Tuscany – Pisa to Florence Cycling Holiday

  • 3.7
    (3 reviews)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Pisa / Pisa
  • Distance

    157 miles/252 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeGastronomicWine Lovers
  • Accommodation

    Comfort to Superior
  • Tour code

    019-113CIT
Price From £579

Overview

This self-guided cycling holiday of Tuscany explores some of the most exquisite, Romanesque locations of this delightful region. Visit Pisa’s famous leaning tower, Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace, the most famous spa town in Italy and of course the Renaissance delights of Florence. In between you will ride through breathtaking Tuscan countryside.

This picture post-card part of Italy presents numerous opportunities for you to stop and immerse yourself in the region’s rich Renaissance history. Start from Pisa, a lively city situated on the right bank of the estuary river Arno, on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Cycle onwards passing picturesque towns and villages, visiting the charming town of Montecatini Terme, home to the largest thermal spa in Tuscany. En route you can absorb the breathtaking Tuscan countryside, cycling through olive groves, vineyards and historical farms. Of course Tuscany is renowned for sensational wine and mouthwatering cuisine making cycling breaks along the route a sensory delight.

Tuscan landscape - Tuscany - Italy

Tuscan landscape

This medium graded tour takes you along mainly flat terrain with a few ascents to contend with.  It is mainly on asphalted roads with about 10% unpaved. Anyone with a moderate level of fitness and an appreciation for art, culture and picturesque scenery will love this tour.

Itinerary & Map

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Pisa

Pisa - Italy*

Pisa

Upon arrival, make your way to your first hotel (The comfort category hotel is just 1.5 miles from the centre and a good location for the start of the cycle trip. The superior category is more centrally located.) After check-in you are free to relax or explore Pisa. The town is located on the banks of the River Arno and is home to the world’s most famous case of subsidance! There is much more to this bustling University town than just the leaning tower however. Wander the ancient narrow streets of the compact old town, browsing the stalls and shops on the Borgo Stretto and Corso Italia. The Museum of the Works of the Cathedral is very interesting and you also get a great view of the leaning tower from its balcony.

Day 2: Pisa – Lucca, 19 to 28 miles/30 to 45 kms

View across the terracotta roof tops of Lucca in Tuscany

Lucca

Your first day in the saddle leads you northwards along the river Serchio. This easy section eases you into the cycling routine enabling you to relax and soak up your surroundings. For those willing to take on a slightly longer itinerary it is possible to bolt on a 15km loop out to Lake Massaciuccoli before arriving in Lucca where you will spend the night. This ancient city contains marvellous examples of Roman architecture and the impressive defensive walls, designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, were never breached.

Day 3: Lucca – Montecatini, 27 miles/45 kms

Villa Garzoni Gardens - Tuscany - Italy*

Villa Garzoni Gardens

Having had a relaxing start to your tour, you will be eager to get today’s adventure underway. The day starts with a lovely ride along a panoramic road to the charming little village of Collodi, the childhood home of Carlo Lorenzini who wrote the book The Adventures of Pinocchio. You could visit Pinocchio Park, created in 1962 or the baroque style, Villa Garzoni with its magnificent gardens. Afterwards visit the town of Pescia where you can explore Renaissance mansions or wander through the rather wonderful flower street market before riding on to Montecatini, a charming spa town in the hills.

 

Day 4: Montecatini – Montecatini, 37 miles/60 kms

Montecatini - Alto - Tuscany - Italy*

Montecatini

Today’s route is a circular one so you can, if you wish, have a cycle-free day and relax in the most famous thermal spa town in Italy.

If you do opt to cycle, today’s ride will lead you past the Villas of the Medici family, through olive groves, vineyards and historical farms to the small village of Vinci, birthplace of Leanardo da Vinci. The local museum is well worth a visit but the gorgeous countryside en route to and from Vinci is definitely the highlight of the day.

Day 5: Montecatini – Florence, 31 to 41 miles/50 to 65 kms

Pistoia - Tuscany

Pistoia – Tuscany

Those wanting a shorter ride today can take the train to the city of Pistoia and start riding from there. You can of course choose to start peddling directly from Montecatini. Pistoia is a charming city full of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque splendour. It is an enchanting place so allow plenty of time to explore. It’s OK to indulge in some local delicacies as the afternoon ride to Florence is along flat terrain and not overly taxing.

Day 6: Florence, free day.

Ponte Vecchio - Florence - Italy*

Ponte Vecchio – Florence

A full day’s sighteeing in Florence. Even if you are not an art lover, the architecture in central Florence is captivating. It is up to you how you would like to explore this delightful city but our tip is to return to Piazza dei Signori by the Uffizi in the evening when the statues and architecture are softly lit and the whole area takes on a different character. This romantic city combines architecture, cuisine and art and you are bound to have a wonderful day getting to know its many delights.

Day 7: Florence – Empoli – Pisa, 24 to 41 miles/ 40 to 65 kms by bike then 24 to 41 miles/40 to 65 kms by train.

