For 2020 departures our trip inclusions are changing - please contact us for full details
This single-centre cycling holiday introduces you to quintessential Tuscany; it has all the ingredients to create a wonderful lasting impression of this rightly famous region: the landscapes, the food, the people and, of course, perfect cycling routes.
This is not just a cycling holiday it is an immersion into local Tuscan life, from a cookery class to hot spa baths and the chance to taste local wines and olive oils. Sample the Vino di Nobile of Monepulciano, rich Pecorino cheese in Pienza or take a bath in Roman Bagno Vignoni.
The cycling criss-crosses the UNESCO World Heritage Val d'Orcia and the rich fertile Valdichiana. You'll pass nature reserves, glistening lakes, the fortress of Radicofani, sitting dominantly on a rock on the highest point in the region and cycle through medieval towns, all on quiet roads or countryside gravel tracks.
Your base for the week is the modest but comfortable Agriturismo La Pietriccia, which stands on a hill with great views of Chianciano Vecchia. Stefano who runs the agriturismo will welcome you with his enthusiasm for everything to do with nature in the surrounding area. He will also lead the cookery course for you during your stay, and teach you all about the artisan products in the local area. The hotel produces 65% of what it serves on your table, and is surrounded by its own farm and orchards. There is a lovely terrace and swimming pool and lovely shady grassy area that looks out across the valley, where in the heat of summer you can take your dinner outside.
Mountain bikes are included on this holiday due to the terrain of 50% gravel.
Take the train from Rome to Chiusi-Chianciano, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Perhaps enjoy a stroll to the old town, before your evening briefing and the first of many superb dinners.
You stay at the Agriturismo La Pietriccia for 7 nights (breakfast and evening meal)
A gentle start to the week with a lovely descent from your hotel on quiet roads, with wonderful views across to the mountains. A forest tracks leads you to the small town of Montallese and on to Lake Chiusi. Enjoy lunch at the lake then take the Sentiero Della Bonifica, a long-distance path between Chiusi and Arezzo, to the small Lake Montepulciano. This is a nature reserve teeming with birdlife, and there is also a cafe to enjoy a refreshment. Returning to the agriturismo you climb on tarmac road passing vineyards for as far as the eye can see, before an undulating track leads you back to your hotel.
The leg work is done for you this morning as we transfer you to Radicofani, the highest point in the Val d'Orcia - the views are incredible, be sure to take time to walk up to the highest point of the castle. Then follow the road downhill for the next 10 kilometres down into the valley. A gravel track takes you past pretty farms and through the forest to pass the beautiful private gardens of La Foce, before an up and over and down to the Agriturismo. You'll enjoy a spot of wine- tasting this evening before dinner in a beautiful cantina in the old town.
Descending from the agriturismo you follow country tracks passing a truffle-growing area before a boulevard of olive trees takes you to a lovely trail crossing the Astrone stream. Continue cycling along a road with beautiful views of the valleys which takes you into mediaeval Sarteano: here you circle the walls and can enjoy a coffee before you carry on to Cetona. A narrow tarmac road takes you up this town, before a climb to Mondo X, where one of the best restaurants in Italy, La Frateria, is housed inside a beautiful convent started by St Francis in 1212. An extraordinary priest uses the monastery as a rehabilitation centre for troubled youths. From here had back to the hotel.
This morning you have time to yourself, maybe walk into Chianciano Vecchia and visit the Etruscan Museum of Chianciano Terme, or use your voucher for the Theia Spa and relax in the healing waters or treat yourself to one of their many treatments. In the afternoon you begin your cookery class where you will learn classic Italian techniques and eat the meal you prepare for dinner.
Today the route takes you through acres of vineyards as you make your way to Montepulciano. Views of Mount Amiata take your breath away as you ride into this famous wine town. Explore its streets and maybe taste a couple of wines before heading back, passing more vineyards and along the forest road, before cycling down back into Chianciano. You'll pass the Theia Spa on your way; perhaps use your free entrance at the end of the day.
After a short transfer to Pienza take time to explore the town - it is one of the cheese capitals of Italy - and is beautiful mediaeval historic centre. Perhaps pick up a sandwich filled with Porchetta or a slab of rich and creamy Pecorino. The ride takes you downhill to cross one of the stunning plains of the Val dâ€™Orcia, and a short detour takes you to Roman Bagno Vignoni with its roman baths and sulphur springs. Follow a long straight Roman road then cross the valley and climb up and down into Chianciano.
We take you back to the train station where you could possibly head to Florence or Rome for extra nights before heading home.
