Heel of boot – Unesco site Matera & Alberobello
Bike Trip in Puglia in 8 days
The map says Italy, it is south point of heel of the boot shape: Puglia
Though you may feel you’ve strayed into Greece, and that’s a part of Puglia’s appeal. Endless olive groves, a rugged coastline and the blue-green Adriatic.
From the Sassi of Matera, in Basilicata, you will head on to the Apulian land.
After crossing the Murgia plateau, you will stay in the Itria valley, characterized by a flourishing vegetation where olive trees stand. These are cultivated in farms called Masserie, small typical local stone fortresses. Coasts are marked by long, sandy beaches, dunes and protected natural reserves. There are several traces of old Messapi civilizations, rock settlements, castles and not-to-be-missed trullos made with dry stone techniques.
In the last days you will head south to the Salento. Sun, sea, wind. Nature strikes in the first place, when one gets to this land stretch in balance between two seas. The cities and inland towns expressions of the unique Lecce Baroque with Messapi and Salento Grecìa can still be seen. Its language, songs and feasts still show the culture of Magna Graecia
The people are welcoming and down-to-earth, the cuisine rustic and satisfying: enjoy regional specialties that include fresh seafood, orecchiette pasta, and Salice Salentino the powerful red wine from Lecce.
Bike ride past ancient stone villages, prehistoric menhirs and crypts into the picturesque seaside town of Otranto, then dinner by the sea in this former Byzantine stronghold.
The tour starts in Matera- Unesco site for Sassi – be sure to have time to explore this outstanding place
Cycling Southern Italy Highlights
- Journey into the heart of the boot of Italy shape to sensational Lecce, the baroque town
- Cycle from Sassi di Matera to Trulli di Alberobello, both Unesco Site
- Overnight in 4 and 5 star hotel luxury and Masseria resort
- Cycling along Italy’s most stunning coastal road
- The Aragonese Castle, the cathedral with its impressive Renaissance rose window and the village surrounded by walls, in Otranto.
- Cycling along Italy’s most stunning coastal road to Otranto: Baia di Enea
Afraid 7 days cycling is too much? we have the short escape 4 nights from Matera to Adriatic coast
Arrival day - Welcome in Matera
Meet and Greet. After your arrival in Matera and get settled in at your hotel.
Briefing, orientation and bike fitting.
Humans inhabited the canyon's caves 9,000 years ago in what UNESCO calls the most outstanding example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean. Immerge yourself in the otherworldly feel of this ancient town, with its intriguing history and sublime views! On request we arrange a guided walking visit of the Sassi , the ancient Matera districts, and the Park of Rupestrian Churches. Enjoy a dinner in a typical restaurant carved out in the Rock that we will suggest.
Alberobello - Trulli
Bike ride from Matera to Alberobello - You will pass through the small villages of Gioia del Colle and Noci and on to Alberobello, the capital town of Trulli, UNESCO’s world heritage site. Their origin remains a mystery, though we know one thing for sure: trulli, those small, idiosyncratic, conical buildings, provide Puglia with one of its most recognizable features. Distictive, small, dry-stone buildings with a conical roof. There are about 1500 trulli scattered in Monti and Aia Piccola districts
Accommodation in a Trullo house or a restored farmhouse.
Difficult: Hilly route on stretches that are almost flat with brief climbs
Ostuni the white town
Crossing the Itria Valley, with stops in the characteristic Locorotondo and Cisternino, you will reach Ostuni, which is reputed an architectural jewel, and is commonly referred to as “the White Town” for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. It spreads across three hills, amidst its tangle of whitewashed streets you could be in Greece. Ostuni’s winding alleys are covered in bougainvillea and other lush hanging plants and flowers that perfectly accent the brightly coloured doors and windows. The town’s much-photographed Piazza della Libertà boasts a cathedral that was built in the 15th century in the late Gothic/early Renaissance style. The town is also known for its clay figurines, called fischietti, which are actually functioning whistles!
Castles and farmhouses
Cycling south through the quiet country lanes from Ceglie to the charming town of Francavilla Fontana and on to Oria, famous for its 13th Century's Castle and delightful historic centre. You will reach a Masseria, a typical Apulian converted farmhouse, your accommodation for the night. The word masseria means ‘farm’ in Italian and stems from the Latin word massa, meaning “fortified agricultural village.” The Latin definition is quite fitting, since these gorgeous farmhouses dotting Puglia’s coastal landscape are structured much more like castles. First built during the 16th and 17th centuries, these vast areas of land were initially gifted to the nobility under the feudal system.
