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Gastronomic Barolo Cycling

from $3,449.00

Superb hotels, world-famous wines and exceptional cuisine are just some of the reasons to choose this 8-night cycling holiday! The cycling takes you through softly rolling hills, sun-drenched hamlets and via the pretty wine towns of Barbaresco and Barolo.

  • Reviews 59 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
All about the Gastronomic Barolo Cycling.

Tucked away in northern Italy, Piedmont is a region brimming with vineyard covered, softly rolling hills, sun-drenched hamlets, world-class wines and incredible hotels.
Your cycling holiday is varied and mainly follows quiet, traffic-free country roads. Starting in the lush hazelnut hills, you’ll wind through terraces of swaying vines, verdant pine forests and rippling rivers to discover pretty hilltop hamlets and ancient castles. The region boasts an incredible array of fine wine towns, including Barbaresco and Barolo, both ideal lunch stops on your cycling days or free days. Other highlights include Alba’s crimson, cobbled streets (where you can sample the local chocolate), the expansive views as you freewheel out of Mango, and strolling amongst the tangle of streets and geranium-decked houses of Monforte d’Alba’s wonderful centre.
The hotels we’ve chosen are, quite simply, fabulous! In Benevello your **** hotel is a stunningly restored C19 family villa, with a Michelin-starred restaurant; in Neive you’re the guest of Viviana at her 12-room country house with a breathtaking panoramic pool; and in Monforte d’Alba private tastings can be organised in the hotel’s vast wine cellar. You’ll enjoy gastronomic menus everywhere, either dining at your hotel, or at a specially selected restaurant close by.

This holiday has RidePlus routes as an option – longer, more challenging routes suitable for more experienced cyclists. See the itinerary for routes and distances. RidePlus routes require the use of a lightweight road bike, details of bike upgrades can be found in the dates and prices. Routes are supplied as downloadable GPX files for you to use with own navigation device (Garmin, Wahoo, Bryton, etc).

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All breakfasts and gastronomic dinners
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel in a mix of *** , **** and ***** hotels
  • Luggage transfers
  • High quality hybrid bike rental
  • GPS route directions and maps provided
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • RidePlus route options (more challenging routes)
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • RidePlus road bike (inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Scenic cycling in the UNESCO vineyards of Piedmont
  • Dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant (excluding Monday arrivals)
  • Stay in luxury hotels with panoramic pools
  • Discover historic castles and medieval villages
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive at Benevello

    Arrive at your stunning hotel just below Benevello. The chef here trained under Marco Pierre White so you’re in for a real treat! (Staying in Villa d’Amelia, Half Board)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Benevello to Neive 35km/22mi

    You’ll start today with a gentle ride along an open road, with hawks soaring high above the breathtaking Langhe countryside. You visit lovely Mango, with its beautiful castle rich in WW2 history. Then on to San Stefano Belbo, the birthplace of one Italy’s greatest writers, Cesare Pavese; the pretty old town makes for a lovely lunch stop. On the way to Neive, your cycle ride takes you past the famous Moscato vineyards before you arrive at your *** hotel, which boasts wonderful views over the verdant hills with vineyards cascading down. (Staying at Hotel Villa Lauri, Breakfast at the hotel, dinner at a local restaurant)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Neive

    Neive is a great place to explore. Officially one of Italy’s prettiest villages and home of Romano Levi, a renowned grappa maker, you can wander its cobbled streets that are lined with brightly-coloured flower boxes, or after a morning by the panoramic pool, cycle or take a local bus to nearby Barbaresco for lunch and cheese-tasting in the piazza. Enjoy some wine in the enoteca, housed in a C19 church built by the locals in thanks for a good grape harvest! Or head across to the spumante capital of Asti, with its quaint cobbled centre. Each September the main piazza is home to a crazy palio horse race to rival Siena’s! (Staying at Hotel Villa Lauri, Breakfast at the hotel, dinner at a local restaurant)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Neive to Grinzane Cavour 42km/26.5mi

    Leaving Neive behind, you undulate through the vineyards to Castagnole Lanze before heading downhill to the River Tanaro and enjoy a lovely gentle ride along the river to Alba. There’s time to explore the cobbled streets and bustling piazze of chocolate-perfumed Alba (the home of Ferrero Rocher). Then it’s on to Grinzane Cavour where a warm welcome awaits at the elegant Casa Pavesi. (Staying at Casa Pavesi, Breakfast at the hotel, dinner at a local restaurant)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Grinzane Cavour

