Across Puglia

Puglia Italy: (ZZ-BK-GL03)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_bike_italy_Cycling_Gargano.aspx

Introduction
Puglia Italy
Discover Southeastern Italy on a self guided cycling tour!

Apulia is a region in south-eastern Italy that includes the heel part of Italy’s boot, suspended between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea. The region is characterized by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards. You will start cycling in Alberobello, UNESCO world heritage site with its “trullil”, and arrive in Lecce, also known as “Florence of the South” because of its magnificent baroque architecture. This bike tour will lead you into a region of scenic beauty, which is, by today’s standards, still unspoiled by the unattractive aspects of tourism and still retains testimony of its great and ancient culture.

Accomodation

Accommodation
We choose all the hotels mindful of your comfort as well as the proximity to cycling paths and any relevant local sites.

Hotel categories:
- Mainly 3* hotels (standard)
- Mainly 4* hotels, with some 3* hotels (upgrade)

All rooms have en suite facilities.

In Alberobello accommodation can be in a typical "widespread hotel", the so called "trulli", for both categories. In the trulli accommodation there is no air conditioning, as their thermal isolation is ensured by the construction method of the trullo itself.
 
When you book the tour please specify the type of room requested:
- double room is a room with one double bed
- twin room is a room with two single beds
- triple room is usually a room with one double bed and a single bed or a sofa bed
- a family room could be converted into two double/twin rooms next to each other, according to availability

Local tax
Some cities charge a tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or check-out at the hotels.
This fee varies depending on the hotel category, on the season and the number of days of stay. It is usually between 1 and 5 € per person per night.




Meals
A breakfast buffet is included each day. Hotels usually serve an a continental breakfast with a varied buffet. However, in some 2/3* hotels you may find the typical Italian breakfast, consisting of a hot drink, such as cappuccino or coffee, with fresh pastries, such as cake, croissants or toast and jam.

* Half board can be arranged: 6 dinners (3-course meals), beverages not included and to be paid on the spot. The restaurants are mostly in the city centres and very rarely in the hotels.

Diets and allergies
If you are vegetarian, gluten-intolerant, allergic to some specific ingredients/substances or if you suffer from any other kind of allergies please indicate it at the moment of booking. We will pass the information on to the hotels, but we cannot guarantee that all dietary requests will be met. Sometimes it is difficult to find particular food, for example gluten-free food, so we suggest that you to bring your own snacks just in case.

Riding

Activity level
Easy to Moderate: some days flat, others with some hills. Suitable for everyone with some cycling experience and a few physical condition.
We have carefully chosen our bicycles and accessories in order to be able to satisfy the requests and wishes of our customers. In this page we illustrate some of the available types of bicycles.

Rental bikes
Our City bikes are available in various sizes in unisex/women’s or men’s models. At the moment of booking, you can choose from the following bikes:
- City bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
- E-bike 9-gear Shimano

If you want to do the tour with your own bike, before you depart we suggest to check that all parts of the bike are functioning properly. A cycle computer is necessary to follow the road book. We also highly recommend you to bring a repair kit because the emergency number in case of breakdown cannot be used if you are using your own bike. Don’t forget to bring a padlock and always lock your bike.

Features:
- aluminum frame
- mudguard
- rear rack
- comfort gel saddle
- anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
- ergonomic bicycle grips
- Speed Lifter system (only for City bikes)

Accessories
All rented adult bikes are equipped with:
1 cycle computer
1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
1 front bar bag or 1 map holder
1 repair kit per room: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers
1 combination bike lock

At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61. All our helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.

Mechanical problems
During the tour, if the bicycles should have any type of technical problem that prevents you from continuing, please contact us at the emergency numbers and try to describe the occurred issue. We’ll try to solve as soon as possible the problem. As you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair or change an inner tube before setting off on your bike. We remind you that we offer no assistance in case of flat tire. You can use the repair kit provided with rental bikes (1 kit per room) to repair or replace the inner tube.
In case of mechanical problems please:
1. Call the emergency phone number
2. Communicate your name and which tour you are on
3. Let us know your position (total distance of the stage) based on the description of the roadbook
4. Give us your mobile phone number

In relation to your location and to the damage of the bike we can:
- ask you to wait there in order to provide a change of the bike
- Send you to a mechanical shop nearby. We will estimate the damage with the mechanic. The charge will be refunded only after our authorization and on presentation of the receipt. In case of puncture no intervention or assistance is foreseen. Customers will be given a proper puncture reparation kit, which will enable them to intervene directly and solve the problem.

Bicycle delivery and return
Bikes will be delivered during the bike delivery. The exact time of the bike delivery will be specified later in the Final Tour Details. At the end of the last cycling day you have to leave the bikes locked with all accessories inside the rear pannier at the last hotel of the tour. Please ask the hotel staff where to leave the bikes. We remind you that bike rental is not included in case of extra nights.

How to lock the bike
We remind you that you are responsible for the rental bikes and its accessories for the length of the whole tour. Bicycles must be always locked and possibly secured to a pole, even for short stops. When you reach your daily destination we suggest you to leave the bikes at the hotel and to visit the town centre on foot/by public transportation.

In case of theft/damage to the rental bike
An insurance against theft and irreparable damage is included in the rental bike price. In case of careless or improper behaviour the insurance will not cover the costs. The insurance covers only the rented bikes, while it is not valid for any bike accessories (lock, helmet, panniers, handlebar bag, child seat, child devices etc…) nor personal belongings left on the bike or in the panniers/handlebar bags. Furthermore, the insurance is not valid for e-bikes used by customers under the age of 18.
In case of theft the insurance may be activated only if the client presents:
- a police report made at the local police office
- the lock key in case of e-bike, or the damaged lock in case of standard bike (muscle bike).

Local law on cycling
- it is recommended to wear helmets, which is not compulsory but advisable for your own safety.
- always proceed on a single line, especially when you are outside city centres
- have free use of arms and a clear view to promptly perform manoeuvres
- walk the bicycle in case there might be danger to pedestrians
- cycle on the lanes reserved to cyclists
- wear a reflective vest outside city centres from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise and in tunnels
- make sure your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is below 0.5 g / l.

Accompanying material
Before your arrival, you will receive an email from us with the digital information material. It contains:
1. Link to download the App including maps, roadbook, points of interest and GPS tracks (you can use the App offline, too)
2. Link to download the tour information material in Pdf:
- Tour notes
- Final tour details
3. Digital travel documents:
- Final hotel list (due to overbooking or organizational needs your hotel list may change just before your arrival)
- Hotel vouchers to show to the hotel reception upon arrival

Green booklets:
1) Travel guide with valuable information about the history, artistic heritage, landscapes and natural treasures of the areas visited on the tour. Plus: local events, some great anecdotes, suggestions on how to make the best of an extended break along the route, and tips on local wining and dining.
2) Detailed Maps of the itinerary: in colour and scaled 1:75.000/50.000, an altitude profile chart and maps of any historic city centres you would visit.
3) Roadbook describing the cycling route, stage by stage. Great on its own or in conjunction with the maps.

Itinerary

 

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Total length: 330 km
Terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved

Route mostly in the lowlands, sometimes hilly. Traffic is almost non existent in Apulia except during the high holiday season. The route includes very beautiful stretches on the coast.

Note: Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example road works) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each rider can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.


Day 1: Arrival
Individual arrival. Alberobello is a unique and inimitable city as it is the only urban settlement of the so-called trulli (cone buildings) in the whole world. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
Meals included: none
Overnight in Alberobello


Day 2: Alberobello to Ostuni
You cycle through the countryside to Ostuni, which is reputed an architectural jewel, and is commonly referred to as “the White Town” for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. You leave Alberobello and the Trulli city crossing the last part of Murge and going through the towns of Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Cisternino before arriving to the white city of Ostuni. The most challenging part is between Locorotondo and Cisternino.
Biking approx. 55 km (elevation gain: 460 m)
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Ostuni


Day 3: Ostuni to Manduria
Today you will leave Ostuni and the Murge hills behind you and will start cycling on the Salento plain, characterized by green and red colours, given by its olive trees and its red soil. Along the way you will have the chance to visit Oria, with its beautiful historical centre and the castle built by emperor Federico II. Today’s destination is the Manduria area, the capital of the Primitivo grapes.
The route follows tarmac country roads. There are two climbs to overcome, to reach the city centres of Carovigno and Oria.
Biking approx. 60 km (elevation gain: 270 m)
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Manduria


Day 4: Manduria to Gallipoli
From now on you will head towards the seaside, which will accompany your bike tour between ancient coastal towers and fine sand. You will now reach Porto Cesareo, where we suggest to enjoy a good fish-based lunch. Rolling south, our destination will be the Greek Kale Polis, today’s Gallipoli, with one of the most beautiful historic centres of Salento. Enjoy a stroll in its streets and the views of the sea that surrounds it.
It is a long but easy stage; the only climb is the one towards Porto Selvaggio. You will find an unpaved path while crossing the nature reserve Salina dei Monaci and along the lagoon of Porto Cesareo.
Biking approx. 70 km (elevation gain: 360 m)
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Gallipoli


Day 5: Gallipoli to Santa Maria di Leuca
Cycling further along the coast you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca. Its name was given by the ancient Greek sailors who came from the East. They saw this place lightened by the sun and therefore called it “leukos”, meaning white. The town is today a famous seaside resort.
It is the easiest stage, all on asphalted road, flat with some short ups and downs in the final part.
Biking approx. 50 km (elevation gain: 50 m)
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Santa Maria di Leuca


Day 6: Santa Maria di Leuca to Otranto
Today you will cycle northwards along the Adriatic coast to Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy where you can visit the beautiful Cathedral and the great Aragonese Castle. The most challenging stretches are 1km climb out from S.M. di Leuca and 3km of continuous but regular slope after Santa Cesaria Terme. Today you will cycle along the coast road 358: one of the most scenic roads in the world.
Biking approx. 50 km (elevation gain: 460 m)
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Otranto


Day 7: Otranto to Lecce
Riding along the Alimini Lakes and their unique Mediterranean bush you’ll enter into Lecce. Thanks to its Baroque style, it has deserved the nickname of Florence of the South. You’ll come to appreciate the rich sculpted motives done in the 17th-century with the tender stone from Lecce. The old town enclosed by what is left of the ancient walls, bears the impression of that exuberant period. This is an easy stage. We leave the lovely town of Otranto behind us to discover the Alimini Lakes nature reserve, the old hunting ground of the Swabians and the Aragonese.
Biking approx. 55 km (elevation gain: 100 m)
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Lecce


Day 8: Departure
Departure after breakfast.
Meals included: Breakfast


Route Map Puglia

How to shorten the stages
In Italy there is a good train service offering bicycle transport. This low-cost option will allow you to reach the next city in case of rain or bad weather, or if you prefer to visit a city at your own pace instead of cycling. Trains with bicycle compartments are usually regional trains and are indicated with a bicycle symbol on the carriage and also on the timetables displayed at the railway station.
The cost of the ticket for a passenger varies according to the distance covered, whereas for the bike it is always 3.50 € (valid for 24 hours on the entire Italian network). Tickets can be bought directly at the railway station. We remind you that in Italy it is compulsory to validate the ticket before getting on the train.

For further information on timetables and prices you can consult
www.trenitalia.com, www.fseonline.it or www.fal-srl.it.

If you want to shorten the itinerary by taking the train, you can do it only on day 3.
You can shorten the stage from Alberobello to Locorotondo or to Martina Franca by taking a local train.


