Cycling Puglia's White Villages

Cycling Puglia's White Villages

Updated in 2018! Beautifully situated on the Adriatic Coast between the spur and heel of Italy's "boot" lies Puglia. Nestled against the brilliant blue of the Mediterranean ancient Greek and Italian cultures mingle among hillside vineyards, olive groves, and whitewashed villages. Join us as we begin our bicycling journey in Matera, a world renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, where dwellings carved into limestone caves create an enchanted and ancient stone city. We’ll pedal east toward Alberobello, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, through a landscape filled with unique conical shaped dwellings known as trulli. Finish in the striking “Città Bianca” or “White City” of Ostuni. Along the way you'll enjoy meals prepared with Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern influences and discover the warmth and hospitality of Southern Italy's friendliest people.

If this sounds great but you prefer a longer ride join us on the extended Cycling Puglia's White Villages Plus the Salento which extends this trip.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Sep 13-19, 2020
USD$3900
USD$550
Sold Out - Wait List Available
Sep 20-26, 2020
USD$3900
USD$550
Sold Out!

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Tour Style: Classic Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Request Custom Date Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 7 Days
  • Total Distance / 214 - 234 km (132 - 144 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 43 km (26 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 2.0 Classic
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Matera / Lecce
  • Price / From USD$3900
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Sassi of Matera and trulli of Alberobello, White city of Ostuni, Cheese tasting, Locorotondo, Ancient olive mill visit, Via Traiana

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    There is a van shuttle on Day 3.
  • Includes
    7 days, 6 nights' accommodation; 4 dinners with wine, 1 lunch, 6 breakfasts; guided visit of Matera; guided visit of Alberobello; 1 cheese tasting; and olive mill visit; and the usual (see below).

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Bari (BRI), Naples (NAP) or Brindisi Airport (BDS)
  • Overall Tour Level
    2.0 difficulty level 2.0

    Pavement may be rough or uneven in places.

  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    41km / 315m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 2.5
    3
    47km / 370m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    4
    45km / 435m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    5
    38km / 382m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 2.5
    6
    42km / 361m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    7
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Welcome to Matera

Highlights: Welcome drink, bike fitting, dinner in the “Sassi” of Matera

Arrive in Matera, unique in all of Italy for the cave dwellings that ring the central city. Inhabited by refugee clerics and monks from Greece and the Balkans during the 8th and 9th centuries, the cave churches and domestic dwellings carved into the town's calcarenite or semi-sandstone cliffs at one time housed as many as 25,000 people. Today, the churches and caves are preserved as a World Heritage Site as being the “most outstanding, intact example of a cave-dwelling settlement in the Mediterranean.” Settle into our hotel and enjoy our welcome dinner after fitting bikes.

DAY 2: Matera

Highlights: Guided walk of the Matera's “sassi”, Appian Way

We’ll start the morning with a loop ride exploring Matera’s surroundings. Sights along the way include the fortified Massaria Jesce, which was an ancient Roman “post office” on the Appian Way - one of the most important Roman Roads. We’ll also visit the cave crypt of San Michele Arcangelo with frescoes dating to the 14th century. This afternoon features a guided walk exploring Matera’s history including a typical sassi, a cave dwelling house. Fodor’s has described the sassi as “one of the most unique landscapes in Europe,” on this tour we’ll gain a better understanding for the living conditions of what is believed to be one of the first human settlements in Italy.

  • Distance: 41km (26mi)
  • Gain: 315m (1033ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Locorotondo

Highlights: Cheese tasting, trulli, vineyards

Our day begins with a shuttle to Gioia del Colle, where we’ll learn more about and sample the fresh mozzarella, burrata and stracciatella for which Puglia is renowned. Once we’ve had our fill of cheese we’ll begin our ride through olive groves and vineyards on the way to the “Valle d’Itria” which is the heart of Puglia's trulli region. Trulli are conical shaped dwellings unique to this part of Italy. Originally used as storage sheds for farmers, they quickly became popular as temporary shelters. Our destination is the small but vibrant town of Locorotondo which we’ll call home for the next two nights.

