- Enjoying the panoramic coastal road between Santa Maria di Leuca and Otranto
- Admiring the baroque style churches of Lecce
- Exploring the gnarled olive groves in the countryside around Alberobello
- Enjoying the sights at Alberobello famous for the ‘trulli’
- Visiting 3 UNESCO heritage sites; Lecce, Alberobello and Matera
- Savouring the deep red wine of the Salento region and the crisp whites of Locorotondo
I really enjoyed the trip and loved the Trulli and Sassi experience. The guides were all passionate about Puglia, they really gave the trip a local flavour!
After arrival in Bari airport (BRI), we take the 3 hour transfer to Santa Maria di Leuca where there is time to assemble the bikes before dinner and to have a wander along the seaside boulevard, taking in the atmosphere of this little seaside town at the very tip of Puglia.
The village is dotted with colourful and alternative ‘mansions‘, and surrounded by crystal clear sea, where the Adriatic and the Ionaian seas divide. A difficult view to leave behind but there are plenty beautiful views ahead of us!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 650 Metres approx.
From Santa Maria we head north along the high coastal road and wind our way along the cliff tops with magnificent views along the way. We’ll be riding past rocky coves, heading ever further away from the furthest tip of the heel of Italy.
On our way we will pass the well-known Grotta Zinzulusa and the village of Santa Ceserea Terme, known for its thermal baths. At the end of the day we arrive at Otranto, a Greco-Roman port frequented by merchants and thrill-seekers. As we enter the old town, we will notice the remarkable wall surrounding the Hapsburger Castle.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 300 Metres Approx.
Setting off on our bikes this morning we head inland through the countryside of the Salento, where we’ll find traces of former Greek colonies still present in the dialect, cuisine and architecture. Weaving our way through cultivated fields we reach the little hamlet of Acaya, dominated by its enormous castle.
After a coffee break we then head further north into the gnarled olive groves near Lecce. Here we may stay in a wonderful family-run accommodation located in a masseria about 15km outside the town, or alternatively in a comfy hotel in the lively town of Lecce itself.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 600 Metres Approx.
This morning we will have time to visit the old town of Lecce, a brilliant city of wonderful palaces and treasures which will leave you mesmerised! Known as the ‘Florence of the South‘, Lecce’s Baroque architecture is some of the finest of Italy. We make time for a visit of the town taking in its marvelous churches and palaces.
With your own time to wander the streets, your lunch choices today are your own, before we transfer together by train to the white town of Ostuni with its narrow streets within its protective walls and the Gothic 15th century cathedral. From Ostuni we then head north again, cycling through the historically rich Valle d‘Itria, weaving amongst olive groves, vineyards, traditional masserie farm houses (typical farm houses of Puglia) and trulli. We’ll pass through the medieval towns of Locorotondo, famous for its white wine, and on to Alberobello, passing the famous fairy-tale ‘trulli’ houses that awarded Alberobello itself as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 1,000 trulli houses, many of which are still lived in, will transport us to an entirely different world. We’ll be spending the night in Alberobello where we can indulge in some delicious local cuisine.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 750 Metres Approx.
On our second day in Alberobello we will go out for a loop ride through the countryside between Alberobello and the Adriatic coast. Leaving Alberobello in the morning our route today takes us through the distinctive Puglian landscape, via Putignano and Castellana where we have the option to visit an impressive underground cave system (payable locally).
On reaching the coast we arrive in the town of Monopoli, with its charming mix of Norman, Venetian-Byzantine and Arabic architecture. The old town is a perfect spot for a coffee break. From Monopoli we then loop back through the countryside to Alberobello where we will arrive with plenty of time to spare to further explore this most charming of towns.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 650 Metres Approx.
Our destination for today is Matera, yet another UNESCO World Heritage site.
Leaving Alberobello our route today takes us through the distinctive Puglian landscape. Heading inland, we ride cross country past cultivated fields and make our way to Matera. Famous for its historical centre, the inhabitants of this region carved dwellings directly into the ravines made of tuff (tufa in italian), a light coloured soft stone. These dwellings are called ‘sassi’ and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These houses are still lived in and are unique in the world.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 900 Metres Approx.
On the last riding day of the week and you have the choice to chill out in the amazing town of Matera, and visit some of its wonderful monuments, or join a loop ride taking us from Matera further into the wild and hilly Basilicata region, before looping back towards Matera.
This ride will take us on a panoramic route over the Murgia Plateau, passing by the medieval towns of Gravina in Puglia, dominated by its deep narrow gorge, and Altamura famous for its cathedral, and its bread! After returning to Matera you will have the time to pack up your bikes and freshen up before hitting the town for aperitif and a last delicious meal.
Your tour will take you through a mixture of flat and rolling countryside, mainly on quiet country and coastal roads with great views. The section along the coast is more of a rollercoaster and there are busier sections when entering and leaving Lecce.
