The map says Italy. The heel of the "boot." Though at times you may feel you've strayed into Greece. And that's certainly a part of Puglia's distinctive appeal. Endless groves of silvery-gray olive trees. Low drystone walls hugging agricultural plots the size of throw-rugs. A rugged coastline and sparkling blue-green waters of the Adriatic. And the typically Pugliese profusion of conical-roofed stone trulli - the region's unofficial architectural emblems. Here you'll find the people welcoming and down-to-earth. The cuisine fresh, rustic and satisfying. Welcome to your perfect escape. Welcome to Puglia.
Day 1 Unbeatable views of ancient olive orchards, whitewashed villages and age-old farmhouses Pedal to the sun-bleached fishing town of Polignano a Mare, with narrow winding streets and limestone cliffs Savor stunning coastal scenery before spinning inland toward Conversano.
Day 2 The World Heritage site of Alberobello with 1,500 <i>trulli,</i> unusual round stone buildings topped with conical gray slate roofs Bike into the rolling hills of the Val d'Itria, a fertile patchwork of almond orchards, olive groves and vineyards Ever wondered how mozzarella is made? It's your chance to learn.
Day 3 Swim in the crystal-clear waters at Torre Canne or simply laze on the beach Pedal to historic Ostuni, "the white city," which spans three hilltops and is crowned by a Gothic cathedral.
Day 4 A two-wheeled journey from coast to coast, from the Ionian to the Adriatic Spin over undulating terrain toward Otranto, an important historic and artistic center perched at the easternmost point of Italy Along the way, delight in views of the azure Adriatic and its picturesque white-sand beaches.
Days 5-6 Superb coastal vistas and opportunities to relax en route over coffee and gelato Bike to the "heel of the boot" on a spectacular seaside ride to the tiny village of Santa Maria de Leuca Take a final ride through sunbaked hills before the trip ends in historic Lecce, a city famed for its beautiful Baroque architecture.
- Unbeatable views of ancient olive orchards, whitewashed villages and age-old farmhouses
- The World Heritage site of Alberobello with 1,500 trulli
- Swim in the crystal-clear waters at Torre Canne or simply laze on the beach
- Bike from coast to coast, from the Ionian to the Adriatic
- Superb coastal vistas and opportunities to relax en route over coffee and gelato
Corte Altavilla (1 night): This former nobleman's home dates back to the 11th century and features private balconies that look out onto Conversano, "La Città d'Arte" (The City of Art). (spa)
Masseria Torre Coccaro (2 nights): Set just a short distance from the sea, this onetime refuge for pilgrims and the Knights of Malta offers unique guest rooms, each with its own private garden. (pool, spa, golf)
Masseria Panareo (2 nights): A 15th-century country house perched on a hill, with great views of the Adriatic and the Cape of Otranto. (pool)
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|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 5/19-24 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/1-6 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/8-13 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/15-20 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/22-27 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/29-10/4 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/6-11 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/13-18 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/20-25 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/27-11/1 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
I've spent these last two days telling everyone that my Puglia trip was absolutely perfect. The leaders, were wonderful, extremely professional and yet lots of fun and engaging. I will always remember them telling us to "embrace the chaos" of Puglia and we did. I learned about Italy and also learned a great deal from my fellow travelers. I was traveling alone for the first time ever and the Backroads format made everything work--a great balance of group activities, the freedom to spend time alone and the opportunity to challenge myself physically--all in a beautiful environment.- Mill Valley, CA
This trip far exceeded my expectations. We had a blast. Even though I am a novice biker, I never felt like a novice. Our leaders were encouraging, and made sure that I was comfortable in whatever I choose to do.- Lansdale, PA
We saw Puglia in a way that we would never have done on our own. Our leaders were awesome. Their primary goal was our comfort and enjoyment. They couldn't do enough for us.- Philadelphia, PA
The leaders really made this trip an exceptional adventure. The beauty of the countryside coupled with the leader's local knowledge and sincere concern for each of us to share and understand all that the region offers made this a lifetime experience.- Oakland, CA
This trip was unforgettable! Of course, the weather cooperated, but we had so much fun. The riding was sometimes challenging and I finally met a hill I couldn't walk (very well)! Celebrating my 69th birthday on a bike with great people, superb guides, and gorgeous scenery couldn't have been better! I am always hesitant to try a new bike, but these were beautifully maintained, very forgiving, responsive, comfortable, and easy to get used to. I had thought about bringing my own bike, but yours were better.- New Haven, CT
Fabulous trip! The group was perfect and our leaders could not have been better. They were the greatest!! Their caring, compassion and knowledge was outstanding. They truly made our trip terrific! I so enjoyed learning about the area and meeting the people.- Chicago, IL
My husband and I have been fortunate to travel to Italy on several previous occasions but never have we so thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in every sense of the word. From our adorable and wonderful leaders, to the food and accommodations, to the beautifully exotic countryside of Puglia, we LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF OUR TRIP.- Charlottesville, VA
This trip was really a great one. I feel I had an opportunity to explore and experience a part of Italy that is not yet overrun with tourists. The routes were truly on Backroads with little traffic and beautiful scenery. Our trip seemed to be filled with extra experiences from exploring a sea grotto to olive oil tasting to dancing with a local band. I cannot think of one thing that I was unhappy.
This trip was definitely one of the best!!! The biking was great (many types of terrain,) the food was delicious and the scenery was simply breathtaking.Loved, loved, loved, the Barsento tour! What a gorgeous place and the lunch was beyond compare! Mimmo was a great addition to our schedule. He is like Audrey in that his love of Puglia is infectious. It is wonderful to see someone so proud of his country and hometown that he wants to share it with people. On a personal note, I have to add that Backroads has really become an integral part of my life. It only took one trip to get me hooked. I love the research and anticipation before the trip, meeting new people and experiencing so many different things. Charlotte, NC
This was my first Backroads trip, and it exceeded all my expectations. There was a wonderful balance of biking, cultural, and culinary activities...as well as ample time for relaxation. Each day was so full, and the week passed too quickly. Yet, it was the perfect trip length. The guide at Alberobello is perhaps the most memorable. Again, it is that love and passion for his home that comes through and makes the tour so enjoyable. That, and the limoncello, rosecello, meloncello, almondcello, etc that we got to sample! Washington, DC
By far the best vacation I have ever had. The people in our group were wonderful and the Puglia region is definitely somewhere I would never have gone without Backroads. I really enjoyed riding with a small group and working together to follow the map, to encourage each other and to take turns leading. It was a fabulous experience. Birmingham, AL
Backroads, you've got it right. Chatham, NJ
I loved this trip. The biking was exactly what I was looking for. And I loved the activities included such as mozzarella making demo, pasta making class, and the wine tasting. It resulted in a perfect balance of biking and other activities. Oconomowoc, WI
I completely expected to have a fantastic time, but had no idea it would be as great as it was! Fantastic riding, eating, company etc. 100% impressed with the organization and great attitudes our trip leaders had--somebody said it must be like herding cats yet, they never lost patience with us! Jamaica Plain, MA
The trip to Italy was exciting and wonderful, and the Puglia part of it with Backroads was truly magical. The food, the scenery, the people, the group, the events: all parts of a great experience. And our leaders - Simone and Matteo - played a major, major part in making it so special! They were excellent. This was my second trip, and I had not expected it to be as great as the first: that simply did not seem possible. Yet, astonishingly, it was even better! Thank you, Backroads! Berkeley, CA