Cycling Matera and Puglia Self-Guided main pictures
Cycling Matera and Puglia Self-Guided main pictures

Cycling Matera and Puglia Self-Guided

A self-guided bike tour through the heel of the Italian boot. From the wonderful city of Matera, literally carved into the soft limestone rock, to the picturesque Trulli of Alberobello, both UNESCO heritage sites. It goes down to the far south, physically and culturally facing the eastern Mediterranean. Olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye can see, alternate with elegant villages as white as milk, in an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Mediterranean. The tour ends in the alleys of Lecce, a true jewel of Baroque architecture.

| Cycling | Active | 8days/7nights | Self-Guided | From € 1370 |


Matera and Alberobello UNESCO heritage sites

Matera and Alberobello UNESCO heritage sites

Primitivo di Manduria, Zinfandel's older brother

Primitivo di Manduria, Zinfandel's older brother

Charming towns of Gallipoli and Otranto

Charming towns of Gallipoli and Otranto

Marvelous Baroque architecture in Lecce

Marvelous Baroque architecture in Lecce

Day to Day

B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner;
1Arrival in MateraArrival - town walkB D
2Matera to AlberobelloCycling 75km, +620mB
3Alberobello to ManduriaCycling 75km, +490 mB
4Manduria to GallipoliCycling 70km, +380B
5Gallipoli rest dayRest dayB
6Gallipoli to Santa Cesarea TermeCycling 90km, +820B
7Santa Cesarea Terme to LecceCycling 70km, +450B D
8Departure from LecceDepartureB

Tour Map

Day 1: Arrival in Matera

The enchanting “Città dei Sassi”

We meet at your first hotel in enchanting Matera. Over a good glass of Aglianico del Vulture, we present to you in detail the tour that awaits you. After helping you with the assembly of the bike, we leave you to discover this wonderful city, a UNESCO site since 1991, and the 2019 European Capital of Culture. The historic center of Matera, known as "I Sassi", is literally carved into the limestone rock. UNESCO has defined Matera as "the most extraordinary and intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem".

Today many of the cave dwellings have been transformed into museums, restaurants, and welcoming hotels, but it keeps its exterior intact, which will give you the feeling of having been transported into a distant past in the Holy Land.

Overnight: Matera
Included: Breakfast Dinner

Day 2: Matera to Alberobello

From the karst ravines of Matera to the typical Trulli of Alberobello

We leave Matera and Basilicata to enter Puglia, in the plateau of the Murgia between green and colorful fields in spring, and golden yellow in summer. In Gioia del Colle you can admire the beautiful Norman-Swabian Castle, which houses the interesting Archaeological Museum, but above all don't miss the fantastic cheeses such as scamorza, stracciatella and the delicious burrata.

The route then leads us through the countryside of Putignano, where we recommend a short detour to visit the rural sanctuary of Barsento, built in the sixth century with simple and soft shapes, but perfectly integrated into the surrounding landscape. The day ends in Alberobello, among its welcoming and lively alleys. Alberobello is known all over the world for its Trulli, characteristic cone-shaped rural houses, built without cement mortar with the tholos technique, plastered with very white lime. Born for practical and economic needs, today they represent a symbol and a wealth for the territory, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. And it will be an ancient Trullo to host you for the night.

Overnight: Alberobello
Included: Breakfast

Day 3: Alberobello to Manduria

In the realm of Primitivo di Manduria wine

Today a beautiful path awaits you among gentle slopes, vineyards, and fields, dotted with Trulli that rise towards the blue sky. Once in Ostuni, we leave the Valle d'Itria and the Murge behind us, to enter the Salento plain, the southernmost area of Puglia.

Ostuni (known as the White City) is a wonderful village, which shines in pure white, perched on three hills, which dominate the valley. At the top of the town stands the Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria dell'Assumption, a splendid example of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, which deserves a brief stop in front of the majestic facade, characterized by three portals, surmounted by three rose windows, of which the central one is a beautiful example of medieval symbolism.

