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Napa Valley

Cycle Northern California: Sonoma and Napa Valley

Example 6 Day Tour
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Cycle from stunning wine country to epic redwood forests and on to the rugged Pacific Ocean coast on this 6-day Northern California bike tour. With great weather, breathtaking scenery, and over 500 vineyards, the valleys of Napa and Sonoma are a cyclist's paradise. Off the bike, sample wine tastings, amazing cuisine, and a wealth of history to experience. This cycling adventure takes in the best of it at a pace set to enjoy rather than race, making it a trip for every rider.
Vineyard on a beautiful dayNapa Valley VineyardSonoma County VineyardRedwoods ForestSonoma CountySan Francisco Golden Gate BridgeCycling Sonoma CountyNapa Valley
  • Explore the petrified forest of Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
  • Taste local produce from legendary wines to the finest California cuisine
  • Visit California's most famous wine region in style, with lots of stops for tastings.
  • Cycle alongside the Russian River all the way to Jenner's seal colonies.
Places Visited
Activity Level: Moderate
Activities that provide a reasonable level of physical challenge and elevate the heart rate. Focused on more active pursuits including multisport tours. Travelers may be active 5-7 hours total each day. Recommended for travelers with active lifestyles.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: San Francisco | Sonoma

Welcome to California cycling adventure. Leave San Francisco and head north across the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge for the one-hour journey to the heart of the renowned Sonoma Valley winemaking region and the historic town of Sonoma. Here be fitted to your bike and, after a short safety talk, start your first ride in Californian Wine Country, enjoying a gorgeous route through the pastoral beauty of the farms and vineyards – and why not enjoy an optional tasting at one of the wineries along the way. Finish up the ride with a return to Sonoma via the same route and drop into the tree-lined town plaza, visiting the historic Mission San Francisco Solano and the Sonoma Barracks. This place is where the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt took place to separate California from Mexico. Refuel from your first ride tonight by choosing from the range of top-quality restaurants that line the square.

Included Activities:
    • Sonoma Wine Country guided & vehicle supported cycling
    Biking Distance: Approximately 23 km/14 miles, uphill for the first 4 miles then, mostly downhill, with 250 m/820 ft of overall elevation gain

    Day 2: Santa Rosa | Sonoma Valley Cycling

    After your breakfast, saddle up and head to the historic and agricultural hub of Petaluma. Your first stop today is the Petaluma Adobe State, Historic Park. The Rancho Petaluma Adobe here – thought to be one of the best-preserved buildings of its era in Northern California – was the main house of General Vallejo, a key political figure in the transition of California from Mexico to the US. Continue to the town and its well-preserved historic center, which includes many buildings that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Here you can choose to stop at one of the many creameries selling local produce from the surrounding farms – you’ll want to sample the local cheese and ice cream. Continue cycling north to the remote but beautiful Bennett Valley, stopping by a winery that, in addition to its wine, is known for its fragrant lavender fields. Be welcome to enjoy a tasting here (not included) before cycling all the way downhill to Santa Rosa, your home for the next two nights.

    Included Activities:
        • Sonoma to Santa Rosa guided & vehicle supported cycling
        Biking Distance: Approximately 60 km/37 miles, a small hill near the start, mostly flat then a steep climb at around 43kms/27 miles before descending the last 15kms/9 miles. Approximately 460m/1500ft of elevation gain.

        Day 3: Santa Rosa | Napa Valley Cycling

        After breakfast, you’ll avoid a long climb by transferring by vehicle (approximately 25 minutes) to the Petrified Forest, where you can walk among the fossilized trees perfectly preserved in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption of nearby Mt St Helena some 3.4 million years ago. Take your bike and ride into the Napa Valley proper, enjoying a freewheeling descent into the hot springs town of Calistoga. Welcome to explore some Napa wineries, including the option of visiting Chateau Montelena, which has its place in wine history with its 1976 win of the Judgement of Paris that put California on the world stage for wine quality. Even if you don’t taste there, the grounds are an impressive sight. Ride back into Sonoma County via the Franz Valley and over Chalk Hill to return to Santa Rosa for the evening.

        Included Activities:
              • Petrified Forest visit
              • Napa Valley guided & vehicle supported cycling
              Biking Distance: Approximately 68 km/42 miles, starts with a small uphill then sharp descent, then undulating slightly downhill, with approximately 630 m/ 2070ft of elevation gain.

              Day 4: Healdsburg, California

              Today, pedal west along mostly flat roads to the town of Sebastopol, once a prime apple-growing region now turned over into vineyards. Here, lining Florence Ave, you’ll be treated to the whimsical and slightly surreal sculptures made from scrap metal by a local artist couple. Then continue north to the Russian River Valley, one of the cooler wine-growing regions in northern California, specializing in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – you’re free to stop to taste along the way to Healdsburg. Tonight is free for you to explore the town of Healdsburg, and your leader will have several suggestions for you in a town that’s as much about food as wine.

              Morning Biking Distance: Approximately 42km/26 miles, slight downhill for the first 10 kms/6 miles, undulating for 20kms/12 miles, then mostly flat with approximately 250m/820ft of elevation gain.

              Day 5: Healdsburg | Russian River Cycling

              Today is a true cycling highlight as you ride into the heart of Californian redwoods country at the Armstrong Redwoods State Park. It’s impossible not to marvel at the 1,400-year-old trees that tower over 300 feet high, so take some time to appreciate the majesty of nature. Then leave wine country behind and follow the Russian River through the light forest to the small coastal town of Jenner, where the river meets the Pacific Ocean. You’ll be able to take in the sight of harbor seals beached on the riverbank with the ocean waves crashing behind them. Drive (approximately 40 min) back to Healdsburg. This afternoon you’ll have some free time to relax. Or maybe consider enjoying the many tasting rooms in town or treating yourself to a massage at a nearby spa.

              Included Activities:
                      • Armstrong Redwoods State Park
                      • Russian River guided & vehicle supported cycling
                      Biking Distance: Approximately 67kms/42 miles, undulating with approx. 525 m/1720ft of elevation gain. 

                      Day 6: Dry Creek Valley Loop | San Francisco | Return Home

                      • 1 Breakfast
                      The final ride of the week will include some truly classic wine country cycling as you spend the morning making your way on the Dry Creek Loop along quiet back roads dotted with welcoming vineyards. There’s a single steep climb along the way up to the Lake Sonoma Overlook but the 360-degree view from the top across Lake Sonoma Bridge and the Russian River is a true highlight (as is the descent back down the same road you just rode up!). At the end of the ride head back to the hotel, where you’ll have a chance to return to your room to freshen up and pack before departing Healdsburg. Take the drive back toward San Francisco, taking the leisurely route through the famed Napa Valley, visiting St Helena for lunch (and one last tasting) before arriving back at Fisherman’s Wharf around 3 pm.

                      Included Activities:
                                • Napa Winery visit
                                • Lake Sonoma to Healdsburg guided & vehicle supported cycling
                                Biking Distance: Approximately 50kms/31 miles, mostly flat except for one steep climb/descent to Lake Sonoma after 22kms/14 miles, with approximately 525 m/1725ft of elevation gain


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                                • 5 Breakfasts
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                                • 6 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
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