Cycling Puglia & Matera

8 days
from
£1,599
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Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
MWV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
6–16
Ages:
16+

Cycle from the UNESCO town of Matera through Italy's heel to Lecce

In the deep south of Italy, nestled between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, lie the captivating regions of Puglia and Basilicata. This extensive itinerary explores the very best selection of all the cultural and natural treasures found here. Matera’s fascinating ‘Sassi’ houses and the UNESCO 'Trulli’ houses of Alberobello set the scene for the journey to come. After passing through idyllic countryside and the 'white city' of Ostuni, the route veers towards Gallipoli and the dramatic Ionian coastline. While riding across the famous Salento Peninsula, we immerse ourselves in the charming laid-back Italian way of living and explore a landscape made of olive orchards, limestone cliffs, crystal waters and Baroque towns.

Highlights

  • Ride from the stunning UNESCO town of Matera
  • Enjoy gentle cycling through olive groves and past white-coned trulli
  • Sample fine seafood and wine from the famous Salento coast
  • Stay in charming accommodation bursting with character

Key information

  • 6 nights comfortable hotels and 1 night 'masseria' (converted farmhouse)
  • 8 days land only / flight inclusive
  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 99% tarmac and some short sections of gravel
  • Quiet rural undulating roads 
  • Local bike hire included
  • E-bike hire available on request
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local city taxes (approx. €10)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 99% tarmac, 1% gravel path

Day by day breakdown
Day 270.0km/43.0miles
Day 345.0km/27.0miles
Day 456.0km/34.0miles
Day 565.0km/40.0miles
Day 670.0km/45.0miles
Day 750.0km/31.0miles

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we use locally staffed accommodations including a night in a typical Masseria (a traditional converted farmhouse). When meals are provided, ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible otherwise there are plenty of opportunities to try local specialties in local restaurants and cafes recommended by our local guides. 

Cycling trips have very little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. By making donations and using businesses which surround the historical sites and attractions we visit, we are ensuring that the community benefits from our tourism.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

Expand all
Matera
to
Lecce
  • Day 1

    Start Matera.

    The trip starts in the town of Matera, a real jewel of Southern Italy. The hotel is located within walking distance to the historic centre. There is usually time in the afternoon to wander through the narrow alleys of the town’s famous UNESCO cave-dwelling district and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this enchanting city.

  • Day 2

    Ride past the historic 'Sassi' houses of Matera before heading to Alberobello.

    On leaving Matera we pedal through the area that makes this town so special. For millenia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwelling directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. These houses are called 'Sassi' and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago. Today's ride is mostly hilly with gentle ascents to be expected throughout, as we cycle on quiet rural roads amongst the picturesque Apulian countryside towards Alberobello. En route we pass the lovely towns of Noci and Gioia del Colle as well as some famous fairy-tale trulli houses that have also made the historic centre of Alberobello a recognised UNESCO world heritage site. Overnight in Alberobello. Cycle approx. 70km (ascent +659m; descent -648m).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cycle through the lush Valle d'Itria, past the fairytale trulli houses to the hilltop-town of Ostuni.

    Today we cycle through the lush Valle d'Itria, one of the prettiest cultural and natural landscapes of southern Italy, to the hilltop village of Ostuni. The route is undulating throughout but much shorter than yesterday's ride. This allows us to enjoy the views at a more leisurely pace with plenty of opportunities for rest stops. Along the way we pass the famous wine town of Locorotondo and Cisternino, both known for their historic centres filled with whitewashed houses, narrow streets, churches and elegant piazzas. In the afternoon we reach the city of Ostuni, known as the 'white city' thanks to the dazzling effect of its white buildings.

    Overnight in Ostuni. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ride through quaint villages and country lanes to a typical Masseria - a renovated farmhouse - where we spend the night.

    We continue pedalling through tranquil country lanes to the town of Francavilla Fontana and on to Oria. A popular destination among Apulians, Oria is famous for its 13th century castle and delightful historic centre of cobbled streets, whitewashed walls and beautiful architecture. We continue through the countryside to a masseria, a typical Apulian converted farmhouse and our accommodation for the night. The masseria is still a working farm and most of the produce grown here, from vegetables to olives and wheat, is used daily for the preparation of local dishes. Before dinner we will have the opportunity to taste some organic olive oil produced by the family that runs the farm and accommodation.

    Overnight in Avetrana. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Cycle to the coast and swim in the crystal clear sea before continuing towards Gallipoli with its old town situated on a rocky island.

    From the masseria we cycle towards the Ionian Coast and the beautiful town of Gallipoli, known as the 'Ionian Pearl' with its old town situated on a rocky island offering fantastic views both to the north and the south. The town itself has many churches and narrow alleys and was the largest exporter of lamp oil made from olives in the 17th and 18th centuries. Weather permitting, today there are plenty of opportunities for swimming in the  Ionian sea near the popular seaside resort of Porto Cesareo.

    Overnight in Gallipoli. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Follow stunning stretch of coastline leading to the ancient town of Otranto.

    Our route continues along the south of the peninsula and the impressive stretch of coastline leading to the ancient Messapian town of Otranto, the easternmost point in Italy. Before dinner there will be time at leisure to explore the town’s mediaeval centre. Here the interesting architecture, views, sea-front restaurants and white sandy beaches make it one of Puglia's most picturesque towns.

    Overnight in Otranto. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Continue along the shoreline to the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce.

    Today we follow the shoreline through innumerable olive groves to Lecce, the Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy, in the heart of Puglia. Sometimes described as the 'Florence of the South', the city is an architectural gem, boasting sumptuous palazzi and churches. Today's ride is relatively short and easy, giving us time to stop en route for a last swim (seasonal) in Torre dell'Orso, a lovely bay surrounded by limestone cliffs with many ancient caves to discover. In Lecce there will be some free time to explore the historic centre before an optional farewell dinner.

    Overnight in Lecce.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Lecce.

    The trip ends in the morning of day 8. We recommend spending an extra day in Lecce to soak up the atmosphere of this elegant Baroque city, home to outstanding architecture. Exodus can arrange post tour accommodation for you if needed; please contact our Sales or Operations team for a quote.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

7 breakfasts are included and usually consist of a continental-style buffet. A typical hotel breakfast consists of: toast/bread with jam, cereal, cheese and ham (occasionally), served with coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, fruit, cake and yoghurt. Lunches are normally arranged as picnics or taken in small cafes' along the route.  Vegetarians and people with special dietary requirements can be catered for but please inform us of your requests prior travel.

In Puglia you will find genuine regional cooking that has strong links to the land and the sea. Some of the types of food on offer in Puglia: bread from the Murge, durum wheat pasta, olives, the pasta delicacy Orecchiette served with a sauce of turnip-tops or fresh tomato and sheep's ricotta-cheese, Cavatelli with pulses, aubergine and parmesan bake, grilled fish and seafood, burrata (soft mozzarella and cream cheese), plus excellent wines. This region is a paradise for food lovers!

Weather

Puglia enjoys a wonderful Mediterranean climate with year round sunshine and just enough rainfall to ensure a lush landscape Although Puglia covers a large area it is long and narrow. In fact it is never more than 30km across, which allows the sea breeze to have a moderating effect on the weather.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road, Activity Level: 3/Moderate.

6 days cycling, average 60 km/day (37 miles) Terrain and route: 99% tarmac, with a couple of very short sections of gravel.

Most of the cycling is along flat to hilly tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free), with a few steady ascents and descents along the way, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Road conditions are generally good, but tarmac may be pot-holed in places.

A support vehicle (with only two passengers seats) is available throughout the trip, it will not be able to follow the group at all times but it will meet you at the end of cycle paths and at junctions to give route directions and allow access to any items you don’t wish to carry on the bike. 

Please see the introductory pages of the cycling brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us.

 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

3 and 4-star hotels

We use a mix of comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels and renovated traditional buildings. Most hotels are high quality and have been selected for their location, comfort and character, some representing the characteristic Apullian architecture. We also spend one night in a typical Masseria (a traditional converted farmhouse ) surrounded by olive groves. All rooms are en suite and some hotels have a swimming pool.

Examples of hotels used:

Matera: Hotel Belvedere and Residence Casalnuovo. Please note that due to the limited capacity of hotels in Matera we are not able to confirm the definite start hotel for each departure far in advance, and the group may occasionally be split in different accommodation of similar standards. 

Alberobello: Trulli e Puglia

Ostuni: Relais Sant'Eligio or Masseria Tutuosa (approx. 10km from Ostuni)

Avetrana: Masseria Bosco

Gallipoli: Hotel 33 Baroni

Otranto: Hotel Albania

Lecce: Hotel Eos

Please contact our Customer Operations team two weeks prior departure if you wish to receive the up-to-date hotels list for your trip.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2022

    All round brilliant trip

    We waited two years for this trip but it was worth the wait - beautiful scenery, relaxed riding, lovely food, excellent tour leader and a great fun group. Bikes were comfortable and very able to cope with the terrain.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's difficult to pinpoint a single moment - the view from the terrace of our Matera hotel, cycling on backroads through olive groves, the trullis of Alberobello, late night jazz in Ostuni - and getting to the top of that roller coaster hill.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizio was a star - nothing was too much trouble for him. Bursting with enthusiasm and energy and very knowledgeable about the area. He kept the group cycling at a good steady pace, making sure that no one got left behind and as a single guide with a group of 15 had a great system of shared responsibility for being way markers and back markers. He collected money up front to cover all lunches, snacks, tips and taxes which saved lots of time and was very good value. Definitely one of the best group leaders we've had. Piero our driver was also excellent - always on hand with water and assistance and finding wonderful fresh fruit for our snack stops.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Highly recommend this trip - the distances aren't too great so plenty of time to swim in the Adriatic and the Ionian and explore the beautiful towns you stop at along the way. Hills are very manageable but if you're concerned about fitness, hire an ebike, We had five on our tour and we all cycled together very happily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes are fitted with panniers which means you can carry swimming gear ready for seaside stops. Highly recommend staying an extra night or two properly to explore Lecce, which is beautiful. Move to accommodation in the old town to get the best experience.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Cycling Puglia and Matera

    An interesting trip in very hot weather. The places visited were interesting and the hotels were good. Bikes as usual,even though brand new, were basic and heavy. More suited to town riding than touring. This added to the amount of time on the road, so leaving less time to explore the towns we stayed in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very pleasant and helpful. Informative and with a good command of English. A good bike mechanic for a change.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    All round excellent trip. Stunning towns. Good quality hotels. Great Tour Leader.

    A great trip with some beautiful scenery and stunning towns. Cycling on some of the days was quite tough given the weight of the bikes combined with the undulating terrain and Puglian heat (end May 2022). Great tour guide Antonio and driver Piero could not have been better. Very good standard of accommodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Beautiful scenery along the Ionian and Adriatic coastlines. Otranto Cathedral mosaic floor is a must see.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonio was excellent. Very attentive and ensured any requests were attended to. He made great efforts to ensure people paid the correct amounts at dinner time (for what they ate and drank). He ensured that the group was safe on the roads giving very good guidance a all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have done some training before the trip so that you can enjoy the cycling as much as possible. Be aware that Puglia can get very hot!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bicycles were very high quality, but a little on the heavy side for the undulating terrain and distances each day. Are lighter bikes an option? If possible, suggest leaving a little earlier each day, e.g. 8:15/30 vs 9/9:15 so that the group arrives into the towns a little earlier and can enjoy exploring them a little better.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Cycling the undulations of Puglia

    A varied trip with great cycling opportunities, mostly off main roads, led by an experienced leader. Emanuele was our leader, a local man with knowledge and passion for local history and geography. There were opportunities each day to eat and drink local specialities, and a couple of special treats such as cheese-making and olive oil tasting. There are no bus transfers, you cycle a good way each day, sometimes a few challenging hills and dips, sometimes a chance to cycle as fast as you want off road, but on good surfaces. Emanuele is an excellent leader who keeps control of the group at the same time as giving everyone the chance to go at their own pace. You don't need to be a strong cyclist to do the trip, there are always regroupings so that nobody gets left behind, and nobody feels left out. There are a couple of coffee and lunch stops where we were able to swim in the gorgeous blues of the Ionian Sea if we wanted, or just laze on a bench with a marvellous gelato. A couple of the hotels en route had swimming pools.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly enjoyed our visit to a working farmhouse that provided hotel accommodation and a pool. It was very different from the norm, comfortable, with gorgeous tiled bathrooms.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele is an experienced cycling group lead and had firm control of the group. I have been on a few trips when this has not been the case and chaos ensued, resulting in disappointing experiences for some. Emanuele is confident and able to let those more experienced ride at their own pace while ensuring that others never felt left out or left behind. He involved everyone in taking responsibility for our own safety and helping each other. His knowledge of the area is widespread and he has a passion for the region and its communities. His technical knowledge was excellent, and his English was so good. He translated for us wherever we went and showed us how to eat the local produce like Italians.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your swimming costume just in case, and plenty of sun cream. We went in early May and only had rain for an hour one day.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    A fantastic cycling trip

    I'd highly recommend this cycling trip to those who are looking for a 'moderate' cycling holiday. The route is great - you visit some of the main tourist sites in Puglia, but also visit some of the little towns that have very few tourists. The scenery is beautiful - you cycle through olive groves, along the coast and through narrow lanes in little towns. Our tour leader, Emanuele (Mani) was fantastic. He was keen to ensure that everyone had a great time. I really can't praise him enough. We ate in a range of cafes and restaurants for lunch and dinner - all were very good with some delicious food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So difficult to decide as the whole itinerary was excellent. Cycling along the coast was really 'feel good'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele (Mani) was fantastic. He bonded well with the group and really did everything to make sure we really enjoyed the trip. He took us to some great local cafes for lunching dinner. Despite the dinners being optional the whole group ate together each evening as the places he chose were so good. He shared his local knowledge, which put things into context for the places we visited. Mani made an excellent trip into something really special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like Italy and cycling, get this trip booked!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Italian drivers in this part of Italy are VERY considerate to cyclists. They seem to celebrate cycling rather than get inpatient with them. I felt safer here on a bike than in the UK All dietary requirements are catered for.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Yvonne Renwick

    Foodies Paradise

    Have just returned from a brilliant 8 days with a great fun group of people. Its a beautiful part of Italy with plenty of pretty towns and villages that differ from one to the next and great mixture of peaceful countryside and coastal views. The bikes were very comfortable, with gel seats and easy to ride. Everything was very well organised and the staff at every hotel were welcoming and friendly and getting our rooms every day was quick and efficient which is so important after a long day in the saddle! The food was fantastic and I tried so many things I haven't tasted or heard of before! The afternoon at the farm location with the most stunning pool is a real treat after a very hot ride! There is plenty of spare time at the end of the ride of a few days or that could have been because we had an efficient group that all kept up. Nobody was particularly super quick or slow and our leader kept a good pace the whole week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching those that are 20+ years older than me steam ahead and reach those steeps climbs and make it look easy!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Antonio was friendly, calm, patient!...informative and couldn't do enough for you, he went over and above when you wanted to do something in your own time for example of one of the days we had a few hours to ourselves in the afternoon and rather than walk around the town I wanted to jump in the nearest ocean! He enquired with the hotel where the nearest nicest beach was, the cost in a taxi and arranged all that for us. Antonio also asked us every day if we wanted to join him for dinner and he booked the table for the group and many nights we had the set menu with wine and it was so reasonable and delicious and made our evenings all the more enjoyable not having to think after a tiring day. Our support driver Peiro was a great guy and lugged our cases from one hotel to the next every day in the scorching heat, supplied us with fresh fruit and cold water all day long and presented us with the best daily lunchtime picnics without any effort and always with a big smile!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This wasn't the toughest cycle holiday I've done, but some of the days are long and for us very hot. There are 2 day with steep climbs, so you should do some training if you want to keep up, or go for the e-bike and enjoy the ride!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The people that go on these trips are fun, outgoing and friendly and what keep you going on those days when you want to give up . Trust your leader on booking your restaurants. The establishments were all first class and the food choices were just brilliant! We only had one disappointing breakfast and that was at the Gallipoli hotel, that would be my only gripe. The last hotel in Lecce is nothing to write home about, simple, basic, but a great breakfast so if I was staying on after the end of the trip I would book a different hotel. Lecce itself is a stunning place but I was too tired to look around it and just wanted to crash before dinner, so if you have the time and energy do take a walkabout!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Debbie Franks

