Puglia is a land of dazzling light, historic villages, a vast blue sea. Orchards, olive groves and vines cover the landscape and quaint villages of whitewashed homes and fairytale-like trulli invite discovery. Cycling along the Adriatic coast is sublime and the cuisine, with abundant fresh seafood and imaginative pasta dishes are the reward for each day’s journey. Best of all are the people, who have lived here away from the rush of life in other parts of Italy, eager to welcome you into their hearts. Benvenuti.

This trip features luxurious inns (Luxe) 4 & 5 star. We also offer our Classic level of hotels which are generally 3 & 4 star.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
  • A ride you will never forget: from Otranto south along the coast to Santa Cesaria Therme
  • Cooking course with an Italian chef at a local trattoria
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises

Location

Savelletri di Fasano

Savelletri di Fasano

Day 1+2

Locorotondo

Locorotondo

Day 3

Ostuni

Ostuni

Day 4

Otranto

Otranto, Province of Lecce, Italy

DAYS 5+6

Lecce

Lecce, Province of Lecce, Italy

Extension Day 7+8

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Wine included at reception on first and final nights
Wine tasting in Locorontondo
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
Gratuities for all meals, hotels etc. are included; tips for Great Explorations guide(s) are additional and at your discretion
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

May 5-11
May 12-18
May 19-25
Sep 1-7
Sep 17-23
Sep 8-14
Oct 9-15

2020

May 3-9
May 10-16
May 17-23
Aug 30-5
Sep 15-21
Sep 6-12
Oct 7-13

Don’t see your date? Call or email us about adding another departure.

Custom and self-guided trips also available.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

7 days/ 6 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Monopoli / Lecce

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Easy-going/ moderate 20-40+miles daily

Van supported

TERRAIN

3 days gently rolling, 3 days are moderately rolling

COST

Land Cost (Luxe Inns):
US $2950
Includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $740

Bike Rental:
US $180

 

Extension Lecce

US $795 pp

Single suppl: US $200

Includes 2 nights hotel with breakfast daily, one additional day of riding and a guided walking tour.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

“Puglia is natural and wild, authentic in the true sense, rustic and traditional, friendly and safe. It is totally enchanting if these are the qualities you are searching for in a place”
Written by a traveler who fell in love with Puglia, and stayed

Getting there :
Monopoli/Fasano
We’ll meet at our first hotel, the luxurious Masseria Torre Coccaro, located 15 km from Monopoli. The nearest train station is Fasano and if you are traveling by train from Rome or Bari, it is the 1st stop, after Monopoli (approx. 35 min from Bari and approx. 10min from Monopoli). The shuttle from Fasano takes 10 minutes. If you are flying into Bari, and prefer a shuttle direct from the airport, the hotel will arrange a private transfer at 60 euros for up to 6 people.


1

Day 1

Savelletri di Fasano

We’ll meet at our first hotel at 2:00, where our guides will do the bike fit. Let’s go cycling! The ride on this day is a loop ride to Egnazia, a Roman port city dating to the 5th century, where remnants of the ancient road to Rome, a beautiful Acropolis and other monuments still exist – we’ll visit the museum here to learn about this fascinating history. Our hotel, the 5-star Masseria Torre Coccaro was a fortified farm, now a luxurious hotel with large swimming pool, comfortable lounges, and spa. We’ll have dinner in the dining room of the hotel tonight.
Distance: 19 km, elevation gain 53 m or 30 km, gain 79 m.*

2

Day 2

Savelletri di Fasano

Today we’ll ride to Monopoli which boasts a charming historical center and a vibrant port where fisherman bring in the day’s catch. Visit the impressive 16th century castle, and shops and restaurants in the center and return after lunch to the private beach of Coccoro Torre or around the pool at the hotel. Prefer a longer ride with some moderate hills? Polignano a Mare and/or Conversano are both worth visiting with historical centers and cafes to tempt. Finish the day with an Aveda Spa before dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Distance: 21 up to 79 km, elevation gain up to 502 m.*

3

Day 3

Locorotondo

We’ll cycle to the Unesco World Heritage site of Alberobello which boasts over 1500 trulli, distinctive round stone buildings with conical slate roofs. We’ll join a local guide here to learn the secrets of this fascinating town on a walk followed by lunch together. The short option will take you directly to Locorotondo, known as the Balcony of the Itria Valley for its stunning views. Puglia produces 17% of Italy’s wine and the whites produced here are very popular; you can sample from over 1000 vintners at the Cantina Sociale in town. A longer option will take in the Bosco delle Pianelle Nature Reserve. We’ll stay at the 4-star Il Palmento with charming trulli, two swimming pools and lush grounds. For dinner, we’ll follow the locals to a charming trattoria, where Giovanni presides over the kitchen. Try the house pennette, quill shaped pasta in a hearty tomato sauce spiked by hot peppers and onions or his lamb chops with cheese, parsley and wild herbs.
Distance: 35 km, elevation gain 657 m or 77 km, gain 893 m.*

