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Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling

from $2,149.00

Wonderfully easy hotel-to-hotel cycling route exploring the pretty villages, villas and castles of the Venetian countryside. Lots of historic interest and great regional cooking! A day trip to Venice is a ‘must’ with Padua and Vicenza also within reach.

  • Reviews 43 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy
    3/8
All about the Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling.

Our undiscovered corner of Veneto, just 60 minutes (but a world away) from bustling Venice, is the perfect setting for a relaxed cycling holiday. Nestled between the art cities of Padua, home to one of the oldest universities in the whole of Europe, and UNESCO-recognised Vicenza, the region is bursting with Patrician villas – built by Venetian nobles to escape the muggy heat of the city – and ancient castles, although it is surprisingly almost entirely untouched by tourism. Palladio was the most famous Renaissance architect and many of his buildings, including the Villa Rotonda, can be visited on day 7 of this interest-packed itinerary.
We take you across the Venetian plain, past cherry orchards and swaying vine terraces, with the outline of the conical shaped Euganean Hills and imposing Colli Berici acting as a constant backdrop. The cycling is wonderfully gentle, over the flatlands of the plain and the low foothills of the Colli Berici, along peaceful canalside paths, cycle tracks and quiet country roads, passing sumptuous villas and historic towns with wine-tasting opportunities on the way.
En route the cuisine is fabulous, home cooked fayre and you’ll stay with some of the friendliest people we’ve ever met. In Teolo you’ll stay at Tiziana’s lovingly restored Liberty villa, whilst there’s a warm welcome at Valfrido and Angelina’s charming agriturismo near Vicenza, and at the Ottolitri family’s hotel just outside Galzignano.

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 continental breakfasts and evening meals included
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • GPS route navigation provided
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • RidePlus route options (more challenging routes)
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • RidePlus road bike (inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Totally unspoiled, easy cycling off the tourist trail – great for first timers!
  • Characterful, friendly hotels; great Venetian home cooking
  • Steeped in history: medieval castles, Palladian villas, Roman roads
  • Venice, Verona, Padua and Vicenza all within reach on your rest days
  • Lots of wine-tasting opportunities
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive at Cortela

    Arrive at your friendly agriturismo run by Gabriella and Alessandro, in time for dinner. (Staying at Agriturismo Il Feudo, Half Board)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Cortela to Galzignano 37km/23.5mi

    The day starts along the canalside path to Este. This delightful mediaeval town with its pastel, arcaded buildings boasts a C14 castle and an altar piece by Tiepolo in its Cathedral. Your next stop is Monselice. You can visit its mediaeval castle (converted into a sumptuous residence for a Venetian noble in the C15). From Monselice you follow the canal past the C19 Villa Italia, before arriving at Sig Ottolitri’s friendly, family run hotel just outside Galzignano. (Staying at Belvedere Resort ai Colli, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Galzignano (Optional) 17km/11mi

    It’s a lovely circular cycle (route notes provided) to Arqua Petrarca, unchanged since the 1370’s when Petrarch lived here. Visit his well-preserved house before pedalling off through vineyards to the fabulous Villa Barbarigo at Valsanzibio, the delightfully manicured C17 Italian gardens here are the best in the region. (Staying at Belvedere Resort ai Colli, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Galzignano to Teolo 34km/21.5mi

    Cycling through swaying vines you reach the charming village of Battaglia where there’s time for a spot of wine tasting. You must try the local Serprino, a medium dry frizzante wine often compared to Prosecco, before carrying on through the spa towns of Montegrotto Terme to the pre-Palladian villa at Luvigliano. After admiring the elegant villa you cycle upwards to Teolo, your hotel is an elegant villa perched high above the town. (Staying at Villa Lussana, Half Board)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Teolo

    A former Roman settlement, Teolo’s heyday was in the C15 when it became the summer home of Venice’s doges escaping the heat on the coast. Many palazzi and formal gardens from the period remain. You could take a walk in the encircling Euganean hills (360 degree views from here) or maybe take the bus into Padua to admire the town’s Giotto frescoes. Or, for a longer day out, take the bus/train to Italy’s most romantic city, Venice. Enjoy a cappuccino in St Mark’s Square, take a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs, admire the opulent gold decor of the Doge’s Palace or visit the Peggy Guggenheim Exhibition. The list is endless! (Staying at Villa Lussana, Half Board)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Teolo to Villaganzerla 38km/24mi

