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Apulia and Basilicata: Matera to Lecce

  • 4.5

    (8)

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  • 7 nights | 33 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 2
  • Self-guided from: €590
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Tour Type: Guided Self-guided

Tour description

Apulia, know in Italy as Puglia, is a region in southeastern Italy that includes the heel part of Italy's boot. It is bordered by the sea on two sides, the Adriatic Sea in the east and the Ionian Sea to the southeast.

The region is characterized by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards. The charm of this tour is that it leads you into a region of scenic beauty, which is, by today's standards, unspoiled by tourism and retains much of its great and ancient culture.

Daily Program

Day 1: Arrival to Matera
Arrival in Matera. For millennia, inhabitants of this region have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. These houses are called "Sassi" and are today World Heritage site.
Overnight in Matera.

Day 2: Matera – Alberobello (44 miles/70 km)
You cycle to the famous trulli of Alberobello and Locorotondo. Trulli were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Alberobello is situated upon two hills, once separated by a riverbed. On the eastern hill is the new town, with modern architectural features. On the western hill, the trulli are lined up in an urban conglomeration, subdivided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both National Monuments from 1930, and today World Heritage sites.
Overnight in Alberobello.

Day 3: Alberobello – Ostuni (34 miles/55 km)
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.
Overnight in Ostuni.

Day 4: Ostuni – Lecce – Gallipoli (43 miles/70 km by train + 31 miles/50 km)
A train transfer brings you to Lecce. After a short distance through this amazing baroque town, you go deep into "salentinian countryside," before approaching the Ionian coast and your daily destination, Gallipoli.
Overnight in Gallipoli.

Day 5: Gallipoli – Santa Maria di Leuca (31 miles/50 km)
Cycling further along the coast you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca. The name Santa Maria di Leuca 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. Santa Maria di Leuca is a famous seaside resort.
Overnight in Santa Maria di Leuca.

Day 6: Santa Maria di Leuca – Otranto (31 miles/50 km)
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.
Overnight in Otranto.

Day 7: Otranto – Lecce (34 miles/55 km)
Riding along the Alimini Lakes and the unique Mediterranean bush you’ll enter into Lecce. Thanks to its Baroque style, it has the nickname "the Florence of the South."
Overnight in Lecce.

Day 8: Departure from Lecce
Departure after breakfast.

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 (road work, for example) which cannot be forseen; in the case, each rider can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.

Route map

Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

Dates

Saturdays: Mar 23-Jun 15, Aug 24-Oct 19; Fridays: May 10-Jun 7, Sep 6-27, 2019 (minimum 2 participants, additional dates upon request for 5+ participants)
Low season: Mar 23, 2019 - Mar 29, 2019, Oct 19, 2019 - Oct 25, 2019
Shoulder season: Mar 30, 2019 - Apr 28, 2019, Sep 29, 2019 - Oct 18, 2019
High season: Apr 29, 2019 - Jun 15, 2019, Aug 24, 2019 - Sep 28, 2019

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€590
Shoulder season surcharge
€100
High season surcharge
€160
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€200
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike, 27-speed unisex frame
€80
Hybrid touring bike, 27-speed men's frame
€80
Electrically assisted bike
€190
Helmet
€15
Extra Nights, Lecce
Per person, double occupancy
€60
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€90
Extra Nights, Matera
Per person, double occupancy
€75
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€105
Transfer
Per person, Bari-Matera (2-person minimum)
€45
Discounts
Third person sharing room with 2 full paying adults (on base package price)
€-100
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Girolibero Terms and Conditions

CANCELLATION FEES
If the customer withdraws from the contract he is anyway obliged to pay the registration fee which is Euro 30 per person in 2018/2019. The calculation of the days does not include the day of withdrawal. A declaration of withdrawal must be made in writing within the deadline of one working day prior to the booked departure date:

  1. withdrawal until 30 days preceding the departure date: 20% of the total amount
  2. withdrawal from 29 until 21 days preceding the departure date: 25% of the total amount
  3. withdrawal from 20 until 14 days preceding the departure date: 50% of the total amount
  4. withdrawal from 13 until 6 days preceding the departure date: 80% of the total amount:
  5. withdrawal from 5 until departure day and no-show: 100%.

