2015 Cinque Terre and Tuscany Giro

Ever wanted to see the beautiful Cote d’Azur and Cinque Terre, ride your bike through the villages of Tuscany and see the Giro d’Italia? Then this Trip is for You!

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Tuscany Italy

An exclusive small group itinerary that visits the French and Italian Riviera, the villages of the Cinque Terre and Tuscany, along with the opening stages of the 2015 Giro d’Italia. The emphasis on this trip is exploring the areas we visit and the culture and food of these stunning areas of Italy. This is an excellent trip for cyclists and non-cycling partners to enjoy together.

TRIP DETAILS: SOLD OUT
Duration: 10 days (9 nights)
Dates: Thursday, 7 May to Saturday, 16 May, 2015
Start: Nice Finish: Florence or Milan Malpensa Airport
Accommodation: Quality 3 and 4 star hotels
Group Size: Maximum 14 people (3 Staff)
Cost: A$5390.00 – Optional single supplement A$980.00
Deposit: A$1000.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If travelling alone we will match you with a person to share, or you can have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.

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Inclusions

Optional Extras:

Bike Rental A$540.00 (New 2015 Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Travel Insurance
Email us for details

Highlights:

  • Experience the excitement of the 2015 Giro d’Italia
  • Immerse yourself in Italy’s cycling culture and cuisine
  • Join the Jetsetters on the French Cote d’Azur and ride Col de Madone
  • Visit the spectacular villages of the Cinque Terre
  • Stay in Italy’s most famous region Tuscany and ride it’s famous roads

Who is this trip for?

Over 9 days see 3 stages of the 2015 Giro d’Italia and visit three of the most scenic places in Europe or the world. The French Cote d’Azur, Cinque Terre and Tuscany.

You will experience the excitement of the Giro d’Italia when we see the opening Teams Time Trial stage as it races up the Italian Riviera to San Remo, then a stage start and another stage out on the road in Tuscany. NOTE: These details are subject to the release of the Giro Route in early October however we are confident our plans are correct.

This tour offers an amazing variety of terrain, race viewing and cycling. As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides. This tour starts in Menton (collection from Nice Airport) before making our way to the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre and then inland to the village of Montaione, Tuscany and finishing off with a transfer to Florence or Malpensa Airports.

A chance to relax and explore the regions we visit with 3 nights stay in each location and only 2 transfers between hotels.

Italy is a fabulous country to visit with unequalled scenery, friendly people and of course great food. For the race fan the Giro offers the chance of seeing the riders up close without the crowds that typify its bigger brother, The Tour de France.

As usual Bikestyle Tours we will be offering a minimum of two options per day. One is a ride for those enthusiasts who like to challenge themselves on some climbs and/or longer distances while there is an option for those wanting to take a gentler approach to their cycling and not ride quite as hard or as far!

As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.
See what our clients said about us after previous Giro d’Italia trips: Client Comments

Cote d'Azur

Itinerary

Thursday, 7 May, 2015: Bienvenue on the Cote d’Azur!

Our tour starts today with our staff meeting you as you arrive at Nice Cote d’Azur airport. We will have two airport collections today, one at 11.30 am and one at 3.00 pm.

Nice airport is well serviced with both domestic flights from many locations within France and mainland Europe and well as international flights such as British Airways, Emirates or Lufthansa. For Australians Emirates fly direct from Dubai into Nice.

We will then transfer to our hotel by the sea in the quiet resort town of Menton on the famous Cote d’Azur, on the borders of Italy, the Principality of Monaco and the Comté de Nice. The mild climate with 316 cloudless days a year has resulted in many parks and gardens.   There is an old quarter with steep streets leading to the harbour. This contrasts with the modern artificial beach and buildings. Menton is the first town of the Alpes-Maritimes to receive the designation “City of Art and History”.

This afternoon, once we’ve got you settled into the hotel we will assemble bikes and take a short local ride to make sure you and your bike are all in good working order after your long journey.

We will head along the beachfront of Menton soaking up the atmosphere of the Cote d’Azur and around Cap Martin, a playground of the rich and famous and towards Monaco before we turn right and up into the hills behind to visit the old village of Rocquebrune and its medieval Chateau before we descend back down and back to the hotel. Like most of the Cote d’Azur routes there is a bit of climbing, but the rewards are the lovely views of the Mediterranean and the French Riviera.

