Spend one or two nights in fascinating Matera, Italy’s oldest settlement, before embarking on a cycling tour of Puglia, the heel of Italy. See the charming Trulli houses in Alberobello and visit the white city of Ostuni. Ride along blissfully quiet, picturesque lanes, flanked by ancient olive groves, orchards and wheat fields. See both the Ionian and Adriatic coasts and marvel at the baroque splendour of Lecce.
Puglia is southern Italy’s land of plenty. A warm climate and incredibly rich soil make it a farmer’s dream. It’s not bad for cyclists either – the roads are quiet, the scenery is sublime and any hills are short and shallow.
Torre Sant Andrea - Salento
Your holiday starts in the neighbouring region of Basilicata, in the town of Matera. Abandoned for many years, the haunting, old, hillside town of Sassi (Stones) is a human warren of ancient troglodyte dwellings connected by an intricate maze of corridors and stairways. You can opt to spend one or two nights in this fascinating place before being transferred to Alberobello from where your cycling holiday will begin.
In Alberobello you can admire the charming, naturally air-conditioned Trulli houses, cleverly designed to keep occupants cool in the summertime. You’ll visit Ostuni, the ancient ‘white town’, offering splendid views across the countryside to the Adriatic coast. You’ll cycle along quiet lanes lined with dry-stone walls that wind their way through Puglia’s fertile countryside of ancient, gnarled olive groves, orchards and wheat fields.
The fortified town of Gallipoli marks the beginning of the coastal section of the holiday as the route leads you south along the Ionian coast’s gorgeous beaches. After a night at the very tip of Italy’s heel you turn north and head up the rugged Adriatic coast to the enchanting town of Otranto. As a fitting finale your last night is spent in the ornate and opulent town of Lecce. Lose yourself in the narrow streets and find the perfect restaurant to celebrate your Puglia adventure.
This leisurely cycling holiday can be enjoyed by anyone of average fitness. For the most part the terrain is level and any hills are short and not that challenging.