Overview of Our Caesar Cycling Vacation Through Europe
Join us on a ride of historical proportions, as we embark on a cycling trip through Europe, from London to Rome, in the footsteps of Caesar.
Split into 2 stages, the Caesar tour traverses six countries as we meander our way on a historical, gastronomic, and cultural journey across the ages. Crossing waterways, rolling over vine-clad hills, and taking on mountain passes in the Alps and the Dolomites, we head towards the Rubicon and beyond. Our final destination is the Eternal city of Rome. In this sense, our Caesar Tour is one of our most comprehensive cycling vacations in Europe, visiting many of the places travellers often dream of. If you’d like even more European locations to choose from, consider our range of European Cycling Tours, including our 3 Islands Bicycle Tour and our Bike Tour From Budapest to the Alps.
Starting in London, we first head to the white cliffs of Dover before traversing the channel (by boat, not bike – it isn’t that epic!) into France. Our route through France takes us via the roads made famous by the Classics, down through the Champagne region and into the gastronomic heartland of Burgundy. From here we ride into Switzerland and then over into Italy. Here begins the Italy bicycle trip portion of this European odyssey. .
Our route through Italy takes us first to Como before heading up towards the stunning limestone peaks of the Dolomites. From here we experience a bit of respite as we descend down to Venice and along the Adriatic coast. After crossing the mythical Rubicon, which marked the boundary between Roman-controlled Italy and Cisalpine Gaul, we once again head inland through Tuscany and then the more rugged region of Lazio on our way to our final destination – Rome. Please get in touch if you have any follow-up questions about this epic European cycling adventure!
Caesar Bike Tour Highlights
The Itinerary for the Caesar Expedition is split into 2 stages. Riders may participate in either or both of the stages. If you’d like to take on the entire Caesar challenge choose to Hail Caesar!
Stage 1 – London to Como
Stage 2 – Como to Rome
Caesar Bike Tour Dates 2023
|Stage||Start Date||End Date||Days||Cost (Euros)|
|Caesar Stage 1 – London to Como||3rd June||19th June||17 (16 nights)||€6,950|
|Caesar Stage 2 – Como to Rome||19th June||7th July||19 (18 nights)||€7,800|
|Hail Caesar – London to Rome||3rd June||7th July||35 (34 nights)||€14,200|
Caesar Bike Tour Food
Stage 1 -London to Como
Stage 2 – Como to Rome
Our Expedition Tour reading lists are aimed at being accessible to everyone – all the books are historical but there is fiction, primary authors and serious historians so take your pick! As always if you want any more information or more recommendations please contact us
Start here, with the greatest memoir in ancient history. Caesar’s own words.
Julius Caesar Caesar – A Conquest of Gaul
A brilliant, readable tale of the politics and lives of early Rome.
Christian Meier Caesar: A Biography
Widely regarded as the most significant historian of his era, writing sharp and succinct accounts of the greatest politicians and statesman of the classical period.
Plutarch The Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives
An entertaining, fast moving and gripping read
Tom Holland Rubicon The Last Years of the Roman Republic
Shakespeare’s shortest play but a true classic
William Shakespeare Julius Caesar
Entertaining, sometimes crude but historically accurate and always fun. Definitely worth a listen if you want another way to get your history!
Cameron Reily and Ray Harris Life of Caesar Podcast
Caesar Bike Tour History
“I had rather be first in a village than second at Rome. “
– Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was born in Rome on 12 or 13 July 100 BCE into the prestigious Julian clan. His family were closely connected with the Marian faction in Roman politics. Caesar himself progressed within the Roman political system, becoming in succession quaestor (69), aedile (65) and praetor (62). In 61-60 BCE he served as governor of the Roman province of Spain. Back in Rome in 60, Caesar made a pact with Pompey and Crassus, who helped him to get elected as consul for 59 BCE. The following year he was appointed governor of Roman Gaul where he stayed for eight years, adding the whole of modern France and Belgium to the Roman empire, and making Rome safe from the possibility of Gallic invasions. He made two expeditions to Britain, in 55 BCE and 54 BCE.
