Headwater - Venetian Villas and Vineyard Cycling

9 days
from
£1,399
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
C08VN
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
8

Wonderfully easy hotel-to-hotel cycling route exploring the pretty villages, villas and castles of the Venetian countryside. Lots of historic interest and great regional cooking! A day trip to Venice is a 'must' with Padua and Vicenza also within reach.

Our undiscovered corner of Veneto, just 60 minutes (but a world away) from bustling Venice, is the perfect setting for a relaxed cycling holiday. Nestled between the art cities of Padua, home to one of the oldest universities in the whole of Europe, and UNESCO-recognised Vicenza, the region is bursting with Patrician villas - built by Venetian nobles to escape the muggy heat of the city - and ancient castles, although it is surprisingly almost entirely untouched by tourism. Palladio was the most famous Renaissance architect and many of his buildings, including the Villa Rotonda, can be visited on day 7 of this interest-packed itinerary.

 

RidePlus is available on this tour, meaning most days you have the option to choose between the standard route and a more challenging RidePlus route. Each option comes with GPS navigation and route maps to ensure you get to your destination easily, and you’ll stay at the same hotel regardless of which route you take, though RidePlus cyclists can choose an upgraded lightweight road bike. If you’re travelling as a group you can split up for the day to ride independently – so everyone has their perfect day. Find out more about RidePlus here.

 

Highlights

  • Totally unspoilt, easy cycling off the tourist trail - great for first timers!
  • Characterful, friendly hotels; great Venetian home cooking
  • Steeped in history: mediaeval castles, Palladian villas, Roman roads
  • Venice, Verona, Padua and Vicenza all within reach on your rest days
  • Masses of wine-tasting opportunities

 

Key information

  • 8 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • 6 Days cycling 
  • Departs Every two days from 11 May '18 to 16 Oct '18
  • Headwater wine service 
  • GPS route navigation provided 
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All continental breakfasts and evening meals included
  • All accommodation
  • Headwater wine service 
  • GPS route navigation provided 
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) Please enquire for prices
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request)
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 (Including 2 optional bike rides)

Days of Cycling
Day by day breakdown
Day 237.0km/24.0miles
Day 317.0km/11.0miles
Day 434.0km/22.0miles
Day 638.0km/24.0miles
Day 738.0km/24.0miles
Day 840.0km/25.0miles

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

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive at Cortela

    Arrive at your friendly agriturismo run by Gabriella and Alessandro, in time for dinner. (Staying at Agriturismo Il Feudo)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Cortela to Galzignano

     

    Option: 1

    The day starts along the canalside path to Este. This delightful mediaeval town with its pastel, arcaded buildings boasts a C14 castle and an altar piece by Tiepolo in its Cathedral. Your next stop is Monselice. You can visit its mediaeval castle (converted into a sumptuous residence for a Venetian noble in the C15). From Monselice you follow the canal past the C19 Villa Italia, before arriving at Sig Ottolitri's friendly, family run hotel just outside Galzignano. (Staying at Belvedere Resort ai Colli)

     

    Option: 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Galzignano

    It's a lovely circular cycle (route notes provided) to Arqua Petrarca, unchanged since the 1370's when Petrarch lived here. Visit his well-preserved house before pedalling off through vineyards to the fabulous Villa Barbarigo at Valsanzibio, the delightfully manicured C17 Italian gardens here are the best in the region. (Staying at Belvedere Resort ai Colli)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Galzignano to Teolo

    Option: 1

    Cycling through swaying vines you reach the charming village of Battaglia where there's time for a spot of wine tasting. You must try the local Serprino, a medium dry frizzante wine often compared to Prosecco, before carrying on through the spa towns of Montegrotto Terme to the pre-Palladian villa at Luvigliano. After admiring the elegant villa you cycle upwards to Teolo, your hotel is an elegant villa perched high above the town. (Staying at Villa Lussana)

     

