Shopping among the trullis in Alberobello, Puglia, Italy. Flickr:Guldem Ustun

Great bruschetta in Italy! Flickr:Marco Verch

Matera to Lecce Food and Wine Bike Tour

Italy Bike Tours

Bike among the trulli, wine, and olive trees from the Sassi of Matera to Salento

  • This is a bike tour in Puglia, Italy that includes the bucket list destinations of Matera, Alberobello, and Lecce!

    They say once you visit ancient Matera, you will agree, it is one of the most unique and spectacular places in all of Europe. Designated as ‘European Capital of Culture’ for 2019, the town is literally carved out of the rock. The cave dwellings and houses tumble down the hillsides, connected by stone steps and narrow paths.

    The small town of Alberobello has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unusual districts of trulli, the characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses of the area. Because this town is very popular with tourists, with this itinerary, you will stay in Locorotondo, but still visit Alberobello, which provides for a more authentic experience.

    As you continue further south, towards Salento, the land flattens out and becomes increasingly more arid, and you will ride through vineyards bordered by the dry stone walls characteristic of the area.

    All along the way, you will stop off several times to taste the best cheese, wines, and bakery products of this area.

    Highlights:

    • Sassi district of Matera, the ancient heart of the city
    • Trulli of Alberobello
    • Salento coast
    • World-famous food and wine
    • Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South’, with its baroque architecture
    • The landscape of the "Heel of Italy"; gnarly olive trees, fertile soil, dry stone walls, and of course, the sea!\
    • Unique accommodations

    Enjoy your 'slow travel' immersion in this sun-kissed land!

    Check out all our bike tours in Italy.

  • Twin/double: $ 1991 £ 1037 $ 1,806 1208 $ 2073 kr 12925 $ 1,362 Single supplement: $ 379 £ 197 $ 344 230 $ 395 kr 2461 $ 259  

    extra options

    Tour start on any other day except Sunday: $ 124 £ 64 $ 112 75 $ 129 kr 802 $ 85 Electric bike: $ 190 £ 99 $ 172 115 $ 197 kr 1230 $ 130 Extra nights in Lecce: $ 91 £ 47 $ 82 55 $ 94 kr 588 $ 62 Transfer from Bari airport to Matera hotel (minimum 2 pax): $ 91 £ 47 $ 82 55 $ 94 kr 588 $ 62 Transfer from Lecce to Bari airport (minimum 2 pax): $ 124 £ 64 $ 112 75 $ 129 kr 802 $ 85 (Transfer to be paid upon arrival during tour briefing)
     

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI) located 70 km from Matera and 166 km from Lecce.

    Local Travel

    Bari Wojtyla (BRI)
    Train:
    Every 30/40 minutes the local train connects the airport to the central train station in Bari. Travel time is approximately 20 minutes. Once you arrive at the Central Trail Station in Bari, you will actually go to a separate small station to access onward train travel to Matera. Just ask any ticket counter attendant for assistance. There are 14 daily departures and 6 are express trains. Continuing on to Matera by train, travel time is approximately 2 hours.
    Shuttle bus + train:
    From the aiport to the Central train station, you can take the Tempesta express bus and then continue on by train to Matera. Bus travel time is 30 minutes. At the end of your tour in Lecce, you can return by train to Matera city center and then onward by either bus or train to Matera airport.

    As always, as an alternative to public transportation, taxis are available at the airport for tavel into the city centers.

    Climate

    The region of Puglia experiences a Mediterranean climate. Spring comes early here is with temps around 68 ° F (20 ° C) by the end of April. Summer arrives in May and lasts through to the end of September. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures reaching 86° F. October and November are lovely and temperatures in the 70s remain. Winter in Puglia is mild and therefore, still conducive for cycling. On average, the warmest month is July, the coolest month is January, and November is the wettest month. We advise to check local conditions before your arrival. A good website to use to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall is weatherbase.com.

    Bicycles

    Rental bikes available are hybrid Specialized Cirrus with flat handlebars, Specialized Arial with flat handlebars, Bianchi (step-through or men's frame), more of a touring frame with front suspension. Also available, Torpado electric bikes or Atala electric bikes.

    DOCUMENTS

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.


Skill Level

This tour is rated easy to moderate with the average daily distance of 34 mi. (55 km). Please see the day to day itinerary for daily mileage and note that you do have some longer days. You will cycle on a varied terrain ranging from coastal flatlands to some hills inland. Traffic is almost nonexistent in Apulia except during the high holiday season. Entering and exiting towns will entail more traffic. The route includes very beautiful stretches on the coast.

Where You’ll Stay

You will be accommodated in 3 and 4-star accommodations with opportunity (with supplement) to upgrade. You will find the hotels generally used on this tour under each day’s details. Please remember that final hotel lists are always based on availability.

What’s Included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 tastings with wine, cheese, and local products
  • 5 dinners
  • Luggage transfer
  • Preloaded GPS
  • 21-speed hybrid bike rental with front suspension, rear racks, pannier, repair kit, and small first aid kit
  • Roadbook with cultural information and tips about the route
  • 24-hour emergency hotline

What’s Not Included

TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillEasy–Moderate
Length8 days
From1208 Rates
Tour Reviews

Share This Tour

Tour Dates

2020

Departures every Sunday from March 22 to June 14 (last departure) and from August 30 to October 25 (last departure)

Departures on any other day of the week are possible with supplement. See pricing.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Matera to Lecce Food and Wine Map

Day 1: Arrival in Matera
Day 2: Matera - Gioia del Colle, 23 mi. (36 km)
Day 3: Gioia del Colle -  Locorotondo, 27 mi. (43 km
Day 4: The surroundings of  Locorotondo, 23 mi. (37 km)
Day 5: Locorotondo -  Manduria, 27 mi. (43 km)
Day 6: The surroundings of Manduria, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 7: Manduria -  Lecce, 37 mi. (60 km)
Day 8: Departure from Lecce

*All distances are approximate. Due to circumstances beyond control, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way you may find temporary deviations/detours caused by roadwork, In this case please follow the directions posted on site.

