Trip Overview

Experience the rustic beauty, history and cuisine of Southern Italy on an active, nine-day cycling adventure through Puglia in April 2019! Bike in Puglia in the heel of Italy’s boot, where you will discover beauty unique only to this region. Traveling by bike allows you to see this beautiful place in a unique way, as the slower pace lets you delve deeper into the region.

Puglia’s towns are rich in churches, palaces, markets and slow food trattorias and influenced by its Greek, Arab, and Norman past. Your first, gentle day of cycling through fertile Salento will be a sensory delight. Get to know your Italy cycling trip companions and your expert guide as you watch olive groves and vineyards roll past you while peddling along on your bike while wildflowers line the road’s edge, bobbing in the gentle breeze. You and your fellow bikers will celebrate your first day on the road with a visit to a winery before arriving in Mesagne. The next day you’ll head to the Savelletri Coast. Marvel at the stunning hillside towns in this region in Southern Italy, where white houses creep down the verdant hills to the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean. A visit to a local olive mill will give you a taste of Italian life as it’s been practiced for centuries!

Each day you will be biking approximately 25-35 miles with options to extend the ride each day and expert support staff will accompany you the entire time in case you need to take a break. Your expert bicyclist guide has an unquenchable sense of fun that stems from the love of his people and homeland. Your guide is a local expert who often knows more about a place than the people born there! There’s no end to the ideas they conjure up for dopo il giro (after the ride), from gelato strolls to spontaneous serenades, to even dancing the tarantella in the local piazza!

Cycling to the ruins of Egnazia, you’ll experience a prehistoric city whose ancient foundations still stand. Make your way to Alberobello, famous for its cone-topped white “trulli” houses. Loop through tiny roads to Locorotondo, a circular town famous for its special varietal of Italian white wine. Perched on a high ridge, this ancient city offers stunning views of the Itria Valley below. Enjoy the unique flavors of Locorotondo’s delicately fruity Verdeca and Bianco d’Alessano wines as you relax in the evening, recalling the sights of the day with the women cyclists sharing your journey.

Gently rolling hills offer a beautiful backdrop for your next day’s ride, and help you work up an appetite for the handmade panini at a Mottola Deli. Enjoy your meal as you and a friend gaze over the rolling waves of the Gulf of Taranto. The next day the lush fields and shady oak groves of the Murgia Plain make for a bucolic ride. Stop at the rocky hillsides of Matera, a city of caves, and home to the Sassi cave dwellings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The nearby rock churches will take your breath away, especially when you descend into the chilly crypts of San Nicola and Santa Margherita. In the evening, learn to dance the traditional pizzica and tarantella, dances with a fascinating history in this ancient land. After a final, gentle ride to a nearby local Italian farm in Mantera, enjoy a celebration dinner with the amazing women sharing your biking adventure in Italy.

Want to satisfy your cravings for great rides, slow foods, strong traditions, and unique regional architecture? Let Italy capture your heart on this unforgettable journey by bike in April 2019 through one of Italy’s most historic regions!

Main Attractions

  • Pedal through the mellow rolling hills of beautiful Puglia, Italy and take in the panoramic surroundings and white-washed towns from your bicycle
  • Explore three unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Lecce, Alberobello, and Matera
  • Learn about history and lore from your experienced and professional guides who love to share their knowledge
  • Practice traditional folk dances that originated in Apulia
  • Savor Italian cuisine that pairs well with local earthy Italian reds and elegant white wines

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Bicycling
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Historical Sites
  • Local Delicacies
  • UNESCO Site
  • Wine Tasting
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday, April 28, 2019 – Arrive in Lecce
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

You’ll meet your group at 1:00pm for a light lunch and for your bike fitting. Our bike rentals are top-of-the-line, so we are sure you’ll be comfortable riding this week!

Head out for a warm-up ride on your bike this afternoon. Not only will you get a feel for your bike and warm up your legs after your long flights, you’ll also start to uncover the charm and beauty that this region has to offer! This ride will be 14 miles on relatively flat terrain with an option to extend the ride to 21 miles.

Enjoy a welcome dinner with your group this evening.
Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Santa Chiara

Daily Mileage: 14 miles on flat terrain (option to extend to 21 miles)

Day 2

Monday, April 29, 2019 – Lecce to Mesagne
Hop on your bike this morning. Today’s ride is on mostly flat ground for 40 miles. Soak in the scenery as you glide along. You’ll stop for lunch on your own at a restaurant along the way.