For the Bike & boat tours the following cancellation fees apply:

  1. withdrawal until 90 days preceding the departure date: 10% of the total amount
  2. withdrawal from 89 until 60 days preceding the departure date: 40% of the total amount
  3. withdrawal from 59 until 30 days preceding the departure date: 60% of the total amount
  4. withdrawal from 29 until 7 days preceding the departure date: 85% of the total amount
  5. withdrawal from 6 until departure day and no-show: 100% of the total amount.

Charter cancellation fees:

  1. withdrawal until 180 days preceding the departure date: 15% of the Charter amount
  2. withdrawal from 179 until 120 days preceding the departure date: 30% of the Charter amount
  3. withdrawal from 119 until 90 days preceding the departure date: 50% of the Charter amount
  4. withdrawal from 89 until 30 days preceding the departure date: 75% of the Charter amount
  5. withdrawal from 30 until the departure date: 100% of the Charter amount
  6. on departure day and no-show: 100%.

The same amounts apply to the customer, even if the missed departure is due to the lack or imprecision of the necessary personal documents. No refund is due to the customer who does not show up at the place of accommodation or in the case of cancellation during the program stay.

1. INTRODUCTION:
NOTION OF TOURIST PACKAGE
Considering that:

  1. the operator and vendor of tourist packages, to whom the tourist makes a request, must be in possession of the administrative authorization in order to carry out their activity.
  2. the tourist has the right to receive a copy of the tourist package sale contract (under art. 35 D.Lgs. 79/2011 of the Tourist’s Code) an essential document to get access to the National Guarantee Fund (art. 18 of these General Conditions).

The definition of tourist package (article 34 Tourist’s Code) is as follows: tourist packages have as their subject matter travel, holidays and “all inclusive” tours, which result from the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components, which must be sold or offered for sale at an inclusive price and cover a period of more than 24 hours or include at least one overnight accommodation:

  1. transport;
  2. accommodation;
  3. other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation (redacted)... and accounting for a significant proportion of the “tourist package”.

2. LEGISLATIVE SOURCES
The purchase of a tourist package, either with services offered on national territory or abroad will be governed - up to its abrogation under art. 3 D.Lgs no. 79 dd. May 23rd, 2011 (Tourist’s Code) - by the Italian Law 27/12/1977 n°1084 in ratification and implementation of the International Convention on Travel Contracts (CCV) regarding travel contracts signed in Brussels on 23.04.1970 and also by Tourist’s Code (art(s). 32-51) and its subsequent modifications.

3. OBLIGATORY INFORMATION: TECHNICAL BRIEF
The operator is obliged to provide either within the brochure or separately to it a technical brief. The details that must be included in the technical brief within the brochure or separately to it are:

  • details regarding the operator’s administrative authorisation;
  • details regarding the operator’s civil responsibility insurance policy;
  • period of validity of the brochure or programmes separate to the brochure or tailor made tour;
  • methods and conditions for transferral (Art. 39 of Tourist’s Code);
  • exchange rate used in the case of currency adjustments, days or value (Art. 40 Tourist’s Code).

4. BOOKINGS
Reservation requests must be made on the appropriate contractual form filled in entirely and signed by the client. Acceptance for the booking will be complete, with subsequent conclusion of the contract, only once the operator has sent confirmation, even by telematic means, to the client. Indications regarding the package that are not contained in the contractual documents, brochures or in other written means, will be provided in good time before the start of the journey by the operator in accordance with his obligations under art. 37 comma 2 of the Tourist’s Code.

