California Wine Country ? Solvang Cycling

Trip Length 6 Days
Group Size 4-13
Difficulty
Starting from
$3,109 for REI Members
$3,409 for non-members
Departures Mar 2020-Aug 2020

Relish 6 days of sunny rides and SoCal wine country beauty, sampling Santa Barbara, Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos and Ojai.

A nearly perfect locale for cycling, Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley offers spectacular weather, award-winning wine country, stunning beaches, meandering bike trails and iconic architecture throughout the region.

Although you could spend weeks visiting the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley, strolling around the city streets and along the many beaches of Santa Barbara, cycling through some of the most beautiful countryside of California, and climbing up to some of the most spectacular vistas along the Pacific Coast; we have condensed your cycling journey to the best of the best in the area, including some of the most well-known and more remote destinations. A perfect way to take in the Southern California sunshine.

Your itinerary will include a ride along the Pacific Ocean on a car-free bike path, an extended ride into Los Padres National Forest as we explore the resort community of Ojai and a visit to an old western saloon nestled into the mountains of the Santa Ynez Valley. In addition to Santa Barbara and Ojai, we center our journey in the Danish inspired town of Solvang, where the holiday season never ends.

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Trip Highlights

  • Soak up salt-kissed breezes and spectacular Pacific Ocean vistas
  • Taste the Santa Ynez Valley?s legendary bordeaux-style blends and other wines
  • Relish challenging climbs in Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Ynez range
  • Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the Danish-inspired town of Solvang
  • Experience some of SoCal?s best cycling, including well-known and remote rides

Activities

This trip is rated Vigorous[4]. Participants should have cycling experience and be comfortable in the saddle for 6-7 hours per day. Rides consist of both moderate and more vigorous cycling days covering 35-50 miles. Participants should be comfortable riding a range of roads with light to moderate vehicle traffic.

We recommend a conditioning program beginning at least 3 months prior to departure that incorporates rides of at least 30-35 miles. Terrain ranges from moderate to large hills including a day of conquering Figueroa Mountain. Most hill gradients average 3-6% and a few steeper pitches that can reach up to 12% grades or higher. The better cycling shape you're in, the more you'll enjoy all this trip has to offer! Vehicle support will be available throughout the trip when needed.

  • Road Cycling
  • Cycling

What's Included

Five nights accommodations; all meals as noted in the daily itinerary; bikes or e-bikes (limited availability).

Accommodations

Lodge or cottage accommodations, 5 nights

Your wheels for the journey

Every great tour begins with a great bike, and our top-flight fleet has been carefully curated for your cycling adventure.

Want to bring your own bike?  You can do that too.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Vineyards, Marigold Fields & Local Varietals Tasting on Santa Rosa Road

Your guides will get you fitted to your bike and conduct a brief before your first ride. Lightly-trafficked Santa Rosa Road is an ideal cycling route, offering gentle grades and vast stretches of vineyards, farmland and bright fields of marigolds. Along the way you?ll visit a tasting room to sample the varietals featured in the area. The next two nights we?ll be based in the Danish-inspired town of Solvang, you may see some familiar landmarks from the Paul Giamatti movie, Sideways. A film that put the region on the map in a rather entertaining way. Lunch and Dinner included.

Cycling: 39 mi Elevation Gain/Loss +1919 ft / -1762 ft; Transfer: 1.5 hours.

Day 2

Figueroa Mountain Loop & Free Time in Solvang

Yesterday?s warm-up will give us the charge we need for the biggest challenge of the week, Figueroa Mountain. In the morning, we?ll ride along Happy Canyon Road, cycling past vineyards and horse ranches dotted with old-growth oak trees. Approaching the foothills, soft grades turn up to 6-9% and sustain for 10 miles to the top. Reaching the crescendo, we?ll reward ourselves to open views of the valley below before a long, curvy decent. You?ll hardly notice Neverland Ranch as you?re whizzing past on your way back to the hotel for a shower and time to explore Solvang. We?ll gather for a group dinner and toast to embracing challenges and celebrate today?s accomplishments. All meals included.

Cycling: 48 mi Elevation Gain/Loss: +5131 ft / -5132 ft.

Day 3

Foxen Canyon & Heaven Road

Warm up our legs this morning retracing yesterday?s ride up the gentle Ballard Canyon Road to Los Olivos. Cycle out and back on Foxen Canyon Road, famed for the country?s most well-known wine estates. If your legs want a little extra recovery time, stay in Los Olivos to explore this quaint town. We?ll regroup before continuing our way to the town of Santa Ynez. From here, we?ll shuttle to an old mountainside western saloon along the appropriately named Stagecoach Road. Saddle up and head uphill to the Camino Cielo or ?Heaven Road? that undulates along the ridge line of the Santa Ynez mountains, offering the opportunity for amazing panoramic views of the city down below and, on clear days, out to the Channel Islands. We?ll roll down, past the historic mission and into the heart of the ?American Riviera,? Santa Barbara. All meals included.

Cycling: 52 miles, Elevation Gain/Loss: +4391 ft / -5921 ft.

Day 4

Ride Santa Barbara to Ojai

Today offers you the chance to pedal along the Pacific Ocean where you can observe the ocean fauna and sandy beaches as you enjoy the nearly flat, easy riding to Ventura, CA. Grab a bite of lunch around town before we begin a gradual climb along a beautiful bike path to the charming resort town of Ojai nestled in a valley in the Topatopa Mountains. Ojai is complete with artists shops and an eclectic aura. Breakfast and dinner included.

Cycling: 42 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1596 ft / -864 ft.

Day 5

Wheeler Gorge, Oceanview Picnic & Los Padres National Forest

Our ride today is a straightforward climb from Ojai into Los Padres National Forest, named for the priests of the Spanish missions that traverse the state. You'll ride through Wheeler Gorge on your way up into the mountains. After a roadside stop and picnic lunch with an amazingly spectacular valley view, you've earned the right for a fun, winding 3,500 ft descent back to Ojai. All meals included.

Cycling: 34 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +3547 ft / -3546 ft

Day 6

Valley to Shore

Today offers you the chance to pedal back down into the valley along a scenic country road and through the upscale community of Montecito, home to many of the Hollywood elite. You?ll pedal through pastoral landscapes past avocado farms and along bike paths with the opportunity to head back to Santa Barbara along the Pacific Coast. After you bid goodbye to your new-found friends you can extend your stay in Santa Barbara or take an optional shuttle to the Santa Barbara airport for an early evening departure. Breakfast and Lunch included.

Cycling: 36 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2344 ft / -3067 ft; Transfer: 30 minutes (Optional).

Gear List

This gear list has been created to help you choose the best equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff. The weather and other conditions at the time of your arrival will dictate what clothing and equipment you will be required to use each day and what (if anything) can be left behind. It may be a necessary precaution that you bring certain items on the list, even if it is uncertain whether or not they will be needed.

Collection of selected R E I Co-op cycling merchandise and snacks laid out to pack for a bike tour

What to pack

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.