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Grab a bike and head out on a beautiful journey between two of Italy’s most iconic cities. Beginning in Pisa, the home of the famous Leaning Tower, your journey starts by taking in some of the most classic historic sights in the country. Follow the course of the Serchio River as you pedal through beautiful countryside, old olive groves and Renaissance forts. As you head deeper into Tuscany, the route will take in some of the region’s charming hamlets including the hometown Leonardo da Vinci! For the grand finale, finish your ride in the utterly irresistible Florence — the birthplace of the Renaissance and a place to lose yourself in world-class art and delicious Tuscan cuisine.

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  • Italy’s most iconic cities

    Discover fairytale Renaissance squares, cathedrals, palaces and villas along the 170 km/ 105 miles of roads

  • Rolling hills and vineyards

    Take a break in the shade of an old olive grove and enjoy the golden hour under the Tuscan sun

  • Art, architecture and iconic landmarks

    Explore the region that birthed the Renaissance, starting at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and ending at the Florence Cathedral

Itinerary

This journey takes you through Tuscany’s best-ofs, from iconic landmarks to hidden hamlets that inspired so many artists. Over the course of 8 days, you’ll pedal your way from the historic city of Pisa, home of the famous Leaning Tower, to the enchanting streets of Florence. The best part? Most of the logistics are sorted out for you—airport and luggage transfers, hotels, breakfasts, detailed route maps, all of that is handled. Take your time discovering Tuscan treasures, stop for pics whenever you like, and enjoy your Italian adventure to the fullest!

  • Today is your arrival day in Pisa, located on the Arno River and home to the famous Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) — all part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Explore the city on your own and get ready for your week of cycling!

    Meals: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Small hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs

    Leaning Tower of Pisa at sunset
  • This morning you will receive your welcome meeting and also your bike fitting (if renting). Now is the perfect time to ask any questions to your welcome representative.

    Today is your first day in the saddle as you meander through Pisa, along the river towards the northern outskirts. The path follows an ancient water duct to the hills that separates Lucca from the fertile plains of Pisa. As you skirt around the hills, you’ll ride through Asciano and St. Giuliano Terme on your way to the Serchio River. Once you’ve crossed the river, a quiet country road will take you past cultivated fields and after a short cheeky climb, a fabulous descent will lead you back to the river. Don’t forget to stop and admire the quaint castle of Nozzano. Once back on the Serchio, the cycle path will lead you to the fortified city of Lucca. Ride around the defensive walls of Lucca – these walls represent one of the best preserved city fortifications in Europe. There’s plenty of time to explore the hidden gems of Lucca or simply relax in one of the squares watching the bustle of Italian life.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 44 km/ 27 miles
    Ascent: 350 m/ 1150 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs

    Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
  • You’ll start the day riding alongside the Serchio river again, heading north out of town. You’ll cycle through the Lucchese hills, immersing yourselves in the stunning countryside dotted with superb Renaissance villas and olive groves. Meandering through the countryside you’ll eventually reach Montecarlo, a little hamlet perched on the top of a hill, with narrow cobbled streets and alleyways overlooked by a fortress. With a lovely selection of rustic trattorias serving traditional Tuscan food, including bruschetta dipped in fresh local olive oil, and great hospitality, this is a great place to spend the night.

    An additional, optional loop ride is available if you wish to visit Collodi (around15 km/ 9 mi), where the author of Pinocchio spent his childhood. Here we recommend visiting the famous park and adjacent Villa Garzoni.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 35 km/ 22 miles
    Ascent: 500 m/ 1640 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs

    Cyclist on a Tuscan road next to old olive groves
  • Today’s route is relatively short, offering the possibility to spend some time exploring the most famous thermal city in Italy and taking a stroll down the narrow lanes of Montecatini Alto.
    Setting off from Montecarlo, the narrow lanes meander through cultivated fields and along small canals. The first part of the ride will lead you to the lower hills of Buggiano. Here the riding becomes a little bit more challenging as the route gradually weaves itself up to Castello di Buggiano and Massa. There is plenty of time to stop and wander through these charming hamlets, admiring the view of the rolling hills and expanses of olive groves. The reward is a fun descent that will lead you straight into Montecatini Terme. From here, you can head up to Montecatini Alto by taking the short cable car. Alternatively, enjoy some of the spa facilities that are available in town (best to book in advance).

