In the heart of Puglia, from Matera to Lecce

Cycling in Basilicata and Puglia

Highlights

The troglodyte city of Matera, a unique site in the world
The elegant town of Lecce, the jewel of Puglia
The charming coastal towns of Polignano a Mare and Monopoli
The Itria Valley and its trulli
The white villages of Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina Franca
Puglia's gastronomy: burrata, olive oil, wines

Discover Southern Italy from Matera to Lecce

From Matera in Basilicata to Lecce in Puglia, pedal your way through the exceptional landscapes and cultural heritage of the heel of the boot. This tour takes you to the sunny south of Italy, to discover the Puglia region, between sea, countryside and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Your adventure begins in the Basilicata region, on the border with Puglia, and more precisely in Matera, a surprising town listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Its dwellings, called sassi, have been carved out of the rock, as have its rock churches, some of which are over 1,200 years old. It’s a great way to start your tour, before hopping on your bike and heading off into the heart of Puglia, where other surprises await.

On one side, the Adriatic Sea, where the pretty towns of Polignano a Mare and Monopoli charm with their picturesque historic centers and the beauty of their sparkling coastline. On the other, the Ionian Sea, with the superb nature reserve of Salina dei Monaci, a corner of paradise that is home to a multitude of birds, including pink flamingos. Between the two seas, you cycle through the Itria Valley and its countryside covered with olive and almond trees and vineyards. Across the fields and hills, you see the odd trulli, circular limestone dwellings with conical slate roofs, emblematic of the Puglia region. The village of Alberobello, also a Unesco-listed site, boasts over 1,500 of them.

End your stay in style in Lecce, nicknamed the Florence of the South: renowned for its Baroque architecture, churches and period palaces, it’s one of Italy’s most beautiful towns.

Throughout your cycling stay in Puglia, you’ll have the opportunity to sample the full diversity of Italy’s renowned gastronomy: local pasta, orecchiette, burrata (a creamy cheese similar to Mozzarella), olive oil, seafood and the Primitivo and Salice Salentino red wines are not to be missed.

This holiday is the promise of a trip rich in emotions and discoveries, between sea and countryside, in an authentic and welcoming region!

Carte séjour Au cœur des Pouilles, de Matera à Lecce
Niveau FitFit
Day 1

MATERA

Free arrival in Matera, Basilicata.

Famous for its troglodyte dwellings, the sassi, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this unique city is well worth a visit. Wander through its narrow streets and stairways, and don’t miss its 800-year-old cathedral or its even older cave churches… A real journey through time!

Meeting with our local guide

Before your first ride, meet our local guide at your departure point. This is the perfect time to catch up on the latest practical advice, find out about the addresses and experiences you shouldn’t miss, answer any questions you may have, make the final adjustments to your bike and get your trip off to the best possible start.

Day 2

From MATERA to PUTIGNANO 63km 500m Niveau Forme

You leave Matera and Basilicata behind and arrive in the Puglia region in just a few pedal strokes through the countryside. A first stop in the town of Gioia del Colle allows you to admire its Norman-Swabian castle, one of the most beautiful in the region. The town is also famous for its production of mozzarella and burrata: you can’t leave Puglia without tasting the latter, a must-try local speciality! You then cycle up to Putignano, famous for its carnival, one of the oldest in the world. Lose yourself in its magnificent historic centre, once protected by walls with three gates leading into it: Porta Barsento, Porta Nuova and Porta Grande.

Day 3

PUTIGNANO, POLIGNANO A MARE AND MONOPOLI LOOP 62km 740m Niveau Forme

This loop takes you to the Adriatic coast, where the must-see Polignano a Mare and Monopoli await you. Polignano a Mare, perched on a cliffside above the sea, offers spectacular views and one of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia. An ideal bathing break, weather permitting! Monopoli is also full of charm, with its picturesque historic centre and iconic old port. After these two coastal towns, you’re back on the road to Putignano. On the way back, stop off at Castellana Grotte, where you can visit some amazing caves, a complex of underground cavities of karstic origin.

