It's just a complete contradiction. It reminds you of the whitewashed coastal villages of Greece but it's distinctly Italian. There's an island-like easiness but it's part of the mainland. You'll ride along the deep blue waters of the Adriatic that are still one moment and dramatic the next. The people are welcoming and down-to-earth but the foods are explosive and even arrabbiata (spicy) at times. Authentic farmhouses have been transformed into exquisite inns. Every turn on your adventure will feel familiar and foreign at the same time.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Navigating Bike RoutesAll roads lead to Rome - and locals here know the way without the need for street signs along their lovely country thoroughfares. As such, many of our bike routes follow roads with little or no signage, which may require more attention to the directions than you might expect. Be prepared to make a few more stops along the way to ensure you're on the right track.
Days 1-2 Be charmed by the unique identity and spirit of the Pugliese people Bike past fields of fennel and a sea of shimmery olive trees The sun-bleached fishing town of Polignano a Mare, with winding streets and limestone cliffs, is yours to explore Discover the charming town of Monopoli, a labyrinth of narrow lanes and a magnificent cathedral Partake in a sommelier-led tasting of full-bodied primitivo and other notable vini Pugliesi.
Day 3 Alberobello: a World Heritage site with 1,500 cone-roofed <i>trulli</i> Embark on a walking tour with a local guide to learn about these unique stone buildings, constructed without mortar Pedal rolling country roads through the fertile Val d'Itria.
Day 4 Ride on quiet one-lane roads, cooled by sea breezes under big blue skies A peaceful route leads to Ostuni, la città bianca (the white city), which spans three hilltops and is crowned by a Gothic cathedral Spin to Cisternino, a quiet 7th-century port city.
Days 5-6 Ever wondered how mozzarella is made? Learn how it's done at an agriturismo with a mozzarella master Journey inland to the World Heritage site of Matera, one of Italy's most fascinating towns Some 9,000 years ago, humans inhabited the natural caves in the surrounding canyon, creating what UNESCO calls "the most outstanding example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean" Soak up the authentic feel of this ancient town, with its intriguing history and sublime views Cap off your trip with an optional ride or a walk through Matera with a local expert.
- Unbeatable views of ancient olive groves, whitewashed villages and age-old farmhouses
- Ride on quiet one-lane orchard roads, cooled by sea breezes, under big blue skies
- A sommelier-led tasting of full-bodied Primitivo and other notable Pugliese vini
- The World Heritage sites of Alberobello with 1,500 trulli and Matera with a maze of prehistoric caves
- Dine on organic homemade Pugliese dishes with a wine pairing at each course
Il Melograno (2 nights): A tastefully restored 17th-century masseria (fortified farmhouse) surrounded by orchards of olive trees. A Relais & Châteaux member. (pool, spa, tennis)
Masseria San Domenico (2 nights): An Andrew Harper Grand Award recipient with "a winning combination of international comfort and refined rusticity," overlooking the Adriatic Sea. (pool, spa, tennis, golf)
Sextantio le Grotte della Civita (1 night): A truly unique experience awaits at this elegantly simple hotel, which claims to be the worlds only hotel set within prehistoric caves.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Matera Walking Tour (1.5 Hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 4/13-18 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/4-9 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/11-16 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/18-23 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/25-30 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/1-6 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/24-29 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/31-9/5 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/7-12 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/14-19 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/28-10/3 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/5-10 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/12-17 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/19-24 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/26-31 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 2 - 3 guests $6,698 pp dbl. occ.
- 4 - 5 guests $5,898 pp dbl. occ.
- 6 - 7 guests $5,398 pp dbl. occ.
- 8 - 9 guests $5,198 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $4,598 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $4,298 pp dbl. occ.
Guest Trip Reviews
This was my 11th Backroads trip and it fulfilled all my expectations of what a great Backroads trip should be: relaxed, fun, moderate activity level, beautiful natural surroundings, lovely hotels, fantastic food, interesting local culture, and most of all, enthusiastic and knowledgable Backroads leaders.- Rochester, MN
This was my first Backroads trip and overall it was a fantastic experience! The countryside of Puglia is beautiful and the trip was extremely well planned. My husband (who was also on the trip) is Italian and it was lots of fun to explore a part of Italy that we had not been to together. It truly felt like a vacation and the only "work" was the peddling of the fabulous titanium bikes! I think I am addicted.- Boston, MA
This was just the perfect vacation. Biking through beautiful and peaceful countryside in the company of a fun and diverse group was relaxing and enjoyable. It was a great release physically and emotionally - a true get-a-way!- Cherry Hill, NJ
This was the best trip I have ever taken in my life. I wish I hadn't waited 47 years to do this. Absolutely will do a trip again. We are talking about getting a bigger group together of friends next year, and maybe some of the people that were on this trip and doing another trip. I feel so good!- Encino, CA
Wow! This trip was off the charts. The guides were fabulous, all of them... The itinerary was wonderful with a good mix of activities and great food.- Montclair, NJ
My husband and I recently returned from our Backroads trip through the Puglia region of Italy. Of the 14 bicycle trips we have taken, this one was the absolute best in terms of accommodations, food, riding and, most importantly, the leaders. We plan to go on many more Backroads adventures until we can't bike any longer. Then we'll walk and hike!- Santa Barbara, CA
Puglia turned out to be a wonderful surprise. It had an interesting terrain - challenging, but not daunting - was culturally unique and so different from other regions I've traveled to in Italy. The "backroads" were great and untrafficked, and I thought the cultural programs were stimulating and the food tasty. It was fun to be a visitor in a relatively undiscovered part of Italy.- Englewood, CO
The best vacation I have ever taken. It was a great mix of exercise and fun. The trip was expertly run with no detail missed. The level of service was beyond my highest expectations. I'm looking forward to doing another Backroads trip.- Hoboken, NJ
Great hotels, great part of Italy, great food, but I have to say the leaders made the trip 10 times more educational, fun and relaxing!- Berkeley, CA