Bike Tour Reviews: Tuscany And Umbria  Cycling In The Heart Of Italy


Tuscany and Umbria: Cycling in the Heart of Italy

COUNTRY: Italy

7 nights
4.3/5 (17)
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours

4.3/5 (17)
7 nights

Self guided from EUR € 877

Self-guided:
Daily: Apr 1 - Aug 3, 2024 and Aug 19 - Oct 31, 2024 (minimum 2 persons)

Description:
This evocative bicycle tour brings you through the Etruscan and Roman heartlands of Umbria and Tuscany. Water courses and magnificent scenery mark these regions, shaped by both the forces of nature and by human hand. Beginning in the most atmospheric and…

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  • (5/5) Revtodd June 16, 2019

    A great adventure!

    Our tour through Umbria and Tuscany was inspiring on many levels. The landscape, the food and the small cities full of history made the trip deeply meaningful. The hotels were all high quality, and the carbon frame bikes were excellent. BikeTours staff was great at helping us, since we added a couple of days, and explored different options. I highly recommend both Umbria and BikeTours.com.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 15, 2019
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Evening in Assisi (photo by Revtodd)
    • Going to dinner in Assisi (photo by Revtodd)
    • The cliffs of Orvieto (photo by Revtodd)
    • Morning from our Hotel in Todi. (photo by Revtodd)
    • The Piazza in Bevagna. (photo by Revtodd)
    • Getting ready for another day! (photo by Revtodd)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) AAWT2017 June 13, 2019

    Vines, Olives, Castles ...

    Wonderful way to see Umbria and (a little bit of) Tuscany at our own pace. It was a pleasure to be welcomed by small bars in areas less frequented by tourists. All details provided by the tour operator were first class. Bikes were good quality, trip notes were easy to understand (and although it only happened a couple of times, it was clear when we went wrong!). All accommodations were welcoming and friendly and all had secure, undercover places for the bikes. The B&B in Castiglione del Lago is particularly worthy of compliment.

    We upgraded to road bikes (we are keen road cyclists) and were glad that we had. In hindsight, we should have realised that all mediaeval towns are built on hilltops so although the pre-ride info suggested rolling hills, be prepared for some very steep (although not long) climbs. According to my Garmin, the approach to Orvieto reached nearly a 20% slope for 500m.

    Italian drivers all appeared to be very courteous and we had no problems negotiating traffic. The route has been chosen to avoid traffic as much as possible and I would not expect even timid cyclists have a problem with other road users. Unfortunately, some of the quieter roads are also less well maintained, so be prepared to pick your line carefully to avoid potholes and rough road surfaces in some places.

    We will treasure our memories of riding through centuries old town gates towards our nightly accommodation - that's not an experience we can have in Australia.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 2019
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Much harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) CCandPC July 3, 2018

    Gorgeous scenery and perfect weather!

    My partner and I did this trip, self-guided, and it was great. BikeTours.com was very responsive to our questions, pre-trip, and the local tour company was great too. We rented carbon road bikes from them, and the bikes were excellent. We brought our own pedals, and I brought my saddle, and they helped swap them and ensured we were happy with the setup. As a level 3 tour, the mileage was mostly 50-75 km per day, which was perfect for us. A bit more hilly than expected, but that was fine too. I'd estimate it at a 3.5. The views were gorgeous, and each little town we passed through or stayed in was beautiful. The hotels were nice, with large buffet-style breakfasts, usually in hill-top old fortress towns. We went in late June and the weather was upper twenties celsius. One thing to watch out for is that Italian roads (secondary roads) are not always well-maintained, so while the scenery was stunning, the poorly maintained roads were a surprise and impacted our speed at times. Other than that, it was dreamy and I'd recommend it highly!!

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 14-22, 2018
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 4/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) KSBowman April 29, 2019

    50Th B-Day Celebration

    It was an amazing trip with excellent weather. The rides were mostly off the beaten path, through rolling terrain with steep uphill climbs to various towns/forts. The hotels were great, we upgraded. We ate locally and did not purchase the dinner with the room package. I will say, we are in very good shape and bike 3-4 days per week at home. It was a difficult ride at times, especially getting into Orvietto, Todi, Cortona, Assisi and Chuisi. Very, Very steep climbs, but well worth the effort. The B and B, Antica Gabella, in Castiglione del Lago was our favorite. Givanna was the ultimate host. The hotel in Todi was also amazing with great views and use of a pool if its warm. I highly recommend taking your time through the small towns and site seeing, wine taste and eat off the beaten path. The written maps and Mapsme got us to our destinations with a few u-turns. Next time we will see if we can have an extra day of not riding scattered in, so we can explore more. We also had a few days on the coast prior to riding and then finished in Rome for a few days. It was perfect!

