Cycling Piedmont Wine Hills - Italy
Short walks of generally 3-4 hours plus optional day excursions; level or slightly hilly terrain using well kept paths.
2. Average/ Moderate
Easy day walks with more strenuous excursions. 4-5 hours per day in hilly to mountainous areas using well kept, sometimes stony paths.
Strenuous day walks or trekking in mountainous areas. 5-7 hours per day, sometimes carrying backpacks with stuff for one night; altitude differences between 1,500-3,000 ft. (500-1,000 m.) per day.
Serious excursions in high mountains, sometimes carrying backpacks with stuff for several nights. 6-8 hours per day; altitude differences up to 3,600 ft. (1,200 m.) per day. Only for those with an excellent condition and without fear of heights.
Easy cycling in nearly flat areas; Little or no experience needed. Approx. 20-50 km daily. Bicycles with up to 3 gears will do.
2. Average / Moderate
Nearly flat to hilly areas with the occasional short climb. Approx. 30-65 km daily. Bicycles with minimum 7 gears will do.
Strenuous cycling with some steeper climbs. Some experience needed. Approx. 30-75 km daily. Bicycles with up to 21 gears needed.
Serious and strenuous in mountainous areas. Slopes are longer and/or steeper. Good physical condition needed. Experience and a mountain bike needed. Approx. 30-80 km daily.
You can choose from 4 different levels of comfort, although most of our trips are rated 2 or 3 (or a combination of the two) on our accommodation scale. We try to provide en-suite rooms where possible but on occasions this may not be possible on some tours.
We are constantly looking for hotels, B&B’s, guesthouses and mountain huts that offer a special location, ambience or atmosphere that fits the trip. Accessibility to the route and personal hospitality of the owners are part of our choice of accommodations.
A hotel, a pension or a mountain hut with all the basic facilities. Most rooms have a shared bathroom.
Fine hotels or B&B’s with basic to moderate facilities. Almost all rooms have a private bathroom.
A 3-star hotel, B&B or guesthouse. Comfortable rooms with private en-suite bathroom and often air conditioning. Some accommodations might have a swimming pool.
A 4-star chateau hotel or guesthouse. The rooms are relatively large with en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. A warm welcome and a high quality are guaranteed. Some hotels have a swimming pool or sauna.
Welcome to this bicycle holiday in the Piedmont Wine Hills. A fine self-guided bike tour through the famous vineyards of Gavi, Barolo, and visit the historic Spa town of Acqui Terme. Explore Benevello and the ‘hundred towered’ city of Alba. You'll be able to meet with the locals and enjoy Italy at its purest.
Rolling green hills, with the white peaks of the Alps as a backdrop, crossing the varied cradle of ‘slow food’ movement, through the famous vineyards of Gavi, Barolo and Barbaresco. Taste the most famous regional dish: the spicy ‘Bagna Cauda’, many fine chocolates, cheeses and tasty salami’s and of course, the king of truffles, the famous white truffle of Alba. The lands of the Langhe and Monferrato, still to a great extend unknown to many, are unique places. Here you will find lots of good food, good wine and very special accommodation. This is a region for enjoyers! You start in the historic Spa town of Acqui Terme. Cycling through meadows and vineyards and meandering valleys topped with solid castles, you enter the area of the legendary Fausto Coppi. After crossing the fertile plain around Alessandria you reach the Monferrato hills. Here, remarkably enough, you hardly meet any tourists.
The panoramas with the Alps in the background are magnificent. You’ll visit charming, historical cities like Casale and Asti, both with labyrinths of cobbled streets and palazzo's, built from yellow Tuff stone. On the little squares, beneath the old arcades, you’ll find inviting shady terraces. You continue on to Benevello and on the way you pass the ‘hundred towered’ city of Alba, with Roman, Baroque and Gothic Architecture. This is also the centre of slow food and the famous Barolo and Barbaresco wines. From Benevello you make a lovely round tour, meandering over watersheds with astonishing views, through hazelnut woods and several chapels. Through the Bormida, valley, on a splendid little country lane, you’ll cycle back to Acqui Terme, along the way there are several nice fortified villages and castles. One thing we promise: if you join, you will discover some of the regions finest restaurants.
- Stay in a great accommodation, well known spa town and ancient wine producing estates
- Many occasions for tasting the best Italian wines and champagnes
- Rolling vineyards, and great views of the hills and Alps
- Authentic country towns and villages: Alba, Acqui Terme, Casale Monferrato, Asti
- Friendly people and quiet roads
- Total distance: 312 or 321 km, 194 or 199 mi.
The indicated routes on Google Maps are approximate.
Day 1 Arrival in Acqui Terme
After your arrival and check-in in the hotel there may be some time left to make a stroll through this former Roman Spa centre.
