8 Days South of Italy Cycling Holiday - Discover Puglia by Bike
Duration: 8 Days | 7 Nights
Dates: All year possible but recommended for April - mid July & September - November
Countries to be visited: Italy (Puglia)
Departure & Return Locations: Alberobello to Lecce (Bari or Brindisi Airports)
A Puglia cycling experience allows you to take your time and cover many aspects of this wonderful land. The bike will be a way to work off the good food and enjoy the many landscapes offered by this land. There will also be strictly cultural moments and the possibility of a refreshing swim in the clear sea of Puglia. In this tour you will visit the magic Itria valley (Alberobello, Ostuni, and so on) and then the fantastic Salento!
Note: This is a self-guided cycling holiday. The routes proposed in this holiday are mostly flat with wavy lines. You will cycle about 40-70km daily with programmed pauses for visists and refrehsments. You will be given a detailed guide book with maps, and local support is available by phone anytime.
Day: 1 Alberobello
You are in Puglia, in the historical Land of Bari, ready for your cycling week. From the regional capital you will have easy access to Alberobello and its magical Trulli. The town is in an area called "Valley of Trulli" and has an historical centre declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The two souls of Alberobello are divided by Piazza Martellotta: Rione Aia with its streets still authentic and almost always silent, and Rione Monti, most devoted to tourism.
Day 2: From Alberobello to Ostuni (40km)
Today you will cycle between gentle slopes, vineyards and fields from which the inverted cones of ancient Trulli rise into the blue sky. You will cross the Itria Valley, arriving until the city on the border between the Southern Murge and the Salento Plain: Ostuni, which welcomes you from the top of its Cathedral. Some say its name comes from an ancient Arabic word for "olive". From Ostuni in fact you can well admire the olive trees going from the old city to the long beaches of the Adriatic Sea. During this first day by bike you will have the opportunity to visit two of the "most beautiful villages in Italy": Locorotondo, famous for its fresh and flavourful white wines, and Cisternino, the Casbah of the Itria Valley.
Day 3: From Ostuni to Manduria (60km)
Leaving Ostuni behind, you will cycle south to continue discovering Puglia on your bike. From the Murge hills you reach the immense Salento plain: green with olives and red as its soil, this flat land extends to get lost in a transparent and clear sea.
Today you will get to Manduria, the capital of the Primitivo grapes. Here you can visit the Museum of Primitivo Wine, located within the popular Manduria Winery. The museum collects objects of daily life and working tools of the old peasants telling the social history of the economy of Salento.
Day 4: From Manduria to Gallipoli (70km)
This morning you will reach Torre Colimena and the Salt pan. You will then follow the coast in the next days by bike. Accompanied by the blue of the sea, between ancient coastal towers and fine sand, you will reach Porto Cesareo, where it is advisable to enjoy a good lunch fish-based: seafood, mussels, clams and the delicious curls will delight your palate. Rolling south, your present destination will be the Greek Kale Polis, today's Gallipoli, with one of the most beautiful historic centers of Salento and its streets full of shops, shops, restaurants, churches and views of the sea that surrounds it.
Day 5: Gallipoli to Leuca (50km)
Before continuing to explore Puglia by bike and leave the pretty Gallipoli, we recommend a morning dip in the small beach of Purità: in the background the island with the lighthouse of Sant'Andrea. Today you will have kilometers of low and sandy coast washed by a sea that has nothing to envy to the Caribbean beaches: follow your instinct to choose your corner of paradise to enjoy the sun of the Ionian Sea. At the end of the day you will reach the heel of Italy. From the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary, you can admire the stairs of the monumental fountain built to honour the end of the Apulian aqueduct, the longest and most complex in Europe.
Day 6: From Leuca to Otranto (50km)
Cycling along the coast road, which rises and falls following the shape of the jagged coast, it sometimes seems that you can see the Balkan Mountains of Albania in the clouds. The event usually happens if in aid of your ride there will be the dry and fresh Tramontana wind; on the contrary, if the day will be ventilated by the Scirocco, you will have the wind perfectly in favor and also this day will be easy and pleasant. Choose the descent that will take you to admire and rest in one of the many coves of the coasts. Discover for example the bay of Acquaviva, or if you like snorkeling, try to make you fascinate of the colors of the Grotta Azzurra; then again, a few kilometers from the arrival of Porto Badisco, where the "Grotta dei Cervi", archaeological wonder of Puglia, is located. After passing Capo d’Otranto, you will then arrive in Otranto, the most eastern city of Italy, where you will stay the night.
