Italy 8-day Bike & Barge Tour from Mantua to Venice - beautiful cycling around the Po valley
This tour offers you a unique opportunity to experience by bike the North of Italy along the Po valley, following the course of the Po, the longest Italian river. You start with a full free day in Venice, before setting sail to explore the Venice lagoon and the bustling fish market of Chioggia. Cycling along waterways and through hamlets, you ride in the Po Delta, a unique wetland park which is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to several colonies of flamingos. Further on you’ll discover Adria, which gave the name to the Adriatic Sea, and Ferrara, the town of cyclists. Finally, you have the chance to discover the enchanting Renaissance town of Mantua, considered Italy’s “sleeping beauty”.
The boat is equipped with:
4 Superior Double cabins (two of these can accommodate up to 4 persons adding 2 bunk beds) above deck, approx. 11 m2
10 Standard Double cabins (three of these can accommodate up to 3 persons adding 1 bunk bed) below deck, approx. 11 m2
3 bunk bed cabins (also available as Single cabins) below deck, approx. 7.5 m2.
All cabins enjoy sizeable windows (the ones in the Superior cabins can also be opened), comfortable low beds, en-suite facilities and air conditioning. Bed/bunk size is 2.00 x 0.80 m. Most of the double beds can be separated into two single beds.
The air-conditioned living area measures 11 x 7.5 m and is divided into two parts:
the Restaurant (up to 33 seats) and the Lounge (up to 28 seats).
Free hot drinks machine (including Italian ground coffee)
Large 55” screen in the lounge for video
Dedicated bike storage (for approx. 40 hanging bikes)
Hair-dryers (limited number) available on request
There is a free wi-fi connection on board which normally works during the whole tour.
We remind you that the boat is not like a hotel, so during the journey you will always hear some sort of underground noise.
Full board (breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
Coffee and tea and other hot drinks on board
Sheets and towels
Daily short cleaning + mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
Travel Guide, Maps, Roadbook
English speaking tour leader within an international group
Second tour leader with a minimum of 25 people
Guided visit in Venice and Mantua
Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
Bus transfer Ferrara-Adria
Boat excursion in the Nature Reserve of the Mincio Park
Beverages on board
Museums, fees and extras in general
Ticket for public transportation in Venice
Everything not included in the section “included in the price”
If you would like to rent a bike please contact our office at time of booking firstname.lastname@example.org
Bike 85 Euros e-bike 195 Euros Helmet 15 Euros
For vegan and gluten-free diets a fee of 50 Euros will be invoiced when booking
We welcome you aboard your new home away from home from 4.30 p.m. onwards and then regroup for the introductory briefing – at 6.30 – with your tour leader, skipper and crew. You will also receive a first refreshing aperitivo. After dinner we can stroll into town and savour the historic centre at its most evocative: Benvenuti a Mantova!
Mantua round tour (35 km)
Ruled by the House of Gonzaga for four centuries, the city state of Mantua attracted a host of famous names from across the art world – from Rubens and Mantegna to Monteverdi and Mozart. Up until this very day the town is renowned for it's international book festival. A ride through the centre soon takes us past Palazzo Tè, on the outskirts, the Gonzagas' summer residence. Next we head to the hamlet of Grazie and it's historic church: a site of pilgrimage adorned with an intriguing host of wooden figures that personify the many torments that pilgrims of yore could identify with. A cruise on a local barge takes us home through a waterscape rich in birdlife, lilies and other aquatic flora. In the afternoon we meet our Mantuan guide for a walking tour of the historic centre and enjoy the rest of the day in town, at your own leisure.
Mantua – Zelo (50 km)
After breakfast, we set sail from the "lakes" of Mantua and cruise through the lush wetlands that lead to Governolo Lock, where Mantua's River Mincio flows into the Po. Here, we saddle up and follow the broad curves of the levee towards Ostiglia - renowned for its medieval fortress and fierce fighting in 1945, as the Allies drove Hitler's forces back. Next is Bergantino. Home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and it's collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). This village is also in the heartland of Grana Padano, the archrival of Parmesan. We visit the local cheese factory, sampling some well seasoned Grana. Finally, we catch up with our barge in the sleepy village of Zelo, on the Canal Bianco - the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.
Zelo – Ferrara – Adria (50 km by bike + 60 km by bus)
This morning we cross the Po and ride southwards through a patchwork of farmland, orchards and hamlets, as far as Ferrara. Under its ruling family, the Este, this city state has attracted architects, artists and scholars for centuries. It has pioneered town planning principles that have been emulated worldwide ever since. To this day, Ferrara University ranks among the best, and the town is dubbed the ''Cycling Capital of Italy". A private bus and trailer then take us back to our floating hotel in Adria, an ancient Roman port once washed by the sea which bears its name. Adria is also renowned for it's Etruscan and Greek heritage. An after-dinner passeggiata into town for a well-earned grappa or gelato will then be in order.
Adria – Po Delta Nature Reserve – Chioggia/Pellestrina (40 km)
After a short cruise, we cycle into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is an important reserve in Europe for herons and home to a sizeable colony of flamingos. Weather permitting, as we continue towards Chioggia, we can also enjoy a break at a fine-sand beach nearby for a dip in the Adriatic – not forgetting a hot savoury piadina! Also known as "Little Venice", the colourful fishing hub of Chioggia is a great place to "go local", and what better way than by making your own bigoli for dinner? This quintessentially Venetian type of pasta is at its best when made fresh, and a delicacy served with a creamy baccalà sauce.
Chioggia/Pellestrina – Venice (30 km)
Venice beckons, but first another world altogether: Pellestrina, the first of two islands we traverse today – a humble and tranquil fishing backwater, picturesque as ever with its cottages, boats and nets. A short island-hop by ferry lands us on the Lido. Fashionable in high society ever since the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. After rejoining our barge, an unrushed cruise takes us to our final destination. After dinner we can savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia!
After breakfast and perhaps following a wander off the beaten track with your tour leader, we all meet up with our Venetian guide for a tour through the historic centre. Christened La Serenissima ("The Most Serene"), the Venetian Republic dominated much of the Mediterranean and beyond for centuries both as a military power and a beacon of culture. Some of her explorers reaching as far as China and Newfoundland. After your guided tour, you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace.
Departure after breakfast.
The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/ Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po and connects Mantua to the Adriatic Sea. Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the boat’s captain.
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Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|Mar 30 2019||Apr 06 2019||33||Single rooms||1,290€|
|Apr 13 2019||Apr 20 2019||33||Single rooms||1,290€|
|Apr 27 2019||May 04 2019||33||Single rooms||1,290€|
|May 11 2019||May 18 2019||33||Single rooms||1,510€|
|Jun 08 2019||Jun 15 2019||33||Single rooms||1,510€|
|Jul 06 2019||Jul 13 2019||33||Single rooms||1,510€|
|Jul 20 2019||Jul 27 2019||33||Single rooms||1,510€|
|Aug 03 2019||Aug 10 2019||33||Single rooms||1,510€|
|Aug 17 2019||Aug 24 2019||33||Single rooms||1,510€|
|Sep 28 2019||Oct 05 2019||33||Single rooms||1,690€|
|Oct 12 2019||Oct 19 2019||33||Single rooms||1,690€|
|Oct 26 2019||Nov 02 2019||33||Single rooms||1,690€|
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