« Return to Normal Layout

Puglia Bike Tour
Puglia Bike Tour

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. 


Straight Talk
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 Routes

All 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  Along with an Italian pasta cooking activity, 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 trulli  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.  Ever wondered how mozzarella is made? Learn how it's done with a mozzarella master.

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  Discover a magnificent cathedral and labyrinth of narrow lanes in charming Monopoli.
   

Days 5-6 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 a guided walk through historic Matera or a final ride up to the crested town of Montescaglioso.


Trip Highlights
  • 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
big map


Premiere Inns

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 world's only hotel set within prehistoric caves.


Routes For All Abilities

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.

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
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
1 17 200
2 26* 1000 33 1500 41 1600
3 15* 1400 34 1400 49 1500
4 20* 800 26* 1800 39 1900
5 25* 1000 32* 1500 53* 2300 62 2500
6 12* 1700 23 1900
Matera Walking Tour (1.5 Hours)
 
note:

* Includes a shuttle

Crank it up While this trip is best for guests looking for a level 1-3 cycling experience, on several days additional riding is possible, with plenty of climbs to boot.


2014 Dates & Pricing*

CLASSIC TRIPS
  • 5/25-30 Price: $4798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
  • 6/1-6 Price: $4898 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.)
  • 10/12-17 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $860 for sgl. occ.)
  • 10/19-24 Price: $4498 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 from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. 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.
Margaret Weglinski - 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.
Susan Adler - Boston, MA

The overall experience was the trip of a lifetime. I truly felt like I was immersed into the culture of the beautiful Puglia region and feel accustomed to the warmth of the people, the tranquil beauty of the masserie, and freshness of the cuisine here. There were times during my trip where I wanted to say: "Is this real life?" Backroads made it possible by not only facilitating these adventures, but providing context, education, and 24-hour support to go along with it.
 
Haley O'Bryan

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 getaway!
Jane Kramer - 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!
Teresa Jacoby - 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.
Robert Bildner - 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!
Hazel M. Blankenship - 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 "back roads" 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.
Carolyn Asher - 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.
Beth Flynn - Hoboken, NJ

Great hotels, great part of Italy, great food, but I have to say the leaders made the trip ten times more educational, fun and relaxing!
Robert Madison - Berkeley, CA