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Cycle Europe - serving bicycle travellers since 1972

Bicycle Tours — Italy

Puglia and Basilicata - Best of Southern Italy

Self-Guided - Trani to Ostuni - 8 days

The regions of Puglia and Basilicata occupy the "heel" of Italy's boot, surrounded by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Here, ancient Greek and Italian culture mingle in hillside vineyards, olive groves, and whitewashed villages nestled against the blue of the Mediterranean. Pedal through a magical landscape filled with unique conical shaped dwellings known as trulli and the ancient sassi dwellings dug out of hillside rock; enjoy meals prepared with Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern influence; and discover the warmth and hospitality of Southern Italy's friendliest people. You will also explore the UNESCO world heritage sites of Alberobello and the lovely Alta Murgia countryside. This self-guided cycling tour begins in the quaint port town of Trani, using secondary paved roads with little traffic, over rolling hills and valleys, ending in the stunning whitewashed town of Ostuni.

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  • Day 1

    Arrive in Trani. Fit bicycles

    Highlights: Old town of Trani; Romanesque cathedral by the sea; Swabian Castle

    After arriving in Trani and settling into your hotel, you will be met by our English-speaking local staff for a welcome briefing and bike fitting. We recommend any free time for visiting this historic and quaint fishing port town on the Adriatic coast. Trani is a peaceful town, great for walking and taking in the many wonderful views of the charming harbor. You will also want to visit the cathedral, Cattedrale di San Nicola Pellegrino, set on a dominant position on the edge of the water; the Swabian Castle (Castello Svevo) dating back to 1249, built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II; and the 12th century Chiesa di Ognissanti church, built by the Templar Knights.

    Accommodation: Hotel San Paolo al Convento, or similar.

  • Day 2

    Ride to Castel del Monte

    Highlights: The Alta Murgia countryside; olive groves and vineyards; Castle of Frederick II; night in a Masseria farm-stay

    Your cycling tour begins crossing the gentle hills of the Alta Murgia countryside, a region that has been inhabited and sculpted by various Mediterranean civilizations. You’ll pedal past olive groves and vineyards, until arriving at the Castle of Frederick II. The Holy Roman Emperor left his imprint throughout Southern Italy, and this may be his most amazing architectural accomplishment; the unique and stunning building is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight’s lodging is at a nearby masseria – a charming countryside farm stay.

    Daily distance: 45km (28 miles),
    Elevation gain: +550 m (1804 ft)

    Accommodation: Torre di Nebbia, or similar.

  • Day 3

    Cycling backroads to Gravina di Puglia

    Highlights: Cycling through rocky landscapes; underground city tunnel network; crypts of San Michele delle Grotte and the Madonna della Stella

    Cycling over rolling hills, with occasional short climbs and very little vehicle traffic, today’s route seems to take you back in time. The town of Gravina di Puglia will be one of the highlights of your tour - also full of charm and mystery, this walled town dates to the 8th century BC. Its location made it an important settlement since Roman times, with previous influence from other cultures, and it’s famous for its many grava buildings, cut into the rock, as well as the unique network of underground tunnels, cellars, churches and more, all hidden underneath the old town center.

    Distance: 47 km (29 miles).
    Elevation gain: +280 m (918 ft)

    Accommodation: Il Borgo B&B, or similar.

  • Day 4

    Altamura and Matera UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Highlights: Altamura’s old town and famous pane di Altamura bread; Matera’s sassi dwellings and UNESCO world-heritage site

    You will enjoy gentle cycling through valleys to the town of Altamura, famous for the cathedral and old town, as well as the local pane de Altamura and focaccia breads made in wood ovens (great for a lunch stop). From there, beautiful countryside cycling takes you to Matera, the capital of the Basilicata region and home to the famous sassi rock dwellings, inhabited since prehistoric times. As with many other southern Italian cities, Matera has been influenced by the presence of various Mediterranean cultures and kingdoms. The ancient and primeval aspect of the old town has also made it a fabulous spot for films, like The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson. We recommend hiring a local guide for a visit of the town’s important sights and rich history. You will sleep the next two nights in a sassi hotel with a magnificent view of the old town.

    Daily Distance: 46km (28 miles)
    Elevation gain: +390 m (1279 ft)

    Accommodation: Hotel Ridola, or similar.

