Frequently asked questions about our Bike Tours
Here at Puglia Cycle Tours, we are sure of one thing: every traveler is different from one another.
In organizing a cycling holiday everyone has different needs, specific preferences, doubts and special requests. We know it well and for over 10 years we have been planning cycle tours of Puglia with our customers, respecting and satisfying their requests.
We are happy every time we can make your holiday just like you dream it … or even more.
Here you will find some of the most frequent questions on various aspects of our tours: from general information to details about overnight stays and reservations.
In any case you can always contact us: we will always be happy to answer you.
What types of tours do you organize?
Well, we do guided tours (with an expert guide that rides with you every day) for those of you who like to follow the leader and just relax and enjoy the Giro di Puglia tour without having to worry about anything else other than “shall we stop here for a drink and a snack” or “where shall we have dinner this evening” – and even for these very tough questions you will be able to count on our guide who has tried and tested most of them especially for you! You can choose between 9 or 12 days or even go custom and plan your own tour that we will work out following your requests.
For the more autonomous travellers we have the self-guided tours. In this case we provide tracks to direct you from one accommodation to the next every day, together with all the information you could possibly need to decide where to enjoy the historical and of course culinary highlights of Puglia along the way. This is not a group ride and everyone can decide how to organize their day, chances are you will meet some of your colleagues along the way to share experiences and emotions. You do not need to carry your own luggage since we transfer them between the different accommodations and you also get 24/7 phone assistance. 5, 6, 8 or 11 days are the lengths of our standard tours but again you have the option to personalize the tour based on your fitness level or the specific places you want to see.
We have one more category, our Bike & Trulli, which is perfect for those of you that want to ride a bike but also relax and sip on a nice glass of local wine while sunbathing by the pool in the quiet countryside. We give you bikes and tracks, but you decide when and how far you want to ride, with all tracks starting and ending at the accommodation, which is a beautiful trullo-house in the Apulian countryside. This is also an ideal solution for families with kids that want to give bike touring a go without the stress of the young ones getting tired way before reaching your next hotel.
How fit do I need to be?
Short answer: the fitter and the more used to cycling you are, the longer and further you can bike without difficulties. Having said that, all our standard tours are between levels Easy, Gentle and Moderate, so even if you are no longer in that great shape you used to be a couple of years ago, you should be able to manage just fine if you do some form of exercise frequently. The average daily distance ranges between 35km and 50km and the maximum daily distance is 60km. If you need some help or just want to give them a try, we also have e-bikes to make the trip even easier for you to enjoy.
For the athletes and adventurers amongst you, who laugh with contempt when reading those distances, fear not! We reserved two levels for you, Active and Challenging, in our bespoke tours, just let us know how long and how far you want to ride and we can build you a tour that will have you sweating lactic acid from every pore.
What is included in the tour?
All tours include the different overnight stays in typical guest houses or 4* hotels with breakfast, luggage transport, medical and luggage insurance, 24/7 phone assistance, a detailed briefing at the start and touristic information. For the guided tours you also get an English-speaking guide and the self-guided tours will provide a GPS device with tracks (or if you prefer we can rent you a specific outdoor smartphone with uploaded tracks), along with useful info about your daily route. Some tours also have a number of dinners included, please refer to the specific tour (or contact us) for more details.
What is not included and can be added as extra to the tour?
First of all city taxes can be applied and have to be paid on site where required. Next we have hybrid bike, road bike and e-bike rental and very useful and recommended accessories like helmets and panniers. Also an option is a half board (adding dinner to the already included breakfast). The standard tour price includes the double occupancy in each accommodation, but both the single room and the solo traveller supplement are always available (The single room for when you want your very own private bedroom but you are travelling in a group. The solo traveller gets you that very same private bedroom, but travelling solo means we have to transfer luggage just for you, hence the extra cost). We can also provide you with a private transfer service from the airport to your starting point and/or from your destination point back to the airport before flying back home. And for those who like to tour on a bike but still love some extra luxury we can book a 5* upgrade depending on availability.
How can I book a tour?
Easy, on every tour page of our website, you should find a large button that says “BOOK NOW”, so just click on that, fill in the necessary information and our very friendly staff starts to check availability with all the different hotels. Once we have that sorted out, we will send you everything you need for the payments and as soon as you make the down payment for 25% of the total price your first Puglia Cycle Tour is booked!
The final payment is only due one month before the start of your tour. At that time, we will send you a tour program including touristic and track information for every day of your tour. When you arrive in Puglia, one of our representatives will give you a printed version of this program during the welcome briefing in your accommodation.
How can I pay?
Bank transfer and PayPal (with a 4,5% commission) are the accepted payment methods.
To confirm the booking we ask a down payment of 25%, the final payment is due one month before the departure date of your cycling holiday.
How do I cancel a reservation and do I get a refund?
Nobody wants to cancel a reservation, but sometimes you have no choice and we can understand that. Just contact us and we will do whatever necessary.
The cancellation costs depend on how long before the scheduled departure date you cancel:
– between 60 and 31 days prior to arrival, 10% of the total booking.
– between 30 and 15 days prior to arrival, 30% of the total booking.
– between 14 and 9 days prior to arrival, 50% of the total booking.
– between 8 and 3 days prior to arrival, 75% of the total booking.
– between 3 and 0 days prior to arrival, 100% of the total booking.
What is the difference between single supplement and solo traveller?
A single supplement is the supplement for a single room on a standard departure date, while travelling with a group. The solo traveller supplement is for a single room while travelling without other cyclists on that departure date . The main reason the solo traveller is more expensive is that the cost of the luggage transfers cannot be divided among other guests (transfers are being done just for you).
Do you give discounts for groups?