Today's stage ends in Manduria, among the vineyards of Primitivo Salentino, the older brother of the Californian Zinfandel. Here you cannot fail to visit the museum housed in the "Produttori di Manduria" cellar and to taste a good glass of Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale DOCG.

Overnight: Manduria
Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Manduria to Gallipoli

Along the beautiful Ionian coast

Today we go to the sea, in the beautiful sea of Salento. After leaving the Manduria vineyards you head towards the coast of Porto Cesareo, which is home to long beaches and a Marine Protected Area of over 16,000 hectares (41,000 acres). The coast has some cliffs, lagoons, and many beaches, among which the Lido degli Angeli stands out, characterized by a lush dune system. The stage continues along a never demanding path, until you reach the seaside village of Gallipoli, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in all Salento.

Gallipoli is an ancient settlement of Greek origin (Kali Polis), which later became an important Roman military center, subsequently the main hub in the Mediterranean for the oil trade for lamps. Today it's a renowned tourist destination, but its historic center retains the fascinating urban layout of the Bourbon era, with high bastions overlooking the sea that enclose elegant palaces, narrow houses, and richly finished churches. Here you will find excellent restaurants where you can delight yourself with a dinner based on freshly caught fish.

Overnight: Gallipoli
Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Gallipoli rest day

Discovering the old Kali Poli

Gallipoli is a pretty seaside village that offers many opportunities for both visits and relaxation. You could take a boat trip, which will take you to discover the coast and the surrounding bays. Or you can stroll through the alleys of the village full of shopping opportunities. A visit to the museum of Palazzo Granafei will introduce you to the ancient production of vegetable oil for lamps, which in the past had made Gallipoli an important commercial center.

Or you can also choose to relax on one of the crystal clear water beaches for which Salento is famous.

Overnight: Gallipoli
Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Gallipoli to Santa Cesarea Terme

Puglia's Southernmost point

We continue further south, along the Ionian coast of Salento, until we reach Punta Ristola, in Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost point of the heel of the Italian boot. From here you can enjoy a wonderful view of the port of Santa Maria di Leuca and Punta Melisso, where stands the Sanctuary of S.M. de Finibus Terrae.

The itinerary then turns north, along a wonderful stretch of the route that follows the sinuous coast, which takes us through suggestive places, such as the Ciolo canyon, the hidden bay of Acquaviva, the village of Castro and, finally, to Santa Cesarea Terme, the point of arrival of our stage today.

Overnight: Santa Cesarea Terme
Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Santa Cesarea Terme to Lecce

The way to the Salento capital

As soon as you leave Santa Cesarea Terme, a wonderful panoramic road begins that proceeds, gently up and down, along the coast for about 30km. We pass by the suggestive Palascìa lighthouse, which is the easternmost point of Italy, from where on clear days the gaze reaches the Balkan mountains.

Otranto is a small seaside town historically considered a bridge between the east and the west of the Mediterranean, whose ancient village is enclosed by the defensive walls. The geographical position has always represented both an opportunity and a threat to the city, in fact it has often been the scene of invasions and clashes due to its being a strategic commercial center. In addition to a stop on the promenade, we suggest you visit the Norman Cathedral, which preserves the largest and most complex paved mosaic in southern Italy, and which tells in images all the knowledge of that time.

From Otranto continue along the coast to the north, WWF “Le Cesine”: the last piece of coastal marsh that once extended over Brindisi. Once considered unhealthy and dangerous, today it is an area of high naturalistic value, where the complex biodiversity typical of the Mediterranean habitat develops.

Now it's time to reach Lecce, the capital of Baroque architecture, for which we ask you to reserve at least a few hours. Leave your bike and lose yourself in its historic center, which will surprise you with a harmonious Baroque style. Many of the most famous stonecutters between 1600 and 1700 came here to work it and to decorate the facades of buildings and churches that are still intact today.

Overnight: Lecce
Included: Breakfast Dinner

Day 8: Departure from Lecce

Ciao Ciao Puglia!

After breakfast, our services end if you have booked a transfer out with us, our driver will pick it up you at your hotel. Depending on your departure timing, we suggest you to visit more of this beautiful town, the archaeological Museum Faggiano is a really nice one.

