Self guided Cycling

Cycling holidays in Italy: Unesco tour

Basilicata & PugliaDifficulty path:
Easy - Moderate
Self guided · CyclingDuration: 8 daysCode: bs004
from 830 €per person

Highlights

A bike route designed to connect the three Unesco sites of Castel del Monte, Matera and Alberobello.
A week to appreciate all aspects of a territory that holds within it not only evidence of significant historical, archaeological and palaeontological interest, but also environmental and landscape phenomena of great importance.
Cycling holidays in Italy to discover the extensive Murge plateau and to know its National Park, the archaeological site of Matera Rock Churches, the Trulli area, and ride up to the beautiful sea of Polignano, to be reached downhill after visiting the picturesque Castellana Caves.
Good food and local wine will complete a trip already full of thrills.

 

  • The Folklore of Bari and its animated streets

  • 3 Unesco sites

  • Alta Murgia National Park

  • Beaches of Polignano a Mare

  • The amazing Castellana Caves

  • DOP bread of Altamura and great typical food

Program

Day1

Welcome to Bari

The lovely regional capital and its charming old town will welcome. Bari has become an important cultural destination thanks to the restoration and renewal of recent years. “Bari vecchia”, old Bari, is called this bustling city centre, that offers historic sights and local folklore clippings: charming squares and old palaces next to grannies making orecchiette pasta in the street, noise and colours of the fish market near the firm candor of the countless churches. The Basilica of San Nicola stands out among the religious buildings: one of the main destinations of medieval pilgrimage, innovative and masterful example of Puglia Romanesque style.

Day2

From Bari to Ruvo di Puglia

25km

Moving away from the city you will cycle from immense cultivation of olive trees to expanses of almond trees and vineyards leading to oak forests and “wooded” pastures.
Waypoint of the day the lively town Bitetto, developed around the Romanesque Cathedral.
The route leads up to Ruvo di Puglia, a small agricultural centre of peuceta origin, pre-Roman inhabitants of these lands destroyed by the Goths; the Normans returned value to Ruvo and enriched it with important monuments, including an imposing Cathedral, known for its unique façade with slanted slopes.

Day3

From Ruvo di Puglia to Castel del Monte

30km

A full immersion in the Alta Murgia National Park during these cycling holidays, a nature reserve that encompasses a unique biodiversity to safeguard, full of cattle tracks and hidden trails. After few kilometers you will reach Castel del Monte, a brilliant example of medieval architecture, today Unesco heritage, universally known for its peculiar octagonal shape. The building preserves ancient mysteries and legends so that, still now, the exact purpose of the imposing building is unknown.
After reaching your accommodation, very close to the fortress, you can spend the rest of the day visiting this fascinating and mysterious place.

Day4

From Castel del Monte to Gravina in Puglia

50km

From here the journey continues through extensive pastures of outcropping rocks and almost desert. Reach the Prehistoric Church of San Magno, building consisting of unequal masses, mastering of an open space surrounded by extraordinary tombs of the Bronze Age; the old structure was once used for preserving the snow becoming an important source of water in summer. Be careful not to get lost in the charm of these places, because there is more to ride before arriving at Gravina in Puglia, town of authentic and unexpected beauty.

Day5

From Gravina in Puglia to Matera

40km

Before leaving Gravina we recommend a stroll between Piaggio and Fondovico, the two districts in the historic heart of the city that host the major attractions; to explore the surroundings follow the long bridge over the stream leading near the rocky Crypt dedicated to Our Lady of the Star, Madonna della Stella.
Between Gravina and Matera you will cross Altamura. Some say that the goodness of its bread is due to the water! Test the quality filling your water bottle from one of the public fountains and tasting the delicious baked goods. If you also want to satiate your hunger for culture, visit the Cathedral, another building bequeathed to these earth from Puer Apuliae, Emperor Frederick II of Swabia title.
Finally in Matera, unique, with its neighborhoods overlooking the canyon of the river Gravina.

Day6

From Matera to Alberobello

40km

Unesco site since 1991 and European Capital of Culture 2019, Matera is simple and genuine. Spend the first hours of the day in the City of Rocks, to discover a historic centre unique in the world and extraordinary landscapes.
Late morning you will reach – by bike or with private transfer – the town of Gioia del Colle, unanimously recognised for the excellent quality of its dairy products, mozzarella and cheeses, to taste absolutely before taking the bikes.
After passing Noci, the path follows to Alberobello. Try not to “get off” too quickly, because you would miss the detour to Barsento hill, bucolic environment home to a rural church built in the 6th century.
Overnight in the Capital of Trulli.

Day7

From Alberobello to Polignano via Castellana Grotte

35km

The last stage is dedicated to the largest karst caves in Italy and the sea of Polignano, beautiful village birthplace of the great Domenico Modugno … and excellent fish soups!
With Alberobello behind you will cycle gently downhill up to the caves, hollows that run underground for just over 3 kilometers in an atmosphere suspended between evocative power and magic, surrounded with stalagmites and stalactites grown with ancestral rhythms. They are the result of the erosive action of surface water that for millennia have continued to dig into the rock opening a passage to the sea.
After the visit, back to the “blu dipinto di blu” of sea and sky of Polignano. Here take time for a relaxing dip in its most famous beach in Lama Monachile.

Day8

Polignano

After breakfast end of services.

 

Tour programme variations
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example road works) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each biker can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.

