Travel Guides: Italy Travel Guide: Overview
In Southern Europe—right in the heart of the Mediterranean—lies a boot-shaped country stuffed to the brim with culture, history and fine cuisine.
Family — Older Teens & 20s
Activity Levels 2-4
Casual & Premiere Hotels
The map says Italy. The "heel of the boot." Though you may feel you've strayed into Greece. And that's part of Puglia's appeal. Endless olive groves. A rugged coastline and the blue-green Adriatic. The people are welcoming and down-to-earth. The cuisine rustic and satisfying. You've found your family's perfect escape.
Start Bari / End Lecce
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
As you ride, take in mesmerizing views of lost-in-time villages, olive trees and traditional farmhouses | Travel to Matera, a World Heritage site and one of Italy's most captivating towns | Humans inhabited this canyon’s caves some 9,000 years ago, creating what UNESCO calls "the most outstanding example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean" | Immerse yourself in the authentic feel of this remarkable town, with its intriguing history and spectacular sights.
This beautifully renovated 18th-century palace offers unsurpassed views of Matera's sassi from its rooftop terrace.
Master the art of mozzarella-making in a hands-on demonstration | Admire unusual round stone buildings topped with conical gray slate roofs in the World Heritage site of Alberobello | Bike into the surrounding landscape, where a vibrant palette of reddish brown soil, green grass and blue skies inspires | Savor a mid-ride espressino freddo, Puglia's delicious cold sweet coffee | Ancient olive groves line the way as you ride to historic Ostuni, known as the White City, which spans three hilltops and is crowned by a Gothic cathedral | Sip regional wines, learn to make fresh pasta and enjoy a family dinner of Pugliese specialties prepared at a local masseria (fortified farmhouse).
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)
Journey by bike through tranquil farmland and along scenic roads down the coast | Delight in views of the azure Adriatic and its postcard-perfect white-sand spiagge (beaches) | Sample local produce and freshly caught seafood | Unforgettable coastal vistas, extraordinary grottoes and opportunities to swim in the blue sea await | Ride to the heel of Italy's boot-shaped land | Arrive in the tiny hamlet of Santa Maria di Leuca | Bike one last time over undulating terrain toward Otranto | Celebrate with an evening of lively traditional music and folk dancing | Extend your family vacation in historic Lecce, a city famed for its beautiful baroque architecture.
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Adriatic, this resort features a stunning infinity pool and walking path to the sea below. (pool)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.
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.
Roads in Puglia and most of southern Italy are not always as well maintained as those found up north. Although our routes are quiet and picturesque, you can expect some rough patches of road along the way. Also, litter can occasionally be part of the landscape, especially when approaching small villages. For most, these challenges are offset by the beauty of Puglia's countryside and its warm hospitality.