Recommended tour operator: Headwater
Take a relaxed holiday wine-tasting and cycling at your own pace around vineyards in Napa Valley.
Our nine-night independent California Vineyards cycling holiday is a gentle meander around the numerous wineries, pretty small towns, lush valleys and the Pacific coast.
We arrange for you to stay in delightful and characterful hotels and inns each evening – many of them host wine and cheese evenings and all promise a warm welcome.
As on all our holidays, your luggage is transferred for you each day so you don’t have to carry more than sunscreen, water and our route map.
The trip starts in Yountville, culinary capital of the Napa Valley, and then winds along the Silverado Trail to Calistoga (from where you can head out to see the Old Faithful Geyser).
Cycle on through three of the prime wine-producing areas – Northern Napa, Alexander and Dry Creek – to Healdsburg (one of our favourite places in California). There’s a night in eclectic Guerneville (where the hotel we’ve selected gained a Michelin Star in 2012) before you hit the Sonoma Coast, passing through redwood forests with the chance to see all sorts of wildlife, birds and native plants.
Your final stop – before we drive you back to San Francisco – is Bodega Bay, renowned not least as the place where Hitchcock’s The Birds was filmed.
There are some gentle climbs but nothing strenuous. Stop off en route for a mud bath or hot springs experience and enjoy long, leisurely lunches – the restaurants and cuisine in this region are superb.
This holiday operates between April and November – there is also an option to stay in family-run B&Bs if you prefer something more informal and we can add on a stay in San Francisco at the beginning or end of your trip.