California

A cyclist paradise

California

A Cyclist Paradise

California

A Cyclist Paradise

California

A Cyclist Paradise

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Highlights

Please note: We are not accepting California bookings at this time

  • Ride from the pristine wine valleys to the ruggedly beautiful Pacific Coast
  • Wine tasting at both internationally acclaimed wineries and small, family-run vineyards
  • Cycle in the shade of 1,400 year old Redwood trees
  • Year-round blue skies

Seasons

Year-round

Starting / Ending City

San Francisco, CA

Tour Length

3 to 14 days

Trip Types

◊ Self-Guided
With our Self-Guided tours an expert local guide takes care of your transfers, route briefing, luggage moves, and planned transfers. They are also available should you need mechanical assistance, help with a dinner reservation, or general questions. You have a GPS unit, maps, and a detailed guidebook to help you select your route, choose where you eat, and, generally, explore the area.

◊ Guided Group
Our Guided tours allow your group to explore a destination with an expert local guide with a dedicated support vehicle. You will also have GPS units, maps and a detailed guidebook to help learn about both the major sights and the hidden gems. Your guide takes care of both you and all the logistics – from route advice to bottle washing.

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    Where do you want to stay?

    Budget

    Two Star Silverton Inn Suites

    Simple B&Bs and more modest hotels but all well-kept with en suite facilities

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    Classic

    Four Star accommodation

    Smaller hotels or luxurious B&Bs with very personal service often including wine tasting

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    Luxury

    Luxury accommodation

    Some of the nicest full-service hotels in the area. Typically include a pool and a good restaurant

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    Sample Itinerary

    California Cover Photo

    Napa and Sonoma Counties have some of the best and most-varied cycling in the United States. You start out in the wine valleys with hundreds of wineries: from internationally acclaimed powerhouses to small, biodynamic, family-run vineyards. You then cycle through mighty redwood groves where some of the trees are over 1,400 years old. Finally, you have the chance to ride along the ruggedly beautiful and pristine Pacific Coast. When you are done with riding, you can eat in anything from a Michelin-starred restaurant to a rustic, farm-to-table hole in the wall; the common theme being local ingredients and creative preparations. Paradise for cyclists, foodies and wine lovers.

    TOUR LENGTH

    6 Days / 5 Nights

    ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

    Budget  

    Classic  

    Luxury  

    START & END

    Napa, Santa Rosa, Sonoma or Sonoma County Airport

    SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

    • Private transfer from your hotel with full route briefing and bike fitting at the start of your ride
    • Accommodation and breakfasts
    • On-call roadside assistance and guide available via phone
    • Optional transfers along the routes
    • GPS units, maps, directions and a comprehensive guidebook
    • Expert guides delivering superior service

    OPTIONAL EXTRAS

    • Alternative start/end locations in San Francisco or SFO airport
    • Cooking classes
    • Wine tours
    • Customize your route

    BIKE AVAILABILITY

    DAY-BY-DAY FLOW

    Day 1: Napa to Calistoga

    Day 2: Calistoga to Healdsburg

    Day 3: Healdsburg Loop Day

    Day 4: Healdsburg to Guerneville

    Day 5: Guerneville Loop Day

    Day 6: Guerneville to Bodega Bay

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    Day One - Napa to Calistoga

    The Intermediate ride starts with a van transfer to the town of Napa from where you meander up the gently-rolling Napa Valley. Much of today’s riding is along the Silverado Trail with a winery every mile or so: from the world-renowned Stags Leap to the art-laden Clos Pegase. Along the way you have opportunities for lunch in Yountville, Oakville, or at a winery. With the easy terrain and numerous wineries to stop at, this route provides a gentle introduction to your tour.

    Leisure riders will be transferred to Yountville or Rutherford, a little further along the route described above.

    Challenge riders explore the mountains around the Napa Valley along scenic, car-free lanes. Mount Veeder to the west and Howell Mountain to the east include plenty of tough-but-scenic climbing as well as spectacular views across the Napa Valley.

