Chianti is the highlight of any cycling tour to Italy. More than just a destination, Chianti is a cyclist’s paradise in the heart of Tuscany. If you daydream about bike tours on smooth quiet roads over rolling hills and then relaxing with long wine-soaked dinners, Chianti bike tours are for you! Let us share our top 5 reasons why Chianti is one of our favorite destinations for a cycling tour.
#1 – Quiet roads all to yourself
The small quiet local roads in Chianti have little traffic. This lets you soak in the sights and sounds of the countryside as you pedal between villages and hilltop towns. You’ll find plenty of space to breathe and chat with your mates while riding through forests, cruising ridges or up narrow winding roads into town.
#2 – Chianti landscape
Tuscany features rolling roads lined with cypress trees and red poppies, ancient olive groves, golden hillsides, and of course the world-famous vineyards. Chianti bike tours offer endless perfect views, each one better than the last. The ridges of the Crete Senesi are one Tuscany’s most unique features. These are a range of hills carved out of the region’s local grey colored clay. When you pull over to snap a photo, breathe in the air filled with rosemary, olives, and lavender. The roads in Chianti often tilt upwards. But you’re always rewarded with a beautiful descent. Just make sure you bring your climbing legs.
#3 – Ancient hilltop towns
Tuscany is famous for its medieval fortified hilltop towns. Smaller and historically more difficult to access, these towns offer an intimate glimpse into Italian life that goes back many generations. Towns highlighted on our Chianti bike tours are Greve in Chianti, Radda, Panzano and the tiny town of Castellina. Stage 9 of this year’s Giro d’Italia is a TT stage through these towns. Each has a unique historical town center and castles which you can find after winding your way through narrow streets. We love the quiet charm of Villa Le Barone in Panzano. Of course, no visit would be complete without seeing Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Siena is best known for the Palio di Siena, a fiercely popular horse race in Piazza del Campo.
#4 – Oh, the food!
Food is one of the biggest pleasures that bring travellers to Italy. Cuisine in Tuscany is characterised by simple preparation so that the flavors, aromas and textures do the talking. Olive oil is nearly as important as wine in this region, and brightens a fresh tomato bruschetta. Each region has its own specialty and entire towns smell of perfect pecorino cheese. For meat lovers there is not a better steak in the world than a perfectly grilled Fiorentina. It’s a good thing you’re doing lots of cycling so you can happily indulge each day.
#5 – Chianti wine
While this is the proper Chianti Classico region, nearby are the homes of Brunello, Vino Nobile and Vin Santo wines. You will pedal past countless vineyards and wine estates, many offering public and private tours and tastings. These wines are perfectly paired with the food above, and after a day of riding it’s the perfect way to celebrate each day in this spectacular paradise.