Pisa to Cinque Terre biking vacation in Italy

“A week of cycling as part of a small group staying in locally-owned small hotels and tackling several challenging climbs and circular routes in the Garfagnana region of northern Tuscany. ”

Highlights

Pisa | Florence | Vinci | Montecatini Terme | Barga | Castelnuovo di Garfagnana | Alpi Apuane mountains | Ligurian Cinque Terre | Lucca | the Devil’s Bridge |

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Date
Price
Basis
22 Sep 2018
US $ 1425
excluding flights
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18 May 2019
US $ 1535
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 18 May 2019 departure
22 Jun 2019
US $ 1535
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Jun 2019 departure
21 Sep 2019
US $ 1535
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Sep 2019 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Pisa to Cinque Terre biking vacation in Italy

Accommodation and Meals:
On this tour we will spend 7 nights in small hotels. All accommodation is locally owned and staffed, which provides employment and income alternatives for many locals. Where meals are provided, there is a focus on using locally sourced produce and traditional ingredients in locally-run establishments. For meals that are not included, clients are encouraged to eat in authentic, family-run restaurants that showcase the best of Italian cuisine prepared from local produce and to ensure the local communities benefit from our visit. On the way to Lucca, we will enjoy a visit to a popular delicatessen opposite the iconic Devil’s bridge where we can taste and purchase local produce such as focaccia sandwiches overflowing with juicy tomatoes, marinated aubergine and artichokes, and the freshest mozzarella.

Community:
This trip is designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; we buy local produce, eat local food including a few gelatos made from artisans parlours, some of which who make unique flavours like blackberry, lavender, gorgonzola cheese and walnuts on top of the favourites, all produced daily with the freshest ingredients.
This cycling tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover the real Tuscan life.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital to provide water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Our guides always provide large bottles used to fill the singular bottles.

Activity:
Cycling trips in general have a minimal impact on the environment; clients are briefed on managing food waste on cycling days- litter can be collected by guide in support vehicle and disposed of appropriately, in respect of local recycling policies. As this is a cycling trip, clients will interact with locals on scheduled stops, but also on the roads while cycling.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

1 Reviews of Pisa to Cinque Terre biking vacation in Italy

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 02 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The shepherd's refuge at the top of the mountain on the optional day was beautiful, and the mountains generally were lovely. Lucca was also beautiful.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Train on hill climbing. The distances aren't big but there are some serious and sustained climbs! Go on the optional ride, even if you skip the climb and go in
the van, it's the best scenery of the week.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I don't know if it had much impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a bit disappointing, to be honest, compared with other Italian cycle tours I have done. The guide was English, so we didn't learn about the history or
the culture of the places we visited (his organizational skills weren't the finest either). We didn't so much as whiz through Florence, despite staying right
outside the gate, a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio. The scenery on the first two days was not inspiring, until we got into the mountains (don't expect
much classic Tuscan landscape, it's all about the mountains, which are lovely). The towns we stayed in weren't that exciting, until Lucca, which is really
lovely. Even the food wasn't all that inspiring, and the waiting times to be served were immense, even at lunchtime. Finally, the 'challenging' aspect of the
tour attracted fast and competitive cyclists, some of whom wanted to race through the rides and hit the bar until the early hours, which wasn't what I was
there for. It made it less comfortable as a solo female traveler than other tours that I have done.

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