4

Day 4

Ostuni

Start your day cycling to Martina Franca, an ancient city with stone walls, stunning piazzas and tiny winding streets. En-route you’ll pass through olive groves, vineyards, and forested lands on quiet roads with very little traffic. Midway, we’ll have time to explore Cisternino, with great cafes and restaurants. We’ll finish the day in Ostuni, known as the “white city” with its Arab influenced architecture and a labyrinth of streets designed to confuse invaders. Tonight, we have arranged a cooking class at a local trattoria where you will enjoy eating the Apulian specialties you prepared.
Distance: 34 km, elevation gain 382 m or 45 km, gain 399 m.*

5

Day 5

Otranto

This day will start with a transfer by local train to Torre Rinalda for a coastal ride with the aquamarine Adriatic at your side. The sea-side town of San Foca awaits you for lunch and afterwards we’ll continue south to historical Otranto, the most eastern point on the Italian peninsula and one of our favorite city’s in the region. Like much of Puglia, Otranto had a colourful past with Greek, Byzantine, Roman, Aragonese influences. We’ll stay at the luxurious Masseria Montelauro, located just outside of town. Tonight will be a free night for dinner and there are many excellent restaurants to choose between in town.
Distance: 70 km, elevation gain 240 m.*

6

Day 6

Otranto

We save the best ride for last! Cycle south along the dramatic coastal road to Santa Cesarea Terme with unsurpassed architectural and natural beauty in one of Italy’s most serene locations. There are swimming opportunities along the way and some of the most stunning scenery in Italy. For those who want the challenge, you could continue all the way to Marina dei Leuca at the ‘southern tip of the boot’ and back for a century ride. For those who prefer to cycle directly back to Otranto after lunch, you can explore the Castello Aragonese, a mighty fortress castle that formed the defense of the city, or relax around the pool at the hotel. We’ll finish by hosting a wine tasting with a local sommelier followed by a celebratory dinner in the dining room of the hotel.
Distance: 35 up to 112 km, elevation gain 238 up to 1516 m.*

7

Day 7

Departure: You can depart at your leisure for Lecce train station or Bari airport. There are bus and taxi options and we’ll help arrange this at your convenience.

*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.

8

Day 7-8

Extension

Add 2 days/2 nights to Lecce, with 1 day of additional riding, staying at L’Orangerie d’Epoque and a guided walking tour on day 2.

Masseria Donnaloia , Capitolo di Monopoli

Not far out of Monopoli, in the village of Capitolo, the Masseria Donnaloia boasts outstanding views of the sea, 200 m away. It is a historic property, with beautiful rooms, many with sea views. There is a spa on site, swimming pool, excellent restaurant, and beach club nearby that guests can utilize in high season.


Il Palmento, Locorotondo

This 4 star masseria has been built in the trulli style, typical of the region. The rooms are elegant and comfortable and the hotel boasts two swimming pools. The welcome is very friendly and the service impeccable.


La Sommita, Ostuni

Built around an historic 16th century Palazzo, with Moorish-styled walled gardens with citrus trees, a dipping pool and parapets that look out to the shimmering Adriatic. There is a one-star Michelin restaurant in the hotel. Please note, there are no twin rooms here; the 10 doubles each have king-size beds.


Masseria Montelauro, Otranto

Located just outside of Otranto, this wonderful luxurious masseria was built in 1878, originally as a monastery. Lovingly restored with attention to its historical significance, and surrounded by orchards with a large pool in its courtyard, this is a lovely hotel to finish our journey.



			

Trip Reviews

September 18, 2014

The Puglia trip was spectacular with incredible scenery, food and local culture.Our guides, Guido and Bianca, took care of our every needs.

October 10, 2014

As first timers to a bike tour we were really impressed with the whole experience Great Explorations provided in our trip to Puglia.

September 25, 2015

Bike was just like mine at home. I was very comfortable with it and it was in very good shape…I felt very spoiled every night at dinner. We ate like royalty!

September 28, 2015

The guides were wonderful and definitely made the trip a delight. The food was great, but sometimes too much. Also thanks for getting us great weather-I’m sure that was part of the package!

June 10, 2016

I was blown away with everything!! The scenery, most of the accommodation, the organization, and above all the guides – Silvia and Gabrielle were absolutely remarkable!!!

October 18, 2016

Trip was fantastic, we were a family of 8 including a 8 month baby. The trip was very organized and geared to our
family. It was evident a lot of planning went into this trip to make it special and we really appreciated the attention to
all the details that made it memorable for all of us.

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