Cycle Sonoma & The Napa Valley
- 6 Days
- 6 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,785
MODERATE | SMALL GROUP TOURING: Combine wine and some mesmerizing landscapes of Northern California as you cycle from stunning wine country to epic redwood forests and on to the rugged Pacific Ocean coast. With breathtaking scenery and over 500 vineyards, the valleys of Napa and Sonoma are a cyclist's paradise. Off the bike, you’ll find wine tastings, amazing cuisine, and a wealth of history to experience, and this cycling adventure takes in the best of it at a pace set to enjoy rather than race, making it a trip for every rider.
CYCLE SONOMA & THE NAPA VALLEY OVERVIEW
Cross 340 kilometers over 6-days on this cyclist’s fantasy trip from swinging San Francisco to the fragrant air of the California countryside in Sonoma, Russian River and Napa, for a perfectly balanced combination of riding past vineyards and tasting their results.
Clip in for a wow start; cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge to the flowing valleys and babied vineyards of Sonoma Valley for a scenic and relaxed beginning to ease you into your these distractingly beautiful surroundings. Food tastes better after a 50 km ride and it tastes even better in California’s enophile and foodie haven. Along the pretty tree-lined square of Sonoma, the menu changes weekly at the girl & the fig, with their hyper-seasonal approach to food, paired with a local wine, you may order two mains.
With your water bottles filled and your best socks donned, fly off to Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, the center of a 66,000-acre ranch stretching from Petaluma River to Sonoma Creek. Pose by the mystical adobe on site before pausing at a local creamery for a caloric treat. The air is sweet past the lavender fields on the road to scenic Santa Rosa where 60 km on the bike here goes far too quickly.
The snap of your shoes locking in is loud in the petrified forest where you begin your ride. Pedal into the heart of Napa Valley, Calistoga, and as you zoom past all those verdant vineyards, contemplate which grape you will sample at dinner tonight, which after 68 kms, will have you believe California wine is as it’s reputation precedes it; the best in America.
Your legs may be pumping but your posture is perfect as you propel your way north to the Russian River Valley, where spicy Cabernet Sauvignon, buttery Chardonnay or zesty Zinfandel are darlings that go down smooth as you put your feet up in romantic Healdsburg.
Pumping your legs beneath majestic redwoods, some the height of a football field, may be one of the most powerful cycling experiences of your life. The heady wood scent off these ancient trees, some which were growing when people thought the world was flat, is a magical experience. Follow the Russian River to the Pacific Ocean in the quaint town of Jenner where fat, adorable harbour seals may clap for your 67 kms efforts. A deep tissue massage in Healdsburg with products from the area is a totally doable end to your day.
The best climb is saved for last and as you tilt up and press down hard all the way to The Lake Sonoma Overlook, your legs are toned and your mental space wide open as you dismount, breathe deeply and take in the valleys beneath you. This land you have just conquered or become one with - depending on your cycling style, either way, will pleasantly stay with you long after your return home from San Francisco.
- 6 Days
- 6 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,785
Itinerary View Trip Map
San Francisco - Sonoma
Welcome to your California cycling adventure. Leave San Francisco and head north across the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge for the one-hour journey to the heart of the renowned Sonoma Valley winemaking region and the historic town of Sonoma. Once you have been fitted to your bike and, after a short safety talk, you can start your first ride in Californian Wine Country, enjoying a gorgeous route through the pastoral beauty of the farms and vineyards – and why not enjoy an optional tasting at one of the wineries along the way. Finish up your ride with a return to Sonoma via the same route and drop into the tree-lined town plaza, visiting the historic Mission San Francisco Solano and the Sonoma Barracks. This is where the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt took place in a bid to separate California from Mexico. Refuel from your first ride tonight by choosing from the range of top-quality restaurants that line the square. Today’s riding distance is approximately 51 kms/32 miles, mostly flat for the first 17kms /11 miles, then undulating, with approximately 355m/1170ft of elevation gain. By the way, it’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be checking insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late, please let us know well in advance. The meeting spot is at the San Francisco Marriott Fisherman's Wharf at 9 am. If you are driving, you can meet the group at 10 am in Sonoma – you can leave your car there for the week. Overnight Sonoma area
Santa Rosa - Sonoma Valley Cycling
After a hearty breakfast, saddle up and head to the historic and agricultural hub of Petaluma. Your first stop today is the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park. The Rancho Petaluma Adobe - thought to be one of the best-preserved buildings of its era in Northern California - was the main house of General Vallejo, a key political figure in the transition of California from Mexico to the US. Continue to the town and its well-preserved historic centre, which includes many buildings that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Here you can choose to stop at one of the many creameries selling local produce from the surrounding farms – you’ll want to sample the local cheese and ice cream. Continue cycling north to the remote but beautiful Bennett Valley, stopping by a winery that, in addition to its wine, is known for its fragrant lavender fields. You are welcome to enjoy a tasting here (not included) before cycling all the way downhill to Santa Rosa, your home for the next two nights. Today’s riding distance is approximately 60 kms/37 miles, a small hill near the start, mostly flat then a steep climb at around 43kms/27 miles before descending the last 15kms/9 miles. Approximately 460m/1500ft of elevation gain. Overnight Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa - Napa Valley Cycling