Road Cycling Grade
40-50 miles / 60-80 kms per day
On undulating or rolling terrain, occasional moderate / challenging climbs
No high altitude ascents & the odd short steep climbs
For semi-regular riders / relative novices wishing to gain experience & fitness
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
Maybe you’re quite new to road biking, you might not have your own road bike but if not, you’re definitely thinking seriously about getting one. You’ve probably ridden a road bike a few times and you’re keen to gain more experience. You’re up for the occasional challenge but big mountains are probably not your thing. You’re happy to spend a few hours on the bike and do so occasionally and casually on the odd weekend. You might see cycling more as a means of transport than a leisure activity and you’re interested in a holiday where there’s at least as much emphasis on sightseeing and relaxing as there is on the riding. A typical day might see you covering up to 60 km over mixed terrain with the occasional cheeky climb. Grade 2 could be for you.
We just want to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Puglia cycling, it was everything we had hoped for and more.
Dates & Prices
Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en-suite rooms)
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides
D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in First Aid
E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers
F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Bari airport (BRI)
G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Bari airport (BRI)
What's not Included
A) Bike rental (available if required)
B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
C) Meals not stated in the itinerary
D) Single room (available if required)
E) Travel insurance
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)
H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en-route
I) Train ticket from Lecce to Ostuni on day 4 (approx 6 euros)
J) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
Meet the guides: Antonio
Catch him in the heel of the boot enjoying the alluring shores of the Adriatic Sea...
Meet the guides: Cristina Navarra
Meet our amazing Italian guide who calls the heel of the Italian boot her home...
Matera City Guide
Discover 2019 European Capital of Culture, enchanting Matera!
Peter, North Yorkshire, UKGreat end of season treat...
This was our second Skedaddle holiday this year, and a great end of season treat. Circular trip to Monopoli was my favourite day, and all guides were superb, working as a team and sharing responsibility. Wally is a great team leader.
Elaine and Phil, Northumberland, UKThis definitely won’t be our last trip with Skedaddle!
We just want to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Puglia cycling, it was everything we had hoped for and more. The countryside, scenery and most of all the weather were all fabulous! The rest of the group were great people and the leaders Antonio, Wally and Christina who later joined us were all brilliant, they knew exactly where we were going (no wrong turns!), were super helpful and booked great restaurants in the evenings! We were the newbies on the trip, everyone else were repeat customers, but this definitely won’t be our last trip with Skedaddle! So pass on our thanks and regards to everyone concerned.
Gerard, London, UKAn excellent holiday!...
An excellent holiday with the Matera Loop Ride standing out in particular as a favourite. Tour leader Wally was very supportive in every respect. Particularly appreciated was the sorting-out of restaurants, dinner menus, ordering, and what payment for each person was. I took my own bike but Antonio, one of our guides, was excellent in identifying and remedying a small mechanical glitch.
Caroline, BermudaOur week in Puglia with Saddle Skedaddle was fabulous!
Our week in Puglia with Saddle Skedaddle was fabulous. The guides were exceptional, very attentive and fun to be around. I will certainly look to use Saddle Skedaddle again. My favourite was day 3 – Alberobello to Matera – stunning scenery, lovely country roads and some challenging rides!
Our accommodation in Matera was exceptional – despite our group being in two hotels, they were very close and of equal quality. The rooms were fabulous, the hosts friendly and helpful. Our tour guides made excellent recommendations for our dinner locations and provided us with delicious and fresh lunches and snacks that were just perfect for each day! The bikes were fantastic and the guides did an excellent job of making small repairs, adjusting fittings, breaks and gears in a timely fashion. I would definitely recommend renting bikes vs all the effort/hassle to travel with ones own cycle.
Our tour leader worked tirelessly, helping us with our luggage, with hotel check ins, preparing for each days rides and ensuring the safety of our group at all times. She was fun to be around, made time for each of us and was a true professional and accomplished cyclist! She was flexible with the schedule and adapted it to suit the needs of our group. Our other guide was also exceptional – working around the clock to ensure we were all taken care of and safe. He helped with the luggage, hotel check in and departure, cycle checks and repairs, preparing for each days rides and also ensure ensuring the safety of our group at all times. I would absolutely recommend Skedaddle to a friend and we are already looking at a family holiday this summer with Saddle Skedaddle!
Metro (2019), The Hot List: Rafa’s resort and cycling sightsAs seen in the press...
One of the best ways to see a country is on two wheels and now you can explore Italy’s heel — the beautiful Apulian region — on an eight-day, guided road-cycling holiday with Saddle Skedaddle. You’ll trundle through medieval towns such as Locorotondo and Alberobello (seeing the latter’s cute trulli houses along the way), and take high coastal clifftop routes that offer striking views over the Adriatic. The tour ends in the charming and unusual cave town of Matera, one of this year’s capitals of culture.
Rick, CambridgeThank you!
Many thanks to the Skedaddle team for their guidance along the way, their good humor, their safety consciousness, their local knowledge, their knowledge of bikes, their fitness, their patience and their care. Probably the best skedaddle team I have cycled with in the last 4 years.
Peter, CambridgeReally enjoyed the trip.
I really enjoyed the trip and loved the Trulli and Sassi experience. The bike I used was excellent – as requested and well maintained. The guides were all passionate about Puglia. Really nice people with a kind, helpful and positive nature. They really gave the trip a local flavour!