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Piedmont: Wine & Food Paradise

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Piedmont: Wine & Food Paradise
From £573 Apr to Oct
Accommodation Type:
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Moderate Trip code - IP12

Piedmont is a region with so much on offer. It has stunning lakes and mountains, world class food and wine, and plenty of history and culture. It really is a delightful place to cycle through and one that will entice you back time and time again.  Piedmont borders France and Switzerland and the regional capital is Turin.

The region is a mecca for gourmands from all corners of the world, who come to taste the wines, nibble on its cheeses, savor its stupendous meat dishes, and of course they come to taste the truffles. In the autumn, every small town in the region has a truffle, wild mushroom and/or wine festival which attract many visitors.

Your route takes you from the city of Alessandria through woods and small isolated villages, where you will sample local produce and sample excellent local wines, to Asti and then Casale Monferrato and the River Po. You have the option to enjoy a day excursion to Turin. Enjoy the cities and the countryside and the hospitality of many restaurants and wine cellars along the route in the wonderful cycling journey.

  • Alba, home of the most precious of the truffles- the Tartufo Bianco
  • A long lazy lunch in a local trattoria
  • Rolling Vineyards
  • The mountain views
  • Turin City, with its museums and Galleries
  • Delicious cheese
   Dates Adult(PP)
From 1 April 2017 to 31 October 2017
Saturday departures
£590.00

Supplements:

This tour is based on 7 nights in a mixture of 3/4* hotels. The tour is based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room. Applicable supplements to this tour are as follows on a per person basis:

  • Single supplement - £152.00
  • Bike hire - £64.00
  • Helmet hire - £14.00
  • Additonal nights - £50.00 in Alessandria (£68 single)
  • Upgrades - Please speak to us about upgrading hotels. Available on request.

Bikes provided are 27 speed city sport bikes equipped with 1 saddlebag, panniers, map holder and a repair kit.

Departures:

This tour runs every Saturday from April 7th to October 13th, 2012

What's included

  • 7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Emergency Telephone Number
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Trip planner with route notes and maps

What's not included

  • Bike hire
  • Drinks
  • Insurance
  • Local hotel taxes
  • Lunches & evening meals
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Day 1: Alessandria

Arrival in Alessandria, a city divided by the river Tanaro. Worth a visit is Piazza della Libertà and Piazza Duomo with its wonderful neoclassical cathedral.

Day 2: Alessandria –Acqui Terme Approx 50km

You cycle for a few Kilometers along the Strada Franca, an ancient road dating back to 1454. You will pass across smooth hills, woods and small isolated villages where you will be able to taste local products and excellent local wines (Barbera and Dolcetto d’Aqui among others). Aqui Terme: famous for its spring waters, like the “Bollente” situated in the historical centre.

Day 3: Acqui Terme–Alba Approx 55km

You come across the famous hills of the Langhe, the countryside and the vine- yards as well as the splendid small villages of Montabone, Rocchetta Palafea and Canelli. The stage ends in Alba, home of the most precious of the truffles, the Tartufo Bianco, and of the famous “Dolcetto d’Alba”.

Day 4: Alba–Asti Approx 40km

A route through vineyards and along panoramic paths which will eventually take you to Asti in the heart of Monferrato. Do visit the historical centre with its famous towers, the romanic monuments and the splendid gothic cathedral.

Day 5: Excursion to Turin or Asti roundtour Approx 35km

Today you have a choice between cycling across the Asti hills and their nature parks and a trip to Torino. You can reach Torino, the first capital of Italy, carrying the bike on the train. It is a city with splendid monuments, tree-lined roads and ancient cafés, which offer a choice of chocolate-based specialties.

Day 6: Asti–Casale Monferrato Approx 53km

Take advantage of the hospitality of the wine cellars and restaurants along the way, which offer an excellent enogastronomical choice. In Monferrato you will eventually meet the river Po, the longest river in Italy.

Day 7: Casale Monferrato–Alessandria

Further cycling across green hills and cultivated lands. Passing through the small villages on the right side of the Po river you will return to Alessandria where the tour ends.

Day 8:Casale Monferrato–Alessandria Approx 47km

Departure
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Frequently asked questions

1. How fit do I need to be for these holidays?

Our Bikecations are designed to attract people of all ages and levels of fitness. All the holidays can be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. Some holidays involve greater distances or frequency of cycling and some will cover hillier terrain than others. Our tour gradings and itinerary descriptions should help guide you towards the most suitable holiday options for you. If you are not sure, give us a call.

2. How many miles a day can I expect to cycle?

This depends on the Bikecation you choose. These have been graded so you know what to expect.

For a bikecation leisure cycling holiday a gentle pace is about 7-8 miles per hour, so, if you cycle for four hours, you can expect to cover 25-30 miles comfortably. This leaves plenty of time for sightseeing, picnics, visiting castles or churches, stopping for morning coffee or whatever you want to do. You have all day to get to your next stopover, so you can relax and enjoy the countryside. We can also include rest days when you can enjoy other activities if you require.

For our road cycling and bespoke tours for groups we will advise you what is best for the particular trip you wish to ride on. Usually we try to cover 60-100 miles at an average speed of 13.5 to 14.5 mph but this can be slower or faster depending on the group.

3. What do I wear for leisure cycling ?

It is important to be comfortable when cycling so we suggest wearing thin layers of clothing. Padded cycling shorts, a zipped top, windproof light jacket and trainers are standard fare. Fast drying and hardwearing synthetic fabrics are ideal as a base layer as these allow your skin to breathe and wick the moisture away from your skin to the next layer, avoiding the chill which cotton T-shirts can cause. In mid-summer you may just need shorts and a t-shirt. Safety helmets are strongly recommended on all Bikecation holidays and are a legal requirement in some countries so please bring your own helmet. We will send out a What to wear document to you well in advance of your Bikecation.

