Cycling holiday Mantua to Venice

Mantua to Venice

Cycling along the Venetian lagoon

Starting at € 890,-
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Summary
  • 8 Days Saturday to Saturday
  • 48 km average per day
  • Arrival Mantua Venice Airport
  • Departure Venice Venice Airport
Highlights
  • Mantua Italy's sleeping beauty
  • Venice city of gondolas
  • Walled town of Ferrara
  • Po’s delta unique wetland park
Characteristics
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Barge
  • Bikelevel 1

    The lightest cycling holiday, covering largely flat terrain, suitable for everyone and people of all ages; with distances to 45 kilometers. You spend about 4 hours on your bicycle.

Cycling along the Venetian lagoon

Mantua to Venice blending nature, culture and fine cuisine, this leisurely bike and barge tour along the waterways of the River Po offers more than just a taster of Northern Italy.

This bike and barge tour explores celebrated cities of art, one of Europe’s prime Nature Reserves and a wealth of tucked-away rural hamlets along the route, rewarding our daily rides with authentic regional dishes back on board. From the glory of Venice, the lagoon leads us to colourful Chioggia. Next up, the natural wonders of the Po Delta, famed for its bird life. Then Adria. Once a key Roman port, and onwards to Ferrara and Mantua – once major city states crowned by the Italian Renaissance.

Daily Program

  • Day 1 Saturday: Mantua

    We welcome you aboard your new home-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, along with a first refreshing aperitivo. After dinner we can stroll into town and savour the historic centre at its most evocative: Benvenuti a Mantova!

  • Day 2 Sunday: Mantua round tour 35 km

    A day dedicated to the discovery of this cultural gem, its three picturesque “lakes” formed by the river Mincio and the surrounding countryside. This afternoon we meet our Mantuan guide for a walking tour across the historic centre: starting from Piazza Sordello with its magnificent cathedral and Palazzo Ducale, we will walk through the city centre up to Piazza delle Erbe. Here we will admire the Clock Tower, the Rotonda di S. Lorenzo (the oldest church in town) and the Cathedral of St. Andrew, a jewel of Renaissance art and architecture. We will learn why Mantua, once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family, is now considered by many as Italy’s “Sleeping Beauty”. (The programme may be subject to changes)

  • Day 3 Monday: 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 sweeps of the levee towards Ostiglia, renowned for its medieval fortress and fierce fighting in 1945, as the Allies drove Hitler's forces back.
    Next: Bergantino, home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and its collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). This village is also in the heartland of Grana Padano – the arch-rival of Parmesan – and a visit to the local cheese factory, sampling some well seasoned Grana, is de rigueur. We catch up with our barge in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.

  • Day 4 Tuesday: Zelo – Ferrara – Adria 50 km

    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 attracted architects, artists and scholars for centuries, pioneering 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 its Etruscan and Greek heritage. An after-dinner passeggiata into town for a well-earned grappa or gelato is in order.

  • Day 5 Wednesday: Adria – Pellestrina island 40 km

    After a short cruise, we cycle into the Po Delta Nature Reserve, the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime 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! Chioggia is also known as “Little Venice”, a colourful fishing hub. The overnight takes place on the Island Pellestrina, just in front of Chioggia.

  • Day 6 Thursday: Pellestrina island – 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. We will also visit a historic glass factory on Murano island, with a glassblowing demonstration by a master artisan. After rejoining our barge, an unrushed cruise in front of St Mark’s square 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!

  • Day 7 Friday: Venice

    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 held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries – both as a military power and a beacon of culture, her explorers reaching as far as China and Newfoundland. The guided tour will start from Piazza San Marco with a brief description of the monuments around it; then the walk continues towards the biggest “sestiere” of the city, Castello, up to Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo with its imposing gothic church and the Scuola Grande di San Marco (today city hospital). The guided tours ends at the Rialto Bridge; you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace. (The programme may be subject to changes)

  • Day 8 Saturday: Venice

    Departure after breakfast.

Cycling in Italy

Cycling from Mantua to Venice

Cycling from Venice to Mantua

Route profile

  • Total length: 190/205 km

  • Total vertical up: 20 m

  • Terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved

Summary: 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 barge 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 barge, to allow easier access onto cycling paths or simply to enjoy the cruise.

