La Bella Puglia

 

Discover the charms of Italy’s rustic Southern region on this unforgettable bike trip. Named one of the “20 Places to See Now” by National Geographic Traveler, this bike tour takes you through the heart of fascinating Puglia in Italy’s southern region, with its landscapes steeped in Greek, Norman, and Arab history. We begin our bicycling adventure at the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Baroque capital of the Salento area, Lecce. We continue traveling south on quiet roads dotted with fig trees and blooming cacti to the famous region of the “Salice Salentino” wine. We’ll explore the rustic coastal town of Savelletri, and in Alberobello, the unique clusters of fantastic conical dwellings called trulli, as we ride through a landscape dominated by ancient gnarled olive trees. Along the way we’ll be fortified by outstanding local specialties like homemade orecchiette, and grilled calamari pulled fresh from the sea.

Fantastic sights and sensory delights abound on this Italian bicycle tour.

The gently undulating route of this bicycle trip is an ideal introduction to the irresistible Basilicata and Puglia regions. Destinations on our journey of discovery include the Città Bianca (white city), Ostuni, the beaches of Savelletri, and Matera, the “City of Stone.” Here, medieval monks “dug in” to the hills to create individual cells, tiny chapels, and even spacious churches, and today Matera’s 155 cave churches range from primitive to exquisite. We’ll stay in the magical Sassi – an entire area carved into the rock and located in one of the most panoramic and charming areas of this ancient settlement. The circular town of Locorotondo, known for its white wine, and Serra, with its fascinating panorama of the valley of the Itria, are also on our cycling tour’s itinerary. Join us and experience the haunting landscapes, welcoming people and exquisite cycling on this incomparable bicycling adventure.

Highlights

  • One-night stay and a walking tour of Matera, “The City of Stone”
  • Captivating clusters of conical trulli structures
  • Discover the whitewashed town of Ostuni
  • Savory cuisine: grilled vegetables, handmade pasta and dense bread
  • Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Lecce, Alberobello and Matera

Trip Details

Price
$5,195
Single Supplement
$800
Length
9 days / 8 nights
Level
Athletic Beginner
Total Mileage
238 miles
Daily Average
30 miles
Terrain
Gently Rolling
Start/End Locations
Otranto/Matera
Trip Dates
04/23/18 - 05/01/18
05/07/18 - 05/15/18
05/17/18 - 05/25/18
06/04/18 - 06/12/18
09/10/18 - 09/18/18
09/20/18 - 09/28/18
10/01/18 - 10/09/18
10/11/18 - 10/19/18

Make this tour Private or for more information, call:

800.866.7314

Itinerary

Otranto

Welcome to Italy! We meet at Brindisi Airport at 11 am to shuttle you to the first hotel. Then at 1 pm, we have a light lunch, bike fitting and a warm-up ride through the countryside of Otranto and to the Bauxite lakes. On this bike tour, our guides will help you uncover all the charm and beauty that this town and region have to offer. You can just relax and have fun and they will take care of all the rest. Andiamo, andiamo!

Otranto

Today we embark on one of the most panoramic coastal roads in Italy. Albania is to the east of our route as we cycle south towards the heel of Italy and the marvelous Grotta Zinzulusa. This cave is divided into three sections and is home to crustacea and other ancient fossils that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world!

Lecce

Today we pedal from Otranto along the coast to the park of the Cesine before veering inland to the heart of Salento and Lecce. The Baroque capital of Southern Italy, Lecce is full of history and one can tell this simply by admiring its unique 17th-century architecture. It’s also steeped in tradition and is known for its papier-mâché making. To get better acquainted with the town, we’ll have a guided walking tour with a local guide.

Mesagne

Today we cycle through olive groves and small villages of the Salice Salentino wine production area. Puglia is Italy’s main olive oil producer, making almost 50% of the country’s olive oil each year. Before we reach our hotel in Mesagne, we’ll have the opportunity to ride among Negramaro vineyards—the grapes that Salentino wine is made from—for miles!

Ostuni

Our ride today is to Ostuni, an area that has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Perched elegantly on top of a natural plateau with its whitewashed buildings, Ostuni is a unique town whose architecture and characteristic colorful window frames will, at times, make you feel like you’re in Greece. We’ll witness fantastic views of the Mediterranean as the ancient olive groves run until the sea.

Ostuni

Today is an optional rest day to relax or discover and wander around the small streets of Ostuni. If you opt to ride, the route descends from Ostuni down to Savelletri and the coast. The brightness of Savelletri’s whitewashed houses, set against a sea of olive trees, provides a spectacular perspective of this rich seaside farmland. We’ll enjoy a relaxing ride along the coast before a gradual climb back to town.

Alberobello

We enter Itria Valley with its lush fertile land, which produces fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance and elegant, crisp white wines, like Il Fiano and Locorotondo Bianco. The ride will be continuously rolling through the valley. Alberobello is known for its cone-shaped, whitewashed trulli houses and takes its name from the forests that once covered the area.

Matera Loop

This morning we take a 1.5-hour shuttle to Matera. We then hop on our bikes for a ride into the countryside. We pedal downhill from Matera and we immerse ourselves in the rolling, golden wheat fields and the agricultural plains of the Basilicata region. We have a steady climb back to the sassi, followed by a guided walking tour through the old part of Matera with a local guide.

Arrivederci!

After breakfast, we offer a 1.5-hour group shuttle to Bari Airport to make your flights back home.



What's Included

Trip Planning

  • Use of a carbon road bike equipped with Garmin Edge GPS
  • Service of at least 2 bilingual and professional guides throughout the program
  • Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
  • Group shuttles at the beginning and end of the tour

On The Tour

  • Van support
  • Unforgettable event featuring local music
  • Guided walking tours of Matera and Lecce
  • 1 wine tasting and 1 olive oil tasting
  • Shuttle from Alberobello to Matera on Day 8

Accomodations & Meals

  • All accommodations
  • All breakfasts
  • 2 lunches and 1 picnic lunch
  • 6 dinners

Meet the Guides