4. Are cycling holidays suitable for children?

Cycling can make an ideal family holiday, provided the right distances are chosen for the younger members of the party. We would suggest that you call us to discuss the most suitable tours for your children. In most places we are able to offer children’s bikes and child seats, if you have toddlers or babies.

5. How much luggage can I bring?

Your luggage is transported for you every day so bring what you need to make your holiday relaxing and comfortable. Please try and limit it to one item of luggage per person and that it is clearly labelled. On some tours there is a weight limit per item.

6. What happens to my luggage?

We want you to enjoy your Bikecation to the full so, for your comfort, we arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next. The only thing we ask is that you leave your suitcases in reception on setting out each morning, and the hoteliers will ensure that it is waiting for you at your next hotel. We will provide luggage labels for you. All you need carry with you are drinks, a camera, waterproofs and sun cream.

7. Is my money safe if anything happens to Bikecation?

Your money is safe when you book your Bikecation. To protect your payments fully, all monies paid by you to us for your holiday are held in a separate Client’s Trust Account and are not released to Bikecation until your holiday has taken place. This practice fully satisfies the requirements of EC and UK law. Please call us if you would like to discuss this further.

Bikecation is also fully licensed by ATOL ( no. T7462) that is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). for full details how how your payments are protected, please read our Your Financial Security page.

8. Do I need to bring my own bike? What type of bike should I bring?

We arrange for hire bikes to be provided for your holiday or tour. However, if you would prefer to bring your own bike then by all means bring it with you, but it must be in good working order. We recommend either a hybrid or a mountain bike fitted with road tyres for our leisure cycling holidays.

For our road cycling trips we can advise on what is best for your situation but we regularly transport bikes to the start destination.

If you do bring your own bike, you should insure it separately. Most household insurance policies can be extended to cover your bike whilst on holiday.

9. What happens if I have a problem with the bike or any other problem en route ?

If you are provided with a bike it will be well-maintained and serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems however, there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.
If you have brought your own bike and you are unable to fix it, we will find you a replacement for the rest of your holiday.

Our road cycling trips will also have back up support with a mechanic unless requested otherwise with a possible spare bike for any major problems.

10. What should I do about holiday insurance?

If you choose a holiday abroad, you should have adequate insurance to cover you for medical expenses and for cancellation or curtailment of your holiday. For holidays in the UK we recommend everyone should have holiday travel insurance. Not all insurance policies cover cycling daily so we recommend Campbell Irvine. For full information, please read our ‘Trip Preparation’ page

11. Where will I leave my car for the duration of the leisure cycling holiday?

In most cases you can leave your car for the duration of your holiday in the car park of the hotel used for the first night’s accommodation. Where parking is not available at the first hotel, you will be advised of the alternative arrangements made for you.

12. I’m on my own – Which holidays are best for me ?

Nearly all our holidays are open to single travellers, but our Group guided holidays may be of most interest. Group holidays give you the opportunity to meet others of like mind and to enjoy cycling together. The group ‘vibe’ continues into the evening if you decide to eat together. A guide will help you appreciate the history and culture of the area you’re visiting.

13. What type of accommodation can I expect?

There is a variety of accommodation ranging from Castles and Chateaux to small boutique hotels and good quality B&Bs, thereby offering a range of different priced holidays. If you have any questions regarding which accommodation is used in the trip you are interested in riding please contact the office.

14. What are the routes like?

The descriptions of our Leisure Bikecations indicate the main types of routes we use on each holiday, such as provincial roads, country lanes, dedicated cycle ways, some tracks and Casa Verdes (disused railway tracks). While we try to use quiet routes wherever possible, you should be comfortable riding occasionally in traffic. Traffic volumes can vary even on minor roads, especially in more popular tourist areas; we sometimes have to use short sections of busier roads to cross rivers or connect scenic routes, and traffic will inevitably be heavier in and near towns.

Some routes include occasional sections on unsurfaced tracks, but these don’t require any specific technical riding skills. If you are unsure of your level, or would like to know more about the cycling on specific holidays, then please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable reservations team.

15. Do I need to bring money for food?

All the holidays include a hearty breakfast each day. Some also include lunch and an evening meal. Where they are not included, you are free to choose where and when to eat. Some hotels will provide you with a packed lunch on request, but most people like the freedom of stopping at the place of their choice to experience the local cuisine. Some routes have been designed to incorporate gastronomic delights and will include an evening meal. Details are given with each individual tour.

16. Is it possible to extend one of the holidays from a few days to a full week?

We have the resources to design a tour to suit your requirements, incorporating rest days if desired, taking in places that are of interest to you. Give us a call and we will try to accommodate your wishes. The only constraint may be the availability of the accommodation.

17. Can you arrange flights for the overseas tours?

Flights are not included in the tour price, however we can book flights for you. Holding an ATOL licence means that if you book a tour and flight together with us you will have the added piece of mind of the financial protection offered by ATOL. If you prefer to book your own, we recommend that you wait until your tour booking is confirmed before you book any flights and booking separately means you will not be covered by ATOL. For full information on our flight services please contact us on email@bikecation.co.uk

18. When are the tours available?

Departure dates are shown for all tours. Please be aware that the holidays are very dependent on the availability of the selected accommodation. These have been chosen carefully, looking for a high standard to ensure you are comfortable at all times. During busy periods this is not always available, so we advise that you should book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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