Self-Guided Napa Valley Road Biking

Cycle through Napa Valley Wine Country

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The climate and topography of California’s Napa Valley are perfect for producing world-class wines, and are equally inviting for bike-loving wine enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in a land stitched together by stubborn farmers and captured by storytelling giants like Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson. Self-guided travel is about building memories while the heavy lifting is done for you, allowing you to build your own adventure from the seat of your bicycle.

Available May 1 to October 31.

Why travel with AOA?: Find out more

Price: from $1,299 pp

Activity: Road Biking

6 days, 5 nights

Difficulty: Easy

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Self-Guided Napa Valley Road Biking

Trip Details

PRICE

$1,499 pp with 2 participants

$1,345 pp with 4 participants

$1,299 pp with 6 participants

We cannot accommodate solo travelers on self-guided trips. Price is per person, shared occupancy in all accommodations.

Prices are based on your trip starting on Sunday. Possible increased costs for trips that start on other days of the week.

*Find out more about solo accommodations under the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below.*

 

Overview

This casual cycling trip begins in Calistoga and makes its way towards the heart of Napa Valley and the famous Silverado Trail, rich in cultural and culinary delights. Take advantage of a soak in mineral-rich mud baths, taste world-renowned local fare, and enjoy the many styles of architecture displayed across these classic scenes. You will end your journey in Sonoma, CA, one of the best wine country destinations in Sonoma County, with a downtown plaza surrounded by one-of-a-kind restaurants and shops.

 

Trip Rating Retails

self guided napa valley road bike trip rating

Click the icon for an explanation of these trip ratings.

 

Where to Meet

START: Day 1, Meet at the Calistoga Hotel at 4:00pm for orientation.

END: Day 5, Leave your bikes at your hotel in Sonoma.

GUESTS: 2 min

 

Included

  • All luggage transfers with each hotel change
  • Personal orientation on Day 1 with expert staff to go over your route book, bike set up and cover the days ahead
  • 2 nights of superior lodging in Calistoga
  • 2 nights of superior lodging in Napa Valley
  • 1 night of superior lodging in Sonoma
  • Breakfast daily (lunch and dinner on your own)
  • Gloves, helmet, clipless pedals upon request (with bike rental)
  • Local wine country guide book
  • Detailed route book with maps, cue sheets, suggestions for stops, water, restaurants and more
  • Pre-travel preparation via detailed trip packet
  • Assistance in planning pre- and post-trip travel
  • Telephone support throughout the trip

Not Included

  • Lunches and dinners
  • Bike Rental (Available from AOA, see below)
  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Air transportation to and from San Francisco
  • Airport or hotel transfers to Calistoga Inn
  • Optional gratuities to AOA staff

*Please see the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below for a list of available gear rentals and purchase options.*

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When’s the best time to go on this trip?

A: This trip is available from May 1 to October 31. May and June;  September and October are the high season months which makes our trips more competitive. These limitations should be considered when booking. For best rates, tour must start on a Sunday. Supplement required with other start days.

Q: What is self-guided? Why should I plan my self-guided cycling trip with AOA?

A: Self guided travel is a growing trend due to the flexibility to start and the extraordinary price. It offers support and independence, and customers don’t have to do any work to put it together!

  • You travel on the dates that work best for you and your group
  • You travel with your own small group, typically 2 to 10 travelers
  • Your route is meticulously planned by our experienced staff
  • All your lodging is taken care of
  • All your luggage transfers are included
  • You have access to local support and emergency services twenty four hours a day

Q: What are the rides like and how do I train for the trip?

A: This self-guided trip is intended to be easier, done on hybrids, and accessible to more people interested in winery visits and leisure riding. The routes can be busy with car traffic like on the Silverado Trail, but it most have wide shoulders. Riders should be regular cyclists doing at least 20 miles per ride and comfortable alongside cars; riding in bike lanes.

Q: What sort of accommodations are included on this trip?

A: Night 1‐2 Calisoga: Mount View Hotel and Spa (Upgrade possible: Solage Calistoga). The Mount View is a premier boutique hotel with over 100 years of hospitality in Calistoga.

Night 3-4 Napa Valley: Inn on First (Upgrade: Napa River Inn). The Inn on First is a luxury B&B in the heart of Napa that pays particular attention to cuisine and their breakfast!

Night 5-6 Sonoma: El Dorado Hotel (Upgrade: Inn at Sonoma) The El Dorado is contemporary 27 room boutique hotel located right on the square in Sonoma.