Mantua
Mantua Cathedral and Palazzo Ducale
Ferrara, Giuseppe Mazzini street with hanging umbrellas
Po Delta Nature Reserve
Chioggia
Venice, Grand Canal and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute
Venice

Travel dates

Departure
End
Accommodation
Starting at
Availability
Departure
27 Mar 2021
End
03 Apr 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 830,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
03 Apr 2021
End
10 Apr 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 930,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
10 Apr 2021
End
17 Apr 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
17 Apr 2021
End
24 Apr 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
24 Apr 2021
End
01 May 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Limited
Book
Departure
01 May 2021
End
08 May 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
08 May 2021
End
15 May 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
15 May 2021
End
22 May 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Limited
Book
Departure
22 May 2021
End
29 May 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Limited
Book
Departure
29 May 2021
End
05 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
05 Jun 2021
End
12 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Limited
Book
Departure
12 Jun 2021
End
19 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
19 Jun 2021
End
26 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
26 Jun 2021
End
03 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
03 Jul 2021
End
10 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
10 Jul 2021
End
17 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
17 Jul 2021
End
24 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
24 Jul 2021
End
31 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
31 Jul 2021
End
07 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
07 Aug 2021
End
14 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
14 Aug 2021
End
21 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.290,-
Availability
Limited
Book
Departure
21 Aug 2021
End
28 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.220,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
28 Aug 2021
End
04 Sep 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.500,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
04 Sep 2021
End
11 Sep 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.330,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
11 Sep 2021
End
18 Sep 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.500,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
18 Sep 2021
End
25 Sep 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.330,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
25 Sep 2021
End
02 Oct 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.500,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
02 Oct 2021
End
09 Oct 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.330,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
09 Oct 2021
End
16 Oct 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 1.500,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
16 Oct 2021
End
23 Oct 2021
Accommodation
Vita Pugna
Starting at
€ 1.330,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
23 Oct 2021
End
30 Oct 2021
Accommodation
Ave Maria
Starting at
€ 830,-
Availability
Fully booked

What else do you need to know?

Prices are per person 2021

Ave Maria

March 27 & October 23
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin € 830,-
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.030,- 
Upper deck: Superior twin cabin € 1.170,-

April 10 to August 24
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin € 1.290,-
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.490,-
Upper deck: Superior twin cabin € 1.630,-

August 28 to October 9
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin € 1.500,-
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.700,-
Upper deck: Superior twin cabin € 1.840,-

Vita Pugna

April 3
Lower deck: twin cabin € 930,-

April 17 to August 21
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.220,-

September 4 to October 16
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.330,-

Not included
Rental bike per week € 85,-
E-bike per week € 220,-
 

Reservation costs € 20,- per booking.

Included

  • 7 overnights
  • Full board (breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
  • Coffee and tea and other hot drinks on board
  • Sheets and towels
  • Complimentary courtesy kit
  • Daily short cleaning and mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
  • Bike helmet
  • Travel Guide, Maps, Roadbook
  • English speaking tour leader within an international group
  • Second tour leader with a minimum of 25 people (only aboard Ave Maria)
  • Guided visit in Venice and Mantua
  • Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
  • Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
  • Visit of a historic glass factory on Murano island
  • Harbour charges
  • Bus transfer Ferrara-Zelo / Ferrara-Adria

Not Included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Cabin for single occupancy (Standard cabin): € 350,- (only available on the lower deck)
  • Bicycle rent
  • Personal insurance / Cancellation insurance (optional)
  • Beverages
  • Museums and extras in general
  • Ticket for public transportation in Venice and lagoon (we advise ACTV 48hr. ticket 30 €)

Special details

  • This tour will be operated by our local partner.
  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of gluten-free, lactose-free or vegan diet here is an additional charge of € 50, - per week.
  • Tour programme variations: The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/ Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po river 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.

Info

Saturday is the day of arrival on board and you will start cycling the following day. On the day of arrival you can leave the luggage on board anytime during the day but cabins will be available from 4.30 p.m. At 6.30 p.m. a meeting with the tour guide and the crew is scheduled. The departing harbour in Mantua is located in Porto Catena. 