DAY 4: Loop ride to Alberobello

Highlights: Guided tour of Alberobello and learn more about trulli

We’ll pedal to the iconic "trulli" town of Alberobello where we'll have a guided tour to learn more about these conical shaped buildings and the people who built them. Take time to explore this unique town and have lunch on your own before getting back on the bike and heading back to Locorotondo. This afternoon get lost in the whitewashed maze of lanes and historic buildings towering over them.

DAY 5: Bicycle to Ostuni

Highlights: Ostuni - La cittá bianca

Our ride today will take you first through vineyards and olive groves to the whitewashed town of Ostuni. Our hotel is located in the center of this amazing village which spans three hilltops and is crowned by a Gothic cathedral. Destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars in 1st and 2nd Centuries BC, Ostuni was rebuilt by the Greeks and takes its name from them as “Astu néon or "new town". Rebuilt by the Normans in the 10th Century, Ostuni then flourished during the Italian Renaissance under Duchess Isabella of Bari. This is an imposing and beautiful city from afar and within.

  • Distance: 38km (24mi)
  • Gain: 382m (1253ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Loop ride through the Valle d'Itria

Highlights: Ancient olive mill, the beach, Carovigno

We'll take a loop ride from our hotel today through the Valle d'Itria. The first stop will be to visit an underground olive press dating to pre-Roman times and used until the 19th C. Our ride continues on the Via Appia Traiana just before reaching the Adriatic Coast. Built by order of the Roman Emperor Traiano in the 2nd century A.D., the Via Traiana connected Rome to Brindisi, one of the most important ports for commerce with the Middle East. We’ll parallel the coast today with a possible dip at a local beach before continuing to the medieval town of Carovigno and back to our hotel.

  • Distance: 42km (26mi)
  • Gain: 361m (1184ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Farewell

Highlights: Buon viaggio!

Whether you are headed to Brindisi, Bari or Rome we hope you enjoy your travel or trip home. Thanks for joining us in Puglia.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Welcome to Matera

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We suggest flying into the Bari’s Karol Wojtyla Airport, also called Bari Palese (BRI).

  1. Bus from Bari airport Matera ( view PugliAirbus schedules here). The result list will show "Bari Aeroporto" as the departure station and "Matera Piazzale Matteotti" as the arrival station (1 hour 15 min/EUR 3-6)
  2. *Taxi from Matera Bus Station to Day 1 Hotel (10 min/EUR 10-15).
  • or private transfer from the Bari airport to the Day 1 Hotel (1 hour 15 min/EUR 70-100)

*Note: There is a taxi operator on the square where the bus drops off but the office might not be attended on weekends. If you have a reliable arrival time, we will gladly have the hotel send you a taxi to pick you up.

Day 7: Departure Information

Farewell

Your trip ends on the final day after breakfast.

Flying out of the Brindisi-Salento Airport (BDS):

  • Taxi from the ending hotel to the Brindisi Airport (40 min/EUR 55); hotel can help arrange this.

Or public transportation

  1. Taxi from the ending hotel to the Ostuni train station (5min/EUR 15)
  2. Train from Ostuni to Brindisi (no pre-booking necessary) (20 min/EUR 3).
  3. Shuttle Bus from Brindisi to the Brindisi-Salento Airport (35 min/EUR 3)

Flying out of the Bari Airport (BRI):

  • Private transfer from the ending hotel to the Bari Airport (1.5 hours/EUR 90/2 persons)

Or public transportation

  1. Taxi from the ending hotel to the Ostuni train station (5 min/EUR 15)
  2. Train from Ostuni to Bari Centrale (no pre-booking necessary) (1 hour/EUR 6)
  3. Autobus Tempesta from Bari Centrale to the Bari Airport (hourly departures) (30 min/EUR 4)

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

There is a van shuttle on Day 3.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to Departure

  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Classic Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic page.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • Great tour unexpected lovely baroque culture! Lovely countryside.

    Martine S., Paris, France - September 2018
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