Make your way through California’s most famous wine county the relaxed way – with plenty of breaks for tastings along the way.. Be (literally) dwarfed by nature in Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, pedal through quaint Californian towns, past rolling fields and explore the petrified forest. With a leader that knows the area inside-out by your side, all you have to do is enjoy the journey.. Swap wine country for dramatic ocean views as you cycle alongside the Russian River all the way to the seal colonies of seaside Jenner.. The only thing better than the landscapes you’ll see and wine you’ll taste is the conversations you’ll have along the way, whether it’s the insights from your leader or stories from the group.
Combine wine, rugged coastline and the best Northern California has to offer as you cycle from stunning wine country to epic redwood forests and on to the rugged Pacific Ocean coast. With great weather, 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. If you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation for all five of your senses, look no further.
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
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. Here you’ll be fitted to your bike and, after a short safety talk, 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.
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 here – 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 on 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 definitely 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.
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 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. Then 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 a number of suggestions for you in a town that’s as much about food as wine.
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.
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.