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Having orecchiette pasta for lunch, riding through sun-soaked olive groves, sipping on Aperol Spritz, exploring towns that you thought existed only in paintings… Sounds like a dream? It doesn’t have to be. This is just a tiny portion of what you can expect if you go on this 8-day self-guided bike tour of Italy’s southeast—the fairytale Puglia region. Not to mention it’s far less crowded than Rome, Florence, Tuscany… In Puglia you’ll find beauty all around you, whether it’s the purple bougainvilleas in the trulli (smurfs-like huts) capital of Alberobello or the caves of ravine-carved Matera. This trip will stay with you for life and you’ll want to come back to the heel of Italy again and again.

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  • Food is a good enough reason to come here

    Try orecchiette pasta, burrata cheese, focaccias, pasticciotto dessert, frisella bread… And many other tasty Italian dishes

  • Feel the salty breeze while basking in the sun

    We’ll pedal through both the pastoral and lush countryside as well as discover the coast

  • Discover Puglia’s best-ofs by bike

    Visit Polignano a Mare, Alberobello, Matera, Lecce, Gravina, Ostuni… Incredibly unique and spectacular places

Itinerary

Italy’s Puglia is gorgeous all year round, but spring and fall are the best for exploring—the pleasant Mediterranean climate, far less people than in other destinations in Italy, and still likely warm enough for a dip in the sea. This is an 8-day self-guided bike tour in Puglia, carefully crafted by local experts, in order to bring you the region’s best-ofs. All breakfasts are included, as well as charming accommodation, all route instructions, as well as luggage and airport transfers. Cycling is beginner-friendly, as long as you have a decent level of fitness. The only warning, though, is that once you get here, you’ll have a hard time leaving this spectacular place.

  • You will be met at Bari Airport and transferred to your accommodation in Gravina (transfer approx. 1 hour). A local representative will fit you to your bikes (if renting) and hold a welcome meeting. It’s a good chance to ask any questions you may have about the week ahead!

    If you get the chance, it’s worth exploring the historic center of Gravina. Highlights of the city, the birthplace of Pope Benedetto XIII, include the main Basilica, the many rock cut churches, including the sanctuary of Madonna della Stella, and the spectacular Ponte Acquedotto Bridge spanning the local gorge (featured in a James Bond movie)!

    Accommodation: Three-star hotel, B&B, or guesthouse

    Gravina bridge above gorge
  • Heading out on your bikes this morning, you’ll loop round through Murgia as you cycle through a picturesque landscape of open fields and countryside. Your ride today will end with a climb up to the awe-inspiring Matera, perched on a rocky outcrop.

    Matera, known as the City of Caves, is a wonderful place to explore. As the distance today is a little shorter than other days, you should have some extra time for exploring. You could either set off a bit later, and explore Gravina a bit more in the morning, or head straight for Matera and spend some more time there.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 22 miles / 36 km
    Elevation gain: 1,315 ft / 400 m
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel, B&B, or guesthouse

    Matera before sunrise in Italy
  • Today you’ll leave Matera following quiet country roads through glorious Apulian countryside. You’ll follow a rollercoaster route, surrounded by olive trees, as you reach the famous area of the Trulli houses. Look out for authentic houses scattered along the route, as you make your way towards Alberobello: the trulli capital of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A thousand trulli houses, many of which are still lived in, will transport you to an entirely different time. Grab the opportunity to explore these houses and charming streets around Alberobello after your cycling.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 43 miles / 70 km
    Elevation gain: 1,805 ft / 550 m
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel, B&B, or guesthouse

    Alberobello trulli and flowers
  • Today you’ll follow a circular route, leading you through the quintessential Apulian landscape. The Valle d‘Itria boasts quiet country roads and cycle paths that offer relaxed and varied cycling. Your route will lead you through Putignano and Castellana, where you’ll have the option to visit an impressive underground cave system (payable locally). You’ll once again be spending the night in Alberobello, where you can indulge in some delicious local cuisine, as well as visit the impressive basilica.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 29 miles / 50 km
    Elevation gain: 1,805 ft / 550 m
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel, B&B, or guesthouse

    Magical Alberobello by night
  • Today you’ll be riding through the historically-rich Murgia degli Trulli area along quiet roads surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and traditional masserie (typical farmhouses of Puglia). You’ll pass through the medieval towns of Cisternino and Locorotondo, both of which are worth jumping off your bikes to explore their centers. Cisternino has a spectacular viewpoint, from where you can see the lush Valle d‘Itria.