    Option: 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Teolo

    A former Roman settlement, Teolo's heyday was in the C15 when it became the summer home of Venice's doges escaping the heat on the coast. Many palazzi and formal gardens from the period remain. You could take a walk in the encircling Euganean hills (360 degree views from here) or maybe take the bus into Padua to admire the town's Giotto frescoes. Or, for a longer day out, take the bus/train to Italy's most romantic city, Venice. Enjoy a cappuccino in St Mark's Square, take a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs, admire the opulent gold decor of the Doge's Palace or visit the Peggy Guggenheim Exhibition. The list is endless! (Staying at Villa Lussana)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Teolo to Villaganzerla

     

    Option: 1

    Today starts with a 1km climb from the hotel, followed by an exhilarating freewheel down through the Euganean Hills to the mediaeval castle at San Martino. Then, cycling by the Bacchiglione River you reach Cervarese Santa Croce in time for a relaxed lunch in the square. Onwards, it's into wine country once more to reach your charming farm hotel at Villaganzerla where you'll receive a warm welcome from Valfrido and Angelina. There's time for a dip in the pool (typically open June - early September) before dinner. (Staying at Agriturismo L'Albara)

     

    Option: 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Villaganzerla

    You could laze by the pool but it's a shame to miss out on Vicenza! A cycle path (those feeling lazy can catch the bus) takes you there past the famous Palladian villa, La Rotonda. nicknamed 'Venice of the Terra Firma' for its marvellous architecture, Palladio designed dozens of the city's buildings, from the Basilica Palladiana in the main square to the Teatro Olimpico. There's plenty to explore. (Staying at Agriturismo L'Albara)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Villaganzerla to Cortela

    Option: 1

    Today's route follows the Strada del Tocai Rosso (the only area outside of Hungary where the red Tocai is grown). The wine road links a string of pretty villages, each with their own Venetian campanile. Then it's out across the plain to reach Vo Vecchio, criss-crossed with canals. The Euganean hills are spread out in front of you as you cycle through the vineyards to Gabriella and Alessandro's farmhouse for your last dinner. (Staying at Agriturismo II Feudo)

     

    Option: 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Leave Cortela

    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 continental breakfasts and evening meals included.

The Veneto ranks as one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the country. You will see fields of maize and barley everywhere. It is also a big area for fruit; expect to eat cherries, peaches, melons, plums, pears, strawberries and apples. The cuisine varies from the coast up into the mountains and reflects the region’s mixed cultural past. Nearer to Austria in the mountains, you get a more Tyrolean cuisine with dishes such as apple strudel creeping onto the menu, whereas towards the coast, you will find a lighter cuisine with lots of fish dishes.

Three typical dishes you are likely to find throughout the region are baccalà (air-dried salted cod soaked and cooked to a creamy consistency in garlic, parsley and olive oil), carpaccio (now seen on menus throughout Italy and even internationally, this is thin slices of very rare beef sprinkled with lemon juice and garnished with parmesan cheese, mushrooms or even white truffles according to the season and the restaurant) and polenta (made from maize, this is served as an accompaniment to meat or fish).

Weather

In Veneto and the surrounding areas the temperatures are cool/mild in spring and autumn and warm/humid in summer, with potential summer storms. You can find more information on the weather in Veneto on www.arpa.veneto.it.

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance on move on days: 34km (21.5 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 6
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 a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour 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.

We take you across the Venetian plain, past cherry orchards and swaying vine terraces, with the outline of the conical shaped Euganean Hills and imposing Colli Berici acting as a constant backdrop. The cycling is wonderfully gentle, over the flatlands of the plain and the low foothills of the Colli Berici, along peaceful canalside paths, cycle tracks and quiet country roads, passing sumptuous villas and historic towns with wine-tasting opportunities on the way.

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

Hotels

En route the cuisine is fabulous, home cooked fayre and you'll stay with some of the friendliest people we've ever met. In Teolo you'll stay at Tiziana's lovingly restored Liberty villa, whilst there's a warm welcome at Valfrido and Angelina's charming agriturismo near Vicenza, and at the Ottolitri family's hotel just outside Galzignano.

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