Puglia Guided Tour by bike
Guided tour – 8 days – Heart of Puglia
A Bike Tour of Puglia to discover the most striking and unexplored corners of the region.
You don’t have to worry about anything but staying in the saddle and enjoying the most beautiful bike routes in the company of our expert guides, ready to take care of you at all times.
We start in Matera, the famous Sassi city, UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture in 2019, and then dive into the varied Puglia landscape that descends from the hills to the sea, offering new and exciting sceneries at any season of the year.
This Bike Tour of 8 days/7 nights with 5 days pedalling, is the right mix of culture, food and wine and landscape. It is ideal for getting to know the heart of Puglia through the land of trulli and masserie, also enjoying a representative passage along the Adriatic coast.
At the end of the trip, Puglia has almost no secrets for you, or perhaps it is holding some for the next tour!
DAY 1: MATERA (no bike)
Individual arrival and check-in at the hotel accommodation in Matera.
Matera is going to capture your attention with its thousand-year history, strolling through the “Sassi” neighbourhoods full of rock churches and cave houses, and its famous bread!
On the first day you have plenty of time to settle in, choosing to independently visit a few sites of cultural interest or simply relax by strolling along the main street or taking a break at one of the many cafes and bistros. For fans of handicrafts and local objects, there are plenty of opportunities to unearth small stone-working workshops or ateliers for pure made-in-Italy shopping.
DAY 2: MATERA (no bike)
Welcome Briefing with your Puglia Cycle Tours guide and then “all in the saddle” to test bikes and accessories so that everything is perfect for your adventure on two wheels!
Afterwards, we reserved for you an incredible 3-hour trek with a local guide to admire not only the most evocative corners of this unique Unesco city and European Capital of Culture 2019, but also to discover the Murgia Materana Natural Park by crossing the canyon of the Gravina stream and following one of the many paths that climb up to the scenic viewpoint.
In the evening, those who wish can join the guide for dinner at a typical restaurant.
DAY 3: MATERA – CASTELLANETA
+/- 63 km
The first stage enters the Lucanian countryside where the first part of the morning flows slenderly through wide valleys, rolling hills and straw-coloured clay wheat fields. The route continues through the Land of the Gravines, a regional scenic park. We start from the small village of Ginosa nestled in the ancient bed of the Bradano River. From here we continue to the renowned Laterza, famous for tasty baked goods and beautiful majolica tiles, as well as the deepest and most impressive Canyon in Europe. Past a forest after a few kilometres, the view opens up at your feet granting you a splendid view of the Gulf of Taranto. Few steps to reach the accommodation that welcomes you with a first taste of Puglia wines in a rural setting of extraordinary beauty.
A sumptuous dinner at the facility has been organized for you for this evening, allowing you to celebrate this first day in the saddle to the fullest!
↗ 730mt ↘ 990mt
DAY 4: CASTELLANETA - MARTINA FRANCA
+/- 60 km
The first kilometres are still in the “Land of the Gravines,” on one of the most scenic stretches this area has to offer. Climbing up the hill, we enter the typical Murgia of Trulli countryside, discovering the iconic scenery of Puglia: dry stone walls, ancient farms and trulli – the typical rural houses with conical roofs – built without cement or mortar. Pedalling up and down hills that wind through oak forests, pastures and masserias, you reach Martina Franca, a 14th-century town that sits in the middle of the Itria Valley. With its delightful historic centre, a memorable labyrinth of winding alleys, it impresses you with both the simple whitewashed dwellings and the Baroque extravagance of its noble palaces.
↗ 800mt ↘ 440mt
DAY 5: MARTINA FRANCA – MONOPOLI
+/- 62 km
Today’s stage allows you to reach Locorotondo after a few kilometres, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Following well-kept rural lanes, we are going to quickly reach Alberobello, a famous UNESCO site with its typical dry-stone trulli and conical roof. After a break and some free time, we continue through gentle ups and downs in the countryside of Castellana Grotte. This is the last offshoot of the karst Murgia before indulging in an exciting descent to the blue-painted Adriatic. Here you reach one of its most charming towns, Polignano a Mare, perched on the side of a cliff. Besides the dizzying cliffs and being the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, singer-songwriter of ‘Volare,’ did you know that Polignano is also very famous for its ice cream? So, we thought of a tasty stop before we set off again, try it to believe it! Back in the saddle, the last ten kilometres along the coast lead to Monopoli, a perfect mix of seafaring culture and history. Your lodging is in the historic centre, a short walk from the old port and the Castle.
↗ 370mt ↘ 800mt
DAY 6: MONOPOLI – OSTUNI
+/- 50 km
Today’s ride begins through the courtyards and arches of Monopoli‘s historic centre, then continues along the coast alternating views of rocky coves and long sandy beaches. After about ten kilometres in which you pedal intoxicated by the smell of the sea, you reach the vicinity of the Archaeological Park of Egnatia, a majestic example of a Messapic-Roman city. A few snapshots before resuming the march south to reach Savelletri and Torre Canne, small fishing villages and holiday homes that are the perfect setting for a regenerating coffee break. From this point on, the itinerary winds again along rural paths, arriving in a marvellous setting: an expanse of centuries-old olive trees . In this land of enormous natural heritage, you have the opportunity to visit an ancient fortified masseria where a focus on extra virgin olive oil production follows with a final tasting!
Leaving the masseria, you slowly begin to climb catching sight of pedal after pedal of the outline of Ostuni, known as the “white city” for its lime-plastered houses and walls. A steep but short climb leads you there. You thus feel like you are in a sort of small Mediterranean Kasbah, made up of narrow alleys and white stairs, where it is pleasant to get lost while enjoying a drink or a glass of wine in the warm light of the sunset.
↗ 400mt ↘ 200mt
DAY 7: OSTUNI - BRINDISI - LECCE
+/- 52 km
Today we indulge in a marvellous landscape with a leisurely ride still among the giant monumental olive trees to the small village of Carovigno. Here the elegant Dentice-Frasso castle perched on the hill becomes a worthy point of interest for a few photo shoots in the early morning light. From here down again through bucolic rural arteries to San Vito dei Normanni.
Getting back in the saddle, you continue south through a changing landscape . The last kilometres lead to Brindisi, an important port city since Roman times and known as the “Gateway to the East”.The last two kilometres in the city centre allow you to reach the train station from which you depart by train to Lecce, an important southern city and prized for its Baroque splendour. Upon reaching the accommodation located in the beating heart of the old town, all that remains is to say goodbye to your bike and toast to this well-deserved arrival!
↗ 160mt ↘ 360mt
DAY 8: LECCE (no bike)
After breakfast, end of services.