Day 3 - To Vinci

Tuscany: Florence to Lucca Ride

8 days
from
£1,099
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 14 reviews >
Trip code: 
MET
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Discover some of northern Tuscany's finest road riding

Some of the best road cycling in Tuscany can be found in the north of the region. Starting our tour in the Renaissance city of Florence, during the week we get off the beaten track and head towards the mountainous terrain of the Garfagnana region before returning to the rolling hills around Lucca. On this trip we discover the iconic city of Pisa, ride through quiet mediaeval villages and the glorious landscape that connects them and savour a huge range of delicious food and wine. 

Highlights

  • Ride through picturesque mediaeval towns
  • Discover some of northern Tuscany's finest road riding
  • Explore the renaissance city of Florence

Key information

  • 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels with en suite facilities
  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leaders. Min age 16 years
  • 95% tarmac, 5% easy gravel roads
  • More mountainous than southern Tuscany, so a good level of fitness recommended

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 100% tarmac

Day by day breakdown
Day 260.0km/37.0miles
Day 355.0km/34.0miles
Day 470.0km/43.0miles
Day 552.0km/32.0miles
Day 651.0km/32.0miles
Day 773.0km/46.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Direct flight to Pisa; transfer to Florence.

    Fly to Pisa and transfer to the beautiful city of Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance with an enormous wealth of historical sites, museums, galleries, churches and architectural delights. Depending on the group arrival time, there might be some time to take a quick walk around the historic centre before dinner. If you would like more time to visit this splendid Italian gem, we recommend booking some pre-tour accommodation.

  • Day 2

    Ride up to take in the views over Florence before heading out to mediaeval Vinci.

    Today’s introductory ride takes us to the beautiful authentic town of Vinci, birthplace and home to the famous Reinassance polymath Leonardo, who was born here in 1452. During the ride we pass a number of ancient mediaeval villages including San Casciano and Lucignano, often ranked amongst the most beautiful towns in Italy. Sections of today's route follow the typical Tuscan landscape, along avenues lined by classic cypress trees, prevalent in this area, as well as vineyards and olive groves. In Vinci, if we get there early enough, there will be the opportunity to visit the famous Leonardo Museum, which houses reconstructed models of a lot of Leonardo's inventions. Overnight in Vinci.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cycle through classic Tuscan villages en route to the thermal spa town of Montecatini Terme.

    In the morning we set off on a pleasant ride taking some beautiful Tuscan villages en route to the thermal spa town of Montecatini Terme. Our route from Vinci heads south first, passing the village of San Miniato perched on a hillside overlooking the lower Arno Valley. We then head north, pedalling through pretty Fucecchio and San Donato and through the hills all the way to Montecatini Terme, where we stay overnight. Time permitting, there is the option to visit one of the many thermal spas that are located throughout the town.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Challenging climbs take us into the mountains en route to the amazing hilltop city of Barga; continue riding to the pretty market town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.

    Today we head into the higher mountains with some challenging climbing including the 735m Foce del Trebbio. The day starts gently, heading along the side of the valley to the mediaeval hill town of Collodi. From here we commence the climb up to the Foce del Trebbio, which becomes steeper the more we advance. Once we've recovered we head downhill on a hairpinned descent to the thermal spa town of Bagni di Lucca where we will have lunch. After lunch we will head north into the Garfagnana area. In the late afternoon there is a short sharp climb up to the hilltop city of Barga with its beautiful cathedral and stunning views across the Serchio Valley towards the Alpi Apuane mountains. From here we descend gently to the valley base and then ride northwards, following the Serchio river valley to the market town of Castlenuovo di Garfagnana, our base for the next two nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Circular ride in the glorious Alpi Apuane mountains or optional walks on the Ligurian Cinque Terre coastline.

    Today's challenging circular ride takes us into the Alpi Apuane mountains, following twisting mountain roads and a dramatic rugged landscape. Those preferring to take a day off the saddle have the option to travel to the famous Ligurian Cinque Terre coastline for some sightseeing and relaxation or alternatively a more active day of walking. Overnight in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Ride south through the mountains to pretty Lucca, via the iconic Devil’s Bridge.

    Today's destination is the southern city of Lucca. En route we will pedal through the iconic Devil's bridge, a remarkable example of medieval engineering, built in a vital river crossing on the Via Francigena, an early medieval road to Rome and important medieval pilgrimage route. Once in Lucca, there will be some time to explore the well-preserved Renaissance walls encircling its historic city centre and its cobblestone streets. The broad, tree-lined pathways along the tops of these massive 16th and 17th Century ramparts are popular for strolling and cycling. Overnight in Lucca.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Enjoy one last circular ride on the banks of the Serchio river, taking in Pisa.

    Our final circular ride follows the banks of the Serchio River, taking in the world-famous city of Pisa. Time permitting, here you will have a chance to explore and take an optional climb to the top of the world famous tower. In the afternoon we ride back to Lucca tackling the rolling hills of Pieve di Compito and Villa. Overnight in Lucca. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Lucca.

    The trip ends in Lucca in the morning of day 8.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included and are Continental in style, consisting of coffee or tea, bread, jam and/or honey.

Italy’s cuisine is hearty, satisfying and full of flavour. Inspired by the kitchens of the nonna, Italy’s food is authentic and surprising – pizza and pasta are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the diverse array of unforgettable food you’ll find on this trip. Starters include antipasti of cured meats or a crustini di fegato made from toasted slices of bread with a chicken liver pate. Soups options are the zuppa di fagioli, with beans, or ribollita, a deliciously hearty vegetable and bread soup. The tagliatelle al tartufo brings the delicious flavors of truffles into a rich, luscious pasta dish whether the bistecca florentina, a mouth-watering t-bone steak takes centre stage for main course. End your meal with cantucci biscuits, dipped into a glass of vin santo, sweet dessert wine for a true taste of Tuscany. Vegetarians are well catered for in Italy. Please inform us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Weather

Italy has a good all year round climate, with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures from the spring through to autumn. Summer departures will usually have hot weather, with temperatures reaching the low to mid 30°C. April-June and September-November departures are likely to be cooler with a slightly higher chance of rain. In late summer there is the possibility of heavy thunderstorms (generally in the afternoons), but these are usually short-lived.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road. 
Activity Level: 4 (Moderate/Challenging). 
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading. 

This region of Italy is hilly in the south and mountainous in the north, and there will be some more sustained climbing towards the end of the trip. Most days will require a decent level of fitness - the reward for the ascents will be stunning views and an amazing sense of achievement; a worthwhile trade-off! Distances per day vary from 50-70km per day. Daily rides will start from our accommodation, but there may be short transfers used at the end of some afternoons. The support vehicle will follow the group for the vast majority of the time, so you can choose whether to ride all of the climbs on the trip. We aim to use quiet roads where possible, but sometimes we need to pass short sections of slightly busier roads.

6 days cycling, average 60km/day (37 miles), vehicle support on 100% of route, with limited seats, for only 2 or 3 people. Terrain: 95% tarmac. 5% easy gravel roads.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You will spend 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels. All hotels have been carefully selected for their welcoming atmosphere, location and services offered.  All rooms provided are en suite.

We can arrange single rooms throughout the trip (subject to availability). Please check with your sales consultant for availability and prices.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Italian bruschetta

Italy’s reputation as paradise for food connoisseurs is not only well known, but well deserved.

  • Reviewed October 2017
    Wendy Pillar

    Not the best Exodus tour I have done

    I enjoyed this trip rather less than the other Italian cycle tours that I have done. The roads were very busy, there was little of it that was on truly peaceful backroads or cycle paths. The leader wasn't local and so we didn't really learn about the places we were visiting. In our group there were some fast and competitive cyclists who were out partying until the early hours each night. The first couple of days' scenery was not very inspiring, until we reached the mountains, which were beautiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The shepherd's refuge at the top of the mountain on the optional day was beautiful. Lucca was also very lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jon steered us through the busy city sections well. He wasn't local though, and didn't have any information about the places we visited, which I would have liked. His organization skills also weren't the finest - wrongly telling me that I was going to have to share a room when I had paid for a single was a low point. The second leader was brand new on the job and again, a little more organization would have been useful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you can ride up hills! The distances are not so great, with frequent breaks, but there are some substantial climbs on three of the days. They are perfectly do-able, but you do need a bit of fitness. Do the optional ride, even if you ride up the mountain in the van, as it's the best day. If you want to see Florence, book extra time because we didn't even whiz through the city on our way to dinner or on the first ride, despite staying right by the gate.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Andrea Clarke

    Florence to Lucca cycling experience

    Wonderful first cycling holiday trip - something different every day, group dynamics excellent, and fantastic leader (Radu) ably assisted by the ever smiling Lea.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Campocatino climb. I don't think I would have ever attempted something like this before. Statue of David Bowie at the top was surreal! A frequent visitor! Enjoyed Barga too. Found out Paulo Nutini's father came from there (another Scottish connection)!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very skilled in all aspects of the job - leadership, safe hands. Safe. Clear instructions. Friendly and knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Listen to instructions! Radu's insight for the upcoming route is not to be wasted.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Well thought out and organised. Snacks a bit expensive at the end - we missed the original briefing due to flight delay, and thought they were included. A small negative.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    David Harry

    Italy - Tuscany trip

    Always wanted to visit Tuscany. This is the best way to do it and having knowledgable guides makes it so much easier. Amazing countryside.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching top of highest climb and looking out over covered shepherd huts to the mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ready was great at leading the group even though they were of vastly different abilities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the mileage and elevation you have to ride. Train to do it or pick an easier trip.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Robert Alexander

