Umbria Bike Tour
Umbria Bike Tour takes you through a timeless landscape of verdant green forests, olive groves and vineyards punctuated by beautiful villas, palaces, churches and hilltop villages. We string together the pearls of Umbria as we ride through the historic towns of Assisi, Todi, Spoleto and Orvieto, while dozens of smaller villages line our route, each one with its own charm and unique history. After two nights in beautiful Bevagna we ride through the hilly hinterland of Umbria, and stay in Montefalco, Todi and Orvieto. The riding starts in the flats and gets progressively hillier and more challenging as the tour progresses. The trip ends in Orvieto, which is on the main north-south railway line and highway, allowing for a quick and easy departure at the end of the trip. The trip is rated moderate (easier than our Tuscany Bike trip), with optional challenging rides each day. The trip is van assisted. (Luggage is transferred by van. 2 nights Bevagna, 1 night Montefalco, 1 night Todi, 2 nights Orvieto. Trips ends in Orvieto.)
Umbria Bike Tour itinerary
Independent arrival Perugia. Perugia’s stone alleyways link cozy piazzas framed by Gothic palaces and friendly cafes. The “Corso”, the town’s 19th-century shopping promenade, is its main artery off of which hundreds of twisting medieval streets wind through the city’s ancient hilltop location. Perugia is the perfect introduction to Umbria’s vibrant contemporary culture which is rooted firmly in its glorious past. Meet your guide(s) at the train station at 14:00 and transfer to the countryside where we begin our first ride to the wine-producing village of Torgiano. You will have time to explore the town and the fantastic Lungarotti wine museum before continuing on to Bevagna, a beautiful walled village with Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance architecture. Our hotel is a converted 12th century convent. Bevagna also boasts some excellent trattorias and wine bars where we will enjoy an aperitivo before dinner at the Osteria Podestà. Overnight Bevagna. (Mileage: easy, flat 50 km/31 mi). (Let us know if you would like to stay the Saturday night in Perugia. We will be happy to recommend hotels) . Hotel and dinner included.
Assisi rises dramatically on a hill beneath Monte Subasio, in the heart of Umbria. Like so many Umbrian towns, Assisi has its own particular color, a rosy glow reflected from the pink hues of the locally quarried stone used in the town’s centuries’ old buildings. You will have time in the morning to explore Assisi and visit the basilica of San Francesco, famous for its 14th century frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis attributed to Giotto. A delightful afternoon ride takes you to the charming walled village of Spello through ancient olive groves. It is then a short ride back to Bevagna. Strong riders can do a challenging optional ride via Gualdo Cattaneo. Overnight in Bevagna. (Mileage: moderate 50 km/31 mi, with optional challenging extension) Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Today we ride across the valley to the hillside village of Trevi for mid-morning cappuccino in the village square before heading into the rolling hills and vineyards that surround Montefalco, Umbria’s most prestigious wine-growing town. This afternoon we will have a guided visit and tasting at one of the producers of the famed Sagrantino di Montefalco. The town of Montefalco itself is worth a visit. It sits high above the Clitumnus valley and was once a Roman garrison town and later a strategic fortress in the conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. The 14th-century ramparts that surround the village date from this period. This evening is a “free night” dinner so you can choose to splash out on a lavish meal or try some lighter fare at one of the town’s many trattorias. Overnight Montefalco. (Mileage: moderate 50 km/31 mi with some steep hills). Hotel & breakfast included.
Today’s destination is splendid Spoleto. Ringed by Roman and Medieval walls and surmounted by an imposing 13th century fortress, it is one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. A breathtaking gorge, verdant with holm oak forest, is traversed by a dramatic 1000-year-old arched aqueduct. The town’s narrow streets are lined with Roman, Longobard, and medieval monuments, homes, and shops. Our return ride meanders through Montefalco’s vineyards and appropriately we end the day with a tasting of the sought after Sagrantino di Montefalco. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
We leave charming Montefalco to head into the wild hills of Umbria. Our ride takes us through a sparsely populated area, into tiny hamlets and villages and past imposing castles and villas, before dropping us back down to the valley beneath the perched town of Todi. Dramatically situated on the peak of a hill at a sharp bend in the Tiber river, Todi has for centuries been an important strategic city. Three sets of concentric walls date from Etruscan, Roman and medieval times, encircling the stone palaces and townhouses of the ancient city. Todi has one of the most beautiful squares in all of Italy, set between the 12th century cathedral and the city’s imposing public buildings, including the crenellated walls of the Palazzo dei Priori, the Romanesque-Gothic Palazzo del Popolo, and the Gothic Palazzo del Capitano. Dinner tonight is in Todi’s finest restaurant. Overnight in Todi. (Mileage: moderate 55 km/34 mi) with some long but gradual hills). Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
We cross the Tiber river on the 14th-century Ponte Cuti bridge before starting a long but gradual climb up onto a high plateau. The views are stunning throughout the day. The ride continues through rolling country before a long descent towards Orvieto, which sits atop a throne of volcanic tufa rock surveying the Tiber valley. Like so many Umbrian towns, its foundations are Etruscan but its most prosperous period was during the Middle Ages when the Popes came to Orvieto to escape the summer heat in Rome. Orvieto’s cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest in Italy. Our hotel is located within the thick city walls. Overnight Orvieto. (Mileage: a challenging 50 km/31 mi, with a long hill). Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
You can choose to do a relatively short ride out to the stunning village of Civita di Bagnoregio and return to Orvieto to explore its underground city or you can continue on to the lakeside village of Bolsena to make for a satisfying 70 km day. Both rides have a steep climb from the base of Orvieto out to Porano and then pleasant, rolling countryside. The village of Bolsena has a beautiful medieval quarter dominated by the 13th-14th century castle, and there are several good fish restaurants around the lake. The return ride gives you an unforgettable view of Orvieto as the low afternoon sun glitters off of the mosaics that adorn the façade of the Duomo. Final night celebration in a local trattoria. Overnight Orvieto. (Mileage: a moderate 33 km/21 mi, or a more challenging 70 km/44 mi). Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Transfer to the Orvieto train station for connections throughout Italy. Orvieto is on the main north-south train line, so offers direct trains to Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan. Hotel and breakfast included.
The biking in Umbria can be quite hilly, with some longer “flattish” stretches. We ride 40 – 65 km a day, with optional extensions as well as van support, which allows you to relax off the bike for a while. 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. Breakfast is included every day, and dinners reflect the excellent traditional food of the region.
Qualifications: This trip is rated moderate to challenging. The terrain is different from Tuscany, where the hills are constantly rolling. In Umbria the first two days are flat and then you get longer but more gentle uphills and downhills. There may be only one major hill per day, so we can easily offer a lift in the van for tired cyclists.
Trip Cost Includes: All accommodations (2 nights Bevagna, 2 nights Montefalco, 1 night Todi 2 nights Orvieto. All 3 & 4 star hotels); 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners; bilingual Customwalks guides; support vehicle; all luggage transfers starting with pick up from Perugia train station and final transfer to Orvieto train station at the end of the trip; quality 27-speed hybrid-style touring bike with front handlebar bag and rear rack, detailed written route notes and highlighted maps so you can ride at our own speed and choose to do longer or shorter options. 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..
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Getting There: the trip starts in Perugia, which is easily accessible by train from other cities in Italy, or from the small Perugia Airport.
Air: the Perugia Airport now receives several flights per week from London on Ryan Air. Alitalia also offers flights from Milan. See the airport's website for the most updated schedules. For a complete list of Italian airports and a selection of low-cost airlines, see our "Transport Info" page.
Rail: trains to Perugia from Rome take anywhere from 2-4 hrs, from Florence about 2 hrs. 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 after breakfast on Saturday morning with a transfer to the Orvieto train station, arriving in time for trains to Rome (at 9:58) or Florence (at (9:57).
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 travel questions.