Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Alberobello - Colours of Puglia Cycling Tour
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Highlights

  • Discovering jewels of the Romanesque, Baroque, and Greek eras
  • Exploring Alberobello, a World Unesco Heritage Site, with a multitude of trulli
  • Pedalling through vineyards producing Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia wines
  • Encountering Cisternino, a beautiful village known for its wood and stone handicrafts
  • Hearing the local Greek-influenced dialect of neo-Greek in Salento

This cycling tour in Puglia explores regions surrounding Locorotondo and Lecce, authentic treasures where unexplored and unique landscapes, local traditions, folklore and culture are the highlights. Puglia has been voted by National Geographic Traveller as one of the Best Trips for 2014.

Puglia, situated in the extreme south west of Italy, has had strong connections with the Middle East since Roman times. Tangible evidence of these influences will surround you as you cycle through the countryside and villages. From the secluded corners of coastline, to the World Heritage Site of Alberobello, with its distinctive trulli houses and the fascinating area of Greek Salento, this tour examines the natural beauty, amazing architecture and traditions of Puglia.

The small town of Locorotondo, where your tour begins, has a magical atmosphere with its Baroque architecture and fantastic views from the top of the town over small vineyards, ancient farms and silvery olive groves. Enjoy loop rides through the Itria Valley and cycle along rural trails that lead you to Alberobello where you can admire its multitude of trullis, traditional stone huts with conical roofs.

Cycle down to the plains of Salento towards Mesagne and through Ostuni, named the ‘white city’ due to its white-washed houses in the old town. The trails take you along old pilgrimage tracks, passing farms and the Abbey of Cerrate which is now is a museum.

Don’t forget to sample the great wines of this region, including Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia. The grapes that produce these wines are almost exclusively grown in Puglia which is why they are so prized. Explore Greek Salento where the Greek-Byzantine influence is very strong and where the locals speak a dialect known as neo-Greek. The tour finishes in Lecce, a jewel of Baroque architecture and from here you cycle through the natural reserve of La Gesine and to Acaya, the only example of an intact fortified medieval town in southern Italy.

Your cycling tour through Puglia, Italy includes 7 nights in B&B’s, guest houses and masserias (traditional farm houses), 7 breakfasts, baggage transfers between accommodations, comprehensive information pack, route notes and maps.

DAY 1: Arrive in Locorotondo

Upon your arrival the white town of Locorotondo, one of the most beautiful in the Murgian area,  welcomes you. From the top of the town enjoy breath-taking views over small vineyards contoured by dry-stone walls, patches of Mediterranean woods, silvery olive groves that surround ancient farms and thousands of trulli dotting the landscape.  


This area is also famous for its local orecchiette (ear-shaped) pasta, and a centuries-old viti-cultural tradition which has encouraged the production of high quality white wines, such as the famous White Locorotondo. Tonight find a local restaurant and try some of these local specialities.


Overnight: Sotto Le Cummerse, Locorotondo


This property boasts charming and characterful apartments located in the heart of historic Locorotondo. The rooms are found in stone building situated on cobbled streets and each apartment is individually decorated with an ensuite bathroom and kitchenette.


DAY 2: Cycle through the Itria Valley—52km

Today’s loop cycle reaches the magnificent Itria Valley. Cisternino, Ceglie and Martina Franca are all villages that overlook the valley and are positioned over gently-sloping hills with natural viewpoints. The alluring and harmonious landscape is lined by old rural trails enclosed by  typical dry stone walls and where you can view many small stone churches and buildings.


En route today you can view the Trullo Soprano, one of the most majestic and monumental of the entire area. Explore the alleys, courtyards and arches of Cisternino, a beautiful little village famed for wood and stone handicrafts. Do not miss Ceglie, a capital of gastronomy and Martina Franca with its striking Baroque buildings.  


Overnight: Sotto Le Cummerse, Locorotondo


Cycle: 53km, ascent/descent 200m. View daily elevation chart.


DAY 3: Locorotondo Loop via Alberobello—50km

Caves, trullis, farms and churches built using typical local stone await you when you visit Castellana, a town nestled amongst olive trees and known for the magical atmosphere of its underground caves. Continue on through Putignano, a bustling town rich in cultural traditions and monuments, and through the  forests of Fragni to Barsento Abbey.   