Caesar then returned to Italy, disregarding the authority of the senate and famously crossing the Rubicon river without disbanding his army. In the ensuing civil war Caesar defeated the republican forces. Pompey, their leader, fled to Egypt where he was assassinated. Caesar followed him and became romantically involved with the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.
Caesar was now master of Rome and made himself consul and dictator. He used his power to carry out much-needed reform, relieving debt, enlarging the senate, building the Forum Iulium and revising the calendar.
Dictatorship was always regarded a temporary position but in 44 BCE, Caesar took it for life. His success and ambition alienated strongly republican senators. A group of these, led by Cassius and Brutus, assassinated Caesar on the Ides (15th) of March 44 BCE. This sparked the final round of civil wars that ended the Republic and brought about the elevation of Caesar’s great nephew and designated heir, Octavian, as Augustus, the first emperor.
Caesar is considered by many historians to be the foremost figure in Western civilisation. Our journey with him begins at the furthest northern point he reached in 54BCE as the first Roman invader of Britain, and ends in Rome, the city he eventually ruled as dictator and was assassinated in 10 years later.
Caesar ‘s two most famous political and military campaigns are the Gallic and Civil Wars. One reason for their fame, or infamy, is he wrote an excellent factual (most of the time!) account of both of these events. The other reason is they literally changed the course of history.
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged from 58 BC to 50 BC culminating in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory against overwhelming odds (at the very minimum 2 to 1), resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul (mainly present day France, Belgium and some of Switzerland). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division of the Gallic tribes allowed Caesar’s tactical nouse to reign supreme. Even a last ditch attempt by Vercingetorix to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion was too little too late.
Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought primarily to boost Caesar’s political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine and the oceans, although Caesar did cross the channel and defeat an indigenous army in his dual invasions of Britain. This conquest has been seen as both a series of military successes by a tactical genius as well as a horrific devastation and slaughter of local populations for personal gain.
The Great Roman Civil War (49–45 BCE), also known as Caesar’s Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. It began as a series of political and military confrontations, between Caesar and his political supporters (broadly known as Populares), against the Optimates, supported by Pompey ‘the Great’ and his legions. Caesar eventually defeated the last of the Optimates in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator of Rome. This conflict ranged from Italy, Albania, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Spain, but its first big step was that of Caesar over the Rubicon river as he headed south to Rome with his legions behind him. We will also take this fateful road.
The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war virtually eliminated the 500 year old political traditions of the Roman Republic and led to the foundation of the Roman Empire.
As a previous participant on the Ride & Seek Hannibal Tour in 2016, I couldn’t wait to do it all over again this year (2017) on the Caesar Tour. Once again, an unforgettable experience, challenging yes, but it had everything a serious cyclist could want. As a bonus, over a month of perfect weather, with rain only one day. Get training !!!
Lew T- Caesar
The “point to point” concept was great and provided great cycling in all its guises. Different countries, flat and hilly rides and some good climbs all enhanced by wonderful scenery. Oh and don’t forget the cobbles! I loved the challenges the ride provided. Of course, this was tempered by the ever-present support from the guides and the comfort of the accommodation, swimming pools and meals at the end of each day. On top of that, I even learnt some history along the way! My only regret is that I left the tour in Como and didn’t ride on to Rome!
Sarah R – Caesar
Not just another bike tour, but a complete adventure; places, distances, terrain, vistas, gastro, history, stories and people from all walks that you would never meet in ordinary life; managed with care and attention every day to get us safely home.
Alex B – Caesar
Having had our introduction to a Ride & Seek Epic riding Stage 1 (Paris to Worms) of the inaugural Napoleon 2015. Inspired by both the passion and riding ability of many of the riders in the 2015 tour, Debbie on returning home to Australia set in motion a plan to return in 2017 to complete the Caesar, however this time the intent was to ride as opposed to drive as she had done on our first tour together.
For Debbie to succeed, buy in from Ride & Seek was a critical component for any real chance of success.
True to their word Ride & Seek delivered in more ways than one, so much so that Debbie and I have commenced planning our next trip. Where to next ? Thanks to Ride & Seek and Debbie’s Can Do attitude, the sky is the limit.
Noel and Debbie M – Caesar
Tour at a Glance