38744.jpg

Cycling Puglia & Matera

from $2,049.00

Cycle from the UNESCO town of Matera through Italy’s heel to Lecce

  • Reviews 10 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 16
All about the Cycling Puglia & Matera.

In the deep south of Italy, nestled between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, lie the captivating regions of Puglia and Basilicata. This extensive itinerary explores the very best selection of all the cultural and natural treasures found here. Matera’s fascinating ‘Sassi’ houses and the UNESCO ‘Trulli’ houses of Alberobello set the scene for the journey to come. After passing through idyllic countryside and the stunning ‘white city’ of Ostuni, the route veers towards Gallipoli and the dramatic Ionian coastline. While riding across the famous Salento Peninsula, we immerse ourselves in the charming laid-back Italian way of living and explore a stunning landscape made of olive orchards, limestone cliffs, crystal waters and Baroque towns.

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.

* All breakfasts
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* Local bike rental

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Ride from the stunning UNESCO town of Matera
  • Enjoy gentle cycling through olive groves and past white-coned trulli
  • Sample fine seafood and wine from the famous Salento coast
  • Stay in charming accommodation bursting with character
  • 6 nights comfortable hotels and 1 night ‘masseria’ (converted farmhouse)
  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 99% tarmac and some short sections of gravel
  • Quiet rural undulating roads
  • Local bike rental included
  1. Day 1 Start Matera.

    The trip starts in the town of Matera, a real jewel of Southern Italy. The hotel is located within walking distance to the historic centre. There is usually time in the afternoon to wander through the narrow alleys of the town’s famous UNESCO cave-dwelling district and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this enchanting city.

  2. Day 2 Ride past the historic 'Sassi' houses of Matera before heading to Alberobello.

    On leaving Matera we pedal through the area that makes this town so special. For millenia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwelling directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. These houses are called ’Sassi’ and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago. Today’s ride is mostly hilly with gentle ascents to be expected throughout, as we cycle on quiet rural roads amongst the picturesque Apulian countryside towards Alberobello. En route we pass the lovely towns of Noci and Gioia del Colle as well as some famous fairy-tale trulli houses that have also made the historic centre of Alberobello a recognised UNESCO world heritage site. Overnight in Alberobello. Cycle approx. 70km (ascent +659m; descent -648m).

  3. Day 3 Cycle through the lush Valle d'Itria, past the picturesque fairytale trulli houses to the hilltop-town of Ostuni.

    Today we cycle through the lush Valle d’Itria, one of the prettiest cultural and natural landscapes of Southern Italy, on to the picturesque hilltop village of Ostuni. The route is undulating throughout, but much shorter than yesterday’s thus allowing to enjoy the views at a more leisurely pace with plenty of opportunities for rest stops. Along the way we pass the famous wine town of Locorotondo and Cisternino, both boasting charming historic centres filled with whitewashed houses, narrow quaint streets, churches and elegant piazzas. In the afternoon we reach the city of Ostuni, known as the ’white city’ for the the dazzling effect of its white buildings. Overnight in Ostuni. Cycle approx. 45km (ascent +341m; descent -547m).

  4. Day 4 Ride through quaint villages and country lanes to a typical Masseria - a renovated farmhouse - where we spend the night.

    We continue pedalling through tranquil country lanes to the charming town of Francavilla Fontana and on to Oria, a popular destination among Apulians, famous for its 13th Century’s Castle and delightful historic centre characterised by cobbled streets, whitewashed walls and beautiful architecture. We continue through the idyllic countryside to a Masseria, a typical Apulian converted farmhouse and our accommodation for the night. The masseria is still a working farm and most of the produce grown here, from vegetables to olives and wheat, is used daily for the preparation of local dishes. Before dinner we will have the opportunity to taste some organic olive oil produced by the family who runs the farm and accommodation. Overnight in Avetrana. Cycle approx. 56km (ascent +170m; descent -314m).

  5. Day 5 Cycle to the coast and swim in the crystal clear sea before continuing towards Gallipoli with its old town situated on a rocky island.

    From the Masseria we cycle towards the Ionian coast and the beautiful town of Gallipoli, known as the ’Ionian Pearl’ with its old town situated on a rocky island and offering fantastic views both from the north and the south. The town itself has many churches, narrow alleys and was the largest exporter of lamp oil made from olives in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Weather permitting, today there are plenty of opportunities for swimming in the crystal-clear Ionian sea near the popular seaside resort of Porto Cesareo. Overnight in Gallipoli. Cycle approx. 65km (ascent +213m; descent -270m).

  6. Day 6 Follow stunning stretch of coastline leading to the ancient town of Otranto.

    Our route continues along the south of the peninsula and the impressive stretch of coastline leading to the ancient Messapian town of Otranto, the easternmost point in Italy. Before dinner there will be time at leisure to explore the town’s mediaeval centre and its interesting architecture, views, sea-front restaurants and white sandy beaches which make it one of Puglia’s most picturesque towns. Cycle approx. Overnight in Otranto. 70km (ascent +506m; descent -495m).

  7. Day 7 Continue along the shoreline to the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce.

    Today we follow the shoreline through innumerable olive groves to Lecce, the Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy located in the heart of Puglia. Sometimes described as the ’Florence of the South’, the city is a real architectonic gem boasting sumptuous palazzi and churches. Today’s ride is relatively short and easy thus giving us time to stop en route for a last swim (seasonal) in Torre dell’Orso, a lovely bay surrounded by limestone cliffs with many ancient caves to discover, a real treat to end the week of cycling. In Lecce there will be some free time to explore the charming historic centre before an optional farewell dinner. Overnight in Lecce. Cycle approx. 50km (ascent +234; descent -188m).