Now it's time to say goodbye, we really hope to host you again in our Mediterranean. Arrivederci!

Included: Breakfast

The accomodations

La Casa di Ele
La Casa di Ele

Small property in the heart of the historic Sasso Barisano district, the accommodation is finished with extreme elegance and managed with passion by the owner Erasmo.

Trullidea Hotel - Alberobello
Trullidea Hotel - Alberobello

Sleeping inside the ancient Apulian Trulli, without giving up the services of a 4-star hotel, is the idea that animated Antonella and Dino when they decided to create their charming hotel.

Sine Tempore B&B
Sine Tempore B&B

An ancient house of the fifteenth century, organized like the typical houses of southern Italy, with a central garden and terraces with a view. The structure is very well furnished in every detail and has a swimming pool.

Corte Palmieri Relais - Gallipoli
Corte Palmieri Relais - Gallipoli

Wonderful historical ancient building located in the dense maze of alleys, streets, and squares of the fishing village of Gallipoli.

EST Hotel - Santa Cesarea Terme
EST Hotel - Santa Cesarea Terme

Nice hotel with a breathtaking position on the sea, which on clear days allows you to admire the mountains of Albania.

Palazzo dei Dondoli
Palazzo dei Dondoli

Cozy charming residence, in the historic center of the city of Lecce, characterized by a beautiful internal courtyard

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You can bring your own bike or rent one from us, we offer great bikes from selected Italian and international brands: road bikes, leisure cycling, mountain bikes, e-bikes, all in perfect working conditions. You can book your bike on the Booking / Information form.

Price and Supplements

Tour Price: € 1370 per person
Deposit: 30%, Balance: 30 days before departure

This price includes:
 7 nights in charming hotels
 7 breakfast
 2 dinners (day 1 and day 7)
 Welcome briefing and bike fitting
 Food tasting
 Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
 Travel App (maps, tracks)
 Phone assistance 08:00-21:00

This price not includes:
 Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
 Bike rental
 Others meals and drinks
 Entrance fees and tips
 Hotel tourist taxes (about € 20,00)
 Insurance and everything not listed as “Included”

All Road Bike: € 130

E-Bike: € 150

Transfer Bari apt – Matera (min 2 pax): € 60

Transfer Lecce - Bari apt (min 2 pax): € 90

Transfer Lecce - Brindisi apt (min 2 pax): € 45

Solo Traveller: € 195

Single room supplement: € 195

High season supplement: € 200 (Jun 25 - Aug 31)

Easter: € 200 (Mar 26 - Apr 05)


Free cancellation for any reason till 30 days before departure.
Free cancellation for COVID-19 related reasons till 10 days before departure.

Self Guided Tour

This means you will pedal free at your pace following maps and tracks received during our pre tour briefing at your arrival. We will advise you where to have lunch and dinner, about sightseeings along the road and where to find technical assistance. You can start on any day of the year.

With just 4 people, this tour can be ride as a Guided Tour

In our Guided tours you have:

  • A cycling guide riding with you showing his region
  • Van support with water, electrolytes and snacks, available if you want to skip the hardest climbs
  • A daily picnic lunch featuring local and fresh products
  • Dinners at hotel or restaurants featuring traditional food
  • Shuttles from arrival airport and to departure airport
Ask for a quote and Go Guided