Rates and Dates for Across Puglia

Rates include:

Accommodations, All breakfasts, Luggage transportation, Route descriptions and maps & Hotline service.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20248 days self-guided (Peak)€1080$1190
    • Upgrade to 4* hotels (mostly)€100$110
      Single supplement (standard)€330$365
      Single supplement in 4* hotels€430$475
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp (standard)(€160)($175)
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp ( in 4* hotels)(€90)($100)
  • B
    20248 days self-guided (High)€980$1080
    • Upgrade to 4* hotels (mostly)€100$110
      Single supplement (standard)€330$365
      Single supplement in 4* hotels€430$475
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp (standard)(€160)($175)
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp ( in 4* hotels)(€90)($100)
  • C
    20248 days self-guided (Mid)€880$970
    • Upgrade to 4* hotels (mostly)€100$110
      Single supplement (standard)€330$365
      Single supplement in 4* hotels€430$475
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp (standard)(€160)($175)
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp ( in 4* hotels)(€90)($100)
  • D
    20248 days self-guided (Low)€780$860
    • Upgrade to 4* hotels (mostly)€100$110
      Single supplement (standard)€330$365
      Single supplement in 4* hotels€430$475
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp (standard)(€160)($175)
      Discount for 3rd person staying in room, pp ( in 4* hotels)(€90)($100)
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.1

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2024 Bike rental 110 $120
2024 E bike rental 270 $300
2024 Helmet (head circumference 58-61 cm) 15 $15
2024 Transfer between Brindisis airport and Alberobello, per car (1-3 pax), one way 170 $190
2024 Transfer between Lecce and Bari airport, per car (1-3 pax), one way 300 $330
2024 Transfer between Lecce and Brindisi airport, per car (1-3 pax), one way 140 $155
2024 Extra nights - please inquire for rates 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
C 2024 04/13 - 04/20 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Mid) 6 /15 Expired
C 2024 04/20 - 04/27 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Mid) 6 /15 Expired
C 2024 04/27 - 05/04 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Mid) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/04 - 05/11 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/05 - 05/12 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/11 - 05/18 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/12 - 05/19 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/18 - 05/25 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/19 - 05/26 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/25 - 06/01 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 05/26 - 06/02 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 06/01 - 06/08 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 06/02 - 06/09 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 06/08 - 06/15 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 06/15 - 06/22 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Expired
B 2024 06/22 - 06/29 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 06/29 - 07/06 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 07/06 - 07/13 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 07/13 - 07/20 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 07/20 - 07/27 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 08/31 - 09/07 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 09/01 - 09/08 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 09/07 - 09/14 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
A 2024 09/08 - 09/15 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Peak) 6 /15 Reserve
B 2024 09/14 - 09/21 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Reserve
B 2024 09/15 - 09/22 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Reserve
B 2024 09/21 - 09/28 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Reserve
B 2024 09/22 - 09/29 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Reserve
B 2024 09/28 - 10/05 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Reserve
B 2024 10/05 - 10/12 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (High) 6 /15 Reserve
C 2024 10/12 - 10/19 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Mid) 6 /15 Reserve
C 2024 10/19 - 10/26 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Mid) 6 /15 Reserve
D 2024 10/26 - 11/02 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Low) 6 /15 Reserve
D 2024 11/02 - 11/09 8d / 7n 8 days self-guided (Low) 6 /15 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Local taxes (approx. 10-15 €), Lunches and dinners, Drinks, Bike/Helmet rental & Transfers before and after the tour

Other Info
Meeting: Matera
Airport: Bari
Transfer: from Bari by train (not included)

Climate:
                                                Matera area
 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

49

50

55

61

71

80

85

85

76

67

57

50

Average Low Temperature (°F)

35

36

39

43

50

58

63

63

57

51

44

38

Average High Temperature (°C)

9

10

13

16

21

26

30

29

25

19

14

10

Average Low Temperature (°C)

2

2

4

6

10

14

17

17

14

10

6

3

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

4

4

3

3

3

1

0

1

2

4

4

3

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Weather conditions are changeable, especially at the start and end of the season (March to October).

