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Dig your heels into your cycling vacation aspirations and visit the “heel” of Italy on this seven-day, self-guided tour of Puglia with Pure Adventures Tours. This cycling tour takes you on the best of Italy — a tour that allows you to bike through some of the most beautiful, unique parts of Italy while also getting a feel for the Adriatic. View the region where Frederick II built many towering castles, vineyards, and olive groves. Start in Conversano and take a moderate, but beautiful, eight-day bicycling tour of the Puglian countryside — from the architecture in Alberobello to the coastal town of Otranto. The rolling hills of the region are sure to charm even the most veteran cycling vacation goer.
Plane or train into Bari, then train or taxi to nearby Conversano for tour start. Depart from Otranto by taxi to Lecce and train to Bari, onwards.
Not Included: Choice of Hybrid, Road or E-bike Rental
Included Standard Hotels:
About: Hotels on this tour are usually family owned with local charm, and in central locations for your convenience. All lodging includes a private bathroom and a variety of other amenities. Some upgrades are possible depending on travel date, please inquire within.
Local Expert: On your arrival in Southern Italy, Dave will be on hand with a wealth of local information, charm and enthusiasm. During your thorough bike fit he’ll share the many secrets of this undiscovered region to ensure that you get the very best out of your cycling holiday. Along with our team of dedicated bike mechanics and logistics coordinators, he’ll make sure your vacation runs smoothly so you have maximum time to enjoy the area on two wheels.
Need to Know:
Arrive to Conversano, just inland from Polignano and only a short distance from Bari. To get here, you first need to come to Bari, the capital city of the region. You can reach Bari by plane from Rome (1 hour 20) or by train (4 hours+). Arrive on your own to Conversano at the hotel Corte altavilla or we can arrange a taxi for 85 euros (up to 3 persons). Trains from Bari are possible except on Sundays, when you have to take a bus or taxi.
You will meet our representative today for bike fitting and tour orientation; a time will be set in advance. The beautiful little town of Conversano is set amid a landscape of olive and cherry trees, and has winding alleys and a sun-baked piazza, dominated by the Norman castle and Romanesque cathedral.
If you arrive early, you will have time for a short ride to the small and vibrant fishing village of Polignano a Mare, a postcard perfect whitewashed village overlooking the seaside: Be sure to explore the old town’s narrow, winding streets and marvel at the incredible views of the bright blue sea. We will also recommend the best gelato stop in the region on this route! To do the ride, plan to arrive by 1 pm at the hotel. Please advise us at time of booking.
Meals: on own
Highlights: explore Conversano, castle & cathedral, optional ride
Distance: 29 or 54 km / 18 or 34 miles
Today, you will leave Conversano and cycle towards the Valle d Itria (Itria Valley) and reach old town of Alberobello, with its unique plethora of Trulli houses, the most famous architecture and symbol for which this region is known. Pedal through rolling countryside to the sweet aroma of mint that grows by the roadside and stop to enjoy the little towns of Putignano and Noci, with their characteristic whitewashed houses and narrow alleyways. On arrival in Alberobello, you will meet our local expert Mimmo who will check into your accommodation in one of these unique houses. Dinner on your own.
Distance: 38 km / 24 miles
Highlights: Itria Valley, Alberobello, Trulli houses & stay, beautiful countryside
Spend today roaming around the historic center (UNESCO WHS): Alberobello, a world heritage site and known for nearly conical shaped white 1,000 Trulli dating back to the 13th century, these houses are painted with unusual symbols on their roofs and are framed by rich green farmland. The bike ride we propose is a loop route deep into the valley to visit stunning Locorotondo – nicknamed citta del vino for its excellent dry white spumante (Italian champagne) wine made from verdeca grapes. Here in Locorotondo, meander the atmospheric alleyways bedecked with geraniums and citrus plants. Spin past Martina Franca, a not to be missed town for its marvelously intact historic center, beautiful Baroque architecture, and stunning palazzi, an architectural jewel, splendidly positioned on the hillside. Back to the same hotel with dinner on your own.
A guided walking tour of Alberobello is possible, as well as a mozzarella cheese making/tasting. Ask for a quote to add on these fun and unique experiences!
Distance: 49 km / 30 miles
Highlights: UNESCO site: explore Alberobello, Locorotondo ride & visit, Martina Franca, Baroque architecture
Today, we leave the lovely town of Alberobello and cycle to Pezze di Greco, pedaling down beautiful scenic country lanes lined with weathered stone walls. After progressing over some rolling hills to the edge of the plateau, you will enjoy a long downhill with panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline and the lower fertile plains. This incredible descent will bring you down to Capitolo and south, along an ancient farming road, finishing through a patchwork of almond orchards, olive groves, vineyards, and gloriously colored fields. You will arrive in Pezze di Greco to your home for the night, the pastoral farmhouse Masseria Salamina, full of old-time charm.
You will most likely want to dine at the Masseria tonight, as you are in the countryside. Half board menu is 35 euros/person and includes a fresh and delicious menu of antipasti, a first course, second course with sides, plus dessert. Beverages are additional. This can be added to your tour booking, in advance.
