Self-guided Bike and Hotel

IT008

Italy / Apulia

Coastline and Culture of Italy's Heel

Apulia is a region in south-eastern Italy that includes the heel part of Italy’s boot, suspended between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea. The region is characterised by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards. You start cycling in Matera, UNESCO world heritage site with its “sassi” and European capital of culture 2019, and arrive in Lecce, also known as “Florence of the South” because of its magnificent baroque architecture. This bike tour will lead you into a region of scenic beauty, which is, by today’s standards, still unspoiled by the unattractive aspects of tourism and still retains testimony of its great and ancient culture.
  • Day by Day

    1. Matera
    Individual arrival. Over millennia, inhabitants of the region have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. These houses are called “Sassi”, today a World Heritage site.
     
    2. Matera – Alberobello (70 km)
    You cycle to the famous “trulli” which were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Alberobello is situated upon two hills. On the eastern hill is the new town. On the western hill, the trulli are lined up in an urban conglomeration, subdivided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both World Heritage sites.
     
    3. Alberobello – Ostuni (45 km)
    You cycle through the countryside to Ostuni, which is reputed as an architectural jewel, and is commonly referred to as “the White Town” for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture.
     
    4. Ostuni – Lecce – Gallipoli (70 km by train + 50 km by bike)
    After a short train transfer and a few kilometres through the town of Lecce, you go deep into the “salentinian countryside”, before approaching the Ionian coast and your daily destination, Gallipoli.
     
    5. Gallipoli – Santa Maria di Leuca (50 km)
    Cycling further along the coast you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca. Its name was given by the ancient Greek sailors who came from the East. They saw this place lightened by the sun and therefore called it “leukos”, meaning white. The town is today a famous seaside resort.
     
    6. Santa Maria di Leuca – Otranto (50 km)
    Today you will cycle northwards along the Adriatic coast to Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy where you can visit the beautiful Cathedral and the great Aragonese Castle.
     
    7. Otranto – Lecce (55 km)
    Riding along the Alimini Lakes and their unique Mediterranean bush you will enter Lecce. Thanks to its Baroque style, it has earned the nickname of Florence of the South.
     
    8. Lecce
    Departure after breakfast.

     

     Due to organisational 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 rider can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.

     

  • Route profile
    • Total length: 320 km
    • Total vertical up: 1,450 m
    • Terrain: 99% tarmac, 1% unpaved
    • Train connection among the overnight stays: NO
    • Possibility to shorten the itinerary by taking the train: day 3.

     
    Mostly in the lowlands, sometimes hilly. Traffic is almost non existent in Apulia except during the high holiday season. The route includes very beautiful stretches on the coast.

    Easy to Moderate: some days flat, others with some hills. Suitable for everyone with some cycling experience and a few physical condition.

     

  • How to get there

    Matera is connected with the following airports:
    Bari: 70 Km, Brindisi: 130 Km.


    TRAINS
    For further information on timetables and prices you can consult the following website: www.trenitalia.com and www.fal-srl.it.

     

     

  • Accommodation and meals

    We personally choose all the hotels mindful of your comfort as well as the proximity to cycling paths and any relevant local sites.
    The hotels of this tour are 3/4* hotels (in Alberobello in some cases a typical “widespread hotel”, the so called “trulli”). All rooms have en suite facilities; in the Trulli accommodation there is no air conditioning.

    When you book the tour please specify the type of room requested:

    • double room is a room with one double bed
    • twin room is a room with two single beds
    • triple room is usually a room with one double bed and a single bed or a rollaway.

     

  • Bikes and accessories

    Girolibero’s City bikes are available in various sizes in unisex/women’s or men’s models. At the moment of booking, you can choose from the following bikes:

    • City bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
    • Electro-bike 8-gear Shimano Nexus


    Features:

    • aluminium frame
    • mudguard
    • rear rack
    • comfort gel saddle
    • anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
    • ergonomic bicycle grips
    • Speed Lifter system (only for City bikes)

     

    All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

    • 1 cycle computer  
    • 1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
    • 1 front bar bag or 1 map holder
    • 1 water bottle (0.75 l)
    • 1 repair kit per room: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers
    • 1 combination bike lock


    At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets, suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61. All our helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.

