Cycle Provence & Tuscany France, Italy

Cycle Provence & Tuscany

France, Italy

Biking
15 days
Medium
2020

Sat, Apr 11

Sat, Apr 25

€3,285

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Overview

Enjoy the best of European cycling on this 15 day adventure in Europe’s premier cycling destinations – Provence and Tuscany. Wind your way past neat rows of vineyards, beneath towering aqueducts and through forests on this active cycling adventure through Provence. This journey through Southern France is an idyllic blend of scenic trail riding, historical sights and wine tasting. Visit the serene gardens of St Remy to see where Vincent van Gogh created his famous works. Savour regional red wines and walk the cobbled streets of Les Baux and marvel at the stunning views from atop its limestone cliffs. Encounter the picturesque hills and olive groves of Tuscany on this cycling adventure from Florence to Pisa. Be rewarded after a day of pedaling through quaint villages with a delicious slow-cooked Tuscan dinner in Barga. Explore the frenetic streets of Pisa before laying eyes on a legendary lopsided tower. Visit one of the oldest bakeries in Italy for a taste of their delicious biscotti. Walk near the walls of the imposing Verrucole Castle in Garfagnana.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Avignon
Bonjour! Welcome to France and the first leg of your Provence and Tuscany cycling adventure. Today is arrival day and there are no activities planned for today except for a welcome meeting at 6pm. We spend very little time in charming Avignon, the former seat of the Roman Catholic world, so if you want to experience more of this beautiful city we recommended arriving early to perhaps pay a visit to the historic Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon, or simply take some time to explore the leafy streets of this French city. Your agent can arrange additional accommodation at the time of booking. Riding distance: none
Day 2Orange
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting session for the group followed by a short test ride to ensure everyone's equipment has been set up properly. Depart Avignon and cycle approximately 32 kilometres on quiet and flat country roads en route to Orange. Along the way, pass through the famous wine region of Chateauneuf du Pape and stop to enjoy a vineyard visit. Sample (in moderation) some of the red wine the region is so famous for then continue on the road to Orange. Note that the terrain will become a little more hilly as you approach Orange. After checking in to the hotel in Orange and cleaning up, head out on an orientation walk of this compact town, visiting the Arc de Triomphe d'Orange and the outstanding Roman Theatre, one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Europe. Ride distance: approx. 32 kms/20 miles, mostly flat with a 100m climb near the end, approx. 250m/820ft of elevation gain.
Day 3Uzes
Leave Orange behind and ride the quiet roads south to the delightful walled Provencal commune of Caderousse. Here, cross the mighty Rhone river and pass the medieval village of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, cycling past the vineyards producing Lirac wines, the favourite wines of historic kings and the papal community in Avignon. Continue west through wine country and on to the legendary Pont du Gard, widely considered to be one of the world’s best preserved examples of a Roman Aqueduct. Towering high above the Gardon River, this three-tiered stone masterpiece never fails to impress. On a quiet day there may even be an opportunity to ride across it! After visiting the Pont du Gard we proceed west to the small town of Uzes with its graceful circuit of boulevards and cute cafes. Ride distance: approx. 70 kms/44 miles, undulating with approx. 630m/2065ft of elevation gain
Day 4Saint Remy
Today is a long day in the saddle that will be rewarded with impressive sights along the way. Hopefully the infamous mistral wind will be blowing from the northwest, providing a tailwind all the way to Saint Remy! Winding back across the Rhone, travel beneath the old city gate and into the small town of Tarascon. Take a short break from cycling to visit the imposing medieval castle, before sitting on the riverbank to learn about the legend of the Tarasque, the namesake of the town. After lunch, continue to the charming village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence. In distinct contrast to the surrounding larger cities and towns, Saint Remy displays a typically Provencal way of life. Visit the serene gardens of Saint-Paul Asylum where Vincent van Gogh was a self-admitted patient and where he painted many works of art, including ‘Irises’ and the famous ‘The Starry Night’. Ride distance: approx. 68 kms/43 miles, undulating with approx. 400m/1315ft of elevation gain.
Day 5Saint Remy (& optional Mont Ventoux ride)
Today is a free day off the bike to explore charming Saint Remy and it's surrounds. Indulge your inner Van Gogh, chill out in a Provencal cafe or if you are still keen for a ride our crew can suggest a short ride around the local area. For those wanting a real cycling challenge we offer the option of tackling the legendary Mont Ventoux on a carbon road bike. Driving from Saint Remy to Bedoin early you will be riding on the mountain as the sun rises to beat the infamous Ventoux winds and summer heat. The unguided ride should take 3-4hrs, leaving enough time to grab a coffee and croissant before you rejoin your driver in Bedoin and then drive back in Saint Remy for a well-earned rest. This is at an additional cost - please book our 'Mont Ventoux Extension' by contacting your booking agent. Ride distance: None
Day 6Les Baux & Arles
Hit the road again after breakfast. Today you start with a short 10 kilometre ride to the magical hilltop commune of Les Baux-de-Provence. Although the distance is short, it is also one of the more difficult rides. For those not wanting to ride uphill, your support vehicle is always available. The first climb through the forest is over quite quickly and is rewarded with a short but beautiful descent on possibly the smoothest road in all of France. Carry on through olive groves and vineyards before arriving at Les Baux, declared “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” thanks to its narrow cobbled streets and jaw dropping views of the surrounding countryside. Visit Chateau des Baux, which sits perched on a limestone cliff with magnificent 360 degree views. After visiting Les Baux it’s time to hop back on the bikes for a short ride through the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell) and its beautiful white limestone rock formations. From here, it is a pleasant downhill and flat ride to Fontvieille then follow the peaceful Canal d'Arles alonside the Rhone River all the way into Arles (approximately 40 kilometres). Park the bikes and enjoy an orientation walk of this popular Roman town, passing by many famous sites such as the Place de la République, Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Roman Amphitheatre. For those wanting to explore further there are countless museums, Roman buildings and reminders of Vincent Van Gogh’s glorious paintings on every street. Ride distance: approx. 50 kms/31 miles, hilly for the first 20kms then mostly flat with approx. 425m/1395ft of elevation gain.