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 25 km/ 15 miles
    Ascent: 350 m/ 1150 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs

    Panoramic view of Montecatini alto-Tuscany-Italy
  • Today you’ll head south, cycling among the villas of the Medici family, olive groves, vineyards and beautiful farmland. The route will take you south of Pistoia, edging Monte Albano. A short detour near Lamporecchio will take you to Villa Rospigliosi, once belonging to Pope Clemente IX, and now a luxurious estate. Moving on, you’ll soon reach the small hamlet of Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace. There should be plenty of time to visit the museum and absorb the atmosphere of this small town before heading to your accommodation which is a short cycle away.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 25 km/ 16 miles
    Ascent: 200 m/ 660 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs

    Summer Tuscany landscape with grain fields and rural road, Italy
  • A slightly more challenging day awaits on your way to Florence. Leaving Vinci, the route will take you over the rolling hills of Carmignano, riding through small villages and gradually climbing to the highest point on this trip, 400mt/1312ft. The views of Florence are stunning. What goes up must come down, and the rewarding gradual descent will lead you down to the Arno river, first cycling through the narrow streets of the charming town of Signa. From here, the riverside Arno cycle path will lead you all the way into Florence. Florence is the gem of Italian Renaissance, so once you have checked into your hotel you should head out to explore!

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 45 km/ 27 miles
    Ascent: 500 m/ 1640 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs

    Florence from above
  • The Renaissance city of Florence is bursting with culture, and worthy of a full day of sightseeing. Leave your bikes behind as you explore the city on foot, winding your way through cobbled streets. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and must-see sights include il Ponte Vecchio, il Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi. This evening you’ll be free to dine in one of the city’s many restaurants; Tuscany is famed for its wine and fresh produce.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Small hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs

    Sheeps' milk cheese board and organic wine tasting in Chianti region
  • Time to head back to the airport for flights home, after a final delicious breakfast of course!
    If you’d like to extend and explore Florence for another couple of days, please do let us know and we can help organize this for you.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Street in Florence, Italy
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Meet your guide

Saddle Skedaddle
5.00
Saddle Skedaddle
Saddle Skedaddle was founded by a couple of MTB pros (Paul and Andrew) while trapped in a snowstorm during their year-long biking adventure in Chile. They believe travel should move you and that there’s no better way to see a place properly—its people, culture, and natural wonders—than by bike. Saddle Skedaddle currently runs tours in 36 destinations, offering adventure junkies incredible places to tour on two wheels.
5.00 (3 reviews)
Absolutely fantastic!
Gary (source: Guide’s website)

I would not hesitate to recommend your cycling holidays – its a mix of orienteering and cycle touring and its really a hell of a lot of fun. Sometimes you work hard – then you coast downhill for a beer. And all the way, awesome views of Tuscany. It was just absolutely fantastic.

Great!
Alison (source: Guide’s website)

This was the first time we had done a cycling holiday and having visited Tuscany before thought this would be a great way to explore. I can honestly say we were not disappointed! The routes took us through some fantastic countryside and we stayed in a variety of towns that gave us a great experience of what Tuscany has to offer. Everyone was really friendly and helpful. From the conversations and e-mail I had confidence that we would get what we wanted and this proved to be true!

The service provided is absolutely excellent
John (source: Guide’s website)

This was my third Saddle Skedaddle trip and I was also the organiser for all three for our cycle club group. The service provided is absolutely excellent, from the website that is bursting with information about cycling holidays of all kinds, to initial enquiries, booking confirmation, answering queries and payments, to the superb support on the holiday itself both on the ground and digitally via the SS App which tells you everything you need to know. A fourth trip is on the cards for next year I’m sure.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • Accommodation (shared en suite rooms) in small hotels or B&B’s
      • Breakfasts
      • Local representative (with either an in person or video welcome meeting)
      • Access to the navigation app for holiday information and navigation
      • Luggage transfers

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Pisa and from Florence
      • Bike rental (available if required)
      • Charges for traveling with your bike (if applicable)
      • Single room (available if required, on request)
      • Personal clothing and equipment
      • Lunch and dinner
      • Entry tickets
      • Local tourist tax (to be paid locally – approx. 2€ per day)
      • Travel arrangements to first hotel or from final hotel
      • Travel and medical insurance
  • This leisure self-guided biking tour is suitable for those who have recently got into cycling, and offer an array of accessible, cycle friendly routes, cycle paths and quiet roads (around 85% on asphalt roads and around 15% on unpaved roads). However there will be some days and sections where you may have to tackle some ups and downs, the occasional steeper climb and perhaps some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

    Distance varies generally between 15-30 miles / 22-48 kms per day. Day 5 will prove the harder of the days with a 9km gradual climb. The tour is suitable for those with a decent level of physical fitness, looking for some leisurely rides with occasional (achievable!) challenges along the way.