     

  • Accompanying material

    The Information Pack (1 per room) includes:

    • roadbook describing the cycling route stage by stage
    • bike maps
    • Girolibero Greens Cycling Guide
    • final hotel list: due to overbooking or organisational needs your hotel list may be changed just before your arrival
    • luggage labels to be fixed at each piece of baggage, which has to be carried
    • hotel vouchers to be given to the reception of each hotel on your arrival

     

  • By your side

    In Matera you will meet our representative who:

    • will present you the tour
    • will deliver you the bikes
    • will be at your disposal (about 30 minutes) for any questions you may have.


    The exact time and place of the meeting will be specified in the Final Tour Details. We kindly ask you to advise if you cannot attend the meeting.

     

    For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us:

    • office +39 0444 330724 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30
    • emergency phone number every day 8:00-20:00. The number will be specified in the Final Tour Details.
  • 12 Client reviews
    • Mary, UK

      Vacanza del 2017

      pubblicazione 08 June 2017

      We recently returned from a cycling tour of Apulia organised by Girolibero and I just wanted to thank Girolibero/you and say how well organised it was. Every detail was covered and the accommodation and bag transfer arrangements were superb. It is certainly a trip I will recommend to friends. We did notice a couple of minor errors on the directions and will email you separately about these as I don’t have the details to hand. They were very minor amendments.

      Thank you once again for putting together such a lovely trip.

      Kind regards
    • Mike, USA

      Vacanza del 2016

      pubblicazione 18 July 2016


      Hi Katia,
      Your timing is perfect! We arrived home last night from traveling - most recently in the US.
      The Apulia trip was WONDERFUL!
      I have been organizing trips for friends and relatives for many years and this trip was loved by everybody- one of the best if not the best!
      Here are some of the factors that contributed to the success of the trip and are related to the excellent job you and Girolibero performed.
      1. The bicycles were in excellent condition and we had no major problems. The frames were properly sized and the unlimited seat and handle bar
      adjustments made them a perfect fit for everyone. I especially like the ability to turn the handle bars parallel to the frame so that we could fit them on the train.
      The bicycle is the MOST important factor for me and your bikes were the BEST I have ever experienced in my many years of renting bikes for groups overseas.
      2. The restaurants you selected for us were excellent. We were fed so much food! The service was excellent! The servers were pleasant.
      Having the dinners arranged ahead of time really made the logistics of planning while traveling so much better!
      3. The scenery was beautiful! Traveling along the ocean was beautiful. The selection of towns was well planned and the distances were
      very reasonable. Such beautiful towns!
      4. Your selection of hotels was excellent - especially sleeping in the Truli and the Sassi. What an experience!
      5. Several people commented on how quickly you returned emails and your attention to details.
      6. The trip was reasonably priced for the value offered.
      7. Everybody enjoyed not having a guide! We got “lost” a few times but it was exciting!

      Here are some factors that could be improved upon but were MINOR. Some you can control.
      1. The directions in the tour guide can be somewhat confusing and contradictory. I feel it is in the translation and syntax - the sentence structure.
      The yellow arrows were well-placed and followed along with the tour guide did help minimize the confusion.
      2. Girolibero might reconsider allowing more time scheduled for the first day bike pick-up and start. The half-hour schedule is unrealistic and
      sets an unrealistic start expectation for the large group of participants. It makes people anxious to start later than they anticipated and that anxiety can
      be avoided by having a realistic first day schedule.
      3. It DOES rain in Apulia in June - a lot! We had a few showers that were a deluge! We were fine but everyone kept quoting the guide, “Rain is minimal in Apulia in the Summer.”
      HaHa!

