Bicycling and Walking Vacations Since 1971 Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast

Ebikes Available on this TourCycle along stunning coastal roads overlooking the Adriatic Sea and discover a different side of Italy, where local life moves at a gentle pace. Along the way we’ll learn about local culture through home-hosted meals, olive-oil tastings and a visit to the iconic trulli houses of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Perfect for those trying a bike vacation for the first time.
  • Airfare Packages Available

Download Our Free Italy Travel Guide

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first serve.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Puglia: Italy's Undiscovered Coast

Set on the sturdy heel of the Italian boot, coastal Puglia shares the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, with a long history and colorful culture and cuisine that evoke its past Spanish, Turkish, and Norman settlers. But the quiet pace of life and Puglians’ devotion to their farms, groves, and vineyards create an ambiance that is unique in all of Europe. Our stays at genuine masserie—centuries-old fortified villages made into country hotels—place us squarely in the refreshing daily life of the local people. From Puglia’s iconic whitewashed trulli dwellings to its glittering coastline and inviting azure waters, rare discoveries await us.

Cultural Highlights

  • Delight in 6 nights in authentic Italian masserie and countryside hotels
  • Cycle from Savelletri to Monopoli, through ancient olive groves and village streets
  • Sample locally produced olive oils during an included lunch at your masseria
  • Discover the remarkable trulli stone huts in the Itria Valley
  • Cycle along the lovely coast of Salento, savoring the view of Torre dell’Orso
  • Explore beautiful Otranto, on the Italian coast, and enjoy its busy craft studios
  • Gather for a picnic lunch by a countryside path on the way to Castro Marina
  • If you like, take a dip in the azure waters of Porto Badisco
  • Wonder at the sight of ancient tombs and monoliths set along country roads
  • Renew friendships during a festive dinner at a country restaurant and wine producer

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain throughout the trip and is ideal for beginning cyclists.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 4 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Otranto
Mar 55º/46º Apr 60º/50º  May 68º/55º  Jun 75º/62º  Jul 80º/68º  Aug 80º/68º  Sep 75º/64º  Oct 68º/57º

Average Precipitation (in.) – Otranto
Mar 3  Apr 2  May 1  Jun 1  Jul .3  Aug .3  Sep 2.5  Oct 4

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first serve. Learn more.

Bicycle Vacation Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 4- and 5-star hotels and authentic masserie
  • 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 4- and 5-star hotels and authentic masserie
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Matera – 2 nights for only $395 • Post-trip: Rome – 3 nights for only $595

Both Vacation Options Include

New! Reading List

Click here to download our Suggested Reading List.

Dates & Prices
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $445 | Land Only Single Supplement: $395

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

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Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Bari

Depart from home and travel to Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive

Upon arrival at the airport in Bari, Italy, a VBT representative meets you and helps you transfer (approximately 1 hour) to your first night’s lodging.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our driver know by calling or sending a text message to +39 330 96 49 27. The driver will be generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer company.

Upon arrival in Ostuni, meet the friendly staff of our hotel and settle in. At 5:30 p.m., meet our local guide, and stretch your legs on an orientation walk through the narrow, white-washed limestone streets of this small city. Admire the graceful towers, staircases, arches, balconies and carved doorways, many of which are adorned with colorful pots of flowers or garlic and tomato crowns left to dry in the sun. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Hotel: Ostuni Palace Hotel

DAY 3: Land Program begins / Warm-up ride to Egnatia

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at 2:00 p.m. in the lobby of our first masseria. To get to the masseria, we suggest that you contact the hotel and ask for their shuttle. The shuttle is available at special rates for our guests and must be booked in advance, directly with the hotel. If your arrival at the masseria is scheduled later than 2:00 p.m. or if you are delayed, please contact the hotel, and the staff will pass your message along to your VBT Trip Leaders. A taxi to the masseria from the Bari railway station is approximately 110 euros; from the Bari airport, the cost is approximately 120 euros. Alternatively, you may consider traveling from Bari (or even Rome) by train. The closest railway station to the masseria is FASANO. Note that if you take a train from Rome to Fasano, you may need to connect in Bari. Once in Fasano, call the masseria to arrange for a taxi or shuttle pickup (approximately a 10-minute drive). VBT highly recommends flying to Italy at least one day before the tour begins; this allows you to rest and recover from jet lag before you begin sightseeing and cycling.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Extension guests: A transfer at 10:00 a.m. will take you to our first masseria, where you will be staying for the next three days. Explore the peaceful surroundings on a self-guided walk (the hotel reception will give you the VBT route directions), enjoy the amenities of this country resort, or maybe join in an optional cooking class organized by the masseria. Please refer to your VBT City Information for more details. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m., but you can store luggage with the reception desk and use the hotel amenities this morning. Meet your VBT Trip Leaders, who will be wearing VBT staff garments, at 2:00 p.m. in the main lobby. Please plan to eat lunch before you meet them.

The Masseria Torre Coccaro and its sister accommodation, Masseria Torre Maizza, are luxurious 5-star resorts set alongside each other on the kind of historic fortified farms for which this region is known. Masseria is the local name for these large farms, which were fortified around the 16th century to ward off attacks by pirates and brigands. Masserie feature high boundary walls, angular towers, drawbridges, and watchtowers. Inside the walls, families worked and lived alongside their own church, oil mill, and oven to bake bread. These farms would also house cisterns for water, storage rooms for tools and hay, stables, and everything else needed for day-to-day life. Over the years, these two award-winning masserie have been reviewed by prestigious magazines like the World Times Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and Tatler.

Masseria Torre del Diamante is an elegant country resort; less luxurious than the 5-star Coccaro and Maizza but combining the elegance of a masseria and the atmosphere of a family-run property. It was built on the site of an ancient Masseria, using careful renovation and keeping the original materials. The proprietors produce their own olive oil, and the garden provides most of the vegetables and fruits for their restaurant. The owner Angela will personally welcome and assist you.

After meeting your VBT Trip Leaders early this afternoon, join them for a safety and bike-fitting session. Then take a short warm-up ride along quiet country roads past 800-year-old olive groves to Egnatia, an ancient Messapican (and later Roman) coastal town of great economic and military importance in the 10th century. A short stop at its archaeological museum reveals precious finds such as sculptures, jewels, funeral equipment, and the particular pottery produced here, called gnathia.

Later, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception on the elegant hotel patio. Dinner is at the hotel restaurant and is prepared with local products and herbs produced on the farm.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Coccaro
Alternate Hotels: Masseria Torre Maizza or Masseria Torre del Diamante
Meals: B (included for Air Package guests only), D
Daily Options: 6 miles (10 km)

DAY 4: Cycle to Savelletri and Monopoli

After breakfast, you cycle along the coast and on quiet roads, completely surrounded by ancient olive trees. Puglia ranks first in Italy in the production of olive oil, wine, and hay, and second for almonds. Continue to Monopoli, where you’ll stop to visit the beautiful cathedral and the old harbor. Spend free time here exploring and eating lunch on your own. Walk the maze of pedestrian streets in Monopoli’s old city center, and see how they make the city so uniquely intimate.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Coccaro
Alternate Hotels: Masseria Torre Maizza or Masseria Torre del Diamante
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 17 or 25 miles (29 or 41 km)

DAY 5: Olive oil tasting / Alberobello / The Itria Valley

This morning, you ride along the coast and inland to Masseria Il Frantoio, another award-winning country hotel famous for the quality of the food. The estate extends over 150 acres and includes a “secret garden” planted with orange and lemon trees, as well as a well-preserved underground oil mill. Your hosts Armando and his wife Rosalba have collected many interesting odds and ends over the years, from ancient dresses and hats to precious books and a gramophone. Each piece has its own story, as you will see.

Your lunch at Il Frantoio is prepared using produce grown on the farm and an experience of the five senses. Youll also have the opportunity to try a sampling of five different extra-virgin oils that Rosalba uses to flavor her focaccia, pickles, preserves, and delicious laganari pasta.

Afterward, shuttle or continue cycling to our hotel. Later tonight, you’ll shuttle to Alberobello in the Itria Valley, where you’ll visit with a local expert to learn about “trulli” (traditional Puglian stone huts) and why this local style of architecture has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trullo consists of a whitewashed, round house topped by a large cone of local stones—all assembled without mortar. It is believed that trulli originated as storage sheds built for agricultural implements. Much later, they became dwellings, with adjoining buildings added as families grew. Many trulli are still used and inhabited today, and some of their roofs show mysterious chalk marks, either to protect them from evil or to bless the house.

Pick a restaurant for your dinner on own tonight in Alberobello.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Coccaro
Alternate Hotels: Masseria Torre Maizza or Masseria Torre del Diamante
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18 or 35 miles (30 or 56 km)

DAY 6: Acaya / Cycle along the coast of Salento

Leave Savelletri and take a morning shuttle further south to discover another area of Puglia: Salento. Begin biking from the walled city of Acaya. Ride through the ancient city archway on country roads free from traffic and marked as bike paths. You reach the rugged coast and enjoy the spectacular view of Torre dell’Orso village, rising steeply from the sea and sandy bay. The village is a good spot to buy some lunch before hitting the road again, or enjoy a shuttle to the hotel. The afternoon offers more fun cycling on quiet country roads and along the small Alimini Lakes till our next hotel.

After settling in our romantic masseria, you may want to enjoy the hotel amenities or relax with a good book. Dinner is at a near cozy masseria tonight.

Hotel: Masseria Montelauro
Alternate Hotel: Tenuta Centoporte
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 12.5 or 30 miles (20 or 48 km)

DAY 7: Cycle to Otranto / Discover Otranto

Bike from your hotel on country roads and cycle through sleeping villages where a stop in a bar for an Italian coffee can be a great discovery. Your route is shaded by big olive trees and old oaks, as you head toward the sea to Otranto

Discover this picturesque town on the Italian coast. Founded by the Greeks, Otranto is surrounded by great ramparts and walls. From late spring onward, its atmosphere is extremely lively with local craft studios selling clay whistles, baskets, hand-dyed fabric, and ceramics. The city’s highlight is certainly the huge, 8,611-square-foot floor mosaic representing the Tree of Life, created in 1163 by a monk in the Otranto Cathedral.

After your visit, cycle flat country roads, catching sight of menhirs and dolmens—ancient monoliths and tombs—before getting back to our hotel. This evening, you’ll shuttle to Otranto for dinner on your own at one of the many outdoor cafés or restaurants. Or, if you prefer, enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Hotel: Masseria Montelauro
Alternate Hotel: Tenuta Centoporte
Meals: B
Daily Options: 25 or 30 miles (40 or 48 km)

DAY 8: Discover the southern tip of Italy / Picnic on the sea

After breakfast, you set out on one of the best bike rides in all of Italy. Starting in the interior of Salento, you’ll follow gentle rural pathways through little villages to the coastal town of Castro Marina. Relax on the way with a picnic lunch prepared by your Trip Leaders.

Continue to Santa Cesarea, a quiet town set on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. From here, you’ll follow the cliffs to the town of Porto Badisco, famous for its azure waters and prehistoric Cervi Grottoes. In Porto Badisco, take time for a dip before continuing to Cape Otranto, the easternmost tip of Italy. You’ll cycle back to the hotel in time to freshen up before a special farewell dinner at a our masseria restaurant  to feast with Puglia wines and specialties.

Hotel: Masseria Montelauro
Alternate Hotel: Tenuta Centoporte
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 14, 22 or 26 miles (23, 35 or 42 km)

DAY 9: Transfer to Lecce / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, transfer to the Brindisi airport, arriving at approximately 11:30 a.m. Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served. Important: Flight departures from Brindisi prior to 1:30 p.m. are not recommended; those departing earlier must make transfer arrangements at their own expense from the last hotel in Otranto to Brindisi (approximately 1 hour). The cost of a taxi to the Brindisi airport is approximately 80 euros. Our motorcoach will first stop in Lecce to drop our Air Package guests and then continue to the Brindisi airport. You are welcome to get off in Lecce if you prefer.

VBT Air Package and Post-Trip Extension guests: Transfer to the Hotel Patria Palace in Lecce, an elegant and centrally located 5-star hotel, arriving at about 10:30 a.m. A customized walking tour can be purchased at the time of your booking. Lecce is a beautiful Baroque city, called “the Florence of the South,” thanks to the skill with which local builders and stonemasons worked the soft, pink-tinged local stone called pietra dorata.

Explore Piazza Sant’Oronzo, the city’s main square and the heart of local activities for centuries. The square’s centerpiece is the Roman amphitheater. From here, narrow streets fan out into the city’s charming quarters.

The gem of Lecce is Piazza Duomo, enclosed on three sides by the cathedral and two palaces belonging to the church. Though this is one of the largest squares in Europe, it has an intimate feel that invites people-watching from a local café or bakery. Your City Information will provide useful recommendations for exploring on your own for the rest of the day. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Hotel: Patria Palace Hotel
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for home

After breakfast, transfer to the Brindisi airport for your flight to Rome or your flight back home. VBT recommends that you check the transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” the night before your flight. The transfer is prearranged with the reception desk and is prepaid by VBT.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

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Accommodations

Tenuta Centoporte

The 4-star Tenuta Centoporte is a peaceful oasis on the old road between Otranto and ancient Giurdignano. This recently opened property is surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and is only a few miles from Salento’s southern coast. It is located close to the ruins of Le Centoporte (“100 Doors”), an ancient abbey built during the 5th and 6th centuries, after which the hotel is named. With its seaside color scheme of bright whites and aqua-greens, Tenuta Centoporte is a lovely place to enjoy Mediterranean culture. Each tastefully appointed room has a private entrance and features a telephone, television, minibar, and private bath with shower and hairdryer.
Free WiFi Included

