From whitewashed towns to ancient olive trees and to a rich culture filled with abundant produce and authentic dining, Puglia is the perfect place to cycle in every season. Acting as the heel of the ever famous Italy “boot”, Puglia is a peninsula between two seas and is testament to the idyllic beauty of Italy’s southern coastal life. Each of the region’s towns is a maze of winding alleys, creative shops and markets, and cool cafes and restaurants, making our lunch stops and post ride visits enjoyable from both a food and exploration perspective.
For our cycling guests and their non riding partners, Puglia is a fantastic destination all year round and enjoyed in every season. So, for those gearing up for one of our Tour of Puglia cycling tours in 2020, here are a few things that you have to look forward to, whichever season you join us.
The Colours of Spring
Wildflowers blooming, the temperatures rising to a comfortable warmth; Spring is a fantastic time to sample all the region has to offer. The seasonal weather tends to shift early in Puglia, with temperatures floating around the low twenties and the climate staying mostly dry (although we did experience some storms on our May 2019 tour).
As Spring isn’t the peak season for tourism, this is an excellent time for those that want to avoid the crowds and have a more authentic visit, without compromising on comfortable weather. Cyclists on our Spring tour enjoy almost free reign on the roads during this beautiful time of year. Plus, with vegetables starting to bloom and flourish around this time, you’re in for both some fantastic natural scenery, as well as some fresh, delicious meals. Some Spring produce you can expect in Puglia include fava beans, cime di rape, asparagus, zucchini flowers, cherries and strawberries.
One of our favourite aspects of riding and travelling through Puglia in Spring is the beautiful, soft coloured wildflowers that line the stone walls and maze of winding roads. This, coupled with the welcomingly warm aura that Puglia provides, makes for a sensational cycling adventure.
The Magic of a Mediterranean Summer
Puglia’s Summer months are where the characteristic Italian heat meets with the cool coastal air, creating an optimal riding atmosphere that is hard to match. While this warm, sunny, dry weather draws the crowds, seeing the quiet seaside getaway of April and May transform into a bustling, lively vibe in July and August, the roads that we ride are still relatively quiet and calm enough for you to enjoy.
All the Summer fruits and vegetables you can imagine are in abundance, with sweet tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, melons and lemons featuring, and the early season figs and prickly pears starting to appear. These sweet fruits are a welcome reward on our rides or as our non riding partners explore the towns and local markets of Puglia.
One of our favourite aspects of riding and travelling through Puglia on our July tour is the beauty of enjoying gelato and granita, post-ride swims in the magnificent Ionian and Adriatic Seas and late afternoon siestas. For those that love to relax and unwind after a long ride, Summers in Puglia are fantastic.
The Atmosphere of an Autumn Harvest
As the heat of Summer starts to loosen its grip and the August crowds begin to disperse, Autumn is a spectacular time to cycle the Pugliese countryside. Given Puglia’s warm Mediterranean climate, the previous season’s wonderful warmth lingers far longer than you may expect. This means that dips into the ocean are a perfect post ride activity until early November, so don’t worry about missing out on a swim if you decide to join us for our September tours.
Our days on the bike in September are almost perfect. Sunny days, warm air and afternoon thunderstorms all add to the unforgettable adventure that is a cycling holiday in Puglia. Also at this time, it’s near-impossible not to fall in love with the abundance of prickly pear, fig and olive trees, providing great ‘food stops’ on our rides .
September is also the beginning of the grape harvest in Puglia, with the famous Primitivo red wine aptly named as the ‘first harvest’. As we traverse the countryside of the Valle d’Itria and the Salento during Autumn, we are privy to all of the Autumn abundance, both along our rides and also as we soak in the local food and wine culture at dinner time.
For those looking to have a unique experience catered to their needs and preferences, our custom tours of Puglia allow you to opt for variations on our published tours, including the chance to:
- Shorten or lengthen daily rides if your group prefer to ride less or more km’s or elevation.
- Include more non-riding activities for cyclists. If you are looking to have the full cycling experience, but still wish to take part in cooking classes, olive oil farm visits, or enjoy a half day at a Puglian winery with a long lunch, this can be arranged.
- Enjoy a private boat trip on the magnificent Ionian or Adriatic seas, an experience usually reserved for our non-riders on our published tours.
- Ride a mix of both regular bikes and e-bikes, should you have people in your group who are not strong riders and more comfortable on an e-bike.
When considering a custom cycling tour of Puglia, remember that the minimum number of participants for these tours is 10 and additional activities arranged are factored into a tailored tour price for your group. A custom tour allows your group the flexibility to have a specific tour designed for your interest. Want to learn more? Contact us today, and start planning your Puglian adventure.