Heel of Italy
Italy Bike Tours
Bike Italy in breathtaking Apulia!
This bike tour in Apulia is the best way to see this land full of history and tradition with natural and architectural wonders, friendly hospitality, a magical atmosphere complete with a warm sun, blue sky, clear blue seas and a dreamlike coast. The region is also characterized by endless olive groves, long fields of grain, and vineyards. The charm of this Italy bike tour is that its natural beauty has not been spoiled by tourism.
Cycling along the Ionian coast, you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca, a famous seaside resort that was named by ancient Greek sailors because of its white (leukos) cliffs. The easternmost point in Italy is in Otranto, where you can visit the beautiful Cathedral built in 1088 with a magnificent mosaic floor and the great Aragonese Castle. Via the coastal region of the Adriatic, you will ride along the Alimini Lakes to the provincial town of Lecce. Thanks to its quantity of Baroque architecture, it has deserved the nickname of Florence of the South. In Lecce, the presence of several religious orders gave rise to a procession of churches of which the façades are magnificent, like open-air altars, real windows into the society of that period.
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6 Day Tour
Departures on Mondays from March 27 to June 19 and August 28 to October 23, 2017
8 Day Tour
Departures on Saturdays March 25 to June 17 and August 26 to October 21, 2017
Departures on Fridays May 12 to June 9 and September 9 to September 29, 2017
*Special departure dates can be arranged for groups of at least 5.
This Puglia bike tour in Italy is considered easy to moderate. Cycling is mostly on flat terrain in the lowlands, but sometimes the path is hilly. The itinerary is almost always on asphalt roads and bike paths. Traffic is almost non-existent in Apulia except during the high holiday season. The route includes very beautiful stretches along the coast, and a train transfer from Ostuni to Lecce. Total vertical distance is 650 m.
Where You’ll Stay
Great 3 star to 4 star hotels, B&B’s, and in a typical trullo or residence in Alberobello, mostly within city centers. Very comfortable rooms with private facilities, and mostly in city centers.
- Accommodations for 5 or 7 nights
- Breakfast buffets
- Luggage transfer
- Welcome briefing in English
- Route descriptions & maps (one set per booked room)
- 27-speed hybrid bicycle
- 7 day service hotline
What’s Not Included
- Local hotel taxes, approximately €8 - €15 per person (for the entire tour)
- Remaining meals
- Train transfer Ostuni - Lecce, ± €10/person
- Bicycle protection
- Trip insurance
Extra nights in Matera and Lecce available by request.
Day 1: Arrival in Matera
Day 2: Matera – Alberobello, 44 mi. (70 km)
Day 3: Alberobello – Ostuni, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Ostuni – transfer to Lecce - Gallipoli, 38 mi. (60 km)
Day 5: Gallipoli - Santa Maria di Leuca, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 6: Santa Maria di Leuca - Otranto, 35 mi. (56 km)
Day 7: Otranto – Lecce, 32 mi. (51 km)
Day 8: Departure from Lecce.
DAY 1: Arrival in Matera.
Arrival in Matera. Visiting Matera is a unique experience. For millennia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. Most of the houses are excavated on two ravines and are called "Sassi", which is a World Heritage Site. The rock-hewn churches are very ancient, often Byzantine.
DAY 2: Matera – Alberobello, 44 mi. (70 km)
We cycle to the famous trulli of Alberobello and Locorotondo. Trulli were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Alberobello is situated upon two hills, once separated by a riverbed. On the eastern hill is the new town, with modern architectural features. On the western hill, the trulli are lined up in an urban conglomeration, subdivided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both National Monuments from 1930, and today World Heritage Sites.
DAY 3: Alberobello – Ostuni, 25 mi. (40 km)
We cycle through the countryside to Ostuni, which is a reputed architectural gem, and is commonly referred to as the “White City” due to its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. Today’s stretch is through hilly terrain.
DAY 4: Ostuni – transfer to Lecce - Gallipoli, 38 mi. (60 km) (+ 44mi./70km train transfer)
A train transfer (not included) will bring you to Lecce. The ride is about 1 hour, costing approximately €10 per person. After a few kilometers through this amazing baroque town, you go deep into "Salentinian countryside" before approaching the Ionian coast and your destination, Gallipoli.
DAY 5: Gallipoli - Santa Maria di Leuca, 31 mi. (50 km)
Cycling Apulia further along the Ionian coast, you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca. The name Santa Maria di Leuca was given by the ancient Greek sailors who came from the East. They saw this place lightened by the sun and therefore called it "leukos", meaning white. The small town is a famous seaside resort and fishing area located on a part of the coast alternated by cliffs and small sandy coves.
DAY 6: Santa Maria di Leuca – Otranto, 35 mi. (56 km)
Today you will cycle northwards along the Adriatic coast to Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy where you can visit the beautiful Cathedral and the great Aragonese Castle.
DAY 7: Otranto – Lecce, 32 mi. (51 km)
Today you will cover the coastal region of the Adriatic, riding along the Alimini Lakes and their unique Mediterranean bush. At the end of the day, you'll enter into Lecce. Thanks to its Baroque style, it has deserved the nickname of Florence of the South. You'll come to appreciate the rich sculpted motives done in the 17th-century with the tender stone from Lecce. The old town enclosed by what is left of the ancient walls bears the impression of that exuberant period. In Lecce, the presence of several religious orders gave rise to a procession of churches of which the façades are magnificent, like open-air altars, real windows into the society of that period.
DAY 8: Departure from Lecce.
Your Puglia bike tour will end following breakfast. Lecce is well connected by train with the airports in Bari and Brindisi.
Shorter 6 day version possible, round tour from Lecce.
Day 1: Arrival in Lecce
Day 2: Lecce - Gallipoli, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 3: Gallipoli - Santa Maria di Leuca, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 4: Santa Maria di Leuca - Otranto, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 5: Otranto - Lecce, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 6: Departure from Lecce