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Although Umbria is mostly made of hilly terrain covered with forests, there are lakes, valleys and mountains to explore by bike as well. The region’s diversity in terrain attracts cyclists of all skill levels. The mountain ranges of the Apennines are more suitable for experienced mountain bike cyclists who have a strong endurance to steep climbing conditions. Easier cycling routes are found along the asphalt-covered roads in Umbria Valley, Assisi and Spoleto, while flat terrain around Lake Trasimeno offers moderate bike riding.
Umbria enjoys a temperate climate in the plains and valleys of the region. It tends to be warm much of the year in these areas, with the hottest temperatures being in July and September. During the winter, rain can make the region cold and the terrain wet.
Arugula, goat cheese and meat stews containing lentils are Umbrian staples. These foods are often paired with homemade breads like torta, a type of flatbread cooked over hot coals. In Norcia, pork sausage is very popular with cyclists and food connoisseurs alike. Capocollo and Prosciutto di Norcia, which is an Umbrian favorite, are two of the most prized pork meats.
Best Wine Regions
Umbria’s prosperity is greatly influenced by the wines it produces. The Sagrantino Wine Road, which begins in Bevagna and ends in Montefalco. This wine trail is home to many incomparable wineries and vineyards that produce Sagrantino, one of Umbria’s finest varietals.
The Road of the Canticle winds through Spello, Perugia, Cannara and the medieval town of Assisi, which is the birthplace of St. Clare and St. Francis. Red Assisi Rossi - made with Sangiovese and Merlot - is an important wine to savior in Umbria. In the Etruscan-Roman wine region, Orvieto uses Grechetto and Trebbiano to make its white wines. Orvieto’s wines - such as the incomparable Orvieto Classico Abboccato - are best discovered by guided luxury or family bike tours. Most tour operators provide van transportation, full meals and hotel accommodations. Road bike is recommended for cycling this region’s paved terrain.
Best Cycling Routes and Tours
The difficult self-guided cycling routes leading from Norcia to Sibillini Mountains National Park are excellent for any adventurous soul seeking the ultimate road bike tour. Stopping in Visso and Castelluccio gives you time to take in the panoramic views of the terrain before ending at the park. The paved road trip, complete with steep climbs and difficult uphill riding, is about 80 km from start to finish.
Hike and Bike Italy offers a very good cycling route for all skill levels through its Umbria Cycling Tour: The Green Heart of Italy. Beginning in Sansepolcro and arriving in Spoleto, this bike tour takes you through asphalt-covered and graveled road terrain for a goal of 30 miles per day. You bring your road bike or rent one of theirs. Breakfast and accommodations are included, but lunch and dinner meals are not.
Umbria National Airport (PEG) connects to almost every location in the region. Flights leave all the major countries, including the United States and Canada. Once you arrive, bus shuttles and car rentals are available. Buses connect to Assisi, Perugia and all of the other major cities.