Day 7Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer/Arles
Swap vineyards for waves on a ride south to the capital of the Camargue, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea (approximately 41 kilometres). Set on the Rhône River delta, the lakes of Camargue are a bird spotters paradise and home to more than 400 species of birds. The area is also known for its famous white Camarguais horse, often seen running free around Camargue. The ride one way form Arles to the Med is approx. 41kms. After lunch we return to Arles by vehicle. If you are feeling fit you may choose to ride back to Arles but please note that this is optional and will not be supported by either the leader or our vehicle as that is driving back to Arles. Tonight the group will enjoy a final dinner together. Ride distance: approx. 41 kms/26 miles, completely flat with approx. 25m/80ft of elevation gain.
Day 8Florence
Please note due to the myriad of transport options (bus, train, flight) and to give you the best choice that suits your budget the transfer between Arles and Florence is not included in the cost of the trip and needs to be organised separately. See the 'Transport' section for further information. When organising your transport please arrange to arrive at the Florence hotel by 6pm at the very latest as we will be having an important Welcome Meeting where you will meet the new arrivals for the Tuscany section of the trip. If you're going to be late, please inform your group leader. The tour will spend very little time in Florence so we suggest you arrive early if you want to visit this stunning city's classic icons, with the historic Florence cathedral, Uffizi gallery, Ponte Vechio, and the Piazzale Michelangelo being just a few. Cycling distance: none
Day 9Vinci
After breakfast there will be another bike fitting and then a short test ride. After everyone has been fitted there will be a private transfer by to nearby Signa to begin this Tuscan cycling adventure (approx. 1 hour). Follow the Arno River out of Florence and ride the mostly flat small roads and trails to Empoli. Pass by the Church of Sant'Andrea before turning north towards the Tuscan hills and the delightful town of Vinci, birthplace of legendary Leonardo da Vinci. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the climbs are relatively gentle and can be enjoyed by everyone (approximately 35 kilometres). Once in Vinci, we take a short ride past Casa Natale di Leonardo then return to the village to check into our hotel. The afternoon is free to enjoy, perhaps visit Museo Leonardiano, home to a collection of machines and models devoted to Leonardo da Vinci, or simply enjoy a gelato on the main street. Cycling distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, mostly flat with approx. 140m/460ft of elevation gain.
Day 10Barga
After breakfast, take a transfer by private transport to the Provence of Lucca (approximately 1 hour). From here, begin cycling to the medieval hilltop town of Barga, climbing gradually along the banks of the Serchio River and up the valley to Borgo a Mozzano, where your leader will reveal the legend of the beautiful Devil’s Bridge. From here, continue the gentle climb upwards until the last two kilometres, when the road towards Barga becomes steep. For those not wanting to do the last climb, the support vehicle is always there to assist you. Those willing to conquer the hill will be rewarded with incredible views of the imposing Pania della Croce mountain towering above the landscape. Why not relax after a big day's ride (approximately 37 kilometres) with a delicious (optional) traditionally Tuscan dinner. Cycling distance: approx. 37kms/23 miles, mostly flat for the first 30kms then climbing the last 5kms, with approx. 460m/1510ft of elevation gain.
Day 11Garfagnana
Start the day with a pleasant three kilometre downhill ride to the valley floor, following the winding road through countless small villages to the imposing Verrucole Castle in San Romano, a medieval fortress with spectacular views over Garfagnana. Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch in one of the villages to sample the authentic Italian food this region is famous for. After lunch, descend back down the valley to the 13th century town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, situated at the confluence of the Serchio and the Turrite Secca rivers (approximately 40 kilometres). After a long and hilly ride this is a great place to sit back and enjoy a gelato or pay a visit to the famous Fronte della Rocca, the historic cake shop and chocolate-maker since 1885 – they do an excellent coffee as well! Cycling distance - Ride 1 - approx. 20kms/12 miles, hilly with frequent climbs and descents, with approx. 450m/1480ft of elevation gain. Cycling Distance - Ride 2 - approx. 20kms/12 miles, hilly with 10km gentle climb followed by 12km descent, with approx. 520m/1710ft of elevation gain.
Day 12Lucca
Today there will be a change of pace, starting with a 60 kilometre climb over the Apuan Alps in the support vehicle. Once at the top, mount up and start the ride downhill to the popular seaside resort of Viareggio before heading to the famous city of Lucca. On arrival in Lucca, circle the ancient city ramparts by bike and stop to enjoy an afternoon picnic on the walls. You'll ride a total of approximately 85 kilometres today. Afterwards, enjoy an evening to explore the city. Perhaps end the day at a local bar with a refreshing Prosecco. Cycling distance: approx. 84kms/52 miles, downhill for 20km, flat then very gradual uphill to Lucca, with approx. 600m/1970ft of elevation gain.
Day 13Lucca
Today is a free day off the bike in Lucca. Take the opportunity to see all the sights that this city has to offer. Wander to the former Roman amphitheatre found off Via Fillungo and visit the medieval houses now standing in its place. Grab a seat Piazza dell'Anfiteatro's many outdoor cafes and watch the world go by with a coffee. Be sure to stop by Foro Square and see the majestic San Michele church, which was built over the top of an ancient Roman forum.  Cycling distance: none
Day 14Pisa
Leave delightful Lucca by bike and follow the flat leafy bike paths downstream along the banks of the Serchio River to Pisa, home to a certain crooked tower (approximately 36 kilometres). After cycling through Pisa's frenetic streets, take some time to wander the shopping streets and perhaps enjoy an aperitif at one of Pisa’s many cafes and bars. Cycling distance: approx. 36kms/22 miles, flat with approx. 140m/460ft of elevation gain.
Day 15Pisa
Your Provence and Tuscany cycling adventure comes to an end in Pisa and you are free to depart at any time. Before you leave, perhaps visit the impressive Duomo or sample some local gelato. Cycling distance: none

Trip title

Cycle Provence & Tuscany

Trip code

AMXCC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019
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Introduction

Enjoy the best of European cycling on this 15 day adventure in Europe’s premier cycling destinations – Provence and Tuscany. Wind your way past neat rows of vineyards, beneath towering aqueducts and through forests on this active cycling adventure through Provence. This journey through Southern France is an idyllic blend of scenic trail riding, historical sights and wine tasting. Visit the serene gardens of St Remy to see where Vincent van Gogh created his famous works. Savour regional red wines and walk the cobbled streets of Les Baux and marvel at the stunning views from atop its limestone cliffs. Encounter the picturesque hills and olive groves of Tuscany on this cycling adventure from Florence to Pisa. Be rewarded after a day of pedaling through quaint villages with a delicious slow-cooked Tuscan dinner in Barga. Explore the frenetic streets of Pisa before laying eyes on a legendary lopsided tower. Visit one of the oldest bakeries in Italy for a taste of their delicious biscotti. Walk near the walls of the imposing Verrucole Castle in Garfagnana.

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle(e-bike option available),Support vehicle,Local bus (Transport from Arles,France to Florence,Italy is not included in the cost of the trip)

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

Joining point

Hotel O'Cub

Joining point description

The Hotel O'Cub features a rooftop terrace overlooking the Rhone River and Avignon. The simple rooms include air-conditioning and wifi.

Joining point instructions

ARRIVING BY PLANE: Avignon-Caumont Airport is the nearest airport and is located about 8 km southeast of Avignon. Taxis from the airport to the Hotel O’Cub will cost approximately EUR 30 and take 20 minutes. However, being such a small airport, there are limited services. You may find more options available if you consider airports in neighbouring regions. Marsielle Provence Airport is the next best option if you plan to fly into this area. From the airport, there is a free Airport Train shuttle bus that connects the airport (Platform Airport Train, in front of Hall 1) and Vitrolles Aéroport Marseille Provence Station. The bus leaves 20 minutes prior to every scheduled train departure, and takes less than 10 minutes. The train then takes approximately 1 hour and costs around EUR20. See http://www.marseille-airport.com/access-car-parks/access/by-train-or-by-bus You can take the train to either Gare d'Avignon-Centre or Gare d'Avignon TGV and take a taxi or walk to the hotel from there. ARRIVING BY TRAIN: There are 2 train stations in Avignon: Gare d’Avignon Centre and Gare d’Avignon TGV. Gare d’Avignon Centre is located on the outskirts of the town centre and is a 5 minute taxi ride (approx. EUR 5-10) from the Hotel O’Cub where your tour will begin. Alternatively, it is a pleasant walk that will take approximately 30 minutes. After exiting the station turn left on Boulevard Saint-Roch and turn right at Rue Saint-Charles. Continue on Rue-Saint Charles for about 300 metres and then turn left onto Rue Joseph Vernet. Next, turn left on Passage de l’Oratoire and pass through the city walls to reach Boulevard de l’Oulle. Turn right, and continue until you reach the bridge Pont Daladier. Walk across the bridge, passing over 2 canals of the Rhone. Turn left on Route d’Aramon and then turn right onto Impasse du Rhone. The hotel will be on your left. If you have arrived via highspeed train you will likely arrive at Gare d’Avignon TGV. From here, a taxi will take approximately 10 minutes and cost around EUR 20. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle bus to the city centre and the stop ‘Villeneuve - Belle Rive’ is the closest to the hotel. From the bus stop walk a few minutes back along Avenue Gabriel Peri the way the bus came. Turn right on Avenue General Leclerc and then immediately left onto Rue du Chene-Vert. Turn left onto Impasse du Rhone and the hotel will be on your right.