Tonight we will have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. This is a great chance to meet your fellow travellers and the Bikestyle team, who will explain more about your upcoming adventure on the Cote d’Azur and Corsica.

Our hotel is located in a prime location on the seafront of Menton with air conditioning throughout, a poolside fitness room, shady garden, private car park and 24 hour bar. Seafront rooms all have balconies with a stunning view over the old town of Menton and the bay of Garavan.

Overnight: Menton, Cote d’Azur
Meals: Dinner

Photo 27-06-13 09 14 43 (Medium)

Friday, 8 May 2015: Col de la Madone

We have a full day to explore the stunning corniche roads and villages of the Cote d’Azur. The region we are in is called Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur or PACA, and the riding is spectacular with everything from flat coastal roads to challenging climbs. Today you have the opportunity to test yourself on the most famous climb of the area, the 925 meter Col de la Madone, well known as a favourite training route for the many pro riders in the area.

Our longer ride of 70 km will take us from Menton along a small winding road to the pretty hilltop village of Castellar before starting the climb to the top of Col de la Madone. After a stop for a souvenir photo we’ll descend back down to the fortified medieval village of Eze, perched high above the Mediterranean coast halfway between Nice and Monaco. Here you have the choice of continuing on for the full 70km route, or jumping in the bus if you’ve had enough for the day. An equally enjoyable but shorter “tourist” route with less climbing to Eze will be offered for anyone not wanting to tackle Col de la Madone.

Tonight is free to dine in one of the many restaurants in the streets of the old town of Menton.

Overnight: Menton, Cote d’Azur
Meals: Breakfast

Col de la Madone

Saturday, 9 May, 2015: TTT and Milan-San Remo

The 2015 Giro d’Italia will kick off today with an 18km team time trial along the coast between San Lorenzo al Mare to San Remo solely on cycle paths. Teams will race along the Riviera dei Fiori cycle path, which is built on a former coastal rail route, and gives panoramic views of the Mediterranean coast. Its rolling hills will create a fast race. Both ends of the course will be familiar to many riders and spectators. The Cipressa climb is one of the final climbs of the famous Classic, Milan – San Remo and begins from San Lorenzo al Mare. The stage’s finish line is also used by the Milan-San Remo route.

The TTT won’t get underway until later in the afternoon so we have time to do our rides, enjoy lunch and a nice Italian coffee and then be back in San Remo to see the teams finish later in the day. Our rides will pay homage the great Milan – San Remo Classic (and its 7 time winner Eddy Merckx) by riding the last 20 kilometres of the course into San Remo. Our longer ride will leave Menton and head across into Italy and along the coast passing San Remo where we will start our shorter ride and continue along the coast to the start of today’s stage at San Lorenzo al Mare. We will stop here for some lunch and a look at preparations for today’s stage start. It’s highly likely the bike path along the coast will be closed to allow teams a chance to recce the course so we will take the coastal road which will most likely be full of other cyclists doing the same.

After our break in San Lorenzo al Mare we will return along the coast road for a short time before we turn right and head up the Cipressa. It is 6 km long but not very high or steep. You will climb 233 metres at an average of just 3.9 % before descending back to the coast road and along until we take another right turn for the final climb of MSR and for us as well. The Poggio ascent is 4 km long but you climb to just 149 metres with an average of 3.7 %. We will then drop down to San Remo to freshen up and await the race. San Remo is a resort town and holds a famous musical festival each summer.

After we see the race finish and presentations we will return to Menton for our final evening on the Cote d’Azur.

Tonight is free to dine in one of the many restaurants in the streets of the old town of Menton.

Overnight: Menton, Cote d’Azur
Meals: Breakfast

Giro TTT

Sunday, 10 May, 2015: The Ligurian Riviera

Today we are on the move to Levanto, the “Hidden Gem” on the Italian Riviera and at the northern end of the enticing little villages of the Cinque Terre. The town of Levanto has an interesting historical centre, many beautiful painted villas and good restaurants and shops. The main piazza, Piazza della Loggia, is a pretty square with a lovely 13th century medieval loggia.

We won’t see the race today so we can be in a good position to see the exciting stage tomorrow.

