(34 reviews)

Self-guided Cycling / Original tour

Web code IT008

Italy / Apulia

Coastline and Culture of Italy's Heel

Apulia is a region in south-eastern Italy that includes the heel part of Italy’s boot, suspended between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea. The region is characterised by endless olive groves, long fields of grain and vineyards. You start cycling in Matera, UNESCO world heritage site with its “sassi” and European capital of culture 2019, and arrive in Lecce, also known as “Florence of the South” because of its magnificent baroque architecture. This bike tour will lead you into a region of scenic beauty, which is, by today’s standards, still unspoiled by the unattractive aspects of tourism and still retains testimony of its great and ancient culture.
  • Day by Day


    1. Matera

    Individual arrival. Over millennia, inhabitants of the region have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies made of tuff (or tufa), a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. These houses are called “Sassi”, today a World Heritage site.


    2. Matera – Alberobello (70 km)

    You will cycle to the famous “trulli” which were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Alberobello is situated upon two hills. On the eastern hill is the new town. On the western hill, the trulli are lined up in an urban conglomeration, subdivided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both World Heritage sites.


    3. Alberobello – Ostuni (55 km)

    You will cycle through the countryside to Ostuni, which is reputed as an architectural jewel, and is commonly referred to as “the White Town” for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture.


    4. Ostuni – Lecce – Gallipoli (70 km by train + 50 km by bike)

    After a short train transfer and a few kilometres through the town of Lecce, you go deep into the “salentinian countryside”, before approaching the Ionian coast and your daily destination, Gallipoli. 


    5. Gallipoli – Santa Maria di Leuca (50 km)

    Cycling further along the coast you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca. Its name was given by the ancient Greek sailors who came from the East. They saw this place lightened by the sun and therefore called it “leukos”, meaning white. The town is today a famous seaside resort.


    6. Santa Maria di Leuca – Otranto (50 km)

    Today you will cycle northwards along the Adriatic coast to Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy where you can visit the beautiful Cathedral and the great Aragonese Castle.


    7. Otranto – Lecce (55 km)

    Riding along the Alimini Lakes and their unique Mediterranean bush you will enter Lecce. Thanks to its Baroque style, it has earned the nickname of Florence of the South.


    8. Lecce

    Departure after breakfast.


    Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way you may find temporary deviations caused by roadworks, which cannot be foreseen; in this case please follow the indications you will find on site.



  • Route profile
    • Total length: 330 km
    • Total vertical up: 1,540 m
    • Terrain: 99% tarmac, 1% unpaved
    • Train connection among the overnight stays: NO
    • Possibility to shorten the itinerary by taking the train: day 3.


    Mostly in the lowlands, sometimes hilly. Traffic is almost non existent in Apulia except during the high holiday season. The route includes very beautiful stretches on the coast. 


    Leisure to Moderate: some days the itinerary will be flat, others it will present some hills. Suitable for everyone in good physical condition and with some cycling experience .



  • How to get there

    Matera is connected with the following airports:
    Bari: 70 Km, Brindisi: 140 Km.

    For further information on timetables and prices you can consult the following website: www.trenitalia.com and www.fal-srl.it.



  • Accommodation and meals

    We personally choose all the hotels mindful of your comfort as well as the proximity to cycling paths and any relevant local sites.


    According to your category of choice you will be accommodated in:

    • Cat. A: mainly 4* hotels, with some 3* hotels 
    • Cat. B: mainly 3* hotels

    In Alberobello accommodation can be in a typical “widespread hotel”, the so called “trulli”, for both categories.


    All rooms have en suite facilities; in the trulli accommodation there is no air conditioning, as their thermal isolation is ensured by the construction method of the trullo itself.


    When you book the tour please specify the type of room requested:

    • double room is a room with one double bed
    • twin room is a room with two single beds
    • triple room is usually a room with one double bed and a single bed or a sofa bed.



  • Bikes and accessories

    Girolibero bikes are available in different sizes and frames:

    • Touring bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
    • E-bike 9-gear Shimano


    • aluminium frame
    • mudguard
    • rear rack
    • comfort gel saddle www.selleroyal.com
    • anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
    • ergonomic bicycle grips
    • Speed Lifter system



    All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

    • 1 cycle computer  
    • 1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
    • 1 front bar bag
    • 1 water bottle (0.75 l)
    • 1 repair kit per room: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers
    • 1 combination bike lock

    At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61 cm. All our helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.




