Cycling holiday Venice to Mantua

Venice to Mantua

Cycling along the Po-delta and Ferrara

Starting at € 830,-
Book now
Summary
  • 8 Days Saturday to Saturday
  • 42 km average per day
  • Arrival Venice Venice Airport
  • Departure Mantua Venice Airport
Highlights
  • Lugana, white wine
  • Fresh seafood, following traditional recipes
  • Po Delta Reserve, natural beauty and birdlife
  • City of Mantua, jewel of the Renaissance
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 Po-delta and Ferrara

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 cycling 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 birdlife. 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: Venice

    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 savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia

  • Day 2 Sunday: 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. After your guided tour, you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace.

  • Day 3 Monday: Venice–Pellestrina 30 km

    Leaving Venice behind after a gentle cruise in front of St Mark’s square, our first stop will be on Murano island, where we will visit a historic glass factory, with a glassblowing demonstration by a master artisan. Then our cycling adventure starts on the Lido, the first of two islands we traverse today. Fashionable in high society ever since the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival. A short island-hop by ferry takes us into another world: Pellestrina, where we ride past the picturesque cottages and boats of this humble fishing backwater. We rejoin our barge just in front of Chioggia – a bustling and colourful fishing hub known as “Little Venice”.

  • Day 4 Tuesday: Pellestrina – Adria 40 km

    We open the day with a stroll through Chioggia, followed perhaps by a visit up the millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. Weather permitting, we can also bask in the sun at a fine-sand beach nearby: a dip in the Adriatic, a hot savoury piadina – and you are well and truly local! Then onwards into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a colony of flamingos. We moor for the night in Adria, a key Roman port, once washed by the waters of the sea which bears its name. An after-dinner passeggiata into town for a well-earned grappa or gelato is in order.

  • Day 5 Wednesday: Adria – Ferrara – Zelo 35 km

    After a short cruise we saddle our bikes and, following the Po through farmland and hamlets, we reach 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 take us back to our floating hotel in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.

  • Day 6 Thursday: Zelo - Mantua 50 km

    This morning we head for the village of Bergantino, home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and its collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). But first things first: we are in the heartland of Grana Padano and after visiting the local cheese factory, we enjoy a degustazione of sharp and seasoned Grana, washed down with a glass of Valpolicella. After our customary picnic lunch, we leave Bergantino and follow the river to Ostiglia, famed for its medieval fortress and the fierce fighting that took place here in 1945, as the Allies and partisans drove Hitler's forces back. We ride on and rejoin our barge at Governolo Lock, where Mantua's River Mincio flows into the Po. Veering north, we cruise through the lush wetlands that finally emerge into the glorious "lakes" of Mantua.

  • Day 7 Friday: Mantua round tour 35 km

    A day dedicated to the discovery of this little visited cultural gem, its three picturesque “lakes” formed by the Mincio, and its surrounding countryside – once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family and now considered by many as Italy’s “Sleeping Beauty”. This afternoon we meet our Mantuan guide for a walking tour of the historic centre, and enjoy the rest of the day in town, at our own leisure.

  • Day 8 Saturday: Mantua

    Departure after breakfast

Cycling in Italy

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.

Venice, Grand Canal and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute
Venice
Chioggia
Po Delta Nature Reserve
Ferrara, Giuseppe Mazzini street with hanging umbrellas
Mantua
Grana Padano
Bergantino, Carousel museum
Mantua, Ducal palace and Mantua Cathedral

Travel dates

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

What else do you need to know?

Prices are per person 2021

Ave Maria

April 3
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin € 830,- 
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.030,- 
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin single use € 1.330,-
Upper deck: Superior twin cabin € 1.170,-

April 17 to August 21
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin € 1.290,-
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.490,-
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin single use € 1.790,-
Upper deck: Superior twin cabin € 1.630,-

September 4 to October 9
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin € 1.500,-
Lower deck: twin cabin from € 1.700,-
Lower deck: bunk bed cabin single use € 1.999,-
Upper deck: Superior twin cabin 1.840,-

Vita Pugna

April 10 to August 14
Lower deck: twin cabin € 1.220,-
Lower deck: cabin for single use € 1.570,-

August 28 to October 9
Lower deck: twin cabin  € 1.330,-
Lower deck: cabin for single use € 1.680,-

October 23
Lower deck: twin cabin € 930,-
Lower deck: cabin for single use € 1.280,-

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
  • App including maps, points of interest and GPS tracks
  • Digital tour information
  • 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 there 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 start cycling on the 3rd day. On the day of arrival you can leave the luggage on board anytime during the day but the cabins will be available from 4.30 PM to 7.00 PM (dinner time). Just before dinner, a meeting with the tour guide and the crew is scheduled. The mooring place of the barge is located in Giudecca Island - Fondamenta S.Giacomo 212/C.

Airport

VENEZIA MARCO POLO (VCE) -
Connection Alilaguna water bus:
from the airport of Venice you can reach the boarding point by sea with Alilaguna lines. Red Line Alilaguna (www.alilaguna.it) with stop on Giudecca island (stop “Zitelle”). This line works from 9.40 a.m. to 18.40 p.m. (transfer approx. 80 minutes, ticket 15 €). Blue Line Alilaguna: if you arrive later, you can take the Blue Line that works until 00.30 a.m. (transfer approx. 100 minutes, ticket 15 €). Stop: “Zattere”. From here you have to take the vaporetto Line 2, and get off at “Redentore”.
Connection shuttle bus:
from the airport you can reach Venice (piazzale Roma) by bus: the Fly Bus ATVO shuttle service leaves about every 20 minutes from 5:20 a.m. to 00:50 a.m.(transfer: 20 min; ticket: 8 €; www.atvo.it).

Train

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

Car

Venice is easy to find coming from the highway A4 Milano- Trieste. You can park your car in Venice in several parkings. You can also park your car in Mestre and reach Venice by public transport. Average of € 18,- per day.  Detailed information will be included in your travel documents.

End of the tour

You have to leave the boat after breakfast, not 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. How to go back At the end of the tour if you need to return to Venice, 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 direct connections, you always have to change in Verona Porta Nuova or Monselice. The transfer takes approx. 2.5 hours and costs about 13-30 € 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).

All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

  • 1 cycle computer
  • 1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
  • 1 water bottle (0.75 l)
  • 1 combination bike lock
  • 1 helmet suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61 cm

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).

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets

    Yes, this must be notified when booking, but at least 14 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 diet or vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • 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.

  • What packing list do you suggest

    Specialised cycle clothing may be handy but not strictly necessary. What you do need (among other things) is the following:
    •    shorts/ long trousers/ track suit/ legging
    •    shirts/ sweater/ rain clothing
    •    gloves (in case you travel in April or October. It can be chilly in the morning)
    •    good solid shoes/ sneakers
    •    sunglasses/ cap/ swimming costume​​​​​​
    •    personal care and beauty items
    •    hair dryer (220V; available on the barges Zwaan, Sailing Home and Provence)
    •    insect repellent
    •    sunscreen

    Your travel documents include the final packing list we suggest for your booked tour.