Along the way you’ll have an opportunity to visit a producer of Salice Salentino wine. Ride among the vineyards for miles!

After an active day, kick your feet up at your hotel. Enjoy dinner as a group this evening.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Tenuta Moreno

Daily Mileage: 40 miles on flat terrain

Day 3

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 – Mesagne to Savelletri
You’ll have a couple of options today on your ride. The main option is a 36 mile ride on some flat terrain and rolling hills. For those who want, there is an option to extend the ride to 48 miles. Enjoy lunch on your own at a restaurant along the way.

This afternoon, visit an ancient estate and olive mill for an olive oil tasting in an olive tree grove. Spend some time under the trees with your new AdventureWomen friends.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Masseria Torre Di Coccaro

Daily Mileage: 36 miles on flat/rolling terrain (option to extend to 48 miles)

Day 4

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 – Savelletri to Alberobello
Today’s ride of 22 miles on rolling and flat terrain will take you through ancient olive groves and pedal along the coast beside the Greek ruins of Egnazia, the ancient Messapian town of prehistoric origins.

Head inland towards Castellana, finally arriving in Alberobello, which takes its name from the forests that once covered the area. You’ll have an option to extend your ride to 31 miles today.

This afternoon, you’ll have a chance to visit a dairy farm nearby to see how burrata is made.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: La Corte dell’Astore

Daily Mileage: 22 miles on flat/rolling terrain (option to extend to 31 miles)

Day 5

Thursday, May 2, 2019 – Alberobello
Today you’ll ride through a strange fantasyland of conical-shaped houses called trulli, where archaic figures peer down from the rooftops. Via tiny  roads, you’ll roll through Valle d’Itria, arriving in Locorotondo, a whitewashed circular town known for its white wine. From a distance, Locorotondo appears as a cluster of white structures perched on a high ridge. From the top of the Serra, you’ll see a fascinating panorama of the valley below.

Visit the award-winning Frantoio Intini, an olive oil press that has embraced the slow food movement.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: La Corte dell’Astore

Daily Mileage: 18 miles on rolling terrain with some small climbs (option to extend to 27 miles)

Day 6

Friday, May 3, 2019 – Alberobello to Mottola
Leave Alberobello, passing through a beautiful landscape with farmhouses as you ride on stunning country roads. Stop for lunch in Mottola (at your own cost), where you can order a panino made fresh at a local deli. Visit a bakery in Altamura for an in-depth look at how the local bread is made.

This evening, enjoy a mozzarella making demonstration and an exquisite dinner at your hotel.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Casa Isabella

Daily Mileage: 34 miles on varied and undulating terrain

Day 7

Saturday, May 4, 2019 – Mottola to Matera
Enjoy a morning of rolling fields of “grano duro” – the wheat used for pasta – and shady oak groves. Climb to Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most extraordinary spots on earth. You’ll cycle a charming route through villages around Matera, with views of ravines and gorges.

The mystic past is palpable in the crypts of the rock churches of San Nicola and Santa Margherita. Enjoy a guided visit to learn the secrets of these spaces.

Enjoy a cooking lesson this afternoon with two local women. They will reveal some of the secrets of Pugliese food. You’ll also get to learn how to dance the pizzica and tarantella, two traditional dances that originated in Apulia.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Relais Sant’Angelo

Daily Mileage: 34 miles on flat and gentle climbing terrain with one challenging climb (optional shuttle)

 

Day 8

Sunday, May 5, 2019 – Matera
Enjoy some free time to explore Matera on your own this morning.

Ride into the countryside to a beautiful organic farm. Two friends of AdventureWomen will prepare lunch for your group from vegetables grown on their land.

This afternoon, take the long climb back to Matera as your last ride (or you can take the optional shuttle).

Enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate the end of an incredible adventure.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Relais Sant’Angelo

Daily Mileage: 28 miles on rolling terrain with one last climb (optional shuttle; option to extend to 33 miles)

Day 9

Monday, May 6, 2019 – Depart Matera

You’ll be transferred to the airport to connect with your flights home.
Breakfast

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Italy



Arrive: Arrive in Brindisi, Italy (BDS) on April 28, 2019 by 11:00am.

