Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Adriatic town of Ostuni
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Highlights

  • Ride across the heel of Italy, from Alberobello to Lecce
  • Explore the historic cities of Gallipoli, Ostuni and Otranto
  • Cycle along the easy going Adriatic and Ionian coastlines
  • Stay in a UNESCO listed trulli house in Alberobello
  • Sample creamy, burrata cheese and chilled glasses of bianco wine

Ride across the heel of Italy, cycling from the trulli houses of Alberobello to the Adriatic waters of Salento, relaxing each night in historic town houses and coastal hotels.

Begin your cycling tour by spending 2 nights in Alberobello at a UNESCO protected trulli house. Pedal along sleepy backroads through olive and almond groves to the shimmering white Greco-Roman city of Ostuni.

Cross into the sun-drenched region of Salento and discover the rich Spanish, Roman and ancient Greek history which has shaped the laid back towns of Salento. Visit the towns of Gallopoli, Leuca and Otranto as you cycle along the Ionian and then the Adriatic coastline, stopping to soak up the afternoon sun over a fresh seafood lunch. Lecce, known as the ‘Florence of the South, boasts a wealth of 16th baroque architecture and an equal number of inviting piazzas to kick back and reflect on your Puglia cycling adventure with an Aperol Spritz.


Day 1 Arrive Alberobello

The UNESCO protected trulli houses of Alberobello are easily accessible from the nearby city of Bari (approx 1hr 30min train journey). Stretching across the old town of Alberobello are 1500 whitewashed trulli houses. Begin your cycling tour with a 2 night stay in a traditional trulli house. These compact, conical dwellings date back to the 14th century and have been lovingly converted to provide cosy, unique experience.


Overnight: Alberobello


Day 2 Loop Cycle Alberobello

Cycle the Val d’Itria and ride a circular route through the historic centres of Noci and Putignano. Break for lunch in one of the sleepy medieval  piazzas before returning to Alberobello through a patchwork of olive groves. You may prefer to spend the day exploring the history of Alberolbello and its wealth of limestone dwellings. Later relax with a large glass of bianco wine and platter of breads and burrata cheese.


Optional Cycle: 35 km


Overnight: Alberobello


Day 3 Cycle to Ostuni

Begin with a ride southwards along the coast before peeling away and cycling inland to the ancient Greco-Roman town of Ostuni. Known as the ‘White City’, the shimmering whitewashed buildings are spread across several hilltops. Wander the maze of streets that eventually lead up to the 15th century cathedral where you can appreciate far reaching views across the Adriatic Sea.


Cycle: 38 km


Overnight: Ostuni


Day 4 Cycle to Manduria

Leave the Greco-Roman city of Ostuni and cycle through olive groves and sleepy villages as you cross into the sun baked region of Salento. Manduria is your final destination of the day where you will spend the evening in the heart of this honey coloured town.


Cycle: 60km


Overnight: Manduria


Day 5 Cycle to Gallipoli

Head south from Manduria until you reach the coastal town of Torre Colimena. From here, cycle south along the Ionian coastline, passing sandy beaches and inviting swimming spots. Arriving into Gallipoli,  head for a wander around the picturesque old walled town, built on a small island which juts out into the sea.


Cycle: 70 km


Overnight: Gallipoli


Day 6 Cycle to Lueca

Today cycle to Puglia’s most southerly point, the town of Leuca, where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet. Being a day of flat coastal riding means there is plenty of time to hop between beaches and cool off with a dip and explore many of the charming fishing villages and towns.


Cycle: 55 km


Overnight: Gallipoli


Day 7 Cycle to Otranto


With a choice of two routes today you can choose between pedalling the rise and fall of the Ionian coastline or an easier, rolling route through a patchwork of olive groves and small villages.


The rocky Ionian coastline reveals the most spectacular panoramic photo opportunities. Just over halfway you can visit one of the most impressive karstic cave networks, the ‘Grotto Zinzulusa’. Alternatively the gentle rolling route weaves its way through farmland and peaceful countryside to the chic city of Otranto.


Cycle: 55 km / 51 km


Overnight: Otranto


Day 8 Cycle to Lecce

The last day of cycling continues north towards the dunes, forests and flora of the Cesine Coastal Nature Reserve, rich in birdlife, flora and a number of picturesque beaches. From here, pedal inland through the Greek communities of Salento on the approach to Lecce. Said to be the ‘Florence of the South’, Lecce has a wealth of 16th century baroque architecture and several Roman sights, including a well preserved amphitheatre.


Cycle: 52 km


Overnight: Lecce


Day 9 Onward Travel

From Lecce onward travel to Bari or Brindisi is approximately 1hr 30 mins by train. Depending on your travel arrangements, you can further extend your stay to explore Lecce, or relax at the hotel pool.


Accommodation



During this trip you will stay in 4* and 3* hotels and a traditional, stylish trulli house. We regularly use the following properties but we will accommodate you in a hotel of equal standard should any of the following hotels be unavailable. Each stay at the listed accommodation is based on a standard room.