    Explore the UNESCO-recognised castle and indulge in a spot of wine-tasting. Then perhaps visit nearby Bra, a gastronomic treasure trove where the Slow Food movement was initiated – there’s plenty of choice for a long, lazy lunch! There’s lots to explore in the town too, including the C18 Rococo church and the strange octagonal Zizzola, where local witches held their meetings. For the best views in the region, walk or cycle to La Morra, ’Balcony of the Langhe’, spread out along a panoramic ridge above the vineyards. (Staying at Casa Pavesi, Breakfast at the hotel, dinner at a local restaurant)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Grinzane Cavour to Monforte d'Alba 26km/16.5mi or 34km/21.5mi

    You’ll cycle first through sunflower fields to Roddi, then on to Barolo, an ochre-hued village perched above its world-famous vineyards. The tangle of mediaeval streets are dominated by the Marchesi Falletti’s C11 castle. Pedal on through archetypal Langhe countryside to Monforte d’Alba, whose lovely honey-coloured old town clings enchantingly to the hillside. Your hotel here is special too. (Staying at Villa Beccaris, Breakfast at the hotel, dinner at a local restaurant)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Monforte d'Alba

    You might not want to leave your gorgeous C18 villa hotel with private swimming pool, but it’d be a shame not to explore mediaeval Monforte. It’s a lively town with attractive buildings grouped around an atmospheric cobbled piazza. Maybe strike out a little further to Dogliani, dominated by its beautiful onion-domed church and famous for being at the heart of Dolcetto wine production. (Staying at Villa Beccaris, Breakfast at the hotel, dinner at a local restaurant)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Monforte d'Alba to Benevello 21km/13.5mi or 35km/22mi

    Your final cycling day starts with a gentle coast along the Rea valley before a steady climb takes you to a stunning panoramic ridge. Weave through fields of wildflowers and sleepy hamlets to Serravalle Langhe, a great lunch spot with belvedere views. You pedal onwards alongside chestnut-carpeted hills with delightful vistas once more to reach your beautiful country hotel at Benevello. It’s time to enjoy the pool and jacuzzi before dinner. (Staying at VIlla d’Amelia, Half Board)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Benevello
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Where you stay
Relais Villa d’Amelia
The Relais Villa d’Amelia is a luxuriously restored 19C family villa (and a member of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’), just outside the Alta Langa village of Benevello. The Villa d’Amelia has 37 ensuite rooms including three suites (one of which is located within the old chapel!) decorated in a modern style with neutral paints and dark leather and beech furnishings. The hotel also boasts a central courtyard with sofas and chairs for relaxing outside, and a stunning lounge area complete with a grand piano! Facilities at the hotel include a sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, and lovely outdoor swimming pool.
Hotel Villa Lauri
The small yet cosy, family run Hotel Villa Lauri is situated on the fringes of the old walled town of Neive. Dating back to the 1800s, the villa has a panoramic terrace and pool with sweeping views over the Langhe hills and vineyards. Each of the 12 rooms is individually decorated in bright colours and all feature ensuite bathrooms.
Casa Pavesi
Casa Pavesi is located in the heart of the hamlet of Grinzane Cavour – located just 5km away from Alba – and directly opposite the village’s elegant 11C castle. The hotel is a stylishly restored town house with 12 ensuite, individually decorated rooms, which are quite large and opulent. There are two cosy public rooms with comfy sofas as well as a small bar in the same area. There is a lovely terrace to the rear of the hotel, affording gorgeous views of the Langhe countryside.
A Casa di Maria
Located in Grinzane Cavour in the heart of the Langhe A Casa di Maria is a modern residence with a large garden and an excellent view. Quiet and cosy it is the perfect spot to relax at the end of a long day.
Villa Beccaris
Hotel Villa Beccaris is a gorgeous 18C villa overlooking the beautiful town of Monforte d’Alba. The Villa has 23 rooms, which are divided into categories; Headwater guests will be allocated classic rooms. All rooms, however, are beautifully furnished in an individual, traditional style often with antique furniture but with modern touches. The Villa is located within beautiful gardens and has a panoramic swimming pool which overlooks the honey-coloured town, surrounding countryside and mountains beyond. The hotel also boasts several elegant sitting rooms, its own enoteca and a very charming bar.
La Ribezza
As an alternative to Villa Beccaris, stays can be taken at la Ribezza. Just opened in 2018, la Ribezza is a stylish, modern boutique 5* hotel, located overlooking the Medieval town of Monforte with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and vineyards. Rooms are comfortable and elegantly styled in a mix of modern and classical design. Relax by the pool and enjoy the stunning views or soak up the ambience and the impeccable service in the exquisitely designed restaurant.
Relais Villa d’Amelia
The Relais Villa d’Amelia is a luxuriously restored 19C family villa (and a member of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’), just outside the Alta Langa village of Benevello. The Villa d’Amelia has 37 ensuite rooms including three suites (one of which is located within the old chapel!) decorated in a modern style with neutral paints and dark leather and beech furnishings. The hotel also boasts a central courtyard with sofas and chairs for relaxing outside, and a stunning lounge area complete with a grand piano! Facilities at the hotel include a sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, and lovely outdoor swimming pool.
Eating and Drinking

All buffet breakfasts and gastronomic dinners included.

