Landscapes of Matera and Puglia Cycling

15 days
from
£2,495
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Cycling
Suitable for:
Age 12+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
C14PM
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
12

Start at Matera, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and cycle through the Alta Murgia National Park, the largest natural park in Italy.

This fourteen night, self-guided cycling holiday takes in some of the highlights of Basilicata and Puglia in Southern Italy. Starting in the UNESCO-listed Matera, known for its rock churches and Sassi houses, you'll have a free day here to explore before setting off on your bike to head to the neighbouring region of Puglia. Firmly tucked away 'on the heel of Italy's boot', Puglia offers extraordinary variety and beauty with a dramatically rugged coast, providing a total contrast to the lush green interior.

You'll ride to Gravina, one of the most important Roman cities along the Appian Way and continue on through the Alta Murgia National Park (the largest natural park in Italy) with a stop at Castel del Montewith its iconic castle. Your cycle route then heads to the Adriatic coast, to Trani, one of the oldest and liveliest cities along this stretch of coastline. Follow the coastline for the last two days stopping in Bari before heading inland.

Here, you'll be intoxicated by the rich colours of the landscape, olive groves, fruit orchards, vineyards and ruby-red fields, all intensified by the wonderful limpid light of the Adriatic. Highlights include staying in unique Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visiting the postcard-pretty white village of Ostuni as you wind your way back towards the sea.

Highlights

  • Two nights in the UNESCO town of Matera
  • Cycling through the Alta Murgia National Park, the largest natural park in Italy
  • Hand-picked hotels including two nights in a unique trullo house in UNESCO Alberobello
  • Traditional Mediterranean cuisine and excellent wines

Key information

  • 14 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • 11 days cycling
  • All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • GPS route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Countries visited: Italy
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

11

Days of Cycling
Day by day breakdown
Day 343.0km/26.5miles
Day 442.0km/26.0miles
Day 543.0km/26.5miles
Day 655.0km/34.0miles
Day 848.0km/30.0miles
Day 945.0km/28.0miles
Day 1046.0km/29.0miles
Day 1145.0km/28.0miles
Day 1248.0km/30.0miles
Day 1330.0km/19.0miles
Day 1440.0km/25.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Matera

    Arrive in Matera, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

  • Day 2

    At Matera

    Enjoy the stone city of Matera, named the European Capital of Culture in 2019. Situated in the Basilicata Region, stroll through its beautiful Palaeolithic cave dwellings, intricate cathedrals and museums.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Matera to Gravina

    Leave Matera and cycle a few kilometres to enter the beautiful region of Puglia. Ride on gentle slopes towards Gravina, one of the most important Roman cities along the Appian Way, and Altamura, located on the hills of the Murge plateau.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Gravina to Castel del Monte

    Today, our route winds across the largest natural park in Italy - the Alta Murgia National Park. Our final destination is an iconic castle in the southern region, commissioned by Frederick II, with its unique octagonal structure making it worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage list.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Castel del Monte to Trani

    Today's ride continues though the Alta Murgia National Park, with a pleasant descent towards the adriatic Sea and Trani, one of the oldest and liveliest cities on the Apulian coast. Known as the 'Pearl of Pugila', the city is characterised by its breath-taking cathedral that sits right on the water's edge. Afterwards, wander around its Jewish quarter, hidden between it's glossy limestone streets.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Train to Bari

    Explore the historic town centres of Bisceglie, Molfetta and Giovinazzo, admiring their Romanesque style architecture. Arrive in Bari, a bustling, coral-fringed port town and ride along one of the longest promenades in the Mediterranean to the old city.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Bari

    Spend the day exploring the capital of the region Puglia, walking the narrow lanes of the Vecchia Bari (Old town), admiring the 11th century Romanesque Basilica di San Nicola (also know as Santa Claus) which was specially built to house his remains. Or head to the old port for a stroll along the seafront, where in the mornings you can see fishermen landing in small wooden boats with their catch - and then selling it directly on the waterfront.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Bari to Conversano