    Today starts with a 1km climb from the hotel, followed by an exhilarating freewheel down through the Euganean Hills to the mediaeval castle at San Martino. Then, cycling by the Bacchiglione River you reach Cervarese Santa Croce in time for a relaxed lunch in the square. Onwards, it’s into wine country once more to reach your charming farm hotel at Villaganzerla where you’ll receive a warm welcome from Valfrido and Angelina. There’s time for a dip in the pool (typically open June – early September) before dinner. (Staying at Agriturismo L’Albara, Half Board)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Villaganzerla (Optional) 34km/21.5mi or 38km/24mi

    You could laze by the pool but it’s a shame to miss out on Vicenza! A cycle path (those feeling lazy can catch the bus) takes you there past the famous Palladian villa, La Rotonda. nicknamed ’Venice of the Terra Firma’ for its marvellous architecture, Palladio designed dozens of the city’s buildings, from the Basilica Palladiana in the main square to the Teatro Olimpico. There’s plenty to explore. (Staying at Agriturismo L’Albara, Half Board)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Villaganzerla to Cortela 40km/25mi

    Today’s route follows the Strada del Tocai Rosso (the only area outside of Hungary where the red Tocai is grown). The wine road links a string of pretty villages, each with their own Venetian campanile. Then it’s out across the plain to reach Vo Vecchio, criss-crossed with canals. The Euganean hills are spread out in front of you as you cycle through the vineyards to Gabriella and Alessandro’s farmhouse for your last dinner. (Staying at Agriturismo II Feudo, Half Board)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Cortela
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Where you stay
Agriturismo Il Feudo
This lovely agriturismo is a charming, tranquil place in the middle of vineyards. Run by Gabriella and Alessandro – it’s been in their family for over 200 years! – the family make their own olive oil and honey as well as their own wine. Your evening meal is Gabriella’s home-made regional fayre. The agriturismo offers 6 rooms, which are simple but comfortable, with polished pine floorboards, brightly coloured counterpanes and ensuite bathrooms. The dining room also has quite a rustic but homely feel to it, with stone walls, exposed wooden beams and brightly coloured table cloths.
Belvedere Resort ai Colli
The Hotel Belvedere is situated in the outskirts of Galzignano,on the edge of the vines on the way to the nearby wine village of Torreglia. You’ll feel immediately at home here – especially given the warm welcome you receive from the hospitable Ottolitri family. The hotel is cosy throughout, from the welcoming lounge area where you can relax before or after dinner with its pastel coloured, cosy armchairs and open fire, to the bedrooms, all decorated in their own floral pattern.
Villa Lussana
Villa Lussana is a beautifully restored Liberty villa, with an attractive peach and white facade. The hotel is run by Tiziana and Alessio. Being slightly above the main square, the Villa’s large terrace enjoys glorious views over the picturesque collection of houses of Teolo and the surrounding, imposing Euganean Hills. The rooms are elegantly furnished to match the Liberty decor, which has been maintained throughout. They have all the modern comforts too, which are cunningly concealed behind the grandiose decor.
Agriturismo L’Albara
The Agriturismo L’Albara is situated about 1km from the centre of the tiny village of Villaganzerla in the middle of rural farming land. The area is known for its olive and cherry trees. L’Albara is run by Valfrido, Angelina and their family. They are keen for you to discover the very best that this delightful region has to offer – from must sees around Venetia, to the local cuisine! Everything here comes freshly prepared according to what’s in season and the wines come straight from their own vineyards! The bedrooms here are cheerfully decorated with wrought iron bedsteads, bright coloured throws and polished wooden floors. They are all ensuite. The dining room is light and airy, with exposed wooden beams and dark wooden tables with views over the surrounding fields – the perfect setting for your evening meal.
Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and evening meals included.

