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Italy - Apulia

Italy - Apulia

Degree of difficulty - B

Apulia (Italian name: Puglia) is a region in south-eastern Italy that includes the heel part of Italy's boot. It is bordered by the sea on two sides (the Adriatic Sea in the east and the Ionian Sea to the southeast). The region is characterized by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards. The charm of this tour is that it leads 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.

Your tour starts in the town of Matera.   Over millenia, inhabitants of the region have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies, a characteristic honey-coloured soft stone.   Today a world heritage site.     Your journey take you to Ostuni, an architectural jewel, commonly referred to as the "White town" for its white walls and its typically white painted architecture.   The cycle finishes up in Lecce,  which thanks to its Baroque style,  has earned the nickname of "Florence of the South".

The tour is mostly in lowlands,  sometimes hilly.  Traffic is almost non existent in Apulia ( except in the high holiday season ).  The route includes some very beautiful stretches along the coast.  

It is possible to organise a shorter version of this tour ( 5 nights ), please email our office for more details on this.

Day 1 Arrival in Matera.
For millennia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honeycoloured soft stone. These houses are called “Sassi” and are today a World Heritage site.

Day 2 Matera–Alberobello (70 km, elevation up 400 m)
You cycle to the famous trulli of Alberobello and Locorotondo. Trulli were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Alberobello is situated upon two hills, once separated by a riverbed. On the eastern hill is the new town, with modern architectural features. On the western hill, the trulli are lined up in an urban conglomeration, subdivided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both National Monuments from 1930, and today World Heritage sites.

Day 3 Alberobello–Ostuni (45 km, elevation up 280 m)
You cycle through the countryside to Ostuni, which is reputed as an architectural jewel, and is commonly referred to as “the White Town” for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture.

Day 4 Ostuni–Lecce–Gallipoli (70 km train+50 km by bike, elevation up 70m)
A train transfer brings you to Lecce. After a few Kilometers through this amazing Baroque town, you go deep into “salentinian countryside”, before approaching the Ionian coast and your daily destination, Gallipoli.

Day 5 Gallipoli–Santa Maria di Leuca (50 km, elevation up 50 m)
Cycling further along the coast you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca. The name Santa Maria di Leuca was given by the ancient Greek sailors who came from the East. They saw this place lightened by the sun and therefore called it "leukos”, meaning white. Santa Maria di Leuca is a famous seaside resort and a fishing area.

Day 6 Santa Maria di Leuca–Otranto (50 km, elevation up 550 m)
Today you will cycle northwards along the Adriatic coast to Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy where you can visit the beautiful Cathedral and the great Aragonese Castle.

Day 7 Otranto–Lecce (55 km, elevation up 100 m)
Riding along the Alimini Lakes and their unique Mediterranean bush you will enter Lecce. Thanks to its Baroque style, it has earned the nickname of Florence of the South. You will come to appreciate the rich sculpted motives done in the 17th-century with the tender stone from Lecce. The old town enclosed by what is left of the ancient walls, bears the impression of that exuberant period.

Day 8 Lecce
Departure after breakfast. Possibility to book extra nights.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.


Low Season                                                       24th March - 28th April &  29th September - 18th October
€770 per person sharing
€970 single occupancy

High Season :                                                   30th April - 16th June & 25th August - 29th September
€830 per person sharing
€1030 single occupancy

Reduction:   €100 for the 3rd person in room


Tour Includes

  • 7 nights hotel accommodation ( mixture of 3* & 4*hotels )
  • Bike Rental ( unisex / ladies frames )
  • Breakfast buffet
  • Welcome briefing in English
  • Luggage transportation
  • Route descriptions & maps
  • 7-days Hotline service 
  • Train transfer from Ostuni to Lecee
  • €110 supplement for e-bike ( subject to availability )
  • Local hotel taxes are not included ( approx €10 - €15 )

Self Guided Tour Information

Every Saturday from March 24 to June 15 & from August 24 to October 18 And Fridays from May 10 to June 7 & Sept 6 to Sept 27 Special departure dates can be organised for a group of at least 5 persons!

On this tour we use a mix of guesthouses and small hotels.
Below is a list of places that we typically use, although of course this is depending on availability.


locandadisanmartino locandadisanmartino2 locandadisanmartino4

Day 1: Locanda di San Martino


Trullidea Trullidea 2 Trullidea 3

Day 2: Trullidea Resort


laterrahotel1 laterrahotel2 laterrahotel3

Day 3: Hotel La Terra


Hotel33Baroni1 Hotel33Baroni2 Hotel33Baroni3JPG

Day 4: Hotel 33 Baroni


Hotelapprodo4 Hotelapprodo1 Hotelapprodo3

Day 5: Hotel L'Approdo


Hotelsangiouseppeotranto1 Hotelsangiouseppeotranto2 Hotelsangiouseppeotranto3

Day 6: Hotel San Giuseppe


Hoteleos1 Hoteleos2 Hoteleos3

Day 7: EOS Hotel

How to get to the start point in Matera: 

The closest major airport to Matera, Italy is Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI / LIBD). This airport
is in Bari, Italy and is 64 km from the center of Matera, Italy. If you're looking for international or domestic flights to BRI, check the airlines that fly to BRI on SkyScanner.

Option to book transfers:

Bari – Matera: €50 per person (min. 2 pax)
Lecce – Matera: on request
Lecce – Bari: on request

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Tour map

We had a great tour!  I was very impressed with the accommodations and the breakfasts were superlative.  I especially loved Trullidea Resort.  The bikes were great; just what we needed on those bumpy Italian roads.

Michelle (Apulia Sept 2018)

We had a great time.  I thought all the hotels were very unique to the area and staff incredibly welcoming.  
Would recommend your cycling safaris to anyone!

Amy Phillips (Apulia 2015)

The Apulia trip was a great success. The food was spectacular, reasonably priced and of a high quality, the best food I have tasted to date in Italy.

Alex B. (Apulia 2014)

I highly recommend this trip through historic sites, olive orchards galore, vineyards, and the beautiful Mediterranean!

Barbara B. (Apulia self led 2014)

It was a wonderful adventure. The World Heritage sites of Matera, where our hotel room was a former caver, and Alberobello, where our room was a truly, were fascinating. The four day coast road cycle fronting first the Ionian, then the Adriatic sea, was both beautiful and full of a sense of history going back millennia!

Barbara B. (Apulia self led 2014)

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168


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Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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