Headwater - A Taste of Tuscany Cycling

8 days
from
£1,219
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
C07ST
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
12

This single-centre cycling holiday introduces you to quintessential Tuscany; it has all the ingredients to create a wonderful lasting impression of this rightly famous region: the landscapes, the food, the people and, of course, perfect cycling routes.

This is not just a cycling holiday it is an immersion into local Tuscan life, from a cookery class to hot spa baths and the chance to taste local wines and olive oils. Sample the Vino di Nobile of Monepulciano, rich Pecorino cheese in Pienza or take a bath in Roman Bagno Vignoni.

Highlights

  • Fabulous insight into traditional Tuscan life: the food, the wine, the culture
  • Exhilarating cycling across the UNESCO Val d'Orcia
  • Delicious classic Tuscan cuisine and cookery class
  • Visit the wine and cheese towns of Montepulciano and Pienza
  • Warm and welcoming agriturismo with a passionate owner

Key information

  • 7 nights single-centre accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
  • Management by local hotelier
  • GPS route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality bikes
  • Wine and olive oil tasting
  • One spa entrance
  • Cookery class

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
  • Management by local hotelier
  • GPS route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality bikes
  • Wine and olive oil tasting
  • One spa entrance
  • Cookery class

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request)
  • Single accommodation (available on request) Compulsory supplement
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

5

Days of Cycling
Day by day breakdown
Day 241.0km/25.0miles
Day 334.0km/21.0miles
Day 439.0km/24.0miles
Day 636.0km/22.0miles
Day 735.0km/22.0miles

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

Chianciano Terme
to
Chianciano Terme
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Chianciano Terme

    Take the train from Rome to Chiusi-Chianciano, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Perhaps enjoy a stroll to the old town, before your evening briefing and the first of many superb dinners. (Staying at the Agriturismo La Pietriccia for 7 nights, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    The Lakes Circuit

    A gentle start to the week with a lovely descent from your hotel on quiet roads, with wonderful views across to the mountains. A forest tracks leads you to the small town of Montallese and on to Lake Chiusi. Enjoy lunch at the lake then take the Sentiero Della Bonifica, a long-distance path between Chiusi and Arezzo, to the small Lake Montepulciano. This is a nature reserve teeming with birdlife, and there is also a café to enjoy a refreshment. Returning to the agriturismo you climb on tarmac road passing vineyards for as far as the eye can see, before an undulating track leads you back to your hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Radicofani

    The leg work is done for you this morning as we transfer you to Radicofani, the highest point in the Val d'Orcia - the views are incredible, be sure to take time to walk up to the highest point of the castle. Then follow the road downhill for the next 10 kilometres down into the valley. A gravel track takes you past pretty farms and through the forest to pass the beautiful private gardens of La Foce, before an up and over and down to the Agriturismo. You'll enjoy a spot of wine- tasting this evening before dinner in a beautiful cantina in the old town.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Sarteano Loop

    Descending from the agriturismo you follow country tracks passing a truffle-growing area before a boulevard of olive trees takes you to a lovely trail crossing the Astrone stream. Continue cycling along a road with beautiful views of the valleys which takes you into mediaeval Sarteano: here you circle the walls and can enjoy a coffee before you carry on to Cetona. A narrow tarmac road takes you up this town, before a climb to Mondo X, where one of the best restaurants in Italy, La Frateria, is housed inside a beautiful convent started by St Francis in 1212. An extraordinary priest uses the monastery as a rehabilitation centre for troubled youths. From here had back to the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Afternoon Cookery Course

    This morning you have time to yourself, maybe walk into Chianciano Vecchia and visit the Etruscan Museum of Chianciano Terme, or use your voucher for the Theia Spa and relax in the healing waters or treat yourself to one of their many treatments. In the afternoon you begin your cookery class where you will learn classic Italian techniques and eat the meal you prepare for dinner.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Montepulciano Circle

    Today the route takes you through acres of vineyards as you make your way to Montepulciano. Views of Mount Amiata take your breath away as you ride into this famous wine town. Explore its streets and maybe taste a couple of wines before heading back, passing more vineyards and along the forest road, before cycling down back into Chianciano. You’ll pass the Theia Spa on your way; perhaps use your free entrance at the end of the day.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Pienza and Bagno Vignoni

    After a short transfer to Pienza take time to explore the town - it is one of the cheese capitals of Italy - and is beautiful mediaeval historic centre. Perhaps pick up a sandwich filled with Porchetta or a slab of rich and creamy Pecorino. The ride takes you downhill to cross one of the stunning plains of the Val d’Orcia, and a short detour takes you to Roman Bagno Vignoni with its roman baths and sulphur springs. Follow a long straight Roman road then cross the valley and climb up and down into Chianciano.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Leave Chianciano Terme

    We take you back to the train station where you could possibly head to Florence or Rome for extra nights before heading home.

    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

Tuscan food is based on the Italian idea of 'cucina povera' (poor cooking); simple inexpensive meals that can be made for large groups. Whilst this was once dictated by the economy and expense of the produce, the tradition has remained. The cuisine of this region doesn't use complicated seasonings or elaborate recipes, and instead focuses on fresh, high quality ingredients that allow the natural flavours in each dish to shine through. Typical dishes include fagioli con salsiccia (cannellini beans with sausage), tagliatelle al tartufo (pasta in a truffle sauce) bistecca Fiorentina (a T-bone steak often large enough to share!), pici (a fat, handmade spaghetti, often served with tomato and garlic sauce or game meat). Don't miss the local cacio and pecorino cheeses, and sample the famous wines: Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino.

Weather

April and May departures can expect warm days, although rain is always possible. Nights may still be rather cool. Early June is similar, with the days becoming progressively hotter and the evenings much warmer. September and October are cooler and wetter, yet visibility is usually better. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in May, September and October.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate).
Average daily cycle: 37km (22.8miles)
No. of days cycling: 5
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Hotel

Your base for the week is the modest but comfortable Agriturismo La Pietriccia, which stands on a hill with great views of Chianciano Vecchia. Stefano who runs the agriturismo will welcome you with his enthusiasm for everything to do with nature in the surrounding area. He will also lead the cookery course for you during your stay, and teach you all about the artisan products in the local area. The hotel produces 65% of what it serves on your table, and is surrounded by its own farm and orchards. There is a lovely terrace and swimming pool and lovely shady grassy area that looks out across the valley, where in the heat of summer you can take your dinner outside.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

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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]

Call us on 020 8772 3936