Airport

Mantua is connected with the following airports: Verona: 45 km, Venice: 120 km, Treviso: 130 km, Bergamo: 150 km, Milan: 180 km.  VERONA VILLAFRANCA CATULLO (VRN) - www.aeroportoverona.it
Connection shuttle bus + train: from airport to Verona train station: every day the Aerobus shuttle service leaves MILANO MALPENSA (MXP) - www.milanomalpensa-airport.com
Connection by shuttle bus/train + train: - from airport to Milano Centrale train station: the Malpensa Express train leaves every 30 minutes from 5:43 a.m. to 09:43 p.m. and at 10:43 p.m. (transfer: ca. 50
min; ticket: 13 €). There is also the Malpensa shuttle bus, which leaves from the airport about every 20 minutes, from 5 a.m. to 1.20 a.m. (transfer: ca. 60/70 minutes; ticket: 10 €); - from Milano Centrale train station to Mantua: direct connections or with change in Verona Porta Nuova (transfer approx. 120/150 min, ticket about 11-35 € depending on the type of train).

Train

For further information on timetables and prices you can consult the following website: www.trenitalia.com.

Car

The city of Mantua is located near the Brennero highway A22. You can park your car in Mantua in several parkings. From these parkings you can walk to the harbour (about 20 min. from the farthest parking) or you can take a taxi.

End of the tour

You have to leave the boat after breakfast, no later than 9.00 a.m. At the check-out you must return the keys of the cabin to the crew and pay the extra drinks (cash or by credit card). Please remember also to return the books and/or brochures you used for consultation. At the end of the tour if you need to return to Mantua, the easiest and cheapest way is to take the train.The towns of Mantua and Venice/Mestre are well connected by train, there are about 15 trains per day between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. There are no directconnections, you always have to change in Verona Porta Nuova or Monselice.The transfer takes approx. 2.5/3.5 hours and costs about 20-35 € per person depending on the type of train. For further information on times and costs please consult the website www.trenitalia.com.Private transfer: it must be requested and paid at the booking time (quotations on request).
 

By this tours you can rent the following bikes:

  • Rental 27-gear unisex City Bike

    A low entry unisex frame, ideal for an upright but relaxed riding position. Standard bikes have 27 gears 

  • Rental E-bike

    Unisex low-entry frame. Bosch motor. Range: approx 90 km (flat terrain, average speed). 

A barge as your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins (twin or double), but some barges also have single and triple cabins. All cabins have airconditioning; central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. Hair-dryers are available on request. The cabins on the Ave Maria  also have a safety deposit box. There is limited storage space in the cabins. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing. The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. The tour leaders are experienced enthusiastic travelers who have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, peoples, cultures and local food. Thanks to their knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice on how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix a flat tyre. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German.

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 21 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
In case of Celiac; gluten free, lactose free and vegan diets there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board.  It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays).

Travel documents

Before your arrival, you will receive an email from us with the digital information material. It contains:
1. Link to download the App including maps, points of interest and GPS tracks (you can use the App offline, too)
2. Link to download the tour information material in Pdf:

  • Tour notes
  • Final tour details
  • Travel guide with valuable information about the history, artistic heritage, landscapes and places of interest of the areas you pass through during your tour. Plus: local events, fun facts, suggestions on how to make the best of an extended break along the route, and tips on local wining and dining.

F.A.Q.

  • Can I rejoin the barge before the end of a stage

    No, the barge doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.

  • How large is the group on board a Bike & Barge holiday

    The size of the group depends on the barge scheduled on the tour. The capacity of the barges varies between 10 and 170 participants. A guided cycling group consists of no more than 26 people.

  • What happens if it rains

    Most people wear rainwear and get on their bicycle. If the weather makes cycling absolutely impossible (this doesn’t happen very often!) the guide will arrange an alternative programme which might include a longer visit to one of the towns along the way or cultural excursions.

  • What is the average age of the participants

    The ages vary between 35 and 75, but of course we have younger (even babies and kids) and older guests. In particular it is quite possible during the school holidays that children might be booked on your tour.

  • Which countries do the participants come from

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and France. However we regularly welcome South Africans and Japanese guests.The common language on board is English.