Individual arrival in Matera. Famous for its Sassi and stunning landscapes, Matera, located on the border of Basilicata and Puglia, is not only breathtaking, but fascinating: Its history goes back more than 30,000 years. There are several rupestrian churches open to the public, a reproduction of a typical cave house that you can visit, and refurbished caves made into hotels and restaurants. The sassi districts are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (If you arrive late at night, we suggest you an extra stay in this wonderful and unique city). Overnight stay in Matera.
Matera to Alberbello - Distance 78 km
Bike and road map delivery, route description. Today you will cycle through the southern part of the Murgia to reach one of the most peculiar city in Italy, Alberobello, universally-known as the capital of the Trulli, distictive, small, dry-stone buildings with a conical roof. There are about 1500 trulli scattered in Monti and Aia Piccola districts, both listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1996. Overnight stay in Alberobello.
Alberbello to Ostuni - Distance 52 km
Today you'll ride over the hills dominating the Itria Valley. Nature lovers will not be disappointed: With its still expanses of olive trees as far as the eye can see, the Itria Valley is red soil, green groves and vineyards, and white trullo houses under a serene blue sky – essentially, a marvelous chromatic effect that repeats itself several times over. Before reaching your final destination, we suggest you to stop first in Locorotondo for a typical Italian aperitif tasting the white wine produced in this region, second in Martina Franca, for a short visit to its marvellously intact historic centre, its beautiful square, and stunning Palazzi, and last but not least in Cisternino for a lunch break, maybe in one of its typical butcher shops, where you can choose the meat you want to eat and they cook it for you. Finally you'll cycle to Ostuni, the White City, whose whitewashed arches and houses shine like a pearly white tiara, extending across three hills with the magnificent gem of a cathedral as its sparkling centrepiece. Overnight stay in Ostuni.
Train transfer: Ostuni - Lecce
Today you will travel by train from Ostuni to Lecce (55 minutes, 0 changes, ticket Eur 5.50 not included); You can carry your bike for FREE on regional rails. You can spend the day visiting this wonderful city, walking around its streets and alleys. Bequeathed with a generous stash of baroque buildings by it's 17th-century architects, the city has a completeness and homogeneity that other southern Italian metropolises lack. Don't forget to visit Piazza Duomo and Piazza Sant'Oronzo with its amphitheatre, and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Overnight stay in Lecce.
Lecce to Gallipoli - Distance 62 km
Today you'll cycle along the beautiful countryside of Salento. Your first destination will be Galatina. Take time to visit the Mother-Church and the Basilica of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria with its 15th-century frescoes. After lunch break, maybe with a typical Rustico Leccese, you'll ride towards Gallipoli. Don't miss the chance to spend your evening strolling around the beautiful streets of the old town. Overnight stay in Gallipoli.
Gallipoli to Otranto - Distance 68 km
Today your tour will lead you from the Ionian to the Adriatic coast. In the heart of the Grecia Salentina you'll cross the small towns of Corigliano d'Otranto, where ancient "Griko" is still spoken by elderly people, and Melpignano, crowded with more than one hundred thousand visitors during the Night of the Taranta, which takes place in August. From here you will cycle to your destination: Otranto. If you want you can have a delicious seafood dinner and take a walk throughout the historic centre and maybe buy some souvenirs from the local little shops. Overnight stay in Otranto.
Otranto to Lecce - Distance 56 km
In the morning, if you want, there's time to visit the city. Otranto is best appreciated in its amazing cathedral, where the bones of 813 martyrs are displayed in a glass case behind the altar. Less macabre is the cathedral’s other jaw-dropper, its medieval mosaic floor, which rivals the famous early Christian mosaics of Ravenna in its richness and historical significance. Cycling along the Alimini Lakes, you’ll finally reach the seaside village of Torre dell'Orso: don't miss the opportunity to swim in the suggestive Grotta della Poesia. Before arriving in Lecce you'll meet Acaya, a perfect stop for an authentic Italian espresso or for a drink at sunset in front of the castle. Overnight stay in Lecce.