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Home   Tours   Venice to Mantova

Venice to Mantova

Cycling along the Po-delta and Ferrara


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Between Venice and Mantova, you will be cycling along the Venetian lagoon, Po Delta, Adriatic coast and the walled town of Ferrara, through rural areas of the Italian countryside.


After a day at your full disposal to discover the magic of Venice, you will start knowing the unique ecosystem of the lagoon and the Po Delta area. The trip leads you into the core of the Po plain, until Mantova, where a lot of worldwide known artists left their masterpieces thanks to the assignment of the famous Gonzaga family. The tour is completely flat, there is no uphill part. It follows for a good part the river.

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8 days
  • Distance 27 km
  • Lugana, white wine
  • Fresh seafood, following traditional recipes
  • Po Delta Reserve, natural beauty and birdlife
  • City of Mantua, jewel of the Renaissance

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Arrival in 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

Sunday: Venice

In the morning a local guide will let you discover the capital of the ancient “Serenissima Republic of Venice”, which held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries. After that you have a lot of time to soak up its timeless beauty or explore its

Day 3

Monday: Venice–Chioggia


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 Époque, 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

Tuesday: Chioggia–Porto Viro-Adria


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

Wednesday: Adria–Ferrara–Zelo


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

Thursday: Zelo–Mantova


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

Friday: Mantova, round tour


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

Saturday: Mantova

Departure after breakfast

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
4/8/2017 - 4/15/2017 Limited Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
4/15/2017 - 4/22/2017 Available Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
4/22/2017 - 4/29/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
4/29/2017 - 5/6/2017 Limited Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
5/6/2017 - 5/13/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
5/13/2017 - 5/20/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
5/20/2017 - 5/27/2017 Limited Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
5/27/2017 - 6/3/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
6/3/2017 - 6/10/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
6/10/2017 - 6/17/2017 Limited Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
6/17/2017 - 6/24/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
6/24/2017 - 7/1/2017 Limited Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
7/1/2017 - 7/8/2017 Limited Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
7/8/2017 - 7/15/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
7/15/2017 - 7/22/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
7/22/2017 - 7/29/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
7/29/2017 - 8/5/2017 Limited Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
8/5/2017 - 8/12/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
8/12/2017 - 8/19/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
8/19/2017 - 8/26/2017 Available Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
8/26/2017 - 9/2/2017 Limited Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
9/2/2017 - 9/9/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
9/9/2017 - 9/16/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
9/16/2017 - 9/23/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
9/23/2017 - 9/30/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
9/30/2017 - 10/7/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
10/7/2017 - 10/14/2017 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
10/14/2017 - 10/21/2017 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
10/21/2017 - 10/28/2017 Limited Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin with bunkbed € 1780,-
Ave Maria Lower deck: cabin for single use € 1290,-
Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin with low beds € 1980,-
Ave Maria Upper deck: Superior 2-berth cabin with low beds € 2260,-
Ave Maria Standard season surcharge per person (April 29th to August 19th and October 7th to October 21st) € 200,-
Ave Maria High season surcharge per person (August 26th to September 30th) € 370,-
Vita Pugna Lower deck: 2-berth cabin with low beds € 1680,-
Vita Pugna Lower deck: 2-berth cabin with low beds for single use € 1140,-
Vita Pugna Standard season surcharge per person (April 29th to August 19th and October 7th to October 21st) € 150,-
Vita Pugna High season surcharge per person (August 26th to September 30th) € 220,-

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
27-gear unisex Citybike 27-gear unisex Citybike €75
Bike Helmet Bike Helmet €15
Electric bike Electric bike Kalkhoff, Agattu model €170


  • All nights on board (incl. sheets and towels)
  • Mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Lunch packages, self-made, when on the road
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour leader on bike (English/German speaking)
  • Detailed route description, maps (1:75.000) and info-pack
  • Bus transfer Ferrara – Zelo/Ferrara – Adria
  • Entrances and visits as described in the program
  • Harbour charges
  • Guided visit in Venice and Mantova
  • Visit of cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
  • Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum


Not included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Travel risk insurance / cancellation insurance (optional)
  • Beverages
  • Museums and extras in general
  • Ferry boat stage in Pellestrina (about € 9,-)

Special details

  • Please take good notice of our booking conditions.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.
  • This tour will be operated by our local partner.

Arrival info

Saturday is the day of arrival on board and you start cycling on the 3rd day. On the day of arrival you can leave the luggage on board anytime during the day but the cabins will be available from 4.30 PM to 7.00 PM (dinner time). Just before dinner, a meeting with the tour guide and the crew is scheduled. The mooring place of the barge is at Certosa Island – Dock “Vento di Venezia”


The nearest international airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE). The airport is located about 10 km from Venice
There are several ways of transportation to get to the mooring place of the barge:
By water bus (vaporetto)  you can reach the boarding point by sea with Alilaguna lines. Travel time is between 40 minutes and 1 hour and a ticket costs about € 15,-.
By shuttle bus  with the Fly Bus ATVO shuttle service. Travel time is 20 minutes and a ticket costs € 6,-
By motor boat you can take a motorboat as collective service that will bring you directly to the island of Certosa. Travel time is about 30 minutes and a ticket price starts from € 25,- per person (min. 2 persons).
By taxi boat from Venice airport, from the railway station of Venice or from Piazzale Roma you can take a transfer by taxi boat.
Costs about  € 120,- for a maximum of 5 passengers.


