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biking in Tuscany

My friend and I are interested in taking a bike tour of Tuscany. We are looking at two tour companies:
Iron Donkey and BikeTours.com. They provide rental bikes, a self guided itinerary, hotel accommodations, some meals, and luggage transfers. Has anyone used either or both of these companies? Are the rental bikes in good condition? How are the accommodations? Are there any "surprise fees"? Would you take another trip with them? Thank you.

Posted by
6871 posts

The only bike I'd want in Tuscany would be a Ducati. The countryside is just hilly enough to be very demanding physically.

Does the bicycle tour company haul you to the top of the hills so you can coast down? (They do that on Maui.)

Seriously: One of the tours would be the only way to go. They handle your backpack/luggage and take care of all the details. I don't know of these companies specifically. You could ask them what brand and model bicycles they use prior to signing with them.

Posted by
5784 posts

Distegard what non-cyclist have to say. Friends including tandem couples have enjoyed riding in Tuscany.

I don't have personal experience with either but for what its worth:
http://www.biketour-reviews.com/Bike-Reviews.htm

BikeToursDirect is a clearing-house for nearly 75 bicycle tour
operators in Europe and around the world. They offer nearly 300 routes
in 60 countries. We are big fans of this type of travel, especially
since tours with regional companies are often 50-70 percent less than
those offered by larger U.S. operators, and many offer the opportunity
to ride with multi-national groups.

Posted by
796 posts

There are two companies we're tried and liked. One is www.backroads.com/trips/BTTQ/tuscany-siena-italy-biking-tour which lets you choose the kind of accommodations you want (we chose premium but you can select casual for a cheaper trip) and includes accommodations and meals in the cost so you don't have to plan or worry about anything. You can see some of one of their trips at www.backroads.com/videos/popups/tuscany-biking-popup.html

The other is BikeTours.com which offers many goodies including choices of bikes, a meal, tour of a medieval castle and sample of the wine and olive oil made there, and more. tuscany.biketours.com/tours-times-details.php and tuscany.biketours.com/tuscany-bike-tour.php

I really liked the food offered a lot. Bikes at both companies were in great condition and they take a lot of care with that. Both companies start and end in Florence.

Posted by
5784 posts

A consideration in renting bikes is to bring your own saddle and pedals.

Posted by
15 posts

We did the Backroads Tuscany Casual Inn tour last May. It was amazing. I had never done a bike tour before, so was a bit concerned, but they handled everything (including hauling me up a 5k hill via the van) from the bikes, food, lodging and routes. We had a choice of routes each day, so could do as much or little biking as we wanted. The hotels were beautiful, so we were happy we had not put out the extra $$ for the premium hotel.

We loved it so much we are doing the Croatia trip this May!