    Florence to Lucca cycle ride

    A well thought out and organised trip through the Beautiful Tuscany hills.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Managing some tough hill climbs without getting off !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Leaders, Liz and Radu were excellent. I cannot praise them enough.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're not a regular cyclist make sure you do some training before the trip. The hill climbs are quite challenging but achievable with reasonable fitness.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take a camera to record the magnificent countryside and Renaissance architecture in places such as Florence, Barga, Lucca, Pisa.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Keith Woodvine

    Tuscany: Florence to Lucca

    From arriving to departing the whole trip was well organised. The leaders, Radu and Liz were inspirational, entertaining and very knowledgeable. The cycling was well paced to suit all abilities, coffee and ice-cream breaks well placed along the route, and arriving in good time at our destinations each day to allow some group or individual exploring, even street maps of the towns were provided. The accommodations were very comfortable and a variety of evening meals available to suit individual tastes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My most inspirational moments were the opportunities to test my abilities to climb the hills/mountains. Where I live there are some short, steep hills, but no long climbs. It was a great feeling to reach the 1000m height after a few kilometres of effort and to look back down to where we had started.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Radu was a great leader, equally supported by Liz, and the two of them made the trip thoroughly enjoyable. Never a dull moment. Very knowledgeable of the area and history, entertaining and inspirational, and always aware of the well-being of our group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Always take a good variety of suitable clothing. The weather can change day by day, can be very hot in the valleys and cold on the hill tops (especially descending at high speed down the hills!). See how many flavours of the gorgeous ice-cream you can taste.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommend staying on in Lucca for another day or two if possible. Lots to see, and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Anne Burton

    Florence to Lucca

    Excellent itinerary. Some really good hills to climb and exhilarating down hills. Very nice accommodations. Great leaders

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realizing you can do it!!! And the group comraderie

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders were perfect. Always emphasized safety first. They were organized and friendly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train for some long up hills. Bring cash
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Louise Legg

    Florence to Lucca cycling

    fantastic scenery, leaders, hotels and group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Surviving 15 k climb

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    practice hills
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Jereldine Wade

    Pisa to Cinque Terre

    Liz and Radu were capable, caring, knowledgeable, and kind in their leadership of the trip. The scenery was outstanding, the hills challenging, the trip lovely.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one modem was inspirational. I was pleased to be be able to make the climbs and be in a beautiful part of Italy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz and Radu were great and kept a good eye out for all of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to get in some training on hills.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's a wonderful trip; sign up for it!
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Liam Curran

    Lots and lots of Hills!

    For those who haven't been to Tuscany before, it is mainly picturesque villages on the top of hills. On this holiday you cycle from one to another. Expect some step climbs!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing my first "col".

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some climbing training.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Budget for approx Euro 40-50 for evening meals in the restaurants the guide recommends. The single room supplement of £330 when I booked it was not worth the money for the poor quality, small rooms that I received. I notice however that the price has dropped to only £195.
  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    TUSCANY: PISA TO CINQUE TERRE RIDE

    Brilliant trip all round. Amazing varied scenery, great food and drink, and some fantastic places to stay overnight and explore after a day in the saddle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyone wanting to cycle through torrential rain and stick together, enjoying and completing the full route on day 1 in great spirits. We were still all doing everything together after the week. I also really enjoyed the steep hill sections and getting the heart pumping by tackling them full on! 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The two group leaders were fantastic (Mike and Nathan). Both complimented each other well and were always helpful and well organised. They definitely knew their stuff and helped make it a very enjoyable trip for everyone. They also always had / knew of different options available to us (whether this be dining out or route wise).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be pretty fit to do this trip. The grading was spot on as the first few days had a few hills but not too demanding but later in the week there are some really steep sections, some short and some quite long. However the fitter you are the more you will enjoy it. As long as you either do a reasonable amount of cycling already (including going up big hills) or have a good level of fitness you will be fine. And remember Cadence, Concentration and Composure!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definitely recommend this trip 100%.Like one of the others reviewing this trip i would like to see Exodus put on more trips of this grade in Europe for 7 days duration. There are lots of moderate but not any others which are moderate / challenging.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

This trip can be combined with one of our other Tuscany itineraries:

With so much to see and do in the world we know how hard it is to settle just on one destination. That's why we have put together a handy guide of trips you are able to do back-to-back (see page 9 of our new Cycling brochure 2016/17).

MET (Tuscany: Florence to Lucca Ride) can be combined with MWI (Tuscany: Cycle Siena & Chianti) but the latter must be done first for this to work. After the Cycle Siena & Chianti trip (MWI) you will be able to join your next trip (MET) directly at the hotel, as the end hotel used in Florence on MWI will be the same as the one used as start point for MET. This means that you can easily combine the two trips back to back without having to book any transport or extra accommodation.

The following departure dates can be combined:

MWI 14th May with MET 21st May 
MWI 18th June with MET 25th June
MWI 20th August with MET 27th August
MWI 17th September with MET 24th September

If you are interested in combining this trip, please call us, email us or start a Live chat for further details.

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