Welcome to the heel of Italy

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

The towns/villages that we stayed in were really beautiful, but I think the Trulli house in Alberobello and the stay at the Masseria, made the trip a little more special.

What did you think of your group leader?

Our group leaders were Marinella and Emanuele and their individual skills complemented the trip perfectly as Marinella was an excellent organizer, a special mention has to be for the recommendations for dinner and the arranging of lunches each day – no small task. Emanuele was our cycle leader who negotiated the route and pace for us and sorted out any mechanical issues that arose (very few) and was keen to invest time in a brief cultural highlights tour after the cycling had finished for the day for those who were interested. I have always maintained that an Exodus trip can be made/broken by the quality of the group leaders – I would say that both Marinella and Emanuele enhanced my experience of this trip.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Puglia is considered to be the flattest part of Italy – but that means the land is undulating rather than ‘alpine’ hilly. For anyone considering this trip who may be a tiny bit worried about hill climbing – don’t be, the pace ranged from 15-20 kph, a speed which suited our group well. Whilst I didn’t do it myself, a day before the trip in Matera and after the trip finishes in Lecce looks really worthwhile, I’ll just have to come back at some point. As with any cycle trip, if you have your own seat/pedals – do take them, the bikes available on this trip were sturdy but basic. For organizing the daily lunches, the leaders ask for 50 euro per person at the beginning of the trip. This then allows them to organize a really good lunch each day and any balance paid back at the end of the trip – this is a good option and one less thing to worry about. Given the quality of the lunches on offer, the money was well spent.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Even though we had a couple of beach stops, it would be nice if one of the days could finish at the beach and allow people to spend the afternoon there (the water is so nice) although I appreciate that cost/accommodation availability may be an issue.