This single-centre self-guided cycling holiday offers a real insight into rural Veneto. 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!
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!
Read more about this holiday in Daily Mail.
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, Half Board)
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.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day and £18 per child per day.
NEARBY:The Agriturismo L'Albara is situated about 1km from the centre of the tiny village of Villaganzerla in the middle of rural farming land. The area is known for its olive and cherry trees.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
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 Giulietta e Romeo hotel, named after the town's most famous lovers, lies in a quiet side street just yards from the Arena. The hotel is fairly modern in style and very comfortable. There is a large lobby area, which leads onto the breakfast room, which is decorated in white with subtle lighting and art deco friezes on the windows.
The Hotel Kette is set in the heart of Venice, a short distance from Teatro La Fenice, from via XXII marzo, the elegant shopping street, 2 minutes from piazza San Marco and only 10 minutes from Ponte di Rialto. So this is an excellent base for exploring the many delights Venice has in store.
Transfers included from Vicenza train station at 14:03, and back to at 13:15.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
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.
This is a brilliant location for cycling. We chose it because we have both had hip replacements in the past year, but even so, we would have liked one or two more challenging days on the bike. We doubled up some days and went “off piste” a couple of times. Italian cities, other than Venice, are very cycle friendly. James Robertson is a superb rep for Headwater, hands on in his teaching us to use the bike Satnav. He did not crowd us and was always there when he promised. Good guy.
The holiday did exactly as described. This is an easy but highly enjoyable cycle.
This was our first single centre cycling holiday and was chosen because I have been troubled with a leg injury and we felt my wife could cycle if I could no. As it worked out we cycled every day! Our reservations about a single centre were quickly dispelled. The accommodation is run by a marvellous family who have created a wonderful ambience. After the cycling we relaxed in the grounds, cooled off in the pool, and finally dined on the full Italian evening meal. We are both vegetarian s and one gluten intolerance. The food was the best we have had in Europe.
The presence of a local rep was reassuring and James was always available but never intrusive.
If you want a Tour de France this holiday is not for you, if you want enjoyable cycling with time to soak up the local environment go for it.
Well done Headwater.
Absolutely lovely, easy cycling through the beautiful Veneto countryside.
Staying at L’Albara was a real treat especially the invigorating swim after each day’s cycling.
James was very pleasant & obliging.
Please tell future clients to pack water bottles & a variety of snacks as there are no shops & very few cafes en route. Local supermarkets are +1.5km away from L’Albara.
GPS cycling worked well.
An fantastic way to see the region with a host that makes you feel like you're home
Relaxing, peaceful cycling in the Italian sunshine; great home-made food and wine at the agriturismo.
Very good but we took time to adjust to the mobile phone app instructions and the volume on the app was too low even with the phone on highest volume. We would prefer bike computers and detailed maps as this is what we are used to.
A delightful holiday in the Veneto. L’Albara provides comfortable, relaxing and welcoming farmhouse accommodation and the food is excellent. The region offers plenty of opportunities for interesting visits and the cycling is predominantly flat and on very quiet roads or cycle tracks. We cycled to Este and Padova, which although long rides were worth the effort. If you go to Padova a visit to the Scrovegni Chapel is highly recommended - book in advance on line to be sure of getting in. The Palazzo Bo is also fascinating. James our holiday rep was very helpful, especially in helping with the App for the rides. We made our own way to Mestre railway station having spent a few days in Venice and the travel arrangements arranged by Headwater all worked perfectly. A lovely holiday.
What was advertised
This was the first time that we've tried a single-centre cycling holiday and we're now hooked. The potential downsides would be if you don't like the accommodation you're stuck there for the whole week (but the accommodation on this holiday was perfect) and the cycling might be repetitive if there aren't enough different directions to go in (but on this holiday the cycle routes went in all directions with only a few short stretches repeated). The upsides are not having to pack and unpack every couple of days, you can pick and choose where to go each day (and in our case skip a day when the weather was against us, and then double-up on a later day to make sure we didn't miss anything) and you feel like you're really getting to know the area that you're in. The RWGPS phone app is a fantastic new addition; it didn't matter who was in front as we both heard the same instructions, and afterwards you can see exactly where you've cycled - even down to the detail of where one of us was chased by a wasp around a car park! To top things off, this was the best place we've ever stayed abroad for understanding vegetarianism - no need to worry that a bit of fish or chicken might creep onto the menu. Overall, a great holiday!