  • Accompanying material

    Before your arrival, you will receive an email from us with the digital information material. It contains:

    1. Link to download the App including maps, points of interest and GPS tracks (you can use the App offline, too)

    2. Link to download the tour information material in Pdf:

    • Tour notes
    • Final tour details
    • Travel guide with valuable information about the history, artistic heritage, landscapes and places of interest of the areas you pass through during your tour. Plus: local events, fun facts, suggestions on how to make the best of an extended break along the route, and tips on local wining and dining.

    3. Digital travel documents:

    • Final hotel list: due to overbooking or organizational needs your hotel list may be changed just before your arrival
    • Hotel vouchers to show to the hotel reception upon arrival
    • Luggage labels
    • Train ticket Ostuni-Lecce






  • By your side

    Welcome briefing

    In Matera you will meet our representative who:

    • will illustrate the tour
    • will deliver your bikes
    • will be available (about 30 minutes) for any questions you may have.

    The exact time and place of the meeting will be specified in the Final Tour Details. We kindly ask you to advise if you cannot attend the meeting.


    Staff support

    For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us as follows:

    • office +39 0444 1278430 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30
    • emergency phone number every day 8:00-20:00. The number will be specified in the Final Tour Details.


  • 34 Client reviews
    • Martina

      Departure 22-29 August 2020

      Online from 06 September 2020

    • Annaclaudia

      Departure 21-28 August 2020

      Online from 03 September 2020

      Itinerario davvero molto bello, consigliamo la bici elettrica a chi non è allenato. Tratta da Santa Maria di Leuca ad Otranto la più bella. Scelta degli alberghi davvero super!

      Consigliamo vivamente questo percorso a chi ama la natura, l'arte e non vuole rinunciare al bellissimo mare! L'organizzazione Girolibero è sempre una garanzia!!!!
      Annaclaudia e Roberto
    • Karl

      Departure 05-12 October 2019

      Online from 10 November 2019


      + Tolle Betreuung von Lucia durch kurzfristige Beschaffung eines Ersatz E-Bikes.
      + schöne Unterkünfte in den Übernachtungsorten
      + Toll, dass sie uns die Etappen als GPS-Track zur Verfügung gestellt haben.

      - keine Minuspunkte
    • Karin

      Departure 19-26 October 2019

      Online from 01 November 2019

      Keine Minuspunkte
    • Janet

      Departure 05-12 October 2019

      Online from 18 October 2019

      We had a wonderful holiday and made friends from all over the world. Italy is such a great destination for history, food and wine and being able to cycle every day meant we earned our suppers.
    • Dmitry

      Departure 05-12 October 2019

      Online from 17 October 2019

      Perfect vacation and the good season
    • Robin

      Departure 27 September - 04 October 2019

      Online from 11 October 2019

      I would travel again with Girolibero, loved this trip!
    • Lieselotte

      Departure 07-14 September 2019

      Online from 06 October 2019

      Es hat uns viel Freude gemacht, mit Ihnen zu reisen. Die Betreuung bei meinem Unfall sowohl Vorort durch Daniele als auch über die Hotline, Anna, war sehr, sehr gut. Vielen Dank.
    • Federica

      Departure 21-28 September 2019

      Online from 03 October 2019

      Posto e itinerario incantevole, tappe giuste come chilometraggio
      ideale per chi è abituato a fare giri in bici regolarmente durante l'anno
    • Jacques

      Departure 31 May - 07 June 2019

      Online from 12 June 2019

      We really enjoyed a relaxed journey with the Ebikes.
    • Patricia

      Departure 15-23 May 2019

      Online from 31 May 2019

      It was a delightful trip ....lots of amazing scenery & great city hotels!
    • Samuel Grant

      Departure 10-17 May 2019

      Online from 24 May 2019

      Really enjoyed it and will thoroughly recommend this trip to others
    • Nils

      Departure 10-17 May 2019

      Online from 23 May 2019

      We will do it again!
    • Thomas

      Departure 15-24 April 2019

      Online from 30 April 2019

      Liebes Girolibero-Team!

      Wir sind gerade von unserer individuellen Radtour "Apulien, Olivenhaine und azurblaue Meere" zurückgekehrt und sind alle Vier total begeistert.

      - Das Infomaterial mit Roadbook, dickem Reiseführer, detaillierter Karte
      und GPX-Route war extrem umfangreich und informativ
      - Die Hotels waren sehr gut gelegen, stimmungsvoll, gemütlich und
      - In Alberobello wohnten wir sogar in Trullis
      - Das Frühstück war duchgehend reichhaltig und lecker
      - Die Fahrräder waren fast neu, robust und trotzdem leichtgewichtig.
      - Die Betreuung durch Marco und per E-Mail war freundlich, prompt
      und hilfsbereit

      Liebe Grüße!
    • Coral

      Departure 2019

      This was a great tour. We really enjoyed all our stops and feel we have experienced all of Puglia!
    • Rachael

      Departure 2018

      Online from 08 October 2018

      Just back from our Apulia tour (third time) and we wanted to give some feedback. Lots of experience now. Overall we would say this is a really great tour, very well organised, timings are great, some interesting hotels.
      A big thank you to Marco for the fantastic guide, so helpful to have it and all its suggestions.