6. PRICE
The price of the tourist package is determined in the contract, and refers to the price indicated in the brochure or in the separate programmes, which have been added subsequently. The contract provides that price revisions can be made up to 20 days before the established departure date and solely to allow for variations in:

  • transportation costs, including the cost of fuel;
  • taxes or fees due for certain tourist services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports;
  • exchange rates applied to the package in question. For these variations reference will be made to the exchange rate and costs mentioned above in force on the date of publication of the programme as printed in the brochure technical brief or on the date printed in the above mentioned adjustments.

7. ALTERATIONS OR CANCELLATION OF A TOURIST PACKAGE BEFORE DEPARTURE
Before the departure the operator or vendor who is forced to make significant alterations to one or more elements of the contract must give immediate notification in writing to the tourist indicating the type of alteration and the consequent variation in price. If the alteration proposal is not accepted, the tourist can reserve the right to reclaim the amount already paid or receive an alternative tourist package in accordance with commas 2 and 3 of article 10. The tourist maintains the above rights also when cancellation is due to an insufficient number of participants required as stated in the brochure or in the separate programme, or due to force majeure and accidental cause, regarding the tourist package purchased. For cancellations which are not caused by force majeure or accidental cause or by insufficient number of participants, or reasons which are different from those of the non acceptance by the tourist of the alternative tourist package offered, the operator who cancels (art. 33 letter e Consumer’s Code) will reimburse the tourist the double of what was paid to and received by the operator. The amount to be reimbursed can never be more than the double of the amount that the tourist would owe on that same date according to art. 10, comma 4 in the case the cancellation was done by the tourist himself.

8. WITHDRAWAL BY TOURIST

The tourist may withdraw in writing from the contract, without penalty only in the following cases:

  • increase in the price as mentioned in art. 6 greater than 10%;
  • significant changes of one or more of the elements of the contract, which are objectively considered fundamental to the fruition of the tourist package either proposed after conclusion of the contract but before departure and not accepted by the tourist.

In the above cases the tourist has the right to alternatively:

  • receive an alternative tourist package, without paying a supplement and with the reimbursement of excess cost, in the case that the second package has an inferior value to the first;
  • reimbursement of only the sums already paid. Such reimbursement must be carried out within seven working days from the receipt of the reimbursement request.

The tourist must communicate his decision (of acceptance of the alteration or of withdrawal) within and not after two working days from the moment he receives notice of the increase or alteration. If no communication is made within these limits, the proposal formulated by the operator is to be considered as accepted. The tourist who withdraws from the contract before departure for reasons other than those listed in comma 1 or in the case considered under art. 7, comma 2, will be charged - independently from the payment of a deposit as in art.5 - with the individual cost of the organization and the penalty in the amount indicated in the brochure technical brief or programme or tailor-made tours. In the case of pre-formed groups these amounts will be agreed on a case by case basis at the moment of the signing of the contract.

ALTERATION OF THE BOOKING
For each and any kind of alteration of the already booked tourist package the customer is obliged to pay an administrative fee of Euro 30 per person. A reduction in participants will be considered a cancellation and therefore subject to the cancellation fees as mentioned above. The operator is not obliged to fulfill any customer's alteration request of an already booked tourist package if he is not able to meet the customer's requirements.

9. ALTERATIONS AFTER DEPARTURE
After departure, should the operator find himself in a position of not being able to offer, for whatever reason, except for a personal reason of the tourist, an essential part of the services included in the contract, he must offer alternative solutions, without additional cost to the price paid by the tourist and, if the services offered are of a lower value than those foreseen, the customer must be reimbursed exactly for the difference. In the case that no alternative solution is possible, or rather the solution of the operator is refused by the tourist for justifiable serious reasons, the operator will at no extra cost, provide the tourist with equivalent transport back to the place of departure or to another pre-agreed place depending on availability of the means and places. In this case the operator will compensate the tourist for the difference between the services to be supplied under the contract and those supplied to the moment of the early return.