Empoli - Tuscany, Italy*It’s your final day and you’ll round off your tour with a day that will be split, part peddling part train ride. Choose between cycling to Empoli and then taking a train to Pisa or taking the train from Florence to Empoli and then cycling on to Pisa along the River Arno. Either way the ride will be beautiful and the perfect way to end your Tuscan cycling adventure.

Day 8: Pisa

After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Arrivals every Saturday from 23 March to 12 October

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2019 Prices
019-113CIT
Per person
23 Mar
to
12 Apr
13 Apr
to
17 May
18 May
to
07 Sep
08 Sep
to
27 Sep
28 Sep
to
12 Oct
Comfort category
Double/twin £618 £716 £753 £716 £618            
Single £834 £932 £969 £932 £834            
Triple £579 £677 £714 £677 £579            
Superior category
Double/twin £716 £814 £851 £814 £716            
Single £932 £1030 £1067 £1030 £932            
Triple £667 £765 £802 £765 £667            
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Deposit per person £125

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation. See practical information
7 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
Welcome briefing
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire & helmet (see supplements)
Tourist tax (approximately €10-15, payable locally)
Optional trains on days 5 & 7

Supplements

Extra night Pisa, double/twin, comfort (£56)
Extra night Pisa, single, comfort (£83)
Extra night Pisa, double/twin, superior (£93)
Extra night Pisa, single, superior (£148)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£66)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£156)
Helmet (£16)

Practical Information

Bikes

Mens bike

Example of bike used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, 27-gear city bikes with comfortable gel saddle and upright riding position.
The bikes come equipped with pannier, handlebar bag, water bottle, water bottle holder, odometer and lock plus one repair kit per room.

Electric bikes are also available to rent.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.

See the gallery for images of all bikes available .

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Pisa: Grand Hotel Bonanno
Lucca: Hotel Melecchi
Montecatini Terme: Hotel Parma E Oriente
Firenze: Hotel Home Florence

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Pisa: Allegroitalia Tower Plaza
Lucca: Hotel San Marco Lucca
Montecatini: Grand Hotel Croce di Malta
Firenze: Hotel Londra

Local taxes
Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night

Getting There

Fly to Pisa or Florence
Research flights from the UK here

Take the train
Research trains in Italy here.

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 3 reviews 3.7
  • Date - 03/07/2019
  • Name - Trevor Almack
  • Service rating -
    3.0
  • Service comment - Tuscany tour June 2019

    Summary: it was great to visit Pisa and Florence and see some of the Tuscan countryside but this is not the most exciting or varied cycling trip we have ever done. The degree/ difficulty of cycling was fairly described in the brochure and there is a lot of busy road work mixed in with gravel paths. The route goes through some pretty villages as well as some unattractive industrial areas. The person who wrote or translated the roadbook needs to be told the difference between left and right (slight exaggeration) but there does need to be more stickers in the appropriate places. We went off piste several times and we are quite good at following maps/ instructions and have done several similar trips. And why do Italian bars/ bistros close at lunchtime when they are needed most? Or the air conditioning not work?

    First night in Pisa.
    Grand hotel Bonnano
    Medium sized hotel about 10 minutes walk from the city centre. Comfortable room with modern facilities. Friendly reception.Good buffet breakfast.

    First day Cycle ride to Lucca.
    Flat easy ride, about 50 km, including several small detours due to poor signage or description in the route roadbook . nb front brake is on the left handlebar. Pleasant if unspectacular countryside, tidy villages with plenty of places to stop for refreshments.

    Second night in Lucca at Hotel Melecchi.
    Friendly welcome, bikes parked outside around the back. Smaller Older 2 star family owned hotel about 10 minutes walk from city centre.
    Lucca: You can cycle around the city walls quite easily in about 15 minutes. There are a lot of churches! Worth climbing the tower ( about 300 steps for €5, no elevator) for a good view of the town and surrounding area.
    Easy to find the way out of town.

    Third and fourth nights at Hotel Parma e Oriente, Montecatini Terme
    It was very difficult to find the right route into town and we were not the only ones who got lost. There is an Underground car park for the bikes attached to the large but personable hotel. We didn’t eat dinner there but the breakfasts were very good. Decent room with a small private courtyard attached.

    We didn’t do the Montecatini loop as it was too far in the excessive heat. It was 35-40 degrees all week ( mid/late June - unusually hot for the time of year) which made the pedalling slightly arduous although the route is predominantly flat to the the extent that we never had to dismount. We hired a car and drove to Vinci to see the Leonardo museums which is definitely worthwhile.

    Fifth and sixth nights at Palazzo Ognissanti in Florence
    We took the train to Pistioa to avoid the steepest section. Well it was 37 degrees! Mostly flat and largely uninspiring countryside around here. Not much of interest to see along the way.
    Easy to find the hotel after a flat approach along the Riverbank. Car / bike parking is around the corner.
    The hotel air conditioning was out of order and despite their best efforts to fix it we were unable to sleep a wink for two nights as the room was so hot.