Finish point

Casa San Tommaso

Finish point description

This relaxed hotel in an 18th-century building is ideally located for your stay in Pisa, being just a 5-minute walk to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Quaint, bright rooms feature exposed timber beams and terracotta floors, and some come with stone walls. They all include free Wi-Fi, minifridges, TV and private bathroom.

Finish point instructions

DEPARTING BY TRAIN: Pisa's Central train station is located 2 kms from the hotel. The mostly flat walk will take you approximately 25 minutes. If you prefer, a taxi will take approximately 15 minutes depending on traffic, and cost around EUR10-15. Please ask the hotel to assist with arranging a taxi. DEPARTING BY PLANE: Pisa's international Galileo Galilei Airport is located approximately 5 kms from the hotel and the drive takes about 15-20 mins depending on traffic. We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details. Alternatively you might like to take a taxi, which would cost approximately EUR12-20. There is also a bus (ViaBus) to the airport that costs just EUR2 and departs hourly from the nearby Via C.Mathilde FR.62. The drive takes around 15-20 minutes. Please ask the hotel staff or your tour leader for more detailed instructions if required.

Important information

1. IMPORTANT. The transport between Arles and Florence on Day 8 is NOT included in the cost of the trip and needs to be organised separately. Please see Day 8 on the itinerary for more details. 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. This trip includes an option of an electric-motor assisted bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please inquire at time of booking. 4. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. 5. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride.

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY): Australia: No - Not required Belgium: No - Not required Canada: No - Not required Germany: No - Not required Ireland: No - Not required Netherlands: No - Not required New Zealand: No - Not required South Africa: Yes - in advance Switzerland: No - Not required UK: No - Not required USA: No - Not required

Why we love it

Cycle through the same landscapes that inspired some of Vincent van Gogh's greatest masterpieces

Is this trip right for you

This trip covers quite some distance, with cycling for up to 60 kilometres a day on varied terrain with a few hills, especially in Tuscany so you’ll need only a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip – but remember we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day (or perhaps have had too many vinos). As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required – but given the hills involved we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trips begins. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – a puncture here and there – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure. You'll be spending your nights in hotels all the way, ranging from comfortable to basic level, but they'll always be authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers. As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. The weather in this region can be varied depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans. As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead. As this is a 15-day trip, a large backpack should be enough to carry all of your belongings. If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort we have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. CYCLING HEALTH Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues. By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride. Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

Money matters

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can. You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%. For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. DEPARTURE TAX All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket. Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries. Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. MEALS NOT INCLUDED: allow approx. EUR 400 for meals not included.

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case. • Padded bike shorts • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall. • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier. • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding. • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. While we do accept children under 18 on this trip we do have a couple of rules. From a safety and enjoyment perspective they should be confident and competent cyclists capable of completing the riding part of the itinerary without additional assistance. Minors under 18 years old must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. This includes when the minor rides in the support vehicle.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. Peak Europe: +49 8677 9186 657

Responsible travel

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. A bicycle means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, providing a profound and lasting positive effect for the individual as well as their community. Bicycles For Humanity collect donated (used or new) bicycles, repair them if needed and send them to Africa. Along with donated bicycles each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed, helping the community to move away from aid dependence. For more information see http://www.bicyclesforhumanity.com/ We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on our different trips than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transport notes

IMPORTANT Transport from Arles (France) to Florence (Italy) is NOT included in the cost of the trip. There is a myriad of transport options (bus, train, flight) depending on when you want to leaves Arles/arrive in Florence. The quickest option is usually to take a train/bus to Marseille then fly directly to Florence or Rome. The cheapest (but slower) option is to take a Eurolines bus. You can request to travel in our support van from Arles to Lucca (approx. 7-8hrs drive) then take a train the remaining 75km/1.5hours to Florence, but this must be requested at the time of booking as places are strictly limited to a maximum of 4. Please note that our vehicle drives directly to Lucca and is not cleaned prior to departure, and you may be sitting directly next to the driver for the entire journey. While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others. Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes. For a full list of specifications and sizing charts, see: https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/Living-Line-Previous-Bikes/Mountain/7/7-fifty.aspx This trip includes an option of a motorised bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please inquire at time of booking. RENTAL E-BIKES Our Europe rental e-bikes are the 2018 Felt NINE E-20, available in the following sizes: Extra Small, Small, Medium & Large. Please provide your height at time of booking so the correct size can be arranged. For further details on sizing please see https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/electric/mountain/ninee-20.aspx BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights)

Safe Booking

Do I have to book in advance?

  • Yes, we encourage you to book this trek in advance.
  • For day activities, we recommend you to book 48 hours before the tour.
  • For multi-day packages, the earlier you book, the more significant is the chance that you can participate in the journey.


When do I have to pay?

  • We have a "book now, pay later" policy. Due to this process, we don't ask for any bank card details.
  • We created our booking system to be convenient and secure for you.
  • The provider will contact you and discuss the payment with you later.


What other fees do I have to pay?

  • There are no hidden fees on Trekhunt (like booking fee, cancellation fee, etc.).
  • We don't charge you any additional fees.
  • We offer this tour precisely with the same price and conditions as the provider.


Is booking secure?