10. TRANSFER OF BOOKINGS
The tourist who withdraws may transfer his booking to another person provided that:

  • the operator has been informed in writing at least 4 working days before the established departure date and also at the same time receives communication regarding all the details of the transferee;
  • the transferee satisfies all the conditions to benefit from the service (ex. Article 39 Tourist’s Code) and in particular with requisites regarding passports, visas and medical certificates;
  • the transferee must reimburse the operator any extra costs that he may incur in order to proceed with the transferral. The amount will be quantified prior to the transferral. The transferor and the transferee shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the price of the package and also to the amounts in point c) of the present article.

11. OBLIGATIONS FOR THE TOURISTS
Foreign citizens will find the information concerning health requirements and documentation necessary for expatriation through their diplomatic representatives present in Italy and/or through official government information channels. In any case, before departure the tourists must check any updates with the relevant authorities and come into line with the information received before the tour starts. In the absence of such verification the operator cannot in any way be held responsible if one or more tourists do no depart. The tourists must be in possession of a personal passport or some other document valid for travel in the countries to be visited, as well as any tourist and transit visas and health certification that might be required. They must also respect the normal rules of prudence and diligence, all information provided to them by the operator and also any regulations and administrative or legislative requirements regarding their travel and tourist package. The participants will be liable for all and any damages that may be incurred by the holiday operator that may be caused by their failure to respect the above conditions. Tourists must provide the operator with all documents, information and other elements in their possession required for the exercise of operator’s right of subrogation with regard to third parties responsible for damages. The tourists is liable towards the operator for any compromise to the right of subrogation. The tourist must also inform the operator in writing, at the moment of booking, of any special personal requests that may be the subject of specific agreements on details of the holiday (pregnancy, food intolerances, disabilities, etc.), as long as the implementation of these requests is possible.

12. HOTEL CLASSIFICATION
The official category of hotels is described in the brochure or with alternative informative material only on the basis of explicit and formal indications by the competent authorities in the country where the service is provided. In the absence of official recognized classification of the competent Public Authorities of the countries, even if members of the EU, the operator reserves the right to their own description in the catalogue or brochure of the structure in order to permit an evaluation and subsequent acceptance of it by the tourist.

13. REGIME OF RESPONSIBILITY
The operator is responsible for damage caused to the tourist by the total or partial breach of contractual services owed, whether they are offered by him or by third party suppliers of services, unless proof can be given that the event derived from the tourist (also including initiatives carried out independently by the tourist) or by external circumstances in supplying contractual services, accidental cause, force majeure, or from circumstances that the operator could not, professionally or realistically foresee or resolve. The vendor where the booking for the tourist package was made is not held responsible under any circumstances for obligations that arise from the organization of the journey, but is responsible exclusively for the obligations that arise from the quality of mediation and therefore in the limits for such responsibility in respect of the legal obligations in force, except for the exemption under art. 46 Tourist’s Code.

14. LIMITS FOR COMPENSATION
Compensations under art(s). 44, 45 and 47 of the Tourist’s Code and relevant limitation periods are regulated by what is considered in this document and in any case within the limits established, by the C.C.V., by the International Conventions, which regulate the services of the tourist package as well as by art.(s) 1783 and 1784 of the Civil Code.

15. OBLIGATION FOR ASSISTANCE
The operator must give assistance to the tourist with professional diligence and exclusively with reference to the obligations cited both by law and by contract. The operator and the vendor are exonerated from their responsibilities (articles 13 and 14 of these General Conditions) when the contract cannot be carried out in part or completely due to the tourist or due to an unforeseeable or inevitable action by a third party, or rather fortuitous or by force majeure.

16. COMPLAINTS AND REPORTS
Any failure in the enforcement of the contract must be contested by the tourist without delay during the tour so that the operator, his local representative or assistant can rectify the situation as quickly as possible. Otherwise the compensation will be reduced or excluded under art. 1227 C.C.

The tourist must - on penalty of loss of any right to claims – make a written complaint by registered letter, with receipt of delivery, to the operator or the vendor no later than 10 working days after the date of return to the original place of departure.

