Biking Tour in Puglia Italy – Itria Valley
Self-guided Tour – 5 days
The charm of the Itria Valley is recognized worldwide, but probably not everyone knows that this area in the heart of Puglia is even more fascinating by bicycle! Its elegant villages, quiet countryside dotted with trulli and olive groves surrounded by dry stonewalls, the multitude of flavours, scents and colours of its cuisine will captivate you and make your cycling trip a continuous discovery!
DAY 1: ALBEROBELLO
Arrival and accommodation in Alberobello.
DAY 2: (LOOP) ALBEROBELLO – MARTINA FRANCA – LOCOROTONDO – ALBEROBELLO
+/- 45 km
The tour starts from a UNESCO heritage site before taking you in the heart of the Itria Valley – a unique landscape and worldwide famous destination for those who seek beauty and good living. Leaving Alberobello, you will then ride towards Martina Franca to admire the elegant baroque old town. A few kilometres later, you will come across the first Apulian cycle route: the “Ciclovia dell’Acquedotto” (Apulian Aqueduct cycle route) running on the maintenance track of a more than a century-old Aqueduct and still the second biggest one in Europe. The cycling route will take you to Locorotondo, one of the “borghi più belli d’Italia” (the most beautiful villages of Italy). Before coming back to Alberobello, you’ll still have time to ride across some “contrade” (built up areas in the countryside, often full of trulli, which are the most peculiar and distinctive features of the Itria Valley). There you’ll have the possibility to admire a big trullo-shaped church standing out among trees and rural houses.
+/- 500 meters of climbing
DAY 3: ALBEROBELLO – CISTERNINO – OSTUNI
+/- 40 km
The day-2 stage again starts form Alberobello. It will be a full immersion in the most authentic but varied landscape of this corner of Puglia – maybe the very heart and soul of the region. Gentle wooded hills, dry-stone low walls, imposing “masserie”, whitewashed medieval old towns, oak woods, the contrasts between the blue, the green and the red deeply colouring such an enchanting setting. Itria Valley is a triangle whose vertices are Locorotondo, Martina Franca and Cisternino – towns belonging to three different provinces, which cross in the Valley. You’ll already have visited the first two and now it’s Cisternino’s turn! You will discover another outstanding mixture between spontaneous architecture and the elegance of big churches and palaces. The last daily kilometres are a gentle and extraordinarily panoramic ride down to Ostuni. This “white town” on the hill overlooks the sea, exactly as you’ll have the chance to do at the end of this stage.
+/- 400 meters of climbing
DAY 4: (LOOP) OSTUNI – CAROVIGNO – CEGLIE MESSAPICA – OSTUNI
+/- 50 km
The third stage is dedicated to the best-kept secrets of this land. Just when you will be thinking you have seen all that the Itria Valley can offer you, we will show you more unspoiled roads to ride and wonders to visit. Don’t you think for instance that a castle is missing among all these trulli? Today you are going to visit two very different but both very scenic castles: “Dentice di Frasso” Castle of Carovigno and “Castello Ducale” of Ceglie Messapica. In Ceglie, you will be on the Apulian hills’ edge. From here you can look south and, when it’s sunny (and that happens very often!), feel like you are on a ship’s bow ploughing through the olive trees’ sea towards the Salento. Ceglie is the silent capital of Apulian cuisine, too: it has been hosting the international Mediterranean Cooking School in an old monastery and some of the best Apulian restaurants. You will drop in around noon…Are we perhaps suggesting something?
+/- 500 meters of climbing
DAY 5: OSTUNI
After breakfast, end of services.