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.
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 perfect family escape.
THIS ITINERARY: 6 days, 5 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual & Premiere Hotels*
Start Bari / End Lecce
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Rides that bring remarkable views of whitewashed villages, olive trees and age-old farmhouses | Journey to Matera, a World Heritage site and one of Italy's most fascinating towns | Some 9,000 years ago, humans inhabited the canyon's caves, creating what UNESCO calls the most outstanding example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean | Immerse yourself in the authentic feel of this ancient town, with its intriguing history and incredible vistas.
This beautifully renovated 18th-century palace offers unsurpassed views of Matera's sassi from its rooftop terrace.
Discover the secret to making mozzarella in a hands-on lesson | Explore World Heritage Alberobello with 1,500 trulli, curious round stone buildings topped with conical gray slate roofs | Bike into the surrounding landscape, an artist's dream, with its vibrant palette of reddish brown soil, green grass and blue skies | Start the day off with an espressino freddo, Puglia's irresistible cold sweet coffee | Unbeatable views of ancient olive groves await as you ride to historic Ostuni | Known as the White City, this magnificent place spans three hilltops and is crowned by a Gothic cathedral | Sample local wines, learn to make pasta and enjoy home-cooked Pugliese specialties at a charming 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)
Bike through peaceful farmland and along scenic roads down the Adriatic coast | Along the way, delight in views of the azure Adriatic and its picturesque white-sand beaches | Savor fresh local produce, just-caught seafood and regional wines | Superb coastal vistas, extraordinary grottoes and opportunities to swim in the blue sea abound | Ride to Italy's "heel of the boot" on a spectacular seaside route toward the tiny village of Santa Maria di Leuca | Take a final ride with your family over undulating terrain toward Otranto | Delight in an evening of lively traditional music and folk dancing | Complete the trip 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. 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. LEARN MORE.
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. And believe it or not, 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.