Current as of: December 4, 2023 - 22:28
1 out of 7 - Leisurely
It’s easy to become enchanted with the idyllic, back-to-nature lifestyle, that doesn’t compromise on the comfort and style that genuine Italian country living boasts. The area is excellent for cycling as the valley floor here is criss-crossed with lots of quiet country lanes. We’ve put together a selection of circular routes of varying lengths, so you can be as active or relaxed as you choose. Further afield, the must-see regional highlights, such as Venice, Vicenza and Padua, can all be reached on a full day out. Or, of course, you can just laze by the pool (typically open June – end Sept only) and soak up the warm Italian sun!
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Av. daily ride: 29.4km (18.7miles).
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain & route: The suggested cycling is along quiet, tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free). There are a few ascents and descents along the way.
This is a self-guided cycling trip for those who like to cycle independently, but with back up to take out the hard work and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.
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. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.
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 an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies.
As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.
Adult min age: 12
Arrive at your friendly agriturismo in Villaganzerla where you’ll be kitted out with a bike and go through the various cycling choices available to you before dinner (time permitting). (Staying at l’Albara for 7 nights)
Sunday is market day (morning only) in Bastia, so we’ve built in an easy cycle along quiet country lanes criss-crossing the Paduan plain to get you in your stride. Stroll around the stalls before heading off to the tiny village of Lovolo, a charming village square with its ancient lime kiln, for lunch. Your return route takes you through the delightful hamlet of Monticello as you wind your way back to Villaganzerla.
Today’s route takes you along wonderfully tranquil valley lanes and on to Lake Fimon, a totally undiscovered gem surrounded by shaded woodland. There are lots of little spots for picnicking by the water’s edge, or you can take lunch at one of the lakeside trattorie. It’s a lovely 5km circular cycle around the lake, before you meander back amidst the green backdrop of lush valleys and rolling hills to your agriturismo.
Heading north this morning, your first stop is the lovely village of Costozza, named after the network of caves in the cliffs above, with its impressive campanile, beautiful villas and extensive formal gardens lined with statues. Ice cream lovers should call in at the locally renowned gelateria before looping south and on to Lumignano, famous locally for its annual pea festival! Your route then follows the Northern Strada as you wind your way through rows of immaculately tended vineyards, against the rolling backdrop of the Berici Hills. This is the only area outside Hungary where the red Tai Rosso grape is grown. Stop off for some tasting, perhaps in Castegnero or Nanto, with its striking Venetian bell tower, before pedalling east and back in time for a swim before dinner.
A cycle path (those feeling lazy can catch the bus) takes you to UNESCO-recognised Vicenza, 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, so there’s plenty to explore. On the way home you can visit the famous Villa Rotonda and its surrounding gardens.
Why not give the bike a rest today and head off to one of the great Italian cities? Venice, Verona and Padua are all accessible by train from Vicenza (short bus or cycle ride). If you prefer to avoid the crowds, perhaps take the bus to Bassano, home to the region’s famous grappa and a museum in its honour.
Today, ride past Villa Pigafetta-Camerini, inhabited by the Camerini family since 1700, to Mossano and enjoy the stunning panorama of the Venetian plain. The wine road undulates through the vineyards between the towering Berici Hills and the Paduan plain, offering wonderful vistas on all sides. Turn back north towards the idyllic Franciscan monastery of San Pancrazio before a lovely descent to Ponte di Mossano and a ride along the quiet country lanes of the Paduan plain back to l’Albara.
The tour ends in Villaganzerla.
Ascents, descents and distances
All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. Please note, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.
Your base for the week is the charming AAA nine-room, Agriturismo l’Albara, nestled just outside the tiny village of Villaganzerla, in the heart of the Venetian countryside. Run by the affable Valfrido and Angelina, their daughter, Romina, and son, Federico, this is one of the friendliest places we’ve encountered. Don’t be surprised if you’re invited to take part in fruit picking or whisked away to the local grappa distillery just down the road!
