Giro di Puglia 12 days | Matera – Lecce

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Giro di Puglia 12 days | Matera – Lecce

Days / Nights
12 / 11

Level 3: Moderate

For the regular cyclist that wants to discover more of Puglia and doesn’t mind some steeper and varying terrain. These tours offer between 6 and 9 days of cycling with a maximum of 60km a day.

per person from

Bicycle Trip in Puglia Italy

Self-guided tour – 12 days

A bike tour to “get the whole picture” of Puglia – starting from its borders with neighbouring region Basilicata. You will start in Matera, the city of “Sassi” and UNESCO world heritage cite, and through the local canyons, the “gravine”, you will enter Puglia to discover, one pedal stroke after the other, its changing landscapes that flow from one beauty into the next. From Murgia to Salento: architectural and natural wonders, sites of immense historical and cultural interest, and of course, unsurpassable culinary specialties!


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Arrival in Matera and check-in.



Briefing and bike fit with a member of Puglia Cycle Tours crew.


+/- 60 km

Your first ride is in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage site: Matera, the Town of The Sassi (literally: “stones”, i.e., the ancient cave dwellings of the old town). It is one of the most scenic and fascinating cities in the world and, at the same time, the perfect synthesis of its surrounding area. Once on your way out of Matera, you will deeply relish such an amazing landscape, entering Matera’s surroundings.
The first stage runs almost entirely in the “Parco Regionale delle Gravine” (Ravines Regional Park), in the middle of wheat fields and wide panoramas. You ride through other towns, whose atmospheres will remind you of the Town of The Sassi. But above all, you have the chance to visit the town of Laterza, famous for the tasty bread and the beautiful pottery. The accommodation is in San Basilio, a hamlet between the “Terra delle Gravine” (Ravines Land) and the Murgia of Trulli.

+/- 550 meters of climbing

Sassi of Matera – Museum of ceramics in Laterza – old town of Laterza – Laterza bread



+/- 55 km

The second stage could be a trip by itself, because it takes you into two very different landscapes on the same day. You still cycle the first kilometres in the “Terra delle Gravine”: the “Gravine” (ravines) are deep canyons carved by karst rivers over millions of years). You will even cross one of them by bike riding over a big stone bridge, where there’s now a scenic bicycle path in place of the old railway. Before crossing the bridge, your path passes through Castellaneta, the birthplace of the Hollywood legend Rodolfo Valentino. After pedalling through the ravines, you ride past the Murgia of Trulli, surrounded by more and more oaks, dry-stone low walls, masserie (local fortified farmhouses) – and trulli, of course, Puglia’s iconic rural houses with a conic roof built with the dry-stone technique (i.e., without any cement or mortar!). To reach Putignano, the daily destination, you cycle through Noci. The town is like a temple of good food – good to know in case you get hungry along the way!

+/- 650 meters of climbing

old town and Rodolfo Valentino Museum in Castellaneta – bicycle path on the Gravina Grande (big ravine) in Castellaneta – Sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie and Castle of Palagianello – food and wine shops in Noci



+/- 35 km

We set up the daily route both as a preview and as an in-depth view of the whole tour. The day starts in the beautiful medieval centre of Putignano, a town which boasts Europe’s oldest and most long-lasting Carnival. Take your time to stroll around and then cycle in the lush countryside to reach Castellana Caves after just a few kilometres. It is the main, biggest and most scenic karst site in the south of Italy: it is really worth literally going into it!
Leaving the caves, continue along the rolling lanes of the country, where olive, almond, apricot and cherry trees grow luxuriantly.
The route takes you quite unexpectedly along an amazing never-ending balcony overlooking the Murgia, where you will have a foretaste of the days to follow: hills, sea, century-old olive trees, the scents of the “macchia mediterranea” (maquis shrub land of the Mediterranean region) and the colours of our land.
The daily destination is a UNESCO heritage site: Alberobello, the world capital of Trulli. You head there riding up and down on the hills, through the fields bordered by low stone-walls.

+/- 400 meters of climbing

Putignano, the town of the Carnival – Castellana Caves – Trulli of Alberobello



+/- 45 km

Let’s play a game: are you able to cover even a single stretch of the daily scheduled kilometres without spotting a trullo? They are everywhere in the heart of Itria Valley – a unique landscape and worldwide famous destination for those who seek beauty and good living. You will even come across a trullo-shaped church cycling from Alberobello towards Locorotondo, one of the “borghi più belli d’Italia” (most beautiful villages of Italy). Leaving the town, you have the chance to pedal along the main Apulian cycling route: the “Ciclovia dell’Acquedotto” (Apulian Aqueduct cycling route), which runs on the service track of a more-than-a-century-old Aqueduct that is still the second biggest one in Europe. Before riding back to Alberobello, you get to the quaint town of Martina Franca, known for its baroque architecture.