We all throughly enjoyed our cycling in the Veneto. The food and accommodation were excellent as was the pool at the end of the day! The family were extremely welcoming and we enjoyed out trip around the farm. Sarah couldn't have been more helpful and friendly. The routes were well planned and the gps talking to us made our journeys easy, without having to look at a map all of the time.
The holiday itself was great; Sarah the rep was amazing and very helpful, kind and always available. Agriturismo L’Albara was exceptional; the food and the people were like family and we had a brilliant time. We really felt like we experienced the area. The problem with the air-conditioning was resolved for us quickly and they couldn't do enough for us. The routes and riding with GPRS worked well, although not too challenging , but as we had a mixed group it was fine. Sarah suggested add ons for the cyclists and they were brilliant.
Our issues were with Head office.
Emails sent with queries and not responded to.
Told that pool towels were available but are charged for, so we took our own only to find out that there are plenty of free towels
Told no hairdryer - there were very powerful hairdryers in all rooms
Requested bike frames and sizes as asked for by head office. When we arrived the bikes are standard and only what are available
Told to take padded seats; the seats are too padded and very wide - we would have been better taking our own saddles rather than gel seats that weren't used.
Printed off a load of paper before going which was really heavy and not needed as it was in resort.
Issue over train tickets and pick ups - resolved but took time.
Would do another cycling holiday to this region and stay at Agriturismo L’Albara but not with you because of Head office -sorry
Dear Mrs Corrigan,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was great to see you had an enjoyable holiday overall. I have passed on your comments to Sarah; she was pleased to hear you rated her service highly. We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with the service you received pre-departure. Please be assured, we do take all of the feedback we receive seriously and do act upon this to ensure we are continuing to deliver the kind of quality holidays our customers have come to expect. With this in mind, I have passed on your comments to the relevant departmental managers. We would like to apologise for the less than expected service you received and are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
It was great to stay in one place all week and not have to move on to different hotels. Also we liked the accommodation with swimming pool and the food was fantastic
The cycling was easy and enjoyable. We will probably hire electric bikes next trip which will open up a bigger choice of cycle rides
A gentle introduction to the Veneto Plain based at a very welcoming agriturismo.
Excellent holiday but, perhaps, not so much n the shoulder season.
Easy pedalling in the sun with local cuisine and a great chance to be somewhere where English is hardly spoken!
The Heart of Veneto cycling tour was a very positive experience for us. The rides were interesting, the distances appropriate and the cycling notes were very clear. Sarah, our Headwater rep, was very helpful and approachable. L’Albara, our Agriturisimo accommodation, was perfectly fine, the farm interesting and the meals delicious but there wasn’t a lot to do in the evenings. Happily, we became acquainted with 3 friendly, fellow cyclists from Britain and at our dinners every evening we shared the day’s experiences amid laughter and lively conversation. We would definitely choose Headwater again but would choose a tour on which we would stay in a different place every evening,
Good healthy weeks holiday
Lovely place to stay, great food. Wine a little expensive at the farm.
Great cycling holday for those that want plenty of excellent scenery without too much effort - routes were easy to follow and a good 1 bike holiday. The only slight downside is the accomodation is quite remote so after the evening meal there is no where to go, but of course lots of chatter about the days experiences with fellow guests.
Perfect. What far better than we could have imagined. The accommodation, food and quality of the cycles were all excellent.
Great holiday overall. L'Albara lovely place to stay, family very welcoming and evening meals and wine delicious. Hannah also very delighted to have cake for breakfast every morning!
Transfer from MarcoPolo to Venice mestre and then train to Vincenza quite tiring and a bit stressful.
Probably worth suggesting at booking the option for a taxi transfer ( I know this is mentioned in the brochure)
Beautiful quiet region of Italy. Family at L'Albara are very welcoming. The food is excellent. A real get away from it all experience. This is our second visit and it was just as good the second time. Would happily go back again.
This was our first cycling holiday abroad so we were looking for a central base from which we could explore on a daily basis rather than living out of suitcases. With hindsight I'm not sure we could have chosen better. The accommodation was superb (in particular Angelina's cooking!), the cycle routes of the right length (such that we had time to ride the mornings and relax in the afternoons) and there were opportunities to visit Vicenza or go further afield.