  • We created our booking system to be convenient and safe for you.
  • We don't ask any of your bank card details!
  • We only ask you to provide us your name, email and mobile number.
  • We forward this information to the provider, who can send you the tour details.


Don't miss out. We recommend you to book this tour today.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Avignon
Bonjour! Welcome to France and the first leg of your Provence and Tuscany cycling adventure. Today is arrival day and there are no activities planned for today except for a welcome meeting at 6pm. We spend very little time in charming Avignon, the former seat of the Roman Catholic world, so if you want to experience more of this beautiful city we recommended arriving early to perhaps pay a visit to the historic Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon, or simply take some time to explore the leafy streets of this French city. Your agent can arrange additional accommodation at the time of booking. Riding distance: none
Day 2Orange
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting session for the group followed by a short test ride to ensure everyone's equipment has been set up properly. Depart Avignon and cycle approximately 32 kilometres on quiet and flat country roads en route to Orange. Along the way, pass through the famous wine region of Chateauneuf du Pape and stop to enjoy a vineyard visit. Sample (in moderation) some of the red wine the region is so famous for then continue on the road to Orange. Note that the terrain will become a little more hilly as you approach Orange. After checking in to the hotel in Orange and cleaning up, head out on an orientation walk of this compact town, visiting the Arc de Triomphe d'Orange and the outstanding Roman Theatre, one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Europe. Ride distance: approx. 32 kms/20 miles, mostly flat with a 100m climb near the end, approx. 250m/820ft of elevation gain.
Day 3Uzes
Leave Orange behind and ride the quiet roads south to the delightful walled Provencal commune of Caderousse. Here, cross the mighty Rhone river and pass the medieval village of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, cycling past the vineyards producing Lirac wines, the favourite wines of historic kings and the papal community in Avignon. Continue west through wine country and on to the legendary Pont du Gard, widely considered to be one of the world’s best preserved examples of a Roman Aqueduct. Towering high above the Gardon River, this three-tiered stone masterpiece never fails to impress. On a quiet day there may even be an opportunity to ride across it! After visiting the Pont du Gard we proceed west to the small town of Uzes with its graceful circuit of boulevards and cute cafes. Ride distance: approx. 70 kms/44 miles, undulating with approx. 630m/2065ft of elevation gain
Day 4Saint Remy
Today is a long day in the saddle that will be rewarded with impressive sights along the way. Hopefully the infamous mistral wind will be blowing from the northwest, providing a tailwind all the way to Saint Remy! Winding back across the Rhone, travel beneath the old city gate and into the small town of Tarascon. Take a short break from cycling to visit the imposing medieval castle, before sitting on the riverbank to learn about the legend of the Tarasque, the namesake of the town. After lunch, continue to the charming village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence. In distinct contrast to the surrounding larger cities and towns, Saint Remy displays a typically Provencal way of life. Visit the serene gardens of Saint-Paul Asylum where Vincent van Gogh was a self-admitted patient and where he painted many works of art, including ‘Irises’ and the famous ‘The Starry Night’. Ride distance: approx. 68 kms/43 miles, undulating with approx. 400m/1315ft of elevation gain.
Day 5Saint Remy (& optional Mont Ventoux ride)
Today is a free day off the bike to explore charming Saint Remy and it's surrounds. Indulge your inner Van Gogh, chill out in a Provencal cafe or if you are still keen for a ride our crew can suggest a short ride around the local area. For those wanting a real cycling challenge we offer the option of tackling the legendary Mont Ventoux on a carbon road bike. Driving from Saint Remy to Bedoin early you will be riding on the mountain as the sun rises to beat the infamous Ventoux winds and summer heat. The unguided ride should take 3-4hrs, leaving enough time to grab a coffee and croissant before you rejoin your driver in Bedoin and then drive back in Saint Remy for a well-earned rest. This is at an additional cost - please book our 'Mont Ventoux Extension' by contacting your booking agent. Ride distance: None
Day 6Les Baux & Arles
Hit the road again after breakfast. Today you start with a short 10 kilometre ride to the magical hilltop commune of Les Baux-de-Provence. Although the distance is short, it is also one of the more difficult rides. For those not wanting to ride uphill, your support vehicle is always available. The first climb through the forest is over quite quickly and is rewarded with a short but beautiful descent on possibly the smoothest road in all of France. Carry on through olive groves and vineyards before arriving at Les Baux, declared “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” thanks to its narrow cobbled streets and jaw dropping views of the surrounding countryside. Visit Chateau des Baux, which sits perched on a limestone cliff with magnificent 360 degree views. After visiting Les Baux it’s time to hop back on the bikes for a short ride through the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell) and its beautiful white limestone rock formations. From here, it is a pleasant downhill and flat ride to Fontvieille then follow the peaceful Canal d'Arles alonside the Rhone River all the way into Arles (approximately 40 kilometres). Park the bikes and enjoy an orientation walk of this popular Roman town, passing by many famous sites such as the Place de la République, Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Roman Amphitheatre. For those wanting to explore further there are countless museums, Roman buildings and reminders of Vincent Van Gogh’s glorious paintings on every street. Ride distance: approx. 50 kms/31 miles, hilly for the first 20kms then mostly flat with approx. 425m/1395ft of elevation gain.
Day 7Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer/Arles