    Ride across the vine- carpeted Napa Valley; cycling on the Silverado Trail with a winery every mile

    Napa to Calistoga

     

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 900 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,200 feet

    Challenge
    50 miles with 4,400 feet

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Calistoga

    Calistoga is a laid-back spa town with hot springs and mud baths. The town is well preserved and authentic. In 2001, it was designated a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Fast-food franchises are banned in the town by law.

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    Day Two - Calistoga to Healdsburg

    The Intermediate route takes you through a series of valleys where you cycle past mixed-tree woodland and fertile vineyards. Most of the wineries you pass are in the Alexander Valley. Even if you are not planning to taste, these oases are great places to enjoy a picnic or simply rest in the shade of an oak tree. From here, it’s an easy cruise across into the Dry Creek Valley and onto Healdsburg – your final destination.

    Leisure riders will take a van transfer over the first two climbs of the day to join the route described above at the start of the Alexander Valley.

    Challenge riders follow the Intermediate route to the Alexander Valley but add on a fun in-and-out climb up the badly-named Pine Flat Road – a local classic.

    The Epic route also follows the Intermediate route to the Alexander Valley from where it heads into the mountains for a roller-coaster ride along Geysers Rd to Cloverdale. You are rewarded with some of the best advanced cycling in California: tough climbing, impressive panoramas, and very little traffic.

    The vineyards of the Alexander Valley provide perfect oases in which to enjoy a relaxed picnic.

    Calistoga to Healdsburg

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    10 miles with 210 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,275 feet

    Challenge
    50 miles with 4,800 feet

    Epic
    70 miles with 5,500 feet

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Healdsburg

    Healdsburg is a prosperous but relaxed town centered on a shady plaza complete with a bandstand. The plaza hosts regular concerts and a farmers market. The town also has several bookstores, antique stores, and tasting rooms as well as many great restaurants.

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    Day Three - Healdsburg Loops (A)

    Today’s Intermediate route takes you into the Dry Creek Valley. From here, you look out across acres of vines with the Mayacamas Mountains framing the scene. In short, you will enjoy some truly classic wine country riding on back roads that snake past small farms and family-run wineries. Many guests collect a picnic lunch at the Dry Creek General Store to enjoy with a tasting in the gardens of one of the many vineyards. If you buy a bottle or two, let us know and we will collect them for you.

    Leisure riders do a slightly shorter version of the Dry Creek loop described above – focusing on the southern portion.

    Challenge riders head across to the Alexander Valley and then into the mountains following a classic route for local riders past active geysers to Cloverdale and then back through the Dry Creek Valley.

    The Epic route follows the intermediate route to the end of the Dry Creek Valley but rather than turning around it continues along remote roads deep into the Coast Range. The route returns to Healdsburg alongside the Russian River.

    Classic wine country riding on back roads that snake past small farms and family-run wineries

    Healdsburg Loop A-1

     

     

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    15 miles with 500 feet of climbing

    Leisure/Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,150 feet

    Challenge
    55 miles with 4,600 feet

    Epic
    100 miles with 8,800 feet

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Healdsburg

    Healdsburg is a prosperous but relaxed town centered on a shady plaza complete with a bandstand. The plaza hosts regular concerts and a farmers market. The town also has several bookstores, antique stores , and tasting rooms as well as many great restaurants.

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    Day Four - Healdsburg to Guerneville

    The Intermediate route has 30 miles of fantastic wine country riding on scenic lanes that meander through the vineyards of the Dry Creek Valley before heading over a low pass into the Russian River Valley. Here you experience cycling in the shade of giant redwoods before arriving at the hippie town of Guerneville. This is a good day to do some wine tasting – maybe taking a picnic to enjoy at one of the many wineries.

    Leisure riders follow the above route except for cutting off the initial loop through the Dry Creek Valley.

    Challenge riders also follow the Intermediate route above but add in a hilly detour that tests the legs with steep climbs high above the valleys on car free roads with stunning views across high, alpine meadows.

    The Epic route heads into the Dry Creek Valley from where it continues along remote roads deep into the Coast Range. Here, you ride for almost 50 miles without seeing cars, towns or any other sign of civilization.

    Head over a low pass into the Russian River Valley where you cycle in the shade of giant redwoods

    Healdsburg Guerneville

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 800 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,275 feet

    Challenge
    40 miles with 2,300 feet

    Epic
    85 miles with 8,100 feet

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Guerneville

    Guerneville is an old logging town picturesquely set on the banks of the Russian River. It is the gateway town to the stunning Armstrong Woods and, while the town is more modest than Healdsburg (Guerneville has a vibrant alternative community), it still has a number of excellent restaurants.

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    Day Five - Guerneville Loops

    The Intermediate route loops between Guerneville and Occidental – and back again. Most of the riding is on gentle back roads in the shade of the forest but there are also a number of short-steep sections – just to help build up a healthy appetite for lunch!

    Leisure riders will head straight to the Armstrong Woods State Reserve to ride and hike in the shade of 1400-year-old redwood trees.

    Challenge riders follow the Intermediate route to Occidental and then push into the Coast Mountains and down to the ocean. The route follows one of the classic climbs of the Tour of California bike race with views down to the Pacific Ocean.
    There are also great non-cycling options today. You can take a kayaking trip along the Russian River to where the river emerges into the Pacific Ocean. There are also great hiking or horseback trails that take you through the towering redwoods of the Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve up to the high alpine pastures of the Austin Creek State Park.

    Ride and hike in the shade of 1400-year-old redwood trees

    Guerneville Loop

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure

    10 miles with 150 feet of climbing

    Intermediate

    25 miles with 1,500 feet

    Challenge

    40 miles with 3,200 feet

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Guerneville

    Guerneville is an old logging town picturesquely set on the banks of the Russian River. It is the gateway town to the stunning Armstrong Woods and, while the town is more modest than Healdsburg (Guerneville has a vibrant alternative community), it still has a number of excellent restaurants.

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    Day Six - Guerneville to Bodega Bay

    The Intermediate route starts with a gentle descent alongside the Russian River before taking a scenic detour through the Redwoods to the small town of Cazadero: “The Heart of the Redwoods.” A short descent from here brings you to the Pacific Ocean where families of seals bask in the sun. After lunch in Jenner, you enjoy some classic Californian coastal riding south to Bodega Bay. Typically, the wind is at your back as you cycle past mile after mile of pristine coastline; all under the protection of the Sonoma Coast State Beach. Your tour ends in Bodega Bay overlooking the small fishing port.

    Leisure riders will follow the Intermediate route to the Pacific Ocean where their tour ends in the small town of Jenner. There is also a shorter option available for those with less time.

    Challenge riders follow the Intermediate route to Cazadero from where they head into the Coast Range before emerging from the trees, high above the Pacific Ocean. From here, you have stunning views down the coast and a fast sweeping descent into Jenner – where you rejoin the Intermediate route.

    Classic Californian coastal riding – with the wind at your back – all the way to Bodega Bay
    Guerneville Bodega

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure

    20 miles 750 feet of climbing
    15 miles 500 feet

    Intermediate

    35 miles with 1,800 feet

    Challenge

    45 miles with 3,700 feet

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    None

    As this is the last day of your tour, there is no overnight accommodation unless explicitly requested on booking.

    Calistoga:

    EuroSpa and Inn
    Stay as the guest of Bill and Joanne at the Calistoga Euro Spa & Inn. This clean-and-comfortable facility is sited at the end of a quiet residential street on the southern edge of town but is still just a few blocks from the main street. Rooms are simply furnished and most have fireplaces. There is a nice patio area with a small pool that backs onto vineyards.

    Healdsburg:

    Haydon Street Inn
    Stay as the guest of John and Keren at The Haydon Street Inn. This Queen Anne Victorian B&B sits in pleasant tree-shaded grounds in a quiet residential neighborhood just a short walk from the historic plaza. John was a professional chef in his previous career and has cooked for several US presidents – so expect a nice breakfast.

    Guerneville:

    Fern Grove Cottages
    Stay as the guest of Jennifer and Sherman at Fern Grove Cottages. Jennifer goes out of her way to make you feel welcome. The cottages are scattered among the redwoods and are simple, spacious and comfortable. The property also has a small, saline pool. Breakfasts include homemade scones and breads.