Gallipoli and the Ionian Coast
Today your route will pass through Porto Selvaggio and skirt the Ionian coast to reach Gallipoli, derived from the Greek word kalépolis meaning "beautiful city." The island heart of Gallipoli is home to numerous impressive Baroque churches and aristocratic palazzi, testament to the town's former wealth as a trading port. A labyrinthine weave of narrow streets all eventually lead to the broader sea-front promenade with its wonderful views
Have a picnic on a sandy beach and try to swim if the weather is nice.
Otranto and far East
Cycling to Otranto,Cycling to Otranto, the route will take you to the wildest and eastern rocky coast of Southern Italy. The sun and the atmosphere is unique in a place where Turkish and Greeks landed centuries ago. Otranto has a wonderful centre with walls and a castle.
Otranto is best appreciated in its amazing cathedral, where the bones of 813 martyrs are displayed in a glass case behind the altar. Less macabre is the cathedral’s other jaw-dropper, its medieval mysterious mosaic floor, a masterpiece.
Lecce, the Baroque gem
Last stage will take you to Lecce, the Baroque town with wonderful façade of buildings and churches. You don’t come by the nickname “the Florence of the South” lightly. But with stunning baroque architecture, gorgeous views of the Salentine Peninsula and an abundance of Puglia’s famous wine and olive oil, Lecce is a work of art unto itself. Take a walk in the beautiful historical center of Lecce, losing yourself among its baroque palaces, do not forget to visit the cathedral and its square, the Church of Santa Croce and Amphitheater. Taste a puccia: local bread filled with salami or vegetables, and the pasticciotto, a delicious pastry, and enjoy shopping and walking in the city centre.
Palazzo Viceconte - MateraThe Palace set in the Matera Sassi UNESCO site area. features beautiful frescoed halls that come with original furniture, and a collection of paintings ranging from the 17th to the 20th century. It is just around the corner from Matera's Duomo cathedral.
Le Alcove - AlberobelloSleeping in the trullo: the suites of Le Alcove will bring you back to timeless stories, as characters of a fairy tale. Beautiful as precious stones encrusted, the roofs are white here, the cone-shaped ceiling and its stones embrace one another like a wizard’s hat, luxury is sober in the centuries-old walls
Ostuni Palace - OstuniThe Ostuni Palace Hotel is a 4 stars luxury hotel in the centre of Ostuni, is astylish places, ancient atmospheres and a suggestive elegance: the most modern comforts with an excellent service will make your visit to this wonderful land special.
Vinilia Wine Resort - ManduriaVinilia Wine Resort was born by the wise and careful renovation of an ancient mansion dating back to the early '900, an antique Castle transformed into a unique experience of style and warmth. Relaxation, comfort, hospitality and privacy are priorities in harmony with the smells, the colors, the flavors of the countryside
Palazzo Presta - Gallipoli
Palazzo dei Mori - OtrantoWho loves the sea and the charm of ancient villages and of history will enjoy Palazzo De Mori! Situated on the bastions of Otranto, in the embroidery of the narrow and winding tiny street of Otranto old centre, near from the little Byzantine church of San Pietro, from the aragonese castle and from cathedral known for its wonderful mosaic.
Palazzo Dei Dondoli - LeccePalazzo Dei Dondoli: charming, boutique style, exclusivity, in the heart of beautiful Lecce art city and Salento. Housed in a residence of the '900,the palace includes within it the charming Court of swings, a small agora, the heart of the palace, who won all the senses.
LUXURY UPGRADE Palazzo Gattini- MateraThe Palazzo, after its ancient and noble scenario, has been renewed and has opened its doors to the town as well as to travelers. Keeping up its lustre in its new life, turned Palazzo Gattini into a historic place of value, giving it new life, sophistication and refinement. Suffused and gentle lighting gives you the pleasant relax and creates warming moments.
Cost: Euro 1790 per person in double occupancy
Single room supplement euro 550
Seven nights in four star superior and luxury hotels
Bike Delivery in Matera and professional bike fitting
Route notes, maps, elevation gain and city map
Sightseeing, restaurant and shopping suggestions
RideWithGPS App: tracks & off-line navigation
All Baggage transfers
Drop Off bikes and gear in Lecce
Keepsake Cicloposse water bottle
Bike Rental for entire tour
Hybrid bike euro 150
Road bike, Gravel, E-Bike euro 230
City Tax each village charges a tax per each day between euro 1 to 4,00.
Bari Airport pick & drop off