Italy Coast to Coast Ride: Puglia to Sorrento
Cycle through the heart of Southern Italy from Puglia to the Amalfi Coast
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Small Group
This trip combines the best of two of our most popular Italian cycling trips, with the unique challenge of riding right across Italy. Expect a rewarding point-to-point ride every day through some quiet and unspoilt routes. Starting from the Apullian town of Monopoli, by the Adriatic sea, we cross Italy from east to west and venture into the heart of the Baslicata and Campania regions. The itinerary includes time in iconic places such as the UNESCO city of Matera, as well as other secret jewels like Padula and Castelmezzano, a mountain village perched on the so-called ‘Dolomites of the south’. Our journey ends with a fantastic ride along the world-famous Amalfi Coast all the way to Sorrento.
* All breakfasts and 4 dinners
* All accommodation
* Tour leader with partial vehicle support
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* Local bike rental
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Stunning door-to-door rides through traffic-free roads
- Travel across Italy from Puglia to the Amalfi Coast
- Visit UNESCO sites and venture into forgotten villages
- 6 nights 3 and 4-star hotels and 1 night farmhouse
- 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
- 90% tarmac and 10% unpaved; some long rides and challenging climbs
Start in the picturesque coastal town of Monopoli.
Start in the picturesque town of Monopoli. Depending on the group arrival, there might be time for a relaxing stroll through the town’s narrow alleys and along the sea shore. We strongly recommend arriving a day or two early to visit some of the other region’s jewels including the UNESCO town of Alberobello or Polignano.
Ride through fields and ancient olive groves to the amazing UNESCO city of Matera.
Today we start cycling from the coast and go inland, heading for one of the most fascinating cities of southern Italy, Matera. A first warm-up climb brings us onto a large rolling plateau, where we will be pedalling through fields of fennel and ancient olive groves. We pass several nice small Apullian villages along the route, where we stop to regroup, take a coffee or simply for a rest. As we cross into the region of Basilicata for the last part of the route, we cycle through open fields and partly along the Appia Antica, the ancient Roman Road. We should reach the UNESCO listed town of Matera in the afternoon with some time for a relaxing stroll in the historic ‘Sassi’ district and for an Italian ’aperitivo’ in one of the beautiful squares. You are free to choose from the wide selection of restaurants and pizzerias for your evening meal however the leader may suggest a group meal for those interested.
Challenging ride into the heart of Baslicata to the secret jewel of Castelmezzano, a village perched on top of the so called Dolomites of the South.
Today will be our longest ride but the destination will be more than worth the effort! We start with an easy downhill section through the fields, towards the Lake of St. Giuliano. We then follow an old road along a ridge, encountering a number of beautiful historic villages, like Tricarico, an old Byzantine capital and Grassano, before arriving in sight of the stunning Lucan Dolomites as known as the ’Dolomites of the South’. We make a great downhill ride just before having to gather some strength for the challenging but rewarding steep climb up to the beautiful village of Castelmezzano, clinged to the mountains’ sandstone rocks. The support vehicle will be availble for those who prefer to skip this last ascent. Castelmezzano, rated as one of the prettiest villages in Italy, is very remote and set in a breathtaking location with stunning mountain views – a perfect quiet retreat after today’s long ride. A short walk through the village and up to the Norman steps is a must, before we enjoy a delicious hoemade meal at our hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Castelmezzano.
Cross the border into Campania by bike and reach Padula, home of the UNESCO Carthusian monastery featuring the the biggest cloister in the world.
Today we are heading west into the Campania region. In the morning we cross the National Park of the Basilicata Apennines, a sparsely populated wilderness area featuring stunning mountain scenery and pleasant villages where time seems to have stood still. Towards the end of the afternoon, after a last challenging climb, we’ll reach the top of the ridge between Basilicata and the Campania region. From here we will be cycling all the way down into the Vallo di Diano, a fertile highplain with several beautiful medieval towns. We settle in Padula, a nice medieval town famous for its ‘Certosa’, the largest monastery in Italy.
Ride to the lovely village of Corleto Sant'Angelo and spend a night in a family-run agriturismo with pool.