      Lots of people have been asking me where I will be traveling next year. Do you have any suggestions?
      I was thinking of a few days sightseeing in Rome before starting a cycle trip. I was looking at Majorca but it may be too hilly - unless I can find a somewhat flatter route.
      Maybe the seacoast of Spain? Latvia? Northern France - Alsace?
      Thank you and Girolibero for a great job and hope to be traveling with you in the future!

      Best Regards,
      Mike
    • Liz, Mary, Marie, Anne and Mary, Ireland

      Vacanza del 2016

      pubblicazione 01 July 2016


      What a fabulous cycling holiday we had in Puglia - probably our most favourite cycling holiday so far. Many thanks to Girolibero for your excellent organisation; in particular to Maddalena for your patience with all our requests and to Marco from Lecce for your assistance with the replacement bike ( and welcome pizza). The hotels were perfect with friendly helpful staff; the plentiful breakfasts were a surprise when we were expecting barely a coffee and bread! The route was just what we like, farmland, great sea views and country roads. In particular we loved the family- run restaurants recommended in Marco’s guidebook and especially the home produced feast laid out for us under the walnut tree at Nuovo Muretto. The local people were always friendly and helpful; even the drivers were patient with our peloton of five. Southern Italy is a gem.
      Grazie from Ireland
    • Susan, Australia

      Vacanza del 2016

      pubblicazione 15 June 2016


      Amazing trip, made me so happy. Matera to Lecce.
      Because of an injury this trip could have been a sad disaster. Because of Marco (from Lecce) everything was worked out and I had one of the most fun and fabulous trips ever! I was so happy... you can see it in my face. I have been telling my friends about the trip and encouraging them to go.
      Thanks again to GiroLibero.
      Cheers!
    • Thierry, Belgium

      Vacanza del 2016

      pubblicazione 10 May 2016


      Hello Katia,
      The trip is now over, and we brought back great memories of a beautiful trip.
      I can't say more about Girolibero's organisation: it was outstanding from beginning to end.

      We travel a lot, and had many experiences all over the world, cycling or not: this trip was one of the best organised. The itinerary, the documents, the advice, the bikes were perfect.

      We didn't have a good weather (rain and a lot of wind when rain stopped), but nobody seemed upset, all the group was smiling every morning at breakfast.
      (Maybe an additional advice about bringing good rain suits should be useful: northern people think that sun shines all year in Italy.)

      The region is magnificent, we've seen so many beautiful towns and landscapes, we certainly will come back to see more of Apulia.
      And look at Girolibero's web site for another italian trip!

      Many thanks for your help!
      In attach, you'll see some photos of your bikes in the sun…
      Best regards,

      Thierry
    • Tina, London (Canada)

      Vacanza del 2015

      pubblicazione 28 October 2015

      Hello Katia
      As we fly to Northern Europe for our second week of vacation I just wanted to send you a quick email to tell you we all had a fabulous time. The tour was amazing. The bike were comfortable. Marco was so very helpful. (Unfortunately we needed his assistance a few times with the e bikes). The hotels were all beautiful and the food was incredible.

      Although all the restaurants were very good La Vinaigrette and Ristorante Angli Angeli Ribelli were exceptional. Our dinner last evening at Le Zie was incredible so if you are ever asked for a suggestion from your customers I would highly recommend it.

      Finally thanks to you again for being such an amazingly organized person. It really was a pleasure dealing with you and we will do it again either next year of spring of 2017. I will probably have each person book their own next time!
    • Michael, Bristol

      Vacanza del 2015

      pubblicazione 25 June 2015

      Hi Anna,

      I just wanted to thank you for the great holiday we had in Puglia. The hotels, logistics, weather and scenery were all brilliant. I can also recommend the Oriente Hotel in Bari that we used for our extra night before travelling home, if any of your other customers are looking for a hotel in Bari.

      regards,
      Mike.
    • Roger, Longside Peterhead, Scotland

      Vacanza del 2014

      pubblicazione 03 December 2014

      Dear Valentina Maccà,

      We have returned to a cold Scotland 2.5C after a very enjoyable cycling trip in Puglia. The organisation of the trip was excellent, we were warmly welcomed at each hotel and it was nice to find our luggage waiting for us in our rooms.

