Biking tours


Southern Italy Bike Tour – Puglia & Basilicata

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  • Location: Italy
  • Duration: 8 days/7 nights
  • Departing from: Bari, evening, Day 1
  • Tour finishes: Bari train station, morning Day 8
  • Departures 2024: April 20, May 4 & 18, June 1, Aug 31, Sept 14, Oct 5. Private departures also available.
  • Price 2024: Euro €4,600 per person in double occupancy and a group size of 6 or more (€4,300 if less than 6). Single Supplement €530. Two guides accompany departures of 3 or more people (one guide for groups of 2).

Come explore the rich history and beautiful scenery of Southern Italy on our Puglia and Basilicata bike tour. The “heel” of the Italian boot, Puglia has been home to ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans, and the royal Spanish court of the 1600’s, while in recent years it has become a popular tourist destination for its charming hilltop towns, amazing landscapes, and excellent food. We visit the unique city of Alberobello, which is home to over 1,000 "trulli" houses, whose conical stone roofs create a fairy-tale atmosphere. We also go to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Matera, a dramatic city carved into the cliffs and gorges that cut through the town. The landscape and architecture of the region are completely different from northern Italy, and it is now home to some of Italy’s best food and most innovative wines. Pedal down quiet country roads through a sea of olive groves and along glittering sea on this biking adventure!

The biking is more moderate than our Tuscany bike tour, but there are plenty of optional extension rides for those who want something a bit more strenuous. The hotels have been chosen to let you to experience Puglia’s countryside and village life. Our first night is in Bari, the capital of Puglia, where you can explore its beautiful medieval center as well as the broad 19th century boulevards lined with majestic date palms. Our next two nights are at a wonderful boutique hotel in a converted 16th century convent in the charming baroque village of Conversano.  Then we spend two nights in a lovely resort near the sea, and we finish at a 4-star hotel in the heart of Matera.

Southern Italy Bike Tour Includes

  • Accommodation: 7 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels (1 night Bari, 2 nights in Conversano, near Fasano, and Matera)
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners
  • Luggage: Bags are transferred from pick-up on day two in Bari with the final transfer to Bari train station or airport.
  • Special events: Farm dinner with family, visit Alberobello, walking tour of Matera, wine tasting.
  • Transport: Private van transfers as noted in the itinerary. The tour is van supported.
  • Bikes: Quality touring bikes are provided. Upgrades to high end road bikes available for a supplement. E-bikes also available.
  • Active days: 5 days of biking, one day of walking in Matera.
  • Guides: 2 bilingual Mondo Bike guides accompany every tour. One guide is in the van sweeping, and the other is on the bike.
  • Max group size: Tours are capped at 14 people

Booking: e-mail us at info@mondobiketours.com to receive a booking contract (or use the 'Contact Us' link at the top of this page), or click on the 'Book Now' button to the right.

Southern Italy Bike Tour – Puglia & Basilicata itinerary Request full itinerary

Day 1 – Saturday

Arrive in Bari and check into our pre-booked four-star hotel in the heart of Bari. Formerly the domain of smugglers and brigands, Bari’s quaint and atmospheric historic center has been revitalized during the past ten years. Cafés, wine bars, and trattorias are found around every corner of the labyrinthine medieval streets, all of which eventually lead to the remarkable Romanesque architecture of the 12th-century Basilica di San Nicola. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time for sightseeing or just relaxing after your journey. Dine independently tonight in one of the many local restaurants. Overnight Bari. Hotel included, dinner not included.

Day 2 – Sunday

Meet your guides in the hotel lobby this morning for a 30-minute van transfer to the village of Conversano for our first ride. We'll get you set on your bikes and then head out on our first ride amongst the ancient olive groves and whitewashed “trulli” houses that fill the Pugliese countryside. Sample some of the fabulous cuisine for lunch at a local trattoria and then return to Conversano, where we can explore the town and then meet again for an aperitivo before dinner at a colorful local pizzeria. Mileage: 55 km/35 mi. We stay two nights at the beautifully restored Corte Altavilla (or similar). Overnight Conversano. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 3 – Monday

Today begins with a gentle ride to the stunning cliff-side town of Polignano a Mare. Here, the vertical cliffs surmounted by 16th-century palazzi plunge dramatically into the Adriatic. We stop for lunch at a beach-side taverna in the shadow of the 17th century monastery of San Vito. The afternoon ride takes us back up to Conversano past whitewashed “masseria,” the imposing fortified manor houses that are the legacy of dangerous medieval times when corsairs raided the coast. You have free time this afternoon to wander through Conversano’s maze of cobbled streets and shop or simply enjoy a chilled glass of wine in the piazza before a special dinner at a family-run farm in the countryside just outside of Conversano. Mileage: 50 km/30 mi. Overnight Conversano. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 4 – Tuesday

After breakfast, we ride to the village of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site for its trulli houses (almost 1,500 of them!), the squat stone buildings with conical roofs that are only found in this part of Italy. We have lunch and then take time to explore the streets and architecture of this amazing town. We then bike to our next hotel, a beautifully restored and luxurious masseria with swimming pool. (Mileage: 30 km/19 mi). Overnight near Alberobello. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 5 – Wednesday