Today’s ride is relatively short, thus allowing for a late start. We recommend paying a morning visit to the nearby Padula Charterhouse, the largest monastery in Italy and UNESCO heritage site. We get on our bikes just before lunch and cycle into the heart of the Cilento National Park. First we follow a nice, mainly flat, route through the Vallo di Diano and continue with a climb up the beautiful ‘Sentinella’ pass (932m), which winds up high above the plain. The last part of the route involves a nice descent into the Cilento National Park, where we settle in homely agriturismo with pool. Tonight we dine on great local specialties prepared with organic produce.
Cycle all the way to the coastal town of Paestum in Campania; visit the famous Greek temple.
Today we ride a great route in the shadow of the Alburni Mountains making our way down to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Early in the afternoon we’ll arrive at the fantastic Greek Temples of Paestum. Our hotel is just a few hundred meters from here so we have the time to visit the impressive archaeological site. Alternatively, you could opt to relax at the swimming pool. The sea is only a few minutes away by bike so those who whish can also enjoy a refreshing late afternoon swim. Tonight we’ll eat on the premises of the hotel.
Train ride to Salerno; ride one of the most spectacular coastal roads in the world all the way to Sorrento via Amalfi.
We start the day with an early train ride to Salerno. Here we get on our bikes and begin our final ride along one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Italy: the stunning Amalfi Coast. After a short climb up to Vietri, we follow the undulating coastal route to Cetara and continue uphill to the dramatic viewpoint of Capo d’Orso. We then head towards Amalfi itself, where we have time for a short stop and stroll. In the afternoon we ride past Positano, and cross the ridge to then wind down to the nice resort town of Sorrento. Here we can toast to our accomplishment, perhaps with a drink or two down at the beach and a dive into the Bay of Naples, in sight of Mt. Vesuvius. Those who wish can opt for a stroll in the historic centre, or perhaps just a few hours of relaxation. In the evening we all gather together for a last great evening meal (optional).
The trip ends in the morning of Day 8. Those who are interested in exploring more of this stunning part of Italy may opt to add some extra nights in Sorrento or the Amalfi coast, and extend this fantastic week of cycling with a few days of relaxation and sightseeing. Please contact us if you wish to book any post tour accommodation.
Hotels & Agriturismo
We spend 6 nights in different 3 and 4-star hotels with en suite facilities and one night in a traditional ‘agriturismo’ – a beautifully converted farmhouse in the Cilento National Park. The hotels have been chosen for their warm hospitality and their typical Italian character. Some hotels have a swimming pool or a beach nearby which will be greatly appreciated in summer. Most of the hotels have restaurants serving typical regional cuisine and delicious local produce.
List of hotels normally used:
Monopoli: Hotel Palazzo Indelli
Matera: Hotel Italia
Castelmezzano: Becco Della Civetta
Padula: Grand Hotel Certosa
Bellosguardo: Agriturismo Villa Vea
Paestum: Hotel Villa Rita
Sorrento: Hotel Ulisse Deluxe
All breakfasts and 4 dinners included.
A typical hotel breakfast consists of: toast/bread with jam,or honey, cereal, cheese and ham, 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. A total of 4 dinners are included on this trip and they normally consist of a 3-course menu with a choice of regional specialties. Vegetarians and people with special dietary requirements will be catered for but please inform us of your requests prior travel.
This trip is classified as Road. Average daily distance: 76km (47 miles) No. of days cycling: 6
This trip crosses the mountainous areas of Basilicata and Campania. Most days will require a good level of fitness as there will be some sections with sustained climbing, particularly on Days 3, 4 and 7. The difficulty and distances of other rides (Days 2, 5 and 6 ) are similar to those you would find on a Grade 3 trip. The reward for the ascents will be stunning views and an amazing sense of achievement; a worthwhile trade-off! Distances per day vary from 50-97km. Daily rides will start from our accommodation and the terrain and route will be mainly on quiet regional and village asphalt roads. The more remote roads are often not maintained as well as those nearer towns, so on these we may encounter a few pot holes and less than perfect surfaces. The support vehicle will follow the group for the vast majority of the time, so you can choose whether to ride all of the climbs on the trip (with limited seats, for only 2 or 3 people). There will be sections of very busy roads along the Amalfi coast during the last ride whilst the rest of the trip covers mostly quiet routes in rural regions. A very good level of fitness is essential for this trip. Activity Level: 5 (Challenging). 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.