Saddle up: the best cycling trips for 2017

Whether you’re a potterer or a road warrior we’ve found a trip to suit everyone

Tuscan wine safari
Difficulty ★
“Leave the Lycra at home” is the motto of this saddle-top bacchanalian blowout. The eight-day trip features a punishing programme of six wine tastings, four vineyard visits, a private wine lesson and even the chance to spend the night in a vineyard. The cycling? Oh, yes. A 275-mile loop from Cortona — the “balcony of Tuscany” — over the course of the week. Which sounds demanding until you learn that you’ll be perched on a gel-seated, battery-powered Raleigh Trekking eBike, that there’s a well-stocked support vehicle to sweep up any stragglers, and that all the tricky navigation stuff is done by a guide, who, with a bit of luck, will be considerably less squiffy than you. 
From £2,495pp, full-board; italyebikesafari.com. Fly to Perugia with Ryanair

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/saddle-up-the-best-cycling-trips-for-2017-0c9g2wcsw

All copyright acknowledged. This article appeared first in The Sunday Times, Sunday 29th January 2017. 


 

BEST 100 HOLIDAYS 2017

The best active holidays for 2017

Easy cycling, Tuscany


What we like most about Cycling for Softies is that it doesn’t make the slightest effort to suggest that its itineraries are anything other than gentle pootles around pretty parts of Europe to fill the time between gourmet lunches and boozy dinners. It even supplies electric bikes, so you don’t have to sweat the hills. That’s particularly handy in the rolling landscape of Tuscany, and new for 2017 is a seven-night self-guided tour that starts in the hill town of Cortona and wobbles down into Chianti. The rides last for about three hours a day and lead you through a painter’s paradise of cypress groves, vineyards and exquisite villages such as Castelnuovo dell’Abate and medieval Asciano, where you could easily stay put for ever. Don’t miss the chance to soak your not-very-sore muscles in the hot springs at Bagno Vignoni. Accommodation is in some rather lovely inns, designer properties and working farms, and prices start at £1,475, B&B, including bikes and luggage transfers, but not flights ...."

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2017-01-15/travel/active-holidays-set-your-hearts-racing-lvz5fzz25

All copyright acknowledged. This article appeared first in The Sunday Times, Sunday 15th January 2017. Cycling for Softies is Inspired ITALY's exclusive travel agent partner in the UK.


The 50 best holidays in Italy

The best trips for 2017

E-biking in Tuscany and Umbria

It might call itself a cycling tour, but this new holiday from Cycling for Softies is more about gliding effortlessly between indulgent meals rather than pedalling frantically. The tour is with E-Bikes, which offers electric as well as leg-power, and the itinerary includes daily recommendations for the best restaurants in towns such as Montone and Gubbio, as well as for the rest day in Assisi. The tour can be done as a group or self-guided.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2017-01-14/travel/the-50-best-holidays-in-italy-hgsfqkdvh

All copyright acknowledged. This article first appeared in The Times, Saturday 14th January 2017. Cycling for Softies is Inspired ITALY's exclusive travel agent partner in the UK.


Pedal Plus Power

"Don’t imagine an e-bike will do all the work for you – you still have to make quite a bit of effort." That suited Deborah Maby


On a Ski Safari in the Dolomites

"Why stay in one place on your ski holiday? Go for a tour of mountain refuges in Italy instead," says Christian Wolmar.

 


Ski Safari in the Dolomites

"A ski safari doesn’t mean roughing it in freezing cold bivouacs. Three women friends leave the crowds (and their husbands) behind to sample a week-long adventure in the beautiful Italian Dolomites with Inspired Italy."


Huts Don't Have to be Hardcore ..

.. especially when you're staying in the jewel of the Dolomites," by Johnny Richards


Take it Easy on Alpe di Siusi

"Sometimes skiing is not about clocking up epic powder days or mile after mile of challenging runs. Instead, it’s about taking time to appreciate the sheer beauty and joy of being in the mountains." Roger Fulton finds a natural high amid the UNESCO World Heritage landscape of Italy’s Dolomites


ALL COPYRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGED