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Beautiful and Secluded Lagoo in Pugalia - Photo by Jesse Andrews
Beautiful Countryside of the Puglia Region, Photo by Jesse Andrews
Beautiful Gallipoli, Puglia at Sunset - Photo by Jesse Andrews

Puglia Biking - The Land Between Two Seas Back

  • Tour Code : TUR-00380
  • Type : Small Group
  • Duration : 8 days
  • Departs from : Puglia
  • Meeting Place : Bari or Polignano a Mare

Description

This cycling tour of the Puglia region is one of our most popular cycling tours in Italy and for very good reason!  Puglia in south eastern Italy encompasses the heel of Italy's boot and is bordered by the sea on two sides (the Adriatic Sea in the east and the Ionian Sea to the southeast). The region is characterised by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards and makes for some of the best cycling territory in all of Italy. 

The tour includes beautiful accommodations, excellent bikes, fantastic meals including wine and it is lead by expert guides who know this region better than anyone out there.

The tour begins in Polignano a Mare which is just south of Bari and concludes in Gallipoli near Brindisi.

We can help you make arrangements to get you to the area and also create some fantastic pre and post say options for you and your family or friends in the area.

Puglia is one of our favorite regions in Italy and we are sure you will be delighted with the high level of service and fantastic flavours you will encounter in this spectacular region. 

Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Trulli Country

Where we visit : Puglia
Meeting Location : Bari or Polignano a Mare
We pick you up at either the Bari train station or airport. For those that arrive a day early, we meet you at our highly recommended pre-tour ocean front hotel in Polignano a Mare (35' from Bari). This 4-star hotel, sits above one of the magnificent sea grottos of the town. Extremely reasonable in price the beautiful well-preserved medieval old town makes this an ideal pre-tour stop. A short transfer brings us to Alberobello, a UNESCO Heritage site and declared national monument. This fairytale-like village of gnome-like structures is truly memorable. The ancestors of our friends and host, Dino and Antonella, have resided here for over 500 years and they provide us with not only great hospitality, but for each of us a trullo-house during our two-day stay. The trullo is an unusual stone house circular in shape with whitewashed walls and a gray slate cone-shaped roof often marked with mysterious symbols. We get familiar with our bikes during a scenic warm-up loop that follows quiet scenic stone fence lined pathways rich in vineyards, oak saplings, and fruit trees to the whitewashed baroque town of Martina Franca. Situated on a high lying slope at the edge of Trulli country, we explore its many architectural treasures. The narrow winding lanes of the dense historic center lead us to an enormous Ducal Palace and offers splendid view of the region. On our return Dino conducts a wonderful village tour that includes a stop at a local winery for an extensive tour and wine tasting of the fine local wines such as "Primitivo" which is sure to impress even the avid wine aficionado.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 2 - Trulli Country

Where we visit : Puglia
The next day's full ride first stops at the regions first church; dating 400AD, we then ride to the largest network of underground grottoes in Italy for an extensive tour through the colorful 2-kms of caves. On our return we stop off to tour a local olive oil producer who still makes olive oil the traditional way using a stone press. Then end the day with a demonstration of how mozzarella cheese is made before dining with a local family. Lodgings: A unique and fairytale-like trullo in the heart of the historic trulli village Dinner: Excellent Osteria: 5-course menu with abundant choices
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 3 - Leaving the Valley of Itria for White-washed Ostuni

Where we visit : Puglia

We have the choice of two rides today; we can opt for the easy flat ride along the Adriatic and explore the coastal ruins of Egnazia or we can ride a more undulating route into Locorotondo and Cisternino which marks the boundary to the Valley of Itria. Either way, the trulli are last seen. The origin of the Trulli is uncertain, yet it is felt that the cone shape is of Eastern inspiration and may have been adopted in Puglia because it is easy to construct. Others claim that religious or magical reasons have led to their adoption as religious and astrological symbols are often painted on the roofs. As we ride within the Valley of Itria we get a chance to examine these theories up close as we enjoy one bellavista after another before a 10-km downhill cruise through pine lead to the blue green waters of the Adriatic Sea. A quick dip is the ideal way to clean up for a delicious seafood lunch. During the completely flat coastal option we stop at the significant ruinous site of Egnazia where archeologists have uncovered remnants of early Greek and Roman civilizations and then meet up with those who wish for a more challenge. Both rides then lead to Ostuni via the ancient olive groves that are sure to mesmerize the viewer and leave one with the feeling that any minute one of them will speak; as if from the "Land of OZ". Whitewashed Ostuni, a town of pre-historic origin, has survived the ages and retains the most typical of Apulian architecture in accordance with its historic growth. It is felt that through the ages it has succeeded in staying in perfect balance with the surrounding countryside. From the moment we approach from miles away, to the moment we enter the historic town center; it would be hard to argue against this observation. Lodging: A beautiful 4-star hotel in the historic center. Dinner: Osteria within the historic Center's Ancient Walls

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 4 - Castles, Towers and Sea Grottoes