On our way to Levanto we will stop for lunch and a wander in Sestri Levante, a beautiful little town on the Ligurian Riviera and where the race will start tomorrow. While Portofino and the Cinque Terre are probably the most well-known tourist destinations on the Italian Riviera, this once quiet fishing village is slowly turning into a tourist hotspot.

After lunch we will begin our ride to Levanto. From Sestri Levante it’s uphill for quite a while as we head inland but the reward is the magnificent views and beautiful country we will see including castles, cliffs, pine forests, vineyards and small beaches nestled into the coastline. Eventually we will descend down to Framura which actually consists of 5 small and ancient villages. From here we will join the recently completed bike path that will take us to Levanto via Bonassola. The former railroad tunnels have been restored and lit so now you can bike between the charming villages of Framura, Bonassola and Levanto.

Our hotel tonight is in the centre of Levanto, not far from the beach and train station. The hotel is family owned and run and renowned for its cuisine offering guests a wide range of Italian specialities. Each bedroom is air conditioned and recently refurbished with satellite TV.

Dinner will be provided at the hotel tonight.

Overnight: Levanto, Italian Riviera
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cinque Terre Bikepath (Medium)

Monday, 11 May, 2015: The Giro in the Mountains

Today’s stage is a short and lumpy stage from Rapallo to Sestri Levante and will be the first to test of the riders and identify the GC contenders.

Bikestyle Tours always tries to give our clients various race perspectives during the course of a trip. Some days we will see a start, another day a finish and today we will see it in the mountains on a climb. The mountain roads in this region are fantastic. Narrow and quiet with gentle gradients and a café at the top of many of the climbs. Fausto Coppi lived and trained not far from here in Nove Ligure.

We will begin our ride about 15 kms along the race route where we will climb the first KOM of the day, the Colle Caprile at 470 metres. Once across the top it’s a small descent then some more climbing until take a shortcut and leave the race route to get across to our race viewing at Barbagelata, the highest point of the day at 1115 metres and the day’s final KOM or GPM as the Italians call them.

After the race we will carefully descend down the race route to Carusco where we will meet the van for the return trip to Levanto. Its 31 kms and you shouldn’t have to pedal much at all.

Tonight you are free to choose from one of the many restaurants close to the hotel.

Overnight: Levanto, Italian Riviera
Meals: Breakfast

Climbing at the Giro

Tuesday, 12 May, 2015: The Giro Comes to the Cinque Terre!

Today’s stage is from Chiavari to La Spezia through the Cinque Terre.  Riders will face a series of hills between the coast and the inland areas of Levante Ligure, passing near our hotel before the final stretch along the Cinque Terre roads with a continuous series of climbs and descents to La Spezia. The race will climax on the top of the Biassa climb above La Spezia.

You can’t come to Cinque Terre without riding the road that links the 5 villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, the same road that will be used for the race today. It will pass through Levanto and go to La Spezia so one ride option will be to follow the route to the finish making a somewhat difficult ride to La Spezia.

The other option would be to do the same ride but detour down to the coast to visit one or two or possibly all of these villages before arriving in La Spezia with sore legs and a full camera. To do the full ride to the finish at Biassa above La Spezia would be 75 kilometres and a whopping 2700 metres of climbing! It would be quite an achievement and a lasting memory.

If you’re not cycling today it is possible to take the train from Levanto to La Spezia. The trains are very regular and you can stop in each of the villages although not all trains stop in all villages so a little planning is required although details of the approaching train is displayed on the screen in each village. We will provide a collection from La Spezia train station at a specific time which will be notified in your final itinerary.

After the race we will return to Levanto where you are free to choose from one of the many restaurants.

Overnight: Levanto, Italian Riviera
Meals: Breakfast

Cinque-Terre

Wednesday, 13 May, 2015: Off to Tuscany

Today’s stage is from La Spezia to Abetone and we will see the race near the base of the final climb at Bagni di Lucca. We leave the beautiful Cinque Terre today but don’t be sad as we are heading to Tuscany and the wonderful village of Montaione.

We have a full day so we will leave Levanto nice and early. First on the agenda will be a visit to Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was a miracle of medieval engineering, probably the tallest bell tower in Europe. With 207 columns ranged around eight stories the Tower of Pisa looks like a massive wedding cake knocked precariously askew by a clumsy giant guest. The construction of Tower of Pisa began in August 1173 and continued for about 200 years due to the onset of a series of wars. Till today, the name of the architect is a mystery.

After visiting Pisa we will be on the bikes for our ride to see the race at Bagni di Lucca. It’s a reasonably flat 55 kms ride that will take us past beautiful Lucca with the possibility of a quick look around depending on time. It’s well worth a look but we have a race to see as well.

Bagni di Lucca is at the base of the final climb for the day so there should be plenty of action. Once we have seen the race we will continue to our beautiful hotel for the next three nights in Montaione, a small medieval village in the Tuscan hills.

The much celebrated San Giminiano and Volterra towns are nearby. Our hotel started life as a Tuscan mansion and has been completely restored into a 4 star hotel including all the modern comforts with a relaxing and charming stay, with a panoramic swimming pool and a restaurant with vaulted brick ceilings serving typical Tuscan cuisine and Chianti wine from the surrounding hills.

Dinner will be provided at the hotel tonight.

Overnight: Montaione
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuscany Montaione

Thursday, 14 May, 2015: Montecatini Terme Stage Start

This morning you wake up in beautiful Tuscany. It is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy, with medieval villages sitting atop hilltops, rolling hills covered in vineyards producing some of the best wines in the world and farmhouses and villas at the end of cypress-lined lanes.

Today we are off to see the stage start in Montecatini Terme so this is your chance to see the riders up close as they arrive for the sign in and press interviews. Being a small town, the start today will be more relaxed than the starts in big cities, so a great day to see the Giro prepare for another day on the road.

So after a hearty breakfast we will set off to Montecatini Terme by van. Once we arrive here we will have time to see the riders and all the support staff and vehicles arrive, followed by the sign on and race start. After the start we will stay for some lunch in Montecatini Terme before heading off for our ride which will take us along the quiet country roads, passing beautiful villages to the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, the village of Vinci where we have the possibility to visit the Museum and the house of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Vinci is surrounded by the Tuscan hills in a landscape of vineyards and olive groves that are much the same as in Leonardo’s time. Leonardo da Vinci was born on 15 April 1452, in a farmhouse about 3 kilometres from the town, between Anchiano and Faltognano. His full name was “Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci”, which means “Leonardo, son of Piero, of Vinci”. Half a million visitors a year come to visit the Museum of Leonardo and his birthplace.

From Vinci we will continue our ride through beautiful Tuscany before we arrive at the hotel for well-earned refreshments. The evening is free to explore Montaione and choose a restaurant of your liking for dinner.

 

Overnight: Montaione
Meals: Breakfast

Giro Start

Friday, 15 May, 2015: San Gimignano

Another great ride today through the beautiful Tuscan countryside will see us riding to the classic Tuscan hilltop village of San Gimignano, one of the most beautiful villages in all of Europe. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture including its well-preserved tower houses that along with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form an unforgettable skyline. Ride options will be 55 or 110 kilometres.

It’s not an easy ride but at the top of every hill you will be rewarded with a great view or another magnificent Tuscan village. One of which is Volterra, at 545 metres above sea level the walled town dominates and divides the Cecina and Era valleys. It still retains its medieval character, charm and atmosphere. The defensive wall built in the 13th century was the result of an urban development that began in the year 1000AD and was completed at the beginning of the 14th century.

As you crest the hill coming from the east and catch your first glimpse of the 15 towers of this walled hill town, you may think it looks like a medieval Manhattan. Originally an Etruscan village, the town was named after the bishop of Modena, San Gimignano, who is said to have saved the city from Attila the Hun. Building a tower taller than that of one’s neighbour, (there were originally 72 towers), became a popular way for the town’s prominent families to flaunt their power and wealth. In 1348 plague wiped out much of the population and weakened the local economy, leading to the town’s submission to Florence in 1353. Today, not even the plague would deter the swarms of summer day-trippers, who are lured by the town’s palpable sense of history, intact medieval streetscapes and enchanting rural setting.

Our ride will again start and finish at the hotel and as we did yesterday we can relax and watch the rest of the race live on TV.

It’s our last night and our final dinner together so we will host a special farewell dinner of local cuisine and some great Italian wines to wash it down with.

Overnight: Montaione
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuscany ride2 (Medium)

Saturday, 16 May 2015: Arrivederci

Ciao Ciao Italia. Early this morning we will offer a transfer to Florence Airport followed by a transfer to Malpensa Airport.

It’s 300 kilometres to Malpensa Airport so we need to allow about 5 hours in case of traffic. If you are booking a flight that departs Milan Malpensa Airport do not book a flight that departs before 6:00pm.

It is farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning after breakfast. During your time with us you’ve experienced the excitement of the Giro, visited the Cote d’Azur, Cinque Terre and Tuscany and ridden some of the most beautiful roads in Italy.

Arrivederci, thank you for joining us in Italy and have a safe journey home.

Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

– Transport throughout by private vehicles
– Services of our experienced tour guides
– 9 nights accommodation in quality 4 star hotels
– Buffet breakfast daily
– 3 or 4 course evening meals on 4 nights of your trip.
– Mechanical assistance with your bike
– Scheduled arrival transfer from Nice to Menton on Thursday, 7 May 2015
– Scheduled departure transfer to Florence or Milan Malpensa airport on Saturday, 16 May 2015
– Maps and Bikestyle guide to the 2015 Giro d’Italia
– Bikestyle Tours cycling jersey, knicks, cap and musette bag

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Reserve your Place Now

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If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2015 Cinque Terre and Tuscany Giro ($1000pp)
2015 Cinque Terre and Tuscany Giro Bicycle Hire $540.00
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions
  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions.
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD). We recommend that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque. Please see below.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.
If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

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Payment by Bank Deposit and Cheque

If you wish to pay by Bank Deposit or Cheque please tick the box below to go to our Bank Details

Prior to paying a deposit it is advisable to confirm a place is available by sending an email to our Office Manager Michelle Knibbs, michelle@bikestyletours.com or telephone our office on 1300 882494.
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions
  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com.
  • Don't forget it is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.Purchase your International Travel Insurance here.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.

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Client Comments

A great article from David Houghton who came with us in 2014

Thank you for your email. I just wanted to let you know that the Giro d’Italia and Nove Colli Gran Fondo tour was one of our best trips ever! I concur that Grace & Pat are remarkable. Thank you so much! I will tell everyone I know in Canada about Bikestyle tours and certainly hope to go on several more.

Thanks again, Claudia

I finished the Giro d’Italia trip on Monday, and just wanted to pass on a special thanks for the assistance provided by Grace Fitzpatrick.  My return flight out of Milan Malpensa meant I was unable to wait for the Bikestyle transfer on 2 June.  Grace was able to give me some very good advice on alternate (train) travel to Milan to make my flight connection.  She also made a special effort in ensuring I was able to do the final ride into Trieste with the Bikestyle group and still be in a position to get my train transfer to Milan. It’s this kind of effort by Grace that would bring me back for another Bikestyle trip and recommend the same to others.

Cheers, Darryl

I would like to thank you very much – we all had a great tour and enjoyed the full trip. In particular I would like to make mention of Sarah and Grace and Patrick – they were all excellent and each provided a different but unique experience to the tour. Sarah’s bubbly Italian character was perfect to showcase Italy. I think we would all happily take her back to Australia with us. We were very lucky to have Patrick along for the rides – without him and his GPS I think you would be still trying to find us. Grace’s knowledge of wines was superb whilst her stewardship kept us all on track.
Glenn

Hi Natalie,
Thank you for writing, I personally had a great trip and the memories will stay with me for a long time, if I am fortunate enough to be able to do another trip in the future it will be hard to decide between the Giro or TDF!
Cheers
Greg

Hi Natalie and the team.
My sincere thanks go to you and the team. I had a truly outstanding time and it was an amazing experience, one where I can’t wait until Scott (my partner) can join me for another Bikestyle Tour.
Laurie, yourself, Pat, Grace and Sim were all sensational, everything ran smoothly and we couldn’t have been better looked after. I was only sad it had to come to an end. I have fond memories of the trip and had a fantastic time.
The organisation, energy, enthusiasm, care and attention you give your clients is exceptional – in my view you have a winning formula. The rides were awesome, the hotel accommodation of a high standard, the tour guides fantastic in every way. Well done to you and the team.
Kind regards
Mary

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