Italy – Venice to Mantova & Mantova to Venice
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- What people say...
Our bike & boat tours have been a fantastic success. The option of being able to sleep at the same place each night, but yet explore a new destination each day seems to have struck a cord!
As one of must see places in the world, Venice needs little introduction. The proximity of the city to water and nearby islands is a perfect starting point. The first day is a chance to explore Venice itself or can be just spent relaxing, soaking up the 'Dolce Vita'.
Our cycling starts on the nearby islands and on to a nature reserve at Ca'Roman. We take in the Po Delta where the interesting biodiversity is enhanced by the beauty of elegant flamingos. We also cycle near some fine beaches providing swimming opportunities at lunch. Cycling on a mix of river cycle paths and small roads we arrive in Mantova a beautiful historical Renaissance city with lakes on three sides.
This mix of routes, the extremely flat nature of the cycling and the opportunity to just relax on the boat make this trip ideal for the less sportive of riders and children. We offer this tour on two different boats and in both directions. You can either cycle independently following detailed maps and route directions or with the rest of the group, following the tour guide.
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Arrival to Venice
Individual arrival to Venice. The cabins are available from 4.30 p.m. The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time at 7 p.m.
Guided tour of Venice
In the morning you have time to explore the capital of the ancient ‘Serenissima Republic of Venice’, which held sway over the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries. After the guided tour of Venice you have lot of time to soak up its timeless beauty or explore its islands.
Venice ~ Chioggia (approx. 30 km)
Cruising out of Venice at a gentle pace, we start our bike and boat adventure on the Lido, the first of two islands we explore today. Fashionable with the artists and aristocracy of the Belle E poque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. A short island-hop takes us to Pellestrina, where we cycle towards the Ca’ Roman nature reserve, past the fishermen’s cottages and boats. Here, where we rejoin the barge and sail to Chioggia – a bustling and colourful fishing harbour known as “Little Venice”.
Chioggia ~ Porto Viro-Adria (40 km)
A morning stroll through Chioggia’s fish market is recommended and, time allowing, a visit up the millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. Our cycling resumes southbound, into the delta of the imposing Po. This unique wetland park is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a colony of flamingos. We overnight in Adria, an ancient Greek port once close to the shores of the sea which bears its name, also renowned for its Etruscan and Roman heritage.
Adria ~ Ferrara ~ Zelo (35 km by bike + 35 km by bus)
After a short cruise we saddle our bikes and, following the Po through farmland and hamlets, we reach Ferrara. Under its overlords, the Este family, this ancient City State attracted influential architects and artists for centuries. A private bus takes us back to our floating hotel in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.
Zelo ~ Mantova (50 km)
We sail for a short stretch and, back on our bikes, we cycle to the village of Bergantino where we visit the charming Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum. Following the river through Ostiglia (famed for its medieval fortress and floating mill) and on to Governolo Lock. Once a vital staging post for local navigation, this is where the River Mincio flows into the Po, creating the largest inland basin in Italy. Leaving the Po behind, we reach Mantova.
Mantova round tour (40 km)
The entire day is 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. In the late afternoon, a local guide will lead you through the most known highlights of the town before our final night together.
- 7 nights onboard with ensuite facilities
- All breakfasts, self made packed lunches & 6 dinners on board
- coffee, tea and other hot beverages on board
- Sheets and towels
- Mid-week cabin cleaning service, towel change
- App incl. maps, roadbook, points of interest and GPS tracks
- Digital tour information
- Guide cycling with the group (group tour)
- Bus transfers Ferrara - Zelo / Ferrara - Adria
- Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
- Visit of a historic glass factory on Murano Island
- Harbour charges
- Guided tours in Venice & Mantua
- Visit to a cheese factory with tasting of a typical Grana Padano
Not included / Optional Extras
- €50 supplement for special dietary requirements ( vegan / gluten free )
- Ferry ticket in Pellestrina ( approx €9 ) not included
- 1 dinner
- Venice Municipality Access Fee (approx €18 - €30, to be paid on site)
- Tips for crew and guides
Bike rental is not included in our 2023 tour price. This is an additional:
€100.00 Hybrid Bike
€250.00 Electric Bike
The tour is a seven night trip on a barge with an English speaking guide. Each day you head out with the guide on the cycling tour while your luggage will stay on the barge and meet you at the end of each day.
You can either cycle independently following detailed maps and route directions or with the rest of the group, following the tour guide.
In 2021 Bike rental is not included in the basic tour price
We rent a 27-gear unisex Citybike A unisex frame, ideal for an upright but relaxed riding position.
This is the bike automatically given to ladies and gents unless otherwise specified.
There is the possiblity of a Citybike with men's frame with 21/24 gears but it is on request only.
It is also possible to rent an E-Bike ~ Kalkhoff, Agattu model Motor:
The high-capacity battery is secured to the seat tube.
Gears: Nexus 8-speed.
Range: approx. 90 km (flat terrain, average speed).
Flyer T8.1 Model, Low-entry frame Panasonic or Bosch batteries of top safety and long life. Panasonic motor (36 V, 15 AH Capacity, 540 WH available power) Gears: Nexus 7-speed. Range: approx 90 km (flat terrain, average speed)
45km is the average day's cycle
If you cannot cycle you can stay on the barge if you prefer
As this is not a tour that takes on many hills, you should find it very manageable if you just cycle a few hours a week and put a little training before you go.
However as with all tours doing one longer cycle a week of 2 or 3 hours would really help in your tour enjoyment
This tour exceeded my expectations. The Ave Maria was comfortable and spacious, I cannot say enough about the crew including our cycling guides. Everyone was so friendly, fun and helpful. It was a fantastic trip.
Kimberley McGrath (Italy, Amalfi Coast 2017)
BOAT 'Ave Maria' PRICES 2023
Price per person sharing
Season 1: ( March 25 - April 15 incl. )
€1130 Season 1 in a standard cabin below deck
€1480 Season 1 single cabin
€2090 Season 1 double cabin for single use
€830 Season 1 3rd person in triple cabin
€930 Season 1 bunk bed cabin
+€510 Season 2 ( April 22 - April 29, July 1 - August 19 )
+€630 Season 3 ( May 6 - June 24, October 21 )
+€750 Season 4 ( August 26 - October 14 )
+ €200: Superior double cabin (deck level)
BOAT 'Vita Pugna' PRICES 2023
Price per person sharing
Season 1: ( March 25 - April 15 incl. )
€1030 Season 1 twin cabin
€1900 Season 1 twin cabin for single use
€730 Season 1 3rd person in trible cabin
+€320 Season 2 ( April 22 - April 29, July 1 - August 19 )
+€370 Season 3 ( May 6 - May 24, October 21 )
+€440 Season 4 ( August 26 - October 14 )
Self-Guided Tour Information
When booking this bike and boat tour, please specify your chosen option - i.e. guided with a guide cycling with the clients or self-guided, when you get your maps and route details and you cycle independently.
How to get to Venice:
Venice is connected with the following airports:
- Venice Marco Polo: 10 km,
- Treviso Canova: 30 km,
- Verona: 110 km,
- Bergamo: 240, km
- Milano: 310 km
Connection Marco Polo 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 Certosa island on request. This line works from 8.22 a.m. to 6.22 p.m. (transfer approx. 40 minutes, ticket about 15 €).
Blu Line Alilaguna: if you arrive later, you can take the Blu Line that works until 00.15 a.m. (transfer approx. 1 hour, ticket about 15 €).
Connection shuttle bus: - from the airport you can reach Venice by bus: the Fly Bus ATVO shuttle service leaves every 30 minutes from 7:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. (20 min journey; ticket: €6; www.atvo.it).
For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.
As always please contact us in the office for more information (email@example.com).
Ave Maria Barge
This 4* Italian boat has been totally rebuilt in order to meet the most challenging clients’ requests. Only the hull of the original 1970s sand digger sailing along the Po has remained and the boat is now brand new. It has been completely designed by a renowned Italian architectural firm. Its shapes, colours and materials have been chosen carefully in order to create a warm but yet sophisticated atmosphere.
Vita Pugna barge
This barge comes with a spacious air-conditioned lounge/restaurant with 5 tables, as well as a sundeck, accommodating up to 23 guests. There are 10 Standard twin cabins (including one accommodating up to 3 guests) all equipped with comfortable low twin beds and en-suite facilities. They also offer the convenience of attractive, traditional portholes, which can be opened for fresh air. The corridor is air-conditioned.