Day 1: Arrival in Matera
We meet in Matera
for a briefing on the trip and to meet the group and the guide.
Day 2: From Matera to Putignano / Castellana (60/70km)
Today’s ride brings you to Putignano.
After passing the countryside out of Matera, you arrive in Gioia del Colle, the town is famous for its 'mozzarella Fior di latte'
(made only with cow's milk), but also for its burrata
. After a break, you start cycling again arriving in Putignano, after 23 km ca. Putignano, has become famous over the years for its picturesque carnival, Once you get there, we recommend you lose yourself in its marvelous historic center, once protected by mighty walls with three gates that allowed entry: Porta Barsento (towards Alberobello), Porta Nuova (towards Castellana) and Porta Grande (towards Noci - Goia del Colle).
Day 3: Around Putignano: Monopoli, Polignano a Mare and Castellana (61km)
Today's tour take you to some of the towns in south-east of Bari, such as Polignano a Mare
, where you can taste the typical Octopus sandwich and have a swim in its beautiful sea; Monopoli
and Castellana Grotte
, where it is possible to visit some astonishing caves, a complex of underground cavities of karst origin.
Day 4: From Putignano to Locorotondo (45 Km)
The tour, at this point, brings you to the area known as Valle D'Itria.
Firstly, passing by Noci , which is probably the least known and least touristy of the towns in the Itria Valley, but worth a visit and a stop for a coffee. Gentle hills bring you to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 thanks to its 1.500 "Trulli" (typical houses with conical roofs).
Day 5: From Locorotondo to Avetrana (75 km)
The longest section of the trip will take you up to Avetrana
, crossing the border between the Valle d’Itria and Salento: you will notice the change in the landscape around you during the day. Passing by Martina Franca, you’ll travel along a short section of the ‘Aqueduct Cycleway
’, a path along the aqueduct of Puglia (which brings water from Campania all the way down to Salento). Then you’ll go on to Ceglie Messapica
, a city known for its bread
, that you can try in one of the oldest bakeries in the city, located in the old town. In Francavilla Fontana
you can visit the Basilica Minore of the Holy Rosary and Argentina Palace. Next stop is Oria
, ‘city of witches’. Leaving Oria, and passing by Erchie, you’ll have your overnight stay at a farm in the countryside of Avetrana (or in a B&B).
Day 6: Around Avetrana (45 km)
The journey to discover the surroundings of Avetrana will take us towards the sea, the long seaside bordered by the dunes of Torre Colimena
, where you will have the chance to visit the Salina dei Monaci.
Cycling along the coast heading north, we reach San Pietro in Bevagna
, where a crystalline sandy beach – totally deserted in the spring and autumn – will allow you to sunbathe and swim in the emerald waters of the Ionian Sea. From San Pietro in Bevagna , we head to Manduria
where there is the possibility to visit an ancient archaeological site
of the Messapica era and the Primitivo Museum
(primitivo is a high-alcohol red wine).
Day 7: From Avetrana to Lecce (60 km)
On this, the final day, you’ll head towards the ‘Florence of the South’: the city of Lecce
. Along the way, you pass through the fascinating ghost town of Monteruga
, founded in the 1920s and completely abandoned in the 1980s. This is the area of ‘Salice Salentino
’, whose vineyards produce a DOCG wine very popular around the world.
We go through a few small villages where, all year round, you’ll find the squares filled with elderly residents, hats pulled down against the sun, discussing politics and agriculture, and it seems that time has stood still. Later in the afternoon we reach the final destination, the City of Lecce
Day 8: Departure from Lecce
Walking tour of Lecce and goodbyes!