Finally reach Alberobello, a charming UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, known throughout the world for its trullis. These typical buildings dot the rolling, lush hills of the area. Alberobello is the only town in Puglia with an historic centre composed of a multitude of trullis.


Overnight: Sotto Le Cummerse, Locorotondo


Cycle: 50km, ascent/descent 175m. View daily elevation chart.


DAY 4: To Mesagne via Ostuni—60km

Today begins with a pleasant ride down to the plains of Salento, in the land of Messapians. After having reached Ostuni, the “white city”, whose appeal lies in the characteristic white-washed  walls in the old town, the track heads toward the rolling hills of Murgia. Here the countryside is characterized by orchards, vast olive groves, vineyards and crops. Search out small villages like San Michele Salentino, which produces unique gastronomic delights such as figs with almonds.


From Latiano the ride to Mesagne takes you along the Via Appia, the most important Roman road also called the “Regina Viarum”. This town’s charming heart-shaped centre is surrounded by massive walls and dominated by the imposing Norman-Swabian castle.


Overnight: Il Giardino delle Sette, Mesagne


Located just outside Mesagne with views over the surrounding countryside, each room has been classically decorated and has a balcony. Start your day with a breakfast made from local produce.


Cycle: 60km, ascent 90m, descent 320m. View elevation chart


DAY 5: Mesagne to Lecce via Casabalata—55km

The ride today takes you along fascinating ancient pilgrims trails, retracing some sections of the old Via Francigena. The highlight of today is the Abbey of Cerrate, which in the past was an important place of worship but nowadays has been set up as the Museum of Arts & Popular Traditions of Salento. From here reach the city of Lecce, a real gem, whose architectural style and history never ceases to amaze its visitors. Stroll through the historic centre of Lecce and admire its cathedral, a triumph of Baroque style.


Overnight: Nuvole Barocche B&B, Lecce


This charming B&B is situated in an elegant mansion that was built in the late 1800’s. Ideally located in the heart of the old city, it has two airy and spacious rooms which are beautifully decorated.


Cycle: 55km, ascent 50m, descent 70m. View elevation chart


DAY 6: Lecce Loop via Galatina—55km

Take a scenic loop trail today that travels through places where the Greek-Byzantine influence is very strong and most of the locals speak a dialect known as neo-Greek, gricanico or griko. This place is known for its traditional  folk music, ancient settlements, dolmens, menhirs and crypts. Each town you pass through  tells a different story.  


Overnight: Nuvole Barocche B&B, Lecce


Cycle: 55km, ascent/descent 65m. View elevation chart


DAY 7: Return route to Lecce via Copertino—50km

Ride quiet and calm minor roads reaching  Acaya, the only example of an intact fortified medieval town in all of southern Italy. Access to the village is possible through the trapezium-shaped portal that opens along the walls of the castle. This town also has a distinctive road system that dates back to 1500.


Continue on to a remnant of an ancient coastal swamp on the Adriatic, the Park of Gesine, which is without doubt one of most important wetlands in Italy. The two ponds fed by rainwater are separated from the sea by a strip of sand dunes and here it is possible to admire the Great Egret and herons.  


Overnight: Nuvole Barocche B&B, Lecce


Cycle: 50km, ascent/descent 55m. View elevation chart


DAY 8: Onward Travel

Your trip finishes after breakfast. Make your way to Bari or Airport or stay an additional night which you can book on the Macs Adventure website or ask one of our Destination Specialists to make arrangements for you.


Accommodation

This tour includes 7 nights in a combination of B&B’s, guest houses and masserias (traditional farmhouses).


Alternate accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Solo Travellers & Single Rooms

Single rooms are available and this trip also is available for solo travellers, although there is a supplement payable for both.


Additional Nights and Extensions

We can add additional nights before or after your tour in Locorotondo or Lecce and also in Bari, which is well worth a visit.  