    What was the date of your tour?
    April 14-21
    How many tours have you completed?
    4
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Much harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Photo 1 (photo by KSBowman)
    • Photo 2 (photo by KSBowman)
    • B and B Antica Gabella (photo by KSBowman)
    • Photo 4 (photo by KSBowman)
    • Todi (photo by KSBowman)
    • The ride to Cortona (photo by KSBowman)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Dave64 June 19, 2018

    Loved this tour!

    We enjoyed our tour very much. We loved this method of touring the Italian countryside. The itinerary took us on very quiet country roads (sometimes on dirt roads) where we could stop at our leisure and take pictures. We are both 64 years old, and ended up using e-bikes for this trip, which turned out to be a very good decision. We worked just hard enough, we could enjoy the countryside, get a good physical challenge each day, but have enough gas in our tank to enjoy the evening tour and meal in town. The towns we visited were very enjoyable, a break from the crowds in Florence and Venice. Other bikers we met on our travels were friendly and helpful with tips. The Italian drivers were very courteous to bikers. It was a fantastic trip.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 17-24 2018
    How many tours have you completed?
    Only this one
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Elizabeth Bevier October 15, 2022

    Tuscany Umbria biking

    It was a fun experience although a bit more strenuous than we anticipated. Lesson learned - check the difficulty level when you book a bike tour.
    The ebikes worked well and we were able to follow the directions on our self-guided tour. Our luggage was always at the next hotel before we arrived.

    Looking forward to doing another bike tour at some point in the future.

    What was the date of your tour?
    October2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) dave403 May 8, 2016

    Outstanding route and operator for central Italy - Awesome trip!

    Really excellent self-guided trip run by a first class small operator (Petra and Paulo). Stunning terrain, mostly in Umbria which is quieter and perhaps even more charming than Tuscany. Accommodation was excellent quality and value. Not over-the-top fancy but great. Breakfasts good - usual European-style. Generally on our own for dinners and so many incredible choices - Umbria has first class food and wine. Luggage transfers perfect. Directions provided excellent. Relatively challenging rides which we expected. At the higher end of level 3. Terrain is hilly (and gorgeous) which isn't an issue where roads are switch-backed. Tougher when they're not but we managed fine. Best to be in decent shape. We're 60 and in good fitness. Winter training via spin classes helpful. Would be more challenging on hybrids - we upgraded to road bikes and were happy we did, riding with our own shoes and clips. Took an extra day in Orvieto which helped give a recovery day and was very interesting/worthwhile. Lots of history and art along the way. Great trip! Highly recommend this operator and this trip.

    How many tours have you completed?
    4
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) CapeCodders October 4, 2017

    Best vacation EVER !

    A big thank you to the entire staff at BikeTours and a special thank you to our Umbrian Tour operators Pablo and Petra. Everything was incredible ! The biking was phenomenal, the scenery, the food, and hotels exceeded all of our expectations. Pablo and Petra went above and beyond providing detailed maps and GPS tracks for our self guided tour in addition to historical facts and sites to be seen in each of the beautiful villages we visited .

    What was the date of your tour?
    9/26/17 - 10/4/17
    How many tours have you completed?
    First bike tour, but avid cyclists
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Photo 1 (photo by CapeCodders)
    • Photo 2 (photo by CapeCodders)
    • BikeTours.com staff reply from Brittany October 5, 2017

      We're glad to hear you had a great time on tour and thank you for the pictures! I visited Umbria by bike this year and what a hidden gem. We hope to help you plan another bike tour in the future!

    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) Mary-lou Huculak 1 month ago

    Challenging but worth it!

    Gorgeous views over every hill and string every bend. Challenging even on ebikes but spectacular views.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May, 2024
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Rolling hills of Todi (photo by Mary-lou Huculak)
    • Charming accommodation in Castiglione del Lago (photo by Mary-lou Huculak)
    • Assissi is magnificent (photo by Mary-lou Huculak)
    • 4/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 1/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) Louise C van Vonno 11 months ago

    Fantastic but more challenging then we are used to!

    My husband and I have done over 10 bike tours around the world and this was by far the most challenging. If we had received the itinerary earlier than 6:30pm the day before we started we might have requested some route adjustments but there just wasn't time. We were assured by the local cycling company that provided the excellent e-bikes that we should be careful about battery usage but we would be OK. We were ok but truly exhausted at the end of most days. The route was excellent and we wanted to go back to some of the towns we visited when we weren't so tired.

