In the heel of Italy, Puglia is undiscovered and untouched relative to the rest of Italy. The people are warm and authentic with life here fitting around slow, pastoral rhythms unique to Italy’s deep south.
The whitewashed villages are reminiscent of Greece. Indeed, the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Turks and Spanish have all left their marks on the architecture, the culture and the cuisine.
A network of quiet country lanes and gentle terrain make this a great destination for beginner and intermediate riders. Trip highlights include:
The warm climate means there is great biking from as early as March to the end of November
The eastern side of the area is dominated by the rugged Chianti Hills while the western side has a more agrarian terrain with large rolling hills peppered with hilltop villages.
Puglia’s season runs from as early as March through November, with the best months to visit being April through June, September, and October. While the months in between are also good months to visit, temperatures can get quite high at times, simply meaning that you may want to confine your cycling to earlier or later parts of the day. Of course, at any times of year in most parts of Puglia you can look forward to a the benefits that the Adriatic has to offer. We do not recommend cycling here in winter.
Our Puglia bike tour focuses on an area south of Bari, centered on Siena. To provide a flavor of this tour below is a description of one of the days bicycle touring in this region: Alberobello to Ostuni.
Today you leave the fanciful world of trulli and head to the gleaming white city on a hill that is Ostuni.
After some 15 miles passing centuries old olive trees you reach the slow-paced city of Cisternino – designated borghi più belli (one of Italy’s most beautiful towns). The town is also famous for its fornello pronti – meat grilled by butchers that you eat at tables in their stores. Very tasty and perfect for a picnic lunch.
After lunch you enjoy an easy ten-mile ride across craggy limestone terrain with expansive views down to the Adriatic coast. For many, the arid, Mediterranean terrain and whitewashed villages are more reminiscent of Greece than classical Italy. This sensation is intensified as you reach the outskirts of Ostuni: your overnight destination.
Those wanting to add more miles will do a loop ride down to Ceglie Messapica after arriving into Ostuni.
Ostuni is one of the most stunning cities in southern Italy; set upon a hill, this “white city” gleams in the afternoon sun. Inside the city walls is just as impressive with the city built on multiple levels across three hills – all linked together by staircases and cobbled alleyways. At every other turn there are spectacular views across the surrounding countryside and down to the sparkling Adriatic. An impressive 15th Century cathedral sits at the center of the historic old town.