Mantua to Venice by Boat & Bike

Boat & Bike 7 nights


Why we love this tour

"A superb way to see the best of North Eastern Italy, riding through beautiful countryside and coastal towns whilst staying aboard your choice of barge. Sailing in to Venice towards the end of the tour is a unique experience that's not to be missed!"

Mantua's Renaissance architecture, Venice's islands and artwork

Easy waterside cycling with plenty of gelato and coffee stops

Medieval fortresses, ancient walls and historic ports

Fragrant pines, green marshes, sandy stretches and blue lagoons

Self-Guided, Guided
Superior, Standard
Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Fly to
Good for
Riverside Routes, Solo

Travelling by bike and boat, follow the longest river in Italy as it winds its way across northern Italy through Lombardy and Veneto before reaching the Adriatic near Venice. Pass through rural regions dotted with palaces and ride alongside riverbanks and canals towards Renaissance cityscapes. Ideal for families, expect easy rides with frequent stops to refuel with gelato and espressos.

You’ll take in fascinating places such as the medieval fortress at Ostiglia, the walled city of Ferrara and the ancient port of Adria. Cycling into Venice, one of Europe's most enchanting cities, is a special experience and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the islands and waterways or relax with a bowl of fresh pasta and a glass of rich Italian wine.

This tour also runs in reverse from Venice to Mantua.


Ave Maria - Mantua to Venice

The superior barge Ave Maria was designed specifically for cycling tours along the Po river and is therefore perfect for the job. Accommodating up to 40 guests in her 17 spacious and comfortable cabins, finished to a high standard.

Above deck: 4 x superior cabins approx. 11 m2 (2 of which can take 3 to 4 people with the addition of bunk beds) and large windows that can be opened. Below deck:10 x twin cabins approx. 11 m2 (three of these can accommodate up to 3 persons adding 1 bunk bed), 3 x bunk bed cabins approx. 7.5 m2 (also available as single cabins).

All cabins have private shower and wc (hairdryers on request). The sophisticated salon is the ideal place to enjoy meals or relax whilst watching the scenery drift by. On deck there are 2 sundecks for sunbathing and al fresco dining. Other facilities include a large screen in the lounge and free hot drinks machine.

Take a virtual tour of the Ave Maria


Ave Maria

Ave Maria

Vita Pugna - Mantua to Venice

The standard barge Vita Pugna, meaning” Life is a battle “, is a 36-metre-long, 5.4-metre-wide converted Dutch barge. She can accommodate up to 21 guests. 

There are nine twin cabins (7-8m²) and one triple cabin (7-8m²), all of which have twin beds, shower and WC and AC. There is a lounge and restaurant and a spacious outside deck for relaxation, as well as a free hot drinks machine.

Take a virtual tour of the Vita Pugna

Vita Pugna

Vita Pugna

Ave Maria - Venice to Mantua

This is the reverse itinerary from Venice to Mantua.

Vita Pugna - Venice to Mantua

This is the reverse itinerary from Venice to Mantua.

We have been on this tour - and loved it! Speak to us and find out if it's right for you.

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What's included

Price includes

7 nights accommodation: superior 'Ave Maria' or standard 'Vita Pugna'

Board basis: Full board including breakfast, a self-made packed lunch and three-course dinner

Cycle helmets

Tea, coffee & hot chocolate drinks on board

Bus transfer Ferrara - Adria

Maps and route information (GPS tracks available on request)

English speaking tour guide on board and on bike (second tour leader on the Ave Maria if at least 25 guests have booked)

Mid week cabin cleaning and towel change

Harbour charges

Guided tours in Mantua and Venice

Cheese tasting at Grana Padano cheese factory

Visit to Carousel & Street Entertainment Museum

Visit to a glass factory on Murano island

Price excludes

Flights and transfers

Bike hire

Ticket for public transport in Venice


Tips and drinks on board​

Special dietary requests

Bike hire and extras

Bike hire

Pannier, handlebar bag or map holder and lock all included at no extra cost when you hire a bike. The bikes are also equipped with puncture-resistant Schwalbe tyres. One repair kit per room is provided and includes a spare inner tube, glue, patch, pump, allen keys and tyre levers. Helmets can also be provided at no additional charge - please add at time of booking if required.

Hybrid bike

Hybrid bike with 27 gears


E-Bike (2020 departures)


E-Bike (2021 departures)


Other Extras


Helmet hire

Board upgrade

Gluten free, lactose free or vegan diet


Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about this tour. Simply click on a question to reveal the answer.

How do I get there?

Fly to Venice or Verona. Take a train (Trenitalia) or bus to Mantua (or Venice for reverse itinerary). 

Alternatively by train, take the Eurostar from London to Paris, change for overnight train to Milan and change for Mantua (or take the Eurostar from London to Paris, change for overnight train to Venice Mestre). 

How do I get back?

Take a train (Trenitalia) or bus from Venice (or Mantua for reverse itinerary) to your return airport, Flying from Verona or Venice.


What is an ‘Easy’ cycle holiday?

Your days will involve gentle riding, mainly on flat terrain and with minimal effort required. Easy cycling holidays are suitable for most people whether you are a regular cyclist or not, however we recommend at least a few practice rides before your holiday!

We are always on hand to offer advice, so please give us a call if you wish to chat about the tour’s grading.

How do I get there?

Fly to Verona or Venice, then take a train (Trenitalia) or bus to Mantova.

How do I get back?

Take a train (Trenitalia) or bus from Venice to your return airport, Flying from Verona or Venice.

Will the itinerary ever change?

For Boat & Bike tours the boat will generally keep to the advertised itinerary, however the captain may have to adapt the itinerary due to the river or sea conditions.

How much space will I have in my cabin?

There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.

What's the etiquette with crew tips?
Tips are at your own discretion, an envelope is always left in the cabins on the last day.
Can I stay on the boat during the day and not cycle?

Yes, you can relax on the boat or explore when you arrive at each destination instead of cycling. 

Can the boat cater for special dietary requirements?

Please advise us of any special requirements at time of booking and we will notify the boat operator in advance. Understandably, kitchen galley space is limited and it may not be possible to provide specialist products (eg. Gluten free). We suggest you bring a few items with you and, in some cases, these can be provided at a supplement. 

Do I have to cycle as part of a group?

This tour is guided and self-guided, so you have the option to cycle with your guide or independently with the maps and route notes provided. 

Can I book by myself?

Absolutely! Boat & Bike tours are very sociable and a good choice for single travellers wishing to mix with other guests and share your common interest of cycling.

Have another question? Get in Touch with us
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Freedom Treks is run by a small team of passionate cyclists, we can help find a tour that is right for you.

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