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Italy - Venice to Mantova & Mantova to Venice

Italy - Venice to Mantova & Mantova to Venice

Degree of difficulty - A

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'.

The cycling begins on the nearby islands, firstly the Lido and the Pellestrina, a lovely quiet island with multi-coloured houses. There is also a chance to visit a nature reserve at Ca'Roman. The next day ventures to 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.
Our trip takes us inland where we follow a mix of river cycle paths and small roads. We visit Ferrara, a wonderful historical town still surrounded by its old city walls before finishing 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 2 different boats. Also reverse tour from Mantova to Venice following the reverse route is available. You can either cycle independently following detailed maps and route directions or with the rest of the group, following the tour guide. 

On this tour you have a choice of going from Venice to Mantua or from Mantua to Venice.  
We also have two boats on each tour.  
Below is the itineary for Venice to Mantua but both tour dossiers are located above

Day 1 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.

Day 2 Guided tour of Venice
In the morning the local guide will let you discover 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.

Day 3 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”.

Day 4 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.

Day 5 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.

Day 6 Zelo–Mantova (50 km)
We sail for a short stretch and, back on our bikes, we reach 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 trough a magnificent navigation in the late afternoon.

Day 7 Mantova round tour (40 km).
An entire day 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.

Day 8 Mantova. Homeward Bound
Departure is after breakfast.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

BOAT 'Ave Maria' PRICES 2019
Price per person sharing in a standard cabin below deck:

€1075          Value season     ( 30.03. - 06.04 & 26.10 )
€1425          Middle season   ( 13.04. - 24.08. & 19.10 ) 
€1625          High season      ( 31.08. - 12.10.) 

+ €300:  Single cabin below deck:
+ €140:  Superior double cabin (deck level): 
- €250:    Reduction for 3rd/4rd adult in cabin: 
- €100:    Reduction for a twin room below deck with bunk beds: 

BOAT 'Vita Pugna' PRICES 2019
Price per person sharing in a standard cabin below deck:
€975            Value season     ( 30.03. - 06.04 & 26.10 )
€1175          Middle season   ( 13.04. - 24.08. & 19.10 ) 
€1275          High season      ( 31.08. - 12.10.) 

+ €300:  Single cabin below deck:
- €250:    Reduction for 3rd/4rd adult in cabin: 

Tour Includes

  • 7 nights onboard with ensuite facilities
  • All breakfasts,  packed lunches & dinners on board
  • coffee & tea on board
  • Route details & maps (self guided)
  • Guide cycling with the group (group tour)
  • Bus transfers as per itinerary
  • Entrances as per itinerary
  • Harbour charges
  • Bike rental included ( unisex frame )
  • Guided tours in Venice & Mantua
  • Visit to a cheese factory with tasting of a typical Grana Padano
  • €15 Helmet rental
  • €110 E-Bike supplement
  • €50 supplement for special dietary requirements ( vegan / gluten free ) 

Ferry ticket in Pellestrina ( approx €9 ) not included

Group tour dates ( Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability and Green = available)

6-April, 13-April, 20-April, 27-April,
4-May, 11-May, 18-May, 25-May,
1-June, 8-June, 15-June, 22-June, 29-June,
6-July, 13-July, 20-July, 27-July,
3-August, 10-August, 17-August, 24-August, 31-August,
7-September, 14-September, 21-September, 28-September,
5-October, 12-October, 19-October, 26-October,

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.


Ave Maria barge ave maria barge 001 Ave Maria seating area
Ave Maria rooms Ave Maria triple cabin Ave Maria dinner



Vita Pugna barge vitapugna4 Vita Pugna sitting area
Vita Pugna beds Vita Pugna beds2 Vita Pugna beds3


How to get to the start point in 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 (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Tour map

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)

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Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168


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