    Leave Bari pedalling for several kilometres on the southern side of the sea, up to Baia San Giorgio, where San Nicola (Santa Klaus) landed in Europe, the black Saint bridge between Eastern and Western Christianity. Then follow the coast and up to Torre a mare and then go a few kilometres inland, to Rutigliano, a beautiful town known for the manufacture of terracotta artefacts, and from there you cross peaceful countryside planted with grapes and cherries to Conversano.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Conversano to Alberobello

    Today's cycling takes you through the rolling hills of the Itria Valley where the air is perfumed with wild mint and herbs. Stop in the little towns of Putignano and Noci, and their characteristic whitewashed houses and narrow alleyways. It's then off to unique Alberobello and its plethora of trulli houses, the architectural symbol of the region. On arrival you'll be met by the staff, will show you to your own private trullo house.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    At Alberobello

    Spend today roaming around the historic centre, navigating your way through narrow streets, kitsch souvenir shops and tasting local delicacies. Or maybe visit the Museum of the Territory to discover the history of this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, a circular cycle route (45km / 29mi - route directions provided) takes you deep into the Itria Valley to visit stunning Locorotondo, with wonderful panoramic views across the valley. Continue on to Martina Franca, a must-see town given its marvellously intact historic centre, beautiful Baroque architecture, and stunning palaces.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Alberobello - Pezze di Greco

    You'll spend a long downhill run with panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline and the lower fertile plains. This incredible descent will bring you down towards. Chapter and finishes through a patchwork of almond orchards, olives groves, vineyards and gloriously coloured fields of fresh tomatoes and peppers.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    At Pezze di Greco

    Today you could just relax by the hotel pool, or cycle to the nearby beach. For the more energetic, a circular cycle ride (48km / 30mi route directions provided) - taking notes to charming Ostuni whose whitewashed arches and houses are neatly piled like sugar cubes on hills rich in olive groves and vineyards!

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 13

    Pezze di Greco - Monopoli

    This morning you leave the farm and head to the Adriatic coast on a gentle flat route. You will cycle past the colourful fishing village of Savelletri, a perfect stop for an authentic Italian espresso or indulge in a delicious seafood lunch. Your ride will continue past the archaeological site of Egnazia, once the location of a Greek-Roman town, dating as far back as 4 B.C. You then return to the picturesque coastal town of Monopoli and your 4 star hotel in time for a stroll before choosing your evening restaurant from one of the many eateries in the heart of the old town.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    At Monopoli

    At the end of the tour we still explore a stretch of the Adriatic coast, perhaps the most beautiful of all. To the north of Monopoli, coming out of the port and after a few coves and a beautiful medieval tower overlooking the cliff, we arrive at Polignano. Its hamlet, which can be reached by bike through a spectacular bike path, in some places almost suspended over the sea, is positioned on the edge of a high cliff (from here the daring athletes who participate in the world diving championship also plunge from great heights). Polignano is then the city of ice cream and the country that gave birth to Domenico Modugno (mister “Volare”). A few kilometres further along the coast we come to the village, the marina and the abbey of San Vito: an imposing and spectacular medieval building overlooking the sea. From here you go back, pedalling inland, through vegetable gardens and olive trees

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Leave Monopoli

    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

All continental breakfasts and 3 dinners included.

In Puglia you will find genuine regional cooking that has strong links to the land and the sea. To give you just a small list 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 food lovers paradise and the abundance of delicious vegetables makes it a perfect destination for vegetarians! On this trip there will be many opportunities to taste the best local specialities.

Weather

Matera and Puglia enjoy a wonderful Mediterranean climate with all year round sunshine and just enough rainfall to ensure that the green is never too far off. You're never far from the sea which has a moderating effect on the weather. Please note that the area can be very hot, reaching high 30s in the summer.

Is this trip for you?

This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Hotels

Your accommodation is as varied as the landscape, with each place specially chosen for its unique charm and character.  In Matera you will stay in a historical building set in the Matera Sassi UNESCO site area featuring beautiful frescoed halls that come with original furniture, and a collection of paintings ranging from the 17th to the 20th century.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
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

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Dates & Prices

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]