Swap vineyards for waves on a ride south to the capital of the Camargue, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea (approximately 41 kilometres). Set on the Rhône River delta, the lakes of Camargue are a bird spotters paradise and home to more than 400 species of birds. The area is also known for its famous white Camarguais horse, often seen running free around Camargue. The ride one way form Arles to the Med is approx. 41kms. After lunch we return to Arles by vehicle. If you are feeling fit you may choose to ride back to Arles but please note that this is optional and will not be supported by either the leader or our vehicle as that is driving back to Arles. Tonight the group will enjoy a final dinner together. Ride distance: approx. 41 kms/26 miles, completely flat with approx. 25m/80ft of elevation gain.
Day 8Florence
Please note due to the myriad of transport options (bus, train, flight) and to give you the best choice that suits your budget the transfer between Arles and Florence is not included in the cost of the trip and needs to be organised separately. See the 'Transport' section for further information. When organising your transport please arrange to arrive at the Florence hotel by 6pm at the very latest as we will be having an important Welcome Meeting where you will meet the new arrivals for the Tuscany section of the trip. If you're going to be late, please inform your group leader. The tour will spend very little time in Florence so we suggest you arrive early if you want to visit this stunning city's classic icons, with the historic Florence cathedral, Uffizi gallery, Ponte Vechio, and the Piazzale Michelangelo being just a few. Cycling distance: none
Day 9Vinci
After breakfast there will be another bike fitting and then a short test ride. After everyone has been fitted there will be a private transfer by to nearby Signa to begin this Tuscan cycling adventure (approx. 1 hour). Follow the Arno River out of Florence and ride the mostly flat small roads and trails to Empoli. Pass by the Church of Sant'Andrea before turning north towards the Tuscan hills and the delightful town of Vinci, birthplace of legendary Leonardo da Vinci. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the climbs are relatively gentle and can be enjoyed by everyone (approximately 35 kilometres). Once in Vinci, we take a short ride past Casa Natale di Leonardo then return to the village to check into our hotel. The afternoon is free to enjoy, perhaps visit Museo Leonardiano, home to a collection of machines and models devoted to Leonardo da Vinci, or simply enjoy a gelato on the main street. Cycling distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, mostly flat with approx. 140m/460ft of elevation gain.
Day 10Barga
After breakfast, take a transfer by private transport to the Provence of Lucca (approximately 1 hour). From here, begin cycling to the medieval hilltop town of Barga, climbing gradually along the banks of the Serchio River and up the valley to Borgo a Mozzano, where your leader will reveal the legend of the beautiful Devil’s Bridge. From here, continue the gentle climb upwards until the last two kilometres, when the road towards Barga becomes steep. For those not wanting to do the last climb, the support vehicle is always there to assist you. Those willing to conquer the hill will be rewarded with incredible views of the imposing Pania della Croce mountain towering above the landscape. Why not relax after a big day's ride (approximately 37 kilometres) with a delicious (optional) traditionally Tuscan dinner. Cycling distance: approx. 37kms/23 miles, mostly flat for the first 30kms then climbing the last 5kms, with approx. 460m/1510ft of elevation gain.
Day 11Garfagnana
Start the day with a pleasant three kilometre downhill ride to the valley floor, following the winding road through countless small villages to the imposing Verrucole Castle in San Romano, a medieval fortress with spectacular views over Garfagnana. Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch in one of the villages to sample the authentic Italian food this region is famous for. After lunch, descend back down the valley to the 13th century town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, situated at the confluence of the Serchio and the Turrite Secca rivers (approximately 40 kilometres). After a long and hilly ride this is a great place to sit back and enjoy a gelato or pay a visit to the famous Fronte della Rocca, the historic cake shop and chocolate-maker since 1885 – they do an excellent coffee as well! Cycling distance - Ride 1 - approx. 20kms/12 miles, hilly with frequent climbs and descents, with approx. 450m/1480ft of elevation gain. Cycling Distance - Ride 2 - approx. 20kms/12 miles, hilly with 10km gentle climb followed by 12km descent, with approx. 520m/1710ft of elevation gain.
Day 12Lucca
Today there will be a change of pace, starting with a 60 kilometre climb over the Apuan Alps in the support vehicle. Once at the top, mount up and start the ride downhill to the popular seaside resort of Viareggio before heading to the famous city of Lucca. On arrival in Lucca, circle the ancient city ramparts by bike and stop to enjoy an afternoon picnic on the walls. You'll ride a total of approximately 85 kilometres today. Afterwards, enjoy an evening to explore the city. Perhaps end the day at a local bar with a refreshing Prosecco. Cycling distance: approx. 84kms/52 miles, downhill for 20km, flat then very gradual uphill to Lucca, with approx. 600m/1970ft of elevation gain.
Day 13Lucca
Today is a free day off the bike in Lucca. Take the opportunity to see all the sights that this city has to offer. Wander to the former Roman amphitheatre found off Via Fillungo and visit the medieval houses now standing in its place. Grab a seat Piazza dell'Anfiteatro's many outdoor cafes and watch the world go by with a coffee. Be sure to stop by Foro Square and see the majestic San Michele church, which was built over the top of an ancient Roman forum.  Cycling distance: none
Day 14Pisa
Leave delightful Lucca by bike and follow the flat leafy bike paths downstream along the banks of the Serchio River to Pisa, home to a certain crooked tower (approximately 36 kilometres). After cycling through Pisa's frenetic streets, take some time to wander the shopping streets and perhaps enjoy an aperitif at one of Pisa’s many cafes and bars. Cycling distance: approx. 36kms/22 miles, flat with approx. 140m/460ft of elevation gain.
Day 15Pisa
Your Provence and Tuscany cycling adventure comes to an end in Pisa and you are free to depart at any time. Before you leave, perhaps visit the impressive Duomo or sample some local gelato. Cycling distance: none

