Cycle Puglia

Cycle Puglia

Trip Highlights

  • Cycling along the Ionian and Adriatic coasts
  • Viewing typical trullo in Alberobello and the surrounding countryside
  • Discovering the ancient cities of Gallipoli and Leece
  • Enjoying the local delicacies including olive oil, fresh vegetables and wine
  • Exploring the Puglia region which is largely unspoiled by tourism

Trip Summary

Puglia in south eastern Italy encompasses the heel of Italy's boot and is bordered by the sea on two sides (the Adriatic Sea in the east and the Ionian Sea to the southeast). The region is characterised by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards. This cycle tour delves into this region of scenic beauty, which is still unspoiled and retains a rich cultural legacy. From Matera and Alberobello where you can marvel at the traditional Trulli and Sassi houses, the route follows both the Ionian and Adriatic coasts and spans the distances between ancient cities. Ending in Lecce, often referred to as the Florence of the south, this is an ideal holiday for those seeking the less known pockets of Italy with all the historic highlights. Staying in atmospheric hotels, including a typical Trulli in Alberobello (subject to availability), ensures you gain a full appreciation of this special region.

Suitability

This trip involves 6 days cycling with daily distances between 45 and 70km/28 and 43.5mi. The route is mostly in the lowlands, although it is sometimes hilly. You will cycle almost always on asphalt roads. Traffic is almost non-existent in Puglia, expect during the high holiday season. The route includes very beautiful stretches along the coast. The trip requires a reasonable level of fitness to fully participate in this adventure. You need only carry your camera and water bottle. Your luggage is transported for you between hotels. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.

Itinerary

Make your own way to Matera (local train from Bari). For millennia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-coloured soft stone. These houses are called "Sassi" and are today a World Heritage site. Take the time to walk around the historic centre before returning to your comfortable hotel.

Meals:  Nil

Today you will cycle to the famous trulli of Alberobello. Trulli were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Alberobello is situated upon two hills which were once separated by a riverbed. On the eastern hill is the new town, with modern architectural features, and on the western hill, the trulli are lined up in an urban conglomeration subdivided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola. Both districts are National Monuments from 1930 and are today World Heritage sites. Overnight in a trullo (subject to availability). Elevation +400m/1312ft

Meals:  B

A fabulous cycle through winding country lanes, past trulli, vineyards and olive groves to Ostuni, which is a reputed architectural jewel. Ostuni is commonly referred to as "the White Town" for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. Elevation +260/853ft

Meals:  B

A train transfer will bring you to Lecce, travel time is about 1hr. Continue cycling through this amazing Baroque town and then head deep into the "Salentinian countryside" before approaching the Ionian coast and your destination for today, Gallipoli. An ancient Greek city, it is a fishing town divided into two parts: the new town and the old town, which is connected by a 17th century bridge to the mainland. Total distance by train: 70km/43.5mi Elevation +70m/230ft

Meals:  B

Continue cycling further along the coast and you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca. The name Santa Maria di Leuca was given to this town by the ancient Greek sailors who came from the East. They say it was enlightened by the sun and therefore called it "Leukos", meaning white. Today it is a famous seaside resort and fishing area. There is ample opportunity to swim and relax at the beach in the afternoon. Elevation +50m/164ft

Meals:  B

Another superb day of cycling as you follow the Adriatic coast northwards. Passing by small towns, impressive grottoes, inlets for swimming and small cafes, you soon arrive at Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy where you can visit the beautiful Cathedral and the great Aragonese Castle. Elevation +460m/1509ft

Meals:  B

Today's cycle will take you along the Alimini Lakes and their unique Mediterranean bush towards Lecce. Thanks to its Baroque style, Lecce has earned the nickname of "Florence of the South". Appreciate the rich sculpted motives from the 17th century made with the tender stone from Lecce. The old town, enclosed by what is left of the ancient walls, bears the impression of that exuberant period. Elevation +100m/328ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast the trip concludes. Lecce is well connected by train with the airports of Bari and Brindisi.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts - varied buffet breakfasts are served in each hotel
  • 7 nights accommodation in mainly 3 star hotels and a typical trullo in Alberobello (subject to availability) on a twin share basis with private facilities (upgrade to mainly 4 star hotels - supplement applies.)
  • Luggage transfers
  • 27 gear bicycle rental with puncture resistant tyres, pannier, gel saddle and helmet (ebike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Bike insurance for loss or damage - does not cover negligence
  • Route descriptions and maps per room booked
  • Train Transfer Ostuni to Lecce
  • Emergency Hotline
  • Welcome briefing

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from Matera / Lecce
  • Lunches, dinners and drinks
  • Local hotel taxes approximately €10-15
  • Train transfers other than Ostuni- Lecce
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide - this is a self guided cycle

Upcoming Travel Dates

Reviews

I had a wonderful, unforgettable adventure filled to the brim with the most amazing sights and places full of charm, character and history. Basilicata & Puglia are a must-see region in Italy that most people (on this side of the world anyway) don't know about. From the rural landscapes to the rugged coastline. Always something different - to step back in time & take in & photograph! Our fellow bikers were great company too.

P. Wilson, Auckland, New Zealand, 18 Jun 2017


Wonderful trip. Highly recommended

L. Giddy, Kew, VIC, 08 Oct 2018

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Italy
Starting Point:Matera
Finishing Point:Lecce
Activities:SELF GUIDED CYCLE
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:PUG
Prices From:GBP£1020 Per Person
Single Supplement - 6 day trip:GBP£160  Click for more information
Single Supplement:GBP£200  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.