• more than 30 years of experience
  • wide range throughout Europe
  • guided and self-guided
  • good quality bikes

Venice to Mantua

Cycling along the Po-delta and Ferrara


  • Start
  • Finish


Blending nature, culture and fine cuisine, this leisurely bike and barge tour along the waterways of the River Po offers more than just a taster of Northern Italy.

This tour explores celebrated cities of art, one of Europe’s prime Nature Reserves and a wealth of tucked-away rural hamlets along the route, rewarding our daily rides with authentic regional dishes back on board. From the glory of Venice, the lagoon leads us to colourful Chioggia. Next up, the natural wonders of the Po Delta, famed for its birdlife. Then Adria, once a key Roman port, and onwards to Ferrara and Mantua – once major city states crowned by the Italian Renaissance.

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8 days
  • Distance 42 km, average per day
  • 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

We welcome you aboard your new home-from-home from 4.30 p.m. onwards, and then regroup for the introductory briefing – at 6.30 – with your tour leader, skipper and crew, along with a first refreshing aperitivo. After dinner we can savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia

Day 2

Sunday: Venice

After breakfast – and perhaps following a wander off the beaten track with your tour leader – we all meet up with our Venetian guide for a tour through the historic centre. Christened La Serenissima (“The Most Serene”), the Venetian Republic held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries – both as a military power and a beacon of culture, her explorers reaching as far as China and Newfoundland. After your guided tour, you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace.

Day 3

Monday: Venice–Pelestrina/Chioggia


Leaving Venice behind after a gentle cruise, our cycling adventure starts on the Lido, the first of two islands we traverse today. Fashionable in high society ever since 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 by ferry takes us into another world: Pellestrina, where we ride past the picturesque cottages and boats of this humble fishing backwater. We rejoin our barge just in front of Chioggia – a bustling and colourful fishing hub known as “Little Venice”.

Day 4

Tuesday: Pellestrina/Chioggia–Po Delta Nature Reserve-Adria


We open the day with a stroll through Chioggia, followed perhaps by a visit up the millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. Weather permitting, we can also bask in the sun at a fine-sand beach nearby: a dip in the Adriatic, a hot savoury piadina – and you are well and truly local! Then onwards into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a colony of flamingos. We moor for the night in Adria, a key Roman port, once washed by the waters of the sea which bears its name. Adria is also renowned for its Etruscan and Greek heritage. An after-dinner passeggiata into town for a well-earned grappa or gelato is in order.

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 ruling family, the Este, this city state attracted architects, artists and scholars for centuries, pioneering town planning principles that have been emulated worldwide ever since. To this day, Ferrara University ranks among the best, and the town is dubbed the ”Cycling Capital of Italy”. A private bus and trailer take 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–Mantua


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 Mantua trough a magnificent navigation in the late afternoon.

Day 7

Friday: Mantua, 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: Mantua

Departure after breakfast

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
4/6/2019 - 4/13/2019 Available Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
4/13/2019 - 4/20/2019 Available Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
4/20/2019 - 4/27/2019 Limited Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
4/27/2019 - 5/4/2019 Available Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
5/4/2019 - 5/11/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
5/11/2019 - 5/18/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
5/18/2019 - 5/25/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
5/25/2019 - 6/1/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
6/1/2019 - 6/8/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
6/8/2019 - 6/15/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
6/15/2019 - 6/22/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
6/22/2019 - 6/29/2019 Limited Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
6/29/2019 - 7/6/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
7/6/2019 - 7/13/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
7/13/2019 - 7/20/2019 Available Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
7/20/2019 - 7/27/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
7/27/2019 - 8/3/2019 Available Venice Ave Maria Comfort Book now
8/3/2019 - 8/10/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
8/10/2019 - 8/17/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
8/17/2019 - 8/24/2019 Available Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
8/24/2019 - 8/31/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
8/31/2019 - 9/7/2019 Limited Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now
9/7/2019 - 9/14/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
9/14/2019 - 9/21/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
9/21/2019 - 9/28/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
9/28/2019 - 10/5/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
10/5/2019 - 10/12/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
10/12/2019 - 10/19/2019 Fully Booked Venice Vita Pugna Comfort
10/19/2019 - 10/26/2019 Fully Booked Venice Ave Maria Comfort
10/26/2019 - 11/2/2019 Available Venice Vita Pugna Comfort Book now

