Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Terrain: Rolling / Hilly
Beautifully situated on the Adriatic Coast between the spur and heel of Italy’s “boot” lies Puglia. Nestle against the brilliant blue of the Mediterranean ancient Greek and Italian cultures mingle among hillside vineyards, olive groves, and whitewashed villages. Join us as we begin our bicycling journey in Matera, a world renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, where dwellings carved into limestone caves create an enchanted and ancient stone city. We’ll pedal east toward Alberobello, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, through a landscape filled with unique conical shaped dwellings known as trulli. Finish in the striking “Città Bianca” or “White City” of Ostuni. Along the way you’ll enjoy meals prepared with Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern influences and discover the warmth and hospitality of Southern Italy’s friendliest people.
Day 1 – Welcome to Matera Arrive in Matera, unique in all of Italy for the cave dwellings that ring the central city. Inhabited by refugee clerics and monks from Greece and the Balkans during the 8th and 9th centuries, the cave churches and domestic dwellings carved into the town’s calcarenite or semi-sandstone cliffs at one time housed as many as 25,000 people. Today, the churches and caves are preserved as a World Heritage Site as being the “most outstanding, intact example of a cave-dwelling settlement in the Mediterranean.” Settle into our hotel, carved out of limestone rock thousands of years ago, and enjoy our welcome dinner after fitting bikes. Meals included: Dinner
Day 2 – Matera (21 miles, 1,600 feet gain) We’ll start the morning with a fascinating guided walk through town, including a visit to an enormous man-made water cistern dug under the town. Though the cistern is obsolete, it is a fascinating view into ancient workmanship. After our walk, we’ll hop on the bikes and ride to a rural working farm restaurant for a refreshing (and yummy!) lunch. From here, you can choose whether to head back to Matera, or do a loop ride up to nearby Montescaglioso, a small hill town that was home to one of the oldest and richest Benedictine communities. Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 3 – Locorotondo (32 miles, 1,400 feet gain) Our ride today starts with a shuttle and features olive groves and vineyards as we head toward the “Valle d’Itria” which is the heart of Puglia’s trulli region. Trulli are conical shaped rural dwellings unique to this part of Italy. Originally used as storage sheds for farmers, they quickly became popular as temporary shelters. We’ll arrive near the small but vibrant town of Locorotondo where we’ll sample fresh mozzarella, burrata and straciatella and learn more about how they are produced. Settle into our hotel and enjoy dinner together tonight. Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 4 – Loop ride to Alberobello (38 miles, 1,800 feet gain) We’ll pedal to the iconic “trulli” town of Alberobello where we’ll have a guided tour to learn more about these conical shaped buildings and the people who built them. Take time to explore this unique town and have lunch on your own before getting back on the bike and heading back to Locorotondo. This afternoon get lost in the whitewashed maze of lanes and historic buildings towering over them. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5 – Bicycle to Ostuni (31 miles, 1,600 feet gain) Our ride today will take you first through vineyards and olive groves to the whitewashed town of Ostuni. Our hotel is located in the center of this amazing village which spans three hilltops and is crowned by a Gothic cathedral. Destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars in 1st and 2nd Centuries BC, Ostuni was rebuilt by the Greeks and takes its name from them as “Astu néon or “new town”. Rebuilt by the Normans in the 10th Century, Ostuni then flourished during the Italian Renaissance under Duchess Isabella of Bari. This is an imposing and beautiful city from afar and within. Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6 – Loop ride through the Valle d’Itria (28 miles, 1,400 feet gain) We’ll take a loop ride from our hotel today through the Valle d’Itria. The first stop will be to visit an underground olive press dating to pre-Roman times and used until the 19th C. Our ride continues on the Via Appia Traiana just before reaching the Adriatic Coast. Built by order of the Roman Emperor Traiano in the 2nd century A.D., the Via Traiana connected Rome to Brindisi, one of the most important ports for commerce with the Middle East. We’ll parallel the coast today with a possible dip at a local beach before continuing to the medieval town of Carovigno and back to our hotel. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7 – Farewell Whether you are headed to Brindisi, Bari or Rome we hope you enjoy your travel or trip home. Thanks for joining us in Puglia. Meals included: Breakfast
PRICING & INCLUSIONS
- Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
- Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
- Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels.
- All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
- Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
- Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too!
- Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
- All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
- Unique routes.
- Daily mileage options.
- Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.
TRIP PRICE EXCLUDES:
- Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
- Helmets – we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Tour Leader gratuity
PUBLIC DATES AND AVAILABILITY
REQUEST YOUR PRIVATE DATE