Trip title

Cycle Provence & Tuscany

Trip code

AMXCC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Enjoy the best of European cycling on this 15 day adventure in Europe’s premier cycling destinations – Provence and Tuscany. Wind your way past neat rows of vineyards, beneath towering aqueducts and through forests on this active cycling adventure through Provence. This journey through Southern France is an idyllic blend of scenic trail riding, historical sights and wine tasting. Visit the serene gardens of St Remy to see where Vincent van Gogh created his famous works. Savour regional red wines and walk the cobbled streets of Les Baux and marvel at the stunning views from atop its limestone cliffs. Encounter the picturesque hills and olive groves of Tuscany on this cycling adventure from Florence to Pisa. Be rewarded after a day of pedaling through quaint villages with a delicious slow-cooked Tuscan dinner in Barga. Explore the frenetic streets of Pisa before laying eyes on a legendary lopsided tower. Visit one of the oldest bakeries in Italy for a taste of their delicious biscotti. Walk near the walls of the imposing Verrucole Castle in Garfagnana.

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle(e-bike option available),Support vehicle,Local bus (Transport from Arles,France to Florence,Italy is not included in the cost of the trip)

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

Joining point

Hotel O'Cub

Joining point description

The Hotel O'Cub features a rooftop terrace overlooking the Rhone River and Avignon. The simple rooms include air-conditioning and wifi.

Joining point instructions

ARRIVING BY PLANE: Avignon-Caumont Airport is the nearest airport and is located about 8 km southeast of Avignon. Taxis from the airport to the Hotel O’Cub will cost approximately EUR 30 and take 20 minutes. However, being such a small airport, there are limited services. You may find more options available if you consider airports in neighbouring regions. Marsielle Provence Airport is the next best option if you plan to fly into this area. From the airport, there is a free Airport Train shuttle bus that connects the airport (Platform Airport Train, in front of Hall 1) and Vitrolles Aéroport Marseille Provence Station. The bus leaves 20 minutes prior to every scheduled train departure, and takes less than 10 minutes. The train then takes approximately 1 hour and costs around EUR20. See http://www.marseille-airport.com/access-car-parks/access/by-train-or-by-bus You can take the train to either Gare d'Avignon-Centre or Gare d'Avignon TGV and take a taxi or walk to the hotel from there. ARRIVING BY TRAIN: There are 2 train stations in Avignon: Gare d’Avignon Centre and Gare d’Avignon TGV. Gare d’Avignon Centre is located on the outskirts of the town centre and is a 5 minute taxi ride (approx. EUR 5-10) from the Hotel O’Cub where your tour will begin. Alternatively, it is a pleasant walk that will take approximately 30 minutes. After exiting the station turn left on Boulevard Saint-Roch and turn right at Rue Saint-Charles. Continue on Rue-Saint Charles for about 300 metres and then turn left onto Rue Joseph Vernet. Next, turn left on Passage de l’Oratoire and pass through the city walls to reach Boulevard de l’Oulle. Turn right, and continue until you reach the bridge Pont Daladier. Walk across the bridge, passing over 2 canals of the Rhone. Turn left on Route d’Aramon and then turn right onto Impasse du Rhone. The hotel will be on your left. If you have arrived via highspeed train you will likely arrive at Gare d’Avignon TGV. From here, a taxi will take approximately 10 minutes and cost around EUR 20. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle bus to the city centre and the stop ‘Villeneuve - Belle Rive’ is the closest to the hotel. From the bus stop walk a few minutes back along Avenue Gabriel Peri the way the bus came. Turn right on Avenue General Leclerc and then immediately left onto Rue du Chene-Vert. Turn left onto Impasse du Rhone and the hotel will be on your right.

Finish point

Casa San Tommaso

Finish point description

This relaxed hotel in an 18th-century building is ideally located for your stay in Pisa, being just a 5-minute walk to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Quaint, bright rooms feature exposed timber beams and terracotta floors, and some come with stone walls. They all include free Wi-Fi, minifridges, TV and private bathroom.

Finish point instructions

DEPARTING BY TRAIN: Pisa's Central train station is located 2 kms from the hotel. The mostly flat walk will take you approximately 25 minutes. If you prefer, a taxi will take approximately 15 minutes depending on traffic, and cost around EUR10-15. Please ask the hotel to assist with arranging a taxi. DEPARTING BY PLANE: Pisa's international Galileo Galilei Airport is located approximately 5 kms from the hotel and the drive takes about 15-20 mins depending on traffic. We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details. Alternatively you might like to take a taxi, which would cost approximately EUR12-20. There is also a bus (ViaBus) to the airport that costs just EUR2 and departs hourly from the nearby Via C.Mathilde FR.62. The drive takes around 15-20 minutes. Please ask the hotel staff or your tour leader for more detailed instructions if required.