    Your destination for today is Ostuni, known as the White City, which has a rich history and is a beautiful base for the evening. You can spend the evening exploring Ostuni’s narrow streets within its walls, stopping to admire the 15th-century Gothic cathedral.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 28 miles / 45 km
    Elevation gain: 1,315 ft / 400 m
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel, B&B, or guesthouse

    White facades of Ostuni in Puglia
  • Today is a day off the bikes, and your guiding company recommends visiting Lecce! A short ride will take you to Ostuni train station where you can leave your bikes and board the train (tickets not included). Upon arrival into Lecce, you’ll discover a brilliant city full of wonderful palaces and treasures that will leave you stunned. Lecce is known as the Florence of the South with magnificent Baroque churches and squares waiting to be discovered. It also offers a range of wine bars and restaurants, serving up fresh, local produce. Jumping on the train back to Ostuni, you should have plenty of time to spend another relaxing evening in this beautiful city.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel, B&B, or guesthouse

    Ruins of Roman theater in Lecce
  • Today you’ll make your way to the coast! Leaving Ostuni behind, you’ll head for the Adriatic enjoying a mix of countryside and coastal riding. En route, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the ancient town of Egnazia, the best Roman ruins in the region.

    Following the coastline, you’ll make your way to Monopoli, offering a charming mix of Norman, Venetian-Byzantine and Arabic architecture. It’s a great place to stop for lunch and take a dip in the crystal-clear Adriatic. Then you’ll cycle to Polignano a Mare (6 miles / 10 km), a vibrant fishing village, surrounded by clear blue waters. Polignano a Mare is perched on beautiful limestone cliffs, offering panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline. With a charming old town, Polignano a Mare is the ideal location to celebrate your last evening in Puglia.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 32 miles / 52 km
    Elevation gain: 660 ft / 200 m
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel, B&B, or guesthouse

    Polignano a Mare on cliffs in Italy
  • Arrivederci Puglia! Time to head to the airport for flights home (approximately 45 minutes to Bari). If you don’t want to leave yet, totally understandable! Just ask us for recommendations on how to spend the rest of the day or stay for a few more days!

    Meals: Breakfast

    Aerial view of Polignano a Mare
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Meet your guide

Saddle Skedaddle
5.00
Saddle Skedaddle
Saddle Skedaddle was founded by a couple of MTB pros (Paul and Andrew) while trapped in a snowstorm during their year-long biking adventure in Chile. They believe travel should move you and that there’s no better way to see a place properly—its people, culture, and natural wonders—than by bike. Saddle Skedaddle currently runs tours in 36 destinations, offering adventure junkies incredible places to tour on two wheels.
5.00 (3 reviews)
Linda (source: Guide's website)

We have never done anything like this before . What an experience and what a great company to do it with. So supportive. The bikes were excellent. We have very limited cycling experience but they were good quality bikes , well maintained with excellent panniers and front boxes. We had a really thorough briefing from the man who delivered the bikes. Nothing was left unanswered. We had a puncture on day 2 and had to ring the office for a replacement inner tube. Lady on the phone was English so language wasn’t a problem and she arranged a replacement to be delivered . Comforting to know the system for help worked.

Michael (source: Guide's website)

A well planned route to see all the most attractive areas and old towns in Southern Puglia. We expected a lot and were not disappointed. We will always remember the historic centres, the Trulli House and abundance of wild flowers – more than we have ever seen in Spring anywhere. All the hotels were located close to historical town village centres where there was always a good choice of restaurants for evening dinner. Breakfasts were always good and staff always helpful. The bikes arrived on time and everything was fully explained. We did not have any troubles with bikes or luggage or anything.

Lara (source: Guide's website)

Very well organised and support provided excellent. The final day along the coast was my favourite!