    What was the date of your tour?
    June/ July 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    10+
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Much harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 2/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • Tuscany and Umbria
    (4/5) Sam Roozendaal 4 weeks ago

    Visually stunning trip

    This is a great way to see the sights of Umbria at a slower pace. The route is well designed with mostly quiet roads. There are some busy roads as you enter or leave towns but that is to be expected. There is a lot of climbing so we were glad we got the e-bikes. The hotels are mostly very good and close to the centre of town.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 2024
    How many tours have you completed?
    4
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 4/5 Value
    • 3/5 Included meals
    • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 3/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 3/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) KAY SINGLETON December 9, 2022

    Most challenging of all bike trips we've done

    There was a great sense of accomplishment each time we reached the hilltop towns, often after an over 1000m climb; all of the towns were beautiful with awesome views; the accomodations were excellent; we found the descents scary at times and were glad to have good brakes; sooo glad we got the road bikes! would not do this trip without them!

  • (4/5) Severa July 6, 2018

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 22
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 4/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 4/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) franks June 8, 2019

    A great trip but you had better be in good shape!

    This is an excellent trip. The scenery was incredible. It would be good to leave early in the morning or take some extra days so you can explore the towns; there is a lot to see. Hotels were a mix of great and medium quality. The food and wine were outstanding and very reasonable in price. We used the hybrid bikes which were very good, but a bit heavy. I would recommend the road bikes, although at times the roads are not so good. My wife and I are in good shape and experienced cyclists but had some difficulty with the very steep, long hills. Our sons are in their late 20's and did fine. Some of the climbs were more than 8 km long and quite steep, up to 15% grade. The directions in general were very good, but a bit vague at times, especially on leaving Todi and Orvieto. You had better be in good shape to do this tour. I would say it is closer to a level 4 than a 3. However, you cannot see Umbria or Tuscany on bike without doing a lot of steep hills. Overall a great experience.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 31 to June 7, 2019
    How many tours have you completed?
    6
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Cathedral in Orvieto (photo by franks)
    • The family taking a break (photo by franks)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) karnhaus September 22, 2018

    It was an adventure!

    Beautiful trip through Umbria and Tuscany; although the elevation on some days was more than we expected. The views were spectacular, and all of the accommodations were excellent. Loved the B&B in Castiglione del Lago - it was our favorite. Could have used more tips of places to see along the way, such as wineries, local farms, etc. Ecologico Tours did a great job organizing the trip, the bikes were top notch, and they were very accommodating in helping us switch out our pedals, provide carriers, etc.

    What was the date of your tour?
    9/6 - 9/14
    How many tours have you completed?
    0
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (3/5) Ana outsubo August 8, 2017

    Needs improvement

    They need to improve. We were three... but we only had 1 map, I had to ask for at least one more.... the full package like odometer.... bike tray to put the map... direction booklet... they did not have it all, although we paid 3 packages. They forgot our greeting meeting. Good points: they tried to provide everything we had asked... they were helpful. But definitely they were overwhelmed with the amount of tours and needed help.

    What was the date of your tour?
    July 4 th- 11
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Much harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    • 3/5 Value
    • 3/5 Included meals
    • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 3/5 Ease of navigation
    • 2/5 Tour documents
    • 3/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (2/5) John (Jay) Bonitt August 12, 2022

    Significant elevation!

    This was our fourth self-guided Biketours.com trip, the firs three were five-star successes. This one was the most disappointing, not because of the region or places to stay…all were good! But, this trip had over 16,400 ft. Of elevation..even on E-bikes (for the first time) it was VERY difficult. We saw only one or two road bikers the entire trip, whereas on the previous trips we saw lots of road bikes. As experienced bike tours.com travelers we’re pretty attuned to following direction…this particular trip had poor written and app directions. If you are interested in this particular trip you had better be in the best shape of your life. It is not a moderate level trip…even on an e-bike.

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    6
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Much harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    • BikeTours.com staff reply from Kirsten from Biketours August 19, 2022

      Hi John,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us feedback. We do realize this tour is difficult and that is a likely reason you saw fewer cyclists on the route than in past trips. We're sorry to hear you had trouble with the GPS application. For future, we'd be happy to review it with you ahead of time to ensure there are no troubles on your tour. And remember, help is always a phone call away! I hope you were able to bring home some good memories from this beautiful area.

    • 3/5 Value
    • 3/5 Included meals
    • 2/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 1/5 Ease of navigation
    • 1/5 Tour documents
    • 3/5 Local tour company services
    • 2/5 Route selection