Important information

1. IMPORTANT. The transport between Arles and Florence on Day 8 is NOT included in the cost of the trip and needs to be organised separately. Please see Day 8 on the itinerary for more details. 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. This trip includes an option of an electric-motor assisted bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please inquire at time of booking. 4. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. 5. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride.

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY): Australia: No - Not required Belgium: No - Not required Canada: No - Not required Germany: No - Not required Ireland: No - Not required Netherlands: No - Not required New Zealand: No - Not required South Africa: Yes - in advance Switzerland: No - Not required UK: No - Not required USA: No - Not required

Why we love it

Cycle through the same landscapes that inspired some of Vincent van Gogh's greatest masterpieces

Is this trip right for you

This trip covers quite some distance, with cycling for up to 60 kilometres a day on varied terrain with a few hills, especially in Tuscany so you’ll need only a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip – but remember we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day (or perhaps have had too many vinos). As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required – but given the hills involved we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trips begins. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – a puncture here and there – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure. You'll be spending your nights in hotels all the way, ranging from comfortable to basic level, but they'll always be authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers. As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. The weather in this region can be varied depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans. As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead. As this is a 15-day trip, a large backpack should be enough to carry all of your belongings. If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort we have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. CYCLING HEALTH Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues. By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride. Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

Money matters

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can. You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%. For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. DEPARTURE TAX All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket. Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries. Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. MEALS NOT INCLUDED: allow approx. EUR 400 for meals not included.

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case. • Padded bike shorts • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall. • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier. • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding. • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. While we do accept children under 18 on this trip we do have a couple of rules. From a safety and enjoyment perspective they should be confident and competent cyclists capable of completing the riding part of the itinerary without additional assistance. Minors under 18 years old must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. This includes when the minor rides in the support vehicle.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. Peak Europe: +49 8677 9186 657

Responsible travel

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. A bicycle means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, providing a profound and lasting positive effect for the individual as well as their community. Bicycles For Humanity collect donated (used or new) bicycles, repair them if needed and send them to Africa. Along with donated bicycles each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed, helping the community to move away from aid dependence. For more information see http://www.bicyclesforhumanity.com/ We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on our different trips than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transport notes

IMPORTANT Transport from Arles (France) to Florence (Italy) is NOT included in the cost of the trip. There is a myriad of transport options (bus, train, flight) depending on when you want to leaves Arles/arrive in Florence. The quickest option is usually to take a train/bus to Marseille then fly directly to Florence or Rome. The cheapest (but slower) option is to take a Eurolines bus. You can request to travel in our support van from Arles to Lucca (approx. 7-8hrs drive) then take a train the remaining 75km/1.5hours to Florence, but this must be requested at the time of booking as places are strictly limited to a maximum of 4. Please note that our vehicle drives directly to Lucca and is not cleaned prior to departure, and you may be sitting directly next to the driver for the entire journey. While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others. Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes. For a full list of specifications and sizing charts, see: https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/Living-Line-Previous-Bikes/Mountain/7/7-fifty.aspx This trip includes an option of a motorised bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please inquire at time of booking. RENTAL E-BIKES Our Europe rental e-bikes are the 2018 Felt NINE E-20, available in the following sizes: Extra Small, Small, Medium & Large. Please provide your height at time of booking so the correct size can be arranged. For further details on sizing please see https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/electric/mountain/ninee-20.aspx BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights)

Safe Booking

Do I have to book in advance?

  • Yes, we encourage you to book this trek in advance.
  • For day activities, we recommend you to book 48 hours before the tour.
  • For multi-day packages, the earlier you book, the more significant is the chance that you can participate in the journey.


When do I have to pay?

  • We have a "book now, pay later" policy. Due to this process, we don't ask for any bank card details.
  • We created our booking system to be convenient and secure for you.
  • The provider will contact you and discuss the payment with you later.


What other fees do I have to pay?

  • There are no hidden fees on Trekhunt (like booking fee, cancellation fee, etc.).
  • We don't charge you any additional fees.
  • We offer this tour precisely with the same price and conditions as the provider.


Is booking secure?

  • We created our booking system to be convenient and safe for you.
  • We don't ask any of your bank card details!
  • We only ask you to provide us your name, email and mobile number.
  • We forward this information to the provider, who can send you the tour details.


Don't miss out. We recommend you to book this tour today.

Time until next start
177
days
11
hours
:
35
min
:
14
sec

Prices from

€3,130

Duration

15 days
2020

Sat, Apr 11

Sat, Apr 25

€3,285

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Overview
Itinerary
Trip title
Trip code
Validity
Introduction
Style
Themes
Transport
Physical Rating
Physical preparation
Joining point
Joining point description
Joining point instructions
Finish point
Finish point description
Finish point instructions
Important information
Group leader
Safety
Visas
Why we love it
Is this trip right for you
Health
Money matters
What to take
A couple of rules
Feedback
Emergency contact
Responsible travel
The Intrepid Foundation
Accommodation notes
Transport notes
Travel insurance
Your fellow travellers
Itinerary disclaimer
Accommodation
Safe Booking
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