Carved out of the impressive white cliffs of the ‘Torrent Gravina’ gorge, Matera piles history high, making for an awesome introduction to the mysteries of Puglia and a wonderful brief cycling encounter which includes not just one, but two designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Delve deep to discover more about the Sassi cave-dwellings and churches, then follow the timeless rocky landscapes across to Alberobello, a settlement of 1,500 unique ‘trulli’ houses in the verdant Valle d’Itria. Stay over in style in your own little lime-washed ‘trullo’ before steering your two wheels towards Ostuni, Puglia’s mighty, medieval ‘Città Bianca’.
is in Matera (2 nights), Alberobello and Ostuni. Selected properties include one 4 star hotel, one superior 3 star hotel and one unique trullo house. We are pleased to discuss details on request.
Boasting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Puglia’s impressive ‘White City’ of Ostuni, this may be one of our more challenging cycling adventures, but we believe that its rewards truly outweigh the extra effort. The first day’s ride from Matera to Alberobello is more challenging than the others as it combines hills (nothing too big) with a longer ride than normal. We believe that this option will be best enjoyed by reasonably fit or more established cyclists, with other less challenging itineraries also available in Puglia should you prefer. As always, we are happy to chat through the cycling and/or the accommodation used if you would like to give us a call.
Day One - Arrive & explore
It’s hard to take in the sheer depth of Matera because it is simply so awesome just to look at! There are houses huddled higher and higher on top of each other with the cathedral as its pinnacle; dwellings and streets which seem to tunnel away into the rock and the most spectacular, rugged gorge, the ‘Torrent Gravina’. Lose yourself with a wander through the clambering labyrinth of tiny alleyways or burrow deep into the history of this renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site along the famous ‘Strada di Sassi’, home to just a few of the time-honoured caves used as homes, artists’ studios, shops and churches. With the wonders of the Sassi stretching out of town into the National Park, why not make a start on your cycling adventure a little early? On this tour, your bike can be ready to go on your day of arrival, depending upon timing. Overnight in Matera.
Day Two – A gorge-ous day of cliffs, caves & churches
It must be time to get on top of things. Matera’s cathedral has a mighty fine location, right on top of the spur which divides the ‘Sasso Caveso’ and ‘Sasso Barisano’ - the caves deep in the steep tufa gorge walls. The views across the massive gulf are breath-taking and it’s easy to spend a day in Matera simply wandering and wondering, but on the outskirts of town, the imposing towers and ramparts of the Castillo Tramontano reach other heights and the whole of the rugged gorge has time-honoured treasures to share. Head out along the popular Belevedere Path or pedal into the rocky hinterland on your own adventure to discover cave churches full of frescoes or maybe even the ‘Grotta dei Pipistrelli’, the haunting cave of bats! Overnight in Matera.
Day Three – Off to Alberobello: from towers to trulli
We recommend an early start to make the most of a great day’s cycling as you cross the robust Sassi landscapes, leaving Matera’s towering ramparts and the Basilicata province for the softer green countryside of Puglia’s Valle d’Itria and Alberobello – the capital of indigenous trulli houses and your UNESCO World Heritage Site number two. Rugged rockscapes lead on to wooded slopes, vineyards and olive groves as the countryside begins to disclose clusters of the little limestone houses with grey conical roofs. The climax comes in Alberobello, home to over 1,500 of these fascinating single storey dwellings and one of Europe’s most unusual urban spectacles. To look at, the trulli seem a strange cross between kiln, tepee and igloo: they were originally constructed without the use of mortar, their stone roofs topped with wonderful finials and often decorated with mysterious symbols. Experience the charm of these unique historic buildings for yourself with your overnight in Alberobello in an authentic trullo house.
Miles: 47 Kms: 75
Day Four – All kinds of architecture along the Valle d’Itria
Don’t miss the tiny trullo church of Sant ‘Antonio or catch the only multi-storied trullo house, Trullo Sovrano, in the Piazza Sacramento before you set off for some rather different architectural delights in Locorotondo – the ‘balcony of the Valle d’Itria’. Here the curved trulli houses give way to box houses or ‘cummerse’, almost Baltic in style with pointed gables and plenty of straight lines. The angular shapes seem strangely incongruous with the town’s curving hillscape and circular street plan which gave it the name ‘loco rotondo’. Heading onward through olive grove and vineyard vistas, the tiny, betowered and whitewashed village of Cisternino is a charming find, but everything is on a much grander scale in Ostuni, the mighty medieval ‘Città Bianca’, both wonderfully white and lavishly Baroque and laced with every kind of history imaginable from the Greeks to Bourbons and Byzantines. Overnight in Ostuni.
Miles: 22 Kms: 36
Day Five - Depart after breakfast
Depart after breakfast, or take time for a last wander around the town of Ostuni.
Once you have decided on the ideal Cycle Break in England or Europe, please fill out your details on our booking formProceed to Book
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