Superb hotels, world-famous wines and exceptional cuisine are just some of the reasons to choose this 8-night cycling holiday! The cycling takes you through softly rolling hills, sun-drenched hamlets and via the pretty wine towns of Barbaresco and Barolo.
Day 1: Arrive at Benevello Arrive at your stunning hotel just below Benevello. For dinner, you can head out to a local restaurant or book a table in the hotel's superb restaurant.
Day 2: Benevello to Neive 35km/22mi You'll start today with a gentle ride along an open road, with hawks soaring high above the breathtaking Langhe countryside. You visit lovely Mango, with its beautiful castle rich in WW2 history. Then on to San Stefano Belbo, the birthplace of one Italy's greatest writers, Cesare Pavese; the pretty old town makes for a lovely lunch stop. On the way to Neive, your cycle ride takes you past the famous Moscato vineyards before you arrive at your hotel, which boasts wonderful views over the verdant hills with vineyards cascading down.
Day 3: At Neive Neive is a great place to explore. Officially one of Italy's prettiest villages and home of Romano Levi, a renowned grappa maker, you can wander its cobbled streets that are lined with brightly-coloured flower boxes, or after a morning by the panoramic pool, cycle or take a local bus to nearby Barbaresco for lunch and cheese-tasting in the piazza. Enjoy some wine in the enoteca, housed in a 19th century church built by the locals in thanks for a good grape harvest! Or head across to the spumante capital of Asti, with its quaint cobbled centre. Each September the main piazza is home to a crazy palio horse race to rival Siena's!
Day 4: Neive to Grinzane Cavour 42km/26.5mi Leaving Neive behind, you undulate through the vineyards to Castagnole Lanze, before heading downhill to the River Tanaro to enjoy a lovely gentle ride along the river to Alba. There's time to explore the cobbled streets and bustling piazze of chocolate-perfumed Alba (the home of Ferrero Rocher). Then it's on to Grinzane Cavour where a warm welcome awaits at the elegant Casa Pavesi.
Day 5: At Grinzane Cavour Explore the UNESCO-recognised castle and indulge in a spot of wine-tasting. Then perhaps visit nearby Bra, a gastronomic treasure trove where the Slow Food movement was initiated - there's plenty of choice for a long, lazy lunch! There's lots to explore in the town too, including the 18th century Rococo church and the strange octagonal Zizzola, where local witches held their meetings. For the best views in the region, walk or cycle to La Morra, 'Balcony of the Langhe', spread out along a panoramic ridge above the vineyards.
Day 6: Grinzane Cavour to Monforte d'Alba 26km/16.5mi or 34km/21.5mi You'll cycle first through sunflower fields to Roddi, then on to Barolo, an ochre-hued village perched above its world-famous vineyards. The tangle of mediaeval streets are dominated by the Marchesi Falletti's 11th century castle. Pedal on through archetypal Langhe countryside to Monforte d'Alba, whose lovely honey-coloured old town clings enchantingly to the hillside. Your hotel here is special too.
Day 7: At Monforte d'Alba You might not want to leave your gorgeous 18th century villa hotel with private swimming pool, but it'd be a shame not to explore mediaeval Monforte. It's a lively town with attractive buildings grouped around an atmospheric cobbled piazza. Maybe strike out a little further to Dogliani, dominated by its beautiful onion-domed church and famous for being at the heart of Dolcetto wine production.
Day 8: Monforte d'Alba to Benevello 21km/13.5mi or 35km/22mi Your final cycling day starts with a gentle coast along the Rea valley before a steady climb takes you to a stunning panoramic ridge. Weave through fields of wildflowers and sleepy hamlets to Serravalle Langhe, a great lunch spot with belvedere views. You pedal onwards alongside chestnut-carpeted hills with delightful vistas once more to reach your beautiful country hotel at Benevello, where you can enjoy the pool and Jacuzzi.
Day 9: Leave Benevello
British Airways Heathrow to Milan Malpensa 09:15/12:15 then transfer to hotel 2 hours 10 minutes. Return: Transfer to airport 2 hours 10 minutes British Airways Milan Malpensa to Heathrow 18:50/19:00.
Add 512 single supplement. Single traveller supplement 188.
All buffet breakfasts
Relais Villa dAmelia (4 star) The Relais Villa d'Amelia is a luxuriously restored 19th century family villa (and a member of the 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World'), just outside the Alta Langa village of Benevello. The Villa d'Amelia has 37 ensuite rooms including three suites (one of which is located within the old chapel!) decorated in a modern style with neutral paints and dark leather and beech furnishings. The hotel also boasts a central courtyard with sofas and chairs for relaxing outside, and a stunning lounge area complete with a grand piano! Facilities at the hotel include a sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, and lovely outdoor swimming pool.
Hotel Villa Lauri (3 star) The small yet cosy, family run Hotel Villa Lauri is situated on the fringes of the old walled town of Neive. Dating back to the 1800s, the villa has a panoramic terrace and pool with sweeping views over the Langhe hills and vineyards. Each of the 12 rooms is individually decorated in bright colours and all feature ensuite bathrooms.
A Casa di Maria (3 star) Located in Grinzane Cavour in the heart of the Langhe A Casa di Maria is a modern residence with a large garden and an excellent view. Quiet and cosy it is the perfect spot to relax at the end of a long day.
Casa Pavesi (4 star) Casa Pavesi is located in the heart of the hamlet of Grinzane Cavour - located just 5km away from Alba - and directly opposite the village's elegant 11th century castle. The hotel is a stylishly restored town house with 12 ensuite, individually decorated rooms, which are quite large and opulent. There are two cosy public rooms with comfy sofas as well as a small bar in the same area. There is a lovely terrace to the rear of the hotel, affording gorgeous views of the Langhe countryside.
Villa Beccaris (4 star) Hotel Villa Beccaris is a gorgeous 18th century villa overlooking the beautiful town of Monforte d'Alba. The Villa has 23 rooms, which are divided into categories; Headwater guests will be allocated classic rooms. All rooms, however, are beautifully furnished in an individual, traditional style often with antique furniture but with modern touches. The Villa is located within beautiful gardens and has a panoramic swimming pool which overlooks the honey-coloured town, surrounding countryside and mountains beyond. The hotel also boasts several elegant sitting rooms, its own enoteca and a very charming bar.
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