Day 2 Ovada - Gavi
Distance: 59 km, 37 mi. You will make a bike tour to Gavi through a delightful countryside of green, rolling hills. This is the region of the delicious white ‘Gavi di Gavi’ wine and the homeland of the legendary Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi. You will overnight in a splendid wine estate-countryside hotel, with a fine and well know restaurant.
Day 3 Gavi - Vignale Monferrato
Distance: 69 km, 43 mi. Today your cycle tour will take you from Gavi to Vignale Monferrato. In the morning you will descend to the lower and flat lands along the Tanaro river, a tributary of the river Po. After lunch you will continue your cycle route. This is the easiest part of the trip that will lead you along some small villages and old, massive castles. A lot of them are build from the red bricks which are characteristic of the region. At the end of the day you arrive in the wine capital of the area, Vignale Monferrato, where you will stay for two nights in a charming wine estate.
Day 4 Vignale Monferrato - Asti
Distance: 50 km, 31 mi, ↑280 m. Today you will make a nice and relaxed bicycle tour to the capital of the province: Asti. Before you get there you will cycle through rolling Barbera wine hills passing picturesque villages like Fubine, Montemagno and Portacomaro. In the town of Asti, who’s history goes back to the Neolithic age, you will overnight in a right in the historic centre. You can discover this so-called city of 100 towers right from the front door. So stroll along the Tower dei Comentini (13th century), the octagonal Torre de Regibus and Torre Troyana (13th century), as well as the ancient Rossa di San Secondo, built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Besides those towers Asti has a lot more to see.
Day 5 Asti - Benevello
Distance: 57 km, 35 mi. The bike tour from Asti to Benevello brings you right in the heart of one of the most prestigious wine regions of Italy: the beautiful land of Barolo. You will pass the city of Alba, capital of the hilly area of the Langhe famous for his white truffles, hazelnuts, peaches and top class wines. Take your time to visit the old centre, with pre-Roman origins. Of the Roman city, which had a polygonal form, you can still see parts of fortified gate and remains of some edifices with marbles and mosaics. After Alba you still have to cycle 15 km through a more hilly area to Benevello. The last climb is worth the effort as here you will stay in a very comfortable and stylish accommodation, a historic farmhouse, which has been recently completely restored.
Day 6 Benevello round trip
Distance: short route 23 km, 14 mi; long route 32 km, 20 mi. True cyclists will enjoy this beautiful and also a bit strenuous bike tour. Most of the bike route goes through the area of the so called Alte Langhe. Here, around old villages like Serravalle and Cissone, are grown one of the best quality of hazelnuts, used as the base for the famous Gianduia chocolate and in some of the delicious deserts for which the ‘Cucina Piemontese’ is well- known. Turning back in a northerly direction you will follow nice, winding back roads along steep Nebbiolo and Barbera vineyards and when the skies are clear, you can have spectacular views on the Alps.
Day 7 Benevello - Acqui Terme
Distance: 54 km, 34 mi. Your last cycle tour leads you from Benevello back to Acqui Terme, the place where you started a week ago. It will be a nice and summary of all the beautiful things you have seen in the Piedmont wine hills. Enjoy this relaxed riding day as most of it is along the Bormida River, have a look around in the old villages of Cessole and Bubbio and the wonderful bridge at Monastero Bormida. Once you have arrived in Acqui Terme take your time to do some Italian shopping, because this town is really well assorted.
Day 8 Arrivederci!
The bike trip ends after breakfast.
- 7 nights accommodation all rooms with private en-suite bathroom (for an image selection, please see Flickr)
- 7 nights on Bed & breakfast basis
- Luggage transfer from day 2 to day 8
- 24-hour Telephone assistance (simple puncture not covered)
- Detailed road book and maps
- 21 speed hybrid bike hire, helmet (puncture repair kit, pump, lock)
- Flights and public transportation
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Admissions and entrance fees of any kind (when not previously agreed upon)
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal extras and expenses such as meals, drinks, phone calls, etc.
- Any items not mentioned in the program
- Possible CITY TAX to be paid in cash on the spot (it varies depending on the city and on the hotel’s category)
Optional services (to be booked in advance):
- Additional night(s) at any of the accommodations (please use booking remarks field)
- Airport or station arrival and/or departure transfers
- 21 speed hybrid men’s bike hire, helmet (puncture repair kit, pump, lock, map holder) Bike is picked up and dropped off at 1st and last hotel. Rental bike price $Cdn 156.-
- Guided tour of Turin, Alba or Asti with a local private city guide
Moderate to demanding trip on hilly terrain. No shade on the roads. Daily climb between 400-800 m. The rides follow mostly well asphalted country lanes and secondary roads with little traffic. Near larger towns the roads are busier with traffic.
How to get there:
Best arrival airports are Milan Malpensa or Linate, Turin or Genoa airports.
You can take the train to Aqui Terme train station, which you also use at departure. From Milan Centrala station it takes about 4 hours, form Genoa about 80 minutes.
Tip: For online rail connections and reservations visit Rail Europe.