Discover by bike where Tuscany pours into the Tyrrhenian Sea, tranquility washes over Italy’s unspoiled Maremma region and Italian hospitality overflows in ancient towns and at locally-owned agriturismi
It’s a breathtaking and serene coast made for riding, picnicking, and swimming. We’ll do all that, plus follow cycling paths along nature reserves, into medieval towns whose ramparts invite leisurely walks, and out to an island torn from the Middle Ages. Along the way, gracious hosts share the bounty of their beloved farmland—and a bit of themselves—during olive oil samplings, wine tastings, and pastry-making. What’s more, we end each glorious day as guests at a classic agriturismo farmhouse and a stunning secluded villa. Join us on this VBT favorite!
Stay at a charming agriturismo that produces their own wines, olive oils and more
Enjoy an Italian pastry lesson at our agriturismo
Cycle along a stunning route offering views of the countryside, elegant villas and gardens, and the sea
Take advantage of many opportunities for a refreshing swim
Ferry to Giglio Island and enjoy a day at leisure exploring (March and late Sepember and October departures visit Tarquinia instead)
Find a warm welcome at an olive oil mill, where you'll enjoy a tasting and a picnic lunch
Enjoy a tasting of wines produced right at our villa in Magliano
Discover Magliano, a fortified city whose intact walls date as far back as the 14th century
Admire fabulous views from the ramparts of an ancient castle in Capalbio
Sample genuine Italian gelato, a rich ice cream
What to Expect
This tour offers a combination of easy terrain and moderate hills and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT support van is always available for those who need assistance with the hills. Average Daily Mileage: 15-35 miles Average Cycling Time: 2-5 hours
Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Rome Mar 59° Apr 64° May 72° Jun 78° Jul 83° Aug 83° Sep 79° Oct 71° Average Rainfall (in.) – Rome Mar 2.6 Apr 2.1 May 1.2 Jun .6 Jul .6 Aug 1.3 Sep 2.7 Oct 3.7
Bicycle Tour Only – without Air
6 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels and a country resort
13 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
Air Package Plus
Roundtrip international airfare
8 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels and a country resort
Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $495 | Land Only Single Supplement: $345
Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.
Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Rome
Depart from home for Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
DAY 2: Arrive in Rome / Transfer to Orvieto
Upon arrival at the Rome airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. VBT's local representative will meet you outside the customs area in your arrival terminal and will be holding a VBT sign. Your local representative helps you transfer by private car (approximately 2 hours) to your hotel in Orvieto to begin your trip. If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 1 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk. If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please have airport staff page our driver with your last name so they may be notified of your delay. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service. Our drivers are only able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands after which you would be responsible for your own transfer. You have the rest of the day free to explore this wonderful, historic city. Situated in the Paglia River Valley atop dramatic volcanic rock, Orvieto boasts centuries of history and architecture, including towers, palaces and noble houses. It began as an important Etruscan center and became prosperous in Roman times thanks to its production of ceramics. After being overrun by several invasions, Orvieto enjoyed the status of a free state in the 11th and 12th centuries. In 1354, it became a city of the Church Estate until 1798. After brief Napoleonic domination, it was finally annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. During your stay, be sure to visit Orvieto's impressive Gothic cathedral and Archaeological Museum. In the evening, relax in one of the city's restaurants and sample the local cuisine. Hotel: Hotel Duomo
VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders and the rest of the group in the Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station at 2:15 pm. Please plan to buy some lunch on your own before this meeting. Your Trip Leaders will be wearing VBT staff garments. If your arrival at Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station is scheduled later than 2:15 pm or if you are delayed, you must take a taxi at your own expense (approximately 30 euros/$45 USD) to Antica Fattoria La Parrina (approximately 10 minutes). Please contact Antica Fattoria La Parrina to advise of any travel delays or changes, and the staff will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders. VBT Air Package guests & Pre-trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at the hotel in Orvieto at 11 am. They will be wearing VBT staff garments. We will transfer by motorcoach (approximately 2 1/2 hours) to Antica Fattoria La Parrina. The coach will make a stop to buy lunch on the way to the hotel in Pitigliano. Antica Fattoria La Parrina is a welcoming 4-star country resort that has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, it produces its own wine, cheese, yogurt, vegetables, oil, balsamic vinegar and flowers. Organic pasta, delicious jams and sauces and cosmetics are also partly prepared and marketed here. All products are made with natural and healthy ingredients. In the afternoon, we join our Trip Leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session followed by a short warm-up ride over the Tenuta along quiet country roads. Later, gather with the group for a welcome cocktail reception on the terrace. Dinner is at the hotel. Hotel: Antica Fattoria La Parrina Meals: B, D Daily Options: 5.5 miles (98.8 km)
