as you are efficient when riding. There is a large selection of shoe options available to the touring cyclist all designed for style, comfort, and performance both on the bike and off. Be sure your cleat choice matches your pedal system (sold separately from shoes). Check your local REI store or REI.com for options.
  • If you own road cycling shoes (stiff sole, protruding cleat, no traction), we suggest you bring cleat covers for short walks and/or be sure to keep a pair of walking shoes in the support van so you can change before walking around towns during lunch or other stops.
  • If you are not bringing a shoe and pedal system, you will need a shoe designed for cycling or cross training to be used with the provided flat pedals (toe clips/baskets are optional). Consider these features if you are bringing a cross training shoe: lightweight, closed toe, designed with stiffer soles to provide more efficient energy transfer as you pedal. Stiff soles protect your feet while riding and support the full length of your foot to reduce cramping and fatigue.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresTuscany Cycling
 
4.7

(based on 6 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accommodations (5)
  • Food (5)
  • Quality equipment provided (5)
  • Activity level (4)
  • Exceeded expectations (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (3)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • I liked the itinerary (6), Active adventures (4), All the details planned for me (4), Destination (3), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (3)

      Reviewed by 6 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-6

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      4.0

      Great time, challenging ride

      By BrianandArwyn

      from Portland, OR

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Food
      • Foodwinecountryside
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Scenery
      • Wine

      Cons

      • Activity Level

      Best Uses

        Comments about REI Adventures Tuscany Cycling:

        The rides are strenuous, not for the casual biker in our opinion. It says 3-4, but we've been on 3's and this was clearly not a 3 in our opinion. Train, train, train for this ride if you don't ride regularly up and down hills.

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
        • Why did you choose this trip?:
        • We've gone on other cycling trips with REI, the quality of the trips, guides, etc. is very good.
        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
        • The food, wine, and countryside was fabulous. We enjoyed the old towns and back country roads
        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
        • This is a strenuous trip. Unless you're a serious cyclist, know that this ride is a challenge. There is also a lot of cycling on busy roads, so be aware.
         
        4.0

        Wonderful experience

        By Reid and Steph

        from Colorado Springs

        About Me Avid Adventurer

        Site Member

        Pros

        • Accommodations
        • Activity Level
        • Beautiful Biking
        • Food
        • Guides
        • Quality Equipment Provided
        • Well Organized Itinerary
        • Wonderful La Selva Stay

        Cons

        • "complimentary"

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Tuscany Cycling:

          I would suggest folks use road bikes with drop handle bars and use clip in pedals, not stirrups. It take some getting use to (practice in open fields or empty parking lots, or on bike paths). They will make your hill climbs easier. It would be nice if REI made this one of the pedal options so you wouldn't have to take your own.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • Wanted to see Tuscany from a different perspective and see a different town each night.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • The stay at La Selva and the ride to and from it.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • The rides are hilly but not so long that it is discouraging. Nice mix of towns to stop and get a cup of coffee, or explore. I would certainly encourage folks to train a bit but not that you have to obsessive about it, just so you'll enjoy it comfortably.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Exceeded all expectations

          By Eagle Bob

          from Seattle, WA

          About Me Avid Adventurer, Experienced traveler, Rei Lifestyle

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Mauro
          • Quality Equipment Provided
          • Scenery
          • Well Organized Itinerary
          • Wine

          Cons

          • Wish I Was There Now

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Tuscany Cycling:

            If you haven't been riding you should train for the trip. It's not difficult if you are in moderate shape
            Get to Italy a few days early and enjoy some site seeing while you adjust to the new time zone
            The wineries ship to the States. Save some money before the trip and have your credit card ready

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Active Adventures, I Liked the Itinerary, Positive Experiences, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • liked the itinerary and the activity level
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • Marco and Julianna were fabulous guides and hosts. Mauro in the van was the always there with a smile. Dinner in Cortona and the night in the villa were major highlights. We ate really well during the trip and still lost a pound or two. How cool is that?
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • do not miss this trip

