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Athens to Savannah Bicycle Tour

Duration
7 nights
BASE PRICE
$1,979-2,897
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Active
Book Tour
type
Guided
DISTANCE
38-62 miles/day

Overview

Travel Georgia off the beaten path through scenic countryside from Athens to Savannah with overnights at charming rural inns and bed and breakfasts. Experience beautiful small towns across Georgia with your local guides, who will share history and local stories as you explore Southern backroads and hidden gems. This bicycle tour is designed for Active-level cyclists (3 on a scale of 1-4), but e-bikes will also be available.

Each day of the tour averages about 45 miles of road cycling with excursions along the way planned with local experts. Enjoy a cold Georgia beer as we relax after each day’s ride and explore your overnight location. Enjoy Southern flavor each day with locally prepared meals.

The tour begins barely an hour from Atlanta in Athens, home to the Georgia Bulldogs, an internationally acclaimed music scene (that spawned R.E.M. and the B-52’s), and six breweries ripe for exploring. Arrive early to explore, to fill your bellies with food and drink, and to enjoy entertainment before starting our bicycle adventure.

As we spend the week touring from Athens to Savannah by bike, we’ll experience the variety of Georgia’s cities from bustling college towns to quiet small communities. We seek out adventure, stories, friends and food along the way for a memorable journey toward coastal Savannah, rich with history and charm.

Partial proceeds from the tour will support efforts to create the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail, which will ultimately connect to the Firefly Trail, creating a 250-mile paved path from Athens to Savannah. This tour was created in part to create awareness about the project and demonstrate the potential economic impact of the trail on rural Georgia.

Highlights

  • Charming and traditional country lodging
  • Wonderful Southern dining
  • Southern charm and hospitality
  • Athens’ music, arts, beer and food scene
  • Jittery Joe's Coffee Roaster
  • Sweet Olive Farm
  • Ogeechee River Mill
  • Glen Mary Historic Home
  • Historic Downtown Savannah

Difficulty

Active
Level 3 of 4

Terrain is relatively gentle and ultimately downhill, but please note distances.

Descend Georgia’s rolling hills during this seven-day tour. Our first two days travel through the Georgia Piedmont region, which is more hilly than mountainous. Our third day transitions us to gentle, mostly downward terrain that falls quickly as we enter the Fall Line. We approach the Coastal Plain of Georgia on Day 4 with long rolling hills on Days 4 and 5. It’s smooth cycling on Days 6 and 7 with mostly flat terrain from Statesboro to Savannah.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Athens
Bike fitting 5-6 pm at Graduate Athens
Welcome dinner and orientation

Overnight at Graduate Athens hotel


Gillen House B&B

Day 2: Athens to Maxeys (38 miles)
We begin our bicycle tour in Athens at the Jittery Joe’s Coffee Roaster with a coffee roasting lesson. Next, we’ll adventure to the picturesque town of Winterville for a tour at Sweet Olive Farm and lunch at the Little City Diner. We’ll digest our lunch during a tour of the Winterville Auditorium  in the city’s historic district. We will reach our overnight destination, Gillen House Bed and Breakfast in the small town of Maxeys, where we can explore its two acres of grounds including a pecan orchard and a vegetable and herb garden, relax on the back deck with the sounds of the waterfall, or head to the upstairs screen porch to enjoy a wonderful sunset.

Overnight at Gillen House Bed and Breakfast in Maxeys.

Day 3: Maxeys to Jewell (49 miles)
After breakfast at the Gillen House, we continue to Georgia’s Fall Line. This is a geographic point of interest where the land falls quickly at the rivers creating rocky outcrops in the rivers, perfect for making hydroelectric mills back in the 1800s and early 1900s. We’ll explore these old mills as we pass them on our ride for the next few days including a private guided tour of the historic Ogeechee River Mill. We’ll also explore the riverbank of the Ogeechee River and historic mill town architecture of Jewell.

Ogeechee River Mill

We’ll explore Georgia history and beautiful architecture in the rural communities of Mayfield and Jewell. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in Union Point provided by the Union Point Garden Club.

We end our ride in Hancock County, where we settle for the night and have a chance to meander along the riverbank of the Ogeechee River and discover historic mill town architecture of Jewell.

