The Land of Trulli

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!

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 Terme
  • 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

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.


Savelletri di Fasano

Savelletri di Fasano

Day 1+2



Day 3



Day 4


Otranto, Province of Lecce, Italy

DAYS 5+6


Lecce, Province of Lecce, Italy

Extension Day 7+8

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?


Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides
Support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Wine tasting in Locorontondo
Wine included at reception on first and final nights
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

Not Included

Bike rental




May 11-17 (guaranteed)
May 18-24
June 1-7
June 8-14
Sep 21-27


Dates available upon request

Trip can start at any date. Custom and self-guided trips also available. Call or email us for details.


4-16 participants


7 days / 6 nights


Monopoli / Lecce


30-65 km / 20-40+miles daily
Van supported


3 days gently rolling, 3 days are moderately rolling


Land Cost:
US $3,650
Includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $920

Bike Rental:
US $280

E-bike Rental: 
*On request – this price includes delivery to the first hotel and pick-up in Otranto

Extension Monopoli:
US$495pp (includes night stay at the 4-star Palazzo Indelli in a superior room & 1-2 hour walking tour on morning of 2nd day and transfers to Palazzo Indelli on arrival from either Bario or Monopoli and transfer to Casale de Murgese to start your trip)

Extension Lecce:
US$595pp (includes night stay at 5-star Palazzo Bozzi Corso with a 1-2 hour walking tour, on arrival day).

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 or by telephone at 604.730.1247.

Getting there
Our trip starts from the Masseria Casale del Murgese, 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 stop after Monopoli. The shuttle from Fasano takes 5 minutes and we will meet you on arrival. If you are considering arriving a day early, consider our Extension with a night in historic Monopoli at the Palazzo Indelli, where you can stroll to restaurants and cafes.

STRAIGHT TALK: Puglia has finally been discovered and it is one of our most popular trips, for lots of reasons. Like much of southern Italy, there is some grit amongst the beauty. Many of the hotels we use (except for in Ostuni) are located in the countryside. Many of these were previously farms which were fortified and are known as Masserias. They were constructed of whitewashed tufa stone quarried locally. Historic details such as high vaulted ceilings, stone fireplaces, and alcoves are often present. The interiors typically combine local materials with international touches, creating a welcoming, contemporary take on what was once a modest property. We choose each taking into consideration its location, amenities and management. Each is unique and we hope you will enjoy. *For private groups upgrades to more luxurious properties may be possible in the Monopoli area as there are several ‘ultra-luxurious’ properties there.


Day 1

Savelletri di Fasano

We’ll meet at our first hotel anytime after 1pm. You can reach Fasano on a train that departs Rome at 8:05am and arrives to Fasano at 13:06 where we (or hotel staff) meet you at the station and whisk you to the hotel, where lunch awaits!

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. Take a swim at the hotel late afternoon and then join our wine reception before dinner.
Distance: 20 km, elevation gain 53 m or 30 km, gain 130 m.*


Day 2

Savelletri di Fasano

There are several options today; each of these starts by taking  you to historic 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. A short option leads from Monopoli west through small villages with a lunch option at a favourite restaurant before coasting back to the hotel.  Prefer a longer ride with some moderate hills? Polignano a Mare and/or Conversano are both worth visiting with historical centers and excellent restaurants to temp. We will done tonight at a sea-food restaurant popular with locals. Distance: 50km; 400m or 64km; 500m or 78km; 570m *


Day 3


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. It’s an easy ride 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. A longer option will take in the Bosco delle Pianelle Nature Reserve. We’ll stay at  a charming truli-style hotel with a large swimming pool and lush grounds. We have a cooking course this evening where you will learn the finer points of Italian cooking. Distance: 47km, elevation gain 700 m or 80km; 955m*


Day 4


This is an easier day, so feel free to sleep in some and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We start our 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 and then stop to visit an olive oil production facility, where you will taste the finest olive oil in the region. 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. Distance: 40 km, elevation gain 530 m (longer distances possible).*


Day 5


This day will start with a transfer by local train to Squinzano for a coastal ride that is the flattest of the week, 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 cities 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.*


Day 6


We save the best ride for last! Cycle south along the dramatic coastal road to Grotta Zinzulusa, a dramatic seafront cave system hung with colorful rock formations & teeming with marine wildlife. This stretch of coastline has unsurpassed architectural and natural beauty (and numerous swimming opportunities) in one of Italy’s most serene locations. You can ride back to Otranto for lunch and spend the afternoon exploring Otranto’s Castello Aragonese, a mighty fortress castle that formed the defense of the city.  If you have a century ride on your Puglia bucket list, you could continue all the way to Marina dei Leuca at the ‘southern tip of the boot’ and back. Either way, allow some time to enjoy the fabulous hotel and swimming pool. 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.*


Day 7

Departure: We offer transportation to the Lecce train station by 10am. Should you wish to depart at a different time, this can be arranged through your guides or the front desk of the hotel. Transfer time to Lecce is about 40 minutes and to Brindisi airport from Otranto would be closer to 70 minutes.

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

Casale Del Murgese, Savelletri di Fasano

This historic upscale property overlooks the Adriatic Sea and sits on lush farmland in an oasis of tranquility. Individually decorated guest rooms, an upscale restaurant with open-air dining and infinity swimming pool and a great location make this hotel ideal.

Leonardo Trulli Resort, Locorotondo

This Masseria style hotel boasts authentic trullis and villa rooms with contemporary touches. Other amenities include a large outdoor saltwater pool, a hot tub and a garden, plus a restaurant and a bar. Massage services and yoga are available also.

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. Alternate: Ostuni Palace, also located in the historic center.

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

October 26, 2023

“Great little hilltop towns. Olive oil factory and cooking class were great. As usual, loved the hotels and food. Our Travel Advisor was great – very detail oriented and quick to respond to my questions.”

October 26, 2023

“The whole experience was awesome! We loved our guides, the accommodation and food. The olive oil factory tour and tasting were great. We also enjoyed our cooking class. All the hotels were terrific. Our Travel Advisor was excellent! Viva Italia!”

October 26, 2023

“Wonderful guided tour through a beautiful region. Well organized and well executed. Guides were very informative and read the group well. Each of the hotels were well located and each offered different their own unique experiences. Dinner locations and menus were great. Vehicle support was great.”

May 29, 2022

“Beautiful region of Italy. Lovely to explore… especially on a bike. I had an amazing time, with a wonderful group of people in what I think is a spectacular region of Italy. The ride up the escarpment towards Alberobello and the last day ride from Otranto were especially beautiful. My favourite activities were the cooking class at the Lonardo Trulli Resort and the Olive oil tour and tasting. All the dinners were fantastic!! I thought the rides were great. I used an ebike and it was a great option… I loved it! I enjoyed the cycling and felt very proud that I did it. I was a trip I will never forget.”

October 8, 2019

“The area is beautiful as a whole. The biking was enjoyable and the final three hotels were as advertised “luxe”. We really enjoyed walking around the cities. Ostuni was great in being able to stay in the city and walk at night. The second Masseria was very nice. Food was very good and plentiful. Biking in the country side of Puglia was fantastic and trips to Alberobello and ostuni were fabulous. Nice balance on the tours. Guide (Petro) was excellent during museum, Alberobello and Olive Oil factory visit. Monopoli is a fun old city to walk around for a few hours.”

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.

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!!!

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!

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!

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 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.

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