With an average 300 days of sunshine per year, Puglia truly has a wonderful climate for outdoor adventure enthusiasts and lover's of the coast. Often there is always a pleasant breeze, even in the hottest months of the year and the humidity is normally quite minimal as you will find it is a dry heat. Rainfall is scarce and mostly found during the winter months. Since there are no real mountains in Puglia, the temperature is fairly constant from the coast to inland.

Apulia has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Rainfall is rare and scarce, except for showers in winter.
For more information on the weather, you can consult the following site: www.ilmeteo.it

What To Bring:
We advise you to wear comfortable shoes and various layers of practical clothing to be prepared for sudden changes of climate and temperature; don’t forget a K-Way or a poncho, both indispensable in the event of rain, besides a light jacket for cold days and evenings.
Sunglasses, a light-coloured hat, protective suntan cream and insect repellent sprays are important, especially in summer.
During the tour you will have the chance to visit various religious institutions, such as churches and convents, where you must be appropriately dressed (covered shoulders, shoes or sandals, etc...).

Helmet: Italian law does not require cyclists to wear a helmet, but we consider it important to wear one for safer traveling. 

Equipment and clothing
The following personal equipment is recommended:
- basic first aid kit which includes sticky bandages, gauze and low grade disinfectant
- sun glasses for eye protection
- protective sun lotion
- insect repellent

The following recommended clothes are advisable:
- padded cycling shorts
- comfortable shoes with stiff soles
- light weight waterproof/windproof tops
- leggings and long sleeved tops for cooler mornings or evenings
- small close-fitting rucksack to carry small items during the day while cycling
- swimsuit
During the tour you will have the chance to visit various religious institutions, such as churches and convents, where you must be appropriately dressed (covered shoulders, shoes or sandals, etc...).

We recommend that you always keep with you (and don't forget in the transported luggage):
- passport/identity card
- hotel vouchers
- any medicines you could need during the day
- personal belongings (for example car keys).

Luggage transportation
Your luggage will be transported from the first day until the last day of the standard tour.
We remind you that luggage transportation is never included in case of extra nights before or after the standard tour.

Luggage allowance
For the luggage transportation we accept only 1 piece of luggage per person with max. 20 kg.
At the first hotel you will receive the luggage label which has to be attached to each piece of luggage.
You cannot change the number of pieces of luggage during the tour.

Lack of transport
We do not guarantee luggage transportation if:
- labels are not attached to the bags (see above)
- luggage is deposited late at reception (dropped off after 8:30 a.m.)
- luggage exceeds the weight allowance.
In the above mentioned cases a special transportation service can be organised which will have to be paid in cash by you on the spot.

Luggage delivery timetable
- you have to deliver your luggage to the hotel reception every morning by 8:30 am., grouped according to the receptionist’s instructions
- we deliver your luggage to the next hotel by 5:30 pm.
If you think you will arrive early at the hotel because the stage is rather short or you prefer to cycle in the morning and visit the city in the afternoon, please bring a change of clothes with you.

Forbidden goods
It is strictly forbidden to put the following items inside the luggage to be transported:
- medicines and lifesaver devices
- glass bottles and liquids in general
- fragile objects
We will not be held responsible for damages caused by non-compliance with these rules.

Equipment and clothing
- handlebar mobile phone holder (we recommend the SP Connect™ system: if you buy it online you get a 20% discount using the code TRAVEL20)
- a power bank
- a reusable water bottle
- basic first aid kit which includes sticky bandages, gauze and low grade disinfectant
- sun glasses for eye protection
- protective sun lotion
- insect repellent
- padded cycling shorts
- comfortable shoes with stiff soles
- light weight waterproof/windproof tops
- leggings and long sleeved tops for cooler mornings or evenings
- small close-fitting rucksack to carry small items during the day while cycling
- swimsuit

During the tour you will have the chance to visit various religious institutions, such as churches and convents, where you must be appropriately dressed (covered shoulders, shoes or sandals, etc...).

Useful hints and tips
We recommend that you always keep with you (and don't forget in the transported luggage):
- passport/identity card
- any medicines you could need during the day
- personal belongings (for example car keys)