  8. Day 8 End Lecce.

    The trip ends in the morning of day 8. We recommend spending an extra day in Lecce to soak up the atmosphere of this elegant Baroque city, home to outstanding architecture. Exodus can arrange post tour accommodation for you if needed; please contact our Sales or Operations team for a quote.**

mwv
Where you stay

3 and 4-star hotels

We use a mix of comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels and renovated traditional buildings. Most hotels are high quality and have been selected for their location, comfort and character, some representing the characteristic Apullian architecture. We also spend one night in a typical Masseria (a traditional converted farmhouse ) surrounded by olive groves. All rooms are en suite and some hotels have a swimming pool.

Examples of hotels used:

Matera: Hotel Belvedere and Residence Casalnuovo. Please note that due to the limited capacity of hotels in Matera we are not able to confirm the definite start hotel for each departure far in advance, and the group may occasionally be split in different accommodation of similar standards.

Alberobello: Trulli e Puglia

Ostuni: Relais Sant’Eligio

Avetrana: Masseria Bosco

Gallipoli: Hotel 33 Baroni

Otranto: Hotel Albania

Lecce: Hotel Eos

Please contact our Customer Operations team two weeks prior departure if you wish to receive the up-to-date hotels list for your trip.

Eating and Drinking

7 breakfasts are included and usually consist of a continental-style buffet. A typical hotel breakfast consists of: toast/bread with jam, cereal, cheese and ham (occasionally), served with coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, fruit, cake and yoghurt. Lunches are normally arranged as picnics or taken in small cafes’ along the route.  Vegetarians and people with special dietary requirements can be catered for but please inform us of your requests prior travel.

In Puglia you will find genuine regional cooking that has strong links to the land and the sea. Some 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!

This trip is classified Road, Activity Level: 3/Moderate.

6 days cycling, average 60 km/day (37 miles) Terrain and route: 99% tarmac, with a couple of very short sections of gravel.

Most of the cycling is along flat to hilly tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free), with a few steady ascents and descents along the way, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Road conditions are generally good, but tarmac may be pot-holed in places. Please see the introductory pages of the cycling brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Wonderful holiday

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling from Otranto to Lecce
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonio was brilliant with endless patience, great sense of humour and fluent English
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own saddle and stick with standard hire bike.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Exceeded my expectations; and they were pretty high!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day had its magic moments but the selection of fascinating hotels could never be described as ordinary. Breakfast overlooking a ravine in Matera, rooms in a former Palace and a night in a former farmhouse (Masseria) surrounded by olive trees and vines. So many great memories...
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuel was excellent. He kenew his bikes and how to treat a group of intrepid explorers, Top man!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for heat: it was up to 30C even in mid September. However, there was always plenty of fresh cold water in the backup vehicle with Piero.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Puglia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    new Masseria San martino,
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    great guide
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    book it now !

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Allora, Andiamo!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being from eastern Ontario, where the land is quite flat, I was really challenged on our first day out by the length, pace, heat, and "undulating" terrain. Our last day involved cycling against some pretty significant winds. By the end of the week, apart from being very sad it was over, I really felt good about my accomplishment and becoming a better cyclist as a result . I had great encouragement from our whole group and from Emanuele.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele is just a wonderful person and excellent leader. He is kind and organized and hard working. His goal is to make sure that everyone is enjoying their experience. He really loves and is proud of the whole region. And it showed in his great story-telling and history lessons. He was able to answer all our questions, and to take us places and point out so many things we would have missed otherwise.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the challenge ~ there are definitely hills and there can be winds. Be prepared. Although, my British buddies seemed to find them much less surprising and challenging than I did!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this region ~ the food and architecture, the people, the landscapes. You definitely won't be disappointed. Our group of 16 were a really fun and generous crew. So many experiences and adventures to share over the days and the evenings together.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Fantastic trip

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best moment was sweeping down a hill to the coast the first time. Arriving at an empty white sandy beach as the sun shone and the waves lapped was magical, particularly after our rainy start a couple of days earlier. Then cycling through a market and fishing village was a great experience. I also felt a great sense of achievement when I reached the top of the third killer hill on day five without stopping, and realised my fitness levels had improved as the week went on.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonio was a fab leader, very knowledgeable about the area, funny and helpful. Appreciated his singing (!), and the special tour we had of his home town of Bari due to our flight being later than usual. He wen above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I went on my own and was a little nervous but needn't have been. It is very much a group experience and you soon feel like you have known people for ages. Even for a 'moderate' trip you need to be quite fit. The pace was faster than I would go on my own, (12-18 mph on the flat depending on pot holes and wind), but I managed to keep up, and speedier cyclists were happy to wait for the slower ones as we puffed up the hills. The bikes were great with good gears and comfortable saddles. Check the weather forecast and don't assume because it's Southern Italy it will be warm. Evenings were sometimes chilly and I was glad of the fleece I threw in at the last minute. I had taken a warmish waterproof but some others hadn't and suffered on our wet day.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks for a great holiday adventure. I will definitely be back, hopefully doing the Prosseco hills next year, and potentially with some friends who followed my Facebook posts and want to come too!

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
April 5, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
April 12, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
April 26, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
May 3, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
May 10, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
May 17, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
May 24, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
June 7, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
June 21, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
July 5, 2020
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
August 30, 2020
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
September 6, 2020
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
September 13, 2020
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
September 20, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
September 27, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
October 4, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
October 11, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
October 18, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
May 6, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
May 13, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
June 14, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
June 28, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
September 9, 2020
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
September 16, 2020
Available
$2,099.00
N/A