Our recent Tour of Puglia was the ultimate cycling adventure. In typical Spring conditions we experienced everything from rain to thunder and hail, to sunny blue skies and mild temperatures. However, no matter what the heavens and roads threw us, they were never big enough to dampen the spirits of an incredible group of riders who embraced every element of the adventure with fun, joy and camaraderie.
Through the beautiful Valle d’Itria, we traversed some sensational terrain, where the twisting and turning roads took us through the many tiny backroads, lined with rock walls and dotted with trulli,
We were shown the many sides of Puglia in Spring with days of sunshine and warmth and others of unseasonably cold conditions and rain, all changing constantly, depending on which direction we were riding, and never for too long.
We encountered days where we missed the rain and hail and just saw the evidence of it having passed through earlier, and there were days when we were right in the middle of it, and a snorkel was not far off being needed. It was amazing to see the mental strength of the group as we kept peddling through the rain and conditions that wouldn’t normally be endured, but everyone did so in such good spirits. The sense of camaraderie was fantastic.
Our mid ride lunch stop was a highlight and depending on where we were, we would always indulge in one of the local specialities from puccia Pugliese, pan focaccia or a delightful pasta of orecchiette con pomodorini, ruccola e ricotta. Buonissimo.
The Pugliese food tour continued after our post ride “rest” and took us across a beautiful range of osteria’s, trattorie and restaurants, where we were able to indulge in a wide range of tastes from the garden to the sea.
Day 5 saw us depart from the centre of Puglia and head downhill along another beautiful winding road, before hitting the flat and straighter roads of the coast and the Salento.
We kept the coastal theme for the next day as well, riding a full day on one of the prettiest stretches of road you will see, with the road traversing through a landscape of craggy rocks that cascade into the beautiful blue sea.
The ever changing landscape and colours of Puglia morphed once again into undulating green hills, dotted with rocks and the ever present blue to our right. An incredible feeling of calm together with a sense of awe are present as you roll over every rise
Our final rides saw us heading north into the stunning baroque town of Lecce, but not before more olive groves and tiny roads and a final stop in what seems like a deserted ancient town, but is spectacular.
The arrival into the cobblestone streets of Lecce’s centro storico and our final pedal stroke into our Palazzo was a cause for celebration after 8 amazing days of riding with some testing conditions, and some of the group reaching personal goals which were shared by a cohesive group of fun, happy people.
If you like an adventure and want to enjoy an immersive experience through Puglia in 2020 click here for dates and details.