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Join us in this 13 day cycling tour starting from the hills of the Alta Murgia and ending in Otranto, the most eastern town of Italy. Day by day, you will learn the history of this area, discover wild landscapes and taste its great food, falling in love with the “heel of the boot” of Italy.
Itinerary: Trani - Castel del Monte - Gravina di Puglia - Altamura - Matera - Lago di San Giuliano - Montescaglioso - Alberobello - Ostuni - Francavilla Fontana - Gallipoli - Leuca - Otranto - Lecce
Day 1: Trani
Independent arrival in Trani and get settled in at your hotel. Trani is an old town facing the Adriatic Sea. There is a
lovely historical centre, Romanesque Cathedral, castle, gardens and old port where we suggest you to have lunch,
choosing from the fish menu at one of the small restaurants.
Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Day 2: Castel del Monte
The route passes through the olive fields and stops in Castel del Monte, a UNESCO site and example of medieval
architecture as built by the emperor Frederick II. After visiting the castle, which offers a wonderful view of the “Alta
Murgia”, you get settled in at a nice hotel with swimming pool. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Distance: Approx. 45 km
Day 3: Gravina di Puglia
Leave the marvellous meadowlands in the park and head for the valley until you come to the town of Gravina di
Puglia, along semi-deserted roads where time seems to stand still. The town, which dates back to the 8th century
B.C., unfolds over the centuries with amazing evidence of the various civilizations. Don’t miss a visit to the
underground town and historical centre. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Distance: about 57 km
Grade: Easy hilly route with short climbs
Day 4: Altamura and Matera
Head for the town of Altamura, which is famous for its splendid cathedral and bread. Don’t miss a ride through the
streets in the historical centre, beneath the cathedral bell-tower and taste some fresh focaccia baked in an old woodburning
oven. Set off again for the countryside towards the built-up town of Matera, which is just a few kilometres
Arrival in the old part of the town called the “Sassi” and accommodation in a hotel in the historical centre.
Don’t miss a visit to the rock churches and city’s museums. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Distance: 46 km
Grade: Uphill route with short climbs
Day 5: Day of rest at Matera
Enjoy a relaxing day visiting the city of Matera. A leisurely walk will enable you to visit: museums, rock churches.
(entrance fees not included).
Alternatively, you have the choice of two routes that give you the chance to explore the surrounding area:
Day 5: LOOP 1 - Matera, San Giuliano Lake - Gravina di Picciano - Matera
San Giuliano Lake, the Matera hills and the Crypt of Original Sin Follow the beautiful, deserted road around the San
Giuliano Lake, a peaceful wildlife reserve for migratory species from Africa. Stop to watch the herons, cormorants,
storks and ospreys. A stop-off at the lake is recommended for a picnic. Don’t miss a visit to the Crypt of Original Sin.
To reach the crypt, a natural cavern that falls sheer to the “Gravina di Picciano”, cross the silent path of Pietrapenta,
through cornfields and vineyards. This fascinating rock oratory represents one of the oldest examples of rock art in
the South of Italy. Its extraordinary cycle of frescoes painted five hundred years before Giotto, highlights the typical
features of Benedictine-Beneventan art (8th -9th centuries). Payment on entry (8 euros per person) and subject to
Return to Matera back up the hill.
Distance: about 40 km
Grade: Average/easy route with a short climb at the end.
Day 5: LOOP 2 - Matera, the Bradano Valley, Montescaglioso, Matera
Cycle along the valley of the Rock Church Park, stopping off for a picnic break and a dip in the pool of a tourist farm
along the way (subject to booking). If you still have enough energy, a 5 km climb will take you to the centre of
Montescaglioso, which is dominated by the impressive 11th century Benedictine Abbey. Return to Matera and
Distance: about 58 km with a short climb at the end. (that can be reduced to 40 km with a variation)
Grade: Average/easy route with good climbs for cycling (Matera and Montescaglioso)
Day 6: From Matera to Alberobello
Breakfast and departure for Alberobello. Go through the towns of Gioia del Colle and Noci until you reach
Alberobello. Accommodation in a Trulli complex dating back to 1600, in the historical centre of Alberobello, which is
included among UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Visit the old quarters. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Distance: about Km. 69.
Grade: Hilly route on stretches that are almost flat with brief climbs
Day 7: Ostuni “the White”
Cycling through the Selva (forest) near Fasano, you follow the Adriatic coast and 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. Get situated at your Hotel. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Distance: about 45 km
Day 8: Castles and farmhouses
Cycling south through the quiet country lanes to the charming town of Francavilla Fontana and on to Oria, famous for
its 13th Century’s Castle and delightful historic centre. We continue through the countryside to a Masseria, a typical
Apulian converted farmhouse and our accommodation for the night.
Distance: about 55 km
Day 9: 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.” Get situated at your Hotel near the seaside. Dinner on your own and
Distance: about 60 km
Day 10: Leuca, the Heel of the Boot
Reach the Heel of the Boot cycling near sandy beaches facing the Ionian Sea. Santa Maria di Leuca was called in
Latin the “Finibus Terrae”, the end of the land.
Distance: about 45 km
Day 11: Far East
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. A masterpiece is the mysterious mosaic, in the Romanesque Cathedral. Dinner on your own.
Back to your hotel and overnight stay.
Distance: about 45 km
Day 12: Lecce, the Baroque gem
Last stage will take you to Lecce, the Baroque town with wonderful façade of buildings and churches. Taste a puccia
(local bread filled with salami or vegetables) or a pasticciotto (delicious pastry), and enjoy shopping and walking in
the city centre. Get situated at your Hotel. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Distance: about 45 km
Day 13: Breakfast and end of services
Characteristics: 11 days on a bicycle, on average/easy hilly terrain
Total distance: about 550 km
Daily distance: from 40 to 69 km to be covered in 4 – 8 hours
Route: scenic and hilly
Climate: pleasant in autumn, ideal in spring. Not recommended mid-summer
Hotels: 3 star hotels and farm holidays.
Nearest arrival airport: Bari (50 km.)
Nearest departure airport: Brindisi (40 km.)
Railways: Trani is well connected by the national railway service (TRENITALIA). There are also other local railways
(Gravina, Altamura, Gioia del Colle, Noci and Alberobello) along the way.
Bikes on trains travel for free in Apulia
The tour unwinds largely on secondary roads with little traffic. Mainly on asphalt that is suitable for road bikes. The
area is predominantly hilly with short, easy climbs near some of the towns.
The package includes:
- 12 overnight stays in double room with breakfast
- Luggage transportation
- Briefing and delivery of bicycles
- Technical and emergency assistance
- Detailed map and road book in English
The package doesn't include:
- International flights
- Italian Visa, if applicable
- Transportation to and from starting and ending point of the tour (we can arrange it for you)
- Bike rental
- Travel insurance (medical and luggage insurance)
- Entrance fees to monuments or museums, unless otherwise specified
- Drinks and meals not specified in the program
- City taxes, to be paid onsite according to each city council rules
- Anything that is not mentioned in “The package includes”