Where we visit : Puglia

From Ostuni we ride across the long flat valley filled with vineyards and towns whose roots go back to Puglia's original inhabitants of 3000 B.C., the Messapi. We visit Oria, once capital of the Messapi then a major Roman trading center on the Apian Way, and evolving into an important Jewish colony. Explore the triangular castle and an old town center loaded with architectural attractions as we cross the plains to the incomparable, Lecce. Lecce has often been described as a Baroque Jewel, and jewel it is. This lively town offers us a chance to enjoy an active evening within the unrivalled architecture of soft pink local stone used to build everything from the piazzas and town gates to the numerous churches that adorn this city of unparalleled beauty. During our first day off the bike we enjoy an extensive private city tour that not only examines the fine Baroque structure, but stops by the renowned papier-mâché studios. You are then free to explore more of the city on your own or cycle to the sea for a comfortable swim. The following day we ride past the ruins of a castle from the Messapi period and through the pine forest surrounding the Alimini Lakes. The Alimini Grande to the north is in contact with the Adriatic and is therefore salt water, while the Alimini Piccolo connected on the south end is nourished by a spring and is therefore fresh water. The landscape around both is tranquil and covered with vegetation typical to swampland-it's interesting if you can see the differences in the nature of the two lakes where gray mullet and eel swim around the reeds. Once we reach Otranto we take time to explore. Otranto was the main port on the southern Adriatic under Byzantine rule, but today the ferry service for Corfu is the only surviving activity connected with the sea. On land, Otranto is a fairytale; medieval, whitewashed town featuring an impressive Aragonese castle and a beautiful Byzantine Cathedral with an impressive floor covered in colorful mosaic. The picture perfect waterfront & great outdoors market makes for a timely rest before we take on our 2 hill climbs into a region of unmatched coastal beauty. Lodgings: 2 nights in a 4-star Patria Palace in medieval center of Lecce & one night at a 4-star hotel on sea with coastal views Dinner: One free night & one night at an outstanding family-run trattoria and one night at 4-star hotel along the sea.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 5 - Castles, Towers and Sea Grottoes

Where we visit : Puglia

Our ride continues through spectacular territory. 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 6 - Castles, Towers and Sea Grottoes

Where we visit : Puglia

Ride continues south through beautiful scenery.

 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 7 - Island Town Gallipoli

Where we visit : Puglia
The coast on the other side of the heel starts to flatten out and the dramatic high rocky coast gives way to a low-lying pine forest. With the wind at our back and a flat terrain in front of us we pass by a charming fishing village then skirt the long beaches leading to quaint ports. Upon our first glimpse of Gallipoli in the distance, you know you are approaching a very special place. We soon cross over its 17th century bridge to the little island known as “the city”. A medieval breakwater encloses the entire island within a network of twisting turning streets barricading the historic center and concurrent, oddly shaped white buildings. Watching the fishermen work against this backdrop makes one realize why it’s often called one of the most scenic waterfronts in Italy; and we surely understand the Greeks' aptly simple sobriquet: "Kalé polis", Greek for "beautiful town". Visit to the ancient underground olive oil presses that provided lamp oil for many centuries and were considered not only the leaders in the industry, but established pricing standard for the world. Lodgings: seaside albergo on island town of Gallipoli . Dinner: One free night and farewell feast
Meals : Dinner
 

Day 8 - Time to Say Arrivaderci!

Where we visit : Puglia

This morning after a buffet breakfast at the hotel it will be time to say Arrivaderci! 

We can get you anywhere you need to go in Italy so just ask our team how and we can offer you some fantastic suggestions to extend the rest of your stay.

team@italygroupspecialists.com or contact your travel agent. 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Map

 

Inclusions/Exclusions

Tour Highlights and What's Included

  1. All 4 & 5-star accommodation in town centers and 2 nights in your very own Trullo
  2. All breakfast, Five full course dinners and 1 picnic lunch
  3. Olive Oil Producer & Winery Visits tasting & tour
  4. Fully Supported bike rides with 2 guides
  5. Private City Tour of Alberobello & Lecce
  6. BIKE RENTAL of quality upright 27-speed touring bikes equipped with handlebar bags (your clipless pedals can be mounted
  7. but remember to bring your shoes, bike gloves and shorts.) Quality road bikes are available upon request at an additional charge
  8. Route note, maps and marked routes
  9. All tour transfers including meet/depart, van support and luggage transfer
  10. Multi-lingual guide(s)
  11. All entrance fees mentioned in itinerary

What's Not Included

  1. Airfare
  2. Beverages
  3. Trip insurance (strongly recommended)
  4. Personal items
  5. Guide tips.

Sites and Locations Visited on this Tour

Pricing & Availability

Please contact us today by either phone or email for assistance with this booking.
Email : team@italygroupspecialists.com
Toll Free : 1-866-779-2565

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The trip was great we appreciate all the hard work you and your team invested to make our experience a once in a lifetime trip. We appreciate all the attention to the details in particular Giuseppe spending the time and the focus with us on the road and as we were exploring your great country.
- Leon and Michele Read More

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