After breakfast, you’ll avoid a long climb by transferring by vehicle (approximately 25 minutes) to the Petrified Forest, where you can walk among the fossilized trees perfectly preserved in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption of nearby Mt St Helena some 3.4 million years ago. From here take to your bike and ride into the Napa Valley proper, enjoying a freewheeling descent into the hot springs town of Calistoga. From here you are welcome to explore some Napa wineries, including the option of visiting Chateau Montelena, which has its place in wine history with its 1976 win of the Judgement of Paris that put California on the world stage for wine quality. Even if you don’t taste there, the grounds are an impressive sight. From here ride back into Sonoma County via the Franz Valley and over Chalk Hill to return to Santa Rosa for the evening. Today’s riding distance is approximately 68 kms/42 miles, starts with a small uphill then sharp descent, then undulating lightly downhill, with approximately 630 m/ 2070ft of elevation gain. Overnight Santa Rosa
Today pedal west along mostly flat roads to the town of Sebastopol once a prime apple-growing region now turned over into vineyards. Here, lining Florence Ave, you’ll be treated to the whimsical and slightly surreal sculptures made from scrap metal by a local artist couple. Continue north to the Russian River Valley, one of the cooler wine-growing regions in northern California, specializing in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – you’re free to stop to taste along the way to Healdsburg. Tonight, is free for you to explore the town of Healdsburg, and your leader will have several suggestions for you in a town that’s as much about food as wine. Today’s riding distance is approximately 42kms/26 miles, slight downhill for the first 10 kms/6 miles, undulating for 20kms/12 miles, then mostly flat with approximately 250m/820ft of elevation gain. Overnight Healdsburg
Healdsburg - Russian River Cycling
Today is a true cycling highlight as you ride into the heart of Californian redwoods country at the Armstrong Redwoods State Park. It’s impossible not to marvel at the 1,400-year-old trees that tower over 300 feet high, so take some time to appreciate the majesty of nature. Then leave wine country behind and follow the Russian River through light forest all the way to the small coastal town of Jenner, where the river meets the Pacific Ocean. You’ll be able to take in the sight of harbor seals beached on the riverbank with the ocean waves crashing behind them. From here drive (approximately 40 min) back to Healdsburg. This afternoon you’ll have some free time to simply relax. Or maybe consider enjoying the many tasting rooms in town or treating yourself to a massage at a nearby spa. Today’s riding distance is approximately 67kms/42 miles, undulating with approx. 525 m/1720ft of elevation gain. Please note that at time of writing Armstrong Woods is currently closed due to the wildfires that ravaged the area in Aug 2020. It is due to reopen “sometime in 2021”, but even if it’s closed you will ride to redwoods nearby. Overnight Healdsburg
Dry Creek Valley Loop - San Francisco
The final ride of the week will include some truly classic wine country cycling as you spend the morning making your way on the Dry Creek Loop along quiet back roads dotted with welcoming vineyards. There’s a single steep climb along the way up to the Lake Sonoma Overlook but the 360-degree view from the top across Lake Sonoma Bridge and the Russian River is a true highlight (as is the descent back down the same road you just rode up!). At the end of the ride head back to the hotel, where you’ll have a chance to return to your room to freshen up and pack before departing Healdsburg. Take the drive back toward San Francisco, taking the leisurely route through the famed Napa Valley, visiting St Helena for lunch (and one last tasting) before arriving back at Fisherman’s Wharf around 3 pm. Today’s riding distance is approximately 50kms/31 miles, mostly flat except for one steep climb/descent to Lake Sonoma after 22kms/14 miles, with approximately 525 m/1725ft of elevation gain. The group will return to San Francisco via Sonoma, passing through Sonoma around 2 pm. This is the end of your trip and you make your own way to San Francisco International Airport unless you plan to extend your stay in the area.
April 3, 24
June 5, 26
October 2, 16
November 6, 20
- 5 nights simple hotel/motel accommodation
- 5 breakfasts
- Transport by Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrance fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
- There are regular rest breaks each day, however it is important to note that you will be riding over multiple and consecutive days in a climate and terrain that may be unfamiliar. While it can be tempting to start out riding as hard and fast as you can (we get it!) we recommend taking it easy on the first few days while your body gets used to the rides and the climate.
- As a rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobics type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible, take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential!
- It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle, both solo and in a group environment.
- The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.
- This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 9am on Day 1 at the San Francisco Marriott Fisherman's Wharf. If you are driving, we can meet you around 10am in Sonoma.
- This trip finishes upon arrival in San Francisco Marriott Fisherman's Wharf on Day 6 around 3pm. The vehicle transits through Sonoma, arriving around 2pm.
- A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
- Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organize a suitable sized bike.
- The included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hybrid-style'. You have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) or a road bike on this trip - this must be requested at the time of booking.
- Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
- For group less than 6 clients we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a driver plus a leader that rides with the group.
- Accommodation is not included on day 6 of this trip. If you require additional accommodation (or want to reserve your room for the main part of the day) please enquire at time of booking.
- Due to Covid-19 restrictions some of the local attractions may be temporarily closed, running reduced hours, or require booking ahead. Please check their websites for up-to-date opening hours.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.
20 Nov 2022