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Puglia: Self-Guided Cycling in the Heel of Italy
-1 Nights
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At a glance
Cycle at your own pace through UNESCO historic Italian villages and idyllic coastline
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
End Destination
What's included
  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • Luggage transfer
  • Maps and route notes
  • Local bike hire

All breakfasts are included and consist of a continental-style buffet. However, please note that the typical Italian breakfast served in the hotels is just a cup of coffee and a cream-filled or jam-filled croissant. Suggestions of what to do for lunch and dinner are given in the cycling route notes.

Day 1
Start Matera. Make your own way from Bari or Brindisi to Matera by train.
Start Matera. Make your own way from Bari or Brindisi airport to Matera by train.
Day 2
Ride through the historic 'Sassi' houses of Matera before heading to the town of Alberobello.
On leaving Matera you will pass through what makes this town so special. For millenia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwelling directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. These houses are called 'Sassi' and are as today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago. From one famous world heritage site to another, heading towards Alberobello, you will pass the famous fairy-tale trulli houses that have also made Alberobello a recognised world heritage site. Distance: approx. 70km
Day 3
Cycle through the lush Valle d'Itria, past the picturesque fairy-tale trulli houses to hilltop-town of Ostuni.
Cycle through the lush Valle d'Itria and one of the prettiest cultural landscapes of the south past more trulli houses to Ostuni - offering breathtaking coastal views. Along the way we pass the famous wine town of Locorotondo, regarded as one of Italy's most beautiful villages. After sampling some of the local sparkling white wine, the route heads to the white city of Ostuni - famous for the dazzling effect of its whitewashed houses. Distance: approx. 40km
Day 4
Train to Lecce; cycling through the countryside; to Gallipoli on the Ionian coast with its old town situated on a rocky island.
In the morning you will take a train transfer with your bike to the the fascinating baroque town of Lecce. From here we cycle deep into the Salentinian countryside before approaching the Ionian coast. Here you will reach beautiful Gallipolli, known as the 'Ionian Pearl' with its old town situated on a rocky island and offering fantastic views both from the north and the south. The town itself has many churches, narrow alleys and was the largest exporter of lamp oil made from olives in the 17th and 18th centuries. Distance: approx. 70km by train + 60km by bike
Day 5
Reach the most southerly point of Salento at Santa Maria di Leuca.
Today you cycle to the most southerly point of Salento at Santa Maria di Leuca, where the crystal waters of the Ionian and Adriatic seas merge. This village is home to one of the most important lighthouses in Italy and the architectural delights of numerous villas built at the turn of the century. Inhabitants of this area were quite eccentric people who loved the peace and quiet and wanted to enjoy the sea and the town. Distance: approx. 50km
Day 6
Follow the south coast of the Adriatic Sea to the ancient town of Otranto.
Our route continues along the south coast of the Adriatic sea through charming landscape to the ancient Messapian town of Otranto. The old town is surrounded by a mighty wall containing the impressive Hapsburger Castle. En route to Otranto there is the opportunity to visit the famous Grotta Zinzulusa, the only coastal grotto that is open to the public, and also the thermal baths of Santa Cesarea Terme. Distance: approx. 55km
Day 7
Continue along the shoreline through innumerable olive groves to the Baroque city of Lecce.
We follow the shoreline through innumerable olive groves to the Baroque metropolis of Lecce. A relaxing way to end the week is at the beach of Torre dell'Orso surrounded by limestone cliffs and with many ancient caves to discover. The final destination is Lecce, the capital of Salento, and as well as being home to over 30 churches and countless palaces, there is an ampitheatre and Roman theatre dating back to Emperor Augustus. Distance: approx. 50km
Day 8
End Lecce.
End Lecce.
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