Italy:

Puglia & Basilicata Bike Tour


Seven nights; six days of southern Italian bicycle touring on easy terrain with variable distance choices, beginning in the cave town of Matera and descending through the Itria Valley to the Adriatic coast.

“I just wanted to thank you for the absolutely wonderful trip… You have me hooked; I would really love to do one of your trips again maybe even with the kids…”
– Anna P.





Itinerary


Start: Bari, B&B dei Meravigli, 15:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.


Finish: Bari, 11:00, day eight.


Day 1

Introductions

You will be collected in Bari and transferred about 60 minutes to Matera where you’ll spend the following two nights in the UNESCO recognized Sassi district; one of the oldest inhabited human settlements in the world. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts)
L’Hotel in Pietra, Matera

Day 2

66km

Today you will ride along the wonderful deserted road around San Giuliano Lake, a peaceful natural oasis and the destination of many African migratory birds. If you take some time for bird watching, you’ll spot grey herons, cormorants, storks and fish hawks. Continue back to Matera to spend some time exploring the unique Sassi district. Matera has been the filming location for a number of well-known films, including Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. BL
Same lodging

Day 3

65km or 95km

Ride to Pezze di Greco, through Gioia del Colle, Noci, and Albarobello (where the short ride ends, with an afternoon transfer to your inn). This is the fertile Valley of Itria, and is famous for its Trulli: ancient circular stone houses and barns with conical rooftops built of stacked limestone. The Trulli of Albarobello have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; most have been adapted to beautiful homes, shops, and restaurants. Continue along quiet roads to Locorotondo, a small town recognized as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. As is your next stop, Cisternino, a medieval town that has grown over the centuries into a collection of narrow streets and alleyways lined with intricate staircases and balconies adorned with colorful flowers. Finish with a quiet ride to your inn at Pezze di Greco. BLD
Masseria San Martino, or

Masseria Monte Napoleone; Pezze di Greco

Day 4

65km or 95km

A day filled with delights! Your first destination is the sunny seaside town of Polignano a Mare, where you will immediately understand why it has been inhabited since early Greek fishermen pulled their boats ashore in tiny coves between the limestone cliffs. From there, you will ride to the caves at Castellana Grotte. Try keeping count of the trulli you pass! BLD
Same lodging

Day 5

33km or 75km or 100km

Today you will ride south, stopping to enjoy the view from the ancient white town of Ostuni to the azure Adriatic Sea it overlooks. Today’s shorter options include a train ride. You will finish near Lecce, the cultural capital of Puglia, whose baroque architecture and warm sandstone buildings appear golden in the afternoon sun. BLD
Masseria Giampaolo, Lecce

Day 6

65km

Ride through San Foca to Otranto on the Adriatic coast, whose castle was the setting for a book by Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto. It is considered the first gothic novel, and inspired Shelley’s more famous Frankenstein. Today’s fishermen and surfers create a much more pleasant setting for your next two nights’ stay! BL
Masseria Panareo, Otranto

Day 7

50km or 100km

Ride the fantastic coast between Otranto and Marina di Leuca, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. This remote promontory is where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet – the true heel of Italy’s boot, where serpentine clifftop roads lead to pretty seaports and astounding views. The destination is Santa Maria di Leuca, an archeological treasure, and Italy’s most important lighthouse at its port, Marina di Leuca. There are a profusion of options for lunch before riding or transferring back to Otranto. BLD
Same lodging

Day 8

Farewells

Following your breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the train station, Lecce, or the Bari airport. B





Description




Note about the route:

The route is almost entirely paved. The terrain is relatively easy, with a few rolling hills, but distances are high unless you choose shorter options. On two days, this involves short train rides.






This quiet and peaceful region remains seemingly untouched by mass tourism, and is an insight into ways of life that have been maintained in Southern Italy for centuries. The terrain is bicycle-friendly, and the climate is perfect for spring and autumn visits. The inns are welcoming, and the dining divine! The adventure takes you first to Matera where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Sassi – century old caves, carved from rock cliffs and lived in up until the 1950’s. From there you will ride into the lush Val d’Itria to stay among olive groves at a converted farm, then to Otranto, whose castle inspired the first Gothic novel. The last ride is along a gorgeous coast road overlooking the Adriatic Sea. As you ride your bike through this calm and mysterious region, and sample its exquisite cuisine, you will often feel as if you are traveling back in time, experiencing an Italy that is very different from the well developed and busier tourist routes found in the northern parts of the country.





Maps & Elevations






Learn more

Link this tour with one of our bicycling trips further north.

Join Tuscany (hilly) or Venice to Florence (flat).

If you need a break from the bike, spend another week walking Amalfi.

The cusine of Puglia and Basilicata may inspire you to join a cooking class or two; Stile Mediterraneo in Lecce is exceptionally well reviewed.





Costs

US 3825 C 4395

(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 6 light picnic lunches, 5 dinners, guide and van support, maps and route notes, luggage handling, transfers on Days 1 and 8, taxes)

US 3195 C 3695

(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, transfer from Bari airport to Matera, essential transfers, welcome briefing, emergency support, luggage transfers, detailed maps and route notes, taxes)

Single Occupancy

US 595 C 695

Bicycle Rental

Hybrid: US 235 C 265
Racing: US 355 C 395

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.