Matera to Puglia cycle in Italy

“An eight day, guided moderate level cycling holiday in the regions of Puglia and Basilicata, travelling in a small group, staying at 3 and 4 start hotels along the way. ”

Highlights

Matera | Alberobello | Valle d'Itria | Ostuni | Stay in a masseria | Gallipoli | Otranto | Lecce

Description of Matera to Puglia cycle in Italy

On this week-long cycling holiday in the regions of Basilicata and Puglia, Italy, we cycle from Matera and follow that stunning southern heel in the deep south of Italy, perfectly located between the Adriatic and the Ionian sea. Cycling for six days out of eight, you will weave your way from north to south, starting in Matera, where traditional ‘sassi’ houses abound. Similar architectural curiosities await us on our tracks through Alberobello, which has gained UNESCO World Heritage status for its conical roofed ‘trulli’ houses. Heading further south, to the Adriatic coast, one of our littoral highlights is the ‘White City’ of Ostuni, an ancient town with traditional white houses that clambers its way up the hill through myriad stairways and cobbled streets. Surrounded by olive groves and small rural holdings, the nearby coast had stunning offerings for cool downs after a day in the saddle. Having your bags transferred for you, we stay in 3 and 4 star locally owned hotels, often in traditional Apullian buildings, reliably restored with classiness in mind - this is Italy, after all.
 
Another coastal stop, on the Ionian side this time is Gallipoli, with a new and old town, the latter located on a limestone island which is linked to the main land by a 16th century bridge. As well as its Byzantine castle and Baroque cathedral, it is surrounded by azure sky and water. More Baroque beauty awaits in Lecce, the capital of this Salento peninsula. Which is the perfect finale to a wonderful cycling holiday as we stroll around its myriad churches, palaces and even a Roman amphitheatre.
 
Please note: It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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05 Apr 2020
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26 Apr 2020
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Responsible tourism

Matera to Puglia cycle in Italy

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, and use shops to purchase traditional gifts and crafts. At Basilicata and Puglia fruit markets, for example, clients can lend their businesses to farmers and small vendors selling seasonal fruit: peaches, apricots and cherries in spring; grapes and citrus in autumn.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Our guides can advise where to fill them and where to recycle litter.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
We use a mixture of hotels and spend one night in a typical Masseria (a traditional converted farmhouse) surrounded by olive groves. All of the accommodation we have selected is run by local people, which is good for the community. Where meals are provided, local and organic ingredients are used wherever possible. There will be a range of delicious Italian food on offer over the trip and guides encourage clients to use the large range of local restaurants and cafes at dinner. Regional specialties include Orecchiette served with a sauce of turnip-tops or fresh tomato and sheep's ricotta-cheese, aubergine and parmesan bake, roasted peppers, fresh seafood, burrata (soft mozzarella and cream cheese), mozzarella and Caciocavallo sheep's cheese.

Local Craft and Culture:
At Locorotondo we organise a regional wine tasting- which is exceptional in this area and goes towards supporting local production. We also visit a number of religious and historical sites along our route like the Grotta Zinzulusa, the thermal baths of Santa Cesarea Terme and the Baroque city of Lecce, which is home to over 40 churches, palaces and a Roman amphitheatre. By making donations and using businesses which surround these sites, we are ensuring that the community benefits from our tourism.

Charity:
Every year we sponsor and support Bicincittΰ, which is a national Italian bike ride organized every year by UISP ( Unione Italiana Sport Per Tutti). This organisation run several events year round and aims to promote social inclusion for sporting activities all over the country. This particular bike ride is open to all and campaigns for mobility and sustainability of the community and surrounding environment.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

1 Reviews of Matera to Puglia cycle in Italy

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 16 Sep 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The itinerary is beautiful, except for some bits where you ride in some areas
devastated by the fires in 2017. Great to meet people from all over the world. Also, is very stunning to watch the sunset in the Atlantic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Expect a very leisurely pace, less than 20 km/h in average and four stops a day, and do some hills after lunch. You should expect to arrive at the hotel at 4 pm or
more by the plan. The average age of the group is 55-65 years old. Generally, good hotels are chosen, however, the Literary Man in Obidos is not worth it, except for its breakfast.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Do it with self-guided if you can cycle for 30 km around 2 hours non-stop and you want to do some exercise. The group is guided at a very leisurely pace and does four stops each day at least, adding some extra photo stops.

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