DAY 4: Cycle through Maremma Park / Explore Talamone / Cooking demonstration
After breakfast, we leave La Parrina and cycle to the coast and Talamone, where we'll discover the many Greek legends linked to this little fortress village. There'll also be time to swim in the glittering blue sea. This medieval hilltop town overlooking the Mediterranean is set in the rolling countryside of the Maremma, one of the least-developed areas of central Italy. Its skyline is dominated by an ancient Sienese castle. This little town of fishermen originally stood on Talamonaccio Hill and served as an ancient Etruscan port. Currently, Talamone is set inside a World Wildlife Fund nature reserve known as Parco Regionale Della Maremma (Maremma Park), which features an incredible variety of protected flora and fauna. Lunch today is a delicious picnic prepared by our Trip Leaders. In the afternoon we cycle back to our hotel, where we can relax at the wonderful pool or take a walk on the mapped trails that weave through the estate. Or you may opt for horseback riding in the area, well-known for its local breed of Maremma horses. Tonight our hosts at La Parrina conduct a cooking class. Out on the terrace, learn how to prepare typical Tuscan cantucci—delicious almond cookies that are best when dipped in sweet Vin Santo wine. Enjoy dinner at the hotel. Hotel: Antica Fattoria La Parrina Meals: B, L, D Daily Options: 17.5 or 31 miles (28 or 53 km)
DAY 5: Cycle to Porto Ercole and Orbetello / Enjoy swimming / Meet local fishermen
This morning, ride through the countryside toward the coast and Ansedonia, passing elegant villas and gardens and enjoying great views of the sea and the old watchtower that once defended this coast. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way at a typical Maremma country farm that grows its own organic vegetables and breeds cattle. This afternoon, we cycle through a thick pine forest, and then roll alongside a sandy beach where you can take a refreshing swim. This is one of the most beautiful routes of the week. After a short visit in the fishing village of Porto Ercole, we continue to the old town of Orbetello, traversing a cycling path built on the lagoon. We explore the lush byway around the lagoon, then rejoin our Trip Leaders and follow them to a great gelato spot. A short shuttle will take us back to our hotel. Tonight we meet some local fishermen and join them on their fishing boat on the lagoon for a taste of local fish and wine. Dinner is on your in Orbetello; you can opt to remain at your hotel if you prefer. Hotel: Antica Fattoria La Parrina Meals: B, L Daily Options: 21, 33 or 39 miles (34, 53 or 62 km)
DAY 6: Porto Santo Stefano / Ferry to Giglio Island
This morning, we say goodbye to our hosts at La Parrina and transfer to the bustling harbor and quaint village of Porto Santo Stefano (except during March and October—see note below). From this port town, we board a ferry to Giglio Island, arriving in the village of Giglio Porto. With our Trip Leader , we shuttle to the walled hilltop town of Giglio Castello, dominated by a fortress called the Rocca Pisana, and explore the site. This town is the oldest inhabited center on the island and still retains much of its medieval atmosphere. After, we continue westward to Campese Beach for an informal lunch in one of the restaurants. You have free time to swim or relax on the beach. If you prefer, opt for a hike along the Faraglione cliffs; 700 different species of wildflowers and plants grow in this remote little corner of Tuscany. On our way back to Giglio Porto, stop for a gelato before ferrying back to the mainland. Please note: Alternate Itinerary in mid-March, late September and October: Due to the seasonal ferry schedule, guests on March, late September and October departures spend this day exploring historic Tarquinia, a vibrant, welcoming town with medieval towers and Etruscan necropolises. From La Parrina, we transfer by shuttle to this city, about 45 minutes from the hotel. Then, we meet a local guide for a short presentation on Etruscan history and culture. The Etruscan Necropolis of Tarquinia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2004. Afterward, we visit some of the most beautiful and well-preserved painted tombs from the ancient world comparable in their magnificence only to Egyptian tombs. After visiting the necropolis, we stroll to the city center of Tarquinia, where you have free time to explore this medieval Etruscan capital. Known as the heart of ancient Tuscany, Tarquinia gently rises to breathtaking views overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. You can visit the Archaeological Museum, stroll through the medieval district, or have lunch in the beautiful city center. In the afternoon, we cycle along the coast from Tarquinia to Montalto di Castro. In Montalto, board a coach to our next hotel, Fattoria di Magliano, where we have time to swim in the hotel pool before dinner. If you prefer, you can opt for a bike ride to the Argentario promontory, or spend the entire day playing golf at the scenic Argentario Golf Resort & Spa in Porto Ercole, magnificently set on the hills of the Argentario peninsula with a view of the sea. Our Trip Leaders will facilitate your choice. Dinner is at the hotel tonight. Hotel: Fattoria di Magliano Meals: B, D Daily Options: Only for Tarquinia departures 13 miles (21 km)