The bedrooms here are cheerfully decorated with wrought iron bedsteads, brightly coloured throws and polished wooden floors. The dining room is light and airy and serves fresh, regional cuisine according to what’s in season. Everything, even the wine, comes from the farm!
Single supplement from £ 161
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).
In Veneto, the temperatures are cool/mild in spring and autumn and warm/humid in summer, with potential summer storms.
The tour itself normally begins at the start hotel in Villaganzerla on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary.
Prices include our standard flights/transfers
British Airways Gatwick to Venice Marco Polo 07:30/10:50 then rail Venice Mestre to Vicenza 13:32/14:03 and transfer to hotel 30 minutes. Return: Transfer to station 30 minutes then rail Vicneza to Venice Mestre 13:56/14:28 then British Airways Venice Marco Polo to Gatwick 17:25/18:35. Business/club/first class seats are available on request.
Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.
Location start: Villaganzerla
Location end: Villaganzerla
Transfers included from Vicenza train station at 14:03, and back to at 13:15.
Local Self-Guided Bikes
All bikes are supplied with:
– 1 front bar bag with a plastic folder for your route notes and maps – 1 per 2 people (if you are travelling together)
– 1 set of rear panniers
– 1 bike lock per 2 people
– 1 repair kit per 2 people, which includes 1 spare inner tube and a pump, plus a lock
– Front and rear lights
Seat and handlebar heights will have been set up in advance from the heights you have given us on booking. However, when you receive your bike there will be the opportunity to test and adjust. Electronic bikes are available for this trip, please request one as early as possible as they are subject to availability. Helmets can be requested if you wish, but please be aware we can never guarantee the quality of these so we do recommend bringing your own.
We recommend you bring the following items:
Normal daily clothes
Padded cycling shorts
Breathable cycling top
A couple of warm layers
Sunglasses, sun cream and sunhat
Stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling
Waterproofs and long cycling trousers
For earlier departures you may need some warmer layers
Mobile phone with roaming capabilities
You may find that you want to take some cycle-specific clothing such as cycle gloves and padded cycling shorts. In addition to this it is worth taking some leggings and long sleeved tops for the mornings and evenings when it may be cooler. It is also recommended that you take a swimming costume so you can take advantage of any bathing opportunities that come your way.
GPS Route Navigation
We’ve teamed up with RideWithGPS to provide our carefully researched and checked itineraries in a convenient format, similar to a car satnav, with turn-by-turn instructions all along your route.
Before you travel we’ll send you everything you need to download your route notes and the free RideWithGPS app. It’s available for iPhone and Android and the routes can also be used on any regular GPS device such as the Garmin Edge bike computers or Forerunner fitness devices.
For more details and to watch the demonstration video, please visit our GPS Route Navigation page.
If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount on the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to your sales representative for individual airline fees. Please note, this does not apply to trips within the UK, for which local bike hire is not included.
You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. It is also your responsibility to ensure your bike is roadworthy and suitable for the type of cycling undertaken. If in doubt, the model of local bike hire available should act as a guide and details of terrain, ascent and descent are available both in the itinerary and in the ‘Is this trip for you?’ sections. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft, you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.
Extra bike accessories
You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
Recommended Cycling Clothing
Padded cycling shorts (with loose ‘over-shorts’ where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum bag (fanny pack) or small close-fitting daysack.
Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets
Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.
For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries, wearing a helmet is a legal requirement.
Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.
Local Bike Details
A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.
1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.
Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Italy. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.
Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.
• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/italy
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/italy
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements
• USA: www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html
Please note: it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times in Italy.
There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.
Italy's time zone: Europe/Rome (UTC +01:00)
Italy's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard), F (two round pins), and L (three round pins in a row) – 230V, 50Hz
Italy's currency: Euros (EUR)
ATMs are widely available and usually the most convenient way of obtaining Euros. Travellers cheques are accepted in banks. Credit cards are widely used.
Lunch is not included in the itinerary and some dinners are left open where there are good restaurant choices, please allow some spending money for this. We recommend approximately €10-20 per lunch.
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…
Your safe participation
When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.
Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.
By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.
When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.
You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.
Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.
Trip Note validity
These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.
The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.
Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.