NEARBY:The Agriturismo Pietriccia is a wonderful place sitting across a small valley from the old town of Chianciano, rewarding you with wonderful views. The simple hotel has large rooms with balconies or terraces. You will be given a warm welcome by the owner Stefano, who is extremely passionate about the produce of the local area and the nature. The agriturismo has a lovely pool and terrace a small garden area with a shady area. The food is superb traditional cuisine, and 65% of the produce is grown or reared on site.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
The 3 star Hotel Astoria Garden has a most unusual feature: an internal garden complete with banana and orange trees! Centrally located near the main railway station, but in a quiet residential street, this is a really good base from which to explore. There are 34 rooms, all air-conditioned and recently refurbished. They have telephone, television, and ensuite bathrooms.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Excellent centre for exploring rural Tuscany that was off the usual tourist trail.
headwarter holidays definately seem to include the eating experience as very important.
they are ell put together and well located.
A great taste of Tuscany - scenery, food and wine were all lovely! Stefano was very helpful, ensuring that the holiday would cater for each individual's needs. The fact that about 50% of the recommended routes were on gravel tracks (varying from flat, easy to ride sections, to quite steep and slightly more challenging sections) made the provision of mountain bikes most welcome.
Great trip, cycling is relatively challenging due to steep Tuscany hills and gravel roads but the scenery more than makes up for it! The food and welcome is fantastic, if you have the opportunity do the cookery course. Stefano is both educational and passionate.
Thoroughly enjoyed my stay
Great holiday if you like mountain bikes and fairly rough terrain. Beautiful countryside and friendly people, wonderful Agriturismo accommodation.
The location is perfect for quiet (often off road) cycling. Roads and gravel tracks gave access to a variety of stunning scenery. There was plenty of opportunity to experience the culture, local food and drink.
Our base for the week, Agriturismo ‘La Pietriccia’, a small family-run farm, was idyllic and the hosts very friendly, welcoming and entertaining!
Excellent mountains bikes were provided and were ideal for the hilly, gravelly terrain. We greatly enjoyed pedal cycling but the option of e-bikes would be a very good alternative for those less confident or fit. The routes gave a splendid variety and were never repetitive. It was a fabulous week.
Excellent organisation. Extremely enjoyable. Highly recommended!
This was a wonderful holiday in all respects. We loved the family atmosphere at La Pietriccia, everyone was very friendly and helpful and the food was delicious. Stefano is passionate about the food he serves and was very happy to share his knowledge and expertise. He also helped us to amend the cycling routes to avoid some of the more difficult terrain, which was greatly appreciated. We expected hills but steep gravel tracks were challenging until we swapped to electric bikes for the last two days and it was a completely different experience. We would wholeheartedly recommend this holiday.
We had a wonderful holiday. Tuscany is beautiful and La Pietriccia a little gem. Stefano (the owner) runs a highly efficient setup with his helpful and friendly staff. He is one of those rare men who can multi-task (!) whether it’s reorganizing our cycle routes, finding new routes for others, briefing groups, getting bicycles mended, cooking and so on and all with a smile and quick wit. We were impressed that groups were given GPS locators in case they got lost and so clearly a lot of thought had gone into making the best experience for guests. I would thoroughly recommend this holiday.
This was a really good holiday, the cycling was challenging in the heat so we would recommend early morning starts or later in the day cycling! Stefano the agritourismo owner could not have been more helpful and informative, the hotel was charming and all the staff very good and helpful. The food was really excellent and we would definitely recommend taking up the option of the wine and food event in the local town. Have already recommended this holiday to friends.
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For 2020 departures our trip inclusions are changing - please contact us for full details.
This 7 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Single-centre accommodation in a hotel
All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
Management by local hotelier
GPS route directions and maps
RideWithGPS navigation app
High quality bikes
Standard transfers to/from your hotel (if booking inclusive flights)
Wine and olive oil tasting
One spa entrance
How to book:
|19th Oct||US$2479||Check availability|
|26th Oct||US$2479||Check availability|
|18th Apr||US$2379||Check availability|
|25th Apr||US$2379||Check availability|
|2nd May||US$2379||Check availability|
|9th May||US$2549||Check availability|
|16th May||US$2549||Check availability|
|23rd May||US$2549||Check availability|
|30th May||US$2549||Check availability|
|6th Jun||US$2549||Check availability|
|13th Jun||US$2549||Check availability|
|20th Jun||US$2549||Check availability|
|27th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|4th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|11th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|18th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|25th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|1st Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|8th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|15th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|22nd Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|29th Aug||US$2549||Check availability|
|5th Sep||US$2549||Check availability|
|12th Sep||US$2549||Check availability|
|19th Sep||US$2549||Check availability|
|26th Sep||US$2549||Check availability|
|3rd Oct||US$2549||Check availability|
|10th Oct||US$2549||Check availability|
|17th Oct||US$2549||Check availability|
|24th Oct||US$2549||Check availability|
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by hotelier.
Every Saturday from 19th Oct 2019 to 24th Oct 2020, for 7 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £110 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Chiusi train station at 14:49, and back to Chiusi train station at 10:15.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for A Taste of Tuscany Cycling. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.