Italy & France
Bike-Barge Tour


Burgundy - Loire Valley, France
& Mantova to Venice, Italy


Week 1

01 April - 08 April 2017

Burgundy & Loire Valley, France


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The small region in Burgundy between Montargis within the Loire Valley and Nevers is well-suited for both cycling and boating. Following the flow of the Loire River, this Loire Valley bike tour gently rolls through green countryside with charming little villages sporadically intermingled. The rich landscape bears many fruitful vineyards. Of particular fame are the wines from Pouilly-sur-Loire and Sancerre; and of course there are the Burgundy (Bourgogne) wines, said to be among the most prestigious in the world.

The first full day of this Loire bike tour will take you to the Château of Apremont, dating back to the 12th century and lavishly surrounded by gardens. The ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire follows with a 16th century stone bridge. Wine-tasting in the region of the Pouilly Fumé wines and the Sancerre vineyards will not be missed, followed by a trek through St. Brisson Forest. With the forest's fresh air, you will next cycle to the Château of Pont Chevron. Through a beautiful region of lakes and past a few more castles you will cycle the Loire and visit Chatillon-Coligny and it's famous market. You will spend some extra time Rogy-les-Sept-Ecluses and this is also where the tour comes to an end.


Daily Itinerary


Halfway in the afternoon you will leave from Gare du Nord by coach to Cours-les-Barres. You arrive in the beginning of the evening at the ship where you meet the crew and settle in. Subsequently dinner will be served aboard.


Cycle trip: +/- 50 km. From Cours-les-Barres you cycle to the town of Apremont. You may visit the 12th century castle and its fabulous gardens. After that we cycle on to the beautiful town of Nevers. The trip ends again in Cours-les-Barres.

Cycle trip: +/- 55 km. First we sail in the morning to the village of Beffes. The cycle trip takes you to La Charite-sur-Loire, an ancient Roman town. Crossing the 16th century stone bridge to the centre, you have a splendid view over the town and its Notre Dame church. Then you enter the region of the Pouilly Fume wines. In Menetreol, situated under the Sancerre vineyards, you will be given the opportunity to try some wine.

Cycle trip: +/- 50 km. For a start you visit Sancerre and then take a picturesque route right across the Sancerre vineyards. Your cycle ride continues and passes several wine villages that are situated in impressive and attractive scenery. The trip ends in Beaulieu, the stop for the night.

Cycle trip: +/- 40 km. By bicycle you pass the historic locks of Chatillon-sur-Loire and the aquaduct that will take you over the river Loire later on. After St. Brisson, where you pass a nice castle, you start your way back to the barge, while enjoying the fresh forest air in the Foret de St. Brisson. In the evening you cross the river Loire through the magnificent aquaduct and stop for the night in Briare.

Cycle trip: +/- 45 km. First you have some time to explore Briare. The cycle trip leads to the castle. Pont Chevron which is picturesquely situated at a small lake. Via Ouzouer-sur-Trezee you go right across an area with some lakes to the 16th century castle near Bleneau. Your trip ends in the village Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, known for its seven historical locks.

Cycle trip: +/- 50 km. The barge will stay in Rogny. Today you will cycle to the market in Chatillon-Coligny, from where the trip continues to the castle in La Bussiere. Via Escrignelles the tour ends back in Rogny.

In the morning you may wish to go for a stroll. At approximately 11.30 hrs. Your guide & crew will say good-bye and you travel by coach to Paris.


Comfort Barge Anna Maria


This ship is especially suited to motor the narrow French canals. The relaxed atmosphere aboard makes you feel at home. Most cabins have private facilities though two cabins share a bathroom.
 All cabins have a sliding window and an electrical fan.

  • Capacity: 16 passengers
  • Length x Width: 38 x 5.05 meters
  • Bed length: 1.90 x 0.70 meters
  • Cabins: 7 bunk bed cabins with private facilities; 1 cabin with shared bathroom

All the cabins have a wash basin, and contain bunk beds with only 2 per cabin

Included in tour:

  • Stay aboard in double cabin (8 days/7 nights)
  • Full board (breakfast & packed lunch + 3-courses dinner)
  • Tour leader
  • Visit to Castle
  • Visit Winery
  • Information booklet
  • Bicycle with 21 gears and cycle bag
  • Transfer Paris/Gare du Nord-Barge v.v.


Not included in tour:

  • Journey to and from Paris Gare du Nord
  • Helmets are not available on board
  • Bicycle insurance 16.5 Euro per person
  • Excursions not in program
  • Drinks on board
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Travel Insurance

Week 2

08 April - 15 April 2017

Mantova to Venice, Italy


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Comfort barge Vita Pugna

Never before has there been a bike and boat tour in Italy like this! You relax on board your boat during your evening sailing, without the worry of shuffling from hotel to hotel.  Wake up refreshed and prepared to tackle your daytime cycling experience through the stunning Italian countryside dotted with historic villages along your biking route.

