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Puglia – Cycling in the Heel of Italy

from $1,579.00

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 2 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate plus
    6/8
All about the Puglia – Cycling in the Heel of Italy.

In the heart of the Mediterranean lies Puglia, a unique landscape sandwiched between the Adriatic and Ionian seas. We explore the very best of this captivating region and begin by cycling through two towns that both possess UNESCO world heritage sites. The region is mainly flat, which lends itself perfectly to the self-guided cycle ahead; filled with spectacular views; beautiful coastline and mouth-watering cuisine.

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 (see accommodation section)
  • Train ticket from Ostuni to Lecce
  • Luggage transfers
  • Maps and route notes
  • Local bike rental
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Supplement (available on request – inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Hotel upgrades (inquire for prices and details)

Highlights

  • Cycle through UNESCO historic towns, olive groves and past white-coned trulli
  • Ride along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas
  • Enjoy fine seafood and wine
  1. Day 1 Day 1: Start Matera. Make your own way from Bari or Brindisi to Matera by train or bus

    Make your own way from Bari or Brindisi airport to Matera by train.

  2. Day 2 Day 2: Ride through the historic 'Sassi' houses of Matera before heading to the town of Alberobello

    On leaving Matera you will pass through what 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 as today 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. From one famous world heritage site to another, heading towards Alberobello, you will pass the famous fairy-tale trulli houses that have also made Alberobello a recognised world heritage site.

  3. Day 3 Day 3: Cycle through the lush Valle d'Itria, past the picturesque fairy-tale Trulli houses to hilltop-town of Ostuni

    Cycle through the lush Valle d’Itria and one of the prettiest cultural landscapes of the south past more trulli houses to Ostuni – offering breathtaking coastal views. Along the way we pass the famous wine town of Locorotondo, regarded as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. After sampling some of the local sparkling white wine, the route heads to the white city of Ostuni – famous for the dazzling effect of its whitewashed houses.

  4. Day 4 Day 4: Train to Lecce; cycle through the countryside to Gallipoli on the Ionian Coast with its old town situated on a rocky island.

    In the morning you will take a train transfer with your bike to the the fascinating baroque town of Lecce. From here we cycle deep into the Salentinian countryside before approaching the Ionian coast. Here you will reach beautiful Gallipolli, 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.

  5. Day 5 Day 5: Reach the most southerly point of Salento at Santa Maria di Leuca

    Today you cycle to the most southerly point of Salento at Santa Maria di Leuca, where the crystal waters of the Ionian and Adriatic seas merge. This village is home to one of the most important lighthouses in Italy and the architectural delights of numerous villas built at the turn of the century. Inhabitants of this area were quite eccentric people who loved the peace and quiet and wanted to enjoy the sea and the town.

  6. Day 6 Day 6: Follow the south coast of the Adriatic Sea to the ancient town of Otranto

    Our route continues along the south coast of the Adriatic sea through charming landscape to the ancient Messapian town of Otranto. The old town is surrounded by a mighty wall containing the impressive Hapsburger Castle. En route to Otranto there is the opportunity to visit the famous Grotta Zinzulusa, the only coastal grotto that is open to the public, and also the thermal baths of Santa Cesarea Terme.

  7. Day 7 Day 7: Continue along the shoreline through innumerable olive groves to the Baroque city of Lecce

    We follow the shoreline through innumerable olive groves to the Baroque metropolis of Lecce. A relaxing way to end the week is at the beach of Torre dell’Orso surrounded by limestone cliffs and with many ancient caves to discover. The final destination is Lecce, the capital of Salento, and as well as being home to over 30 churches and countless palaces, there is an ampitheatre and Roman theatre dating back to Emperor Augustus.

  8. Day 8 Day 8: End Lecce

    Finish your trip in Lecce and make your own way back to the airport for your flight home.

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Where you stay
Hotels
You will spend 7 nights in comfortable en suite hotels, when available we use traditional accommodation in Alberobello. Most of the towns are close to the seaside. All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration. For a solo traveller there is an additional charge to cover transfer costs. Additional Accommodation We can book additional accommodation in Matera or Lecce (subject to availability). Please notify us at the time of booking and we will provide up-to-date prices.
Eating and Drinking

7 breakfasts are included and consist of a continental-style buffet. However, please note that the typical Italian breakfast are generally light; usually a cup of coffee and a cream-filled or jam-filled croissant.

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 specialities.
Suggestions of what to do for lunch and dinner are given in the cycling route notes.

Cycling conditions
This is a self-guided cycling trip for those who like to cycle independently, but with back up to take out the hard work and planning. We arrange your accommodations, 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.
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading.
Av. daily ride: 51km (32 miles).
No. of days cycling: 6.
Terrain & route: The suggested cycling is along quiet, tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free). There are a few ascents and descents along the way.
Vehicle Support: A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

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. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

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 route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Families
Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. As a guide we have suggested that 14 years is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each days cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. Please do be aware that on some occassions on this trip the cycling can be along busier roads so any children must be comfortable cycling alongside traffic. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 13/11/2019
5/5

Mr Paul

Excellent holiday with good hotels, great scenery and realistic riding days for the described activity level. The bikes were excellent and comfortable.

Reviewed On 31/10/2019
5/5

Mr Partridge

This was our first cycling holiday (we are in our seventies) We had the most enjoyable time, meeting up with fellow cyclist from other countries on route

The towns we stayed in and the hotel were all very good. The cycling was almost all on quiet roads. We would certainly like to book another trip. Mary and Tim

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March 21, 2021
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$1,579.00
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March 22, 2021
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March 28, 2021
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March 29, 2021
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April 4, 2021
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April 5, 2021
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April 11, 2021
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April 12, 2021
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April 18, 2021
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$1,779.00
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April 19, 2021
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April 25, 2021
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April 26, 2021
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$1,779.00
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May 2, 2021
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$1,879.00
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May 3, 2021
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May 9, 2021
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May 10, 2021
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May 30, 2021
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May 31, 2021
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June 6, 2021
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June 7, 2021
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June 13, 2021
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June 14, 2021
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June 20, 2021
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June 21, 2021
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June 27, 2021
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June 28, 2021
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July 4, 2021
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July 5, 2021
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July 11, 2021
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July 12, 2021
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July 18, 2021
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July 19, 2021
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July 25, 2021
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July 26, 2021
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August 1, 2021
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August 2, 2021
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August 23, 2021
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August 29, 2021
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August 30, 2021
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September 5, 2021
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September 6, 2021
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September 12, 2021
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September 13, 2021
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September 19, 2021
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September 20, 2021
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September 26, 2021
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$1,949.00
N/A
September 27, 2021
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October 3, 2021
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October 4, 2021
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October 10, 2021
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October 11, 2021
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$1,779.00
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October 17, 2021
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October 18, 2021
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October 24, 2021
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