Bike Tour Italy: Puglia - The Heart of the Mediterranean
About your bike tour
This self guided bike tour lets you discover the south east end of Italy and experience the unique countryside between the Adriatic and the Ionic Seas, but also the friendliness and hospitality of the southern Italians.
The countryside is rich in culture. The Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Habsburger and the Bourbons have all left their mark in the region.
It is an easy tour, apart from a few slight ascents and descents along the way. Most of this tour is along flat, tarred roads. As you are travelling out of the main season, most of the roads are mainly free of traffic. The tour is suitable for children from the age of 12.
Induvidual arrival at the hotel in Alberobello. This small town in the province of Bari is famous for Trulli stone constructions. The town makes part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Enjoy a tour through the Valle d'Itria, one of the prettiest cultural landscapes of the south, with a stop in the famous vinyards in Locorotondo to taste some of the local wine. A monastic site where a fresco portraying the Madonna Odegitria was found. Over the ruins of this medieval place of worship, located in Martina Franca, the Capuchin Monastery (in Italian: Convento dei Cappuccini) - which nowadays is an interesting tourist attraction - was built in 1545.
The next stop is Ostuni, the “white town” offering breathtaking views of the sea.The region around Ostuni has been inhabited since the Stone age. Its nearby pristine beaches are a huge attraction as well as the historical architecture in the city and surroundings including the vibrant olive and grape agribusiness.
Overnight in Ostuni
Today's ride heads from Ostuni through olive groves, wine-growing areas and fruit crops to Avetrana, a historic small town on the Via Appia.
This ancient Roman road once went from Rome to Brindisi, through Taranto and
Oria. Some of the original ancient cobbled paths are still there, known as Via Appia Antica.
Overnight in Avetrana.
The tour heads to the sea today. From "Torre Colimena", the tour heads along a coastal road to Porto Cesareo, and along the coast to Gallipoli.
Gallipoli, an ancient Greek town known as a "Kale Polis" (beautiful town), sits at the end of the rocky coast of the Ionic Sea. There are fishermen at work, ancient churches and fascinating lanes to discover here.
Overnight in Gallipoli.
The tour reaches the most southerly point of Salento today and at the same time the watershed to the Ionic Sea at Santa Maria di Leuca. Santa Maria di Leuca is famous for its lighthouse, which, with its height of 47 metre and its position at 102 metre above sea level, is the second most important lighthouse in Italy.
According to the legend, the town takes its name from "Leucasia", a white beautiful mermaid (in Greek "leukos" means "white") who conquered sailors and farmers by her charming voice. According to a later legend, Virgin Mary once saved some boats from a storm, and her name was added to that of Leuca. The town is well known for its church and pilgrimages.
At the turn of the century, many opulent villas were built and their fantastic and sometimes absurd forms are now an absolute architectural highlight. The people who lived here were eccentric people who loved the peace and quiet and wanted to enjoy the sea and the town. Overnight in Otranto.
The tour takes you along the south coast of the Adriatic Sea, and up to the Messapian town of Otranto located on the east coast of the Salento peninsula, one of the nuggets in the charming landscape. The old part of the town is surrounded by a mighty wall and contains the impressive Aragonese Castle.
On the way to Otranto, you have the chance to visit the famous Grotta Zinzulusa, the only coastal grotto that is open to the public. The Santa Cesarea Thermal Spa is well known for its hydrotherapeutic cures and radioactive mud therapy, and is well worth a visit.
The Cathedral, consecrated in 1088, a work of Count Roger I adorned later (about 1163) has a mosaic floor and a rose window as well as a side portal of 1481. The interior, a basilica with nave and two aisles, contains columns said to come from a temple of Minerva. This is worth a visit. Overnight in Lecce.
Carry on along the coast through innumerable olive orchards to Lecce It is the main city of the Salentine Peninsula, a sub-peninsula at the heel of the Italian Peninsula and is over 2,000 years old. If you want to stop on the way, the best place is at Torre dell’Orso beach which is surrounded by limestone cliffs. Lecce is a town with lots of appeal mainly due to its buildings and churches.
The cities of Naples and Lecce are the Baroque metropolises of the south. There are over 30 churches and innumerable palaces. Don’t forget to visit the amphitheatre and the Roman theatre, both built under Kaiser Augustus. The city also has a long traditional affinity with Greek culture going back to its foundation.
After breakfast, the airports at Bari/Brindisi are easily reached by train. For those who parked their cars at Alberobello, this too is also very accessible train. We can provide a transfer service if necessary.
Photos of this bike tour
What we love
- the friendliness and the hospitality of the southern Italians
- Puglia as the region of olive groves, vineyards, sunshine and see
- Monopoli with many small sandy beaches along its coastline
- Alborello with the trulli - beehive-shaped, whitewashed buildings made of stone, usually used as barns in farming areas
- Idyllic coastal regions along the Adriatic and Ionic Seas
- Olive groves and old, gnarled olive trees
- Excavated old cities, deserted mediaeval villages
- Alberobello, the capital of the Trulli
- Ostuni, the “white town”
- Gallipoli, a pearl of a town with a lively fisherman’s atmosphere
- Santa Maria di Leuca, the most southerly point of Italy
- Santa Cesarea Terme, spa centre
- Otranto, one of the prettiest places in Salento
- Lecce, the capital of the same named province in southern Italy
What to know
- this is a self guided tour.
- it is too hot to cycle in Puglia during July and August
By plane (airport Bari or Brindisi)
By train (train station Lecce, Monopoli or Alberobello)
Transfer on request and as there are limited places, a reservation is necessary. The transfer is payable during the briefing
Transfer Monopoli Station – Alberobello: € 20,00 for person, daily possible, with a minimum of 2 pax
Transfer Bari/Brindisi Airport – Alberobello: € 35,00 for person, daily possible, with a minimum of 2 pax
Transfer Lecce – Alberobello: € 45,00 for person, daily possible, with a minimum of 4 pax
Transfer Lecce-Bari: € 59,00 for person, daily possible, with a minimum of 4 pax (Alternatively good rail connections)
Transfer Lecce – Brindisi: € 30,00 for person, daily possible, with a minimum of 4 pax
March 30th – October 5th 2014
Accommodation & Rates
- $1,064: Double Room (1 bed)
- $1,064: Double Room (2 beds)
- $1,364: Single Room
- Accommodation in hotels in a 3*** and a 4****star category or on an Agritour farm in a room with bath/shower and WC
- Breakfast buffet or full breakfast
- Personal tour information
- Luggage transport from place to place
- Transfer from Mesagne to Salice Salentino
- Well planned routes
- Detailed documents (maps, route description, places to visit, important telephone numbers)
- Telephone service hotline for the whole tour (German, Italian and English speaking)
- guide - this is a self guided tour
- transportation to and from the start/end of tour
Description of Accommodation during the bike tour
Accommodation in hotels in a 3*** and a 4****star category or on an Agritour farm in a room with bath/shower and WC
High Season Markup
- + $52.50: High Season (June 7th – June 15th)
- + $52.50: High Season (August 30th – September 6th)
since the bikes come in various colors and sizes, your actual bike may vary slightly from those shown here.