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Contrasts of Puglia Cycling

from $2,449.00

Firmly tucked away in the South, Puglia is a sun-soaked region of deserted white sand beaches, unspoilt villages and gently rolling hills backing the clear emerald seas of the Adriatic. Highlights include UNESCO Alberobello and whitewashed Ostuni.

  • Reviews 106 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Contrasts of Puglia Cycling.

An outright winner from the start, this self-guided seven night cycling holiday explores a sun-soaked region of empty beaches, unspoilt villages and low fertile hills rolling down into the clear emerald seas of the Adriatic.
Firmly tucked away ‘on the heel of Italy’s boot’, Puglia offers extraordinary variety and beauty with a dramatically rugged coast, providing a total contrast to the lush green interior. Your holiday starts in Conversano and ends in the historic town of Monopoli. Here, you’ll be intoxicated by the rich colours of the landscape, olive groves, fruit orchards, vineyards and ruby-red fields, all intensified by the wonderful limpid light of the Adriatic. Highlights include staying in unique Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visiting the postcard-pretty white village of Ostuni as you wind your way back towards the sea.
Your accommodation is as varied as the landscape, with each place specially chosen for its unique charm and character. In Monopoli, you stay in characterful rooms set in various locations just 3 minutes from the beach; in Conversano, your beautiful 12th century former court house, with barrel-vaulted ceilings, is just a stone’s throw from the elegant Romanesque cathedral; in Alberobello, you cannot fail to be seduced by the authentic trullo houses (limestone dwellings with conical roofs that are the architectural symbol of Puglia), and, in Pezze di Greco, you spend two nights in a beautifully restored 17th century masseria (fortified farmhouse) with lovely pool, open courtyard and 200 hectares of ancient palms and olive trees.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 7 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel in a mix of HHH, *** and **** hotels
  • All continental breakfasts and 2 evening meals
  • GPS route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Tandems available (inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Beautifully unspoiled region, full of contrasts and interest-packed cycling
  • Historic wine towns, colorful fishing villages, white sandy beaches, ancient olive orchards, tiny farming hamlets unchanged over the years
  • Hand-picked hotels including two nights in a unique trullo house in UNESCO Alberobello
  • Traditional Mediterranean cuisine and excellent wines
  1. Day 1 Day 1: Arrive at Conversano

    Arrive at the Relais Corte Altavilla. There’s time to explore the historic town before choosing one of the many restaurants for dinner (payable locally)

  2. Day 2 Day 2: Conversano to Alberobello 39km/24.5mi

    Today’s pedalling takes you through the rolling hills of the Valle d’Itria where the air is perfumed with wild mint and herbs. Stop off in the little towns of Putignano and Noci, and view their characteristic whitewashed houses and narrow alleyways. It’s then off to unique Alberobello and its plethora of trulli houses, the architectural symbol of the region. On arrival you’ll be met by one of the staff, who will show you to your own private trullo house.

  3. Day 3 Day 3: At Alberobello

    Explore the narrow streets and kitsch souvenir shops, or visit the Museo del Territorio. Alternatively, cycle into the Itria Valley to visit stunning Locorotondo, with its panoramic views across the valley. Continue on to Martina Franca, with its beautiful Baroque architechture and stunning palazzi.

  4. Day 4 Day 4: Alberobello to Pezze di Greco 49km/30.5mi

    You’ll spend this morning cycling along beautiful undulating country lanes lined with weathered stone walls, before enjoying a long downhill run with panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline and the lower fertile plains. This incredible descent will bring you down towards Capitolo and finishes through a patchwork of almond orchards, olive groves, vineyards and gloriously coloured fields of fresh tomatoes and peppers.

  5. Day 5 Day 5: At Pezze di Greco

    Relax by the hotel’s pool, or cycle to the nearby beach. For the more energetic, ride to charming Ostuni whose whitewashed houses are neatly piled on hills rich in olive groves and vineyards.

  6. Day 6 Day 6: Pezze di Greco to Monopoli 37km/23.5mi

    This morning you leave the masseria and head back to the Adriatic coast on a gentle flat route. You will cycle past the colourful fishing village of Savelletri, a perfect stop for an authentic Italian espresso or to indulge in a delicious seafood lunch. Your ride will continue past the archaeological site of Egnazia, once the location of a Greco-Roman town, dating as far back as 4BC. You then return to the picturesque coastal town of Monopoli and the 4-star Albergo Diffuso in time for a stroll before choosing your evening restaurant from one of the many eateries in the heart of the old town.

  7. Day 7 Day 7: At Monopoli

    Today’s route takes you along the stunning coastline all the way to the beautiful Polignano a Mare. Take the time to explore this vibrant fishing village before continuing to the picturesque village of San Vito with its multi-coloured boats. Head back to Monpoli and enjoy an aperitivo in the old town’s square watching the world walk past.

  8. Day 8 Day 8: Leave Monopoli

    Please note: This tour has been given a 1 Bike + rating based on ascents/descents and distance; the cycling may feel harder over the hotter months.

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Where you stay
Relais Corte Altavilla
The 4-star hotel Corte Altavilla Relais Charme is located right in the historic centre of Conversano, just off one of the main squares – Piazza Conciliazione. The hotel is in an old medieval building with inner courtyard that once served as an old medieval courthouse for the town. Following major renovation works in 2002 the hotel opened as an elegant four-star boutique hotel with 32 elegant rooms and appartments, each with its own personality and charm, with white stone walls, wrought iron furnishings, wooden-beams and vaulted ceilings. All rooms are equipped with modern amenities including: air-conditioning, satellite-TV, direct-dial telephone, safe, Internet and mini-bar/fridge. [BREAK} Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
Tipico Resort
As an alternative to Trullidea, stays can also be taken at the Tipico Resort. Conveniently located in the centre of historic Alberobello and a lovely experience of staying in a traditional trulli. Each trulli is equipped with air conditioning, Wifi, TV, kitchenette and dining area and offers a comfortable and unique stay. [BREAK} Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
Trullidea
A unique and authentic experience staying in a trulli, a traditional 15th century Apulian stone building with conical roof. Each trulli house is made up of a double bedroom, small bathroom with shower and living area with sofa and small kitchenette. The trullis are located in the centre of historic Alberobello, a UNESCO world heritage site, within walking distance of cafes, restaurants and shops.
Masseria Salamina
Masseria Salamina is a large 17th century fortified farmhouse, set in 173 acres of rich agricultural farmland. The property is surrounded by orchards of secular olive trees that are up to 400 years old, used in the production of their own high quality, extra virgin, olive oil. Inside the masseria, there’s a large and welcoming restaurant where you can taste specialities of sumptuous Southern Italian cuisine, served in the suggestive atmosphere of the open-air courtyard. The rooms here are simple yet comfortable and with all the necessary amenities and have been created out of the conversion of the masseria’s outbuildings. The common areas comprise of the meeting hall, bar, lounge TV room and the outdoor swimming pool with views reaching across to the sea. [BREAK} Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
Albergo Diffuso Monopoli
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Set in various locations around the historical centre, just a stroll from Monopoli’s seafront and its beautiful beaches, Albergo Diffuso Monopoli offers elegant rooms, all air-conditioned rooms either have a terrace or balcony. Accommodation has exposed Tuffo-stone walls and quality furniture. There is free WiFi, flat screen TV, air conditioning and a private bathroom with bath or shower. Breakfast in the hotel’s central cafe and dinner will be in a good local restaurant. [BREAK} Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
Palazzo Indelli
As an alternative to the Albergo Diffuso, stays can also be taken at the Palazzo Indelli. Located by the harbour, this 4 star hotel offers a comfortable and elegant stay right in the centre of Monopoli’s old town. Rooms have Wifi, TV and air conditioning and there is an excellent restaurant with an emphasis on sea food, using fresh local produce caught from the hotel’s own fishing vessel. [BREAK} Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
Eating and Drinking

In Puglia you will find genuine regional cooking that has strong links to the land and the sea. To give you just a small list of the types of food on offer in Puglia: Bread from the Murge, durum wheat pasta, olives, the pasta delicacy Orecchiette served with a sauce of turnip-tops or fresh tomato and sheep’s ricotta-cheese, Cavatelli with pulses, aubergine and parmesan bake, grilled fish and seafood, burrata (soft mozzarella and cream cheese), plus excellent wines. This region is a food lovers paradise and the abundance of delicious vegetables makes it a perfect destination for vegetarians! On this trip there will be many opportunities to taste the best local specialties.

Cycling Conditions
Classification: SelfGuided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 49.75km (25 miles).
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain and route: The cycle routes mainly follow tarmac country roads.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 30/10/2019
5/5

Mrs Town

Beautiful country area over Italy with lovely summer weather at the end of October. Lots to see, lovely little beaches. Pleasant cycling, especially with bikes for the occasional severe hill!

Reviewed On 06/11/2019
5/5

Mrs Macalister Hal

This was a first cycling holiday for us so we were apprehensive. However we definitely would recommend both Headwater and the Contrasts of Puglia tour. The organisation was excellent as were the hotels. In the end we took e bikes ( having deliberated about this) . We didn’t use the power so much but we felt that we definitely enjoyed the holiday more and did more on the bikes than we would have without the power. It was a very pleasurable and relaxed week.

The app works really well and is relatively easy to download and use though we found it useful to use the printed out route maps as well as a check. If you are not used to using apps etc it might be a little tricky to initially set up. We loved the routes that were chosen - mostly on very quiet country roads with minimal traffic situations. We found the car drivers very considerate, more so than in UK. The hotels were all in great locations and very nice.

Reviewed On 07/11/2019
4/5

Mr Roe

The personal care and attention provided by ALL staff throughout the holiday was excellent. The hotels were a haven of peace and sophistication after our energetic days. The trip to Puglia included highlights such as the Trulli houses and the ancient olive groves. In general the cycling was pleasurable and, when our cycle let us down, we were rescued swiftly. Of interest to us was the fact that the residents of Puglia took great pride in their houses, gardens, vineyards and fields however outside of this the roads were strewn with litter, the like of which we have never before witnessed. It detracted from our enjoyment and reflected badly upon the region as a whole. Thank you again to all who made our holiday so memorable. Phil & Kath

Reviewed On 28/10/2019
5/5

Ms Myers

Headwater holidays are amazing! The hassle of scrutinising where I’m going on holiday is taken care of by Headwater as I know they would have chosen great places to visit and stay. Thank you Headwater

Reviewed On 14/10/2019
4/5

Mrs Heron

Very enjoyable but two of the rides were slightly more difficult than we anticipated from a 1+ rating

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