Coastline and Culture of Italy's Heel

Apulia is a region in south-eastern Italy that includes the heel part of Italy’s boot, suspended between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea. The region is characterised by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards.

You start cycling in Matera, UNESCO world heritage site with its “sassi” and European capital of culture 2019, and arrive in Lecce, also known as “Florence of the South” because of its magnificent baroque architecture.

This bike tour will lead you into a region of scenic beauty, which is, by today’s standards, still unspoiled by the unattractive aspects of tourism and still retains testimony of its great and ancient culture.

These self guided tours run from January to December 2019

Itinerary & prices - see below

Getting here

- we can arrange airport transfers from Bari or Brindisi Airport

  • Day 1: Matera

    Individual arrival in MATERA.

     

    Famous for its Sassi and stunning landscapes, Matera, located on the border of Basilicata and Puglia, is not only breathtaking, but fascinating: Its history goes back more than 30,000 years. 

    There are several rupestrian churches open to the public, a reproduction of a typical cave house that you can visit, and refurbished caves made into hotels and restaurants.

    The sassi districts are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (If you arrive late at night, we suggest you an extra stay in this wonderful and unique city).

    Overnight stay in Matera.


  • Day 2: Matera – Alberobello (70 km)

    Alberobello is situated upon two hills. On the eastern hill is the new town. On the western hill, the trulli are lined up in an urban conglomeration, subdivided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both World Heritage sites.

    Bike and road map delivery with route description today

    Today you will cycle through the southern part of the Murgia to reach one of the most peculiar cities in Italy, ALBEROBELLO, universally-known as the capital of the Trulli, distinctive, small, dry-stone buildings with a conical roof. 

    There are about 1500 trulli scattered in Monti and Aia Piccola districts, both listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1996. 

    Overnight stay in Alberobello.


  • Day 3: Alberobello – Ostuni (45 km)

    Today you will ride over the hills dominating the Itria Valley.

    Nature lovers will not be disappointed: With its still expanses of olive trees as far as the eye can see, the Itria Valley is red soil, green groves and vineyards, and white trullo houses under a serene blue sky – essentially, a marvelous chromatic effect that repeats itself several times over. 

    Before reaching your final destination, we suggest you to stop first in LOCOROTONDO for a typical Italian aperitif tasting the white wine produced in this region, second in MARTINA FRANCA, for a short visit to its marvellously intact historic centre, its beautiful square, and stunning Palazzi, and last but not least in CISTERNINOfor a lunch break, maybe in one of its typical butcher shops, where you can choose the meat you want to eat and they cook it for you. Finally you'll cycle to OSTUNI, the White City, whose whitewashed arches and houses shine like a pearly white tiara, extending across three hills with the magnificent gem of a cathedral as its sparkling centrepiece. 

    Overnight stay in Ostuni.


  • Day 4: Ostuni – Lecce – Gallipoli (70 km by train + 50 km by bike)

    Today you will travel by train from Ostuni to LECCE (55 minutes, 0 changes, ticket Eur 5.50 not included);

    You can carry your bike for FREE on regional rails (train timetables).

    You can spend the day visiting this wonderful city, walking around its streets and alleys. Bequeathed with a generous stash of baroque buildings by its 17th-century architects, the city has a completeness and homogeneity that other southern Italian metropolises lack. 

    Don't forget to visit Piazza Duomo and Piazza Sant'Oronzo with its amphitheatre, and the Basilica of Santa Croce. 

    Overnight stay in Lecce.


  • Day 5: Lecce – Otranto (50 km)

    Leaving Lecce, after a short ride you'll reach ACAYA, a very small fortified town built by the emperor Charles V in order to protect the coast and the inland against the invasions of the Ottoman Empire.

    The rest of today's stage runs along the Adriatic coast: you will cycle to the seaside village of TORRE DELL’ORSO where you have the opportunity to swim in the suggestive Grotta della Poesia, to sunbathe, and relax.

    Cycling along the Alimini Lakes, you'll finally get to OTRANTO

    If you want you can have a delicious seafood dinner and take a walk throughout the historic centre and maybe buy some souvenirs from the numerous little shops.