    Budget Hotel FeaturesACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in our Budget category are typically simpler B&Bs and more modest inns or hotels. However, all the properties are well-kept with en suite facilities.

    Mix & Match

    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    Calistoga:

    Embrace
    The philosophy at Embrace is to blend old-world luxury with 21st century amenities. Built in 1873, the property is located in the heart of Calistoga and has a large wraparound porch; ideal for watching the world go by after a day’s riding, enjoying complimentary wine and cheese, and where you will eat an outstanding breakfast.

    Healdsburg:

    Haydon Street Inn
    Stay as the guest of John and Keren at The Haydon Street Inn. This Queen Anne Victorian B&B sits in pleasant tree-shaded grounds in a quiet residential neighborhood just a short walk from the historic plaza. John was a professional chef in his previous career and has cooked for several US presidents – so expect a nice breakfast.

    Guerneville:

    Applewood Inn – Queen
    The Applewood Inn is a casually luxurious hotel in its own grounds, a short walk from the center of town. The hotel has private massage rooms as well as many quiet places to relax. The Inn also has a nice restaurant (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Rooms in this category are standard (cosy) queen rooms.

    Classic Hotel Features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in the Classic category are typically smaller hotels or luxurious B&Bs with very personal service sometimes including wine tasting or evening hors d’oeuvres.

    Mix & Match

    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    Calistoga:

    Solage
    Solage is the sister property to the prestigious Auberge du Soleil. It is set in private grounds just east of Calistoga with a trendy bistro, full-service spa and a 130-foot swimming pool. The resort is designed to be environmentally friendly and low impact. In short, it’s a stylish destination that invites guests to relax and enjoy great food.

    Healdsburg:

    Hotel Healdsburg
    Hotel Healdsburg is designed and decorated in the modern-minimalist style of boutique hotels; SoHo Grand comes to small town America. The hotel has excellent spa facilities and the restaurant, The Dry Creek Kitchen, is one of the best restaurants in town.

    Guerneville:

    Applewood Inn – Suite
    The Applewood Inn is a casually luxurious hotel in its own grounds a short walk from the center of town. The hotel has private massage rooms as well as many quiet places to relax. The Inn also has a nice restaurant (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Rooms, in this Luxury category, are spacious suites with fireplaces and some have small terraces.

    Luxury Hotel Features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in our Luxury category are some of the nicest full-service hotels in the area. They typically include spa facilities and a good restaurant.

    Mix & Match

    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    BIKE CHOICES

    Hybrids bikes, a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike

    Hybrids bikes are a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. They have a relaxed riding position and are great for beginners and intermediate riders. A typical model is the Trek 7.3 FX with Shimano components and high-pressure road tires for better cycling efficiency than your typical hybrid.

    Road bikes, a racing style bike with drop handlebars

    Our road bikes are a racing style bike with drop handlebars. The road bikes are faster bikes than the hybrids with less upright riding position. A typical model is the Émonda ALR 5 with aluminum frame, carbon forks, and Shimano 105 components. (NOTE: Some of the smaller roads in Puglia can be a little rough making a hybrid bikes a better choice for some riders.)

    eBikes, designed to give you a little extra assistance when climbing hills

    Our eBikes are designed to give you a little extra assistance when climbing hills. The ride position is very similar to our hybrids. We typically rent Scott E-Sub equipped with a 250W E-drive Bosch motor. If one rider in a couple is stronger than the other, an eBike can be a great choice for the less-strong rider.

    Your Own Bike, if you have a favorite bike, we can help you get it to your destination as well as set it up once it is there

    If you have a favorite bike, we can help you get it to your destination as well as set it up once it is there. Please ask about options for bike shipping and assembly.

    group of cyclists

    OPTIONAL EXTRAS

    Receiving & Assembly
    per bike charge to receive bike from shipper, assemble the bike and repack it and deliver it to a shipper at the end of the tour.

    Bike Boxes 
    a per box charge for the extra logistics needed to handle bike boxes during a tour. Note: this fee can be avoided if you leave your box with your start/end hotel.

    Tandem Bike 
    a per bike fee for the extra logistics to handle a tandem bike that is brought by a guest.

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