This tour is ready to book

Book now or ask for more information

Rich GundlachRich Gundlach
13:15 24 Sep 22
Great planning, exceptional guides. We enjoyed everything about our trip. We learned a great deal about the history and culture of Sardinia. Marcello at Mediterras made sure that everything was properly arranged and made adjustments when necessary. A great part of our enjoyment came from our interaction with our guides (Giovanni, Stefano and Danilo). They were all very knowledgeable and friendly. When it came time to part we felt like we were leaving old friends.
Doris ChapatteDoris Chapatte
11:53 12 Sep 22
We did the "big-loop" from the 20.08.2022.The big loop ist 12 days road bike around the island. We have booked the trip 1.5 weeks before (last minute) and everything has been organised perfectly. We had an extra break day every 4 days biking. And was great.Mediterras has answer to all our questions. On the day of departure, our bikes we ready, we got time to get full explanation of the tour. We got a navigation system with all the routes. Everything was very clear and very well organised. Our lugage was every evening delivered at the next hotels.The hotel has been wonderfully selected, and always at some nice location and not too far away from the center or the beach. Thank again to Mediterras team for the wonderful holidays.I would give more than a 5 Stars for this trip and the wonderful team.Doris & Jean-Luc - from Swizerland
Tadhg CookeTadhg Cooke
12:46 09 Jun 22
A fantastic introduction to cycling in Sardinia. I just rented the bike in Cagliari for a few days at the end of my holiday, with no particular routes in mind. Gian Mario kindly suggested two nice challenging routes, and sent the GPX files. I only had time for one of them - but it was an absolute gem. Starting in the city, cycling along Poetto, before turning towards the hills. After one tiny village, I didn't pass another café or shop for 40 or 50 km. Just me and the pain in my legs. Superb. The bike was a gem - a former Lotto Jumbo team bike which was ridden in the Paris Roubaix by Tom Leezer. I was a *bit* slower, but I probably enjoyed it more! Wonderful experience - lovely people - always available on whatsapp if I needed anything, which was very reassuring when I don't speak Italian or Sardu! I will definitely use them again if/when I return to Sardegna.Thanks again!
We did the Sicily Baroque tour with Mediterras. Self guided on bikes (el and manual). Gian and his team did adapt the tour for our needs and did all to make the tour enjoyable. Few problems surfaced but all were solved. The trail was interesting and added a lot to our understanding of Sicily, its landscape and life in the rural areas. Accommodations were all good, and the quality of the food in the restaurants Gian had arranged varied from good to excellent. At the end of our tour we did a walk in the hillsides of Etna arranged by Mediterras.The Etna tour was wonderful. We were lucky with weather given the circumstances. It was a bit foggy and a bit cold, but it did not rain. The guides did a good job of explaining the geology of Etna for us and the two geology-educated persons in the group! The hike was challenging, which suited the group well. The food and wine at Barbaras place was totally excellent! Six stars out of five.We were not as lucky in Taormina! It did rain cats and dogs. The drivers did adapt quite well. Did stop at several foto-ops and at the entry gate to the pedestrian street. We did wander through the Greek theatre and the pedestrian walk, did have a stop at a fancy coffe-shop/bar and then decided to skip the dinner and return early back to Syracusa.
W. B.W. B.
16:03 20 Oct 21
I found this company using google and right away Gian was very responsive. I told them what we were looking for, gave specific parameters for distance and elevation, and they put together an itinerary very quickly that completely matched what I asked for. The entire trip was seamless from the 1am pickup at airport to drop off after 10 days of cycling. The routes were on quiet wonderful roads and the hotels they chose were all great. A really good local company which does what they claim to do very well. Highly recommend.
Ilja WinkertIlja Winkert
11:14 17 Sep 21
I rented quite spontaneously a city bike for my whole stay here near Cagliari. The workshop is very well located. Grocery shopping, going to the beach and the city worked very well. Bike were in a good condition. I was properly advised. Fully recommend this place.
14:46 23 Aug 21
We are so happy that we found this rental. Very nice, helpfull and professional customer service. We recommend to everyone!
juliet clarkejuliet clarke
17:20 15 Jun 21
Mediterras arranged a self guided cycling trip through South Eastern sicily stopping in beautiful baroque towns. They arranged everything with less than a weeks notice, keeping us up to date on accommodation, bikes equipment etc.My husband and I had a wonderful time. The ride was perfect, having both been off a bike for several months, the ride was the perfect combination of hills and flats for us to really enjoy it. The accommodation was far better than what we were expecting for the price and recommendations for dinner and stops spot on. We ate incredibly well and all the hosts in the villas and hotels very welcoming and helpful.I would certainly recommend them especially arranging it all with such little notice.
This tour is ready to book