Biking through the vineyards of Chianti, Italy

Biking through the vineyards of Chianti, Italy

If you are looking for a way to see the vineyards of Chianti, taste some delicious wine and get out of Florence for a few hours, check out Tuscany Bike Tours.

Their website is currently being updated, but while in Florence last summer, my friends and I went on their tour for 60 euros. Included was transportation to and from Florence to the countryside, tour of a castle, wine tasting, lunch, water break and a bike tour. It is worth every penny.

Upon arriving at the Chianti castle, we got a tour of the castle and saw the wine and olive oil production sites. The tour included a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside, where we would later bike. The wine was delicious and the olive oil was amazing. All of the products are available for sale at the end of the tour. The guides helped everyone get a bike and helmet that fit them. They made sure that everyone's helmet fit correctly and that the bike was adjusted to their height. The number one concern was safety, as we bike on roads used by cars for the entire trip, and they made sure that everyone knew that if their biking skills were not up to par-they would be pulled off and ride in the van. This warning was serious. Two of my friends didn't bike the entire time because they were poor bikers, they admitted to having a blast in the van though.

The bike ride was absolutely breathtaking and about 12 miles long. The rolling green hills were on both sides of the road. We passed countless vineyards and olive groves, some that are used to make the very wine and olive oil we tasted at the castle. The first half of the ride was hilly but mainly downhill. Tuscany Bike Tours gives you a water bottle, so when you're thirsty you are good to go. You can go at your own pace, although if you're too slow or unsteady, your guide will put you in the van. Lunch was a giant spread of bread, pasta, salad, dessert and more wine. It was great to meet more of the people on the tour-since you don't really talk much when you're biking.

The second half of the bike tour started out with 3 miles of flat roads. Then came a steep hill, with an 11-17% grade. Most people walked up the hill or rode in the van, the brave biked it. My tour guide said it was hard for him-so I opted out so that I could enjoy the end of the tour on rolling hills. There was a water break at the top before riding back to the castle. Not only was it a beautiful ride, but it was also relaxing and a great work out.

It's worth every penny and a different experience than anything else that I encountered in my travels. I would recommend it to anyone that is in shape, is comfortable on a bike and loves wine.

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