Italy Bike & Boat / Veneto

Tour Dates: Weekly Saturday Departures March 26 – October 22, 2022

This Veneto bike tour (from Venice to Mantova) is entirely in the low lands and the daily cycling stages vary from 30 km to 55 km. Much of the pedaling is along rivers and canals on tarmac cycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic.

Starting from Venice, one of the most beautiful towns in the world, this itinerary winds its way along the Mincio and the Po, following the natural course of the longest Italian river. After a wonderful trip from the countryside of the Po Delta the tour finishes in the enchanting Renaissance town of Mantova.

The tour is entirely in the low lands and the daily cycling stages vary from 30 km to 55 km. Much of the pedaling is along rivers and canals on asphalt cycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic. The boat will sail some of the way during breakfast or evening meal to make getting out of the towns easier or to shorten the stages.

The route has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po and connects Mantova to the Adriatic Sea. A few weeks in the year, when the waters of the Po are favorable, the barge will navigate along the Po river. This means that some of the overnight stays will be modified. As the water levels change, we will modify some of the daily stretches or embarkation points. These decisions are taken by the boat’s captain.

This s a floating hotel with high quality meals served on board. The typical wooden cabin area and the comfortable air-conditioned living room will welcome you for a well deserved rest after a day on bike.

Tour Difficulty

This is considered an easy tour entirely in the lowlands. The daily cycling stages vary from 30 km to 55 km. Much of the pedalling is along rivers and canals on asphalt cycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic. The boat will sail some of the way during breakfast or evening meal to make getting out of the towns easier or to shorten the stages.

  • Difficulty: Relatively Flat
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid

Tour Highlights

  • Fabulous scenery
  • Cultural heritage
  • Incredible food and wine

2022 Price on Ave Maria Boat:

(Capacity 40 guests – 4 superior double cabins above deck, 2 cabins can accommodate 4 people with 2 bunk beds, 10 standard double cabins below deck – 3 of these can accommodate 3 people with a twin and a bunk bed, 3 double cabins with a bunk bed below deck – also available as a single cabin)
All cabins have en suite bathroom and air conditioning, sizable windows but only the superior cabin windows open.

€1160 standard cabin per person (value season: March 26 & Oct 22)

€1640 standard cabin per person (value-plus season: April 9 – 23 and July 2 – Aug 13)

€1740 standard cabin per person (standard season: May 7 – June 18)

€1850 standard cabin per person (high season: Aug 27 – Oct 8)

Supplements:

  • €150 superior cabin (upper deck with windows that open)
  • €50 special diet (gluten-free and vegan diets)
  • €300 single cabin
  • €85 hybrid bike rental, €220 Electric bike rental
Price Includes:
  • 7 Overnights on the boat
  • 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, roadbook, 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
  • Guided visit in Mantua and Venice
  • 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-Adria
Price Does Not Include:
  • International Flights
  • Beverages on board, including alcoholic beverages
  • Museums, fees and extras in general
  • Ticket for public transportation in Venice and lagoon (we suggest the ACTV 48h-ticket, 30 €)
  • Venice Municipality Access Fee: it is expected to enter into force on January 1st, 2022 (approx. 18-30 € to be paid on site)
  • Gratuities
  • Everything not included in the section “Included”

Sample Itinerary

Day 1- Venice

Welcome on board! Ave Maria is moored at the Giudecca island, not far from St. Mark’s square. The cabins are available from 4 p.m. The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, at 7 p.m.

Day 2 – Venice

Free day at disposal. After waking up to a wonderful view over the lagoon, the tour starts with a whole day at your disposal, discovering the wonderful historical centre of the capital of the “Repubblica Serenissima”, or its wonderful islands.

Day 3 – Venice – Chioggia (approx. 30 km)

This is the most exciting day of the tour, riding along the two little narrow islands, which build the border between the sea and the lagoon. From Lido, one of the most impressive resorts and site of the cinema exhibition of Venice, you ride up to Malamocco, the first seat of the republic of the Doges. A short boat ride will then take you to the isle of Pellestrina with its nature reserve of Ca’ Roman and after the final few kilometers the boat leads you to the lively fishing harbour of Chioggia.

Day 4 – Chioggia –Albarella (approx 35 km)

You will leave the so called “small Venice” going south along the Po-Brondolo waterway and through the mouth of the River Adige. Pedalling between the wonderful nature reserve of the Po Delta, with its incredible number of bird species, you will then approach the island of Albarella.

Day 5 – Albarella–Porto Levante–Adria (approx 55 km)

You go deep into the maze of the Po Delta, pedalling in the heart of nature. The destination today is Adria, an ancient Greek port, famous for trading amber coming from the Baltic.

Day 6 – Adria–Ferrara–Zelo (approx 35 km by bike + 35 km by bus)

After a short navigation in the morning, you start cycling in the middle of the nature towards Ferrara, “the town of the bicycles”, still surrounded by the spectacular old city walls. In the afternoon a short bus transfer will bring you up to Bergantino, for a visit of a cheese factory and a short tasting session, before reaching Zelo.

Day 7 – Zelo –Mantova (approx 50 km)

A short stretch of navigation brings you to Torretta on the Fissero/Bianco canal. You cycle following the Po as far as Ostiglia, a small village with the ruins of a medieval fortress. After a few kilometres you finally reach Mantova, one of the most beautiful Renaissance towns of Northern Italy. A guided visit of the town will let you discover its famous jewels.

Day 8 – Mantova

End of services after breakfast if you haven’t booked any extra night.