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • 8-day self-guided Puglia bike tour
      • Accommodation for 7 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels, B&Bs, and guesthouses (in shared twin or double ensuite rooms)
      • All breakfasts
      • Local representative with a welcome meeting (either in person or via video call)
      • Access to an app for information and navigation
      • Luggage transfers
      • Round-trip airport transfers to/from Bari Airport (BRI) on designated arrival and departure day

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Italy
      • Bikes (rental available at an additional cost)
      • Single supplement (available at an additional cost)
      • Meals not listed in the itinerary
      • Personal clothing and equipment
      • Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities, etc.)
      • Entrance fees to museums and other attractions enroute
      • Train tickets from Ostuni to Lecce on Day 6 (€10 approximately)
      • Possible city tax to be paid locally in cash (€15 approximately)
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Travel and medical insurance — optional
  • Fitness and experience

    This self-guided Puglia bike tour is beginner-friendly! If you can cover daily distances between 15-30 miles (24-48 km), you’re good to go. More day-by-day information is found in the itinerary. In general, there will be no high altitude ascents or steep climbs. If you’re a semi-regular rider (maybe commuting to work or doing some leisure rides on the weekends), look no further.

    Terrain and roads

      • You’ll ride on a mixture of flat and rolling countryside, mainly on quiet country roads. Some roads will have local traffic leading into the towns, but generally the roads in Puglia are quiet. Please be aware that some roads in this area are not in a great condition.
      • While the majority of the route is gentle, Day 2 sees some short, steep climbs, and Day 3 will be the toughest, with the longest distance and some cheeky climbs. This might be challenging, but still very doable for semi-regular riders!
      • Hybrid bikes are recommended for this tour. Road, gravel, and e-bikes are also suitable. E-bikes will make the cheeky climbs a bit more manageable! It’s also a good option when it comes to the warm summer months. E-bikes also come in handy if you want to spend more time exploring the towns and villages along the way.
  • Here’s what you’ll need:

      • Bike — available to rent
      • Helmet — available to rent
      • Comfortable, season-appropriate riding or athletic clothing, preferably moisture wicking or synthetic material
      • Padded shorts
      • Peaked helmet
      • Sneakers or sport shoes
      • Breathable outside layer or jacket
      • Sunglasses
      • Plenty of water, water bottle or hydration bladder
      • Daypack with snacks
      • Biking gloves are optional but recommended
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Indeed you can! If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to skip the hassle of bringing your own bike to Italy for this Puglia bike tour, your guiding company offers bike rental. Rental bikes come with a pannier rack and one bag. Your guides will be carrying everything else you’ll need, including all necessary spares. Helmets can also be provided upon request.

    Hybrid bikes are recommended for this Puglia bike tour (and these will typically be Specialized Crosstrail Sport hybrid bikes or equivalent), though e-bikes (typically Atala B Tour E-Bikes or equivalent), gravel bikes, or road bikes are also suitable. E-bikes will come in hand for some cheekier climbs or long stretches.

    You can add bike rentals to your booking upon checkout.

  • A self-guided tour is an independent exploration without a formal guide leading the way. Instead of being part of a group with a tour leader, you will navigate the tour yourself, using resources provided by the operator, such as maps, guidebooks, audio guides, or digital apps.

    By going on this self-guided Puglia bike tour, you’ll have lots of things arranged for you, making your cycling experience a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable:

      • accommodation at 3 and 4-star hotels , B&Bs, and guesthouses
      • all breakfasts
      • airport transfers
      • app for information and navigation
      • luggage transfers
      • local representative for a welcome meeting

    After you get transferred to Gravina and once you’ve talked to a local representative, the self-guided tour starts! Keep in mind that your guides offer support along the way should you need anything.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For this self-guided Puglia bike tour, the maximum group size is generally set to 15 participants.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this self-guided tour to operate.

    Puglia bike tours can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Children as young as 10 are able to go on trips with a legal guardian. They may be able to participate on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has riders under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to the Puglia region of Italy, fly into Bari Airport (BRI). Airport transfers on designated arrival and departure days are included in the cost of your tour. Please note that if you make travel arrangements outside the scheduled transfer windows, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A non-refundable $250 deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If the Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, the Client will forfeit the deposit.
      • For cancellations thirty (30) to sixty (60) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the trip price.
      • If you cancel your booking less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the departure date, Client is not entitled to any refund.

    If you need to cancel the trip, please contact us in writing. If you wish to transfer a booking to another person, please write to us at least seven (7) days before your trip. Administration charges may arise.

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