If you are joining the transfer we meet you at Turin airport and take you to your stunning hotel (1 hour 50 mins) just below Benevello. The chef here trained under Marco Pierre White so you're in for a real treat!
We have the perfect start to our cycling with a gentle ride along an open road with balcony views over the breathtaking Langhe countryside. You will visit lovely Treiso, formerly a summer retreat for Alba's noble families, before reaching Barbaresco for lunch and cheese-tasting in the piazza. We recommend trying some wine too in the enoteca, housed in a 19th Century church built by the locals in thanks for a good grape harvest! There will also be time to visit Neive, officially one of Italy's prettiest villages and home of Romano Levi, a renowned grappa maker. The final part of the ride is a panoramic climb through Moscato vines to our lovely hotel in Castiglione Tinella. Ride Approx. 35km.
Castiglione is a great place to spend a lazy day, especially by our hotel's panoramic pool. However, a short journey away is Acqui Terme, a spa town with two major thermal centres. The sulphuric waters of the town were renowned during Roman times for their therapeutic properties. The symbol of the town is a marble fountain called 'La Bollente' (the boiling spring), from which flows water at a temperature of up to 75 degrees. Alternatively, you can cycle across to the spumante capital of Asti, with its quaint cobbled historic centre - each September the main piazza is home to a crazy palio horse race to rival Siena's! The town has an ancient history and was one of Italy's first free communes which received the right to mint its own coins in 1140, later it became one of Italy's wealthiest regions. Optional Ride.
Today your ride starts with an exhilarating whizz through vineyards to Castagnole Lanze. You will then have time to explore the cobbled streets and bustling piazze of chocolate-perfumed Alba. Alba is the capital of the Langhe region located along the banks of the Tanaro river. The town is another one with an ancient history but it is most famous for being the home of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher. The factory here is still the towns biggest employer and fills the air with the delicious smell of hazelnutty-chocolate. Alba is also revered by gastronomes the world over for its links to the white truffle. Our ride will then continue on to Grinzane Cavour where a warm welcome awaits at the elegant Casa Pavesi. Ride Approx. 38km.
Today is free to explore the area. Grinzane Cavour itself is little more than a few houses clustered around a very impressive castle, dating back to the 11th Century. The castle now houses the Enoteca Regionale Cavour, which was the first Piedmontese wine cellar to be established in the region. Here wines are on display to try and purchase. Once you have had a look around it is then well worth making a trip to visit nearby Bra, a gastronomic treasure trove where the Slow Food movement was initiated - so plenty of choice for a long, lazy lunch! There is lots to explore in the town too, including the 18th Century rococo church and the strange octagonal Zizzola, where local witches held their meetings! For the best views in the region, walk or cycle to La Morra, 'Balcony of the Langhe', spread out along a panoramic ridge above the vineyards. Optional Ride.
This morning your ride will take you first through sunflower fields to Roddi, then onto Barolo. Barolo is revered by wine lovers the world over and there are plenty of places to try 'the king of wines' as well as pick one of the many trattorie for a tasty lunch. Aside from the wine, Barolo is a very pretty, ochre-hued village perched above its worldfamous vineyards - the tangle of mediaeval streets are dominated by the Marchesi Falletti's 11th Century castle. You will then pedal on through the archetypal Langhe countryside to Monforte d'Alba, here the lovely honey-coloured old town seems to cling enchantingly to the hillside. Ride Approx. 21km.
Your hotel in Monforte, an 18th century villa, is pretty special so you may well find it difficult to tear yourself away. However, it would be a shame not to explore the mediaeval town itself. It is a lively town with attractive buildings grouped around an atmospheric cobbled piazza. Once you have had a look around it is also worth journeying a little further to Dogliani, dominated by its beautiful onion-domed church. It is a town of two halves. The lower part is located next to the Rea river and the upper part is situated around the castle, which maintains its mediaeval layout with a small piazze and the original walls still visable in parts. The town is famous for being at the heart of Dolcetto wine production and there is an enoteca in the town hall if you wish to try some.
Your final cycling day starts with a gentle coast along the Rea valley before a steady climb takes you to a stunningly panoramic ridge. You will weave through fields of wild flowers and sleepy hamlets until you reach Serravalle Langhe. The village is split over two levels, the upper half of the village is older and has fantastic views over the surrounding countryside. It is a great lunch spot. Onwards, you pedal alongside chestnut carpeted hills with delightful vistas which will lead you back to your beautiful country hotel at Benevello. If you time it right there will be time to enjoy the pool and jacuzzi before a final dinner.
Trip ends in Benevello. If you are joining the transfer it has been arranged to leave the hotel for the airport at 13.15.