You’ll enjoy gastronomic menus everywhere, either dining at your hotel, or at a specially selected restaurant close by. The cuisine in the Piedmont region is different to most other Italian regions, a fusion of the best of Italian and French food and certainly won’t disappoint gastronomes. Regional specialities include white truffles which are found almost exclusively in the woods around Alba. Hazelnuts are another locally produced ingredient that feature heavily on the menu. Cheese is also widely produced in Piedmont, such as Murazzano, made with full-cream sheep’s milk. Meals in the region always start with bread, your primo (first course) will usually be a pasta dish, such as agnolotti. Your secondo (main course) will then be something hearty like beef gently braised in Barolo wine. Meats such as pork, beef and veal are the popular choice of the region. Piedmont’s wine is famous throughout the world. The most famous are the wines of the Langhe, which produces Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Barbera as well as whites such as Asti and Moscato. Other highlights include Alba’s crimson, cobbled streets where you can sample the local chocolate.

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)
Average daily distance: 35km (22 miles).
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads with a few sections on dirt roads. The terrain is mainly undulating but the distances are kept relatively short to give you lots of time to enjoy the scenery. At one point the route heads to the Langhe Hills which is a hillier region. Alternative routes are available on some days and are detailed in the route notes.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 04/10/2019
5/5

Mr Berrey

A good cycling break with a wide variety of good eating. Spectacular scenery. Be prepared for some serious hill climbs if you don't use an electric bike, gradients up to 13%, but manageable for those who are used to it. The mobile phone based navigation leaves a bit to be desired: difficult to hear in traffic, difficult to see if you need reading glasses: and a few quirks. A back-up paper map is useful or possibly a Garmin type GPS works better. If you like cycling this is a great holiday: if you are an occasional cyclist it would be fair to say that some routes take the long and occasionally tortuous way round between places which are quite close to each other. A few sections use quite rough tracks: if you aren't confident riding over large pebbles and avoiding big potholes, take care! A great selection of wineries to visit, and if you are tempted to buy, many will ship it for you.

Reviewed On 24/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Harbach

Joanne Chaplin, our contact at Headwater was excellent, as were Phaedra and Paul our reps in Piedmont. The e-bikes were amazing - they made the whole experience a real pleasure and enabled our group of different ages and abilities to enjoy the cycling equally. Thank you for a really happy and memorable holiday.

Reviewed On 07/08/2019
5/5

Mr Avery

Great value holiday with very good back up service. Cycling offers a very good opportunity to see an area and experience it's culture while at the same time not feeling guilty for eating and drinking too much.

Piedmont is the next big thing in international tourism with its stunning countryside and world class restaurants so get in before it takes off.

Reviewed On 02/08/2019
5/5

Mr Lawson

You notice lots of detail when exploring a region by cycling at a gentle pace. You can stop whenever you want to and explore more or speak with people along the way. GPS is a must and saves so much time. The standard of hotel accommodation and cuisine at the end of each day's cycle is a delight. You feel yourself getting fitter and fitter with each day of your holiday. We enjoyed the Gastronomic Barolo Cycling so much two years ago that we returned this year and were not disappointed. We especially love Hotel Villa d'Amelia near Benevello.

Reviewed On 07/01/2013
1/5

Dr Johns

We've been on a headwater holiday once before (to Switzerland) and it was amazing - in fact it was the best holiday we'd ever had! However we were very disappointed this time. Although the scenery, accommodation and food were lovely the cycling was not enjoyable, it was punishing! Since this is the most important element of a cycling holiday it completely ruined our stay.

The difficulty rating was totally wrong. We're a couple in our 30's (not unfit) but not regular cyclists- the description suggested this would suit us fine and included descriptions of 'softly rolling hills'. This was certainly NOT our experience. The hills were steep and long and never ending.I'm aware that since we returned the difficulty rating has changed. Furthermore, the various stop-offs on the way (cafes etc) to refill water were closed due to the time of year (which we were not forewarned about) - considering the heat this made the cycling even more intolerable.

All in all very disappointing. We paid 5000 and were expecting another dream holiday. Instead we needed a week to recover once we got home.

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