Overnight in Jewell either at The Jewell House in Jewell or the Glen Mary Cottage House

Fueling for the ride

Day 4: Jewell to Tennille (40 miles)
We’ll start day four slowly, with breakfast and a backroad bicycle ride to Hamburg State Park. Today we’ll explore Washington County, the Kaolin Capital of the World, and its charming towns of Sandersville, where we’ll enjoy lunch at The Meat Market (not included), and Tennille, where we’ll have dinner and overnight at the charming Lavender Country House.

Overnight at The Lavender Country House, Tennille

Day 5: Tennille to Swainsboro (44 miles)
After a filling breakfast at our inn, we have a day dedicated to cycling—and then resting. We’ll travel down backroads from Tennille to Twin City, with rest stops at points of interest along the way including a picnic lunch (guided tour only) at a country church.

Edenfield House Bed and Breakfast

Overnight at Edenfield House Bed and Breakfast.

Day 6: Swainsboro to Guyton (67 miles)
It’s all downhill from here and that’s a good thing! Yes, the remainder of our ride from Statesboro to the coast is flat and easy. We’ll stop mid-way in the college town of Statesboro for lunch (on our own) at the downtown establishment of your choice. As we leave Statesboro on our way to Guyton, we’ll slide back into rural Georgia heading to Effingham County to explore Guyton. We’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of the 26-mile abandoned rail-bed that runs through the center of Guyton (and the entirety of the county north to south), where two organizations—Bike Effingham and the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail—are working to transition this abandoned rail bed into a trail. Dinner at Claudette’s Bed and Breakfast, a charming Victorian inn in Guyton.

Claudette's Bed and Breakfast

Overnight at Claudette’s Bed and Breakfast in Guyton.

Savannah Waterfront

Day 7: Guyton to Savannah (39 miles)
We’re getting closer and can almost smell the salt air as we draw closer to Savannah. When we arrive, we’ll have time to enjoy the walkable downtown historic district and its squares. Explore the history and people of Savannah and perhaps enjoy a taste of local food and drink before our farewell dinner at the Olde Pink House.

Overnight at Best Western -- Savannah Historic District

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, departure or extra nights. Transfers to Savannah Airport, Athens and Atlanta available at additional cost.

Dates & Pricing

Dates

Saturdays, September 18-November 6, 2021 (other dates upon request for private groups)
Guided: September 18, 25; October 2, 9, 2021
Supported: October 16, 23, 30; November 6, 2021

Pricing

Base tour price (per person)
Guided: $2,879 double occupancy
Supported: $1,979 double occupancy
$634 single room supplement

Rental bikes (limited availability)
Hybrid touring bike or road bike: $350/week
Electric-assist bike: $450/week

Inclusions
  • 7 nights lodging
  • 5 dinners (Days 2-6), excludes alcohol
  • 6 breakfasts (only coffee and pastry in Athens, at Jittery Joe's)
  • 2 lunches (plus 2 picnics for guided tour)
  • Activities as described in itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Ride-along guide (guided tour dates only)
  • Driver
  • Support vehicle
Map
Gallery
  • Charming and traditional country lodging
  • Wonderful Southern dining
  • Southern charm and hospitality
  • Athens’ music, arts, beer and food scene
  • Jittery Joe's Coffee Roaster
  • Sweet Olive Farm
  • Ogeechee River Mill
  • Glen Mary Historic Home
  • Historic Downtown Savannah

Active
Level 3 of 4

Terrain is relatively gentle and ultimately downhill, but please note distances.

Descend Georgia’s rolling hills during this seven-day tour. Our first two days travel through the Georgia Piedmont region, which is more hilly than mountainous. Our third day transitions us to gentle, mostly downward terrain that falls quickly as we enter the Fall Line. We approach the Coastal Plain of Georgia on Day 4 with long rolling hills on Days 4 and 5. It’s smooth cycling on Days 6 and 7 with mostly flat terrain from Statesboro to Savannah.

Day 1: Arrival in Athens
Bike fitting 5-6 pm at Graduate Athens
Welcome dinner and orientation

Overnight at Graduate Athens hotel


Gillen House B&B

Day 2: Athens to Maxeys (38 miles)
We begin our bicycle tour in Athens at the Jittery Joe’s Coffee Roaster with a coffee roasting lesson. Next, we’ll adventure to the picturesque town of Winterville for a tour at Sweet Olive Farm and lunch at the Little City Diner. We’ll digest our lunch during a tour of the Winterville Auditorium  in the city’s historic district. We will reach our overnight destination, Gillen House Bed and Breakfast in the small town of Maxeys, where we can explore its two acres of grounds including a pecan orchard and a vegetable and herb garden, relax on the back deck with the sounds of the waterfall, or head to the upstairs screen porch to enjoy a wonderful sunset.

