La Bella Puglia
Discover the Charms of Italy’s Rustic Southern Region on this Unforgettable Bike Trip!
Featured in bicycling.
Recently named one of the “20 Places to See Now” by National Geographic Traveler, this bike tour takes you through the heart of fascinating Puglia in Italy’s southern region, with its landscapes steeped in Greek, Norman, and Arab history. We begin our bicycling adventure at the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Baroque capital of the Salento area, Lecce. We continue traveling south on quiet roads dotted with fig trees and blooming cacti to the famous region of the “Salice Salentino” wine. We’ll explore the rustic coastal town of Savelletri, and in Alberobello, the unique clusters of fantastic conical dwellings called trulli, as we ride through a landscape dominated by ancient gnarled olive trees. Along the way we’ll be fortified by outstanding local specialties like homemade orecchiette, and grilled calamari pulled fresh from the sea.
Fantastic Sights and Sensory Delights Abound on this Italian Bicycle Tour
The gently undulating route of this bicycle trip is an ideal introduction to the irresistible Basilicata and Puglia regions. Destinations on our journey of discovery include the Città Bianca (white city), Ostuni, the beaches of Savelletri, and Matera, the “City of Stone.” Here, medieval monks “dug in” to the hills to create individual cells, tiny chapels, and even spacious churches, and today Matera’s 155 cave churches range from primitive to exquisite. We’ll stay in the magical Sassi – an entire area carved into the rock and located in one of the most panoramic and charming areas of this ancient settlement. The circular town of Locorotondo, known for its white wine, and Serra, with its fascinating panorama of the valley of the Itria, are also on our cycling tour’s itinerary. Join us and experience the lovely beaches, haunting landscapes, welcoming people and exquisite cycling on this incomparable bicycling adventure.
Want less cycling? Check out our 6-Day La Bella Puglia Mini.
- Two night stay and a walking tour of Matera, “the city of stone”
- Captivating clusters of conical trulli structures
- Discover the white-washed town of Ostuni and the beaches of Savelletri
- Spectacular fields of ancient olive trees and crispy white wine
- Mozzarella-making demonstration and tasting
- Savory cuisine: grilled vegetables, handmade pasta and dense bread
- Earthy reds of Salento and elegant Locorotondo whites
- Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Lecce, Alberobello & Matera
- Enjoy dinner in the unique atmosphere of a "trulli" complex
Day by Day
Lecce and the Salento area
Meet at the first hotel at 1pm for a light lunch, bike fitting and a warm-up ride, followed by a stroll to the fortified village of Acaja. On this bike tour our guides will help you uncover all the charm and beauty that this town and region has to offer, you can just relax, have fun and they will take care of all the rest.
This region in Puglia is flat with some hills and is an ideal place for cycling. Its fertile land allows for a greater production of wine than in any other region of Italy, and it is among Italy's main olive oil producer. Before we reach our hotel in Mesagne there will be a great opportunity to visit a local producer of Salice Salentino and ride among Negramaro vineyards for miles!
Savelletri and Selva di Fasano
Ride to the Savelletri coast through Ostuni, an area that has been inhabited since the stone age. Bike to one of the loveliest towns along the Mediterranean. Stay overnight at a restored fortified agricultural estate in Selva di Fasano and enjoy the countryside immersed in this natural environment right before our dinner in a "trulli" complex.
Pass through ancient olive groves, and pedal along the coast to the Greek ruins of Egnazia, the ancient Messapian town of prehistoric origins. Then we go inland towards Castellana and finally we arrive in Alberobello, the town of the cone-shaped, whitewashed “trulli” houses, surely one of the symbols of Puglia.
Today we ride through a strange fantasyland called Trulli. Via tiny roads, cycle through Valle D’Itria to arrive in Locorotondo, a whitewashed, circular town known for its white wine. From the top of the Serra, there is a fascinating panorama of the valley of the Itria. In the afternoon we visit the Frantoio Intini, an olive oil press which embraced the Slow Food movement under the multi-generational management of Pietro Intini.
We leave Alberobello passing through a beautiful landscape with farmhouses and riding through stunning country roads. We stop for lunch in Mottola, another charming Pugliese town. In the evening, enjoy a charming mozzarella-making demo and an exquisite dinner at the hotel which sets the mood for tomorrow’s exciting arrival to Matera.
Spin to Matera
We spin along the Murgia plain through a bucolic terrain of manicured farmlands and shady oak groves to Matera, the city of caves and one of the most extraordinary spots on Earth. UNESCO lists Matera as one of its 365 Official World Heritage sites because of its Sassi cave dwellings. In the afternoon we will explore Matera on a guided walking tour.
In the morning we will have some free time to explore Matera on our own, then we'll hop on our bikes for a ride into the countryside, where we'll stop at an organic farm. Here, our friends Cinzia and Fulvio will prepare a vegetarian lunch. In the afternoon, opt to enjoy a long climb to Matera (optional shuttle back). And finally, join us for a final celebration dinner of typical Lucanian food: the ancient name of Basilicata was “Lucania.”
After breakfast, we offer a 1.5-hours group shuttle in the morning, around 9am, to the Bari airport.
- Bike rental equipped with odometer, map case, handlebar and seat bags and bike pump.
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
- Group Shuttle at end of the tour
On The Tour
- Unforgettable event featuring local music
- Guided Walking Tour of Matera and Alberobello
- Visits to Olive Oil Press and Mozzarella Making Demo
- Visit and wine tasting to Salice Salentino’s winery
Accommodations & Meals
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- 2 lunches and 1 picnic lunch
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
Hotel Santa Chiara
The Santa Chiara Suite Hotel is Lecce’s newest addition in luxury hotels, located in the heart of the historical center near Piazza S. Oronzo and the Roman amphitheatre. The 21 elegant suites are luxuriously furnished offering the very best in modern italian design and comforts. An elegant roof garden offers an awesome view soaking up the atmosphere of the bustling streets below.
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Each room is carefully planned and equipped for comfort. Here, you can appreciate the beauty of Apulia and its rich history. You can also enjoy the swimming pool and exclusive solarium.
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This hotel is a very huge estate that comprises 6 Masserie (ancient fortified farmhouses) and a village of Trulli. The Village is suggestive and the restaurant “Il Ciliegeto'' is inside an agglomerate of 3 trulli, a unique setting for a dining room!
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