    Fabulous Puglia.

    A wonderful trip with a dedicated and passionate guide, Antonio, who was determined to ensure we experienced the best in the safest possible way. It was reassuring when he would direct the traffic at tricky intersections. Pierrot was his conscientious and polite offsider. The itinerary was carefully selected to showcase amazing locations, cultural experiences, landscapes and history. The Sassi, Trulli were only two stand outs in a landscape of fields splashed with red poppies and yellow, pink, and white wild flowers. The accommodation was generally good to very good. The price of food, the coffee, aperitifs and gelato was so cheap compared to the north and our home country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Antonio, was excellent. Courteous, polite, passionate about his country and culture, very concerned with rider safety and the group’s well being and contentment.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your rain gear, follow the Exodus advice on what to bring.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation should always have lifts or be ground level. Most of us would travel from afar and would be travelling for a few weeks. While our suitcases may star5 off at 16k, we gather memorabilia. Hiking cases up those stairs is no fun either a5 the end of a day or the beginning.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Elaine Stephenson

    Brilliant!

    Excellent rating for the leader and route. However a few hotels were damp and musty due to the early date of holiday.The first and last hotels were by far the best.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the whole trip without having to get in the support vehicle at any time! Cycling through rain, thunder and lightning on the last day to finish without any mishaps! My inspirational room mate who kept me going all week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Inspirational, encouraging and very supportive. He went above and beyond the hours he needed to work. Very organised, kept us informed and organised as a group and brought us together. I would definitely book another holiday with the same guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mind over muscle! You can achieve if you think you can - and train more than you think you need to. Enjoy yourself too - the week goes by too fast.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    kathleen collin