    Return to Pisa
    Recommend you take the train to Empoli, if not further (san Romano to Pisa is about 45km) especially if the weather is as hot as it was for us in June 2019.
    The final few kilometres into Pisa is on a narrow bumpy overgrown embankment track which requires skill and concentration. It is Passable with care but after a long hot ride it may be better to take their suggested alternative route.
  • Product rating -
    3.0
  • Product comment - Tuscany tour June 2019

    Summary: it was great to visit Pisa and Florence and see some of the Tuscan countryside but this is not the most exciting or varied cycling trip we have ever done. The degree/ difficulty of cycling was fairly described in the brochure and there is a lot of busy road work mixed in with gravel paths. The route goes through some pretty villages as well as some unattractive industrial areas. The person who wrote or translated the roadbook needs to be told the difference between left and right (slight exaggeration) but there does need to be more stickers in the appropriate places. We went off piste several times and we are quite good at following maps/ instructions and have done several similar trips. And why do Italian bars/ bistros close at lunchtime when they are needed most? Or the air conditioning not work?

    First night in Pisa.
    Grand hotel Bonnano
    Medium sized hotel about 10 minutes walk from the city centre. Comfortable room with modern facilities. Friendly reception.Good buffet breakfast.

    First day Cycle ride to Lucca.
    Flat easy ride, about 50 km, including several small detours due to poor signage or description in the route roadbook . nb front brake is on the left handlebar. Pleasant if unspectacular countryside, tidy villages with plenty of places to stop for refreshments.

    Second night in Lucca at Hotel Melecchi.
    Friendly welcome, bikes parked outside around the back. Smaller Older 2 star family owned hotel about 10 minutes walk from city centre.
    Lucca: You can cycle around the city walls quite easily in about 15 minutes. There are a lot of churches! Worth climbing the tower ( about 300 steps for €5, no elevator) for a good view of the town and surrounding area.
    Easy to find the way out of town.

    Third and fourth nights at Hotel Parma e Oriente, Montecatini Terme
    It was very difficult to find the right route into town and we were not the only ones who got lost. There is an Underground car park for the bikes attached to the large but personable hotel. We didn’t eat dinner there but the breakfasts were very good. Decent room with a small private courtyard attached.

    We didn’t do the Montecatini loop as it was too far in the excessive heat. It was 35-40 degrees all week ( mid/late June - unusually hot for the time of year) which made the pedalling slightly arduous although the route is predominantly flat to the the extent that we never had to dismount. We hired a car and drove to Vinci to see the Leonardo museums which is definitely worthwhile.

    Fifth and sixth nights at Palazzo Ognissanti in Florence
    We took the train to Pistioa to avoid the steepest section. Well it was 37 degrees! Mostly flat and largely uninspiring countryside around here. Not much of interest to see along the way.
    Easy to find the hotel after a flat approach along the Riverbank. Car / bike parking is around the corner.
    The hotel air conditioning was out of order and despite their best efforts to fix it we were unable to sleep a wink for two nights as the room was so hot.

    Return to Pisa
    Recommend you take the train to Empoli, if not further (san Romano to Pisa is about 45km) especially if the weather is as hot as it was for us in June 2019.
    The final few kilometres into Pisa is on a narrow bumpy overgrown embankment track which requires skill and concentration. It is Passable with care but after a long hot ride it may be better to take their suggested alternative route.
  • Date - 30/07/2016
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Booking the cycling trip through Flexitreks was very organized, informative, and efficient. Our contact, Ally, answered any questions I had promptly and was extremely helpful.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - This was truly an amazing cycling holiday experience. It was well organized and we enjoyed the itinerary and route immensely! The scenery was just gorgeous and, when we arrived at our next hotel after a long day of riding, our luggage was safely there waiting for us. The bikes provided were awesome and we did not have any issues whatsoever. Overall, a fantastic cycling holiday and wonderful experience! We would do it again in a heartbeat. :)
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the lovely comments, in particular the service ones:) This cycling holiday really is the best way to experience Tuscany at its best.
  • Date - 09/12/2015
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    3.0
  • Service comment - The booking and payment here in the UK went all ok however, we would have preferred to get the booklet with the written tour descriptions here in England rather than on the first day 10 min before setting off on the tour
  • Product rating -
    3.0
  • Product comment - The route generally was ok and in fact a little boring at times; due to some major canal reconstruction we had to find our own way at some point which we understand will happen from time to time. We also got lost in Empoli after arriving there by train as we didn't have a street map and it was market day!! The final path baxk into Pisa along the banks of the river Arno was very overgrown and looked as if nobody had been on it for years!!
    As a last comment we would say that it would have been nice to receive a bottle of wine in our room at the last day like some of the other cycling tour operators do!