Day 4

From PUTIGNANO to ALBEROBELLO 42km 487m Niveau Loisir

You leave Putignano and discover the Itria Valley. It’s a real pleasure to cycle through its olive groves and vineyards. The Itria Valley is also known as the “valley of the trulli“, named after these surprising conical slate-roofed dwellings that are typical of the region. They have earned the village of Alberobello, which you reach at the end of the stage, UNESCO World Heritage status.

Day 5

From ALBEROBELLO to MANDURIA 78km 503m Niveau Forme

This stage marks the transition from Itria Valley to Salento region, at the tip of Puglia. The hills give way to flatter terrain, and the vegetation becomes more arid. Passing through Martina Franca, you follow a short stretch of the “Aqueduct Cycle Route”, a path that runs alongside the Apulian aqueduct. It carries water from Campania to Salento. Your next stop is Ceglie Messapica, famous for its bread, which you can sample in one of the town’s oldest bakeries. Other charming towns along the way include Francavilla Fontana and Oria, before reaching Manduria.

Day 6

MANDURIA 46km 253m Niveau Loisir

This loop allows you to discover the coastline on the Ionian Sea side this time! The Salina dei Monaci nature reserve is a haven of peace. Separated from the sea by dunes, the saltwater lagoon is a haven for a multitude of bird species, including pink flamingos. Heading north up the coast, you reach San Pietro in Bevagna, a wild beach with crystal-clear waters. After this nature break, you return to Manduria, where you can visit the archaeological park of the Messapian walls for history lovers, or the museum of Primitivo, Apulia’s emblematic drink, for wine lovers!

Day 7

From MANDURIA to LECCE 60km 228m Niveau Forme

Head east towards Lecce. A beautiful ride through the countryside and vineyards of Salice Salentino, one of Puglia’s most famous appellations. Along the way, you come across picturesque little villages that seem frozen in time. Finally, you arrive in Lecce, the jewel of Puglia, nicknamed the “Florence of the South”. Its limestone monuments and Baroque architecture give it an undeniable charm.

Day 8

LECCE

End of your stay in Puglia after breakfast.

Have a safe journey home!

Comfort Range

Our quality standard at Abicyclette. This type of accommodation includes 2 and 3 stars hotels. Depending on the itinerary, you might spend some nights in approved guesthouses. You enjoy a double bedroom with private bathroom and toilet and adapted welcome for you and your bikes.


Starting from 800€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Privilege Range

Opt for total comfort in charming 3 and 4 star hotels which offer all the services you need and a special welcome for you and your bikes.


Starting from 1020€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Essential Range

You want to enjoy your itinerary without anything fancy. Our ”essential” range offers a simple accommodation for a good night’s rest in a simple hotel, guesthouse, rest house or hostel.


Quote on request | Contact us

Price includes

  • Accommodation: 7 nights in a Double room
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer
  • Phone assistance 24/7
  • Application fee
  • A smartphone application to follow your itinerary step by step
  • A smartphone mount
  • A roadbook with cultural information and recommendations in English
  • 2 local product tastings
  • Additional services included:
    • Day 1 : A personalised welcome in French or English (subject to availability) with our team on arrival at the departure town to get you settled in and hand over all your travel documents.
  • Price does not include

    • bike rental (see option)
    • Breakfast on day 1
    • Lunches
    • Dinners not included in "Price includes"
    • Drinks, visits & other personal expenses
    • Taxes

    A “homemade” holiday by a local partner, a specialist in cycling holidays in Puglia:
    • Routes selected with the Abicyclette team for their tourist and cycling interest, fully signposted and kept clear of traffic.
    • Accommodation selected for the quality of its welcome and services
    • Flexible organization that adapts to your needs and desires: you leave on the date you want! We check accommodation availability to ensure your departure.