17. INSURANCE AGAINST CANCELLATION EXPENSES AND REPATRIATION
It is advisable for the tourist to draw up an insurance policy against expenses deriving from the cancellation of the package tour, incidents, luggage (loss and damage) as well as an assistance contract, which covers the expenses of repatriation in case of accident or illness. Insurance policies are not included in our tour package offered by the operator.

18. NATIONAL GUARANTEE FUND
(art. 51 Tourist’s Code)
The Presidency of the Council of Ministers has constituted a National Guarantee Fund to which tourists may apply (under the terms of Art. 100 of the Consumer’s) in the case of insolvency or bankruptcy of vendors or operators, for the protection of the following rights:

  • reimbursement of price paid;
  • repatriation in case of holidays abroad.

The fund must also ensure immediate availability of economic assistance in the case of obligatory return of holiday makers from non-European Union countries due to emergencies ascribable or otherwise to the conduct of the operator. The details of the use of the fund are governed by Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers dated 23 July 1999. no. 349 G.U.n° 249 dated 12/10/1999 and the reimbursement requests to the fund are not subject to any time limits. The operator concurs in nurturing this fund in so far as established by the comma 2 of the mentioned art. 51 Tourist’s Code by paying the premium of the insurance, which the operator is obliged to take out. Part of this premium is paid into the fund, the payment method is indicated by art. 6 of the DM 349/99.

ADDENDUM GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR CONTRACTS - SALE OF SINGLE TOURIST SERVICES
A) LEGISLATION
Contracts regarding the sale of single services (accommodation, transport, any separate tourist service) and those therefore that do not regard a tourist package, are governed by Travel Contracts CCV art. 1, 3 and 6, arts. 17 to 23 and arts. 24 to 31 with the exclusion of references regarding contracts for organised travel or from other specific stipulations referring to the sale of single services in the contract. The vendor, who provides for a third party, even in a telematic way, a separated tourist service, has to issue to the tourist the documents for the provided service, showing the amount paid for it, and cannot in any way be considered a tour operator.

B) CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT

The following clauses of the general contractual conditions can be applied to these above mentioned contracts: art. 6 comma 1; art. 7, comma 2; art. 13 and art. 18. The application of these clauses does not render these contracts in any way those of a tourist package. The terms used in said clauses regarding contract for tourist packages (operator, travel etc) must be considered in reference to the corresponding figures of the purchasing contract for the single tourist services (vendor, accommodation etc.).

COMPULSORY NOTE
According to the Italian Law n.269 dated 3/10/98, article 16. The Italian Law punishes the crimes concerning prostitution and juvenile pornography by means of reclusion even if these crimes are committed abroad.

PRIVACY
Information regarding ex art. 13 of the Legislative Decree 196/2003 (legal code regarding personal data). The processing of personal data is carried out both on paper and digitally, in compliance with the Legislative Decree 196/2003, in order to perform and con- clude the contract and for the imple- mentation of the services that consti- tute the tourist package. Personal data will be given solely to the suppliers of the services included in the tourist package purchased. The tourist may at any time exercise his/her rights under art. 7 of the Legislative Decree 196/03 by contacting Girolibero informally, by telephone, or at info@girolibero.com

TECHNICAL DATA
Registred with no. VI-354659 at the companies registration list in Vicenza.
Aut. Amm. of the province of Vicenza n° 22507 of 26/03/2013 Insurance guarantee:
UnipolSai Assicurazioni
no. 1/72935/319/40173402.
All prices are in Euro.