+/- 550 meters of climbing

Trulli and masserie – old town of Locorotondo – Ciclovia dell’Acquedotto – baroque architecture in Martina Franca – “capocollo di Martina Franca” (typical charcuterie product of Martina Franca)



+/- 45 km

Today, you will probably wonder if we set all Puglia highlights one next to the other, on your way just for you! You start in the UNESCO town of Alberobello and you head to Barsento, a naturalistic and archaeological site with a lovely 12C little abbey. Other beautiful churches are dotting your itinerary: San Biagio first, at the beginning of a nice tree-lined cycle path; then San Nicola di Genna, another 12C church at the crossroad between 7 “contrade” (country districts). You cycle along sleepy country roads close to Castellana Grotte, catching sight of the sea! You slowly ride down to the Adriatic coast and reach one of its most fascinating spots: the town of Polignano a Mare, perched on the side of a cliff (the incredible Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series take place here!). It is the hometown of the famous Italian singer Domenico Modugno, “Mister Volare”. Enter the old town by bike and pedal next to the terraces overlooking the sea; then stop to taste a delicious homemade “gelato” (ice-cream) or a panini filled with super-fresh fish! Riding further on the coast, you get to Monopoli, an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to the interesting mix between its beautiful sea and its fascinating history. Your accommodation is in the old town, a few steps away from the harbour and the Castle.

+/- 300 meters of climbing

church of Barsento – balconies overlooking the sea in Polignano a Mare – ice cream and fish Paninis in Polignano – harbour and old town of Monopoli



+/- 40 km

Monopoli will say goodbye to you in an unforgettable way. After breakfast, you start pedalling through the alleys and then through an archway to reach the old harbour. Continue riding only inches away from the water past the Castle of Charles V (16C) and along the old Castle walls and discover the first of the tiny coves that dot a twisting cycle path just outside the old town. Are you sure you want to leave Monopoli?! We suggest you do make this effort if you don’t want to miss all the other enchanting places. Get to the “Abbazia di Santo Stefano” (St. Stephan Abbey) and enter an expanse of olive trees, a sort of outdoor museum full of century- and thousand-old olive trees, a wonderful landscape in perfect harmony between man and nature. Little by little, you will spot a white outline amid the hills: it is Ostuni, known as “the white town” because of its whitewashed houses and walls. To perfectly end the day, indulge a stroll in its old town, a sort of Mediterranean Kasbah of narrow alleys, full of cafes and nice shops.

+/- 350 meters of climbing

Adriatic Sea beaches – the white old town of Ostuni – sea urchins



+/- 15+30 km

This stage is divided into two stretches. The first one is the shorter one: starting from Ostuni and after visiting the imposing and elegant Castle of Carovigno, you reach the little Carovigno rail station, hidden among olive trees. Here you can take one of the many trains of “Ferrovie dello Stato” (Italian state Railway) to get to Lecce in less than one hour (in Puglia you can bring the bicycle with you on the train for free). Then, you pedal into the Salento capital, visiting one of the most beautiful Italian old towns. Riding away from Lecce, you directly head to Acaya, an enchanting fortified little town between Lecce and Otranto, once an ancient stronghold against Saracens’ attacks. Then you cycle in the most authentic countryside, next to the imposing “pajare” – Salento typical “trulli” with a square base. You are a few kilometres away from Borgagne, a small and nice Salento village, where you will stay for the night.

+/- 200 meters of climbing

Castle of Carovigno – fortified town of Acaya – pajare (Salento trulli with square base) – Lecce Baroque -“pasticciotto leccese” (typical Salento pastry)



+/- 45 km

You leave Borgagne to explore the most impressive part of the south-easternmost Italian coast. You start riding surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and you reach the coast at the “Grotta della Poesia” (Cave of the Poetry), ranked among the 10 most spectacular natural pools in the world by the National Geographic. A few metres away, you find the Archaeological Park of Roca Vecchia, which has been an important settlement from the prehistory to the Middle Ages. From now on, you follow trails overlooking the sea on the side of the cliffs between Torre dell’Orso and Sant’Andrea. But you will also unexpectedly discover two small coastal lakes, the Alimini Lakes, before getting to Otranto. The town is known as the “pearl of the Mediterranean” and included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage.

+/- 300 meters of climbing

“Grotta della Poesia” natural pool – Roca Vecchia archaeological Park – cliffs of Sant’Andrea – Alimini Lakes – lake in the ex-bauxite quarry – Castle of Otranto – Negroamaro (Salento vine)



+/- 55 km

The last stage is a postcard to say goodbye to – and see you soon in – Puglia! It’s a sort of collage showing you the best of Salento: sea, olive trees, history, Baroque architecture, small villages, bright colours, strong flavours. You start from the easternmost spot in Italy, following the Idro Valley to discover Salento hinterland. You are in the most authentic and unspoiled corners of this land. While riding, you will often come across some megalithic monuments: the menhirs. You cycle along enchanting countryside lanes to head to the “Grecìa Salentina”, an area of Salento where a dialect having its origins in medieval Greek is still spoken. You then ride through the towns of Cursi, Melpignano, Corigliano, Sternatìa. Melpignano and Corigliano will surprise you above all, thanks to their wonderful “palazzi” and castles. From Sternatìa, past olive groves deep in the countryside, you get to Lecce through Porta San Biagio. The elegant Baroque old town will still be waiting for you!