  • Day 5

    Enjoy a rest day or explore on a loop ride

    Highlights: Matera old town and surroundings

    As Matera has so much to experience, you can use the entire day to explore the town at your leisure, or start your day with a loop-ride and continue your visit of Matera in the evening.
    For today's optional loop ride, you have two options:
    - This ride will take you the Murgia Timone, which lies across the Sassi district gorge, up to an amazing panoramic view of the old town of Matera and its sassi. A small park atop protects an amazing collection of Neolithic cave dwellings and small churches carved out of rock. The visitor’s center provides interpretation and a good spot for a picnic lunch.
    - Follow the beautiful road around Lake San Giuliano, a peaceful wildlife reserve for migratory species from Africa - a perfect spot for a picnic! Don't miss a visit to the Crypt of the Original Sin, a captivating rock-hewn oratory showcasing one of the oldest examples of rock art in Southern Italy. It is possible to book a visit to its extraordinary fresco cycle, created five centuries before Giotto, highlights the characteristics of Benedictine-Beneventan art (8th-9th century). Return to Matera for the night.

    Optional Rides:
    - First Option: 36km (22 miles); Elevation gain: +340m (1115 ft)
    - Second Option: 40km (25 miles)

    Accommodation: Hotel Ridola, or similar.

  • Day 6

    Ride to Alberobello

    Highlights: : towns of Gioia del Colle and Noci; the trulli of Alberobello

    Easier riding with some gentle rolling hills and short climbs takes us closer to the “heel of the boot”, Puglia. On the way, you’ll ride through two beautiful and easygoing towns, Gioia del Colle and Noci, where you can stop for lunch or coffee, stroll the town centers or simply watch local life and people. Today’s destination of Alberobello is another trip highlight – its amazing trulli dwellings are also protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Daily distance: 69km (43 miles)
    Elevation gain: +500 m (1640 ft)

    Accommodation: Trulli Holiday, or similar.

  • Day 7

    Cycle to Ostuni

    Highlights: Ostuni “the white”

    Cycling over gentle backroads, rolling hills and some short climbs, you will reach Ostuni. This architectural jewel is commonly referred to as the “white town”, as the buildings of its old town are completely covered in whitewashed walls. Perched on a hill overlooking the Adriatic, the white buildings contrast against the blue sea, creating a magnificent sight. This is another great town for strolling its cobblestone streets, photographing the coastal scenery and picture-perfect white buildings, and lazing away over dinner.

    Daily Distance: 45 km (28 miles)
    Elevation gain: +310 m (1017 ft)

    Accommodation: Hotel La Terra, or similar.

  • Day 8

    Tour ends in Ostuni

    Highlights: Arrivederci!

    Your bike tour ends in Ostuni today. Spend more time getting to know this city, or if your travel plans allow it, continue on to Bari or Lecce (the baroque Florence of southern Italy) to explore the heel of Italy. If you are interested in more cycling, ask us about possibilities for additional days.

    PLEASE NOTE : The final itinerary, including hotels and/or activities described here, are subject to changes according to availability. City hotel taxes are not included.

Includes Includes
7 nights lodging in 3-4 star hotels or equivalent
All breakfasts
Bike fitting and briefing in English by our professional staff at tour start
Technical and emergency support for the duration of the trip
Access to smartphone app with tracks and digital roadbook
Luggage transfers

Not included
Travel to and from the tour start and end
Any type of insurance
Bicycle rental (see Prices tab)
GPS device
Minivan assistance (available upon request)
Entrance to museums or other activities not specified as included
City hotel tax (€2 to 5 per night per person, to be paid locally by traveler)
Any meals or beverages not indicated as included
Tips and expenses for personal use

Solo traveler and Private Group departures available: please inquire.

Lodging Upgrade: Room and accommodation upgrades are possible in some hotels - please inquire for prices and availability.

Extra nights: If you'd like to add nights before or after the tour, please inquire - we will be happy to provide a quote and add the nights to your tour package.

Extra meals & activities (please inquire for price and availability):
  • Wine tasting
  • Guided visit of Matera
  • Shuttles to/from Bari Airport
  • ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Navigation and roadbook
    On our self-guided tours, detailed tour information and route navigation tracks are provided through the free smartphone app Ride With GPS - our "digital roadbook" - which includes daily routes, maps, elevation profiles, and ride descriptions; schedules and hotel itinerary; cultural and sightseeing information, visit suggestions; emergency numbers and more, all stored in one organized, easy to use app. Downloading the app content also allows for offline mode navigation. Participants can also upload the routes to their own GPS device, and even print the detailed route notes before leaving home.

    Luggage transfers
    Luggage transfers are included in your package. The luggage is normally collected at the reception of the hotel and is delivered at the following hotel. Please use the luggage tags provided by Cycle Europe on all your luggage being transferred. Please have your luggage ready before the driver comes to collect it, otherwise you may have to pay a local taxi for the service.
    Please consider that the luggage is not insured during the transport. You need to have your own insurance. Do not leave valuables or fragile items in your luggage.
    Normally, the luggage transport service cannot be used by participants to skip the cycling stage. In case you need help to skip the cycling stage, please contact our emergency number and we will arrange it for you.

