Enjoy old Italian towns and villages of the region
Visit one of the many distinct and beautiful sights of this lovely region

Cycling Puglia & Matera

8 days
Site savings
$2,254 USD

Cycle from the UNESCO town of Matera through Italy's heel to Lecce. In the deep south of Italy, nestled between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, lie the captivating regions of Puglia and Basilicata. This extensive itinerary explores the very best selection of all the cultural and natural treasures found here. Matera’s fascinating ‘Sassi’ houses and the UNESCO 'Trulli’ houses of Alberobello set the scene for the journey to come.

  • Category
    Cultural & Historical
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    8 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    2 - Novice
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    221.2 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    36.7 miles
operated by
Exodus Travels
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  • Where does the tour start and end?

    The tour starts in Matera and ends in Lecce, Italy. The best airport to fly in/out of is Bari airport (Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport - BRI).

    It is relatively straightforward to make your own way to Matera from Bari airport, the cheapest way is by public transport. There is a bus service running from Bari airport to Matera, called Pugliairbus (transfer 60 mins - ticket €6 www.pugliairbus.aeroportidipuglia.it. It is also possible to travel to Matera by train although it is not recommended as connections are limited.

    The tour operator can arrange a private transfer if booked in advance for approximately €70-90 for the vehicle.

  • How long is the tour? How many cycling days?

    The tour is 8 days long with 6 days of cycling.

  • What's the tour like?

    This trip is classified as level: 3/Moderate. The terrain and route is 99% tarmac, with a couple of very short sections of gravel. Most of the cycling is along flat to hilly tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free), with a few steady ascents and descents along the way, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Road conditions are generally good, but tarmac may be pot-holed in places.

  • Is a bike included?

    Yes, a Velo de Ville L200 bike with front suspension is included in the tour price. An e-bike is possible to rent for an additional cost.

    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.

    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. The tour operator encourages 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. They cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

  • Do I have the wear/bring a helmet?

    Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in this cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire.

    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.

  • Should I have travel insurance?

    Yes. It is a condition of joining this holiday 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.

  • Can I have private room? What is the single supplement cost?

    A single supplement is applicable if you are traveling alone or wish to have your own room. The price varies depending on the dates chosen with minimum price starting at AU$533.00.

    If you would like to book a single room please contact us.

  • Please read here for the tour operator's message regarding Covid-19:

    Update on trips running on or before 30 September 2021:
    As of Tuesday 25 May, 2021

    We hope you and your family are staying healthy throughout these trying times.

    Ensuring customer safety and enjoyment has been our primary focus since our first overland journey rolled out of London in 1974 and this fact has never been more important than today.

    We have introduced enhanced safety protocols in response to COVID-19, which are also in line with the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travel protocols for tour operators. As such, we are constantly monitoring whether we can safely travel to a destination country, along with what your home country’s current border restrictions are.

    We look forward to exploring the world with you again soon.

    If your trip departs on or before 30 September 2021:
    Due to the current international travel bans in Australia & New Zealand, will be contacting our Australian & New Zealand travelers to discuss your next steps (if you have not been contacted already). You do not need to call us. Please be patient while our customer teams work through bookings in order of proximity to departure.

    If you have booked via a travel agent, please contact them to discuss your options.

    Thousands of our wonderful customers have already chosen to rebook their holiday for 2022. In doing so they have not only given themselves an incredible adventure to look forward to, but they have also given hope to our long-standing local partners who rely on tourism for their income.

    If your trip departs on or after 01 October 2021:

    The vast majority of tours are currently planned to run as scheduled, however, we will be in contact with you directly should there be any changes to your specific departure.
    We will continue to monitor local conditions and all relevant governmental advice and will review all trips, and update passengers a minimum of 30 days prior to departure.

    Book with Confidence

    What you need to know:

    • You will receive a guaranteed refund if we have to cancel your trip for any reason.
    • You will receive a refund if you can’t join your trip because you or a member of your party is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has received a request from the Government to self-isolate, and you are unable to claim for this via your travel insurance.
    • Up to 21 days before departure you can transfer to another trip free-of-charge (excluding international flights, and any non-refundable in-destination costs). Please note on our self-guided range of holidays you can make changes free-of-charge up to 31 days before travel. View full booking conditions for details.
    • Up to 42 days before departure you can cancel free-of-charge and we’ll refund the balance, and hold the deposit for you to use on any departure in the next 2 years (excluding international flights, and any non-refundable in-destination costs - view full booking conditions for details).
    • Excludes Polar Expeditions and Voyages
    • Valid for new bookings made on or after 30th June 2020