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included daily at your accommodations. Puglia has a distinctive cuisine which is a combination of flavours from the sea and the land. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Some of your accommodations will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. (payable locally). Dinner is always available either at your accommodation or nearby restaurants.


Baggage transfers

All baggage transfers on Days 4 and 5 between the accommodations are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 15kg.


Navigation

The cycle routes are not way-marked but you can easily find your way with the help of route notes and the accompanying maps. Most of the route is on quiet country roads with only a few sections on roads that can be occasionally busy.


Grade & Fitness

This trip is graded easy to moderate and is  suitable for anyone who is in good physical condition and regular cyclists. The route is often undulating, but the slopes are never unreasonable and the more challenging trails are well-distributed along the way. Over the course of your cycles there will be chances to rest while enjoying the points of interest.


Bike Hire

Bike hire is available as an optional extra. We use good quality hybrid bikes (“Specialized” Cross Trail) equipped with a rear rack and handlebar bag, spare inner tube, patch kit, pump, lock, and helmet if you choose not to bring your own.


Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.   It is always advisable to book insurance as soon as you confirm your holiday.


How to Book 

The Puglia cycling tour is available from April to December (excluding July and August). You can start your holiday on any date in the season. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.


Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Because every tour we book is bespoke, availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:


  • You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
  • We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
  • If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.

Time of Year

This trip can be taken between April and December, excluding the months of July & August as it's just too hot to be able to enjoy a cycling holiday. Any other months will provide pleasant temperatures and Puglia is a great destination for some late-year sun!


Single Rooms & Solo Cyclists

Single rooms are available and this trip also is available for solo travellers, although there is a supplement payable for both. 


Grade & Terrain

The cycling is graded easy to moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you enjoy an active lifestyle and are a regular cyclist.  The route is often undulating, but the slopes are never unreasonable and the more challenging trails are well-distributed along the way. Over the course of your cycles there will be chances to rest while enjoying the the points of interest. Most of the route is on quiet is on quiet country roads with only a few sections on roads that can be occasionally busy. 


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The cycle routes are not way-marked but you can easily find your way with the help of the route notes and accompanying maps.


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfer as per your itinerary is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 15kg). 


Bike Hire  


Question


Answer


Brand


Specialized-CrossTrail


Bike Type


Hybrid


Frame types


unisex


Sizes


S, M, L, XL


Front suspension


yes


Stand


YES


Mud guards


NO


Luggage rack Rear/Front


Yes


Paniers


Yes (optional)


Handle bar Bag/ map holder


Yes (optional)


Bottle holder/Water bottle


yes


Computer meter


GPS/ODOMETER


Interchangeable pedals


yes


Front gear set


3 (48,38,28)


Back gear set


8 (34,11)


Brakes


V-BRAKE


Helmet included


YES


Puncture repair kit


Yes


Spare inner tubes/ how many


Yes/1 PER BIKE


Pump


Yes


Lock


Yes


 


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care. 


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as good shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Locorotondo

The best airport to fly into in order to reach Locorotondo is Bari Palese Airport.  From the airport you can take a local bus to Bari Central Train Station. The journey takes about 30 to 45 minutes and tickets costs 0.90 euros. Or you can take a shuttle bus which takes a little less time and costs around 5 euros. From here you can take a local train to Locorotondo which takes about 1h45 and the ticket costs around 5-6 euros. Yau can look up the train times on the FSE website.


Getting from Lecce

From Lecce you can take a train to Bari Central Train Station which takes just over an hour and costs around 18 euros. From here take a local bus or an airport shuttle bus to the airport as described in the section above.


 

 

Getting to Locorotondo

The best airport to fly into in order to reach Locorotondo is Bari Palese Airport.  From the airport you can take a local bus to Bari Central Train Station. The journey takes about 30 to 45 minutes and tickets costs 0.90 euros. Or you can take a shuttle bus which takes a little less time and costs around 5 euros. From here you can take a local train to Locorotondo which takes about 1h45 and the ticket costs around 5-6 euros. Yau can look up the train times on the FSE website.


Getting from Lecce

From Lecce you can take a train to Bari Central Train Station which takes just over an hour and costs around 18 euros. From here take a local bus or an airport shuttle bus to the airport as described in the section above.