    Overnight stay in Otranto. (About 50 km)


  • Day 6: Otranto - Gallipoli (60 km)

    Today your tour will lead you from the Adriatic to the Ionian coast. In the heart of the Grecia Salentinayou will cross the small towns of MELPIGNANO, crowded with more than one hundred thousand visitors during the Night of the Taranta, which takes place in August, and of CORIGLIANO D'ORANTO, where ancient "Grikois still spoken by elderly people. From here you will cycle to your destination: GALLIPOLI

    Don't miss the chance to spend your evening evening strolling around the beautiful streets of the old town and to have a drink at sunset at one of the many bars overlooking the sea.

    Overnight stay in Gallipoli. (about 60 Km)


  • Day 7: Gallipoli – Lecce (50 km)

    Today's first stops are GALATONE, where you can visit the Sanctuary of the Crucifix, and GALATINA. 

    Take time to visit the Mother-Church and the Basilica of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria with its 15th-century frescoes.

    Then you'll cycle back to LECCE. Use your time to wander among the numerous alleys of the historic centre where the Baroque art shows itself also in the decorated balconies and terraces of private homes. 

    Ovenight stay in Lecce. (about 50 km)


  • Day 8: Lecce

    Individual departure after breakfast.

     


  • 3* accom Italy's heel


    EN-SUITE

    The hotels of this tour are 3* hotels (in Alberobello in some cases a typical “widespread hotel”, the so called “trulli”). All rooms have en suite facilities; in the Trulli accommodation there is no air conditioning.

    When you book the tour please specify the type of room requested:

    • double room is a room with one double bed
    • twin room is a room with two single beds
    • triple room is usually a room with one double bed and a single bed or a roll away.

  • 4* accom Italy's heel


    EN-SUITE

    The hotels of this tour are 4* hotels (in Alberobello in some cases a typical “widespread hotel”, the so called “trulli”).

    All rooms have en suite facilities; in the Trulli accommodation there is no air conditioning.

     

3* accom Italy's heel

Travel Dates Availability Package Price
From
To
Price per person based on std occ
23/09/2019 20/12/2019 On request £656 REQUEST NOW

4* accom Italy's heel

Travel Dates Availability Package Price
From
To
Price per person based on std occ
23/09/2019 20/12/2019 On request £937 REQUEST NOW
  • Holidays Insurance


    Compulsory when traveling - ensure you have travel insurance ...there are many policies available and many search options to find policies - see our multi-activity policy that covers our activities

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  • Meet & greet


    Meet & greet No need to struggle with heavy luggage or equipment and no need to take a shuttle bus - Simply drive to the terminal forecourt where you will be met by a uniformed driver who will take all the stress away from you.

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Summary

The total length of this cycle tour is 254km with most of it being on road.  

The terrain is mostly centred around the lowlands with some hill climbs on different days.  Traffic is almost non existent in Apulia except during the high holiday season.  The route includes very beautiful stretches on the coast.

The cycling is easy to moderate - some days flat, others with some hills. Suitable for everyone with some cycling experience and generally in good physical condition.

At a glance

Tour type: Self-guided Tour
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Departures:
 any day in the week all year long.
Participants: Minimum of 2

Level of difficulty: easy / medium - 254 kilometers
Bikes: Hybrid Bike
Offered Service: Bed and Breakfast
Luggage Transportation: Your luggage will be delivered to your next accomodation every day.

Other things to consider

  • Local taxes (approx 10-15 €)
  • Everything not mentioned in the section “included”

Bikes & Accessories

Hybrid bikes included:

FRAME Crossway TFS-D-Single
FORK SR Suntour NCX Lite D-RL 63
DERAILLEUR FRONT Shimano Deore-48
DERAILLEUR REAR Shimano Deore XT-T
SHIFTER Shimano Deore
BRAKE LEVER Attached
BRAKES Shimano M445 160 mm Cen
CHAINWHEEL SR Suntour NCX-FX-10s 48A-36-26 CG
HANDLEBAR STEM Adjustable Pro OS A-Head
HANDLEBAR Merida Comp OS 620 R25
WEIGHT 12.90 kg

Prefer an e-bike - do get in touch and we can quote for you

Holiday insurance

Holiday insurance is a requirement when booking our holidays

If you have a policy in place - that's great - if not the policy on our site is available from MPI  This covers all the key areas.

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