This cycling holiday in Italy shows off the beautiful region of Puglia, Italy. Each day of cycling has an optional loop ride for those who want to increase the daily distance, whilst still allowing for a great cycling holiday for a mixed ability of riders. The region has countless historical and cultural treasures. Its long and colourful history, ranging from Norman to Byzantine occupation, has resulted in an eclectic mix of architecture, cultural sites and unmatched hospitality.… we promise, once you discover it, Puglia will leave a lasting impression.
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.
Today we cycle through the San Giuliano oasis. Under the protection of the Italian branch of the World Wildlife Foundation. The preserve covers about 1000 hectares and includes the San Giuliano Dam. Built in the 1950s and was Basilicata’s first artificial basin together with the Bradano River Ravine. We will head southeast towards the town of Laterza, where we will visit a local bakery to sample the famous “pane di Laterza”. You will return to Matera via Montesacglioso, home of a powerful and prestigious abbey which once controlled a huge portion of the surrounding land. The major climb into Montescaglioso is worth it for the chance to visit this enchanting little village where times seems to have stopped.
Your ride today takes in some stark terrain with wide-open spaces and lots of farmland. You leave the region of Basilicata and enter Puglia. The route takes you through Gioia del Colle where you can visit the impressive Norman castle dating back to the 9th century. From there you head towards Noci, a well-heeled town. As you head deeper into the Itria Valley, you will arrive at the Capital, Alberobello. From here you can, if you wish, head out on a circular route (49km) deep into the Itria Valley to visit Locorotondo. Continue onto Martina Franca, a must-see town for its marvellously intact historical centre. This town is truly a jewel, splendidly positioned on the hillside with wonderful panoramic views across the Itria valley. You then return to Alberobello along some lovely undulating terrain.
Today, you will leave Alberobello, pedalling down scenic country lanes lined with weathered stone walls. This incredible descent will bring you down to Capitolo and south along some old farming roads. You will arrive in Pezze di Greco, at the pastoral Masseria Salamina, your home for the night. From here you can choose to relax or tackle a challenging yet rewarding 65km loop through Cisternino and Ostuni. An outstandingly beautiful ride offering some amazing views. Be sure to stop and look behind you as some or some of the best photo opportunities could be missed!
This morning is a beautiful coastal ride. Enjoy a 32km ride along the coast to Savelletri and Torre Canne before checking out of Masseria Salamina, then heading to Fasano station. From here you will catch the train to Squinzano and then cycle along the beautiful Salento coast to Otranto. You will pedal through numerous olive groves before reaching the Byzantine wonders of Otranto. Here you will be close to the lighthouse “Faro della Palascìa” which marks the most eastern part of Italy. You will enjoy panoramic views over the sea and the town.
We really have saved the best ride for now! You will pedal along the coast south and east of Otranto where you will see the easternmost and southernmost points of Italy in the same day. You can also visit the Castel del Salve Winery on your way to the city of Santa Maria di Leuca, which appears to gleam white as you approach from the sea and is known for its position in Italian of De Finnibus Terrae (the ‘end of the earth’). You can make today as relaxing or as challenging as you like, as the route covers a distance of 110km, but to make it easy for you to turn around and head back at any point. Of course, whichever way you choose, it east to find places to stop for food, refreshments and sightseeing along the way.
Today you will be heading to the wonderful Baroque city of Lecce. This final ride on your bike is a leisurely ride of less the 40 kilometres so you can enjoy all Lecce has to offer on your last evening. The terrain is easy and mostly flat. One of the sights not to be missed is the baroque church of Santa Chiara. No matter how you choose to spend the remainder of your day in Lecce, be sure to try the amazing Pasticciotto Leccese (a pastry filled with sumptuous custard cream). Take in all Lecce has to offer on this, your last day, of your Pugliese cycling adventure.
NOTE: Our 6-night trip excludes Day2 – Matera Loop Ride