DAY 7: Follow the Wine Road / Explore the medieval city of Magliano / Wine tasting
After a leisurely breakfast, we ride on quiet country roads, passing fields of poppies and sunflowers and vineyards gently sloping down to the sea. Tour the wine roads south of Scansano, famous for red Morellino wine. Then, we join the Andreini family for a picnic lunch at their olive-oil mill. Before lunch, we tour the facility and participate in an interesting olive-oil talk and tasting. After lunch, cycle through Magliano, a walled city that in the Middle Ages housed the Aldobrandeschi mobile court in winter. Some of the 14th-century city walls are still intact. From Magliano, cyclists who wish to have a taste of hilly Tuscany can take an optional, gentle-but-steady climb to the lovely villages of Pereta and Scansano. Back at the hotel this afternoon, relax or swim in the pool before sipping local wines—produced right on the farm—during an included wine tasting. Dinner is on your own. You can opt to follow your Trip Leaders to Magliano, where you can choose an area restaurant, or dine at the hotel. Hotel: Fattoria di Magliano Meals: B, L Daily Options: 16.9, 19.4 or 36.1 miles (27, 31 or 57.8 km)
DAY 8: Discover Capalbio / Farewell dinner at a local organic farm
Today we bike to the medieval town of Capalbio. Dating to the 11th century, historic Capalbio is surrounded by great walls. Stroll along these ancient ramparts above the city and take in the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Enter the historic center through one of two gates—the Sienese or the Porticina—and visit the city's Romanesque Castle of Saint Nicholas, with its dramatic bell tower. The tower features two rows of mullioned windows dating to the 12th century. Explore the town's winding cobblestone streets, medieval churches and shops. Finish your week with a rewarding bike ride all the way back to the hotel, or hop in a van shuttle. Tonight, enjoy an aperitivo watching the sunset. Our festive farewell dinner at a local farm features organic vegetables from the garden and local wines. Hotel: Fattoria di Magliano Meals: B, D Daily Options: 18, 30 or 42 miles (29, 48 or 67 km)
DAY 9: Transfer to Rome / Free time / VBT No-Air Package ends
VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, transfer back to Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station by private motorcoach, arriving at approximately 9:30 am. Important: Flight departures from the Rome airport prior to 3:30 pm are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you must make transfer arrangements from the last hotel at your own expense. Taxi cost to the Rome airport is approximately 300 euros/$450 USD (travel time approximately 3½ hours). Taxi cost to the Orbetello-Monte Argentario train station is approximately 40 euros/$60 USD (travel time approximately 30 minutes). If you prefer, you are welcome to board our coach to Rome and get off at our Rome hotel. VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, we transfer by private motorcoach (approximately 3 hours) to our centrally located Rome hotel for our final overnight stay. We arrive at approximately 11:30 am and have the rest of the day to shop or relax in one of the city's outdoor cafés. If you have chosen the independent Post-trip Extension to Rome, you remain at this hotel for the next three nights. Upon your arrival, a VBT Rome representative will be there to answer your questions. An optional walking tour of Baroque Rome will be offered. Hotel: Hotel Giulio Cesare Meals: B
DAY 10: Depart for home
After breakfast* this morning you will transfer to the Rome airport (approximately 40 to 60 minutes depending on traffic) for your departing flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time**. *Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served. **Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense. Meals: B
The Giulio Cesare is a family-run hotel in Rome, quietly located a few steps from the Tiber River and a 10-minute walk from Piazza Del Popolo. Once a patrician villa, this hotel has been recently redecorated in an elegant, classical style. You’ll enjoy the garden, where breakfast is served, and a quiet lounge with an antique fireplace. These and other touches keep this 4-star hotel feeling very much like a family home. Breakfast is said to be one of the best in Rome, because many of the products are grown by the owner in his fields north of the city. Internet is available for guests at the reception desk and a free WiFi connection is available throughout.
This historic property, centrally located and set off of a quiet side street, is just steps from the city sights and local restaurants. With only 17 rooms, the hotel is tastefully decorated. Some rooms look out toward Orvieto’s famous Duomo.
This ancient villa, set in a secluded location in the Maremma, boasts many amenities for its visitors—even its own cantina! Converted into a comfortable hotel, the property has a warm, welcoming feel, with terra-cotta tile work and designer furniture. The Fattoria offers extensive park grounds for exploration, well-manicured gardens, and an outdoor swimming pool to refresh you after the day’s ride.
