In the heart of the Mediterranean lies Puglia, a unique landscape sandwiched between the Adriatic and Ionian seas. We explore the very best of this captivating region and begin by cycling through two towns that both possess UNESCO world heritage sites. The region is mainly flat, which lends itself perfectly to the self-guided cycle ahead; filled with spectacular views; beautiful coastline and mouth-watering cuisine.
This holiday is offered with a choice of mainly 3 Star, or mainly 4 Star accommodation. The 3 Star accommodation is listed on the hotels page.
Make your way to Matera, 2019's European Capital of Culture, and one of the oldest inhabited human settlements in the world.
On leaving Matera, ride past its beautiful UNESCO recognised honey-coloured stone houses. Called 'Sassi', these dwellings have been housing residents for the past 9,000 years. From one famous world heritage site to another, head towards Alberobello, where you can admire its distinctive trulli houses made from local limestone.
Cycle through the lush Valle d'Itria, passing more white-tipped trulli houses on the way. Boasting beautiful coastal views, the route takes you through the famous wine town of Locorotondo, regarded as one of Italy's most stunning villages. After sampling some of the local sparkling white wine, continue to the white city of Ostuni - so called for the dazzling effect of its whitewashed houses.
Take a train to the fascinating Baroque town of Lecce. From here cycle deep into the Salentinian countryside before approaching the Ionian coast. Here you will reach Gallipolli, known as the 'Ionian Pearl' with its Old Town situated on a rocky island.
Cycle towards the most southerly point of Salento at Santa Maria di Leuca, where the crystal waters of the Ionian and Adriatic Sea meet. This village is home to one of the most important lighthouses in Italy, as well as numerous villas built at the turn of the century.
Pedal along the south coast of the Adriatic Sea, stopping off at the famous Grotta Zinzulusa and the thermal baths of Santa Cesarea Terme. Your final destination is Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy with a stunning cathedral and Aragonese castle.
Follow the shoreline through olive groves to the Baroque metropolis of Lecce. Known as the 'Florence of the South', Lecce is home to over 30 churches, an amphitheatre and a Roman theatre dating back to Emperor Augustus.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
NEARBY:Located in the Sasso Caveoso, and just a few steps from the Sassi di Matera UNESCO site. Il Belvedere Hotel is a unique location for a perfect view of the Sassi and is close to the typical cave churches, on the main access street to the town. Hotel Il Belvedere is an elegant and typical Hotel in Matera, the rooms are elegant and unique, most of them are built within the cave and each one presents original tufa wall.
A unique and authentic experience staying in a trulli, a traditional 15th century Apulian stone building with conical roof.
The origins of Relais Sant'Eligio date back to the first half of 1500 when the Queen Bona Sforza d'Aragona imposed all coastal cities from Naples and Otranto to have a resting station. The Resting Station of Camposada in Ostuni was built along the ancient 'Via del Procaccia', the route running along the ancient walls of the White Town. Between 1630 and 1810, it became the Home of the Zevallos dukes as proved by several decorative friezes and ornaments.
NEARBY:Located in the centre of Gallipoli and only a short walk from Corso Roma, Hotel Joli Park is modern and comfortable.
NEARBY:Hotel Terminal is nestled among the eclectic villas, on the central nineteenth-century seafront dedicated to Cristoforo Colombo, the heart of the town, with a beautiful view on Punta Ristola and Punta Melis.
NEARBY:Located in the centre of Otranto, Hotel Albania owes its name to the majestic Albanian mountains which on a clear day offers guests breathtaking views and are visible from the hotel terrace.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
We hired electric bikes. We were provided with one with a 300 watt battery and one with a 400 watt battery. We immediately told Puglia Cycles that the 300 watt battery would not be enough to cope with 45 miles on the first day and so it proved. Luckily we managed to arrange to recharge the battery at a cafe en route. The first day was quite a challenge for us in terms of distance but we coped on the other days without too many problems. The navigation assistance provided by Headwater worked very well on my Garmin once I had got over the frustrations of the Garmin itself (my problem). The accommodation apart from the hotel in Gallipoli was excellent. The hotel in Gallipoli was ok but the breakfast was very disappointing.
This was our first cycling holiday, we bought e bikes last year and hired them here. They were lighter but not quite as comfortable but made easy work of the route. The app works well in rural areas, in urban areas with complex road junctions check! The coastal route was the highlight with fantastic views and beaches. The countryside was a joy. Generally the roads were quieter than Scotland and drivers gave us priority. Hotels were comfortable and generally well located, breakfasts were variable in choice but all were good. The initial briefing was poor added no additional information to what was on the app and no technical briefing about the bikes - how to repair a puncture with the foam pack - this would have saved a call out. The train journey with e bikes at Ostuni station was difficult - we had to hold the train from leaving whist the larger bike would not fit in the lift and had to be manhandled up the stairs. e bikes too heavy to hang in train and lack of space.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 7 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of , and hotels
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
GPS route directions and maps
Headwater navigation app
High quality bikes
Luggage transfers between hotels
Train transfer from Ostuni to Lecce on day 4
How to book:
For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).
To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'Check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form.
We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £215 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
It is possible to hire tandem bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £292 per bike. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
This holiday is also available with mainly 4 Star accommodation.
Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Bari Airport at 14:20.
For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the appropriate 'Check availability' button above to complete our holiday enquiry form, we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you.
To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'Check availability' links above to complete our holiday enquiry form.