+/- 300 meters of climbing

Menhir area – Grecìa Salentina (Greek-dialect-speaking area) – iced coffee with almond milk



After breakfast, end of services.

Low season
  • March, November: € 970,00 per person
  • April, October: € 1060,00 per person

High season
  • May, June, July, August, September: € 1190,00 per person
High season
  • May: 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31
  • June: 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21
  • August: 27, 30
  • September: 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27

Low season
  • March: 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
  • April: 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30
  • October: 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25,29
  • November: 1, 5, 8, 12
  • 11 nights in typical guest houses or 4-star hotels with breakfast
  • 1 dinner (beverage not included) on Day 2
  • Luggage transport
  • GPS device with uploaded tracks
  • Medical and luggage insurance
  • FULL assistance

City taxes to pay on site, where required.

Below are some extra services you can add to your tour. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.

  • Hybrid bicycle rental: € 120,00
  • E-bike rental: € 300,00
  • Road bike rental: € 350,00
  • Pannier rental: € 25,00 (each)
  • Helmet rental: € 10,00
  • Half board supplement (dinners): on request
  • Single room supplement: € 30,00 per night
  • Private Transfers: on request

We have selected for you the best typical guest houses or 4-star hotels (depending on availability), bike-friendly accommodations in Puglia, equipped with all the comforts a bicycle traveller may need. Here are the typologies:

  • Matera: Hotel in the heart of Sassi District
  • San Basilio: 4-star Masseria in the “Terra delle Gravine” countryside
  • Putignano: B&B in the old town taking part in the project “Borgo in bici” (Town by bicycle)
  • Alberobello: authentic trullo in the heart of the old town
  • Monopoli: cosy typical accommodation of the historic centre
  • Ostuni: 4-star hotel in the centre of the “white city”
  • Borgagne: B&B in a sixteenth-century building
  • Otranto: 4* hotel in the city centre
  • Lecce: comfortable Bed and Breakfast in the old town

[actual accommodation could vary based on availability]

On request and upon availability we can offer 5-star accommodation options, too.

See the accommodations on this tour

This is a self-guided tour, i.e. you are free to ride at your own pace. We book your hotels, we provide assistance and the Garmin GPS navigators with which you will be able to follow the path that we have planned for you.

During the tour, you will probably meet other guests lodging in the same accommodations for the same tour or similar. Aside from the pleasure of getting to know other bicycle lovers, you will always be free in departure and arrival times.

Our tours #GiroDiPuglia tell about Puglia in every way – in the altimetry, too! Puglia is a hilly region surrounded by the sea: that’s what you will find stage by stage. Some of these stages are almost completely flat; others are funny up-and-down paths; some have short climbs and sprints, which will bring out the cyclist inside you, if even only for some hundred metres.

The average daily path is between about 40 and 50 kilometres. One stage is even shorter (around 30 km) and only one around 60 km.

We thought up an itinerary achieving the very difficult aim of showing you the most beautiful corners of our region, by riding on the most impressive paths. The tour is suitable for anyone who is relatively used to cycling, whatever the age.

Anyway, it is always a pleasure for us to listen to your needs and customise the tours offering you the best experience ever!

Matera is easily connected with Bari airport. A metro and several shuttles (but also trains, taxi and hire cabs) let you get to Bari central train station in a few minutes. Here you can take one of the many daily trains of the Ferrovie Appulo Lucane, (F.A.L.) to Matera. The same is the case for Bari port, situated a few steps away from the Central Station.
Matera is also 140 km far from Brindisi, where you can find both an airport and a port with several international routes, too.
If you are travelling by car, take the Bologna-Taranto highway until you get to the exit “Bari Nord”. Keep driving to the “zona industriale” (industrial area) and then to Altamura-Matera, i.e. SS96 and then SS99.
Anyway, a private transfer service with driver from all Apulian airports, stations and ports is also available on request.

FULL assistance
Customers have one of our assistants at their disposal 24 hours a day, in case of any problem or need.
On the day of arrival, the guests meet our assistant for a welcome briefing, during which he supplies them with the equipment (maps, GPS device, etc.) giving useful info about the route and the working of the GPS. Moreover, our assistant leads customers at the beginning of the first tour stage to verify that both bicycles and equipment are working a treat.
In the event of a bicycle failure, he will sort the problem out or suggest how to. He is available every morning, to show the day stage and give advice just in case.

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1. Bank transfer: bank fees charged to the customer

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