Upgrades  & Additions

Solo Accommodations Upgrade

$810 pp 

No solo travelers, this option is for a single room while traveling with your group.

 

Gear Rental

  • Bike rental is available through AOA. See the Bike Rentals tab below.

 

*A bike and helmet are not included with the cost of this trip.*

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).

Trip Dates

Dates

2017

Available May 1 – October 31.

How to reserve your self-guided trip:

One of the benefits of going self-guided is that your travel dates are dependent only on you. We are able to offer this trip at your convenience during the specified season. Please discuss your preferred travel dates with our staff upon inquiry.

To see all of AOA’s multi-day trips, visit our Tour Calendar.

Bike Rental

Bike Rental Options

This trip does not include a rental bike. AOA offers rental road bikes in partnership with a local bike rental shop near Napa for your self-guided trip. Each road bike rental includes a helmet and flat repair kit, and can be set up to your basic fit requirements. You are welcome to bring your own pedals and saddle to use with your rental. 

BIKE RENTAL FOR THIS TOUR:

Hybrid Bike: – $150 for the duration of the tour.

27 speed; 3×9 Deore/Altus drivetrain, Shimano wheels and disk brakes.

Bike rentals include helmet, gloves, flat tire repair kit, lock, bike bags, 2 bottle cages and bottles, bike computer, and choice of pedals – or bring your own.

OTHER RENTALS AVAILABLE 

  • Carbon frame road bike: Disc brakes, components similar to Shimano 105 or better. Past options include the Ridely Helium and BH Quartz. Inquire about current rental road bike options for self-guided cycling trips in California.
  • Aluminum frame road bike: Disc brakes, drop bars. Past options include the Fuji Sportif 1.
  • Hybrid bike: Aluminum frame, flat bar. Past options include the Breezer Liberty
  • Electric Assist bike: Flat bar, electric assist to aid on climbs
 Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax.

Reservation & Cancellation Policy

Reservations, Payments and Cancellation

AOA’s cycling trips are very popular and advanced planning is often necessary. We recommend making your reservations at least 3 to 5 months in advance. We can accommodate last-minute bookings provided space is available, so please call our office to check.

We strongly recommend that you purchase “travel insurance.” This is a valuable tool that will protect your trip investment.

For more details please see our comprehensive Trip Policies and Payments page.

 

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN CALISTOGA FOR ORIENTATION

4:00pm, Upon arrival at the Calistoga Hotel, one of our travel experts will meet you in the lobby and prepare you for the trip ahead! You will review the provided Route Book and all hotel reservations in detail. After getting to know you and the cycling tour you are looking for, our staff may suggest customized rides or activities to enhance your week.  Next, they will provide a brief check over your bike to ensure you have a good understanding of the equipment and that it is set to fit you appropriately. If time and daylight allows, they’ll send you out on a short warm-up ride through the charming town of Calistoga.

  • Cycling: 7.5 miles; +189 ft elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Mount View Hotel and Spa (upgrade: Solage Calistoga)
Self-Guided road bike tour through Napa Wine Country with AOA

Riding past one of the many vineyards of Napa Wine Country

DAY 2: KNIGHT’S VALLEY LOOP RIDE

Today is a loop ride that explores the gorgeous scenery of northern Napa Valley. Cycle along lovely Calistoga back roads before climbing over the hills that separate Napa Valley from Knights Valley. Known for its warm days and cool nights, this is the warmest viticultural region in the county. The valley’s beauty and mineral-rich volcanic rhyolitic soils are as prized today as they were in ancient times. Turn into the intimate Franz Valley for a climb back over the hills into Napa Valley and then enjoy a gradual descent to downtown Calistoga. Wine tasting? Calistoga offers numerous local tasting stops to choose from. Fees for tasting usually start at $10 and go up to $25/$35 per person.

  • Cycling: 19.2 miles; +1,233 ft elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Mount View Hotel and Spa (upgrade: Solage Calistoga)

DAY 3: CALISTOGA TO NAPA VALLEY ON THE SILVERADO TRAIL

Leave your luggage at the bell stand and ride the famed Silverado Trail. Explore, swirl, sniff, sip, and cycle your way through Napa Valley, one of the most notable wine regions in the world. This road, which skirts along the east side of Napa Valley, has generous shoulders and minimal traffic. You will pass many incredible wineries and should have time to visit some on this leg of your journey. Your Route Book will provide suggestions on some of AOA’s favorites but can also help you find details on any spots on your “must see” list. You will also find wine tasting, and much more, all within easy walking distance of your destination in historic downtown Napa. Explore the local nightlife or perhaps enjoy a massage to shake out the past two full days of cycling.