All photos used by permission. ©Girolibero

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 4
  • 4 Star 4
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4.5

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.3
  • Value 4.8
  • Included meals 4
  • Bikes & equipment 4.8
  • Hotels or boat 4.5
  • Scenery 4.6
  • Ease of navigation 4.1
  • Tour documents 4.5
  • Local tour company services 4.7
  • Route selection 4.6

Reviews

paul22 November 13, 2018

great trip

a fantastic part of Italy - unspoiled. tour is well organized, hotels are good. highly recommended

Bubbles November 11, 2018

Good bike tour, great scenery, with caveats and NOT a level 2 difficulty

This tour benefits from some spectacularly gorgeous scenery, two unique and fascinating cities, and the excellent bike support staff (they were prompt in communicating and resolving equipment problems). Cyclists need to be aware of some of the drawbacks, too. The difficulty rating for this trip is misleading. It is NOT a level 2; it is definitely at least a level 3. I did a level 2 ride the week before, and a level 4 ride the week after, and this ride was closer to the 4 than the 2. The elevation maps provided appear to be inaccurate (day 2 was at least as hilly as day 1). Cycling expectations, and therefore preparations, matter. The on-route directional sign postings are usually present (kudos), but quite small and easy to overlook. Then, unfortunately, there were some things that detracted from the experience that cannot be fixed by the tour operator: inconsiderate auto drivers, very rough pavement in many places (patches upon patches and big, deep potholes), and a truly remarkable amount of litter (garbage, discarded washing machines and refrigerators, cans, bottles) that mars large swaths of the route in otherwise very scenic countryside. We cycled in the shoulder season, and some coastal in the far south towns were nearly closed down, but the traffic was also nearly absent. All things considered, it was a positive experience and worthwhile, but it doesn’t compare favorably to other equally beautiful trips.

John 327 September 15, 2018

Fun Trip

We were on a self guided trip but wound up meeting several fun people we wound up riding with. Scenery was great, the bikes were excellent and well suited to the ride. The accommodations ranged from good to excellent and we found the locals to be engaging and often very helpful. It seemed as though they were happy we were there. One of the bigger surprises was the quality of the local wines. They were excellent and very reasonably priced. The written directions were sometimes a bit confusing, but frankly that added to the fun and adventure. On some of the longer stretches in the countryside it was difficult to find water so it is a good idea to carry an extra bottle in your pannier.

raystrach July 31, 2017

A Great Experience of the Real Italy

We really enjoyed this trip taken before the start of the high season (mid april).
It really is a great part of Italy with relatively few tourists and quiet roads. Apart from one day when we we battled quite a strong headwind, the touring was really great with many beautiful and/or interesting places to keep us occupied every day.

We found plenty of great places to have lunch and dinner along the way and from time to time enjoyed the company of fellow travellers using the same tour company.

A highlight of our visit to Italy.

Sierralover76 January 7, 2017

Wonderful Adventure of Gorgeous Beaches, Unique History, and Amazing Food

Our adventure through Puglia was unforgettable! This region offers so much history, culture, and beautiful scenery. Every day of the bike tour is unique and different. It's especially nice to explore this amazing region that I imagine most Americans are not familiar with.

To begin, the staff at both Biketours.com and Girolibero (the local operator) are outstanding, super helpful, knowledgeable, and very responsive. Everything was smooth and easy.

Regarding the trip itself, Matera (day one) is just spectacular. Walking through the ancient stassi is a very special experience (we recommend hiring Nadia Garlatti for a guided tour to really get a feel for it (nadiagarlatti@tiscali.it). If you are planning on spending an extra night in either Matera or Lecce, we absolutely recommend you do so in Matera (not Lecce). The hotel is also wonderful, and it's just so special staying in the stassi of Matera.

One of the best parts about this trip is how you get to experience so much. Literally every day is very different. From the ancient stassi of Matera, to the trulli of Alberobello, the unique history of Otranto, the gorgeous beaches, lovely olive groves, vineyards and fig trees, this trip really covers a lot. Beyond the highlights, you will also visit very charming towns like Locorotondo and Gallipoli.

The biggest challenge for us was to see and do everything we wanted to do. It may not seem like much to bike 35-45 miles per day, but there is just so much to see and do. Each day was very packed so that we could enjoy the sites along the way, have a great meal in our destination, and have a stroll to explore our destination as much as we could. The nightlife in each bustling town was awesome as well.