    Disappointed

    Overall this was not the trip I expected and I am disappointed. There were many pros but a lot of cons too. Starting with the good points: Pros: -the guide Michele Q was excellent. He guided us safely, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable about the places we visited, encouraging, funny, very supportive. He went above and beyond trying to find places for us to eat (more about that in the 'cons') and dealt with last minute problems smoothly. Even though he didn't need to, he stayed out with the group and socialized. On a horribly rainy/thunderstorm/lightning day he called ahead to make sure our hotel rooms would be ready when we arrived soaking wet and freezing cold. I rate him 11/10. - bikes: were very good for this type of terrain. The gearing was excellent, we could climb steep gravel hills easily. Comfortable. I liked having a waterproof pannier. The brakes were good. - the agriturismo olive farm was the BEST day/night. It was luxurious (the pool, the terrace, our suite), the olive oil tasting and education was so interesting, the food was delicious. Very peaceful and elegant. - the hotel in Osturia was also lovely. Cons: - we did the first trip of the 2019 season, beginning April 8, 2019. Now that I have done this, I think it is too early in the season to do this trip. It was sometimes a challenge to find cafés or restaurants open to eat at during the day. At a couple of hotels, we were the first guests of the season, and it was clear they were not really ready for us. - dinner: It is the Italian custom to eat dinner(supper) at 9 pm at night. This is not the custom in North America or England, and as people who had been cycling all day and who needed to be awake fairly early the next day, this didn't work. After two nights of eating very late, Michele would call ahead to the next town and try very hard to negotiate a fixed-price 2-choice menu, and tried to convince the restaurant to open at 7 pm for us to have dinner. Mostly he was successful, but it often meant we didn't get food until around 8 pm at night. As well the afternoon siesta made finding food a bit challenging at times. - picnics: many of my friends have taken this trip, and other trips with Exodus. Their experience was: a pot of money was collected from the guests and the van driver would purchase food for "a fabulous picnic" which would be waiting at the lunch stop. This was not offered, and it would have been a very nice option. - my own problem: our Italian hotels didn't have in-room coffee. I'm not a human until I have coffee. I did not like having to get dressed and wait for the breakfast to be served to have coffee. I admit, this is my problem. - group riding. I found out that I really don't like riding in a group. I felt that 90% of the time I was watching the bike in front of me, and making sure the bike behind me didn't do something stupid. I didn't have the opportunity to enjoy the scenery as much as I would have liked. I felt that if I stopped to take a photo (which had been a very important goal of mine - photography!) that I would be slowing down the group. Thus, not many photos taken to my disappointment. - the van: the van was for luggage, and not a support van for injured or tired riders - that was made clear at the start - no problem. However, we were told by our guide that if we wanted to skip a day of riding, and take transit, just tell him in the morning. So we decided to skip day, told him at 0700H as required, and we were told we would have to pay for the bikes to be transported to the next town. We said "but can't you put them in the van?" No, the van is full. "Can't you put them on the roof racks of the van?" No, the roof racks are broken. In the end, the bikes WERE put on the "broken" roof racks, but I recall thinking 'it's not my problem that Exodus hired a van with inoperable roof racks. Fix this problem'. - some of the hotels were quite basic, and one hotel had broken air conditioning, which made the night absolutely intolerable. - on a day with horrific rain, I felt it was dangerous to continue riding. The water was inches deep on the road, we were riding in traffic for about 30 minutes, and we could not see the road under the water. One of us could have hit a pothole and been thrown off the bike into traffic. The traffic also made "tidal waves" as it passed us. - automobiles: Near Matera and one other town it was very clear that the car and truck drivers HATE cyclists. Sometimes they would pass very close to us, dangerously so. What I thought were friendly waves were in fact the exact opposite.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The seaside ride was very beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was FANTASTIC. He was the best part of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Consider doing this trip later in the season than April 8th. The weather was quite cool (that's ok when cycling) but there were some very wet days.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Beverly S

    A terrific trip through Puglia

    A fabulous, but not too difficult cycling trip through Puglia, stopping off in lovely hilltop towns and other places of interest. Sampling delicious local food. Varied accommodation. Great scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one moment, so many different ones. Loved the sampling of fresh mozzarella, followed by delicious al fresco lunch at the farm. The food & wine was superb each evening, eating local produce and delicacies. We cycled through small country lanes with lovely scenery en route. Stayed in variety of accommodation which also helped make the trip, especially enjoyed the converted convent in the olive farm (with the welcoming swimming pool). It was great to do a walking tour (optional though no one declined) each evening with the tour leader of the historic towns we stayed in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emmanuele was a fabulous leader, and went out of his way to ensure we got the most of out trip, in his local area. His knowledge was great not just on local history but on food & drink too. If group members had specific requests he tried to fit these in too, without any detriment to the others. Although there were those with different cycling abilities on the trip he ensured all got as much as possible out of the days riding and no one was ever left struggling behind.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a waterproof what ever the time of the year. Be prepared for a windy ride when you head north up on the west coast road on the last day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only downside was olive oil tasting in the evening at the farm, which was a little long and drawn out. Despite that it was very interesting but could have been shortened, as sitting at a table after a long hot day meant staying alert or even awake was difficult!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Private Adventures 

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