Piedmont Bike Tour
Come join us for some of the best cycling in Europe in Piedmont; Italy’s foremost wine region. The gateway to Piedmont is Turin, one of the most sophisticated and beautiful cities in Europe. The snow-capped Alps serve as a dramatic backdrop to the otherwise gently rolling hills of Asti, Alba, and Barbaresco. Unwind as you cycle through an undulating landscape of terraced vineyards dotted with medieval castles and picturesque hilltop towns. At the end of the day, relax by the pool at your lovely boutique hotel before an exquisite dinner of local specialties complimented by an elegant Barolo. (2 nights Cremolino, 1 night Acqui Terme, 2 nights Barbaresco, 2 nights Monforte d'Alba)
Piedmont Bike Tour itinerary
Arrive independently at the "Prasco - Cremolino" train station, which is easily reached by train from Genoa, Torino and Milan. You can arrive any time this afternoon and we’ll pick you up and transport you to our home for the next two nights, the Casa Wallace, a lovely B&B in the countryside that’s also a bio-dynamic winery. Relax by the pool or in the courtyard before doing a tour of their vineyards and a tasting of their wines. We dine “at home” tonight. Overnight Cremolino. Hotel and dinner included.
We’ll do a bike fitting and safety talk this morning before heading out on our first ride, through the castles and vineyards of the Monferrat (Monferrato in Italian) region. Now part of the UNESCO World Heritage site including the Langhe and Roero regions of Piedmont, the Monferrato hills are covered with elaborate terraced vineyards and capped with medieval castles and fortified towns. Stop for lunch at a local trattoria and then ride back to your hotel. Tonight we'll learn how to make pizza and cook it in our host's traditional pizza oven! Overnight Cremolino. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Get off the beaten track today on our ride south into the Beigua National Park, which extends just over the border with Liguria into the Apeninnes. Pedal on quiet roads through stands of spruce and Douglas firs, black and Scotch pines, and English oaks, then stop for lunch in the charming mountain village of Sassello. In the fall, try their local pasta made with chestnut flour. After lunch we bike on a pretty and mostly downhill road along the Erro River to the former Roman spa town of Acqui Terme. Settle into your hotel, the elegant Hotel Roma Imperiale, and relax by the pool or take a soak in the jacuzzi before heading into town on foot to see "La Bollente," a pavilion built at the spot where the waters bubble up at 75°C (167°F) from under the city streets. We dine together at one of the town's fine restaurants. Overnight Acqui Terme. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Bike out of Acqui this morning and enter the magical vine-covered hills of Le Langhe. You'll cycle through a surreal landscape of terraced vineyards that cover every hill and curve, growing right up to the hilltop villages that surmount them. Stop for lunch at a local trattoria featuring some of region's specialties, from truffles to hearty pastas and stews. Then continue to bike through the vineyards and eventually reach our home for the next two nights, the Casa Nicolini, a lovely country hotel with a spectacular view over the surrounding vineyards. Enjoy a dip in the pool and then enjoy dinner on the scenic terrace. Overnight near Barbaresco. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Our itinerary today is a food & wine lover's dream as we head to medieval Alba, famous for its intoxicating white truffles, sold at over $3,000 a pound! Have a look around this charming city and then bike back into the countryside for a visit and then lunch at a traditional cheese-maker's farm. Our hosts are a young couple who wanted to revive the traditional shepherding and cheese-making traditions of the region, so they decided to take matters into their own hands. They now have 35 sheep and they make a variety of cheeses that we can taste at lunch. Return to your hotel after lunch and get cleaned up for a wine tasting followed by dinner with some of the best views around. Overnight near Barbaresco. Hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Head south today through the countryside and stop for a coffee break in the shadow of the imposing castle of Grinzane Cavour, birthplace of Camillo Cavour, the founding father of the Italian nation. From there we continue into the heart of the Langhe wine-growing region, passing La Morra before eventually reaching Barolo, famous for its wine that some consider one of the best in all of Italy. We'll stop for lunch and of course a tasting, and we can even visit the corkscrew museum! From there we continue south to our elegant hotel in Monforte d'Alba, the Palazzo Boeri. Each room is a suite with sweeping vistas, and you can enjoy the same view from the pool. After a bit of downtime, change into your hiking clothes and embark on another culinary adventure: hunting for truffles with a specially trained hunting dog. Once our excursion into the forest is done and the dog has proved his worth, we settle in for a home-cooked meal featuring the afternoon's buried treasure. Return to our hotel after dinner. Overnight Monforte d'Alba. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
We leave the vineyards behind today and return to the quiet beauty of the Apeninne forests. Cycle along quiet roads past charming villages and medieval castles, and enjoy a tasty lunch on a sunny terrace before turning down a deep gorge and then ascending again back to Monforte. Relax by the pool this afternoon and then enjoy one final fabulous meal together in one of the town's best restaurants. Overnight Monforte d'Alba. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Morning goodbyes and shuttle to the Alba train station, about an hour by train from Turin (Torino) and Genoa. Breakfast and one group transfer included.