The guidebook offered by Girolibero is very thorough and super informative. Their tips on where to stop and where to eat are spot on. All the restaurants, gelateria, beaches and other specific recommendations were great. In fact, the Pugliese cuisine was the best we had in Italy. Every meal was outstanding (and very reasonably priced). In America, "antipasto" is usually not really memorable. However, do yourself a favor and order the antipasto dishes when dining in Puglia -- for a very affordable price, you get a wonderful assortment of very tasty and unique dishes.

We could go on raving about this trip. We also need to mention the hotels were great as well (especially San Martino in Matera). And you have a complete and delicious breakfast included every morning.

Basically, from start to finish, this trip was just perfect. We have no complaints, and look forward to another bike tour in the near future. This was a wonderful way to experience an amazing region of Italy. Grazie!

Louise October 1, 2016

Excellent trip

We had a great time . Hotels were great and charming . Self guide tour was enjoyable . Arrows showing pretty well except the last day. It was not only cycling it was a cultural trip at the same time . Your documentation was excellent . Very satisfied

Izzz October 1, 2016

Pulia heel of the boot Italy

We 4 seniors really enjoyed our bike trip. The second last day was more challenging than we expected. Route was well signed with small arrows except into Lecce. Bikes heavy but reliable and comfortable.

Bikenfools November 5, 2015

Apulia: Cycling the Heel of Italy’s Boot

We had a great trip to Apulia (Cycling the Heel of Italy’s Boot), loved the tour, would do it again and recommend to others. All 7 hotels had excellent service and all-round excellent accommodations. Our luggage was always waiting for us, breakfast was always very good and the bikes served us well. The guys at the bike shop where we picked-up our bikes were friendly and helpful, and made adjustments to the bikes before we left.

The locals we met along the way were always very friendly, warm and treated us like rock stars. Even though we do not speak Italian, we never had trouble communicating - there was always someone within the vicinity who spoke English and eager to help translate. Sometimes there would be 1/6 dozen locals all translating at the same time.

The first hotel in Matera, Locanda Di San Martino, was our favorite and wished we could take the spa, pool, steam-room, and hot tub with us to the other hotels.

The 2nd hotel was cool getting to stay in a Trulli.

The 3rd hotel in Ostuni, Relais Sant’Eligo, was special because of the service we received from Tonia and Abbes – they went “above and beyond” to make our stay enjoyable. I was having technical difficulties with my iPhone charger, and thought the outlet in my room was not working. I took everything to the front desk and Abbes examined all the components (charger, adapter, cord, and phone) determined my cord was not working. He then called several electronic stores trying to find a cord, and said he would drive me to a store to buy a new one.

The 4th hotel in Gallipoli, Hotel 33, was very nice and we were treated like royalty. When we arrived - hot, thirsty and tired - the staff had ice-cold lemon-aid, and water waiting for us in the lobby, plus a bowl of fresh olives to snack on. They told us to just leave the bikes by the door and they moved them to the garaged. Our luggage was already in our room. We received an excellent local restaurant recommendation that served the best fresh fish I had the entire trip. The next morning our bikes were waiting by the front door. Fantastic service.

The 5th hotel in Santa Maria Di Leuca was good and had a nice pool. The only draw-back was the hotel is located outside of town about 1 mile from the nearest restaurant and we would have to walk in the dark on a road to get to another restaurant. Luckily, the hotel had an ok restaurant.

The 6th hotel in Otranto, Hotel San Giuseppe was nice with good service. The location made it easy to walk to restaurants in the area.

The 7th hotel in Lecce, Hotel EOS, was very nice, and modern.

The only route we found hard to follow was the route between Alberobello and Ostuni. There are many turns, and a few more directional arrow stickers might have been helpful, but maybe not. I believe we missed some turns because we were too interested in seeing the sights and not paying close attention to the guide book.

The routes on the other days were easy to follow and guided us through some amazing areas, with many sights to see. I was very surprised to find the roads practically vacant of cars and glad of it. I was expecting more traffic especially alone the coast. I guess traffic picks-up in the summer - we toured in early May.