Self-guided cycling trip
- Spend a night in a typical Trullo in the Unesco World Heritage Site of Alberobello.
- Cycle among secular olive groves and prickly pear cactuses and along the amazing Salento Coast.
- Walk among the Sassi of Matera, Basilicata's jewel and EU Capital of Culture 2019.
- Taste the many and excellent specialties of Puglia: Taralli, Friselle, Orecchiette, Puccia and sweet Pasticciotto, to pair with local wines such as Primitivo and Negramaro.
- Experience well-known Southern Italy's hospitality that will immediately make you feel at home.
Total distance: 328 km Day 1: Matera Individual arrival in Matera (possibility to book a private transfer from Bari or Brindisi airport). Overnight at the hotel in Matera. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Sassi of Matera represent a unique urban settlement; the village is built on a limestone plateau, showing a magnificent landscape: a 70-80 meters high canyon, crossed by the Gravina creek. The area of Matera was continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic Era. The specific districts of the Sassi were built in the late 5th century and the alternation of populations over time has left an intricate urban system, where the buildings overlap the natural caves. The uniqueness of this scenery led Mel Gibson to choose to film his movie The Passion of Jesus Christ here, as the old town seems frozen in time. However, Matera is also a lively city, and has also been awarded of the title of European Capital of Culture 2019. Day 2: Matera – Alberobello (69 km) After breakfast, briefing, presentation of the itinerary and delivery of rented bikes. The first stage is a gentle cycling across the countryside between the two regions of Basilicata and Puglia. Our final destination is Alberobello, universally-known as the capital of Trulli, fairy-tale houses of different shape and size, made of dry stone, with a cone roof covered with stone tiles platforms. There are about 1500 trulli scattered in Monti and Aia Piccola districts, both listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Overnight in a typical Trullo converted into hotel, in Alberobello. Day 3: Alberobello – Locorotondo – Ostuni (45 km) Today you will cycle across the Itria Valley, immersed in a bright landscape of vineyards, olive groves and vast gentle slopes. We recommend you a stop in Locorotondo where you can taste the excellent and well-known white wines produced in this area. Your cycling day will end in Ostuni which will appear as a white mirage, standing splendidly on a hillside rising from a green plateau covered with olive trees and diving into the Adriatic Sea. Take a stroll down the narrow streets and admire the beautiful courtyards and piazzas surrounded by small white houses, artisans' workshops and restaurants. Overnight at the hotel in Ostuni. Day 4: Ostuni – Lecce (by train); Lecce – Gallipoli (50 km) This morning you will reach Lecce by train (approximately 50 minutes). We suggest a walk in the city centre before starting to cycle. In case you prefer leaving immediately, remember that you will have time to make a second visit to the city at the end of the tour. You are in the land of Baroque, as you will see by the dazzling architectural surprises around every corner in Lecce, Galatina and Galatone. Today's itinerary will end in Gallipoli, meaning the beautiful city in Greek, an old fishing port and nowadays a very charming and lively holiday destination. Overnight at the hotel in Gallipoli. Day 5: Gallipoli – Ugento – Santa Maria di Leuca (59 km) Today’s cycling itinerary runs along the coast of Salento. Along the way, near Ugento, you will have the chance to stop in some of the most beautiful beaches of Southern Italy. Today’s destination is Santa Maria di Leuca where the two sea, the Ionian and the Adriatic, meet. This is the southernmost stretch of Puglia, whose lighthouse and sanctuary will welcome you at your arrival. Overnight in Santa Maria di Leuca. Day 6: Santa Maria di Leuca – Castro – Santa Cesarea Terme – Otranto (55 km) Today you will cycle northward, along the beautiful coastline of the Adriatic Sea and up to Castro, well-known for its cliffs falling into a clear blue sea. Here you can admire the medieval village and Grotta Zinzulusa, one of the largest natural caves in the world, inhabited by Neanderthals about 60,000 years ago. After the visit, do not miss a short stop to taste good and expressly fried fish, sitting in front of a breathtaking view. Continuing your journey, you will follow the rocky coast through Santa Cesarea Terme in a blaze of light and color. The stage ends in Otranto, lying on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. The city has been the meeting point of different cultures and crossroads between the Mediterranean and the East for centuries. Don't miss the Aragonese Castle and the beautiful cathedral, enriched by a magnificent rose window. Overnight at the hotel in Otranto. Day 7: Otranto – Torre dell’Orso – Acaya – Lecce (50 km) The final stage will take you up to Torre dell'Orso, offering a crystal clear blue sea and a golden sand beach. Halfway, you will meet Acaya, a charming little town characterized by massive and impressive walls, towers and walls built in the first half of '500 in order to protect the coast and the hinterland against the incursions of the Ottoman Empire. Eventually, you will get back to Lecce, where you can enjoy Baroque masterpieces of the city centre and its lively nightlife. Overnight in Lecce. Day 8: Lecce After breakfast, end of services. Possibility to book a transfer to the airport of Bari or Brindisi.
Terrain characteristics: flat to hilly terrain with some gentle climbs and descents. Average length of stages: 35 to 79 km per day. Roads: 90% asphalted, few country unpaved roads. Difference in height levels:
Number of participants: minimum 2.
Luggage transport: yes.
Suitable for children: from the age of 13.
Pets: not admitted.
Bycicles: aluminum bikes (men and women) with 21 speeds, free wheel, 1 big pannier bag, water bottle, GPS with tracks of the itinerary, including helmet, bags and GPS with tracks.
E-bike rental: https://www.merida-bikes.com/en_int/bikes/e-bikes/active/2018/ebig-tour-xt-edition-9235.html
Possibility to request Bicycle Coverage for Damage and Theft.
Briefing: in the morning of Day 2.
Beginning of the tour: Matera. No cycling tour is planned for this day.
End of the tour: Lecce.
|Difference in height, in ascent||x||160||220||270||300||600||200||x|
|Difference in height, in descent||x||160||430||300||300||600||200||x|
Duration: 8 days/7 nights (6 cycling days)
Departures: every day from 08/01 to 20/12/2019
|Prices per person €||CAT.B||CAT.A|
|Price per person LS||690||1055|
|Supplement single room||250||435|
|*Transfer Bari apt – Matera htl||110||110|
|*Transfer Brindisi apt – Matera htl||170||170|
|*Lecce – Bari apt||200||200|
|*Lecce – Brindisi apt||110||110|