    Local support:
    • A personalized welcome on the first day of your trip by a local guide who will give you your travel documents (in English or French, depending on availability).
    • 24/7 telephone assistance
    • Luggage transfer service

    Simplified route tracking:
    • A roadbook to find all useful addresses, recommended restaurants and tourist information, maps and a description of the circuit.
    • An app to follow the route without ever having to look for directions (bike mount provided).

    And also:
    • Rental of technical and comfortable bikes, ideal for this varied route combining roads and paths.
    • The possibility of taking out a cancellation & multi-risk insurance covering you in the event of a problem or unforeseen event

    We offer a high-end bike rental service. Our bikes are suited for road and gravel road long-distance cycling. Fully equipped and highly reliable, they are faithful travel companions.


    Trekking bike

    Mansteel frame, 24 speed, Wheels 28”, tires 700*35, Suspension Fork.

    Women model available.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 lock
    • 1 pump
    • 1 rear pannier
    • 1 handelbar bag
    • 1 repair tool kit
    Vélo Randonnée VTC - Salento Bici Tours

    Electric Bike

    Aluminium frame, Wheels 28”, Suspension Fork, 10 speed dual clutch transmission.

    Engine Yamaha, battery 500Wh, autonomy 80-130KM.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 lock
    • 1 pump
    • 1 rear pannier
    • 1 handelbar bag
    • 1 repair tool kit
    Vélo Electrique Salento Bici Tour

    Getting here

    Departure city : MATERA

    Coming by car

    • at more than 16h from PARIS
    • at more than 16h from AMSTERDAM
    • at 10h from MILAN

    Coming by train

    • Matera train station - Plus de 12h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Bari airport

    Arrival city : LECCE

    Coming by car

    • at more than 16h from PARIS
    • at more than 16h from AMSTERDAM
    • at 10h from MILAN

    Coming by train

    • Lecce Railway Station - Plus de 12h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Brindisi Airport

    *Parking: Since many of our clients travel by train or plane, we do not include parking in our packages. In addition, many accommodations don’t have the capacity to park a vehicle for the duration of your cycling vacation. So if you’re planning to arrive by car, we suggest you check parking options when you make your reservation. If you reserve a parking space at the first or last accommodation of your stay, you must pay the accommodation provider on site.

    * Abicyclette Voyages accompanies you on demand, including transportation solutions.

    How to get back to the starting point

    • By train from Lecce Railway Station to Matera in 3h30
    • Return by car in 2h15 to your starting point
    • Private shuttle: see detailed fares or contact us

    Recommended equipment

    Bike

    • Hybrid Bike or Touring Bike or Gravel Bike
    • 18 to 30-speed transmission
    • 26- to 29-inch wheels
    • Tires: 35 to 42 section, reinforced against punctures
    • Disc brakes recommended
    • 2 bottle cages
    • Bell
    • Front and rear lighting

    Clothing and equipment

    • Helmet (supplied with bike rental unless otherwise specified locally)
    • 1 bike mount for smartphone to use the mobile route planner application
    • Suitable cycling clothing:
      • bib, shorts or tights: elastic and breathable, to facilitate movement and wick away perspiration
      • Breathable T-shirts, synthetic or merino wool
      • Breathable windbreaker
    • Thermal or fleece jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • 1 pair of sunglasses
    • 1 pair of cycling shoes
    • 1 backpack or 1 or 2 carrier bags
    • 1 or 2 water bottles (supplied with bike rental in France)
    • 1 lock (supplied with bike rental)
    • Technical details, recommended by the team for optimum comfort:
      • 1 pair of gloves or mittens, depending on season and destination
      • Padded bib (chamois)
      • High-visibility vest or fluorescent belt
      • Neck warmer and cap

    Bike maintenance

    • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 inner tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
    • Maintenance kit: rag, oil, brake pads

    Other

    • A suitcase for your belongings carried in the vehicle (limited to one per person)
    • Street clothes
    • 1 pair of evening shoes
    • Fleece jacket for the evening
    • Toiletry bag
    • Telephone and charger

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