Puglia, the ‘heel of Italy’s boot’ is a land of diverse landscapes, that captivates you with quiet roads, dramatic beaches and turquoise seas, and of course its majestic olive trees. Largely undiscovered, our cycling tour in Puglia takes you along secondary roads and off the beaten path, giving you a real sense of adventure and discovery.
While days on the bike involve less elevation than most areas of Italy and our other Italian cycling tours, they can be slightly longer in distance as we venture through this land’s most spectacular towns, villages and landscapes.
One of our favourite rides in Puglia is rolling through the ancient olive groves of the Salento peninsula; with its crazy network of tiny meandering roads lined with rock walls, and geometric patterns of the endless rows of old olive trees beyond.
With our “gentleman’s hours” start time, we head off into the southern Italian sunshine and weave our way across the tiniest ribbon of tarmac that swirls across the flat arid land, as we eventually make our way to the sensational road that hugs the coast and Ionian Sea. We keep tracking west over the smooth undulating road before passing little seaside villages with protected coves and the most beautiful crystal clear water.
Mostly devoid of traffic you are left to lose yourself in the rustic simpleness which is unique to Puglia and ponder the feeling that this is a part of the country that people and time seem to have forgotten.
We make a right off the coastal road and are back riding along the little country lanes with their menhir and other ancient stone structures; you can’t help but think about the deep history and marauding nations that have travelled along these routes in the past.
We roll through a beautiful rustic white washed village and stop in the central piazza to take in a Caffe Leccese; a sensational mix of coffee and sweetened almond milk over ice. This is a super addictive coffee/sugar hit like nothing else and almost impossible to stop at one.
You are mesmerised by the rugged beauty and peacefulness of this ride, as it keeps you guessing about what is around the next corner.
For more details about our Italian Cycling Tours in Puglia, visit our tour page.