Day 7: From Otranto to Lecce (55km)
It will be hard to leave the enchanting city of Otranto. Through the narrow streets that lead to the Cathedral, you will discover the history linked to the 800 Martyrs beheaded by the troops of Gedik Ahmet Pascià after having besieged the city for two weeks. It was 1480 but the fact still echoes in the western world; later Charles V wanted to give the Salento district the name of Terra d’Otranto. Here the low and jagged coast offers restorative baths in authentic natural pools, such as the wonderful Grotta della Poesia near Roca. Then the last stretch along the path in the WWF coastal reserve "Le Cesine" and then definitively abandon the coast and head towards Lecce. A few kilometers from the arrival you will meet the fortified citadel of Acaya, halfway between Lecce and the sea. The Castle is an example of the first experiments in 16th- century military architecture commissioned by Giangiacomo d’Acaya who also redesigned the entire village, to the point that the city changed its name in his honor, from Segine to Acaya. Leaving Acaya you will travel the last narrow country roads before reaching your final destination.
Day 8: Lecce
Today is your last day and you will be transported to the Airport a few hours before the flight leaves. But do not let your holiday end without spending a few hours in Lecce, the Florence of the South: get lost in its historical centre, which will surprise you with a harmonious Baroque style. The stone which decorates many of the old town churches is called "Lecce Stone": white, weather-resistant and easy to work. Many of the most famous stonecutter artisans between 1600 and 1700 came here to work it and to decore palaces and churches facades today still intact.
• Price shown is for a person based on twin share accommodation, for the travel period chosen.
• Pricing shown is for mid season during the recommended period above. A small adjustment will be made for low or high seasons (~A$150 less for low season and ~A$300 more for high season).
• All prices displayed are subject to availability and can be withdrawn or varied without notice.
• Prices are guranteed once booking is confirmed by us and paid in full by the due date.
• Depending on your needs and group size (individual, couple, family, group, etc.) we will provide the final pricing for your tour.
• Flexible booking terms and conditions are available for any bookings made for tours. Contact us for enquiries or see below for details.
• 7 nights with breakfast (1 night each in Alberobello, Ostuni, Manduria, Gallipoli, Leuca, Otranto, Lecce)
• Transfer IN & OUT Bari/Brindisi Airports
• Welcome briefing and bike fitting
• Bike hire with pannier and helmet - road bike (A little extra for E-Bike)
• Travel App (maps, tracks, route notes)
• Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
• Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
• International and domestic airfare
• Travel Insurance
• Airport taxes and charges
• Hotel Tourist Taxes (~A$23) - paybale directly to hotels
• Entrance fees to attractions you choose to visit
• Any Private Expenses
• Meals not mentioned
• Personal Incidentals such as Telephone calls , Room Service, Laundry
• Tip to Guide/Driver, Porterage Fee and others which are personal in nature
• Other services not mentioned in the itinerary
Please refer to our standard booking conditions.
For this particular booking the following terms apply relating to cancellations and rebooking.
Favorable cancellation terms
Free cancellation up to 31 days before departure, for any reason, with the option of:
- be refunded of the total amount already paid;
- postpone the holiday without penalty;
- receive a voucher (transferable to third parties), to be used by 31/12/2023.
Cancellation without penalty from 30 to 10 days before, for any reason, with the option of:
- postpone the holiday;
- receive a voucher (transferable to third parties), to be used by 31/12/2023.
Cancellation from 10 days before, with application of the following penalties:
- withdrawal from 10 to 4 days before holiday start date – 75% of total holiday cost;
- withdrawal within 3 days before holiday start date – 100% of total holiday cost.
Carefree government restrictions
In the event of government restrictions due to the Covid-19 emergency (in the countries of origin and destination) preventing travel: full refund for cancellations up to the day before departure.