      We found the combination of the maps, road directions and the guide a great combination, plus the bike computer, it turned some of the other people doing the tour didn't understand how to use them, and the combination.

      So general feedback, some lovely and great and interesting hotels. We particularly like the Ostuni, Otranto, Sassi and Leuca hotels, all of which are lovely in lots of different ways.

      The new Day 2 route including the aquaduct. This new route is far more challenging than the old one, with the very long and difficult hill up to Cisternino. Personally I prefer the old route over this one. The aquaduct surface is very rough and so very challenging, and the big hill is just extremely difficult.

      Day 1: We think you should advise people to take a picnic on this day as there are so few villages to buy lunch along this day's route and as people are stressed a little from working out how to use the bike and maps and so on.

      Lecce, the hotels. We have been in 3 different ones now, and they are all quite far out. Since Lecce is such a lovely place to end it would be great if the hotel could be in the old city. Of the 3 hotels we have stayed in with you, this year's one was the best of the three, The Delle Palme.

      Easy cycling. We note you are now using the phrase easy cycling as part of your promotional, rather than your previously wording. Easy may not translate so well into English perhaps. Some people who don't cycle much may well think this is not easy cycling, and those that like to cycle may be put off by the idea that the cycle is "easy" and therefore not for them. So if you were looking for a replacement something like relaxing cycling trips may work better in translation.

      Overall a big thanks to all the Girolibero team for putting together such a fantastic tour.
    • James

      Departure 2018

      Online from 13 June 2018

      We have now all been back home for two weeks after our cycling holiday in Apulia and we have so many happy memories.

      It was a wonderful route with stunning scenery and beautiful towns and countryside. The hotels were all very good and interesting particularly in Matera and Alberobello, and Marco was very helpful when we mislaid one of our panniers with battery charger. The e-bikes were great and even continued to work during a very heavy rain storm one afternoon.

      All in all an excellent holiday - thank you for making all the arrangements come together very smoothly. We look forward to booking again with Girolibero.
    • Andrea

      Departure 16-23 September 2017

      Online from 29 September 2017

      Bellissimo il paesaggio, non troppo faticoso. Tra Gallipoli e Leuca tratta menò interessante.
    • Fernanda

      Departure 02-09 June 2017

      Online from 04 August 2017

      Giro che merita fare.
    • Silvia

      Departure 02-09 June 2017

      Online from 04 August 2017

      Ottimo itinerario da percorrere prima della chiusura delle scuole!
    • Mary, UK

      Departure 2017

      Online from 08 June 2017

      We recently returned from a cycling tour of Apulia organised by Girolibero and I just wanted to thank Girolibero/you and say how well organised it was. Every detail was covered and the accommodation and bag transfer arrangements were superb. It is certainly a trip I will recommend to friends. We did notice a couple of minor errors on the directions and will email you separately about these as I don’t have the details to hand. They were very minor amendments.

      Thank you once again for putting together such a lovely trip.

      Kind regards
    • Antonio

      Departure 20-27 May 2017

      Online from 05 June 2017

      Tour molto valido, raccomandabile così come strutturato senza modifiche: ottime sistemazioni negli alberghi, ristorazione adeguata e principalmente rivolta alla cucina locale, bici molto valide.
    • Aldo

      Departure 20-27 May 2017

      Online from 05 June 2017

      Direi che la vacanza è organizzata bene e per quel che mi riguarda posso dire che Girolibero da impressione di organizzazione, dedizione e fiducia.
    • Angelo

      Departure 20-27 May 2017

      Online from 01 June 2017

      Un viaggio indimenticabile in una terra ricca di tradizioni, storia e stupendi paesaggi!!! Grazie per averci fatto provare queste intense emozioni. La bici elettroassistita è stata importante, Voto dieci!!! Non so cosa altro dire.
    • Laura Paola