Venice is easy to find coming from the highway A4 Milano- Trieste. You can park your car in Venice in several parkings. You can also park your car in Mestre and reach Venice by public transport. Average of € 18,- per day.  Detailed information will be included in your travel documents.

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later, on Saturday morning after breakfast before 9 AM, in Mantova. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board.To get to Venice Marco Polo Airport, the easiest and cheapest way is to take the train. Travel time is approx. 2.5 hours and a one-way ticket (2nd class) costs between € 13,- and € 25,-.

Book this tour

Frequently asked questions

  • How large is the group on board?

    The size of the group depends on the barge scheduled on the tour. The capacity of the barges varies between 12 and 26 participants.

  • How long are the daily cycling stages?

    The average daily distance on our Bike & Barge tours in Holland is 50 kilometers (32 miles).  But don’t forget that Dutch countryside is very flat and the stages, taken at a leisurely pace, take seven to eight hours including a number of breaks and visits.
    The time spent on your bicycle is about 4 hours per day.

  • What insurances does Cycletours offer?

    Cancellation insurance (insurance company Unigarant)

    Holidays usually are reserved and paid weeks or even months in advance. If you need to cancel or abort the tour, that always leaves you with financial consequences. Therefore we recommend to arrange a cancellation insurance.
    This insurance reimburse cancellation costs due to a serious impediment such as an accident, illness or death of relatives in the 1st or 2nd degree.

    Cancellation insurance incl. flight:

    when paying 1% extra over the travel sum of your Bike & Barge tour + flight ticket, then the cancellation expense is insured should you need to cancel or should one of these components unexpectedly be cancelled. This on the condition that no alternative arrangement can be made, so the trip cannot be taken.

  • Does a guide accompany us?

    When mentioned ‘self-guided’, the tours are on an individual basis and no guides are provided.  We will provide you with a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive description of the routes, enabling you to follow the route correctly without problems.  Furthermore, these route descriptions are frequently accompanied with information on the main tourist attractions that you’ll come across.

  • What packing list do you suggest?

    What you need to bring with you

    Specialised cycle clothing may be handy but not strictly necessary. What you do need (among other things) is the following:
    •    shorts/ long trousers/ track suit/ legging
    •    shirts/ sweater/ rain clothing
    •    gloves (in case you booked a tour for April and October. It can be chilly in the morning)
    •    good shoes
    •    sunglasses/ cap/ swimming costume
    •    extra towel
    •    soap/ insect repellent
    •    hairdryer (220V)

More questions

Price starting from € 840,- * * There are no extra's included in this price


Ave Maria
Ave Maria

About the barge

100 % Italian design.This Italian boat has been totally rebuilt in order to meet the highest client's’ requests.  It has been completely designed by a renowned architectural Italian firm. Its shapes, colours and materials have been chosen carefully in order to create a warm, sober and yet sophisticated atmosphere.

Cabin plan

10 double standard cabins of 11 m2, below deck (3 of these can become triple cabins, with a bunk bed). 3 double superior cabins of 11 m2, upper deck (each of these can become a triple cabin, with a bunk bed), windows can be opened 4 single cabins of approx. 7, 5 m2, below deck (each of these can be sold as double cabin with bunk beds) Each cabin boasts large windows, comfortable low beds, en-suite facilities and air conditioning.

Air conditioned living room, measuring 11 x 7,5 m and divided into two areas:the restaurant (33 seats) and the lounge (up to 28 seats). Two sundecks dedicated bike parking (for approx. 40 hanging bikes).Internet point with two computers Free Wi-Fi. 

  • Offical name Ave Maria
  • Length 41 m
  • Width 7.5 m
  • Capacity 40 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts
Vita Pugna
Vita Pugna

About the barge

After many years as cargo boat Vita Pugna has been totally renewed in the beginning of the 1990s in order to start its new life as floating hotel along the Dutch canals. On board the Vita Pugna you will find the same style and cosy atmosphere of the Bike & Barge cruises in Holland enhanced by the friendly and homely management of the international crew. The typical wooden cabin area and the comfortable air-conditioned living room will welcome the customers for a well-deserved rest after a day on the bike.

Cabin plan

Each cabin ( 7/8 m2) boasts twin low beds, en-suite facilities and pretty portholes
The corridor is air-conditioned
9 double cabins and one triple cabin.
Shower and toilet in all cabins
Cabins have central heating but no air conditioning.

  • Offical name MS Vita Pugna
  • Length 36 m
  • Width 5.4 m
  • Capacity 23 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts

Venice to Mantova


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