Meals

8 breakfasts are included. Breakfasts usually consists of fresh pastries, breads, fruits, yogurts, cheeses, meats and granola. Italian breakfasts also include freshly baked cakes. If you have special dietary requirements do let us know at the time of booking. Lunches and dinners are not included but you will find suggestions in your route notes of local places to dine.


Like the rest of Italy, Puglia’s cuisine, is fresh, simple and delicious! Signature dishes of the region include orecchiette pasta (pasta shapes resembling little pigs ears), burrata cheese (a creamy mozzarella) and crunchy, dry Frisella bread.


Single Rooms

If you're travelling with friends or family but prefer your own room, single rooms are subject to availability and a supplementary payment. This trip is also available to solo cyclists.



 

 

 



Trulli Holiday Resort



Trulli Holiday Resort

Spend 2 nights in an authentic trulli house, some of which date back to the 14th century. Made of limestone, topped with conical roof, houses are compact but cosy and retain their traditional designs. Each house has a traditional interior with a contemporary twist.



 

 

 



Relais Saint Eligio

Located just outside the fortified walls of Ostuni, this 16th century building is a former maritime post office. Set amongst peaceful gardens, guests can relax and soak up panoramic sea views.



 

 

 



Corte Borromeo

Centrally located, the Corte Borromeo is a modern twist within the walls of an old town building. Dine in the vaulted breakfast room or al fresco on the expansive terrace.



 

 

 



Al Pescatore

A 17th century property located in the historic centre of Gallipoli and only a few minutes walk from the beach and cathedral. The hotel also has an excellent restaurant serving fresh local seafood pasta dishes.



 

 

 



Hotel Terminal

Complete with private beach, this seafront hotel makes for an easy roll into the sea for a relaxing afternoon of doing nothing! Later, dine in one of the nearby waterside restaurants.



 

 

 



Hotel Albania

Set between the beach and the ancient gateway into Otranto, the Hotel Albania has fresh, bright rooms and a rooftop terrace (on a clear day you can see across the water to Albania).



 

 

 



Grand Hotel di Lecce

This early 20th century property is nestled in the heart of Lecce. Close to all the sights, the hotel also has an outdoor pool if you’d prefer to soak up the sun and take a dip.

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day from March to Mid-July and
September to November. We suggest that you contact us as soon as
possible if you are considering a cycling tour in Puglia.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

This cycling route follows a combination of quiet country roads and busier routes when approaching and departing towns and cities. Please always be mindful of other roads users at all times, especially when cycling on routes shared with traffic. The tried and tested detailed routes notes and maps are easy to follow during your self-guided adventure and we also supply GPX tracks via our easy to use Macs Adventure Navigation App.


Should you require assistance, local 24/7 telephone support will also be available throughout your trip.


Rental Bikes

21 speed touring bikes are available for hire. Rental bikes come equipped with a basic repair kit, pump and helmet (though we recommend using your own). Male and female frames are available. If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and frame size you currently ride.


EBikes are also available for hire if you would like a power assisted ride. For more information on EBikes please click here.


If you would prefer to bring your own bicycle please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate bike for this trip such as Scott Sub, Trek 7200 or similar.


If you do intend to bring your own bike, please do let us know at the time book as extra transfer arrangements may be required for any large bike cases/boxes.



Hybrid Rental Bike


If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and
frame size you currently ride, along with any other specific requests
you may have. We’re always happy to answer any questions regarding hire
bikes.


If you would to bring your own road bike please ensure it is
thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate bike for this trip.


General Information

All bike tours are unescorted. The distances listed are approximations of the recommended routes.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, cycle clothing and personal medications etc.


Travel Insurance

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


Getting to Alberobello / From Lecce

To Alberobello


By Air



Alberobello does not have an airport but can be easily reached from Bari Airport. From Bari Airport train station, change at Bari central station for connections through to Alberobello. (Bari to Alberolbello approx 1hr 30mins). Further south along the coast is Brindisi Airport. The airport shuttle is a short 20 minute journey into Brindisi centre and onward trains to Alberobello route via Bari (total journey time 4-5hrs).

Please visit www.trenitalia.com  for train times, prices and tickets.


Getting from Lecce


By Air


Like Alberobello, Lecce does not have an airport but is well connected with Bari and Brindisi. From Lecce Central station change at Bari Central for services to the airport (total journey time approx 2hr 30min). Please visit www.trenitalia.com for train times, prices and tickets. A bus service connects with directly with Brindisi Airport. Schedules and prices can be accessed through thr Brindisi Airport website.



Private arrival and departure transfers can be arranged and reserved at the time of booking.

Included

  • 4 nights 4* hotels, 2 nights 3* hotels & 2 nights in a tradtional Trulli house
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • Detailed route notes & maps on the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • Baggage Transfer
  • 24/7 local partner and UK telephone support

Excluded

  • Bike Hire
  • Travel to Alberobello / Lecce
  • Lunches & dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Entrance fees
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Bike Hire
  • E-Bike Hire
  • Extra Nights
  • Arrival or Departure Transfers
  • Single Room Supplement(s)

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate with daily distances between 30 km—60km. Once you have left the towns and cities much of the cycling is on quiet country or coastal roads. You will encounter some stretches of shallow hills throughout the tour. We can arrange the rental of Ebikes if you would like a power assisted ride.