Distance: 43 km / 27 miles, Elevation +222 m / -483 m
Highlights: beautiful scenic downhill, Capitolo, orchards & coastline, farmhouse stay in Pezze di Greco
Overnight: Pezze di Greco
Today, you ride from the Masseria Salamina to Cisternino, one of the most lovely and chic hilltop towns in Puglia. Here you will soak in sweeping views of the Itria Valley below. You then ride past olive groves and rock-strewn fields to the stunning “città bianca” or “white city” of Ostuni. After visiting Ostuni you will enjoy some fabulous views as you coast downhill back to Masseria Salamina. Dinner on your own.
Distance: 65 km / 40 miles, Elevation +680 m / -678 m
Highlights: loop ride, sweeping views of Itria Valley, olive groves, “white city”
Overnight: Pezze di Greco
Today you go via train to Squinzano, and then cycle along the beautiful Salento coast to Otranto. Along the way you can have a lovely local lunch in the Castle town of Acaya. You will ride through numerous olive groves and nearly empty roads to reach the coast and pedal into one of the jewels of all of Puglia: Otranto. Here you will lodge in the gorgeous Relais Valle dell Idro and enjoy lovely evening walks along the giant piazza and the pristine beach. Thanks to its unique location, you will enjoy a panoramic view of all Otranto, of the sea and of the old town center, in which it is possible to admire the architectural beauties of the Otranto martyrs Cathedral, the Byzantine Church of Saint Peter, the old city centre, and much more. There are numerous lovely suggestions for dinner as well as one of the best pizza places in Puglia, located right in the main Piazza.
Distance: 68 km / 42 miles
Highlights: train ride, Salento coast, explore the historic town of Otranto, churches & centre
Today you will pedal along the beautiful coast, south and west of Otranto, where you will see the easternmost and southernmost points of Puglia – both on the same day. You can also visit the Castel di Salve winery on your way to the city of Santa Maria de Leuca, which appears gleaming white as you approach from the sea and is known for its position as De Finibus Terrae (the end of the earth.)
You can make today as relaxing or as challenging as you like, as your route notes cover a loop of 110 km but also make it easy for you to turn around and head back at any time. If you like, you can cycle to Santa Maria di Leuca and then catch a shuttle back (this must be pre-arranged.) And of course, whatever option you choose, it will be easy to find incredible places to stop for traditional local food and sightseeing along the way! Enjoy the same hotel tonight back at Otranto.
Distance: 55 or 110 km / 34 or 68 miles
Highlights: loop ride options, Castel di Salve winery, Santa Maria de Leuca, beautiful coastal views
Departure is today, after breakfast and at your leisure. To depart, we suggest a taxi to Lecce and the train to Bari or Brindisi, where you have either flights or trains to Rome. We can also arrange in advance a transfer to Lecce, Bari, or Brindisi.
Extra night: If you wish to extend the trip by 1 night, we offer the option to ride to Lecce, known as the “Florence of the South”. 37km riding over mostly flat terrain. Ask us for add on rates and information.
Tour Rates: (based on double occupancy)
Superior Four Star Hotels:
Hybrid Bike Rental: 115 euros
Road Bike Rental: 199 euros
E-bike Rental: 275 euros
Bike Rental Details Page
Private transfers are recommended for you to conveniently reach the first hotel on the trip.
– Bari to Conversano for 2-3 persons: 105 euros
– Brindisi to Conversano for 2-3 persons: 150 euros
– Bari to Polignano for 2-3 persons: 105 euros
– Ostuni to Bari for 2-3 persons: 138 euros
– Otranto to Bari for 2-3 persons: 335 euros
– please inquire for other transfer options
A 5 night and 8 night version of this tour is available – ask us for details
Make it Custom: Do you like this tour but want to make it different? Tell us your wishes & we will quote it!
We don’t have words to thank the Pure adventures team for the most wonderful experience we had in Puglia. We are both back home after our tour and reminiscing about our cycle days in Italy. Every single detail and question was handled so professionally by everyone involved. We would not have changed a single detail on our itinerary, everything was perfect and the cooking classes an absolute highlight!
I speak for both of us when I say you should list our itinerary as a permanent tour on your website, absolute winner! You will soon be hearing from our envious friends for bookings!
On a wonderful spring day cycling the narrow roads of Puglia we can across our first trulli, the very charming hobbit-like houses characteristic of the region around Alberobello. We excitedly leaned our bikes against a wall and walked across a farmer’s field to get a closer look. At that moment, we spotted coming up the road what appeared to be a farmer with a station wagon filled with produce. As he stopped and beckoned us closer we thought we were in some strife for trespassing. But no – as he opened his window he reached out to give us handfuls of warm freshly picked cherries. He insisted on giving us more and more cherries until our panniers were overflowing. It was a cherished moment of our trip and the Italian hospitality was repeated on many occasions.
The Puglia cycling tour exceeded our expectations. From scenery to accommodations each day was a pleasant surprise. We will travel to the area again!
This is a beautifil route! Lots of variety in views and terrain. The accommodations were always clean, comfortable and strategically located, enhancing the overall experience. The common complaints were with the equipment. The bike chains commonly slipped or came off. There were only 3 GPS devices for 10 people. The phone App, Ride with GPS, was good until our phone battery died. And more gears for the hillier sections would have been appreciated. Overall, a fantstic tour.
Very enjoyable tour with beautiful scenery and charming towns. Probably a bit more difficult than the “moderate” listing. Not particularly pleased with the bicycles (could use more gears for this terrain) but the local guides were very helpful and responsive to our needs.
Operator’s comment: Thank you for your comments Richard! We have been speaking with our support team about this.