Headwater - Highlights of Puglia Self-Guided Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C10PU
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

11 Days Flight Inclusive
11 Days Land only
Min age: 8

Trip Overview

Puglia offers a wonderful contrast of landscapes, from the fertile farming hamlets, vineyards and orchards of its interior to its dramatic, rocky coastline. Your holiday begins in the picturesque coastal town of Monopoli, from where you follow the coast north, passing white sandy beaches and secluded coves with wonderful opportunities for seafood lunches along the way. Head inland and you'll be blown away by a rich landscape of vineyards, olive groves, fruit orchards and fields of tomatoes and peppers alive with colour. Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello with its unique trulli houses - emblematic of the region - and the glistening, whitewashed village of Ostuni. After a transfer to San Cataldo you'll discover the delights of the stunning Salento coast, taking in Puglia's easternmost and southernmost point - an amazing sight - and the Baroque masterpiece that is Lecce, renowned for its stunning 18th century architecture and known as the 'Florence of the South'.

At a Glance

  • 10 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • 9 days cycling (including 3 optional rides)
  • 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

Trip Highlights

  • Sun-drenched, unspoilt region; contrasting cycling routes taking in the rugged coast and lush green countryside
  • Vibrant fishing villages, white-sand beaches, historic wine towns and ancient olive orchards
  • Stunning Salento coast - visit Otranto and Baroque Lecce
  • Hand-picked accommodation including a unique trullo house in UNESCO Alberobello
  • Excellent regional wines and Mediterranean cuisine

Is This Trip for You?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance: 49.75km (25 miles).
No. of days cycling: 9 (3 optional)
Terrain and route: The cycle routes mainly follow tarmac country roads.
Vehicle Support: 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.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to set up your bike and go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
18
Child min age:
8

Child max age:

17

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Monopoli
End City:
Lecce

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive at Monopoli

    Arrive at your hotel for a welcome briefing. There's time to discover the historic town of Monopoli before dinner. (Staying at Albergo Diffuso, evening meal at a local restaurant)

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Monopoli to Conversano

    A charming route takes you along the stunning coastline from Monopoli before heading inland to Conversano. En route take time to visit the small, but vibrant fishing village of Polignano a Mare, idyllically perched on the side of the rocky limestone cliffs. Continue through the quaint, picturesque village of San Vito, with its multi-coloured boats moored up in the tiny port, before finishing your journey in the sleepy, beautiful little town of Conversano. (Staying at Relais Corte Atavilla)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 34 km / 21.5 miles
  • Day 3

    Conversano to Alberobello

    Today's pedalling takes you through the rolling hills of the Valle d'Itria where the air is perfumed with wild mint and herbs. Stop off in the little towns of Putignano and Noci, and view 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 one of the staff, who will show you to your own private trullo house. (Staying at Trullidea)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 39 km / 24.5 miles
  • Day 4

    At Alberobello (free day or optional ride)

    Spend today roaming around the historic centre, navigating your way through narrow streets, kitsch souvenir shops and tasting local delicacies. Or maybe visit the Museo del Territorio to discover the history of this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, a circular cycle route (45km/28.5mi - route notes 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 palazzi. (Staying at Trullidea)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 45 km / 28.5 miles
  • Day 5

    Alberobello to Pezze di Greco

    You'll spend this morning cycling along beautiful undulating country lanes lined with weathered stone walls, before enjoying a long downhill run with panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline and the lower fertile plains. This incredible descent will bring you down towards Capitolo and finishes through a patchwork of almond orchards, olive groves, vineyards and gloriously coloured fields of fresh tomatoes and peppers. (Staying at Masseria Salamina)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 49 km / 30.5 miles
  • Day 6

    At Pezze di Greco (free day or optional ride)

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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 48 km / 30 miles
  • Day 7

    Pezze di Greco to Monopoli

    This morning you leave the masseria and head back 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 to indulge in a delicious seafood lunch. Your ride will continue past the archaeological site of Egnazia, once the location of a Greco-Roman town, dating as far back as 4BC. You then return to the picturesque coastal town of Monopoli and the 4-star Albergo Diffuso in time for a stroll before choosing your evening restaurant from one of the many eateries in the heart of the old town. (Staying at Albergo Diffuso)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 37 km / 23.5 miles
  • Day 8

