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 lovely beaches, haunting landscapes, welcoming people and exquisite cycling on this incomparable bicycling adventure.

Highlights

  • Two night stay and a walking tour of Matera, “the city of stone”
  • Captivating clusters of conical trulli structures
  • Discover the white-washed town of Ostuni and the beaches of Savelletri
  • Mozzarella-making demonstration and tasting
  • Savory cuisine: grilled vegetables, handmade pasta and dense bread
  • Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Lecce, Alberobello and Matera
  • Delectable unch in a unique family atmosphere at an authentic masseria

Trip Details

Price
$4,995
Single Supplement
$800
Length
9 days / 8 nights
Level
Athletic Beginner
Total Mileage
226 miles
Daily Average
28 miles
Terrain
Gently Rolling
Start/End Locations
Lecce/Matera
Trip Dates
09/26/17 - 10/04/17
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

Lecce and the Salento area

Welcome to Italy! Meet at the first hotel at 1 pm for a light lunch, bike fitting and a warm-up ride to the fortified village of Acaja and the natural State reserve ‘Le Cesine’. 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!

Mesagne

The region of Salento is mostly flat and is an ideal place for cycling. Its fertile land and sunshine allow for the highest production of wine of any region in Italy. Of course, Puglia is also Italy’s main olive oil producer. Before we reach our hotel near Mesagne, there will be a great opportunity to visit a producer of Salice Salentino wine and ride among Negramaro vineyards for miles!

Savelletri and Selva di Fasano

Ride to the Savelletri coast through Ostuni, an area that has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Bike to one of the loveliest towns along the Mediterranean where white houses, piled like sugar cubes against an azure sky, remind you of the Greek Islands. The brightness of its whitewashed houses, set against a sea of stately olive trees, provides a spectacular perspective of this rich seaside farmland.

Alberobello

Pass through ancient olive groves and pedal along the coast beside the Greek ruins of Egnazia, the ancient Messapian town of prehistoric origins. We then go inland towards Castellana and finally arrive in Alberobello, the town of the cone-shaped, whitewashed trulli houses. This is a must-see, one of the most emblematic sights in Puglia.

Locorotondo Loop

Today we ride through a strange fantasy land called Trulli. Via tiny roads, cycle through Valle D’Itria to arrive in Locorotondo, a whitewashed, circular town known for its white wine. From the top of the town, there is a fascinating panorama of the valley of the Itria. At the start of our ride we visit the Frantoio Intini, an olive oil press which embraced the Slow Food movement under the multi-generational management of Pietro Intini.

San Basilio

We leave Alberobello, passing through a beautiful landscape with farmhouses and ride on stunning country roads. We stop for lunch in Mottola, a charming Pugliese town, where we can order paninis made fresh at a local deli. Mottola is located on a hill above sea level and has a view of the Gulf of Taranto and the green mountains of the high Sila. In the evening, enjoy a charming mozzarella-making demo and an exquisite dinner at the hotel.

Spin to Matera

We spin along the Murgia plain through a bucolic terrain of manicured farmlands and shady oak groves to Matera, the city of caves and one of the most extraordinary spots on Earth. UNESCO lists Matera as one of its 365 Official World Heritage sites because of its Sassi cave dwellings. In the afternoon we explore Matera on a guided walking tour.

Matera loop

In the morning we hop on our bikes for a ride into the countryside. Sweeping downhill from Matera we immerse in the rolling, golden wheat fields and the agricultural plains of the Basilicata region. Enjoy the steady climb back to Matera or take our optional shuttle back. And finally, join us for a final celebration dinner of typical Lucanian food: the ancient name of Basilicata was Lucania.

Arrivederci!

After breakfast, we offer a 1.5-hour group shuttle around 9 am 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
  • Informative and professional tour leaders throughout the program
  • Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
  • Group shuttle at the end of the tour

On The Tour

  • Van support
  • Unforgettable event featuring local music
  • Guided walking tour of Matera, Alberobello, and Lecce
  • Visits to an olive oil press and mozzarella-making demo
  • Visit and wine tasting at a Salice Salentino winery

Accomodations & Meals

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

Meet the Guides