      The bikes were excellent and performed well throughout the trip. The route marker stickers were well positioned and a great aid especially on some of the more rural tracks. A special thank you to our “Guardian Angel” who was responsible for the luggage transfers and who also popped up from time to time to ensure all was well with us and also the bikes.

      Your handling of our booking was excellent, and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring Puglia by bike.

      Many thanks,

      Helen and Roger
    • Lisbeth U. - SCHWEIZ

      Vacanza del 2009

      pubblicazione 03 March 2010

      Dear Giulio, es hat uns alles sehr gut gefallen und wir waren mit den Hotels und den Fahrrädern sehr zufrieden. Der Chauffeur der das Gepäck transportiert und den Transfer gemacht hat war sehr liebenswürdig, hilfsbereit und zuvorkommend. Herzlichen. Viele Grüsse Liesbeth U.
    • Kathleen G. - USA

      Vacanza del 2009

      pubblicazione 03 March 2010

      I returned last evening from Italy having cycled the Apulia trip the week of March 28th. All hotel accommodations were excellent. The bicycles were excellent. They have a special tire; therefore, there was not even a need to put air in them for the 7 days. They were comfortable to ride, especially the seat which has gel in it. The distance is measured in kilometers; however, you are given a small odometer on the bike which measures the kilometers. Our trip was marked "leisure" in the legend which meant you needed to be able to cycle some rolling hills some of which were short distances. The people who transported our luggage were very pleasant and always on time. When we arrived at our hotel on a daily basis, our luggage was in our rooms. I have cycled the Danube and in Ireland previously with other companies, and this trip was my top choice. I coordinated our self guided tour with Antonio, who was very responsive to all details. I am already considering one of their other trips for next year. Regards, Kathleen G.
    • Diane T. - CANADA

      Vacanza del 2009

      pubblicazione 03 March 2010

      Hi Antonio Thanks for booking a wonderful trip for us. Everything was perfect. Thanks again, Diane T.
    • Eileen M. - USA

      Vacanza del 2009

      pubblicazione 03 March 2010

      This was overall a very nice ride with both historic parts and scenic riding along the coast. The hotels were good, the bikes were in very good condition and we had no problems. They both had decent computers which helped us a lot. Eileen M
  • 2 Variations

Tour details

 

from 580 €

8 Days / 7 Nights, 3/4* hotels or Trulli in Alberobello

Tour type

self-guided

 

Departures

SA 25.03-17.06 and 26.08-21.10.2017, also FR 12.05-9.06 and 8.09-29.09.2017.
Special departures for at least 5 people.

 

Price per person

580 € in double room, 3/4* Hotels (in Alberobello in some cases a typical “widespread hotel”, the so called “trulli”)

 

Seasons

Season 1: 25.03 and 21.10.2017
Season 2: 26.03-30.04 and 1.10-20.10.2017
Season 3: 1.05-17.06 and 26.08-30.09.2017

 

Included

  • 7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Breakfast buffet
  • Welcome briefing in English
  • Luggage transportation
  • Girolibero Greens Cycling Guide + roadbook + maps
  • 7-days Hotline service
  • Train transfer Ostuni-Lecce on day 4

Not included

  • Local taxes (approx 10-15 €)
  • Everything not mentioned in the section “included”

Supplements

200 € single room
55 € season 2
110 € season 3
75 € Girolibero bike
170 € Electro-bike
15 € helmet

Transfers (to be confirmed when booking the tour):
45 € p.p. Bari-Matera (min. 2 persons)
Brindisi–Matera, Lecce–Bari, Lecce–Brindisi: on request
 
Extra nights in in double/single room with breakfast:
65/90 € in Matera
60/90 € in Lecce

 

Reductions

100 € 3rd/4th person in room

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