The biking in Piedmont is rolling and frequently hilly. We normally ride between 50 – 70 km a day, with optional extensions as well as van support, which means you can ride as much or as little as you like. We have designed the trip so that there is always some free time in the late afternoon so you can relax, read, or explore the towns where we stay.
Wines from Piedmont: general information on some great wines
Truffles: informative article from Eataly on this amazing (and expensive) fungus
The White Truffle Market at Alba: the most important truffle market in the world!
Acqui Terme: here's some general information about this spa town
The House of Savoy: history of this royal dynasty (still poised to come back to Italy if the Monarchists had their way!)
Piedmont Tourism Information: general information on the region
UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Italy has more sites on the list than any other country!
Activity Level: 3 out of 5. You'll find a mix of gently rolling terrain with sustained climbs lasting a few kms. Daily activity is 4 to 5 hours, max distance 65 kms. This tour is suitable for anyone who is physically fit and regularly cycles. Because of vehicle support, cyclists of all ability levels may join.
Trip Cost Includes: 7 nights accommodations in superior 3-star hotels; 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners, and 1 lunch; bilingual guides; support vehicle; all visits as noted in the itinerary; all luggage and van transfer starting with pick-up from Ovada and ending with transfer to the Asti train station; hybrid bike rental (road bikes available for an additional cost of 100 Euro). All departures are accompanied by two guides.
Booking: e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a booking contract (or use the 'Contact Us' link at the top of this page), or click on the 'Book Now' button to the right.
Insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of Trip Insurance. We recommend “Travel Guard” to our North American clients, just click on the logo below. Australian, New Zealander, and British travelers, please consult your insurance brokers.
Getting There: the trip begins in the small town of Cremolino, which is accessible by train from Genoa (1hr), Turin (2 hrs), Milan (3 hrs) and other Italian cities. The station is called "Prasco - Cremolino." We can also arrange for a car or van pick-up from Turin or Milan, both of which take about an hour 15 mins. Arrive anytime this afternoon and we'll arrange to pick you up and take you to our B&B in the countryside. Let us know if you’d like to arrive a day early and get over your jet-lag by the pool.
Air: Both the Genoa [Genova in Italian] and Turin [Torino in Italian] airports are serviced by a number of airlines, including Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, plus low-cost companies like AirOne and EasyJet. Both airports have shuttles to the main train station in town for further connections. The Milan “Malpensa” airport is the easiest if you are flying in directly from the U.S. For more detailed information on Italian airports and a selection of low-cost airlines, see our "Transport Info" page.
Rail: trains from Genoa take about an hour (departures every hour), from Torino 2 hrs (some take 4, so choose well before you book!), and from Milan about 3 hours (with one change). See the Trenitalia website (in English) at this link. For alternative high-speed rail travel, see the Italo website. For complete information on using the Italian train system, see our blog post.
Getting Away at the End of the Trip: the trip ends on Saturday in Alba, with a morning transfer to the train station. There are trains to Genoa, Turin, and Milan around 9:45. Please consult the Trenitalia website for the most current schedules.
If you book a trip with us you will receive detailed information about how to get to the start of your trip, or feel free to e-mail us with any specific questions.
If you enjoy cycling on idyllic country roads with vineyards as far as the eye can see, experiencing delicious wine tastings and illuminating cellar tours, sampling the ancient arts of cheese making and truffle hunting, mixed in with stylish boutique accommodations and entertaining, well-informed guides, the Piedmont cycle tour is for you. Great trip!