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Mantua to Venice 8-day Bike & Barge Tour (AM)
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”.
Total Length: 190 km Total vertical up: 30 m Terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved. This cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily stages vary from 25 to 55 km – mostly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and canals, or quiet country roads. The boat is moored at night and typically sets sail after breakfast, meeting up with the bikes in the afternoon. Some parts of the itinerary are undertaken by boat, to allow easier access onto cycling paths or simply to enjoy the cruise. Easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for most people.
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)
Bike 85 Euros e-bike 195 Euros Helmet 15 Euros Superior cabin 140 Euro extra
For vegan and gluten-free diets a fee of 50 Euros will be invoiced when booking
If you would like to rent a bike please contact our office at time of booking [email protected]
Slow Tours offers a number of other Bike & Barge Tours in Europe
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.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|Sep 28 2019||Oct 05 2019||33||Single rooms||1,840€|
|Oct 12 2019||Oct 19 2019||33||Single rooms||1,840€|
|Oct 26 2019||Nov 02 2019||33||Single rooms||1,290€|
|Mar 28 2020||Apr 04 2020||33||Single rooms||1,290€|
|Apr 11 2020||Apr 18 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Apr 25 2020||May 02 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|May 09 2020||May 16 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|May 23 2020||May 30 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Jun 06 2020||Jun 13 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Jun 20 2020||Jun 27 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Jul 04 2020||Jul 11 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Jul 18 2020||Jul 25 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Aug 01 2020||Aug 08 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Aug 15 2020||Aug 22 2020||33||Single rooms||1,750€|
|Aug 29 2020||Aug 29 2020||33||Single rooms||1,960€|
|Sep 12 2020||Sep 19 2020||33||Single rooms||1,960€|
|Sep 26 2020||Oct 03 2020||33||Single rooms||1,960€|
|Oct 10 2020||Oct 17 2020||33||Single rooms||1,960€|
|Oct 24 2020||Oct 31 2020||33||Single rooms||1,290€|
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote