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Heritage Cycle Trails - Van Gogh Tours - Self-guided bike tour Italy

Heritage Cycle Trails

From: $1,590 USD

8 Days / 7 Nights
Type: Self-Guided
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Imagine Yourself…

  • Cycling through the ancient district of Matera to the impressive sassi carved into the rock walls of a ravine
  • Exploring the fairytale streets of Alberobello with its many trulli, characteristic of the region
  • Enjoying the delicious vegetables, olive oil, and wine of Italy’s most productive region
  • Overnighting on cozy, charming agriturismo family farms

Overview

Heritage Cycle Trails - Van Gogh Tours - Self-guided bike tour ItalyArchaeological sites that harken back to the region’s strategic importance to the ancient Romans and Greeks. White washed villages are nestled against the hillside vineyards, and olive groves and wheat fields decorate the valleys. Puglia is Italy’s largest producer of vegetables, olive oil, and wine. Fresh ingredients and legendary cooking skills combine to provide visitors with a first class culinary experience. Your tour will begin in Trani with its beautiful historical centre and the Romanesque Cathedral overlooking the sea. Today Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll cycle on to unique Alberobello in Puglia, capital of the trulli and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. All around is an explosion of color, olive trees, and ancient farmhouses.  You’ll certainly enjoy your stay in this fascinating and picturesque region, well known for the hospitality of its friendly people. Puglia’s warm, dry Mediterranean climate is ideal for walking and biking in spring and fall.

Daily Itinerary

  • DAY 1 - Arrival Trani

    Welcome to Trani, a picturesque coastal town in Italy! Upon arrival, check in and get settled into your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore and soak in the charm of this historic city.

    Stroll through Trani’s enchanting historical center, where narrow cobblestone streets lead you to hidden gems and architectural wonders. Visit the magnificent Romanesque Cathedral, majestically overlooking the Adriatic Sea, and take in the serene views.

    Discover the impressive Swabian Castle, a testament to Trani’s rich medieval past. Wander among the historical buildings and lush gardens that add to the city’s timeless beauty.

    As the day winds down, head to the bustling port area. Here, you’ll find numerous restaurants where you can savor fresh, local fish dishes. Enjoy a delightful dinner with the sea breeze as your companion, marking a perfect end to your first day in Trani.

  • DAY 2 - Trani - Castel del Monte – 28 miles (45 km)

    Today, your cycling adventure begins with a scenic ride through the breathtaking Alta Murgia countryside. Pedal along tranquil roads surrounded by rolling hills, olive groves, and lush vineyards, soaking in the natural beauty of the region.

    As you traverse this picturesque landscape, you’ll feel the serenity and timeless charm of rural Italy. The countryside offers a peaceful escape, with each turn revealing new vistas and the rich agricultural heritage of the area.

    Before the end of your ride, you’ll visit one of Italy’s most remarkable landmarks: the Castle of Frederick II. This magnificent castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as a unique architectural marvel. Known for its distinct octagonal shape and historical significance, Castel del Monte is a must-see.

    Take time to explore this amazing site, marveling at its intricate design and the stunning views it offers of the surrounding countryside. The castle’s history and grandeur provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.

    Grade: Easy route, with a short climb to the Castle

  • DAY 3 - Castel del Monte - Gravina di Puglia – 29 miles (46 km)

    Start your day by leaving the enchanting meadowlands of the park, setting off towards the picturesque valley. Your journey takes you along semi-deserted roads, where the tranquility and timeless beauty of the landscape create a sense of stepping back in time.

    The road ahead leads you to the ancient town of Gravina di Puglia, a place steeped in history and cultural richness.

    Dating back to the 8th century B.C., Gravina di Puglia unfolds like a living museum, showcasing evidence of various civilizations that have left their mark over the centuries. The town’s layers of history are evident in its architecture, ruins, and cultural landmarks.

    Be sure to explore the fascinating underground town, where ancient structures and hidden passages reveal the town’s storied past. The historical center is equally captivating, with its charming streets, historic buildings, and vibrant local life.

    Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of Gravina di Puglia, where history and modernity coexist in a captivating blend. 

    Grade: Easy hilly route with short climbs

  • DAY 4 - Gravina di Puglia - Altamura - Matera – 29 miles (46 km)

    Begin your day with a delightful ride to Altamura, a town renowned for its medieval cathedral and its famous bread. Explore the charming streets of the historical center, beneath the towering cathedral bell-tower.

    Taste some fresh focaccia, baked to perfection in an old wood-burning oven. This local treat is a perfect way to recharge before continuing your journey.

    Set off again, cycling through the serene countryside as you make your way towards the built-up town of Matera, located just a few kilometers away. As you cross into the region of Basilicata, the landscape begins to change, hinting at the unique character of your next destination.

    Upon arrival in Matera, you’ll be captivated by the old part of town known as the “Sassi.” This ancient area, with its distinctive cave dwellings carved into the limestone, offers a glimpse into a bygone era. Check into your hotel located in the historical center, where you’ll be surrounded by the timeless beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Grade: Easy route with short climbs at the end of the day.

  • DAY 5 - Rest day (optional rides 22 miles or 25 miles)

    Enjoy a relaxing day visiting the city of Matera. A leisurely walk will enable you to visit: museums, rock churches.

