6 days/5 nights, with 4 days of cycling
Any day except Thursdays
50 km daily average (30 miles)
This is moderate cycling, encountering a few challenging hills most days
Extra km possible
Luxe Accommodation: US$2200
Single suppl. Luxe: US$370
- 5 nights hotels
- All breakfasts and 1 dinner
- Use of a top quality 21-speed hybrid bike complete with handlebar bag, pump, and all the necessary accessories for changing flats. We recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons
- Detailed route instructions and map
- Key transfer from tour end back to start location in St. Helena
- Area Manager available throughout the tour
Your tour starts in St. Helena, about 128 km/80 miles north of San Francisco airport.
This is a charming town in the centre of California’s wine growing region.
It is possible to reach San Francisco by air. There is scheduled air service to this airport from all major Canadian and US cities.
A transfer from the airport to St. Helena, and back again can be arranged.
It is also possible to reach St. Helena by car. Interstate Highways #5 and #80 head to San Francisco, and St. Helena is a short drive north.
California's Wine Country Cycling 6 Days
Like the bouquet of a spicy Zinfandel, the wine country of California, north of San Francisco, opens up to reveal many delights and pleasures. Napa Valley and Sonoma County are synonymous with great wine and fine food and dining. By bike, discover shady back lanes, towering redwood groves, a surprising Russian history and delightful pedaling – past vineyards and wine chateaus of every conceivable design.
Arrive in St. Helena, a trendy and pleasant town in the heart of Napa wine country. Stroll the main streets with its lovely shops, but also venture into the side streets for a feel for California gardens and gracious homes. If you have time, visit the store at the Culinary Institute of America and stroll the adjacent gardens or the Silverado Museum to see the 8000 items relating to author Robert Louis Stevenson’s life. Meet your bike.
Spend a full day in the St. Helena area, with many choices. Ride up into the hills above the valley, past forests of California redwoods to high altitude vineyards, which are gradually encroaching on old ranch lands. Then sweep back down the Pope Valley into St. Helena. Or meander through the Napa Valley, visiting Bale’s Grist Mill, which was a focal point for the valley’s settlement during the first half of the 19th century. Cross the Napa River, ride on the lower slope of Howell Mountain and into a rain forest. Whichever option you choose, you’ll enjoy gorgeous scenery.Distance : 36 or 18 miles.
Today’s destination is Calistoga, known for its thermal spas and mud baths. You have many options to dial in the mileage of your choice. Take a shorter route in order to have more time to visit some of the historic vineyards in the region, including those that first put California on the oenological map. On the longer ride, you will have the opportunity to watch Old Faithful spout off, as well as to cycle to the historic Chateau Montelena winery, and simply enjoy more of the amazing diversity of this stunning California countryside. Distance 11 miles, add on loop of 20 miles.
Continue north into the Alexander Valley and then over the Mayacamas Ridge to leave Napa Valley and enter the Sonoma Valley. Pedal through the pretty valley of the Maacama Creek and onto the flat lands of the Russian River Valley. Explore extensive vineyards along the edge ofo the Geysers, the world’s largest geothermal field. Discovered in 1847, these amazing hot spots soon gave rise to the California Spa tradition. Is a massage that far off? Your day ends in the delightful town of Healdsburg. Distance 39 miles, option to shorten it by 11 miles.
A full day in the Healdsburg area lets you explore the unique Russian history of this American enclave. Uncover the wineries of the Russian River Valley, and the unexpected hops industry as well. If you are feeling adventurous, take a side trip into the wild country along Porter Creek. Be sure to leave time to visit Healdsburg, a town with the best qualities of turn-of-the century America, yet with the ambiance of a European countryside. Discover its Spanish-style plaza, numerous museums and excellent antique shops before settling down to a scrumptious final dinner. Distance of 30 miles. Can add 5 miles or shorten it by 9.
Spend a few final moments enjoying your time in California’s wine country before bidding it a fond farewell, to head off on your next adventure.
"The pretour material was excellent. The difficulty of the tour was exactly what we were looking for. The help by your office and the area manager was excellent, everything worked like clock-work. The area manager gave us good advice and the accommodations + breakfast were top notch. We will definitely consider other trips with you."
- G Strathy