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Prices are per cabin 0 0
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Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, bunk bed on April 6 € 1780,- 0 0
Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, bunk bed, April 20-Aug. 24 + Oct. 19 € 2480,- 0 0
Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, bunk bed, Sept. 7 - Oct. 5 € 2880,- 0 0
0 0
Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds on April 6 € 1980,- 0 0
Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds, April 20-Aug. 24 + Oct. 19 € 2680,- 0 0
Ave Maria Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds, Sept. 7 - Oct. 5 € 3080,- 0 0
0 0
Ave Maria Upper deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds on April 6 € 2260,- 0 0
Ave Maria Upper deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds, April 20-Aug. 24 + Oct. 19 € 2960,- 0 0
Ave Maria Upper deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds, Sept. 7 - Oct. 5 € 3360,- 0 0
0 0
Vita Pugna Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds on April 13 - August 17 € 2180,- 0 0
Vita Pugna Lower deck: 2-berth cabin, low beds on August 31 - October 12 € 2380,- 0 0

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
27-gear unisex Citybike 27-gear unisex Citybike Incl. bike helmet €85
Electric bike Electric bike Kalkhoff, Agattu model, incl. bike helmet €195


  • All nights on board (incl. sheets and towels)
  • Season supplement
  • 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 Mantua
  • Visit of cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
  • Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum


Not included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Cabin for single occupancy (Standard cabin): supplement of € 300,- (only available on the lower deck)
  • Bicycle rent
  • Personal 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 Terms & Conditions.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.
  • This tour will be operated by our local partner.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of gluten-free and vegan there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Tour programme variations: The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/ Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po river and connects Mantua to the Adriatic Sea. Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered – previously not announced – repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the boat’s captain.

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 Mantua. 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

  • What biking level is the Venice to Mantua tour?

    Easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for most people.

    This cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily stages vary from 25 to 55 km – mostly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and canals, or quiet country roads. The boat is moored at night and typically sets sail after breakfast, meeting up with the bikes in the afternoon. Some parts of the itinerary are undertaken by boat, to allow easier access onto cycling paths or simply to enjoy the cruise.

  • 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 including  air 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.

  • What packing list do you suggest?

    What you need to bring with you on the Bike & Barge tours starting and/or ending in the Netherlands and along the Mosel & Saar:

    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 in April and October. It can be chilly in the morning)
    •    good shoes/ sneakers
    •    sunglasses/ cap/ swimming costume
    •    shower gel
    •    shampoo (available on the barge Sailing Home)
    •    insect repellent
    •    hairdryer (220V) (available on the barges Sailing Home and Zwaan)

    The final packing list we suggest for your tour will be included in your travel documents.

More questions

Price starting from € 890,- * * 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

The Ave Maria is equipped with:
- 4 Superior double cabins above deck, approx. 11 m² (three of these can accommodate up to 4 persons adding 2 bunk beds);
- 10 Standard double cabins below deck, approx. 11 m² (three of these can accommodate up to 3 persons adding 1 bunk bed);
- 3 bunk bed cabins below deck, approx. 7.5 m² (also available as single cabins).

All cabins enjoy sizeable windows (the ones in the Superior cabins can also be partially opened), comfortable low beds, en-suite facilities, air conditioning and safety box.
Bed/bunk size is 2.00 x 0.80 m. Most of the double beds can be separated into two single beds.

The air-conditioned living area measures 11 x 7.5 m and is divided into two parts:
- the Restaurant (up to 33 seats)
- the Lounge (up to 28 seats).

Extra features:
- 2 sundecks
- Free hot drinks machine (including Italian ground coffee)
- Free WiFi in the common areas
- Large 55" screen in the lounge for video
- Hair-dryers (limited number) available on request

  • 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

The boat Vita Pugna is equipped with:
- 10 Standard twin cabins (including one accommodating up to 3 guests) of 7/8 m².

All cabins are air-conditioned and are equipped with comfortable low twin beds and en-suite facilities. They also offer the convenience of attractive, traditional portholes, which can be opened for fresh air. Bed size is 1.90/2 m x 0.75/0.80 m.

There is a spacious air-conditioned lounge/restaurant with 5 tables, accommodating up to 23 guests.

Extra features:
- 1 sundeck
- Free hot drinks machine (including Italian ground coffee)
- Free WiFi
- Large 42" screen in the lounge for video

  • 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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