Only if you ask nicely. Seriously, we offer a discount for groups of more than six persons so make sure to bring your friends along on the trip.
What type of accommodation do you use?
We have selected some of the best typical, bike-friendly accommodations in Puglia, equipped with all the comfort a bicycle traveller may need. Here are some of the typologies, depending on availability:
- 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 built around a sixteenth-century tower
- Otranto: 4* hotel in the city centre
- Lecce: comfortable Bed and Breakfast in the old town
- Bari: 4-star Design Hotel in the city centre
- Brindisi: a comfortable and fine 4-star hotel in the city centre
- Itria Valley/Figazzano: trulli with swimming pool (self-catering or 5* option available)
Can I add an extra night before/after my tour?
Yes, you can! If you want to add that extra night in the same accommodation, we will check availability and let you know the additional cost before confirming. Also, we can find alternatives in other cities, for instance close to the airport if you need to start or end your tour in Puglia with a stay there.
Can I book half board?
We can provide half board during your tour, this gives you evening dinner in every location where you will be staying. The supplement for this depends on the duration of your tour. Remember that breakfast, the most important meal of the day, is always included.
Can I upgrade to 5* accommodations?
Depending on the tour and the availability we can provide even more comfort and luxury during your holiday. This can be done with different room categories in the usual hotels or by changing to a higher grade accommodation in the same city.
How do I get to the starting point/back from the finish of my tour?
Like always, we have a few options depending on where you come from and where you need to go.
The easiest option is to use our private transfers from the airport to the starting point end back from the last accommodation to the airport. Our van will pick you up with your luggage and drop you off where you need to be without the need for waiting running around from a train station to another bus station. Please, contact us and ask for an estimate of the costs for the transfer you need.
Alternatively, you can use the public transportation to get from the airport or station to your first destination, or rent a car, which is a good option for those who choose the Bike & Trulli solution.
Feel free to drop us an email if you would like some help planning your trip.
Can I book a support van?
This is an option that we can add to your booking, depending on availability, on top of the standard 24/7 phone assistance that is always included.
How do I follow the tracks (GPS, Smartphone, maps)?
We give you the option to use our GPS devices with the uploaded tracks or we can send you the link to upload those same tracks to your own smartphone using RideWithGPS®, a very user-friendly application.
With all of our standard tours, we provide booklets including practical and touristic information for each day’s ride at the briefing.
What dates can I start one of your tours?
Every tour has a number of standard departure dates that you can find on the specific page for that tour on our website (where you can also find the specific price for the tour in that period). If for some reason you prefer to start on a different date (for example flights) you can always ask and we will check availability and price for that date and also offer you available alternatives.
What about my luggage?
The only thing you have to do with your luggage, besides packing everything you need before coming to Puglia of course, is to drop it off every morning at the reception with your luggage tag (that we will provide) attached to it and you will find it upon your arrival at your next accommodation in the afternoon. We take care of picking it up and dropping it back of (very carefully, no luggage is harmed during our transfers).
Which airport is the best starting point?
Puglia has two main airports, one in Bari and the other one in Brindisi, so you can choose between those to book your flights. Bari is the regions capital and therefore better connected with trains and busses compared to Brindisi, but we do offer private transfers from and back to both airports. Also because our public transportation system isn’t the most efficient out there (check or ask before you get here).
Can I reach Puglia by car, train, or boat?
The answer is 3 times yes. We have highways that reach Bari and main roads and secondary roads to all the other cities coming from both North and South. By train you can reach Bari easily but to get to other cities you might have to change to one of the smaller railway companies or use busses. By ferry you can reach Brindisi and Bari arriving from Greece, Albania, Montenegro or Croatia.
What types of bikes do you have for rent?
The biggest part of our bike fleet are Specialized Crosstrail hybrid bikes that are perfect for the paved roads and occasional gravel roads of our tours. Specifically for the ladies we have BBF Trekking bikes with a low instep and for those who can use a little help, or just want to take it easy we have Atala e-bikes available. For the road bike fanatics we have Specialized Roubaix Sport in 5 different sizes available.
What is included with the bikes and what extras can be added?
All bikes come fully functional and are maintained and serviced regularly. Available extras are panniers that can be attached to the rear bike rack and helmet for your safety. You can always bring your own clipless pedals if you prefer but we can provide different types from Shimano and Look if you prefer to travel light.
Can I bring my own pedals?
Of course you can, just let us know so we can bring your bike without pedals and the necessary tools to install yours. We can provide different types of clipless pedals from Shimano and Look if you prefer to travel light.
Do you give a toolkit with the bikes?
Every bike comes with a tire repair kit and mini-pump so you can do basic repairs yourself. Of course you always have our 24/7 assistance and our bikes are equipped with cut-resistant tires.
When is the best season to do a tour?
The best seasons are the beginning and the end of the winter, beginning and end of the summer, autumn and spring. That pretty much sums up the entire year, doesn’t it? The only months that are not exactly perfect for cycle tours are January and February because of the colder temperatures and humidity and between half July and half August because of the heat. Despite the pleasant climate almost all year round, it does occasionally rain in Puglia (we do need the water to produce delicious fruit and vegetables to put on the table). In case of heavy rain, we’ll do our best to to adapt your program. If you want to join your luggage in the van on its way to your next accommodation, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to check availability and the possible additional costs of the service.
Can I do a tour being vegetarian?
No problem. A lot of inland cities have a long tradition in preparing quality meat dishes and by the seaside fresh seafood is the main ingredient, but the Mediterranean kitchen uses all of its tasty vegetables to prepare excellent vegetarian alternatives for you to enjoy. If you book half board best advise if you want to avoid certain ingredients.