Tuscany By The Sea Bike Tour Traveler Photo Gallery
Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions
Pre-Trip Extension - Orvieto
2 nights for only $245
2 nights at the Hotel Duomo
Half-day guided tour and visit of the Duomo
Orvieto is situated in Umbria atop a large platform of volcanic tufa. Surrounded by defensive walls, it is among the most dramatic cities in Europe and is easily explored by foot. The Etruscans founded Orvieto. Artifacts from their civilization are on display at the Archaeological Museum, and their ancient necropolis is accessible via a popular two-mile hike. Relics of the Roman Empire are also here, and the famous St. Patrick’s Well, with its one-way double-helix ramps for water-hefting mules, was built for the popes in the 16th-century. Remarkably, an underground city—a labyrinth of tunnels and caves long kept secret—lies beneath Orvieto’s streets. The city boasts many medieval palaces along narrow cobblestone streets, such as the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and Fortezza dell’Albornoz. Another notable monument is the Gothic cathedral, or Duomo, with its striped façade of white and green stones and remarkable sculptures. On our included walking tour, you will visit the cathedral and San Brizio Chapel, adorned by Luca Signorelli’s masterful fresco, Last Judgment, inspiration for the more famous work by Michelangelo. Other highlights include hiking on nearby trails, shopping for fine pottery and crafts and enjoying delightful dinners at simple trattorias, featuring local delicacies such as truffles and mushrooms. Only available with the Air Inclusive Package. Single supplement: $195
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Rome
Depart from home for Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
DAY 2: Arrive in Rome / Begin your Trip Extension in Orvieto
Upon arrival at the Rome Fiumicino Airport, meet your VBT representative outside the customs area in your arrival terminal. The representative will be holding a VBT sign. Then transfer by private car (approximately 2 hours) to your hotel in Orvieto. The rest of the day is free to explore the city, using VBT's City Information as your guide. Choose a restaurant for dinner on your own. Tomorrow morning, a local guide will meet you for an orientation tour. If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please have airport staff page our driver with your last name so they may be notified of your delay. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service. Our drivers are only able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands after which you would be responsible for your own transfer. Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 1 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk. Hotel: Hotel Duomo
DAY 3: Orvieto Tour / Independent exploration
After breakfast, meet your local guide at 9 am at the hotel. She will take you for an orientation tour of the city and a guided visit to the remarkable cathedral—the Chapel of San Brizio—and share insider tips on what to see and do in Orvieto as you explore on your own. Perhaps you’ll take a two-mile hike to the Etruscan necropolis or join an optional guided visit to the underground caves. The rest of the day is free for your own discoveries and shopping. Hotel: Hotel Duomo Meals: B
DAY 4: Independent exploration of Orvieto / Join VBT Air Package guests
Continue your discovery of Orvieto, perhaps with a visit to Saint Patrick's Well. A masterpiece of engineering, this well was constructed in 1527 by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. It is 203 feet (62 meters) deep and has double-helix spiral staircases with 248 steps each. This ingenious design allowed mules to cart water up the stairs without having to pass those who were going down for more. You may return to your hotel by funicular. VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day. Hotel: Hotel Duomo Meals: B
Post-Trip Extension - Rome
2 nights for only $345
2 nights at Hotel Giulio Cesare
Discover the Eternal City at your leisure as you spend two nights in Italy’s timeless capital. History, art and architecture abound, from Greek sculpture to Roman ruins. Marvel at the grandeur of the Vatican, where St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel await. Stroll through the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum and the Coliseum. Take time to walk up the Spanish Steps, toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to Rome, or just spend a relaxing afternoon at a quiet outdoor café. Many attractions are within walking distance of your centrally located hotel. Only available with the Air Inclusive Package. Single supplement: $195
DAY 1: Begin your optional extension
Today's opportunities are endless. You might visit the Forum, the political and commercial center of ancient Rome when the empire was at its greatest power. Various emperors constructed the temples, monuments and other buildings here over a period of nine centuries. Today, you can still see the Curia where the Roman Senate met. Take a walk up the Palatine Hill, where tradition says the first settlers of Rome built their huts under the direction of Romulus, and which was later the home of Caligula, Nero, Tiberius and Domitian. Or you can step out of Italy while you're still in Rome with a visit to the Vatican, an independent state. The Vatican museums are filled with magnificent art that goes far beyond such well-known pieces as the Pieta and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling. Tour Rome's famous Catacombs, located in tunnels carved out of rock along the Via Appia (Appian Way). Or spend an idyllic afternoon in the gardens of the Villa Borghese, one of Europe's most elegant parks. And by all means, do as the Romans do—sip espresso, savor Italian wine and take the time to enjoy la dolce vita. After a full day of independent exploration, retire to your hotel or perhaps enjoy one of Rome's fine restaurants. Please note: Italian museums are closed on Mondays. Vatican museums are closed on Sundays, since they are in Vatican State. Hotel: Hotel Giulio Cesare Meals: B
DAY 2: Independent exploration of Rome
Continue your independent exploration of Rome today. Hotel: Hotel Giulio Cesare Meals: B
DAY 3: Depart for home
After breakfast* this morning transfer to the Rome airport (approximately 40 to 60 minutes depending on traffic) for your departing flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time**. *Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served. **Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense. Meals: B
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