A superb holiday, tailored exactly to our needs and specifications. Our reception from our reps, Luke and Eleanor, was outstanding: nothing was too much. Very personable and up-beat - exactly what you want on holiday. Headwater's hotels are second to none, in perfect locations and with wonderful facilities. I can not recommend Headwater holidays high enough.
the provision of laundry local laundry services would be much appreciated.
A lovely week of gentle rides on quiet roads through beautiful countryside. At the end of the day we could look forward to a few hours relaxing by the pool at the wonderful agriturismo L'Albara, before a truly magnificent evening meal. We loved every minute.
A lovely rural part of northern Italy with a number of quiet country roads, largely traffic free, to enjoy. The relative closeness of Vicenza and Padua gives the opportunity also to experience a number of cultural and architectural delights. Add to this the wonderful food prepared at The L'Albara Agriturismo and this is a holiday to savour.
Very well organised lovely places to visit !!!!
This holiday does 'what it says on the tin' - provides accomodation, meals & cycling with a rep available as required.
The accomodation was a bit too far out of town for my liking - once dinner was over at 9:30 - 10.00 there was not much else to do.
s a solo traveller, I had several days when there were no other guests to talk to, despite Headwater implying there was limited space avilable when I booked..
Finally, as a non-drinker, I was disappointed in the lack of alternative drinks at dinner: water or water.
Apart from these small gripes I had a great time and loved cycling in the countryside. The food at the accomodation was generally very good and certainly ample quantities.
This was our first experience of an activity holiday and none of us are experienced cyclists so we chose a grade one single centre holiday, whilst a little apprehensive after a hefty breakfast and a briefing from our excellent rep Sarah we set off on our first ride. The cycling was well graded and the route description very easy to follow, we did not get lost or go wrong at all during our weeks stay, best of all we were able to go at our own pace and explore some lovely countryside. Returning to our accommodation we were able to share experiences with the other groups over a glass or two of the local wines. We never thought we would find a cycling holiday relaxing but have returned home very chilled and despite the exercise about 5lbs heavier than when we started, which is a testament to the quality and quantity of the food. Thank you to all.
This was our 5th Headwater holiday. We like the attention to detail and the fact that we can rely on the equipment and the rep. We feel we are in good hands and that we can be sure of everything running smoothly. We enjoy meeting other Headwater customers.
(I have put myself in the 'over 64' bracket, but my son now age 31 has been coming on these holidays with me since he was in his teens, and continues to enjoy them)
A great place to tour on cycles, local people and hospitality are excellent
An extremely positive experience, wonderful accommodation and cuisine, superb support from the rep, gorgeous rides offered suitable to our experience, great fun and relaxing holiday had by all!
We were a group of 9, who were made to feel most welcome. L'alhambra is in a beautiful setting, and the pool was most welcome after a hot days cycling. The evening meals were always delightful, using produce from the farm, breakfast was however a little un imaginative and we had to ask for eggs-which were then available every morning.
Sarah is very knowledgeable, whether your asking about pumping the tyres, local wine or the times of trains! She quickly found answers to our queries and made calls on our behalf. The wine tour and tasting at Catalunga was the highlight of the week- bigger saddle bags required!!
It was our first cycling holiday and both of us enjoyed the experience. The pool was excellent, the bikes excellent, the weather superb, and our hosts Valfrido and Angelina, their daughter Romina and son Frederico certainly made us welcome. If circumstances allowed, for we are both skiers, i think we would certainly entertain repeating the holiday. As we never cycled after 2 pm, we both thought the pool was an essential requirement. As for the food and drink. I can certainly believe it all comes from the farm, as it tasted so fresh, but this means only wine and water are served with the evening meal. Finally the rep, Sarah was organised and helpfull.
Booking was not entirely straight forward. I appreciate that we had different members of the party coming from different places - and indeed staying for different lengths of time -and with some dietary requests - but for me there is not the attention to detail that i would expect. I picked up several errors during the booking and invoicing procedures - that were just frustrating. Everything was eventually resolved but not without my going through every detail carefully. Unfortunately when one error arises one has to look even more closely at all the documentation- all of which was exceptionally time consuming.At all times I was dealt with politely, and am grateful for the written apology I received on this occasion .
However if one can push through this - your holidays are just superb.Recognising that we were fairly energetic, Sarah provided us with 2 extensions on the given routes which were just what some members needed. Also, a previous guest, had written an alternative route back on the visit to the lake. That was wonderful but certainly in the 2 to 3 cycle realm - but we loved it.- so there is room to offer this as a more than one cycle if wished.
