Cycling routes on well-surfaced country lanes and quiet secondary roads. You may encounter a bit more traffic when approaching the larger towns.
Start: Polignano a Mare Finish: Lecce
Travel to Puglia where glorious Polignano a Mare gazes out across the Adriatic Sea. Settle in at your hotel, then go out and get lost in the town’s bright-white maze of lanes. Meander past Chiesa Madre church or linger on the piazza at San Benedetto and Dell’Orologio. Snap a photo of the ancient gateway into the old quarter, the striking Marchesale Arch, a grand send-off for tomorrow’s first route.
Venture inland and get to know Puglia on the inside as you cycle to the dream-like caves of Grotte di Castellana. Capture the quiet coolness underground then trek to the magical land of Trulli in Alberobello, where amusing white-washed huts sport pointed roofs and beckon you to stay. Which is perfect since we’ve booked the night for you here! A once-in-a-lifetime chance to live in a fantasy world, if just for a moment.
Challenge: 36 km, 500 m ascent, 100 m descent
Historic Murgia is built upon a karst plateau of olive groves, south-facing vineyards and classic ‘masserie’ farmhouses. Pause to taste a tiny bit of DOC wine in medieval Cisternino, then cycle out to spell-binding Ostuni on the Adriatic Coast. Hidden behind massive walls, the heart of the city guards a Gothic treasure: the 15th-century cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta.
Challenge: 40 km, 300 m ascent, 500 m descent
Roll down to Ostuni Station and catch the train to Lecce, where your cycling route begins. Ride into peaceful countryside on quiet roads through olive groves. Linger in small historic towns like Copertino and Nardò, walk down shady lanes in the old centre or relax with a perfect cappuccino. Cycling to Gallipoli you’ll come upon loads of splendid spots for a refreshing swim in the Ionian Sea.
Challenge: 52 km, 240 m ascent, 330 m descent
Snaking along the coast to the southernmost tip of Puglia, you run out of land at the dramatic divide between the Ionian and Adriatic Seas. Paddle in a paradise of turquoise waters and fine white sand on Torre del Pizzo beach. Recently refreshed, ride onward to magnificent Santa Maria di Leuca with its ideal beaches and wacky, wild, colourful mansions.
Challenge: 51 km, 200 m ascent, 170 m descent
Soak up the salty sea breeze on a high coastal route, winding gently along clifftops with phenomenally distracting views. Ready to make your own National Geographic special cycling feature, you stop to sign some autographs. Wait, back to reality: you stop for a glimpse of Grotta Zinzulusa then glide out to Otranto, a Greek-come-Roman port frequented by merchants and thrill-seekers.
Challenge: 53 km, 520 m ascent, 530 m descent
Parallel the seaside and Alimini Lakes, cruising along between fresh- and saltwater. Get into Greek Salento, where traces of former colonies still influence local language, traditional cuisine and bright architectural styles. You’ll wish you were more of an artist, as you imagine painting these brilliant whites against a cobalt blue sea. Take your time on the way to Lecce then get lost in its palatial passions (with nearly one hundred palaces!), steeped in history and brimming with Roman treasures.
Challenge: 52 km, 120 m ascent, 90 m descent
Your cycling trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Add on an optional airport transfer or extend your stay with extra nights in Lecce.
All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra overnight:You can book additional night(s) ONLY in Polignano a Mare and Lecce
Hotel Covo dei Saraceni is in Polignano a Mare, a 1-minute walk from the beach. The property is situated in a panoramic position, on top of a cliff at the bottom of which there is a pebble beach and offers a wellness center, a restaurant, a bar and a terrace. Rooms are furnished in an elegant style and equipped with TV, minibar, air conditioning, private bathroom, free Wi-Fi and some with sea view. Breakfast buffet is good and varied, the staff in the norm.
Trullidea Resort is in the center of Alberobello and its surroundings. The accommodations are arranged in authentic stone trulli typical of Puglia. Each trullo has a garden, a view or are in the heart of the city. Accommodations have heating, refrigerator, private bathroom, mosquito net, living room, free Wi-Fi, a stove on request and private entrance. Breakfast buffet is good and varied, the staff very kind and helpful
Hotel La Terra is in the heart of Ostuni in an ancient district of the White City, the Earth, from which it takes its name. The structure dates to the 13th century and has been completely renovated and has a good restaurant, a bar, a sun terrace and a lift to reach the rooms on the upper floors. Rooms are furnished in an elegant and well-kept, they are equipped with private bathroom, safe, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and panoramic views worthy of note. Breakfast buffet is very good and varied, the staff is very kind and helpful.
The 33 Baroni Hotel in Gallipoli is a brand-new hotel, at just 300 meters far from the old town and 80 meters from the sea. It offers clean and comfortable rooms with TV, air conditioning, soundproofing, free Wi-Fi, telephone with direct line. Breakfast is served on the terrace with sea view. Staff is helpful and courteous.
Hotel L'Approdo is in a panoramic position on the marina of Leuca marina and features a typically Mediterranean style. It offers modern, welcoming and bright rooms with air conditioning, balcony, TV, minibar, free Wi-Fi, external swimming pool and the access to a private beach. Breakfast is served at terrace. Staff is helpful. Is recommended the restaurant that offers tasty fish dishes and Mediterranean cuisine.
Hotel San Giuseppe is set in a 16th-century farmhouse typical of the Puglia region and it's a well-finished and relaxed location in Otranto's historic center just a few steps from the sea. Rooms are well-furnished and beautifully decorated with centralized air conditioning/heating, TV, free Wi-Fi. Quality breakfast is rich. Staff is helpful and courteous.
Grand Hotel is in the historic center just 200 m from Lecce Railway Station. The location is elegant and refined with Leccese Baroque architecture. Rooms are spacious, well-finished and beautifully decorated and have these comforts: air conditioning, telephone, TV, free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is rich of savory and sweet dishes served at the poolside or into a loggia.
You can start on any Friday, subject to availability, between March and July, and between September and October. Please, note that it can be very hot in July
If you are more than 4 pax, you can start any day of the week, subject to availability.
There will be supplements if you are less than 4 pax not starting on Friday (price on request)
For solo travellers a supplement applies. Prices on request
Arrival in Polignano a Mare
From Brindisi (BDS) or Bari (BRI) airports, you need to reach the relative city stations. Train connections are available to reach Polignano a Mare.
Departure from Lecce
On departure from Lecce you can take the direct train to reach both Bari or Brindisi train stations, where you find connections to the relative airports.
For more information about trains visit the website www.trenitalia.it.
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GPS tracks are available on request.
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