Included

  • 7 Nights accommodation at B&B’s guest houses and masserias (traditional farmhouses)
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Comprehensive information pack, route notes and maps
  • Baggage Transfers on Days 4 and 5
  • Emergency telephone support from our local colleagues & UK office in the event of a problem

Excluded

  • Travel to Locorotondo
  • Travel from Lecce
  • Lunches, dinners snacks and drinks
  • Bike Rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Admissions or entrance fees

Extras

  • Bike Rental
  • Additional night(s)
  • Solo and Single Supplement(s)

How fit do I need to be?

The cycling is graded easy to moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you enjoy an active lifestyle and are a regular cyclist.  The route is often undulating, but the slopes are never unreasonable and the more challenging trails are well-distributed along the way. Over the course of your cycles there will be chances to rest while enjoying the the points of interest.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this area  is extremely popular.  Please note you can start this holiday on any day of the week. 

When is the best time of year?

This trip can be taken between April and December, excluding the months of July & August as it's just too hot to be able to enjoy a cycling holiday. Any other months will provide pleasant temperatures and Puglia is a great destination for some late-year sun!

How do the baggage transfers work?

Baggage transfer as per your itinerary is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 15kg).

What equipment do I need? 

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as waterproof clothing for possible showers and a day pack.

What happens if I can't cycle a stage? 

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureColours of Puglia
 
3.7

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 3 customers

Displaying reviews 1-3

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4.0

Puglia is delightful

By 75-YO Roger

from Bellingham WA USA

About Me World Traveller

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday

    Comments about macs adventure Colours of Puglia:

    We combined the two Macs Puglia trips into one terrific two-week vacation. We'd rate both tours positively, with Colours of Puglia better for accommodations and rental bikes.
    The first half of June was a great time to ride--glorious weather, but not outrageously hot. Every town was a delight, and so were the food and wine! The route was good at avoiding traffic, but sometimes hard to find (having the directions specified to three decimal places doesn't help if they don't match the bike computer!). But hey that's part of the fun of travel.

     
    4.0

    Good Cycling, great support, very interesting arae

    By Driftwood Dave

    from Kelowna, Canada

    About Me Avid Adventurer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure Colours of Puglia:

      This was our first time in Puglia and the very south of mainland Italy. We loved being in this area, especially the Trulli villages, and the views from the headlands over the coastal plains to the sea. The riding was over varied terrain, and the towna had history and cultural experiences, we espeically enjoyed our time in Lecce. This trip affored us an opportunity to continue to explore the area after the cycling trip, and we added Lueca and Materra to our itinerary. Our organizer, Anna Rita from Cyclovando, was exemplary, she provided enthusiastic support and lots of local information. Infact, I has some issues with my bike, and she had it replaced overnight and ready to go the next morning..thumbs up Anna Rita!!

       
      3.0

      PUGLIA - The Undiscovered Next Tuscany

      By Walkers - the Bikers

      from Vancouver Canada

      About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Details Need Some Work
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Will Be Great Someday

      Cons

      • Poorly Organised

      Best Uses

      • Cultural Discovery Trip
      • Trying Something New
      • Undiscovered Region

      Comments about macs adventure Colours of Puglia:

      We were one of the first to bike Puglia with MacsAdventure. Support prior to trip was great. Details on the trip still need to be worked through. Markers are lacking and local people do not know rural secondary roadways by SP numbers or bike path locations. If you get lost, the only option is to ride on the busy roadways to the next town, and try again to get on the planned secondary bike route.
      B&B hosts were very pleasant, hospitable and helpful. However, breakfast rarely included any protein - which is vital for biking all day.
      Overall, we are very pleased that we selected this Puglia biking trip with MacsAdventure. We loved discovering and experiencing the many unique sights, fragrances, cultural and historical highlight of Puglia. However, it became evident quite quickly that the experience was going to be much different than cycling the Danube (which we had just done 2 weeks before).
      MacsAdventure needs to send someone who is unfamiliar with Puglia to pilot test the whole week, identifying the many opportunities for improvement

      Displaying reviews 1-3

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