    PLEASE NOTE: The final itinerary, including hotels and/or activities described here, are subject to changes according to availability. City hotel taxes are not included.

    Tour code: itbs3735
    Countries Italy
    Begin/End Trani / Ostuni
    Starting point: Hotel San Paolo al Convento - Via Statuti Marittimi, 111, Trani
    - We recommend flying into Bari Airport (BRI).

    *The meeting time for our self-guided tours is typically set in the afternoon. We recommend travelers plan accordingly allowing plenty of time to arrive at the determined meeting place. Please note a late fee may be applied for late arrivals - please see our terms page for details

    Ending point: Hotel La Terra – Via Gaspare Petrarolo, 16, Ostuni
    - We recommend flying out of Bari Airport (BRI).

    The starting and ending cities of the tour are well-connected by train service.

    Private airport transfers available if you prefer to be driven from airport to hotel in a private vehicle transfer, please inquire - we will be happy to include this service in your tour package
  • Transfer Bari Airport - Trani: €45 (price per person, min. 2 passengers)
  • Transfer Ostuni - Bari Airport: €75 (price per person, min. 2 passengers)

  • Final arrival and departure instructions along with other detailed pre-travel documents, will be e-mailed prior to your travel, with information specific to your departure (including the actual hotels used on your tour dates, which may vary from the hotels listed above).
    Total Distance 300 km (187 miles) with additional mileage options available
    Daily Distance 40 to 69 km per day (20 to 43 miles) No mileage on rest days by choice.

    Difficulty description: Easy to moderate - cycling over mostly hilly terrain (gentle rolling hills and some steeper climbs), with low to moderate daily mileage; scenic routes; genuine experiences of Southern Italian life and culture (approx. 4-6 h cycling per day)
    Rating 201
    Notes You can make this a 10 days tour! Inquire for details.

    This tour is part of our Partner Tours Collective program: operated by select local partners that we know and trust, the tour is similar in quality to those we operate directly in many ways. Please click here for more details.
    Terms Terms & Conditions
    Dates Prices Single Supplement
    Dates This tour is available January 23 to December 2.

    *2024 pricing coming soon!

    Starts any day from Monday to Saturday. Sunday departures available upon request. Highly recommended in Spring time; not recommended in August.
    Please note that starting on certain days of the week will make some visits (such as museums or tastings) impossible.

    Solo traveler departures are also available (only one person on the departure), with a supplemental fee. Please inquire for cost.

    Bike Rental options:
    We offer quality bikes in different styles, all great options for this bike tour. Our bikes are maintained and delivered in optimal working condition.

    The prices below are per bike for the duration of the tour, including delivery to starting point and collection from ending point, as well as bike fitting.

    Bike rental rates
    Aluminum hybrid: €145
    Carbon road: €265
    E-bike (hybrid with straight handlebar): €265
    Carbon Gravel Road Bike: €265

    For more information on bikes available for this tour, please see here: Puglia Bikes.


    Want a deeper dive into this wonderful region? Try the longer version of this tour: Best of Southern Italy 10-day Self-Guided Tour! Please inquire for prices and availability.

    Additional useful information:

    • Do you have any questions about how our bike tours work? Check out our FAQs page!

    • Curious about the difference between our Casual and Classic self-guided tours? Check out our introduction blog on Casual Self-Guided Tours.

    • If the self-guided formula isn't right for you, check out this blog introducing the differences between Guided and Self-Guided Tours.
    Prices €1360 per person * Single Supplement €340 (in double room for single use)*
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    • Outstanding communication with Sara pre-trip. Michele was awesome during our trip and we really appreciated his assistance with exchanging my bike for an e-bike on day 4. The luggage transfer was fantastic.. We had a great trip, thank you!

      Deana M.
      June, 2019

    • A remarkable, remote part of Italy. Not crowded, not touristy. Fascinating history and sites to visit.

      Michelle V.

      June, 2019

    • It was fun. Sights were great. The things we saw had much variety. Hotels very good. The people we encountered in Puglia were very friendly. Pleased with the bike quality. There was something unique about every town. Was a fun experience. We were not disappointed by any aspect of the tour. Everything was wonderful!!

      Jeanene H.

      May, 2019

    • We had a wonderful trip. Wildflowers were outstanding. The temperature was perfect...loved the accommodations. The Masseria we stayed in the first night on the road was amazing. Highly recommended. Since there is no option to eat anywhere else, you might think about including dinner in the overall cost of the trip for that night. The hosts were lovely and the accommodation and dinner both outstanding.

      Karen C.

      April, 2019