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8-day Self-guided Cycling Tour from Matera to Lecce
Apulia, the region Italian people call " the heel of the boot" retains a powerful charm , which is the product of a unique blend.
It is a region has a rich ancient history , which begins with Messapi, the prehistoric people who have founded several major cities, through the Greeks preceding the Roman occupation, and continues with the Byzantines, the Aragonese, the Bourbons.
Every people has left its traces and its own mark on the land. Cycling along Apulia region also means looking into a land that has a deep connection with its people. Agriculture is still fundamental: olive groves, vineyards, tomato fields are so huge that sometimes they seem to never end. The result is several sublime typical products ranging from white to red wine, olive oil, bread, cheese. Simple and perfect foods, which have the flavor of the sun, and have to be savored slowly .
And finally the sea, with some of the most beautiful Italian beaches, offering breathtaking colors during all seasons of the year. You will see villages with whitewashed houses contrasting with the blue sky and the sea, as well as small towns that are lively resorts during the summer.
Do not hesitate to stroll by bike from north to south in this region so rich in history , nature , food and vibrant colors.
Terrain characteristics: flat to hilly terrain with some gentle climbs and descents. Average length of steps: 35 to 79 km per day. Roads: 90% asphalted, few country roads not asphalted
Please book your bikes when you book the tour: [email protected]
Slow Tours offers a number of other Cycling Tours in Europe
Individual arrival in Matera (can book a private transfer from the airport of Bari or Brindisi). The city of Matera is famous for its cave dwellings (the "Sassi di Matera") as listed on the World Heritage List of humanity established by Unesco and described by Carlo Levi in "Christ stopped at Eboli." Matera is a jewel, a village in the ancient atmosphere and authentic charm. Accommodation in Matera.
Matera - Alberobello (69 km)
After breakfast, briefing presentation of the itinerary and delivery of rental bikes. The first stage is a gentle cycling across the countryside between Basilicata and Puglia. Our destination is Alberobello, the city of the "trulli", houses made of dry stone, with a cone roof covered with stone tiles platforms. There are about 1500 trulli in the districts Monti and Aia Piccola, both listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. They are the hallmark of this unique urban center in the world. Night in Alberobello in a trulli hotel.
Alberobello - Locorotondo - Ostuni (50 km)
Today you cross the Itria Valley in a bright landscape of vineyards, olive groves and vast gentle slopes. We recommend a stop in Locorotondo, where you can enjoy the white wine produced in this region. Your cycling day ends in Ostuni, also called the "white city" for the color of its historic town houses. Accommodation in Ostuni.
Ostuni - Lecce by train Lecce - Gallipoli by bike (60 km)
This morning you join Lecce by train (about 50 minutes). If you want, before starting your stage you can take a walk in the city before (you have time for a visit also at the end of the tour). Today’s destination is the blue sea in Gallipoli. You are in the land of Baroque Puglia, and you will perceive it in Galatina with its Santa Maria church, and Galatone. The step ends in Gallipoli (the "beautiful city" in Greek), an old fishing port and now a very charming and lively holiday destination. Accommodation in Gallipoli.
Gallipoli - Ugento - Santa Maria di Leuca (69 km)
Today’s stage runs along the coast of Salento, and you will have the chance to stop in some of the most beautiful beaches in southern Italy, near Ugento. The final destination is Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost tip of Puglia, which with its lighthouse and its sanctuary will welcome you at the end of the day. Overnight in Santa Maria di Leuca.
Santa Maria di Leuca – Castro – Santa Cesarea Terme – Otranto (62 km)
Today you leave Santa Maria di Leuca and the extreme heel of Italy and Salento, driving your bike northward along the beautiful coastline of the Adriatic Sea to Castro, known for its cliffs falling into a clear blue sea. Here you can admire the medieval village and cave Zinzulusa , one of the largest in the world, inhabited by Neanderthals about 60,000 years ago. After the visit do not miss a short stop to taste good and fresh fried fish, sitting in front of a breathtaking panorama. While continuing your journey you will follow the rocky coast of Santa Cesarea Terme in a blaze of light and color. The stage ends in Otranto, lying on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, a city that was for centuries the meeting point of different cultures and the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Orient. You can visit the Aragonese Castle and the beautiful cathedral, enriched by its magnificent rose window . Overnight in Otranto.
Otranto – Torre dell’Orso – Acaya – Lecce (60 km)
The final step will take you up to Torre dell'Orso, which offers visitors a crystal clear sea and golden sand. You will meet halfway Acaya, a charming town characterized by massive and impressive walls, towers and walls built in the first half of the 500 in order to protect the coast and the hinterland against the incursions of the Ottoman Empire. Finally, Lecce awaits you, a beautiful city dominated by the baroque art. See the complex of Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral and bell tower) and also the whole city center where private balconies and terraces are decorated with beautiful ornaments. Night in Lecce.
End of services after breakfast You can book a transfer to the airport of Bari or Brindisi.
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote