Cycling Puglia and Matera with Cathy Scott

About Escorted or Guided Tour

Cycling Puglia and Matera with Cathy Scott

About Escorted or Guided Tour

Join Cathy Scott on a Women's tour in the deep south of Italy. Nestled between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, lie the captivating regions of Puglia and Basilicata. This extensive itinerary explores the very best selection of all the cultural and natural treasures found here. Matera’s fascinating ‘Sassi’ houses and the UNESCO 'Trulli’ houses of Alberobello set the scene for the journey to come. After passing through idyllic countryside and the 'white city' of Ostuni, the route veers towards Gallipoli and the dramatic Ionian coastline. While riding across the famous Salento Peninsula, we immerse ourselves in the charming laid-back Italian way of living and explore a landscape made of olive orchards, limestone cliffs, crystal waters and Baroque towns.


Sept 24 to Oct 2, 2023

$ 3,399 CAD

Price Per Person land only $3,399 based on two sharing and a minimum of 10 passengers. (Limited to a maximum of 12) Not included: international & domestic flights, travel insurance, personal expenses, meals not specified, excursions not mentioned in the Itinerary, and tipping. Single supplement $599.00. Private transfers are available at additional cost for those not arriving at the same time as the group. Hold your space with a $600 non-refundable deposit.


What’s included:

  • All breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation – 6 nights comfortable hotels and 1 night ‘masseria’ (converted farmhouse)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Local bike hire (E-bike hire available on request)

This trip is classified Road, Activity Level: 3/Moderate. 6 days cycling, average 60 km/day (37 miles) Terrain and route: 99% tarmac, with a couple of very short sections of gravel.

Most of the cycling is along flat to hilly tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free), with a few steady ascents and descents along the way, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Road conditions are generally good, but tarmac may be pot-holed in places.

A support vehicle (with only two passengers seats) is available throughout the trip, it will not be able to follow the group at all times but it will meet us at the end of cycle paths and at junctions to give route directions and allow access to any items you don’t wish to carry on the bike.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Start Matera.

The trip starts in the town of Matera, a real jewel of Southern Italy. The hotel is located within walking distance to the historic centre. There is usually time in the afternoon to wander through the narrow alleys of the town’s famous UNESCO cave-dwelling district and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this enchanting city.

Day 2: Ride past the historic ‘Sassi’ houses of Matera before heading to Alberobello.

On leaving Matera we pedal through the area that makes this town so special. For millenia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwelling directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. These houses are called ‘Sassi’ and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago. Today’s ride is mostly hilly with gentle ascents to be expected throughout, as we cycle on quiet rural roads amongst the picturesque Apulian countryside towards Alberobello. En route we pass the lovely towns of Noci and Gioia del Colle as well as some famous fairy-tale trulli houses that have also made the historic centre of Alberobello a recognised UNESCO world heritage site. Overnight in Alberobello. Cycle approx. 70km (ascent +659m; descent -648m).

Meals included: breakfast

Day 3: Cycle through the lush Valle d’Itria, past the fairytale trulli houses to the hilltop-town of Ostuni.

Today we cycle through the lush Valle d’Itria, one of the prettiest cultural and natural landscapes of southern Italy, to the hilltop village of Ostuni. The route is undulating throughout but much shorter than yesterday’s ride. This allows us to enjoy the views at a more leisurely pace with plenty of opportunities for rest stops. Along the way we pass the famous wine town of Locorotondo and Cisternino, both known for their historic centres filled with whitewashed houses, narrow streets, churches and elegant piazzas. In the afternoon we reach the city of Ostuni, known as the ‘white city’ thanks to the dazzling effect of its white buildings.

Overnight in Ostuni.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 4: Ride through quaint villages and country lanes to a typical Masseria – a renovated farmhouse – where we spend the night.

We continue pedalling through tranquil country lanes to the town of Francavilla Fontana and on to Oria. A popular destination among Apulians, Oria is famous for its 13th century castle and delightful historic centre of cobbled streets, whitewashed walls and beautiful architecture. We continue through the countryside to a masseria, a typical Apulian converted farmhouse and our accommodation for the night. The masseria is still a working farm and most of the produce grown here, from vegetables to olives and wheat, is used daily for the preparation of local dishes. Before dinner we will have the opportunity to taste some organic olive oil produced by the family that runs the farm and accommodation.Overnight in Avetrana.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 5: Cycle to the coast and swim in the crystal clear sea before continuing towards Gallipoli with its old town situated on a rocky island.

From the masseria we cycle towards the Ionian Coast and the beautiful town of Gallipoli, known as the ‘Ionian Pearl’ with its old town situated on a rocky island offering fantastic views both to the north and the south. The town itself has many churches and narrow alleys and was the largest exporter of lamp oil made from olives in the 17th and 18th centuries. Weather permitting, today there are plenty of opportunities for swimming in the Ionian sea near the popular seaside resort of Porto Cesareo.Overnight in Gallipoli.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 6: Follow stunning stretch of coastline leading to the ancient town of Otranto.

Our route continues along the south of the peninsula and the impressive stretch of coastline leading to the ancient Messapian town of Otranto, the easternmost point in Italy. Before dinner there will be time at leisure to explore the town’s mediaeval centre. Here the interesting architecture, views, sea-front restaurants and white sandy beaches make it one of Puglia’s most picturesque towns.Overnight in Otranto.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 7: Continue along the shoreline to the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce.

Today we follow the shoreline through innumerable olive groves to Lecce, the Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy, in the heart of Puglia. Sometimes described as the ‘Florence of the South’, the city is an architectural gem, boasting sumptuous palazzi and churches. Today’s ride is relatively short and easy, giving us time to stop en route for a last swim (seasonal) in Torre dell’Orso, a lovely bay surrounded by limestone cliffs with many ancient caves to discover. In Lecce there will be some free time to explore the historic centre before an optional farewell dinner.Overnight in Lecce.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 8: End Lecce.

The trip ends in the morning of day 8. We recommend spending an extra day in Lecce to soak up the atmosphere of this elegant Baroque city, home to outstanding architecture. Exodus can arrange post tour accommodation for you if needed; please contact our Sales or Operations team for a quote.Meals included: breakfast


To book contact:

Phone: (250)480-0008 or Toll free: 866-544-0008

Email: info@nichetravel.ca

1889 Oak Bay Ave Victoria BC V8R 1C6 Reg. 63139

www.nichetravel.ca

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.