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
Primitivo di Manduria, Zinfandel's older brother
Charming towns of Gallipoli and Otranto
Marvelous Baroque architecture in Lecce
|1||Arrival in Matera||Arrival - town walk||B D|
|2||Matera to Alberobello||Cycling 75km, +620m||B|
|3||Alberobello to Manduria||Cycling 75km, +490 m||B|
|4||Manduria to Gallipoli||Cycling 70km, +380||B|
|5||Gallipoli rest day||Rest day||B|
|6||Gallipoli to Santa Cesarea Terme||Cycling 90km, +820||B|
|7||Santa Cesarea Terme to Lecce||Cycling 70km, +450||B D|
|8||Departure from Lecce||Departure||B|
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Wonderful historical ancient building located in the dense maze of alleys, streets, and squares of the fishing village of Gallipoli.
Nice hotel with a breathtaking position on the sea, which on clear days allows you to admire the mountains of Albania.
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.
Tour Price: € 1370 per person
Deposit: 30%, Balance: 30 days before departure
This price includes:
7 nights in charming hotels
2 dinners (day 1 and day 7)
Welcome briefing and bike fitting
Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
Travel App (maps, tracks)
Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
This price not includes:
Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
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.
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: