Puglia is the new ‘in’ place to cycle in Italy. The region combines moderate cycling, quiet roads, wonderfully charming towns including the Unesco Heritage Site of Alberobello, food and wine that is drawing rave reviews from food lovers and last but not least, exquisite hotels. Beginning in Monopoli and finishing 9 days later in Lecce you’ll see the best of this region, all the while enjoying distinctive lodging and exquisite meals. Buon appetito!
Monopoli, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy
Locorotondo, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy
Ostuni, BR, Italy
Otranto, Province of Lecce, Italy
Lecce, Lecce, Province of Lecce, Italy
What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP
8 nights hotels
All breakfasts and 2 dinners
Cooking class included
Guided Walking tour in Lecce
Comprehensive Tour Details with detailed pre-trip information
Detailed route instructions and maps
Personal meet & greet with our local Area Manager
Area manager available on call throughout the tour
Access to Loyalty Program and other exclusive benefits
We require that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons
Custom trips also available. Call or email for details. Note: Italy will host the G7 Summit in June 2024. Contact us if you are planning to start your trip for this time.
ARRIVE / DEPART
Classic Accommodation: US $3,025
Single Supplement: US $760
Luxe Accommodation: US $3,595
Single Supplement: US $900
Hybrid or Racing Bikes: US$360
E-bikes are generally available but are on an ‘on request basis ‘ and will be confirmed on receipt of your booking registration. E-bikes provided are the best rentals available in the region. Our regular fleet of hybrid and race bikes are fun to ride and light and fast, but if having an e-bike will make your trip, we’ll do our best to provide. E-bike rentals are non-refundable.
Getting There Our trip starts in Monopoli. If you stay in Bari the night before the trip begins, you can take a train from Bari Centrale station to Monopoli (25 minutes). Taking the train to Monopoli from Rome, Milan or FlorenceFrom Rome: There are several daily departures from Rome’s Termini station to Monopoli. We recommend arriving in Bari or Monopoli a day early, but if you choose to leave Rome on the day the trip begins, you could take a train from Rome’s Termini station around 7:30 am arrives in Monopoli just before 1 p.m. and we’ll arrange for the Area Manager to meet you on arrival. From Milan or Florence: Train travel from Milan or Florence is also an option, but it is a long trip. Average travel time from Milan to Monopoli is 9 ½ hours; average travel time from Florence to Monopoli is 8 hours. There is one overnight train from Florence to Monopoli, arriving in the early morning, but otherwise to travel from either of these destinations, you need to plan on arriving in Monopoli the day before the trip starts.
The meeting time is usually at 1pm at the first hotel, which allows you to arrive from Rome by train in the morning. Our area manager will do bike fit and answer any questions you may have. The ride on this day is a loop ride to Egnazia, a Roman port city dating to the 5th century, where remnants of the ancient road to Rome, a beautiful Acropolis and other monuments still exist. Back in Monopoli there are many tempting restaurants that you can choose between.
Ride Distance: 19 km, elevation gain 53 m or 11 km, gain 26 m.*
Today’s ride is along the Adriatic to the vibrant fishing village of Polignano a Mare, where white-washed buildings appear built out of the limestone cliffs and the winding streets are adorned with flowers and plants. Enjoy one of the chic cafes here before continuing on to Conversano for lunch. You’ll have an option to return directly back to Monopoli or take a longer route via Castellana Grotte where underground caves can be explored.
Ride Distance: 7 km, elevation gain 10 m or 14 km, gain 10 m or 58 km, gain 480 m .*
Today you’ll cycle to the Unesco World Heritage site of Alberobello which boasts over 1500 trullidistinctive round stone buildings with conical slate roofs. The short option will take you directly to Locorotondo, with more trulli. A longer option will take in the Bosco delle Pianelle Nature Reserve. Either way, we recommend allowing time for a wine tasting in town before dinner as this region is well-known for its white DOC wines.
Ride Distance: 35 km, elevation gain 657 m or 42 km, gain 236 m.*
On your second day here, there is a wonderful ride to the sea-side town of Grottaglie or a shorter option that will have you back early for further exploration of Locorotondo.
Ride Distance: 34 km, elevation gain 330 m or 28 km, gain 363 m.*
Start your day cycling to Martina Franca, an ancient city with stone walls, stunning piazzas and tiny winding streets. You’ll pass through olive groves, vineyards, and forested lands on a road with very little traffic. Enjoy a picnic in Cisternino or sample one of the specialities of this city, bombettes, a type of roasted meatball in one of the many restaurants. We’ll finish the day in Ostuni, known as the “white city” with its Arab influenced architecture and a labyrinth of streets designed to confuse invaders.Don’t miss a visit to a local hand made ceramic shop.
Tonight, we have arranged a cooking class at a local tratoria where you will enjoy eating the apulian specialities you prepared.
Ride Distance: 34 km, elevation gain 382 m or 43 km, gain 399 m.*
This day will start with a transfer by local train to Squinzano for a coastal ride with the aquamarine Adriatic at your side. The sea-side town of San Foca awaits you for lunch (re recommend a gelato here) and afterwards you’ll continue south to historical Otranto, the most eastern point on the Italian peninsula.
Ride Distance: 70 km, elevation gain 240 m.*
This is the one of the most rewarding ride today! For those who want the challenge, we’ve included a century ride option all the way to Marina dei Leuca. Both rides will take in Santa Cesarea Terme, with unsurpassed architectural and natural beauty in one of Italy’s most serene locations. Back in Otranto, enjoy the lively nightlife in this town.
Ride Distance: 35 km, elevation gain 238 m or 77 km, gain 1278 m.*
You’ll ride into Lecce today, and the route is through quiet countryside where the local dialect is similar to ancient Greek. Arriving to Lecce, sometimes referred to as the ‘Florence of the south’, you’ll be astounded by the architecture, and cultural attractions. Best seen on a walking tour, we’ll provide a local guide to show you the sites on an afternoon walk.
Ride Distance: 47 km, elevation gain 188 m.*
Departure from Lecce
Be sure to spend a final few moments enjoying the delights of Puglia before you catch your train to your next destination.
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.
The 5-star Masseria Donnaloia boasts outstanding views of the sea, 200 m away. It is a historic property, with beautiful rooms, many with sea views. There is a spa on site, swimming pool, excellent restaurant, and beach club nearby that guests can utilize in high season.
This hotel comprises a group of historic apartments or casas, each unique and distinctive in the old town center.
Occupying a 13th century palace, and adjacent to St. Peter’s Benedictine monastery, this family run 4-star hotel sits in the center of Ostuni.
This former 17th century manor house sits in 5 ha of park and features an outdoor pool and large comfortable rooms. The surrounding area is rich in olive trees, citrus plantations, and the Salentine beaches are only a few kilometres distance.
Located In the heart of Lecce, L'Orangerie d'Epoque offers elegant accommodation in a 19th-century palazzo next to the old walled city. The building encloses an enchanting garden filled with orange trees and the rooms are furnished with beautiful family antiques.
An elegant stay on lush farmland, only a few km from the sea. This upscale country hotel is nestled in the green of olive trees, with a large luxurious swimming pool, overlooking fields of greenery.
This boutique hotel, just 3 km outside of Locorotondo, boasts six original trulli from the 18th century and a villa built in 1900. The resort boasts a large swimming pool, charming restaurant and lovely setting.
Built around an historic 16th century Palazzo, with Moorish-styled walled gardens with citrus trees, a dipping pool and parapets that look out to the shimmering Adriatic. There is a one-star Michelin restaurant in the hotel. Please note, there are no twin rooms here; the 10 doubles each have king-size beds.
Located 2.8 km outside of Otranto, this wonderful luxurious masseria was built in 1878, originally as a monastery. Lovingly restored with attention to its historical significance, and surrounded by orchards with a large pool in its courtyard, this is an exquisite hotel.
A 4-star hotel in the centre of town, with great ambience, individually decorated rooms and a roof-top solarium with great views of the city. Frommers Guide top choice in Lecce. Note in Lecce, you can choose between this hotel or the Risorgimento Resort (see below).
A 5-star hotel in the historical center that was totally renovated in 2007, now with a contemporary interior that would wow any design-savy visitor. The roof-top deck is sublime.