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Landscapes of Matera and Puglia Cycling

from $3,549.00

Start at Matera, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and cycle through the Alta Murgia National Park, the largest natural park in Italy.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
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All about the Landscapes of Matera and Puglia Cycling.

This fourteen night, self-guided cycling holiday takes in some of the highlights of Basilicata and Puglia in Southern Italy. Starting in the UNESCO-listed Matera, known for its rock churches and Sassi houses, you’ll have a free day here to explore before setting off on your bike to head to the neighbouring region of Puglia. 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.
You’ll ride to Gravina, one of the most important Roman cities along the Appian Way and continue on through the Alta Murgia National Park (the largest natural park in Italy) with a stop at Castel del Monte with its iconic castle. Your cycle route then heads to Trani on the Adriatic coast, one of the oldest and liveliest cities along this stretch of coastline. Follow the coastline for the last two days stopping in Bari before heading inland.
Here, you’ll be intoxicated by the rich colors 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.

 

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.
  • 14 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of  and  hotels
  • All breakfasts and 3 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
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Supplement (available on request – inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  1. Day 1 Day 1: Arrive in Matera

    Arrive in Matera, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, with an overnight stay at Palazzo Viceconte.

  2. Day 2 Day 2: Free day exploring

    Enjoy the stone city of Matera, named the European Capital of Culture in 2019. Situated in the Basilicata Region, stroll through its beautiful Palaeolithic cave dwellings, intricate cathedrals and museums.

  3. Day 3 Day 3: Matera to Gravina 43km/26.5mi

    Leave Matera and cycle a few kilometres to enter the beautiful region of Puglia. Ride on gentle slopes towards Gravina, one of the most important Roman cities along the Appian Way, and Altamura, located on the hills of the Murge plateau.

  4. Day 4 Day 4: Gravina to Castel del Monte 42km/26mi

    Today, our route winds across the largest natural park in Italy – the Alta Murgia National Park. Our final destination is Catel del Monte with its iconic castle, commissioned by Frederick II, with its unique octagonal structure making it worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage list.

  5. Day 5 Day 5: Castel del Monte to Trani 43km/26.5mi

    Today’s ride continues though the Alta Murgia National Park, with a pleasant descent towards the Adriatic Sea and Trani, one of the oldest and liveliest cities on the Apulian coast. Known as the ’Pearl of Pugila’, the city is characterised by its breath-taking cathedral that sits right on the water’s edge. Afterwards, wander around its Jewish quarter, hidden between it’s glossy limestone streets.

  6. Day 6 Day 6: Trani to Bari 55km/34mi

    Explore the historic town centres of Bisceglie, Molfetta and Giovinazzo, admiring their Romanesque style architecture. Arrive in Bari, a bustling, coral-fringed port town, and ride along one of the longest promenades in the Mediterranean to the old city.

  7. Day 7 Day 7: At Bari

    Spend the day exploring the capital of the region Puglia, walking the narrow lanes of the Vecchia Bari (Old town), admiring the 11th century Romanesque Basilica di San Nicola (also know as Santa Claus) which was specially built to house his remains. Or head to the old port for a stroll along the seafront, where in the mornings you can see fishermen landing in small wooden boats with their catch – and then selling it directly on the waterfront.

  8. Day 8 Day 8: Bari to Conversano 48km/30mi

    Leave Bari pedalling for several kilometres on the southern side of the sea, up to Baia San Giorgio, where San Nicola (Santa Claus) landed in Europe, the black Saint bridge between Eastern and Western Christianity. Then follow the coast and up to Torre a mare and then go a few kilometres inland, to Rutigliano, a beautiful town known for the manufacture of terracotta artefacts, and from there you cross peaceful countryside planted with grapes and cherries to Conversano.

  9. Day 9 Day 9: Conversano to Alberobello 45km/28mi

    Today’s cycling takes you through the rolling hills of the Itria Valley where the air is perfumed with wild mint and herbs. Stop in the little towns of Putignano and Noci, and 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 the staff, will show you to your own private trullo house.

  10. Day 10 Day 10: At Alberobello 46km/29mi

    Spend today roaming around the historic centre, navigating your way through narrow streets, kitsch souvenir shops and tasting local delicacies. Or maybe visit the Museum of the Territory to discover the history of this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, a circular cycle route (45km / 29mi – route directions provided) takes you deep into the Itria Valley to visit stunning Locorotondo, with wonderful panoramic views across the valley. Continue on to Martina Franca, a must-see town given its marvellously intact historic centre, beautiful Baroque architecture, and stunning palaces.

  11. Day 11 Day 11: Alberobello - Pezze di Greco 45km/28mi

    You’ll spend a long downhill run with panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline and the lower fertile plains. This incredible descent will bring you down towards. Chapter and finishes through a patchwork of almond orchards, olives groves, vineyards and gloriously coloured fields of fresh tomatoes and peppers.