Depart: Depart Bari, Italy (BRI) on May 6, 2019 after 11:00am.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates and a minimum of two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Activity Level

High Energy Biker: These adventures are designed for women who enjoy a physical challenge and crave being on the go! You should be able to cycle 2-3 times a week with at least one long ride of 2-4 hours. Make sure your butt is saddle-ready! Enjoy a leisurely pace (we’re not racing here!) and take time to enjoy the views. There will be an occasional hill, more rolling terrain, and average mileage of 20-40 miles each day.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more here.

Make sure you ride a bike (indoors or out) as part of your training. Your butt will thank you later!

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Italy, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Italy.

Money

The currency of Italy is the Euro. Credit cards are generally accepted and ATMs will be accessible. You should plan on carrying some Euros in cash.

Suggested Gratuities: We recommend bringing $300-350 for gratuities for the team of bike guides you will be traveling with.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before January 28, 2019.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • All activities as listed in the itinerary
  • English-speaking expert bicyclist guide throughout the trip
  • Use of a carbon road bike - Bianchi Intenso
  • Bike includes: 2 water bottle holders, Garmin Edge GPS, handlebar bag, tire pump, combination bike lock, gel-padded saddle, choice of pedals (flat, half-toe pedals without straps, toe cage pedals)
  • Customized jersey and water bottle
  • All entrance fees
  • Gratuities
  • One AdventureWomen Ambassador

Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages, unless otherwise specified
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Bike helmet
  • Bike shoes
  • Passport fees
  • Travel insurance

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Hotel Sana Chiara
Suite Santa Chiara is a boutique hotel located in Lecce’s historical centre, very close to the cathedral. The roof garden on the fourth floor has a bar, outdoor seating, and views of the historic town center.

Tenuta Moreno
Tenuta Moreno, a charming structure built around a farmhouse from the 1700s, is found near the town of Brindisi. It strikes a balance between the relaxing atmosphere of the Puglia countryside and the comfort of a stylish and modern hotel.

Masseria Torre Di Coccaro
Masseria Torre Di Coccaro is set in a vast estate that dates back to the 16th century. Surrounded by olive groves more than 800 years old, the tower used to  be part of a line of defense towers, and it has been restored to be a hotel. In the main courtyard you find the original chapel from 1730, which is still active.

La Corte dell'Astore
La Corte dell’Astore is made up of eight ancient buildings. The interiors are made of stone based on a primitive technique; these simple dwellings are an example of perfect structural stability.

Hotel Casa Isabella
The Hotel Casa Isabella will enchant you as you enter its main door. As you cross the threshold and enter the large stone yard, time stops. The rooms are refined and elegant, with antique decorations and floors, as well as original furniture. Every room in Casa Isabella has the same service and comfort, but each has a unique style and personality.

Relais Sant'Angelo
The Sant’Angelo Resort enjoys a unique location on one of the most beautiful squares in the heart of the old city. From the many panoramic viewpoints, your gaze sweeps across intricate houses, neighborhoods and characteristic stairways of the old neighborhoods until it reaches the stark landscapes of the Gravina canyon, dotted with caves inhabited since prehistoric times. The rooms at Relais Sant’Angelo are located in a beautiful complex of historical buildings. After careful restoration, the 18th century local Royal court building, the old cave houses, and cave church of Sant’Angelo have been given new life and turned into charming spaces.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What to Bring

As you get ready to pack for your adventure, have a look at The AdventureWomen Store at www.theadventurewomenstore.com - we have picked out our favorite travel clothes and outdoor gear to help make packing easy for you. You can also see our recommendations for this trip on the AdventureWomen Pinterest page.

Temperatures on your trip tend to be cooler in the morning and evening, and will warm up at midday. You will have lows in the 50s and highs in the mid 70s.

Clothing and Gear

  • 2-3 pairs of cycling shorts with chamois lining
  • 2-3 brightly colored bicycle jerseys (one will be provided)
  • 1 pair cycling gloves
  • 3-4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair cycling shoes and pedals (if you use them)
  • 1 waterproof windbreaker/ rain jacket
  • 1 lightweight fleece jacket
  • 1 bicycle helmet
  • 1 day pack/hip pack
  • Arm and leg warmers
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts or pants
  • 1-2 short sleeve shirts
  • 1-2 lightweight sweaters
  • 2-3 sets of casual evening outfits
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 5-7 pairs underwear (quick dry recommended)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sleepwear
  • Chamois cream

AdventureWomen Essentials

  • Travel documents (identification documents, airline tickets, money)
  • 2 spare passport photos in case your passport is lost or stolen
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit

  • Prescription medicine you usually take
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686