Overall Rating:
A terrific trip through Puglia
Beverly S
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

A fabulous, but not too difficult cycling trip through Puglia, stopping off in lovely hilltop towns and other places of interest. Sampling delicious local food. Varied accommodation. Great scenery.
Loved the sampling of fresh mozzarella, followed by delicious al fresco lunch at the farm. The food & wine was superb each evening, eating local produce and delicacies. We cycled through small country lanes with lovely scenery en route. Stayed in variety of accommodation which also helped make the trip, especially enjoyed the converted convent in the olive farm (with the welcoming swimming pool). It was great to do a walking tour (optional though no one declined) each evening with the tour leader of the historic towns we stayed in.
Emmanuele was a fabulous leader, and went out of his way to ensure we got the most of out trip, in his local area. His knowledge was great not just on local history but on food & drink too. If group members had specific requests he tried to fit these in too, without any detriment to the others. Although there were those with different cycling abilities on the trip he ensured all got as much as possible out of the days riding and no one was ever left struggling behind.
Take a waterproof what ever the time of the year. Be prepared for a windy ride when you head north up on the west coast road on the last day.
Only downside was olive oil tasting in the evening at the farm, which was a little long and drawn out. Despite that it was very interesting but could have been shortened, as sitting at a table after a long hot day meant staying alert or even awake was difficult!

Fantastic trip
Nikki Groarke
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Thoroughly enjoyed my first cycling adventure, which exceeded expectations. The scenery was beautiful, a mixture of olive groves, coast lines, varied villages and country lanes. Matera as a starting point was stunning, but the dramatic weather as we set off was challenging, to say the least. Cycling 43 miles in torrential rain and wind through floods, with shower caps over our helmets, was a group bonding experience like no other! Thankfully the rest of the week was perfect weather, if a little windy at times. All the places we stayed in were well chosen - I especially enjoyed the farm house with its amazing rooms and lovely pool. The meals, eaten together, were delicious and lots of fun, with a mixture of new food to try and copious amounts of local wine to wash it down, all in the knowledge we would be working off the calories the next day.

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The best moment was sweeping down a hill to the coast the first time. Arriving at an empty white sandy beach as the sun shone and the waves lapped was magical, particularly after our rainy start a couple of days earlier. Then cycling through a market and fishing village was a great experience. I also felt a great sense of achievement when I reached the top of the third killer hill on day five without stopping, and realized my fitness levels had improved as the week went on.
Antonio was a fab leader, very knowledgeable about the area, funny and helpful. Appreciated his singing (!), and the special tour we had of his home town of Bari due to our flight being later than usual. He went above and beyond the call of duty.
I went on my own and was a little nervous but needn't have been. It is very much a group experience and you soon feel like you have known people for ages. Even for a 'moderate' trip you need to be quite fit. The pace was faster than I would go on my own, (12-18 mph on the flat depending on pot holes and wind), but I managed to keep up, and speedier cyclists were happy to wait for the slower ones as we puffed up the hills. The bikes were great with good gears and comfortable saddles. Check the weather forecast and don't assume because it's Southern Italy it will be warm. Evenings were sometimes chilly and I was glad of the fleece I threw in at the last minute. I had taken a warmish waterproof but some others hadn't and suffered on our wet day.
Thanks for a great holiday adventure. I will definitely be back, hopefully doing the Prosseco hills next year, and potentially with some friends who followed my Facebook posts and want to come too!

Cycling in Puglia
Liz Kreibich
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Thank you for an excellent first cycling holiday. I loved every minute... even the ‘undulations’ !!! I had not cycled more than 15miles in one go ever, but felt I was so strong by the end of the 6 days. A great personal challenge! It was great being in a big group, and soon got to know the people we had just met. Manuela was a tremendous guide & Pierrot was a superb support guy... providing us with healthy snacks , fresh water & delicious local food picnics. This trip is to be recommended. I will definitely go back to the area. The bicycles we hired were of a superb quality & very comfortable to ride.
When I reached the top of some pretty long steep hills I felt elated! I couldn’t believe how strong I had become by the end of the 6 days!
Manuela was a fantastic guide & he looked after us all so well. His restaurant recommendations we fab, and his local knowledge was so informative. I was amazed at how fluent in English he was & he even got our sense of humor!
Prepare well in advance.. some good quality padded cycling shorts & chamois cream to be recommended!
We didn’t get much ‘down time’ at the end of the day, but I think that was because we were a slowish group.