      Departure 17-24 September 2016

      Online from 03 October 2016

      Nei primi giorni di viaggio si pedala sempre tra gli uliveti, immersi nella natura. Da Gallipoli a Otranto si viaggia lungo la costa, non consiglierei il viaggio nei mesi più frequentati, un po' per il caldo ma soprattutto per il traffico.
      Per chi non ha molto allenamento forse non è un viaggio difficoltà 2 ma qualcosa in più, anche perché il primo giorno (da Matera ad Alberobello) è il più lungo, si pedala più di 70 km e ciò può causare problemi nei giorni successivi. Non ci sono salite particolarmente lunghe o difficili, a parte nella tappa da Leuca ad Otranto che, se fatta col caldo può risultare molto impegnativa.
    • Claudia

      Departure 17-24 September 2016

      Online from 29 September 2016

      Buona organizzazione del viaggio e itineriaio fantastico. Scelta delle strade da percorre quasi sempre distanti da quelle principali.
      Le seguenti impressioni sono state pubblicate prima del nuovo sistema di rating

      Mike, USA

      Departure 2016

      Online from 18 July 2016

      Hi Katia,
      Your timing is perfect! We arrived home last night from traveling - most recently in the US.
      The Apulia trip was WONDERFUL!
      I have been organizing trips for friends and relatives for many years and this trip was loved by everybody- one of the best if not the best!
      Here are some of the factors that contributed to the success of the trip and are related to the excellent job you and Girolibero performed.
      1. The bicycles were in excellent condition and we had no major problems. The frames were properly sized and the unlimited seat and handle bar
      adjustments made them a perfect fit for everyone. I especially like the ability to turn the handle bars parallel to the frame so that we could fit them on the train.
      The bicycle is the MOST important factor for me and your bikes were the BEST I have ever experienced in my many years of renting bikes for groups overseas.
      2. The restaurants you selected for us were excellent. We were fed so much food! The service was excellent! The servers were pleasant.
      Having the dinners arranged ahead of time really made the logistics of planning while traveling so much better!
      3. The scenery was beautiful! Traveling along the ocean was beautiful. The selection of towns was well planned and the distances were
      very reasonable. Such beautiful towns!
      4. Your selection of hotels was excellent - especially sleeping in the Truli and the Sassi. What an experience!
      5. Several people commented on how quickly you returned emails and your attention to details.
      6. The trip was reasonably priced for the value offered.
      7. Everybody enjoyed not having a guide! We got “lost” a few times but it was exciting!

      Here are some factors that could be improved upon but were MINOR. Some you can control.
      1. The directions in the tour guide can be somewhat confusing and contradictory. I feel it is in the translation and syntax - the sentence structure.
      The yellow arrows were well-placed and followed along with the tour guide did help minimize the confusion.
      2. Girolibero might reconsider allowing more time scheduled for the first day bike pick-up and start. The half-hour schedule is unrealistic and
      sets an unrealistic start expectation for the large group of participants. It makes people anxious to start later than they anticipated and that anxiety can
      be avoided by having a realistic first day schedule.
      3. It DOES rain in Apulia in June - a lot! We had a few showers that were a deluge! We were fine but everyone kept quoting the guide, “Rain is minimal in Apulia in the Summer.”

      Lots of people have been asking me where I will be traveling next year. Do you have any suggestions?
      I was thinking of a few days sightseeing in Rome before starting a cycle trip. I was looking at Majorca but it may be too hilly - unless I can find a somewhat flatter route.
      Maybe the seacoast of Spain? Latvia? Northern France - Alsace?
      Thank you and Girolibero for a great job and hope to be traveling with you in the future!

      Best Regards,
    • Liz, Mary, Marie, Anne and Mary, Ireland

      Departure 2016

      Online from 01 July 2016

      What a fabulous cycling holiday we had in Puglia - probably our most favourite cycling holiday so far. Many thanks to Girolibero for your excellent organisation; in particular to Maddalena for your patience with all our requests and to Marco from Lecce for your assistance with the replacement bike ( and welcome pizza). The hotels were perfect with friendly helpful staff; the plentiful breakfasts were a surprise when we were expecting barely a coffee and bread! The route was just what we like, farmland, great sea views and country roads. In particular we loved the family- run restaurants recommended in Marco’s guidebook and especially the home produced feast laid out for us under the walnut tree at Nuovo Muretto. The local people were always friendly and helpful; even the drivers were patient with our peloton of five. Southern Italy is a gem.
      Grazie from Ireland
    • Susan, Australia

      Departure 2016

      Online from 15 June 2016

      Amazing trip, made me so happy. Matera to Lecce.
      Because of an injury this trip could have been a sad disaster. Because of Marco (from Lecce) everything was worked out and I had one of the most fun and fabulous trips ever! I was so happy... you can see it in my face. I have been telling my friends about the trip and encouraging them to go.
      Thanks again to GiroLibero.
    • Thierry, Belgium

      Departure 2016

      Online from 10 May 2016

      Hello Katia,
      The trip is now over, and we brought back great memories of a beautiful trip.
      I can't say more about Girolibero's organisation: it was outstanding from beginning to end.