     

    Alternatively, you have the choice of two routes that give you the chance to explore the surrounding area.

    LOOP 1 – THE MURGIA AND THE VIEW OVER THE SASSI

    Liking to go to the other side of the gorge? That’s an easy loop to make in the morning that will leave you great memories of this town. From the Murgia plateau the view over the Sassi is amazing. You can also visit some rock churches and a Neolithic village over there.

    Grade: easy, with a short climb to reach the plateau


    LOOP 2 – SAN GIULIANO LAKE, THE MATERA HILLS AND THE CRYPT OF ORIGINAL SIN

    Follow the beautiful, deserted road around the San Giuliano Lake, a peaceful wildlife reserve for migratory species from Africa. A stop-off at the lake is recommended for a picnic. Don’t miss a visit to the Crypt of Original Sin. This fascinating rock oratory represents one of the oldest examples of rock art in the South of Italy. Its extraordinary cycle of frescoes painted five hundred years before Giotto, highlights the typical features of Benedictine-Beneventan art (8th -9th centuries). Book this visit with us before going there. Back to Matera.

    Grade: moderate, with a long climb at the end.

  • DAY 6 - Matera - Alberobello - 43 miles (69 km)

    After breakfast set off for the beautiful region of Puglia. Your journey today will take you through the charming towns of Gioia del Colle and Noci. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes, as you pedal along these scenic routes and small Italian towns. 

    Continue your ride until you reach  Alberobello, famous for its unique trulli houses. These ancient stone dwellings, with their iconic conical roofs, create a fairy-tale atmosphere that is truly captivating.

    Upon arrival in Alberobello, you’ll be accommodated in a trulli complex dating back to the 1600s, located in the heart of the historical center.

    Staying in a trulli house offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing you to step back in time and feel the magic of this historical town. Spend the evening exploring the historical center of Alberobello, where narrow streets lined with charming trulli houses invite you to discover the rich history and culture of this remarkable place.

    Grade: easy with rolling hills.

  • DAY 7 - Alberobello - Ostuni – 28 miles (45 km)

    Begin your day with an exhilarating ride through the lush Selva di Fasano, a beautiful forested area that offers a refreshing and scenic cycling experience. 

    Your route then leads you towards the stunning Adriatic coast. Follow the coastal roads,  creating a perfect blend of coastal and countryside scenery.

    Continue your journey until you reach Ostuni, an architectural gem often referred to as “La Città Bianca” or “The White Town.” Known for its striking white walls and beautifully painted white architecture, Ostuni stands majestically on a hill, offering panoramic views of the olive groves and the Adriatic Sea.

    Explore the narrow, winding streets of the historical center, where every corner reveals charming houses, historic buildings, and vibrant local life. The dazzling whitewashed buildings, bathed in sunlight, create a picturesque and unique atmosphere.

    Grade: easy with rolling hills.

  • DAY 8 - Tour Ends

    Your tour ends after breakfast.

Dates & Prices

Green = Open | Yellow = Limited | Red = Full

Category

Accommodation

Double/Twin

Single

Comfort

4 star B&B or

Holiday Farms

$ 1590

$ 1950

Prices are per person in US Dollars – inclusive bike rental

Choose your own starting date

This tour can be guided upon request (minimal 6 persons)

  • What's included

    • 7 nights of double occupancy lodging in very charming, air-conditioned, 3 or 4-star hotels or family farms (agriturismo)
    • 7 breakfasts
    • 27-speed bike including helmet, pannier and water bottle
    • Luggage transport
    • GPX-files
    • Emergency assistance telephone number
    • Road book with directions
  • Bikes

    HYBRID BIKES are included in the price of the tour. Bicycles come equipped with grip shifters, helmets, pannier, water bottle, cycle computer, signal lamps, emergency pack.

    Hybrid bike - FV - Van Gogh Tours - Self Guided tour ItalyHybrid bike - FV - Van Gogh Tours - Self Guided tour Italy

    Hybrid bike - FV - Van Gogh Tours - Self Guided tour Italy

    ELECTRIC BIKES can be rented for this tour ($140 per person).We advise you only to rent an electric bike if you have first tried one at home. They’re heavier than regular bikes and therefore can be difficult to maneuver.

    We have two models; one with a low step. 

    Hybrid bike - FV - Van Gogh Tours - Self Guided tour Italy

    Hybrid bike - FV - Van Gogh Tours - Self Guided tour Italy

     

  • Meals

    Included in the tour price you’ll receive daily buffet breakfast. For the buffet breakfasts there’s an assortment of cold meats and cheeses, eggs, bread, jams, cereal, yogurt, fruit, coffee, and tea. For lunches you will be in a town so you can find lunch at a restaurant on your own. Dinners will be on your own, and you can choose one of many delicious restaurant options within easy walking distance from our hotel. 

  • Not included

    • Airfare
    • Lunches and dinners
    • Transfer back and forth to Bari Airport (on request)
    • Entrance fees
    • City taxes
    • Trip cancellation insurance

Accommodations

The accommodations listed below are examples of those usually used on the tour. Depending on availability, you may be booked in a different accommodation of equal quality.

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