  • A self-guided tour is an independent exploration without a formal guide leading the way. Instead of being part of a group with a tour leader, you will navigate the tour yourself, using resources provided by the operator, such as maps, guidebooks, audio guides, or digital apps.

    A member of the local team (or local service provider) will:

      • Conduct your welcome meeting (either in person or via video call)
      • Provide you with further information, such as lunch suggestions, events, etc.
      • Be available should you have any problems or questions during your trip
      • Provide your rental bikes and collect them at the end of the trip (if renting)
      • Transfer your luggage between hotels
  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Duffle bag for the rest of your luggage (1 bag per person)
      • Bike (can be rented)
      • Helmet (can be rented)
      • Cycling gloves
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Lightweight cycling shoes
      • Comfortable everyday clothes or cycling kit
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Fleece or sweater for mornings and evenings
      • Light waterproof rain jacket
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

    If you are taking your own bikes, it is imperative that they are in good mechanical order. If you are not mechanically minded, we advise you to take your bikes to a local bicycle dealer for a service.

    A basic packing list will be sent to you with your booking confirmation. Please feel free to contact us if you would like any further information.

  • Yes, you can rent a bike from your tour organizer. Rental bikes will be provided with a pannier rack and 1 bag, a tool kit, a spare inner tube, a bike lock, a bike pump and a phone mount.

    Typically you will ride a Giant Roam or Giant Rove hybrids (or equivalent). You can also rent electric bikes on request if you’re wanting to spend more time exploring the towns and villages along the way and cover the miles a little quicker. An e-bike would also help those in need of a little boost to cover some of the longer distances and climbs towards the end of the week. E-bikes will typically be Giant Explore E+ or Liv Amiti E+ Ehybrid bikes (or equivalent). It may take a few days to confirm availability so please let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to take this option.

    Note that the price for rental bikes is for 6 days only (delivery on day 1, and pick up at the end of day 6), so you generally won’t have access to the bike on your free day in Florence. If you’d like an additional day of rental please do let us know!

    You can also rent a helmet locally on request, please let us know if you’d like to hire when you make your booking.

  • Yes, you can. Please note that the vast majority of airlines will charge you to transport your bike. This amount varies from carrier to carrier but we recommend always booking and paying for this in advance which will usually save you money compared to paying at the airport. Please contact your airline for specific details.

    Most airlines will also require your bike to be properly packaged for transport. Most commonly this will be in a bike bag or box specifically designed for the job. There is a wealth of options when it comes to picking the right box or bag for your needs.

  • There is no vehicle support on this tour, however your luggage will be transferred between your accommodation.

    You will have a 24-hour emergency contact number for you to call if you encounter any problems during the trip. Please note that this may incur additional charges depending on the nature of the action required.

    Your allowable baggage is one main piece of luggage per person, other than your bike and a small day pack. Your main luggage should preferably be either a backpack / rucksack or a duffle. The day pack may be useful for carrying your additional outer-layer clothing, camera and snacks.Please note there may be additional charges for transferring additional bags.

  • Comfort and convenience are always in mind when selecting accommodation. You’ll stay in centrally located, comfortable 3-star hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs, all with en-suite facilities. You can also upgrade your accommodation if you’d like to stay in a selection of both 3- and 4-star hotels. Please select this option at the time of booking.

    Regarding food, this trip is available on a B&B basis only. For lunch you can stop at local shops and pack up a picnic or stop at a cafe or restaurant en-route, and you can take your evening meals either at your accommodation or in a local restaurant. Recommendations for places to eat will be included in your route notes.

    Like most regions in Italy, Tuscany has its own unique regional cuisine that reflects the influences from the past and the climate. Part of the joy of a self-guided tour is the flexibility to explore and enjoy the local cuisine at your leisure.

    People with specific dietary requirements can generally be catered for – please let us know your requirements when you book.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For this self-guided adventure,the maximum group size is generally set to 14 participants.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this self-guided tour to operate.

    This tour can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • Your starting point for this trip is Pisa. To get there, most people fly into the Pisa International Airport or Florence Amerigo Vespucci Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to your accommodation.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A non-refundable $250 deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If the Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, the Client will forfeit the deposit.
      • For cancellations thirty (30) to sixty (60) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the trip price.
      • If you cancel your booking less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the departure date, Client is not entitled to any refund.

    If you need to cancel the trip, please contact us in writing. If you wish to transfer a booking to another person, please write to us at least seven (7) days before your trip. Administration charges may arise.

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