Matera and the tour of Puglia by road bikePuglia & BasilicataDifficulty path:
You will stay overnight in the places that most represent this corner of the world, to wake up every morning surrounded by the beauty and scent of fantastic breakfasts. The genuine food will not disappoint you and will give you the right charge to face always different itineraries: from the arid hills around Matera to the green ups and downs of the Itria Valley, from expanses of vineyards and olive trees to endless coastal views, from fishing villages to elegant historic centers.
All routes are tested for road bikes and we guarantee you daily assistance!
Cycling to the finis terrae of Italy
The Lands of Primitivo wine and many other gastronomic excellences
The road from Leuca to Otranto: the best for racing bikes
A whole day in the "pearl of the Ionian"
Hidden bays, endless beaches and cliffs as far as the eye can see
Nights in Matera, Alberobello and enchanting places
Here is Matera, one of the oldest cities in the world.
It has about 10000 years of history and many things to tell: tomorrow you will start your journey by road bike, today take the time to discover Matera.
Overnight in the UNESCO Heritage City.
Matera - Alberobello route
Take the essentials for the day with you and get on the saddle: you will find your luggage directly in Alberobello.
From Matera's cave dwellings, the descent quickly catapults you into the agricultural scenery that frames it. And watch out for the lesser kestrel: it is not uncommon to see it observing the immense cultivated fields and then gliding over its prey. From the border with Puglia, the landscape becomes greener and greener, and after a while you enter Gioia del Colle, famous for its mozzarella, a little less for its excellent Primitivo, and for being the birthplace of Sylvester Stallone's grandparents!
A few busy roads alternating with quiet secondary roads lead to the surroundings of Putignano, whose Carnival has more than 600 editions, and which you can visit ... facing the climb. From here the typical ups and downs of the Land of the Trulli will entertain you before your entry into the fairytale Alberobello.
Tasting and overnight stay among the trulli.
Cycling to Manduria
The morning starts great pedaling in the enchanting Itria Valley, full of beautiful itineraries for racing bikes.
The ancient trulli will give you an idea of the history of these places and, when you no longer see them, you will understand that you are close to the white Ostuni, whose height marks the end of the southern Murge and opens onto the flat Salento plateau.
Today the final destination is Manduria, known as the City of the "Messapi", one of the first populations of Salento. You will get there pedaling among olive groves and vineyards of Primitivo. And invigorated by a nice glass of wine, you can go around to discover the testimonies of its ancient past, visiting the Archaeological Park or taking a walk in its old town looking for, among Renaissance and Baroque palaces and churches, the small synagogue of Giudecca of the past.
Overnight in the Primitivo Wine City.
The Ionian coast of Puglia by bike
Today start your tour of Salento by road bike and the sea will be your inseparable travel companion.
From Manduria pedal south towards the Ionian coast and the most beautiful sandy beaches of Puglia. Take a small detour to the Saltworks of Torre Colimena to see, with a little luck, the pink flamingos at rest during their migration. Quadrangular coastal towers make the landscape postcard-perfect, and often have small towns around them, such as the tourist Porto Cesareo. You will lose sight of the sea along Porto Selvaggio and the Palude del Capitano, a portion of coast about 8km long that preserves unique landscapes and archaeological discoveries, protected from building speculation thanks in particular to the commitment of the politician Renata Fonte, paid for with her own life.
Take a dip in the splendid Santa Maria al Bagno and look for your restaurant for a well-deserved "spaghetti with mussels with sea view".
Overnight in Gallipoli.
One day in Gallipoli
Enjoy this relaxing day in the "pearl of the Ionian Sea".
Gallipoli offers many opportunities for entertainment: in the new part of the town you can indulge in shopping, but if you prefer a more authentic atmosphere, stay in the old town. The imposing Angevin-Aragonese Castle welcomes you after passing the bridge of the '600 and its twelve arches. Inside, a maze of narrow streets reveals a surprising Baroque on the ancient palaces, in the squares and on the facades of the many churches. Consecrated churches and churches suppressed by bishop's decree describe the religious history of the town, animated by the confraternities that, still today, involve the faithful and the curious especially during the great recurrences such as Holy Week. Find the Antica Farmacia Provenzano to take a small step into the past.
And then, of course, there are the beaches of Gallipoli, which can be reached by bike, such as the pristine Punta Pizzo, or even on foot, such as the convenient Purità Beach on the edge of the old town, under the church of the same name with its colorful majolica panels.
From Gallipoli to Santa Cesarea Terme via Leuca
Today there is a few more kilometers for you and your racing bikes, but you will ride the most beautiful coastline in southern Puglia ... it will be pure joy!
The route begins flat after Gallipoli, so you will "fly" in a short time towards the finis terrae of this corner of the world, the Cape of Leuca, land of legends and blessings. You will pass from Punta Ristola to Punta Meliso, born from the compassion of the Goddess Minerva towards two young lovers swallowed by the waves because of a jealous siren, and from the Sanctuary, called by Christians the Door to Heaven. If you want to explore the coast and the sea caves of Leuca more closely, a short boat trip is ideal, if the sea permits.
