Puglia, the southern Italian region forming the heel of the "boot", is famous for its whitewashed hillside towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometres of Mediterranean coastline. The region is bathed by the Adriatic Sea (to the east) and the Ionian Sea (to the south).
Visiting Puglia by bike, in the South of Italy, means discovering a multitude of typical towns and villages, each with their own peculiarity and tourist attraction.
From the trulli of Alberobello or the sassi of Matera, to the magnificent baroque monuments of Lecce, or the chief town of the region, Bari, you will find, in Puglia, plenty of places to visit absolutely!
Puglia reveals another facet of Italy, rural, wild and much less crowded.
Because of the region's lengthy physiognomy, discovering this region of Italy with the help of a bicycle in a touring formula as proposed by our agency Europe Active, is by far the most suitable.
Some of our favourite trips
For residents of the European Union, no visa is required to enter Italian territory.
For residents outside the European Union, please contact the Italian Embassy nearest to your place of residence.
There are two air gateways: Bari to the north and Brindisi to the south, connected to Paris and several cities by direct flights or via Rome or Milan.
You can reach Bari using a sleeper train: departure from Paris, or train station of Lyon: www.trenitalia.it.
By road, you should know that the distance between Paris and Matera is of 1780 km and you will have to go through by Genova, Alexandrie, Modena and Bologna, before going down to the south of Italy along the east coast to Matera.
Puglia can be visited all year round, due to the Mediterranean climate, mild in winter and hot and dry in summer. To feel as if you are alone in the world, spring and autumn are the ideal seasons. From October onwards, olives are harvested. Avoid the 2 summer months when the heat is hardly bearable for a cycling holiday.
Puglia’s climate is typically Mediterranean: the coastal area has a hot, dry summer and a mild, rainy winter. Rainfall is concentrated between mid-Autumn and winter, although it is very low.
For a cycling holiday in this region, we advise you in priority the months of April, May, June and September. If you cannot do otherwise, make sure to favour short stages, starting early in the morning.
Average temperatures (Bari) source www.climatsetvoyages.com
Average rainfall (Bari) source www.climatsetvoyages.com
The accomodation used in Puglia is a mix of bed and breakfast, small charming hotels (3 or 4 stars) that privileged authenticity and proximity, rigorously selected for their cleanliness and practicality criteria for cyclists.
Europe Active thus offers nights in 2, 3 or 4 star hotels and top-of-the-range accommodation in the heart of the cities. But we also offer charming hotels and nights in agritourism.
Europe Active offers nights in Trulli in Alberobello, in independent studios in the famous white buildings in the historic city centre of Ostuni, in bed and breakfast with breakfast served on the rooftop terrace in Gallipoli, etc.
How not to revel in Italian cuisine? Puglia is no exception to the culinary reputation of Italy!
Wheat, oil, vegetables (tomatoes, aubergines, broccoli, etc...) and fish are the main ingredients of Puglia's cuisine, both simple and rich in flavours. With a tradition linked to durum wheat flour, this region offers a wide variety of pasta, including orecchiette, and bakery products: friselle, the famous Altamura bread, taralli, made from unleavened bread dough, or panzerotti (stuffed pizza dough slippers). With rare exceptions - such as the beef bomette - the cuisine of Puglia favours white meat and fish.
The territory of Puglia is probably better known for its beaches, its heritage, its cuisine and its olive oil than for its wine. But this may change in the future and this great region is perhaps the most interesting in southern Italy when it comes to wine. It has a handful of DOCG wines and many DOC wines, including Locorotondo white*. Because Italian cuisine is more than just pizza and spaghetti bolognese, take advantage of your cycling trip to build a true gastronomic itinerary to discover all the flavors of traditional Italian cuisine and enjoy the Dolce Vita at every meal.
Don't forget the traditional Italian ice-cream (Gelato) to be enjoyed during a cooler break, and take the time to order a coffee on the terrace: the word "caffè" naturally refers to an espresso, the "Cappuccino" is probably the best known and loved coffee throughout Europe, but avoid ordering it at the end of the meal as it is not appropriate. Experiment with caffè latte, caffè macchiato, marocchino, shakerato, caffè americano or opt for a cioccolate calda (hot chocolate, Italian style, very thick).
Breakfast is generally suitable for cyclists and should get you through the day. A snack at midday will be an opportunity to take a break from your stage, as recommended in your road book.
Buon Appetito !
(* to be enjoyed with moderation when cycling!)
Money and budget:
Euro is the official currency, as in the rest of Italy. Most businesses accept credit cards with or without contact.
An ice cream costs about 2 euros and a coffee costs 1 euro (2018).
Visiting Puglia by bike means discovering a multitude of typical towns and villages, each with their own characteristics and tourist attractions.
From the trulli of Alberobello or the sassi of Matera, to the magnificent baroque monuments of Lecce, or the chief town of the region, Bari, you will find many places to visit along the way!
This region is often represented through a unique architectural feature. There are magnificent cathedrals and numerous churches with a very accomplished baroque architecture. Thanks to the topos guides spotted and written by Europe Active, your bike trip will make you discover Puglia and the many charms of Salento from the inside.
Follow your road-book and discover the treasures found by Europe active, by taking our cycle routes away from the traffic.
Bari, the capital, is a dynamic university and port city, while Lecce is known as the "Florence of the South" because of its Baroque architecture. Alberobello and the Itria Valley are home to "trulli", stone houses with conical roofs, built in the 16th century, characteristic of the region.
Thanks to the topos guides spotted and written by Europe Active, your cycling trip will make you discover Tuscany from the inside.
The bikes available for hire are road bikes, hybrid or electric bikes (Ebikes). The equipment provided are: helmet, GPS and rear bag. In case of puncture, you have a repair kit and a pump. The bikes are always serviced between each rental.
Rent on site or come with own bike?
It’s tempting to want to come with your own equipment when you’re used to it. Apart from the space that a bicycle takes up in addition to luggage, it can also be damaged in transport and airlines do not always offer the possibility of transporting them to Tuscany.
Don't panic, renting allows you to benefit from a quality service: the equipment is robust and adapted, the Trek brand is privileged. It also allows you to experiment with other types of bikes: a Carbon road bike or a VAE which will be a real ally in the dusty climbs and will help you in your efforts against the wind. The autonomy of the batteries is largely sufficient for daily stages up to +/- 80km.
If you have your own bike, make sure you have it serviced before you leave, that the tires and brakes are good. This brings additional costs to your stay. And if you have a problem on the spot, the holiday can become complicated. Be careful when transporting on a rear bike carrier, check the bike's fixings and the legibility of the number plate.
Keep in mind:
- A bright yellow jacket must be worn at dusk and in case of poor visibility (fog, heavy rain, etc.)
- Helmets are mandatory until 12 years old and highly recommended for all.
- Some of the cycle routes use low-traffic roads, which are shared with cars: keep to the right, in single file.
4 051 846 (2017)