Today we ride down to the seaside and visit the beautiful whitewashed town of Monopoli. It lies on a quiet harbor and has elegant Renaissance palazzi throughout the medieval streets. An imposing castle built by Charles V to protect the town in the days of piracy and Turkish corsairs still quietly guards the port. Return to the hotel to enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner at the elegant restaurant. Overnight near Alberobello. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 6 – Thursday

Bike to the hilltop village of Ostuni this morning and enjoy its lovely Baroque center and a stop at a local cafe serving up fresh cannoli and other delicacies. In the afternoon we say goodbye to the bikes and transfer by van to Matera, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Matera is one of the most visually stunning towns in Italy, as its inhabitants carved their homes, shops and churches right into the cliff-side of a dramatic gorge. Abandoned in the 1950′s, the old town has been reborn as artists, restaurants, and local citizens have rejuvenated and restored the area. It is one of our favorite towns in Italy, for its unique architecture and aesthetic, but also for the fantastic food! We also love the hotel, the Basiliani (or similar)  much of which is carved directly into the rock supporting the city. Tonight is a free night dinner so you can choose to eat light or go lavish. Overnight Matera. Hotel and breakfast included. Dinner not included

Day 7 – Friday

Begin the day with a guided visit of Matera’s fascinating ‘Sassi’, then you can take an adventurous walk down into the gorge where we discover ancient rock-hewn churches. You can also take the rest of the day off to explore Matera on your own. We have one final epic dinner to conclude a great week. Overnight Matera. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 8 – Saturday (*Thursday for Sept 17 departure)

We offer a morning transfer to the Bari train station for the most convenient train to Rome. Transfers to the Bari airport can also be arranged for an additional cost. Breakfast and transfer included.

The Biking in Puglia

The Biking in Puglia is mostly rolling, with gentle hills, long stretches of flat, and a few short but steep climbs.  We normally ride between 40 – 65 km a day, with optional extensions as well as van support, which allows you to ride as much (or as little) as you like. We have designed the trip to allow for free time in the late afternoon so you can relax or explore the towns we stay in. Breakfast is included every day, and dinners reflect the excellent traditional food of the region.

Activity rating: 2-3 out of 5 = Moderate.  A mix of flat and gently rolling terrain with the occasional sustained climb of up to 4 kms with some short, steep ups and downs. Daily activity is 4 to 5 hours. Max distance up to 60 kms. Note: most of the riding in Puglia is easy. The "3" rating is because there is a coastal escarpment that is relatively long, about 6 kms, that we ride up on two occassions. It can be avoided with a simple van transfer if needed.  

Getting There: Bari is easily reached by direct flight or else by train from other cities in Italy.

Air: The Bari Airport is well connected with other Italian cities and there are a bunch of low-cost flights from European hubs such as London, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Munich with carriers such as EasyJet, RyanAir and Vueling. For a complete list of Italian airports and a selection of low-cost airlines, see our "Transport Info" page.

Train: There are several trains a day to Bari from other Italian cities. Travel time from Rome and Milan by Eurostar train is about 5 hours and 8 hours respectively. The hotel is a 5-minute cab ride from the train station (a taxi is advised), and should cost no more than €10. See the Trenitalia website (in English) at this link. For alternative high-speed rail travel, see the Italo website.
For complete information on using the Italian train system, see our blog post.

Getting Away at the End of the Trip: the trip ends on Saturday morning with a group shuttle to the Bari train station. Transfers to the airport can also be arranged.

If you should book a trip with us you will receive detailed information about how to get to the start of your trip. Please e-mail us with any specific travel questions.

5 out of 5
Ratings based on 2 Verified Reviews

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by MHB
Posted Feb 02, 2015

Puglia is amazing, with more (and older) olive trees than you'll ever see anywhere else. The trip features seafood caught hours before dinner; everything is fresh and local. One hotel was a bit starkly modern, but all of the accommodations are conveniently located for the trip. You bike into towns you'd be unlikely ever to visit without expert guides.

by G Kearney
Posted Feb 01, 2015

This is a perfect trip to experience rural Italy with great food and most interesting countryside. Loose yourself in the olive groves.

If you have any questions or specific requests about any of our tours, we’re here to help. You can fill in the form below, send us an email, or call us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Puglia is amazing, with more (and older) olive trees than you'll ever see anywhere else. The trip features seafood caught hours before dinner; everything is fresh and local. One hotel was a bit starkly modern, but all of the accommodations are conveniently located for the trip. You bike into towns you'd be unlikely ever to visit without expert guides.
by MHB

This is a perfect trip to experience rural Italy with great food and most interesting countryside. Loose yourself in the olive groves.
by G Kearney

Monopoli from sea
Pax biking head-on, fx
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Biking by sea, closer
Creative cuisine, puglia
People clienti and trulli
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Pax pam  john in doorway
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People lots of wine glasses
Monopoli harbor  blue boats
Biking easy road, fx
Dsc 0084
Pax sitting on monop wall
Polignano beach
Pax in market for cheese, fx
Trulli roofs 3
Let's socialize


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