It's a good idea to get out on your bike for a couple of consecutive days in the lead up to your trip so you get used to riding back to back days. However, it’s not all cycling. Each day there are plenty opportunities to visit historic sights and sample locally produced food and wine.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this region is extremely popular especially May to June and September.

Can I take my own bike?

Of course! We understand the relationship between rider and bike and know many cyclists would never consider riding another steed. If you are unsure, we are happy to discuss bike hire options with you.

When is the best time of year?

March, April and October into November are cooler months and are generally much quieter in the cities and towns. May and September you will find the days are beautifully long and warm. June into July, days are long and hot and therefore you may like to take a long lunch or enjoy relaxing on the beach to avoid cycling in the midday heat.

A good trip but with highs and lows

3

The app with GPS navigation is a must for this trip and the Macs Adventures app is excellent. Puglia is a bit behind other parts of Italy in customer service, but we did experience fabulous accommodations in Alberobello and Manduria (a great surprise), with Lueca and Lecce being perfectly acceptable. The others had bland rooms and in Gallipoli the "window" in our room (for two nights) was 12 feet in the air with bars on it. Not really acceptable after a hot days cycling. We chose the racing type bikes, which were beautifully presented, decent quality and prepared to perfection. They never missed a beat and we didn't have a single puncture. The routes themselves were very easy with mostly downhill of long flat straight roads. Not the most exciting but not bad. I would say that the off road section on the run in to Manduria would have been impassible if it had been wet. I wouldn't say the locals are particularly friendly or helpful (with the exception of the staff in Alberobello and Manduria), but that is fairly typical of Italy in general. Overall a fairly good experience and very slickly organised. I'm sure that if we had been afforded better rooms in some of the hotels we would have enjoyed it all the more.

El Stevo

Edinburgh

true

Mostly great riding in a scenic part of Italy

4

We liked the tour and the beautiful wildflowers, except for Manduria. The town was very very busy with traffic, and not very interesting. Instead it would be better to arrange a stay at a farmhouse between Ostuni and Gallipoli, and join the coast much nearer to Gallipoli, as the first part of the Manduria-Gallipoli coast was busy and not very interesting. (We met an Expedia group who had an interesting stay at a farmhouse). The coast road from Leuca to Otranto was also extremely busy on a Sunday. Maybe it is quieter on other days. It might be worth mentioning that in the description, so if you have a choice, you can avoid cycling the coast on a Sunday. We enjoyed the rural country roads best, especially because of the lovely wildflowers in June---the coast was not so great, very busy and not that scenic. Advice about picnics was good---pity the first day loop ride is to two towns with very few facilities in the historic centre. It was difficult to find a shop in Alborello to purchase anything before setting off. My Strava app gave much larger elevation changes and slighter longer distances than in the description. eg Gallipoli to Leuca was elevation gain 187m, distance 54.26km instead of your 50.9km, ascent 33m.

Keeners

Vancouver

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Highly recommended

5

The bicycles provided were very good. The offline navigation maps were excellent. If using rental bikes, enquire whether a handlebar mount for phone navigation is provided by the rental company (which ours did). It is listed as an optional item to have on the trip so it may not be necessary to provide your own.

Ken

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

true

Great quiet lanes and ocean side riding and beaches

5

You definitely have to use the Macs app. It works very well—in the small villages and cities it can be a little challenging to follow

Ted

Sutton Massachusetts

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Unparalleled trip with amazing scenery!

5

Puglia is absolutely lovely. An undiscovered part of Italy so far. The scenery on this trip was breathtaking, from interior to two coastlines, just incredibly beautiful. MACS, once again, chose exceptional accommodations, in prime locations, and provided exceedingly detailed route information. We also really did need the Offline maps MACS suggested in addition to written notes. Of all the cycling trips we have done with MACS, this tops them all. Highly recommended!

DnMtravel

Canada

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Superb scenery, gorgeous part of the world.

5

Absolutely great accommodation! Detailed routes, but you do need the Offline maps as well. We have done numerous tours with MACS, and have loved them all. Puglia was a wonderful surprise we feel it is an undiscovered gem. The scenery changed from olive groves and vineyards to coastal beaches and rocky vistas. It is definitely hard work cycling the many hills on this route, so would recommend renting E-bikes if you are are older, or not in top shape.

MbD

BC, CANADA

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perfect holiday in Puglia

5

Just had a great holiday cycling around Puglia, the route was amazing through ,olive groves 2000 years old planted by the romans, almond groves and stunning coastal paths. Would thoroughly recommend this holiday.

Holiday cyclist

Wiltshire

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Highlights of Puglia indeed- great routes, places & bikes

5

Great app and e-route info Printed route info extensive- could reduce weight, bulk and paper costs by 2 side printing. Very good bikes- also good to have option of road bikes or touring bikes from this supplier Local tour company 'Slow Active Tours' also very good with the luggage transfers Great hotels and very good rooms in each

John and Mary

Scotland

true

Cycle The Highlights of Puglia

4.6 8

100.0

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