And from here, the last and exciting stretch of the Otranto-Leuca coastline will inebriate you with wonder at every up and down, skimming over breathtaking bays and enchanting villages, such as Castro, recounted by Virgil as the port where Aeneas landed during his escape from Troy. As evidence of this, there is the recent discovery of the trunk of an ancient sculpture dedicated to the goddess Minerva.
Overnight and dinner in Santa Cesarea Terme.
From Santa Cesarea to Lecce via Otranto
After breakfast start with a slight and inexorable climb ... and then off from curve to curve.
Your road bike takes you in a short time to the legendary Porto Badisco with the even more legendary Bar da Carlo, which has something for everyone: get energy from a nice coffee on ice with almond milk or, if the fishing stop allows it, from freshly caught sea urchins offered by local fishermen.
Pass the spectacular promontory of Sant’Emiliano and photograph Punta Palascìa and the easternmost lighthouse in Italy. From there you will soon be in Otranto and a stop here is a must: attacked by Turkish pirates in 1480, it jealously preserves its history in every corner, from the granite balls on the sides of the streets to the relics of the SS. 800 Martyrs. They are kept in the imposing cathedral, where you can't miss to admire the beautiful floor mosaic full of symbols and history.
Get back in the saddle, there is still a lot to see: the Alimini lakes, the stacks of Sant’Andrea, Roca Vecchia and the suggestive Grotta della Poesia.
Pass through the humid oasis of Le Cesine and the silent fortified village of Acaya before arriving in enchanting Lecce, the final destination of this beautiful road bike tour from Matera to the Heel of Italy.
This beautiful "baroque living room", which is the historic center of Lecce, deserves your attention, and if you don't know which way to go, here are our tips for visiting Lecce on your own.
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
- 7 nights with breakfast in shared double/twin room
- Welcome briefing and bike fitting
- Travel App (maps, tracks, route notes)
- Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
- Phone assistance 08:00-20:00
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Bike rental
- Other meals and drinks
- Entrance fees and tips
- Hotel tourist taxes
- Insurance and what's not listed as Included
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
The daily mileage goes from 70 to 90 daily kilometers.
Mostly short climbs of 2-3 km, with angles to 5-6 degrees. With possibly one or more longer climbs with some steeper sections to 10 degrees.
The tour offers accommodation in charming trulli, masseria and 4* hotel.
All rooms are ensuite.
- 1 night in Matera
- 1 night in Alberobello
- 1 night in Manduria
- 2 nights in Gallipoli
- 1 night in Santa Cesarea Terme
- 1 night in Lecce
7 breakfasts, 1 dinner and 1 tasting included. All other meals are not included.
The morning of the second day, after breakfast, you will have a Welcome briefing with Bike fitting.
We will take care of your luggage while you are cycling. In case of need you can call our emergency number ON from 8 to 20. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
A few days before departure you will receive by email the Service List with instructions for using the Travel App.
During your Welcome briefing you will receive:
- updated Service List;
- luggage labels;
- requested rental bikes.
Matera is easily reachable by train, car and by air.
BY TRAIN. The train stations close to Matera are Bari, Gioia del Colle, Ferrandina and Metaponto, info on Trenitalia website.
From Bari you can reach Matera on board the trains or buses of the FAL-Ferrovie Appulo Lucane, while from Metaponto and Ferrandina you can go to Matera only by bus (check the times on the SITA sites and FAL). To know deletions or additions of stops, cancellations, delays, detours and many other useful information for those traveling by train with Trenitalia, see viaggiatreno. NB: on Sundays and public holidays there are no trains but only a few buses.
BY AIR. The nearest airports to Matera are those of Bari, Brindisi and Naples.
The Bari Palese airport is located at about 60km and is connected by shuttle services of various companies or, having reached the central station of Bari with the Ferrovie del Nord Barese, you can take the FAL train to central Matera (about 80min). NB: on Sundays and public holidays there are no trains but only a few buses.
Brindisi Casale airport is about 150km away, from here you can reach Matera by bus passing Bari Palese airport. Visit the Aeroporti di Puglia website for more detailed information.
Naples Capodichino airport is about 250km away and is connected to Matera by various bus companies.
BY BUS. Matera is also accessible by bus. Here are the major companies operating the service: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Marozzi, Busmiccolis, Petruzzi autolinee.
BY CAR. The nearest motorway exits are Bari Nord and Gioia del Colle for those taking the A14 or Adriatica highway; exit at Sicignano-Potenza for those coming from the A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria.
Back to Matera
From Lecce you can reach Matera with Trenitalia getting to Bari, in combination with Ferrovie Appulo Lucane from Bari to Matera. The entire trip cost varies from € 16 to € 30 depending on the type of trains; the travel time is about 3.5 hours. NB: on Sundays and public holidays the train service is replaced by bus rides.
→ If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.