Puglia Cycling Holiday

A get away from it all cycling holiday in Puglia, the heel of Italy, discovering the back-roads, quaint towns and sublime beaches of serene Salento. Olive groves, dry-stone walls, turquoise seas, scrumptious cuisine and charming accommodation characterise this laid-back holiday.

On this holiday you will get to know the beautiful region of Salento in southern Puglia. Daily rides along quiet country lanes will lead you through ancient olive groves to sleepy villages and historic towns. For the first three days you will be riding inland before following the Ionian and Adriatic coastlines for the the final three days.Trulli houses of Alberobello

Besides its spectacular scenery, Salento also enjoys a deserved reputation for it’s superb cuisine so besides some wonderful cycle rides can also look forward to some delicious food along the way too.

The holiday starts in the charming town of Alberobello with its many conical roofed 'Trulli' dwellings. 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.. Olive groves and traditional dry-stone walls are your constant companions, giving way every now and then to charming little villages, wetland nature reserves, rugged coastlines and gorgeous beaches.

The route mainly follows secondary country roads with some unpaved sections along the way. It’s mostly level with some short climbs here and there.

Puglia Cycling Holiday

A get away from it all cycling holiday in Puglia, the heel of Italy, discovering the back-roads, quaint towns and sublime beaches of serene Salento. Olive groves, dry-stone walls, turquoise seas, scrumptious cuisine and charming accommodation characterise this laid-back holiday.

On this holiday you will get to know the beautiful region of Salento in southern Puglia. Daily rides along quiet country lanes will lead you through ancient olive groves to sleepy villages and historic towns. For the first three days you will be riding inland before following the Ionian and Adriatic coastlines for the the final three days.Trulli houses of Alberobello

Besides its spectacular scenery, Salento also enjoys a deserved reputation for it’s superb cuisine so besides some wonderful cycle rides can also look forward to some delicious food along the way too.

The holiday starts in the charming town of Alberobello with its many conical roofed 'Trulli' dwellings. 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.. Olive groves and traditional dry-stone walls are your constant companions, giving way every now and then to charming little villages, wetland nature reserves, rugged coastlines and gorgeous beaches.

The route mainly follows secondary country roads with some unpaved sections along the way. It’s mostly level with some short climbs here and there.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Alberobello

From the airport make your way to the town of Alberobello (transfers available for a supplement). Alberobello is a pretty town famous for its many traditional ‘Trulli’ houses. The clever design of these charming, circular stone dwellings keeps the occupants cool during the summer months. The cycling starts tomorrow so the day is yours to enjoy strolling around this charming little town.

Important: As Alberobello has a traffic-free city centre, as a UNESCO cultural heritage site, the transfer will take you approx. 250/500mt from the hotel. So you will then need to walk this short distance to your hotel.

Day 2 : Alberobello – Ostuni
35 miles/55 kms

Your first ride leads you through the Valle d’Itria dotted with small hamlets and pretty vineyards. We recommend stopping to taste the wine produced in this region, as it really is very good. Take a break in the pretty, hilltop town of Locorotondo before pressing on eastwards. In the early afternoon you arrive in Ostuni, the ‘white town’, so named because of its whitewashed buildings standing out against the sky. From the top of the town you can enjoy superb views out over the Adriatic coastline 6 kms away to the east. The narrow streets of this quaint little place are a pleasure to explore on foot.

Day 3 : Ostuni – Manduria
37 miles/ 60 kms

Today’s route leads you south along a network of quiet country lanes to the town of Manduria. You will be riding through a landscape of red earth, olive groves and dry stone walls that typifies Puglia’s charm and appeal. Take a lunch break in the charming old town of Oria clustered around the imposing castle before continuing south to Manduria the capital of the Puglia’s Primitivo grape region.

Day 4 : Manduria - Gallipoli
41 miles/ 70 kms

Today’s quite long but easy ride delivers you to Puglia’s Ionian Coast. We recommend timing your arrival in Porto Cesareo to coincide with lunch as there are some lovely fish restaurants in the pretty little seaside town. A little further along the coast you enjoy a peaceful and scenic ride through the serene Porto Selvaggio nature reserve. You destination today is the fortified port of Gallipoli. The town occupies a strategic position and has a long history of repelling attackers as well as being overrun. A visit to the impressive fortress will provide you with more details on its violent past. The narrow, winding streets of the old town have a Moorish feel to them and are a delight to explore on foot.

Day 5 : Gallipoli – Santa Maria di Leuca
32 miles/ 50 kms

Continue south along the Ionian coastline, the route passes numerous idyllic beaches so it’s a good idea to have your swim stuff packed in your pannier today. After this lovely coastal ride you arrive in the small town of Santa Maria di Leuca. The town marks the point where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet and has that lovely end-of-the-earth, remoteness about it. This is probably why it has attracted quite an eccentric population many of whom live in the numerous, quirky but luxurious villas that abound here. Spend the night in this pleasant little town.

Day 6 : Santa Maria di Leuca – Otranto
32 miles/ 50 kms

Bid the Ionian Sea farewell and say hello to the Adriatic as you head northwards along its rocky coastline. Today is all about superb sea-views, pretty coastal villages and quaint ports. The swim spots are not as frequent as on yesterday’s ride but they do exist so be sure to pack the swim stuff again. You could also stop off at the Zinzulusa Cave, a stunning Grotto with clear turquoise waters and/or the spa town of Santa Cesarea, known for its sulphurous mineral springs and mud therapy treatments. Otranto itself is an enchanting old town and the waterfront promenade is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal after the day’s activities.

Day 7 : Otranto – Lecce
35 miles/55 kms

Your last day of cycling takes you further along the coast to Torre dell’Orso – a great place for a swim by the way – and then inland to the Baroque city of Lecce. The city has been dubbed the Florence of the South and makes a lovely finale to the cycling holiday. Narrow little streets suddenly open up to reveal baroque treasures seething with detail, like the incredible Basilica di Santa Croce. Historically, Lecce was always the powerhouse of Puglia and this is evident in its opulent and ornate architecture. Perhaps celebrate your achievement with a nice meal in one of the town’s many restaurants.

Day 8 : Lecce - end of trip

After breakfast it is time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 27 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons, alternatively helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses

Alberobello: Trullidea Resort (standard)

Ostuni: Hotel Rione Antico La Terra

Manduria: Sine Tempore B&B

Gallipoli: Hotel Joli Park

Santa Maria di Leuca: Hotel Terminal

Otranto: Hotel Albania

Lecce: Hotel Delle Palme

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Alberobello: Trullidea Resort (superior)

Ostuni: Sant’Eligio Relais

Manduria: BHB Hotel

Gallipoli: Hotel 33 Baroni

Santa Maria di Leuca: Gran Hotel L’approdo

Otranto: Hotel San Giuseppe

Lecce: Hotel Delle Palme

Local taxes

Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night

Getting there

Fly into and out of Bari or Brindisi Airports. Transfers can be arranged from/to either airport at either end of your holiday – see supplements panel for more details.

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