Bicycle tours in Italy and France refined daily to suit you
After having biked in many different parts of Italy throughout the 1990s and hosted bike tours in northeastern Italy in the early 2000s, we fell for Piedmont while exploring northwestern Italy. While it has lots of cycling choices to please everyone from billy goats—Piedmont has hosted mountain stages of both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia… to riders focused more on the local culture—such as the Langhe wine country, the village of Pinocchio murals, or a marvelous little museum of bicycles… it remains relatively unknown to English-speaking cyclists.
On the other side of the Alps, we found southeastern France’s Rhône-Alpes similarly charming, undiscovered by English-speaking cyclists and offering challenging Cols and eye-popping gorges, as well as groves of AOC Grenoble walnuts in easy, rolling terrain (and a museum of walnut agriculture), as well as other attractions such as the headquarters of Valrhona chocolate and the Hermitage Rhone wine appellation.
While cycling is primary and central to our tours, we firmly believe it’s also essential to savor what’s unique to the only two locations where we offer our tours, and do so on your terms.
2020 Giro d’Italia Stage 20, Saturday May 20, goes over Colle dell’Agnello and finishes at Sestriere. The challenging climb along the scenic Valle Varaita to Colle dell’Agnello isn’t far from our home base in Piemonte.
2020 Tour de France Stage 16, Tuesday July 14 (Bastille Day), ends in nearby Villard-de-Lans. Join us as we ride up the dramatic, winding Gorge de la Bourne to see the finish of a climbing stage featuring 3 major passes in the Alps on France’s National Day.
Thank you for the fabulous holiday in Pont-en-Royans. Roger and I really enjoyed ourselves and, as usual, you did a great job. — Julie W., 2012 Rhône-Alpes, France.
Thanks for the beautiful trip. You did a good job balancing the needs and abilities of a diverse group. I was pleased with the climbs and rides I did. Way cool! — Debbie B., 2010 Rhône-Alpes, France.
Great cycling in Italy! Piemonte was perfect for a variety of rides: We rode quiet one-lane farm roads from village to village, with a stop at a really good bike shop along the way. We did a day-tour of Barolo wine country to the north, winding through beautifully cultivated rolling hills with a castle or ancient church in every town—Tuscany without the tourists. We rode challenging climbs to a ski station and over a scenic Alpine pass on the border with France. Delicious food, great local wines, and good company added to the experience. Michael and co. supported our varied preferences with aplomb. His knowledge of the area, language skills and always-helpful demeanor were invaluable in making my time with Agile Compass a most enjoyable cycling vacation. — Pete P., 2009 Piemonte, Italy.
Thank you for your knowledge extended and flexibility exhibited during the trip—it really added to the experience. I will not soon forget those rides, the mountains, and the Giro stages. — Justin S., 2009 Giro d’Italia, Italy.
We were really impressed with the quality and variety of the local rides in Piemonte: the rolling hills of the wine country, well-surfaced and quiet back roads in the vicinity of our home base. We wished we had more time to explore even farther afield! Staying at a hotel owned by cycling enthusiasts and finding invariably delicious food wherever we went just added to the enjoyment. Your Tour all’italiano was everything we had hoped for: an excellent Tour watching experience without the hassles normally associated with following it from town to town. — Hisako & Roger C., 2008 Piemonte, Italy.
We loved riding the routes of the Tour de France and seeing the race at arm’s length. It was an incredible experience and we will never forget it. Piemonte is an interesting area and we would like to explore it more. — Gail & Duncan S., 2008 Piemonte, Italy.
Eat, sleep, ride, and repeat. It was the perfect vacation for me. Agile Compass designed a great tour for a group of riders with different abilities to see the Giro d’Italia. — Brad H., 2008 Dolomites, Italy.
Italian drivers are incredibly conscientious and courteous to cyclists! Frankly, I felt safer biking in Italy than in the US … people were VERY respectful of cyclists. It was an incredible trip with Agile Compass. — Dave N. & Rich B., 2007 Piemonte, Italy.
Being with Agile Compass was one of the highlights of my European trip, I enjoyed your company very much, your extensive local knowledge made the whole experience extremely interesting. The riding was fantastic and I enjoyed your strong leadership during the rides. — David R., 2007 Piemonte, Italy.
I want to encourage anyone perusing these pages and thinking about taking a tour with Agile-Compass: do not waste any time but make your plans now! … All levels of riders can enjoy this tour as they adjust rides to your ability … My husband and I both enjoyed our trip very much! — Kat M., 2006 Rhône-Alpes, France.
Agile Compass provides top-notch bicycle tours at a reasonable price. Our guide and host, Michael, was very knowledgeable and the entire experience was great. We even got to see stages of the Tour de France! It ranks as one of our best vacations we’ve had. — Michelle D. & Andy R., 2006 Rhône-Alpes, France.
We both really enjoyed your Tour: excellent accommodation and food, great rides, great company and a healthy dose of the Giro. What else could anyone ask for! — Hisako and Roger C., 2006 Dolomites, Italy.
It was a great trip with great people and experiences and I will remember it always. — Bill B., 2006 Dolomites, Italy.
Your ‘Giro’ exceeded our expectations … Great memories! — Chris and Stef H., 2006 Dolomites, Italy.