Ostuni and Salento by bikeItria valley & Salento - PugliaDifficulty path:
Getting to Ostuni by bike is a satisfaction: white houses, Baroque decorations, noble palaces, shops and churches give life to one of the most beautiful historical centre of Salento area.
Tour based in Ostuni, cycling between rolling hills and coastal dunes, beautiful villages and pristine natural reserves, you will discover a territory that still preserves ancient mills and skilled artisans.
The White City and the local crafts
the Cookie of Ceglie, Slow Food Presidium
Cisternino and its special “Fornelli”
The Norman Castle of Carovigno
Nature in the Park and the archaeological sites
The Sea in the Torre Guaceto Reserve
Welcome to Puglia, you are in Ostuni, the White City par excellence.
Ostuni is shown as an inverted cone up to 240m above sea level and marks the boundary between the plain of Salento and the Murge hills.
The custom of whitewashing the walls with lime dates back to the Middle Ages, to make brighter and fresher the narrow alleys. Besides being a natural disinfectant lime prevented the spread of the plague when an epidemic broke out in the 17th century.
Tomorrow your tour from Ostuni by bike will start.
After taking the bikes you will know soon the gentle ups and downs of the Itria Valley. Cycling between dry stone walls and country roads in a landscape that will enchant you from the very beginning, you will reach Ceglie Messapica, where you will spend the day. The old core of the town consists of a Norman Tower over 30m high overlooking the entire complex. A walk through the alleys of the old town will immerse you in an ancient and surreal atmosphere that ranges from the time of Messapians to medieval times. But the strong element of Ceglie is definitely the food, enough to be considered with all due respect the gastronomic capital of the Itria valley. Stop for lunch at one of its restaurants and check it for yourself! Among the most traditional dishes is the mashed fava-beans, often accompanied by wild vegetables; among the desserts stands out Cookie of Ceglie that you will surely find at the Bar Centrale, birthplace of this Slow Food product.
From Ostuni you will take the so-called "Via dei Colli" towards the shrine dedicated to Sant' Oronzo, one of the patron saints of Ostuni, to whom the city dedicates the most important religious festival of the year, with fireworks, processions and parades of armored horses. With these rites, Ostuni thanks the saint who miraculously saved the city from the terrible plague that afflicted most of the region in 1657.
After the small village of Casalini you will arrive in Cisternino. The town is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” and is well known in the Itria Valley for its mazy oriental charm, reflected in the alleys, arches, courtyards and stairways of its four old districts. This spontaneous and unique architecture branches around the Clock Tower Square.
Before getting back to Ostuni try to stop at one of the oil mills in the area, where you can sample one of the many varieties of extra virgin olive oil.
Carovigno and Torre Guaceto Reserve
With today’s itinerary you will have made the tour of all the historic hill towns of the northern Salento!
After Ostuni in few kilometers you will reach Carovigno: a short climb will take you directly to the entrance of the Castle Dentice di Frasso, imposing building of Norman origin that will welcome you in its elegant courtyard planted with trees.
Before arriving in Brindisi you can explore the extraordinary reserve of Torre Guaceto, natural paradise full of Mediterranean vegetation, ancient olive groves, marshy reeds, high sand dunes and crystal clear water: here it will be easy to distinguish the myriad colours of the flora and fauna in the sea.
Return to Ostuni backwards following the sun sinking behind the ridges of the Murge hills.
Among olive trees and dunes
Today’s stage is dedicated to the natural beauty of the Natural Park Dune Costiere: a slice of heaven in a thousand of hectares. A complex and rich territory where the dunes preserve many natural habitats. Not only fossil dunes, but also long and beautiful beaches, a fragrant Mediterranean vegetation, ponds and wetlands, archaeological sites of historical and cultural significance, historic farms and oil mills, rock settlements and more.
You will find a rural environment coming up to the dunes, protection from a sea that has nothing to envy to the Caribbean one.
Back to Ostuni following the road uphill. If you have not already done so try to look for the shop of the master craftsman Tonino Zurlo and his fine works in olive wood.
After breakfast end of services.
If you like to round off the visit of Ostuni, try to go to the Gardens of the Grata, a project carried out by Bio Solequo Coop which gave new life to the terraced plots close to Ostuni by adopting organic farming techniques.
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.
Our offer includes
- 5 nights with breakfast
- Welcome briefing and bike fitting
- Olive oil tasting and guided visit
- Travel App (maps, tracks, route notes)
- Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Meals and drinks
- Bike rental
- Entrance fees and tips
- Hotel tourist taxes (about € 10,00)
- Insurance and what's not listed as Included
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
This bike tour based in Ostuni is suitable to anyone with a minimum of training to the bicycle. The daily mileage goes from 35 to 50 daily kilometers, and you can stop at your leisure, or according to our advice, 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.
- 5 nights in Ostuni in charming 4* hotel in the historical centre.
All rooms are ensuite.
5 breakfasts and 1 tasting included. All other meals are not included.
The morning of the second day, after breakfast, you will have a Welcome briefing and Bike fitting.
In case of need you can call our emergency number from 8:00 to 21:00. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
A few days before departure you will receive:
- Service List (with the link to download the Travel App);
- Luggage labels (to be printed and applied on your luggage).
Ostuni can be reached by any private or public transport.
BY TRAIN. Trenitalia connects the main Italian cities with the White City. To know deletions or additions of stops, cancellations, delays, detours and many other useful information for those traveling by train with Trenitalia, see www.viaggiatreno.it.
Ostuni railway station is located outside the town at about 2 km from the centre of Ostuni. To reach Ostuni follow signs or take the local bus just outside the station.
BY AIR. The closest airports are Bari and Brindisi, both connected with the most important Italian and foreign cities.
The airport of Brindisi is about 35 km from Ostuni, while Bari Palese airport is approximately 110 km. From both airports, if you want to take public transport, you can reach the central stations of the two cities by bus: from Bari take the train towards Brindisi; from Brindisi continue by train towards Bari. Check that the Ostuni stop is provided. More info on the website Aeroporti di Puglia.
BY CAR. The main highways to consider are the A14 Bologna-Taranto and the A16 Napoli-Canosa. We recommend leaving the motorway at Bari Nord and continue along the SS16 towards Brindisi, until the exit Ostuni-Villanova, towards Ostuni. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.
If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.