The regions of Apulia and Basilicata are some of Italy’s remotest and quiet areas, ideal for a cycling holiday by road bike. This Road Cycling tour will take you from the east to west coast crossing ‘the boot of Italy’ through Apulia and Basilicata. One of the highlights will be the visit to Matera. Matera is situated on two canyons carved by the Gravina River. The part called the Sassi di Matera is a complex of cave dwellings carved into the ancient canyon. Matera has been occupied by various nations, including the Greeks and Roman’s and by the late 1800’s was not known for its poverty. In 1952 the residents at that time were evacuated and moved to more modern accommodation. The cave dwellings were left empty until around the 1980’s when extra investment arrived, and the town was rejuvenated and restored. It is now a truly fascinating town to explore. After Matera, you will reach a really unbeaten but perfect land for cyclists, little or no traffic and of course terrific landscapes to be seen. By bike, you shall cross many valleys, climb over the Apennines where you reach the Pollino National Park, the largest natural area in Italy. Finally, you arrive in Maratea, where there is a breathtaking view of the Tyrrhenian Coast. Your coast to coast trip is now complete.
Trani – https://www.hotelsanpaoloalconventotrani.it
Matera – https://www.hotelbelvedere.matera.it
Accettura – https://sangiulianohotel.it
Tursi – https://www.palazzodeipoeti.it
Terranova di Pollino – https://www.hotelpicchionero.com/it/
Rotonda – http://www.ilborgoospitale.it (or Viggianello – http://www.locandasanfrancesco.com)
Maratea – https://www.locandamonache.com/it/
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
During the course of the day arrive and get settled in at your hotel in the coastal town Trani, an old town facing the Adriatic Sea and just north of Bari. Explore the lovely historical centre with its Romanesque Cathedral, castle, gardens and the old port. For dinner, we suggest heading to the old port where you shall find many restaurants serving local cuisine.
Today you start your coast to coast adventure with a ride to Matera. You cycle inland to the UNESCO Heritage site of Castel del Monte, an outstanding example of Medieval architecture. You can visit the 13th-century citadel and castle. Now passing over the Alta Murgia, through Gravina you’ll soon reach Matera, known for its “Sassi”. The Sassi are houses dug into the tuff rock itself, which are so characteristic of Basilicata and Puglia. Many of these “houses” are really caves, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi are often located on the rooftops of other houses. The ancient town grew in height on one of the slopes of the ravine. Your Hotel is located in Sassi district.
Your day you cycle into the Apennines where cycle passing the Lake of San Giuliano. This area now becomes more remote and quiet making cycling a pure pleasure as you cycle over the rolling hills of Valle del Basento until you reach the mountains in the Park of Piccole Dolomiti Lucane.
Today you cycle along the Agri River valley which is mostly forested until suddenly you exit and find yourself in the middle of the astonishing landscape of the Calanchi, which are deforested, sandy soiled hills. Tursi was a 9th-century stronghold of the occupying Saracens of the time.
Close by Tursi, you can visit Santuario di Anglona which dates back to 747BC. You now continue cycling through the orchards of the Costa Jonica. After that, you start your ascent to the Pollino National Park which is one of the prettiest and biggest in Italy.
Although the shortest of the days it is probably the most challenging. Today you cycle through forests with long ascents interspersed with wide valleys and pretty villages until you reach San Severino Lucano and Viggianello.
Your last day in the saddle and the coast is in sight as you cycle through the Valle del Noce until you reach the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. A beautiful coastal road leads you to Maratea where you shall spend your last night. Time to sit back, eat, sample a few glasses of wine and reminisce on your past week’s adventure. If you have some strength in your legs then Maratea is a very historic town. Maybe visit the famous and majestic Christ of Maratea at 21m high and built-in 1965 on the top of Monte San Biagio and covered with white concrete and Carrara marble. The belvedere of the statue, easily reachable from the hotel, is the most panoramic point of the whole territory of Maratea with an exceptional view of the coast.
After breakfast, you shall be picked and transferred back to Bari airport.
Fly into Bari airport and take a taxi (30minutes) or train to Trani. A return transfer from the end to Bari is included.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
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|SC2C (7 Nights)||from £1053||Book Now|