Day 1: Arrival in Matera
We’ll meet in Matera for the trip briefing and to supply your bikes and preloaded GPS device. You will overnight in either the B&B Torretta ai Sassi or Hotel San Domenico, depending on availability.

Accommodation:
B & B Torretta ai sassi or Hotel San Domenico

Day 2: Matera - Gioia del Colle, 23 mi. (36 km)
Pedaling towards Gioia del Colle (you can start later this morning because your route is shorter) you find yourself in the“Murge” between Basilicata and Puglia, in what once was the granary of the Roman Empire and later, Italy. It is characterized by rolling hills and ancient oak forests. Your destination is Gioia del Colle, known for its mozzarella and its burrata , which you will have an opportunity to taste at a local shop. It is also interesting to visit the twelfth-century castle here.

Accommodation:
B & B Il Grifone or similar. 

Day 3: Gioia del Colle -  Locorotondo,  27 mi. (43 km)
Moving on from Gioia del Colle, you enter the Valle d’Itria, characterized by the unique architecture of the trulli, the peculiar stone buildings with conical roofs. Next stop is Noci, where – through the narrow streets of the old town – you can bask in the light of the sun reflected off its lime-white roofs.In the afternoon, you’ll pass through Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, thanks to its 1,500 trulli. You will sleep in the l town of Locorotondo, which has been nominated one of the 'most beautiful villages in Italy'. It is known for its architecture and famous for its wine which is white and slightly sparkling. Walking through the picturesque old town you can admire the architecture of the cummerse, the rectangular buildings with sloping roofs made of chiancarelle.

Accommodation:
Sotto le cummerse or
Masseria Aprile

Day 4: The surroundings of Locorotondo, 28 mi. (45 km)
A day spent discovering the Valle d’Itria. Leaving Locorotondo the first stop is Martina Franca, which has retained its own particular charm. The old town is surrounded by stone walls with baroque gateways leading to the main square. You can visit the Ducal Palace or taste the famous capocollo of Martina Franca, a Slow Food Presidium.
Leaving behind Martina Franca you will find yourself back in the gently undulating countryside, heading towards the ‘Pomona’ botanical conservatory, a real biodiversity sanctuary where they have hundreds of fruit trees from all over the Mediterranean (including an amazing collection of more than 400 varieties of figs). You will come back to  Locorotondo, crossing vineyards dotted with trulli. 

Accommodation:
Sotto le cummerse or
Masseria Aprile

Day 5: Locorotondo -  Manduria, 41 mi. (65 km)
The longest section of the trip will take you up to Manduria, crossing the border between the Valle d’Itria and Salento. You will notice the change in the landscape around you during the day. Passing by Martina Franca, you’ll travel along a short section of the ‘Aqueduct Cycleway’, a path along the aqueduct of Puglia (which brings water from Campania all the way down to Salento). Then you’ll go on to Ceglie Messapica, a city known for its bread, that you can try in one of the oldest bakeries in the city, located in the old town. In Francavilla Fontana you can visit the Basilica Minore of the Holy Rosary and Argentina Palace. Next stop is Oria, ‘city of witches’. Leaving Oria, and passing by Erchie, you’ll have your overnight stay in the ancient town of Manduria.  Here you can visit the ancient Messapian walls (a civilization that lived in these places before the arrival of the Romans and the Greeks).  

Accommodation:
B&B Sinetempore, Manduria. 
Masseria Bosco, Avetrana 

Day 6: The surroundings of Manduria, 22 mi. (35 km)
The journey to discover the surroundings of Manduria will take you towards the sea, the long seaside bordered by the dunes of Torre Colimena, where you will have the chance to visit the Salina dei Monaci and also, if you like, do some birdwatching. Cycling along the coast heading north, you will reach San Pietro in Bevagna, where a crystalline sandy beach,  totally deserted in the spring and autumn, will allow you to sunbathe and swim in the emerald waters of the Ionian Sea. From San Pietro in Bevagna you’ll head to Manduria where you can visit an ancient archaeological site of the Messapica era and the Primitivo Museum (primitivo is a high-alcohol red wine). 

Accommodation:
B&B Sinetempore, Manduria. 
Masseria Bosco, Avetrana 

Day 7: Manduria -  Lecce, 32 mi.  (52 km)
On this, the final day, you’ll head towards the ‘Florence of the South’: the city of Lecce. Along the way, you pass through the fascinating ghost town of Monteruga, founded in the 1920s and completely abandoned in the 1980s. This is the area of ‘Salice Salentino’, whose vineyards produce a DOCG wine very popular around the world. You’ll go through a few small villages where, all year round, you’ll find the squares filled with elderly residents, hats pulled down against the sun, discussing politics and agriculture. Here it seems that time has stood still. Later in the afternoon, you’ll reach your destination, the city of Lecce. 

Accommodation:
B&B Re del sale 
Up suite Room 

Day 8: Departure from Lecce

Looking for more?  View all our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news or look at our full list of bike tours in Europe.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

Share This Tour


Tour Reviews

    Biked This Tour? Post Your Feedback

    Read reviews for all bike tours

    PWPC