    Monopoli to Otranto

    We transfer you and your bike to Acaya, from where you'll cycle along the stunning Salento coast to Otranto, taking in ancient olive groves and fishing villages en route. You stay at the 4 star Corte di Nettuno by the harbour in Otranto, close to the old town where there are numerous options for dinner. (Staying at Hotel Corte di Nettuno)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 42 km / 26.5 miles
  • Day 9

    At Otranto (free day or optional ride)

    A more challenging day's cycling (55km/34.5mi) which takes you up and down along the coast south and west of Otranto, where you'll see the easternmost and southernmost point of Puglia - a spectacular sight! You can also visit the Castel di Salve winery on your way to Santa Maria di Leuca, which is known as De Finibus Terrae, 'the end of the earth', before taking a shuttle back to the hotel. (Staying at Hotel Corte di Nettuno)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 55 km / 34.5 miles
  • Day 10

    Otranto to Lecce

    Today you head to Lecce on mostly flat terrain amidst endless olive orchards and menhirs. Tonight you'll stay at the stylish 5 star Risorgimento Resort, just a few steps from some of Lecce's Baroque masterpieces. (Staying at Resort Hotel Risorgimento)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 37 km / 23.5 miles
  • Day 11

    Leave Lecce

    Leave Lecce

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels

Your accommodation is as varied as the landscape, with each place specially chosen for its unique charm and character. In Monopoli, you stay in characterful rooms set in various locations just 3 minutes from the beach; in Conversano, your beautiful 12th century former court house, with barrel-vaulted ceilings, is just a stone's throw from the elegant Romanesque cathedral; in Alberobello, you cannot fail to be seduced by the authentic trullo houses (limestone dwellings with conical roofs that are the architectural symbol of Puglia), and, in Pezze di Greco, you spend two nights in a beautifully restored 17th century masseria (fortified farmhouse) with lovely pool, open courtyard and 200 hectares of ancient palms and olive trees.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £440.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

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 & Seasonality

Weather Information

Puglia enjoys a wonderful Mediterranean climate with all year round sunshine and just enough rainfall to ensure that the green is never too far off. Although Puglia covers a large area it is long and narrow - not more than 30km across. This means that you're never far from the sea which has a moderating effect on the weather. Please note that Puglia can be very hot, reaching high 30s in the summer.

Joining Instructions

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf (£30 admin fee per person). We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
British Airways Gatwick to Bari 08:20/12:15 Saturdays, 07:40/11:30 Mondays & 07:25/11:20 Wednesdays then transfer to hotel 50 minutes Return: Transfer to airport 50 minutes then British Airways 13:00/15:00 Saturdays, 12:15/14:15 Mondays & 12:10/14:10 Wednesdays

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Standard transfers
Transfers included from Bari airport at 12:15 Sat, 11:30 Mon & 11:20 Wed departures and back to Bari airport at 10:00 Sat, 09:00 Mon & Wed departures

Location start:
Monopoli
Location end:
Lecce

What to Take

Essential Equipment

We recommend you bring the following items: 
Normal daily clothes 
Padded cycling shorts 
Cycling gloves 
Water bottles 
Breathable cycling top 
Cycling helmet (compulsory on this trip) 
A couple of warm layers
Sunglasses, sun cream and sunhat
Stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling 
Waterproofs and long cycling trousers
For earlier departures you may need some warmer layers
Mobile phone with roaming capabilities

Optional Equipment

We also recommend bringing suncream and swimming things.

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may of course bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

E-Bikes Available

Electric bikes offer all the thrills and healthy exercise of a regular bike, but with one crucial difference - power! A tiny electric motor (capped at 25mph) assists your pedalling, allowing you to make molehills out of mountains. Cycle further, see more, have more fun. They are just perfect if you want to try a trip with companions of differing fitness level - or a trip at a slightly harder grade - and want to know there’s a bit of motor power available if you need it.

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Italy

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

In every town you can withdraw the local currency from a Cash Machine (ATM) but we do recommend you obtain some of your spending money in Euros before you leave the UK. Credit cards are also accepted in most places you visit but cash is easier.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

LOCAL TAXES: many Italian cities have recently introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration is in charge of the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. It is usually between 1 and 4 euros per person per night.
For this trip, please allow approx. €15 for the week.

Responsible Tourism

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

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.