      We travel a lot, and had many experiences all over the world, cycling or not: this trip was one of the best organised. The itinerary, the documents, the advice, the bikes were perfect.

      We didn't have a good weather (rain and a lot of wind when rain stopped), but nobody seemed upset, all the group was smiling every morning at breakfast.
      (Maybe an additional advice about bringing good rain suits should be useful: northern people think that sun shines all year in Italy.)

      The region is magnificent, we've seen so many beautiful towns and landscapes, we certainly will come back to see more of Apulia.
      And look at Girolibero's web site for another italian trip!

      Many thanks for your help!
      In attach, you'll see some photos of your bikes in the sun…
      Best regards,

    • Lisbeth U. - SCHWEIZ

      Departure 2009

      Online from 03 March 2010

      Dear Giulio, es hat uns alles sehr gut gefallen und wir waren mit den Hotels und den Fahrrädern sehr zufrieden. Der Chauffeur der das Gepäck transportiert und den Transfer gemacht hat war sehr liebenswürdig, hilfsbereit und zuvorkommend. Herzlichen. Viele Grüsse Liesbeth U.
    • Kathleen G. - USA

      Departure 2009

      Online from 03 March 2010

      I returned last evening from Italy having cycled the Apulia trip the week of March 28th. All hotel accommodations were excellent. The bicycles were excellent. They have a special tire; therefore, there was not even a need to put air in them for the 7 days. They were comfortable to ride, especially the seat which has gel in it. The distance is measured in kilometers; however, you are given a small odometer on the bike which measures the kilometers. Our trip was marked "leisure" in the legend which meant you needed to be able to cycle some rolling hills some of which were short distances. The people who transported our luggage were very pleasant and always on time. When we arrived at our hotel on a daily basis, our luggage was in our rooms. I have cycled the Danube and in Ireland previously with other companies, and this trip was my top choice. I coordinated our self guided tour with Antonio, who was very responsive to all details. I am already considering one of their other trips for next year. Regards, Kathleen G.
    • Diane T. - CANADA

      Departure 2009

      Online from 03 March 2010

      Hi Antonio Thanks for booking a wonderful trip for us. Everything was perfect. Thanks again, Diane T.
    • Eileen M. - USA

      Departure 2009

      Online from 03 March 2010

      This was overall a very nice ride with both historic parts and scenic riding along the coast. The hotels were good, the bikes were in very good condition and we had no problems. They both had decent computers which helped us a lot. Eileen M

Tour details


from 590 €

8 Days / 7 Nights, 3/4* hotels or Trulli in Alberobello

Tour type




SA 20.03 - 17.07 and 21.08 - 30.10.2021
FR 23.04 - 25.06 and 20.08 - 1.10.2021
Special departures for at least 5 people.



Season 1: 20.03 - 2.04 and 16.10 - 30.10.2021
Season 2: 3.04 - 29.04 and 24.09 - 15.10.2021
Season 3: 30.04 - 24.06 and 5.09 - 23.09.2021
Season 4: 25.06 - 17.07 and 20.08 - 4.09.2021


Price per person

590 € in double room, Cat. B: mainly 3* hotels

690 € in double room, Cat. A: mainly 4* hotels, with some 3* hotels

In Alberobello accommodation can be in a typical “widespread hotel”, the so called “trulli”, for both categories.



  • 7 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Welcome briefing in English
  • App including maps, points of interest and GPS tracks
  • Digital tour information
  • Luggage transportation
  • Train transfer Ostuni-Lecce on day 4
  • Hotline service


Not included

  • Local taxes (approx 10-15 €)
  • Everything not mentioned in the section “Included”


Supplements per person

180/230 € single room (Cat. B/A)
100 € season 2
150 € season 3
250 € season 4

Extra nights in in double/single room with breakfast:
75/105 € in Matera Cat. B+A
60/90 € in Lecce Cat. B+A

Transfers (to be confirmed when booking the tour):
50 € p.p. Bari-Matera (min. 2 persons)
Brindisi–Matera, Lecce–Bari, Lecce–Brindisi: on request

Girolibero rental bikes including insurance against theft and damage:
85 € Touring bike
195 € E-bike

Additional bike accessories on demand:
15 € helmet (head circumference from 54 to 61 cm)



100/130 € 3rd adult in room (Cat. B/A)

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