Patria Palace Hotel

The Patria Palace Hotel is enhanced by the Baroque scenery of the historic center of Lecce, called “the Florence of the South” for its beautiful buildings, churches, and squares. The hotel brings to life an 18th-century marquis palace. Each room is unique, personalized with original frescoes and equipped with modern comforts.
Free WiFi Included

Masseria Torre Coccaro

The fortified Masseria Torre Coccaro was built in the 16th century. It is known for its watchtower and the centuries-old olive groves and carob trees that surround it. Today it keeps the simple and characteristic whitewashed look of old masserie, but this 5-star resort is a relaxing oasis of tranquility, where food is still prepared from local products grown on the property. The onsite Aveda Health Club has a unique setting in a series of caves. Its Jacuzzi pools are kept at different temperatures, and its hammam (Turkish bath) offers beauty treatments and relaxing massages. Its beautifully designed swimming pool is nestled among the olive trees and palms, perfect for a refreshing dip.
Free WiFi Included

Masseria Torre Maizza

This 5-star resort is part of a large hillside estate overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, just one mile from the coast and its beaches. In the 16th century it was used as a garrison and watchtower against the raids of Ottoman and Saracen Turks. Beautifully restored and refurbished, the estate includes its sister farm Masseria Torre Coccaro (another ancient watchtower restored into a 5-star country hotel), a 9-hole golf course, a small lake, and 28 acres of land cultivated with centuries-old olive trees, carob trees, vineyards, and orchards that provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the masseria’s restaurant.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Giulio Cesare

The Giulio Cesare is a family-run hotel in Rome’s Prati section, quietly located a few steps from the Tiber River and a 10-minute walk from Piazza Del Popolo. Once a patrician villa, this hotel has recently been redecorated in an elegant, classical style. You’ll enjoy the garden, where breakfast is served, and a quiet lounge with an antique fireplace. These and other touches keep this 4-star hotel feeling very much like a family home. Breakfast is said to be one of the best in Rome, because many of the products are grown by the owner in his fields north of the city. Internet is available for guests at the reception desk, and a free WiFi connection is available throughout.
Free WiFi Included

Relais La Casa di Lucio / Hotel Sant’Angelo

The small, intimate Casa di Lucio and nearby Hotel Sant'Angelo are both part of the Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort located in the fascinating Sassi district of Matera. The sister hotels, comprised of renovated ancient palaces and their courtyards, are nestled among the stone city’s narrow lanes and network of stairs. Each room is designed to mirror the Sassi’s houses, with the front dug from tufa and the rear carved into the rock. The guest rooms feature a large, modern bedroom and ample amenities.
Free WiFi Included

Masseria Montelauro

The Masseria Montelauro Farmhouse, built in 1878, was restored with full respect for its original design and architecture. Its gardens retain all the colors and fruits that have always adorned the countryside. You’ll enjoy its modern amenities, too, including the swimming pool. Set in the inner court, it is surrounded by an inviting orchard.

Please note: Free WiFi is available in the lobby. WiFi is not available in your hotel room (free or at cost).

Ostuni Palace Hotel

The newly opened Ostuni Palace Hotel is in the heart of Ostuni. It is a stylish property, with a comfortable and elegant atmosphere. The welcoming staff is happy to show guests the beauty of the hotel and of Ostuni. Breakfast is served in the vaulted-ceiling restaurant. Its cozy bar overlooks a small square, which contributes to the property’s warmth.
Free WiFi Included

Masseria San Domenico

The historical main building of the Masseria San Domenico dates back to the XIV century and was used by the Knights of Malta as a watch tower against Saracens’ attacks. The Masseria San Domenico encompasses this historic main building with its ancient slits and chimneys whose architectural structures developed around the beginning of the XX century following the needs of the agricultural activities. Surrounded by 60 hectares of ancient olive trees and orchards, and keeping intact the original architectural structure, the Masseria San Domenico has been restored and converted into a luxurious hotel that has been in activity since 1996.
Free WiFi Included

Masseria Torre Del Diamante

Masseria Torre Del Diamante is located in the countryside of Fasano, dotted with century-old olive trees. It was built on the historic center of an ancient masseria, using careful renovation and extension techniques while respecting the original materials. Torre del Diamante has a wonderful pool, a restaurant featuring traditional cuisine, and a panoramic view of its enchanting natural setting. Please note: There is free WiFi available in the lobby.
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