Tuscany and Provence 2017

Tuscany and Provence

13 nights

(20th June 2017 to 02nd July 2017) 

You could read the books, or watch the movies, “Under the Tuscan Sun” or “A Year in Provence” from your couch, or you could live the amazing adventure of touring these regions from the seat of a motorcycle! 🙂

From the romantic sun and wine soaked villages which cling to every hill, the cypress tree lined driveways, the rocky Chianti and flat sea breezed coast of Tuscany, to the contrast of Provence, with its lavender fields, sunflowers, vineyards and chateaus, this tour takes in the best of these two beautiful regions.

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13

Nice, France – 0 km
eu-bike-tours_niceToday the group arrives in Nice and the preparations for the tour start.  We will make our way from the airport to the hotel, check in, freshen up and spend some time relaxing in the comfort of the hotel.

Our motorcycles will be delivered to the hotel, but before we get to ride them, we will take a short walk to the rental station in the afternoon to sign the necessary paperwork and drop off any excess luggage for storage.  On our return to the hotel, we will pack the bikes and pimp them out for the journey that lies before us.

In the early evening we will have a GPS overview and a briefing on the tour and what to expect.  Dinner will be served at the hotel and we will get an early night in preparation for the next day’s early start.

Nice, France to Mannaioni (San Gimignano area), Italy – 450km

Breakfast will be served in the hotel and we will get going shortly afterwards.  We will soon head out of Nice and take the fastest route to Tuscany, where we will spend two nights in the same hotel.

Our first day is fairly long but an easy ride.  Over the next couple of days, we will be backtracking on ourselves and get to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Tuscan area.  There are some tolls on our route today, but we will steer clear of tolls and highways for the rest of the trip.  Once we arrive in Mannaioni we can freshen up and enjoy a drink at the hotel before we have dinner.

Mannaioni (San Gimignano area) , Italy – Outride – 185km

Today’s ride will encompass just about everything that Tuscany has to offer including vineyards, fields of sunflowers, medieval towns and some well-known cities.chianti

Our route takes us through San Gimignano, an Italian hill town of Tuscany with its old town centre encircled by 13th Century walls.  We will get to see and enjoy the fountains and towers of San Gimignano before we move onto Sienna and then through the Chianti region.  The landscapes of the Chianti region make for excellent photographs, with their gentle green hills covered with wide fields of vineyards, olive groves and small stone villages.

Stop at a local Chianti farm to taste some of the glorious Chianti, or relax over a cup coffee in one of the many villages.  We then head off to Florence and then South again into the countryside to return to our hotel.

Freshen up, meet for a catch-up with fellow riders, share stories and photographs and enjoy dinner in the restaurant

Mannaioni (San Gimignano area), Italy to Faggiona (Cinque Terra), Italy – 340km

Today we ride towards the Tuscan coast to the well-known Cinque Terra.  The pearl of Italy’s Riviera Cinque Terra is not a city, per se, but a collection of five seaside villages that are together celebrated as an UNESCO World Heritage site.  It comprises the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, all of which are perched high above the quite Mediterranean below.

eu-bike-tours_cinqueterraFour of the five villages are pedestrian only and we can explore these the following day.

Our hotel for the next two nights is about 20 km inland from Monterosso al Mare.  Dinner is served in the hotel tonight.

Faggiona (Cinque Terra), Italy – Rest Day

Today is a rest day, but of course you can do an outride if you like, or you may want to spend the day walking through the pedestrian villages.

We suggest a visit to one or more of the villages on the Cinque Terra.  You can hike between villages, go by train and return via small ferry.

eu-bike-tours_cinque2 Enjoy the villages, street cafes, narrow alleys and beaches, and take in the bright and varied pastel colours of the region.  Returning to hotel we will be able to relax and chat.  Long after dinner is served we may find people still talking about their Cinque Terra experience.

Faggiona (Cinque Terra), Italy to San Remo, Italy – 350km

eu-bike-tours_sanremoToday we hug the coastline know as the Italian Riviera.  We will pass Genoa and Savona on our route to San Remo.

We will occasionally head inland to get away from the hustle and bustle of the coast and to experience some of the very close twists and turns.  Our hotel is in San Remo for two nights so relax and catch up with friends back home by posting your pics on Facebook, or other social media before dinner.

 San Remo, Italy – Outride – 190km

eu-bike-tours_genoaToday’s outride will be quick blast inland and to the North of San Remo through some rural passes and farmlands.  Not too much of a long day so that we can enjoy what Italian Riviera has to offer.

Return to hotel freshen up and take a stroll towards the promenade of San Remo and soak up the sun whilst enjoying an Aperol Spritz at one of the many street cafes along this beautiful strip

San Remo, Italy to Verdon Gorge, France – 250km

eu-bike-tours_du-verdonAs we leave the Italian Riviera behind us today we head into Provence.   We ride inland towards Alpes de Haute-Provence.  

The many twists and turns will eventually reveal the Verdon Gorge, which is known as the Grand Canyon on France.  

The canyon is 25 kilometres long and up to 700 meters deep where the turquoise-green Verdon river cuts the ravine.  The river flows into the artificial lake of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon.  Heading on the ‘Route des Crètes’ we will have many opportunities to stop at the many view points and take a look and a couple of photos.  Tonight we will stay in one of the villages near the Canyon.

Verdon Gorge, France to Barbentane (Avignon), France – 200km

eu-bike-tours_hotelWe leave the Canyon behind us and head into the heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and into the regional park of Luberon.  

This park is a living space and spans 185,000 hectares around the Luberon Massif.  We will be stopping for lunch or coffee and a refreshment or two at Ménerbes, which is a walled village on a hilltop in the Luberon Mountains.  

After this we will head towards Barbentane near Avignon. Avignon is on the left bank of the Rhône River and its ancient town centre is enclosed by its medieval ramparts.  Between 1309 and 1377, during the Avignon Papacy, seven successive Popes resided in Avignon. Arrive at hotel, freshen up, have a swim or simply enjoy the gardens of the hotel.  After having sundowners, we will have dinner in the hotel.

Barbentane (Avignon), France -Outride – 150 Km

After breakfast in the beautiful hotel garden we will spend the day exploring the most beautiful area of Provence.

First stop will be Avignon with its historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral and the Pont d’Avignon.  Second stop will be the quaint town of Arles where Van Gogh spent his last days painting.eu-bike-tours_avignon1

Then onto to The Pont du Gard an ancient Roman aqueduct that crosses the Gardon River in southern France.  Located near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard, the bridge is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50 kilometre system built in the first century AD to carry water from a spring at Uzès.

A visit to the towns of Nimes and its arena is also recommended.  Back at the hotel we will relax and chat about the day before enjoying the table d’hôte dinner at the hotel.

Barbentane (Avignon), France to Ancelle (Gap), France – 250 km

eu-bike-tours_duleberonToday we leave the Luberon Region and ride out towards the region known as Drome Provençale.  This is a wine growing area with many lavender fields and historic small towns.  

Enroute we conquer the ‘Beast of Provence’ known as Mount Ventoux.  At 1,912m, it is the highest mountain in the region and has gained fame through its inclusion in the Tour de France cycling race.  

We then head Northwards towards Ancelle (Gap) in the Écrins National Park.  Arriving at the hotel have a swim and a rest and enjoy dinner in the hotel.

Ancelle (Gap), France – Outride – 280km

Today the Écrins National Park is our playground.  Our outride will take us in a circular route around the park and will include the following passes; Col de la Morte, Col de Malissol, Col de l’Holme, Col de Moissière, Col du Galibier and the fantastic Alpe d’Huez.  Leaving Ancelle Southwards, we will pass over the Lake de Serre-Ponçon.

eu-bike-tours_coldugalibierThis lake is the is one of the largest artificial lakes in Western Europe.  We then head East and North through Briancon onto Col du Galibier.  

Riding North to Valloire and onto to Huez we will stop and enjoy a coffee.  Heading South West, we arrive back at the hotel in Ancelle.  It will be a long day in the saddle so enjoy a swim and put your feet up.

Ancelle (Gap), France – Nice, France – Grandes Alpes – 320km

After breakfast we ride back towards the city of Nice.  Our route takes us along the Routes des Grandes Alpes Southwards to the coast.  The Route des Grandes Alpes is sometimes called the granddaddy of motorcycle touring and in our experience, it certainly is!

 It crosses over 16 passes and is considered one of the best routes in the world that one can travel on a motorcycle.  It is the cherry on the top and a great way to end our tour.eu-bike-tours_col-du-turin

Arriving in Nice we will hand back our motorcycles and take a short walk to our very comfortable hotel. Tonight we will share stories and photos and enjoy the last night with all new and old friends.


Pricing and Options

A non-refundable deposit of 30% of the tour price is payable by end of November 2016.

Please note: Pricing is quoted in Euros and conversion to South African Rands will be done at the prevailing exchange rate

Total Tour price excludes applicable taxes

Included in tour price:

motorcycle hire for 12 days (unlimited mileage)

full luggage system (top case and two side pannier cases)

navigation system with European maps and tour routes

limited insurance excess (350 Euro) in the event of damage

hotel accommodation & buffet breakfast daily

10 dinners included on tour

Excluded from tour price:


fuel costs

toll fees & road taxes

personal travel & medical insurance


leisure activities

drinks & refreshments


2 dinners not included on tour

applicable taxes

Tour Summary

Tuscany and Provence
Italy| France |
20 June – 02 July 2017

  • Start / End  Nice, France
  • Total Distance  Approximately 3 200 km’s
  • Total Time  13 days
  • Riding Days  12 (4 optional rest days)
  • Rest Days  4
  • Breakfasts & Dinners  13 Breakfasts & 13 Dinners
  • Daily Mileage  Approximately 250 km’s
  • Weather  Long summer days with a possibility of some rain
  • Roads & Terrain  Winding Tuscan Coasts, Twisty Provence National Parks and Alpes-de-Hautes.
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