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.