Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C08VN
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Ages: 8+

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 8 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • 6 Days cycling 
  • GPS route directions
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Trip Highlights

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

 

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.

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.

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.

Group

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:
13
Child min age:
8
Child max age:
12

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Cortela
End City:
Cortela

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • 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

    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)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 37 km / 24 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
  • Day 4

    Galzignano to Teolo

    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 B&B Tito Livio)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 34 km / 22 miles
  • 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 B&B Vito Lovio)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Teolo to Villaganzerla

    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)

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 38 km / 24 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 38 km / 24 miles
  • Day 8

    Villaganzerla to Cortela

    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)

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 40 km / 25 miles
  • Day 9

    Leave Cortela

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 6 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 & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

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 50 minutes. Return: Transfer to station 50 minutes then rail Vicenza 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.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

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.

Transfers Details

Standard transfers
Transfers included from Vicenza train station at 14:03 and back to Vicenza train station at 12:45.

Location start:
Cortela
Location end:
Cortela

What to Take

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.

Conditions 

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.

Bringing Your Own Bike

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 our Sales team for individual airline fees.

N.B 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 to be 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 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 that 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 Bits

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.

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 we travel to wearing a helmet is already 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.

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 or small close-fitting daysack.

GPS Route Navigation

Ride with GPS logo

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.

Reading List

  • The Rough Guide to Venice and the Veneto
  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Venice & the Veneto
  • Venice and the Veneto Lonely Planet City Guide

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Italy

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

Cash points are widely available throughout trip and almost all places visited accept major credit cards.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for meals not included in the itinerary and all drinks. We suggest €25 per day to cover a few drinks if not then €10 per day. On the days where lunch is not included expect to spend €10-€15.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake 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.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances 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.

On all trips

In 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 you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 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.

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; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, 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.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

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. Book with confidence: 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 monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.