The hotel pool was wonderful and much used in the very hot conditions! The family at the hotel could not have been more helpful and the atmosphere there was just lovely- marvellous to relax there after the cycling.
For future customers you may like to add that if you have an inordinate wait at venice station there is a great restaurant opposite called Soul Kitchen - who allowed us to sit for 2 and a half hours over a lovely easy meal.
Excellent from start to finish as usual!
It seems that overall the employees and agents of Headwater have forgotten who is the guest and who is the host
A really enjoyable holiday,in a beautiful area. Take note of the weather forecast in the Veneto - it seems it is often stormy in June. Great cycling but take your own saddle - I have a ladies saddle on my own bike and I never made friends with the one on the bike that was supplied, which, despite being a gel saddle was a generic one rather than a saddle for a women. The bike itself was excellent apart from the saddle problem. Another warning is take high strength anti-mosquito solution, I was bitten badly even though I was using what I thought was a good quality solution - I bought some high strength from the local supermarket and that worked well but I had to make sure I put it on every exposed bit!!
Great dinners, basic breakfasts (although there were always delicious cakes).
A great area with varied cycling and a relaxing base. Sarah was very helpful with advice on alternative routes.
Wonderful - just what we were after
it was very interesting, enjoyed the countryside, the people especial. the l' Albara family met some very good people and cycled with some . Pleasantly different
People can book with confidence as the description in the Headwater booklet is an accurate description of the experience on offer. Sarah, our holiday rep, was very friendly and helpful. Our accommodation was very good, lovely location and great food. However, as a family group of between ages 10 and 67, we did feel that eating our dinner at 8.00 pm was far too late and we would have appreciated the availability of tea-making facilities in our rooms.
The perfect holiday for the more active.
A very well organised holiday with excellent travel arrangements and a warm welcome from rep and hosts.
L'Albara was wonderful and accommodated our dietary requirements (vegan) very well - every course had a vegan version and the quality of the food was the best we've had.
The outgoing travel was poor as we waited 5hours in Venice for out train as our rep did not have the time to meet us earlier.
We were all very tired having been up since 3 a.m and not arriving at our destination until 5.30p.m. On our return we were offered a coach to take us directly to the airport for an extra cost of 10 euros each forfeiting our return train tickets. Why could this not have been done on the outward journey ad we could have spent a pleasant afternoon around the pool instead of waiting on a station. We used the main Station in Venice not the one of your choice as this one had left luggage facilities and restaurants.
As a holiday it represented poor value for money with poor communication skills on behalf of the hosts ad the area had little variety. The food was fair at best and nothing like we had expected or experienced on previous headwater holidays. Overall not good value.
Our holiday with Headwater was a real pleasure , everyone we dealt with , from the girls in the office to our rep Sarah were very professional , friendly and helpful , taking all the worry out of the planning . Okay , so we feel that we have maybe paid a bit more than we would have if we had done all the organizing ourselves , but hey , it was worth it !! Thank you.
Excellent communication prior to departure - during the stay - and arriving home!! A great service which gives clients confidence that nothing has been left forgotten !!
It was well organised, trouble free, and thoroughly enjoyable with the added comfort of an excellent superb locally based english-speaking rep (Sarah) who was only a phone call away in case of any issue, big or small, and who provided excellent route notes and a fountain of local knowledge about the area we were cycling in.
the holiday was just what we needed and was 'up there' with the best package holidays we have done!
We found the combination of cycling till 2 or 3 and then swimming in and relaxing by the pool ideal ! The food and welcome at the Villa Ganzerla were excellent.
We really enjoyed this holiday, the thing that made it was the friendliness of the people in the hotel! They would do anything for you! the food is lovely and they did a great job of catering for a vegetarian. it was very cosy but we did feel that previous holidays have been better value for money where we had more facilities! The rep is wonderful and the scenery is very pretty! We had some lovely weather and great cycles!
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
|Apr 2019||Tour only||Availability|
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Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.
Every Saturday from 13th Apr 2019 to 12th Oct 2019, for 7 nights.
All continental breakfasts and evening meals
Transfers included from Vicenza train station at 14:03, and back to at 13:15.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Heart of Veneto Cycling. Simply complete the form below 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.
We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.