Overnight at Gillen House Bed and Breakfast in Maxeys.

Day 3: Maxeys to Jewell (49 miles)
After breakfast at the Gillen House, we continue to Georgia’s Fall Line. This is a geographic point of interest where the land falls quickly at the rivers creating rocky outcrops in the rivers, perfect for making hydroelectric mills back in the 1800s and early 1900s. We’ll explore these old mills as we pass them on our ride for the next few days including a private guided tour of the historic Ogeechee River Mill. We’ll also explore the riverbank of the Ogeechee River and historic mill town architecture of Jewell.

Ogeechee River Mill

We’ll explore Georgia history and beautiful architecture in the rural communities of Mayfield and Jewell. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in Union Point provided by the Union Point Garden Club.

We end our ride in Hancock County, where we settle for the night and have a chance to meander along the riverbank of the Ogeechee River and discover historic mill town architecture of Jewell.

Overnight in Jewell either at The Jewell House in Jewell or the Glen Mary Cottage House

Fueling for the ride

Day 4: Jewell to Tennille (40 miles)
We’ll start day four slowly, with breakfast and a backroad bicycle ride to Hamburg State Park. Today we’ll explore Washington County, the Kaolin Capital of the World, and its charming towns of Sandersville, where we’ll enjoy lunch at The Meat Market (not included), and Tennille, where we’ll have dinner and overnight at the charming Lavender Country House.

Overnight at The Lavender Country House, Tennille

Day 5: Tennille to Swainsboro (44 miles)
After a filling breakfast at our inn, we have a day dedicated to cycling—and then resting. We’ll travel down backroads from Tennille to Twin City, with rest stops at points of interest along the way including a picnic lunch (guided tour only) at a country church.

Edenfield House Bed and Breakfast

Overnight at Edenfield House Bed and Breakfast.

Day 6: Swainsboro to Guyton (67 miles)
It’s all downhill from here and that’s a good thing! Yes, the remainder of our ride from Statesboro to the coast is flat and easy. We’ll stop mid-way in the college town of Statesboro for lunch (on our own) at the downtown establishment of your choice. As we leave Statesboro on our way to Guyton, we’ll slide back into rural Georgia heading to Effingham County to explore Guyton. We’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of the 26-mile abandoned rail-bed that runs through the center of Guyton (and the entirety of the county north to south), where two organizations—Bike Effingham and the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail—are working to transition this abandoned rail bed into a trail. Dinner at Claudette’s Bed and Breakfast, a charming Victorian inn in Guyton.

Claudette's Bed and Breakfast

Overnight at Claudette’s Bed and Breakfast in Guyton.

Savannah Waterfront

Day 7: Guyton to Savannah (39 miles)
We’re getting closer and can almost smell the salt air as we draw closer to Savannah. When we arrive, we’ll have time to enjoy the walkable downtown historic district and its squares. Explore the history and people of Savannah and perhaps enjoy a taste of local food and drink before our farewell dinner at the Olde Pink House.

Overnight at Best Western -- Savannah Historic District

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, departure or extra nights. Transfers to Savannah Airport, Athens and Atlanta available at additional cost.

Dates

Saturdays, September 18-November 6, 2021 (other dates upon request for private groups)
Guided: September 18, 25; October 2, 9, 2021
Supported: October 16, 23, 30; November 6, 2021

Pricing

Base tour price (per person)
Guided: $2,879 double occupancy
Supported: $1,979 double occupancy
$634 single room supplement

Rental bikes (limited availability)
Hybrid touring bike or road bike: $350/week
Electric-assist bike: $450/week

  • 7 nights lodging
  • 5 dinners (Days 2-6), excludes alcohol
  • 6 breakfasts (only coffee and pastry in Athens, at Jittery Joe's)
  • 2 lunches (plus 2 picnics for guided tour)
  • Activities as described in itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Ride-along guide (guided tour dates only)
  • Driver
  • Support vehicle
Maps are for reference only and may not be the actual routes used.
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