Your  tour starts in Mantova (Mantua) Italy– beautifully surrounded by lakes. Its centro storico (historic centre) is not to be missed, with its abundance of fascinating piazzas, churches, monuments and courtyards! You will visit Castelguglielmo. Travelling through small villages and hamlets, you’ll make your way to Ferrara, known as the City of the Renaissance and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other highlights include Adria, once an Etruscan city, and Porto Levante, a fascinating port town with incredible seafood and fantastic views. You will enjoy the great wildlife of the Po Delta National Park and the coastal town of Chioggia, Venice in miniature with great medieval architecture and a famous fish market. Your cycling adventure ends in the great city-on-water, Venice. This city is a delight of lavish pallazi, elaborate bridges, quaint piazzas and magnificent churches all crammed into a maze of narrow streets and canals.


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Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Mantova
Your cabin on the barge is available from 4:30 p.m. The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, at 7 p.m.


Day 2: Mantova, round tour (40 km up 0 m).
An entire day dedicated to the discovery of this little visited cultural gem, its three picturesque “lakes” formed by the river Mincio, and the its surrounding countryside – once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family and now considered by many as Italy’s “Sleeping Beauty”. In the late afternoon a local guide will lead you through  highlights of this quaint village.


Day 3: Mantova-Governolo-Zelo (50 km by bike, elevation up 0 m)
A short cruise along the lush banks of the Mincio takes us to Governolo, where it flows into the Po and forms the largest inland basin in Italy. At Governolo Lock, once a vital staging post for local navigation, we saddle our bikes and follow the Po through Ostiglia (famed for its medieval fortress and floating mill) and on to the village of Bergantino. Here we visit the charming Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum. Finally, we reach Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.


Day 4: Zelo-Ferrara-Adria (50 km by bike + 60 km by bus, elevation up 0 m) 
Following breakfast we continue our bike and boat adventure cycling towards Ferrara, another key City State of ancient Italy. You will visit this historic town and discover its little touched centre, still surrounded by the original city walls. From Ferrara a short transfer by private coach will take you to Adria. Once close to the shores of the sea which bears its name, Adria was an ancient Greek port, famous for trading Baltic amber. Its remarkable museum also bears witness to its Etruscan, Roman and Venetian heritage


Day 5: Adria-Porto Viro-Chioggia (40 km, elevation up 0 m). 
Your exhilarating day of discovery, alternating sailing and cycling starts, with a short cruise to our drop-off point at Porto Viro and the exploration of the Po’s delta. This unique wetland park is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to several colonies of flamingos. At the mouth of the River Adige, which flows fast and cold from the Dolomites, we then follow the Po-Brondolo waterway and reach the Venetian lagoon. Our overnight stop is the bustling and colourful fishing port of Chioggia, known as “Little Venice”.


Day 6: Chioggia -Venice (30 km, elevation up 0 m)
A morning visit to the fish market is recommended and, time allowing, we also climb up Chioggia’s millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. We then enjoy some island hopping in the lagoon itself by bike and boat, starting with our barge dropping us off on Pellestrina (home to the Ca’ Roman nature reserve); and continuing by public ferry for the short crossing to the Lido island. Celebrated by Thomas Mann (Death in Venice) and particularly fashionable with the artists and aristocracy of the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. Finally, our floating hotel takes us to our marina in Venice, for the culmination of our bike and boat holiday.


Day 7: Venice
In the morning a local guide will let you discover the capital of the ancient “Serenissima Republic of Venice”, which held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries. After that you have a lot of time to soak up its timeless beauty or explore its islands.


Day 8: Venice
After breakfast and the customary goodbyes if you haven’t booked any additional nights your tour has ended.


Included in week one:

  • 7 nights’ accommodation aboard the Comfort barge Vita Pugna

    Bicycle and helmet rental

  • Full board (breakfast, dinner and a self-made/packed lunch)

  • Tea/Coffee and other hot drinks on board

  • Bed and Bath linens for cabin

  • Detailed route description and maps

  • Bus transfer Ferrara-Adria/Ferrara-Zelo

  • Accompanying Tour leader

  • Mid-week cabin service and change of linens

  • Guided visit in Venice & Mantova

  • Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano

  • Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum

  • Harbour charges

  • Bus transfer Ferrara-Zelo/Ferrara-Adria

    Not included in tour:

  • International Airfare

  • Museums and extras in general

  • One ferry-boat stage in Pellestrina (about 9 EU)

  • Alcoholic beverages available on board

  • Gratuities to crew (please tip in Euros)

  • Transfer between airport and barge

  • Personal purchases

  • Travel Insurance


LoveToTravel in Italy. Visit With Us and Feel The Difference.  

The Vita Pugna:

In the early 1990s barge Vita Pugna was totally renovated. After many years as a cargo boat, she was ready to start her new life as a floating hotel on the Dutch Canals. On board the Vita Pugna you will find the same style and cozy atmosphere of the bike & boat cruises in Holland, enhanced by the friendly management of our international crew. The typical wooden cabin area and the comfortable air-conditioned living room will welcome you for a well-deserved rest after a day of bike riding.


LoveToTravel in Italy. Visit With Us and Feel The Difference.

All cabins have private facilities




There is more coming......please stay tuned! In the meantime,
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