What's included

Our offer includes

  • 7 nights with breakfast
  • Welcome briefing and bike fitting
  • Scheduled private transfers day 2 and 6
  • Tasting day 6
  • Boat trip from Polignano day 7
  • Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
  • Information package
  • Smartphone offline GPS app
  • Phone assistance 08:00-21:00

Not included

  • Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
  • Meals and drinks
  • Entrance fees and tips
  • Bike rental
  • Hotel tourist taxes (about €14,00)
  • Insurance and what's not listed as Included

Departures and prices

01/03/2020 => 30/03/2020
Superior830 € /p
31/03/2020 => 17/07/2020
Superior910 € /p
18/07/2020 => 31/08/2020
Superior1090 € /p
01/09/2020 => 30/10/2020
Superior910 € /p

Supplements per person

Trek bike
Standard70 € /p
All road bike
Standard125 € /p
E-bike
Standard180 € /p
Single room
Standard190 € /p
Transfer day 6
Standard35 € /p
Transfer Bari apt-Bari (min 2 pax)
Standard30 € /p
Transfer Polignano-Bari apt (min 2 pax)
Standard40 € /p
Extra night in double room in each overnight stay
Standard60 € /p
Extra night in single room in each overnight stay
Standard95 € /p
Solo traveller in single room
Standard390 € /p

Other Information

Grade

Mainly wavy.
This tour is suitable to anyone with a minimum of training to the bicycle. The daily mileage goes from 25 to 50 daily kilometers, with programmed pauses for visits and refreshments.
The bike will be a way to work off the good food and enjoy the many landscapes offered by this land. There will also be strictly cultural moments and the possibility of a refreshing swim in the clear sea of Puglia.

Accomodations & Meals

En suite rooms in charming B&B, 4* hotels and trulli houses in Alberobello.

1 night in Bari
1 night in Ruvo di Puglia
1 night near Castel del Monte
1 night in Gravina
1 night in Matera
1 night in Alberobello
1 night in Polignano

7 breakfasts and 1 tasting included. All other meals are not included.

 

 

 

 

Support

We will take care of your luggage while you are cycling.
In case of need you can call our emergency number ON from 08:00 to 21:00. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.

Information Package

During the welcome briefing you will receive your Information Package. The Package contains the following Travel Documents:

  • updated Service List;
  • Vouchers to be delivered to the partners;
  • luggage Labels;
  • Route notes: a summary of daily information.
Getting There

Reaching Bari is very easy. It is inserted in all the best circuits and roads between North and South of Italy.

BY TRAIN. Trenitalia connects the main Italian cities with Bari. On www.viaggiatreno.it you can find update informations about train routes.

BY AIR. Bari Palese airport is connected with the most important Italian and foreign cities by the main airlines and the low cost ones.
It is well connected with many flights, to the city centre by Metro and train approximately every 20 minutes. More info on the website Aeroporti di Puglia.

If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer with us.

BY BUS. Bari is also accessible by bus. Here some links to the major operating companies: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Busmiccolis, Buscenter.

BY CAR. The main highways are the A14 Bologna-Taranto and the A16 Napoli-Canosa. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.

Back to Bari

Trenitalia connects Polignano to Bari by direct line. The journey takes about 30 minutes; the ticket price is € 3 approx.

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Travel tips

When do you fancy leaving?

If you do not want a cycling holiday in the summer heat choose the spring or the fall season: for those who want to learn more about local customs in southern Italy there is always something to do!
If you enjoy the fresh air and the long days that reactivate tempers, leave in April and the typical folklore will not disappoint during Easter holidays: the streets of Alberobello on good Friday draws believers and curious from far beyond the province to attend the Passion of Christ simulation.
In May, the city of Bari is celebrating the Patron San Nicola, where parades in period costumes, historical re-enactment, theatre performances take place throughout the whole festivities week.
If the summer draws you in July in Matera you can attend the traditional “destruction” of the big chariot carrying the statue of Madonna della Bruna by the “village people”, next to armored horses and shepherds, confusing the sacred and the profane in this centennial celebration.
And to round off a great summer holiday 2020 the final leg in Polignano a mare will hardly make you will to go home.
In September the evocative Gravina will celebrate for 4 days the Arcangelo Michele who protected the town from the assault of the Austrian troops.

Why choose this tour for your holidays in 2020?

You will ride to get to know some of the most scenic locations in the world that Unesco has decided to preserve and among which bike distances are incredibly reasonable!!! Charming towns and incredible rocky landscapes, spectacular mansions and fairy trulli along the way, underground caves and coastal villages where the daily routine is never boring. This tour will amaze you.

A value holiday!

Quality services at the right value for cycling holidays for everyone. This brand new route has been studied to enhance the territorial peculiarities.

Local specialties

Even the most demanding gourmets will be satisfied during this vacation between these two regions rich in authentic goodness. In Matera you will find an amazing local durum wheat bread, and in all places we recommend you try the baked goods, as well as cheeses and dairy products in the Bari area or the good meat cooked masterfully by the butchers of the Itria Valley. The fish soups in Polignano are famous, and for vegetarians many traditional peasant recipes everywhere.

Are you looking for an All inclusive holiday 2020?

Our packages typically include enough to make your holiday safe and serene, and you will feel free to choose where to stop and when walking again, where and what to eat. If you prefer that we book every meal or other services just tell us!