The Veneto ranks as one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the country. You will see fields of maize and barley everywhere. It is also a big area for fruit; expect to eat cherries, peaches, melons, plums, pears, strawberries and apples. The cuisine varies from the coast up into the mountains and reflects the region’s mixed cultural past. Nearer to Austria in the mountains, you get a more Tyrolean cuisine with dishes such as apple strudel creeping onto the menu, whereas towards the coast, you will find a lighter cuisine with lots of fish dishes.

Three typical dishes you are likely to find throughout the region are baccalà (air-dried salted cod soaked and cooked to a creamy consistency in garlic, parsley and olive oil), carpaccio (now seen on menus throughout Italy and even internationally, this is thin slices of very rare beef sprinkled with lemon juice and garnished with parmesan cheese, mushrooms or even white truffles according to the season and the restaurant) and polenta (made from maize, this is served as an accompaniment to meat or fish).

Cycling Conditions

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance on move on days: 34km (21.5 miles).
No. of days cycling: 6
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. 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.

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.

We take you across the Venetian plain, past cherry orchards and swaying vine terraces, with the outline of the conical shaped Euganean Hills and imposing Colli Berici acting as a constant backdrop. The cycling is wonderfully gentle, over the flatlands of the plain and the low foothills of the Colli Berici, along peaceful canalside paths, cycle tracks and quiet country roads, passing sumptuous villas and historic towns with wine-tasting opportunities on the way.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 04/11/2019
5/5

Mr Bridge

Very enjoyable rides with a range of scenery and interesting places to visit. Vicenza and Padua which we visited on bike free days were particularly beautiful.

The bikes were fantastically maintained by our rep James - in contrast to Headwater agent holidays that we've been on before.

Reviewed On 25/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Bergin

Beautiful area of Northern Italy - it was a total feast for the senses. Our rep was the best ever and our first cycling holiday in Italy was a lovely experience overall.

Reviewed On 24/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Hunt

My friend and I had a great holiday. I had previously been on cycling holiday with Headwater, about 7 years, ago level 2 ish - from Auxerre in France. Comparing the two, the ride was not significantly harder than this one at level 1.

The cycling routes were good and quite varied with some hills and beautiful scenery. Sometimes it was difficult to hear the GPS in traffic but most of the routes were on cycle paths or quiet roads. I came home feeling very relaxed.

Reviewed On 23/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Oliver

GREAT HOLIDAY. ALL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS WENT TO PLAN. THE VENETO AREA IN ITALY IS SUPERB FOR CYCLING AS THE ROADS ARE VERY QUIET AND THE CYCLE TRACKS ALONG THE CANAL WERE LOVELY. GPS WAS REALLY GOOD AS WE DIDN'T HAVE TO KEEP STOPPING. THE WRITTEN ARRANGEMENTS WERE ALSO VERY GOOD WITH EXTRA INFORMATION ON VISITING PLACES ON FREE DAYS. WE WERE A GROUP OF FOUR WHICH WAS PERFECT AS WE COULD KEEP TOGETHER MOST OF THE TIME. WOULDN'T HESITATE TO BOOK ANOTHER CYCLING HOLIDAY WITH HEADWATER AND AM ALREADY LOOKING AT THE BROCHURE FOR NEXT YEAR!

Reviewed On 22/08/2019
5/5

Mr Hems

We enjoyed this holiday in this lovely Veneto region which seemed unspoilt and with few tourists. Particularly enjoyable were our visits to Padua (by bus) and to Vicenza by bike. Particular highlights in these cities were the stunning Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (book on line the day before), and the ancient indoor theatre in Vicenza. The weather was particularly hot (early July) for the duration of our holiday and we were glad to have booked a couple of extra days of relaxation at the L'Albara which had an excellent pool. It also had air conditioning which we considered an essential feature during our stay. Unfortunately we were moving on on a Monday when a couple of the best reviewed villas were closed. Cycling was generally easy and flat apart from the climb up to Hotel Lussana with four hairpin bends, and the final day with a climb up and down hills before our last stop at Il Feudo. Generally we were very impressed by the very many cycle paths in this area.

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May 9, 2020
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May 13, 2020
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