  • Cycling: 30.2 miles; +835 ft elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Inn on First (upgrade: Napa Valley Inn)

If you go on this self-guided tour during late spring and early summer, you’ll see beautiful fields of flowers on your rides through Napa Wine Country.

DAY 4: DAY LOOP FROM NAPA VALLEY (MOUNT VEEDER AND DRY CREEK ROAD)

Escape to quiet mountain roads and ride Mount Veeder, a favorite loop for the Napa locals. The views from this road, and the light traffic, make for a spectacular and rewarding ride. After you reach the summit, it’s pretty much all downhill on Dry Creek Road back to Napa. As you cruise along, soak in views of small mountain vineyards and pass through shaded forests. If you prefer a shorter route today, an out-and-back on Dry Creek Road is an excellent option. The road follows Dry Creek from the Napa Valley floor up a long narrow canyon into the mountains. Total climbing is a little over one-thousand feet on road that gets a lot of shade from the trees that line the sides of the road.

  • Cycling: 25-26 miles; +1,757 feet elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Inn on First (upgrade: Napa Valley Inn)

DAY 5: NAPA VALLEY TO SONOMA (LOS CARNEROS)

Sonoma is located on the opposite side of the Mayacama Mountains, about six miles due west of Napa. Your route to get there curves around the southern end of these mountains through the Carneros region. The close proximity to San Pablo Bay brings in cool fog and breezes, making ideal conditions for cultivating the cooler climate varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Have a stop in at Artesa Vineyard or Domaine Carneros for a taste along the way to Sonoma. End the day at Sonoma Plaza with its collection of fine boutiques, festive wine tasting rooms, and award-winning restaurants for you to explore.

For a little extra mileage and scenery the Lovall Valley loop is an easy out-and-back from Sonoma that can be added onto your ride from Napa. The climb up Lovall Valley Road is not difficult and the scenic loop within the small valley make this a must do ride.

  • Cycling: 11-19 miles
    • Short Ride Option: 11 miles; +651 feet elevation
    • Long Ride Option: 18.8 miles; +680 feet elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: El Dorado Hotel (upgrade: Inn at Sonoma)
Road biking tour stops at wineries in Napa Wine Country

A great stop during your Napa Wine Country road bike tour is obviously at one of the wineries along the way!

DAY 6: SONOMA LOOP (SUGARLOAF RIDGE AND JACK LONDON STATE PARK) AND TRAVEL HOME

Today you venture north through Sonoma Valley. Also known as Valley of the Moon, Sonoma was romanticized by famous author Jack London. From the seat of your bike you travel through lovely Glen Ellen, see where Jack London lived, and continue north through Kenwood for a climb to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. This gorgeous park contains the headwaters of Sonoma Creek. It runs through gorge and canyon, across the meadow floor, beneath scenic rock outcroppings, and is surrounded at times by redwoods and ferns. It’s worth stopping for a short walk along the creek to admire the scenery before you return back the way you came to Sonoma.

If you are looking for something a little less ambitious today, ride instead to Jack London State Park near Glen Ellen. Perched high on Sonoma Mountain with over 1400 pristine acres and 26 miles of trails to explore, plus a rich, colorful, and well preserved history; Jack London State Park is an outdoor paradise. The climb on London Ranch Road is mostly gradual and along this road is the famous Benziger Family Winery, known for its bio-dynamic farming practices and fascinating history.

  • Cycling: 17-34 miles
    • Short Ride Option: 17.3 miles; +878 feet elevation
    • Long Ride Option: 33.9 miles; +1,688 feet elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: El Dorado Hotel (upgrade: Inn at Sonoma)

End of tour services upon conclusion of the ride. You can add an extra night here tonight, but please book in advance.

NOTE: Because weekend rates are so high in the region, we allow you to travel on to nearby cities/villages. An extra night tonight here at the El Dorado range from $265-$485 depending on season and room.

 

Tips for Planning A Road Biking Trip

Before you rent or ride a bike, you might want to know what size you are. Here’s a blog on finding out your best bike fit.

Any plans for a road biking trip this spring? We have advice for where (and why) you should go and how to plan your spring road biking trip.

While all of our road cycling tours have rider support, it’s still very important that you know the basics of bike maintenance before any ride.