  12. Day 12 Day 12: At Pezze di Greco 48km/30mi

    Today you could just relax by the hotel pool, or cycle to the nearby beach. For the more energetic, a circular cycle ride (48km / 30mi route directions provided) – taking notes to charming Ostuni whose whitewashed arches and houses are neatly piled like sugar cubes on hills rich in olive groves and vineyards!

  13. Day 13 Day 13: Pezze di Greco - Monopoli 30km/19mi

    This morning you leave the Masseria and head 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 indulge in a delicious seafood lunch. Your ride will continue past the archaeological site of Egnazia, once the location of a Greek-Roman town, dating as far back as 4 B.C. You then return to the picturesque coastal town of Monopoli and your 4 star hotel in time for a stroll before choosing your evening restaurant from one of the many eateries in the heart of the old town.

  14. Day 14 Day 14: At Monopoli 40km/25mi

    On your last day you’re spoilt for choice: explore Monopoli and its beautiful cathedral, stroll along its narrow streets flowing around its delightful port and enoy a relaxed lunch in one of the many outstanding seafood restaurants. Or you can explore a stretch of the Adriatic coast, perhaps the most beautiful of all by cycling to the north of Monopoli, coming out of the port and after a few coves and a beautiful medieval tower overlooking the cliff, arriving at Polignano. Its hamlet, which can be reached by bike through a spectacular bike path, in some places almost suspended over the sea, is positioned on the edge of a high cliff (from here the daring athletes who participate in the world diving championship also plunge from great heights). Polignano is then the city of ice cream and the country that gave birth to Domenico Modugno (mister ’Volare’). A few kilometres further along the coast we come to the village, the marina and the abbey of San Vito: an imposing and spectacular medieval building overlooking the sea. From here you go back, pedalling inland, through vegetable gardens and olive trees.

  15. Day 15 Day 15: Leave Monopoli

    Leave Monopoli

Where you stay
Palazzo Viceconte
Palazzo Viceconte is a historical building set in the Matera Sassi UNESCO site area. It offers free WiFi throughout. The Viceconte’s rooms feature antique furnishings, free wired internet access, digital TV, and air conditioning. Most rooms boast panoramic views, while some overlook the Palazzo’s quiet internal 17th-century courtyard. The Palace features beautiful frescoed halls that come with original furniture, and a collection of paintings ranging from the 17th to the 20th century.
B+B Le Stanze del Console
Set just outside the historical centre of Gravina in Puglia, this B+B offers rooms with free Wi-Fi. Santa Maria Assunta Basilica is 550 yards away. Rooms at Le Stanze del Console have classic style furnishings and fully equipped private bathroom. Each includes a TV and minibar. Homemade cakes and pastries feature at breakfast, along with fruit juice and a choice of hot drinks. Restaurants, bars and cafs are a short walk away. Set in a 17th century town house, Stanze del Console is a 5-minute walk from Hammam thermal baths. The property is 7.5 miles from Altamura and a 25-minute drive from the UNESCO site at Matera.
Hotel Montegusto
Located in Castel del Monte, 23 miles from Molfetta, Montegusto provides a restaurant and free WiFi. Fitted with a patio, the units offer air conditioning and feature a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet and a hairdryer. The bed and breakfast offers a continental or la carte breakfast. Montegusto offers a children’s playground. Guests can also relax in the garden or in the shared lounge area.
Mar Resort
Mare Resort is an elegant, luxurious property a 5 minutes’ walk from Trani’s harbour. It is located in Palazzo Telesio, an 18th-century building with a top-floor terrace. Bike rental is free. The Resort Mare features modern interiors. Rooms come with a free minibar, an LCD satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and tea and Nespresso machine. The en suite bathroom has a double shower. Set on the rooftop, La Terrazza restaurant is open all year and offers views of the harbour. It serves regional cuisine, vegetarian options and gluten-free food. Occasionally, the property organises events and dinners with music on the terrace.
Hotel Imago
The Imago is a design hotel located in the heart of Bari, a 7-minute walk from Bari Q. Sella Metro Station and 15 minutes’ walk from the cathedral. It offers free WiFi and air-conditioned rooms. Each elegant room at the 4 star Imago hotel will provide you with a flat-screen TV, a dining area and an electric kettle. The private bathroom includes a hairdryer. Other facilities offered at the property include a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge. A terrace is available in summer.
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. 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.
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. Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
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. Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
Masseria San Martino
Immersed in an olive grove of 2,600 trees, Masseria San Martino is located just a few miles from the sea, amid some of Puglia’s most spectacular countryside. The origins of the Masseria date back to the 18C. The building has recently been renovated to a very high standard, maintaining its original features, and provides the ideal place for a peaceful and relaxing stay. Occasionally, in the summer, the hotel organises evening concerts with typical Pugliese music. The Masseria also boasts a salt water pool, a whirlpool corner, and pretty garden.
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. 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. Local tourist tax not included (pay hotel locally)
Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 3 dinners included.

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.

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.

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
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