BASILICATA & APULIA: THE HEEL OF THE ITALIAN BOOT

An 8 day self guided or group cycling tour

Enjoy a week cycling in the heel of the Italian boot, surrounded by rolling hills covered with olive groves, vineyards and oak forests. You cycle through sunny valleys, small villages, past old farmhouses and enjoy local delicacies and good wines. The journey begins in Basilicata, in Matera and Alberobello, both on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. You continue cycling to the southern Puglia with its sandy beaches, dunes and many nature reserves. It is the area of the old Messapi civilizations, rock settlements and castles. You will reach the Itria Valley, a karst area, also called the Valley of the 'Trulli' because of the thousands of limestone structures (named in Italian trullo), which are characterized by a conical roof and are often decorated with primitive, Christian or magical symbols. The last days are dedicated to the Salento and this means sun, sea, wind and the remarkable nature of this strip of land, enclosed between two seas. You are immersed in the southern atmosphere of the picturesque towns and villages, where language, music and local festivals still exhibit traces of the Magna Grecia. Here is also the capital of the southern Italian baroque, the beautiful town of Lecce. Beauty, sun, a rich cultural past, deep-rooted traditions, delicious Mediterranean cuisine and especially the warmth and hospitality of its inhabitants will  make this an unforgettable holiday.

 

 

 

Programme

 

Day 1

Arrival at Matera 

Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera" (meaning stones of Matera"). The Sassi originate from a prehistoric (troglodyte) settlement, and are suspected to be some of the first human settlements in Italy. The Sassi are houses dug into the tuff rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia. Many of these "houses" are really only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi often are located on the rooftops of other houses. There are also many baroque squares, where you can enjoy a good glass of wine on one of the many terraces. On request you can book a guided tour through the Sassi

 

Day 2

A loop to visit Altamura

You cross the Murge plateau and reach Altamura, famous for its impressive cathedral and the special bread (focaccia). Take time to cycle through the beautiful centre and to taste the focaccia, baked in an old wood oven. You cycle back to Matera and then enjoy a cappuccino or gelato on one of the baroque squares.

Distance: 59 km / 37 miles (hilly landscape with short climbs)

 

Day 3

Matera – Alberobello

You will pass through the small villages of Gioia del Colle and Noci and on to Alberobello, the capital town of “trulli” , an UNESCO world heritage site. A Trullo is a traditional Apulian stone dwelling with a conical roof. The style of construction is specific for the Itria Valley (in Italian: Valle d’Itria ), in the Murge area of the Italian region of Apulia (in Italian: Puglia). Trulli were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Traditionally they were built without any cement or mortar, thus avoiding taxation. Accommodation in the historical centre in a trullo dating from 1600. Visit of the city and overnight stay.  

Distance: 69 km / 43 miles (hilly route alternated with flat terrain, short climbs)

 

Day 4

Alberobello - Cisternino – Castellana grotte-Alberobello

Today you make a ride towards the Itria Valley, a lovely landscape with many trees, authentic villages ... and the magical Trulli. Valley is actually not a proper name, because it is not a typical valley in a mountain landscape, but the valley is formed by karst subsidence. You pass Cisternino, which has the typical construction for this region: an old historic centre, consisting of whitewashed stone buildings with cool, shaded interiors, a maze of alleys and many churches. You climb out of the Itria Valley to arrive at Castellana Grotte, where large caves can be seen. You return to Alberobello for your overnight stay in the Trullo.

Distance: 45 km / 28 miles; easy

 

Day 5

Ostuni, the white city 

You cycle through the Selva di Fasano and follow the Adriatic coast to Ostuni, an architectural gem. It is called the 'White City' because of its whitewashed houses and churches. Overnight at hotel.

 

Distance: 45 km / 28 miles; easy

 

Day 6

Far East

After breakfast, you take the train and go to the beautiful baroque city of Lecce. Here you can see beautiful baroque facades of churches and palaces. You can taste the delicious Puccia (a local bread stuffed with salami and vegetables) or a pasticciotto (pie). After your visit of Lecce you ride along the coastal road to Otranto. Overnight in a hotel: breakfast

 

Distance: 45 km / 28 miles + 70 km/ 44 miles by train; an easy route

 

 

Day 7

A loop: Otranto – Porto Badisco – S. Cesarea – Otranto

Otranto has a nice old walled centre with a castle. A masterpiece is the mysterious mosaic in the Romanesque cathedral. The route follows the typical southern Italian jagged rocky coast. The sun and the stunning views are unique in this area where once the Turks and Greeks landed.  Overnight stay in hotel

Distance: 45 km / 28 miles; easy route

 

Day 8

Departure after breakfastt 

 

 

 

 

In the self guided tour is included:

  • 7 overnight stays with breakfast in standard or deluxe hotels

  • luggage transportation

  • road book in English or Italian 

  • back up service

     

In the group tour (min 6 persons) is included:

·         7 overnight stays with breakfast in standard or deluxe hotels

·         7 evening meals (only deluxe tour)

·         a tour leader

·         a guided tour through the Sassi of Matera

·         transfer from and to Matera – airport Bari APT

·         luggage transportation

·         assistance

·         road book in English or Italian

 

 

Period 

Self guided tour: daily from March till June and from September to November. On request also summer months (hot and less availability of hotels), but best cycle climate is in Springtime and Autumn  Group tour: every Saturday on request with min. 6 people

Level 2

Easy; Flat landscape alternated with some hills / mostly flat along the shore. The climbs are short. Daily distances between 40 km / 25 miles and 69 km / 43 miles. Total distance: 280 km / 174 miles

Participants

Self guided tour: minimum two persons Groups tour: minimum 6 persons

Price p.p. 2017 

Self guided standard hotels

In double room    € 750,00
Starting on Saturday in double room  € 690,00

Supplement single room    € 195,00

Half board supplement on request

Self guided Deluxe hotels:  

In double room      € 1.090,00
Starting on Saturday in double room € 990,00

Supplement single room € 255,00

Half board supplement on request
Group tour standard hotels

In double room B&B  € 1.120,00

Supplement single room   € 240,00

Group tour deluxe hotels

In double room with half board  € 1.470,00

Supplement single room   € 390,00

Bike rental 6 days hybrid bike     € 80,00

Ebike or road bike rental  € 150,00

Transfer Bari airport - Matera (min 2 persons)     € 35,00    

Transfer Matera -Bari airport € 35,00

                                                

                

Please contact us if you want to receive more information