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Well Done

            By pajarito guy

            from Northern New Mexico

            About Me Almost 60, Moderate Biker

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Guides
            • Location
            • Quality Equipment Provided
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Tuscany Cycling:

              In the summer, I ride a steel REI Novara Randonee about 100 miles a week (including about 5,000' of climbing). My carbon bike on the tour is the best bike I've ever ridden.
              I prefer the hotels we stayed in to those I've stayed at the US. They were comfortably elegant not ostentatious. The guides had class that is difficult to describe. It was clear that their goal was to ensure that we were enjoying our vacations but they were collegial not obsequious.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Trust REI
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • Opportunity to see Tuscany for first time. Terrain seemed pretty and appropriate for biking. Distant family connection to the region.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • 1. Long rides along streams in valleys between oak covered limestone hills. 2. Staying in medieval cities on the hill tops.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Don't be put off by the apparent difficulty of the riding. It's easier than advertised. After flying from the US, we spent a single night in Rome before starting the tour. I disagree with the earlier reviews about adjusting to the time change. The regimentation and physical activity of the tour helped us adjust to it. I recommend doing additional traveling after the bike tour.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Awesome Adventure!

              By Outdoor Traveler

              from Los Gatos, CA

              About Me Casual Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Tuscany Cycling:

                  This trip is rated 3-4, probably because as they say nothing in Tuscany is flat, i.e. there are plenty of hills (and some very steep ones.) I am active but not an avid or strong road cyclist (as most in the group) and used toe clips as I do not have clip in bike shoes. It took me longer to get up the hills so I usually arrived last at the meeting places (but totally happy & exhilarated.) AND, the downhills are SO MUCH FUN! If you are in decent physical condition I would not be put off by the 4 rating. Just get out on a road bike and do as much hill climbing as you can before the trip so the hills are not so intimidating. Worse case, the support van is always nearby with water, fresh fruit, a lift and a friendly smile.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Traveled with REI before, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Always wanted to bike, eat and drink my way through Italy and I love Chianti. My traveling friend looked at several trip providers, discussed the itineraries with his friends who live in Italy and decided REI had the best itinerary. Also as he is an avid road cyclist who rides centuries he liked REI's longer bike rides and the potential for extending the ride if he wanted. He ended up deciding the planned rides were adequate. He got a lot of good hard biking as the Guide and many group members were very strong and fast cyclists. And. he had more time to enjoy the towns we visited, the food, wine and the daily gelatos.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • EVERYTHING! Group turned out to be some of the nicest people. Guides were pros, knowledgeable and helpful. Bike (custom built by head Guide) was awesome! He calls it the "Frankenstein" and had exceptionally low gears so I could bike up almost any steep hill (athough slowly). Food & wines were typical of location, yummy and plentiful. Guides explained local culture and history.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Arrive a couple of days before the trip starts to acclimate to time change. This is a physical bike adventure so it is good to be well rested before the start. Bring a small "point & shoot" camera so you can take plenty of pictures of the beautiful country side as you whip along on your bike.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Awesome Cycling Experience

                  By American Marco

                  from Minneapolis, Minnesota

                  About Me First time to Europe

                  Site Member

                  Pros

                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Tuscany Cycling:

                      We had great accommodations, incredible food, awesome fellow travelers, good gear, and the guides made the trip perfect. REI delivered an experience of a lifetime with great memories and new good friends. We experienced the local culture and challenged ourselves on the bike. I highly recommend the Tuscany Cycling trip!

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • I was looking for a vigorous cycling experience in Europe with an experienced guide and fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • Riding with our guide Marco as we approached the pinnacle of our first full day of cycling.
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Speak to the REI travel team prior to selecting your trip to help you match up your expectations. READ the pre-travel information packet as soon as you receive it. It is packed with useful information to have before you complete the rest of your travel itinerary. If traveling through several time zones to get to your destination, try to extend your trip in advance of your planned activity.

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