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Vineyards, Castles & Trulli

Puglia & Basilicata, Italy's Deep South
 
Cycle self-guided through idyllic countryside, past wonderful vineyards and fascinating medieval fortifications, while your luggage is transported. Explore three UNESCO-protected sites, and even stay in spectacular Matera – famous for its unique sassi houses built into the rocks.
Vineyards, Castles & Trulli. 9 nights
Vineyards, Castles & Trulli. 9 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A cycling holiday in southern Italy

Just above Italy’s ‘heel’, the rolling countryside of Puglia rises towards the hills of Basilicata. In these timeless, little-known regions, centuries-old customs and traditions are continued in ancient hill-top towns, and the landscape is peppered with an array of cultural and historic treasures – the legacy of countless invaders.

Such is the significance of the architecture here, that three of the places you pass have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the imposing, octagonal Castel del Monte; Matera, a unique town that has literally been hewn from the rock and consists of hundreds of sassi cave houses; and Alberobello, whose equally astonishing, but very different, trulli houses are built of white stone and topped with conical stone roofs. 
Between these fascinating places – which you have plenty of time to explore – lies a landscape of vineyards and wheat fields whose peaceful trails beckon you to explore.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 12 13 15 18 23 26 29 29 26 21 17 13
    mm 54 59 55 40 38 32 27 34 56 64 60 65
  • Arrival in Trani
    Night 1: at Hotel San Paolo al Convento (where you spend one night).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of cycling.
  • Trani to Montegrosso: 54km
    Leaving historic Trani, you head through countryside planted with grapes, figs, cereals, olive and almond trees. It is worth pausing in Andria, a busy market town famous for its wine, olive oil and almonds, to take in the ducal palace and cathedral, complete with a 7th-century crypt. Back in the saddle, you continue uphill to Castel del Monte, which is visible for miles around. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most important medieval castles in Italy, famed for its octagonal towers. Take time to visit before cycling the last leg to the Masseria Lama di Luna, Montegrosso, in the La Murgia National Park.
  • Montegrosso to Venosa: 51km
    The highlight of today’s cycle ride is reaching the historic town of Minervino, which perches on an escarpment, earning it the name the ‘balcony of Puglia’. The views are remarkable, and there are several other sights worth seeking out, namely the Norman cathedral, the castle and, just outside the town, St Michael’s Cave. From here, you head south-west, ascending into the higher Basilicata region, where you find your hotel for the next two nights, Hotel Orazio, in the centre of Venosa.
    Venosa
  • Choice of routes from Venosa: 30km or 51km
    You could spend today exploring the many archaeological remains in Venosa, a Roman hill-town famed as the birthplace of Horace. Alternatively, we provide notes for two circular cycling routes:

    Circular route from Venosa via Maschito: 30km
    For some cycling, we suggest a leisurely circular ride which offers an opportunity for wine tasting (you will need to pre-book), before continuing via the intriguing town of Maschito back to your hotel. 

    Circular route from Venosa via Melfi: 51km
    A second, much hillier option takes you through rolling countryside to the historic town of Melfi, complete with a castle, lying in the shadow of Mount Vulture.
    Melfi on the circular route around Venosa
  • Venosa to Grottole: 87km; shorter option: 35km
    After an initial descent from Venosa, you rise through rolling countryside and past a lake to the town of Genzano, from where it's downhill nearly all the way to the Agriturismo Bufalara, near Grottole. For a shorter day, you can choose to be transferred with your bikes from Genzano to the agriturismo.
  • Grottole to Matera: 41km
    You cycle alongside tranquil Lake San Giuliano, a protected oasis that is home to great white egrets, purple herons, cormorants and storks, among other species. From here, you make a gentle ascent into amazing Matera, where alleys, houses and churches all blend into the hillside. Among them you will find your fascinating hotel, the Locanda di San Martino, where you stay for two nights.
    Matera
  • Circular route from Matera: 43km; longer option: 54km
    If you can tear yourself away from Matera and its iconic sassi  district, we suggest a peaceful circular ride into the surrounding countryside. You could choose to detour uphill to the hill-top town of Montescaglioso, dominated by its enchanting 11th-century Benedictine abbey, before returning to Matera.
  • Matera to Noci: 59km
    From Matera you head east on a pleasant ride through vineyards and small villages, including pretty Gioia del Colle, on your way to Noci and the Abate Masseria, your hotel for your final two nights.
  • Choice of routes from Noci: 56km or 59km
    The focus of your last day are the Valle d'Itria's unique trulli  houses. Both our suggested circuits lead via Alberobello, where you can see for yourself the remarkable 15th-century white dry-stone houses with conical roofs made of stone that have earned the town UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

    Circular route via Castellana: 56km
    This first route combines Alberobello with the remarkable caves of Castellana, filled with stalactites and stalagmites. 

    Circular route via Locorotondo: 59km
    After visiting Alberobello, our second route continues to the hill-top town of Locorotondo (famed for the five ‘o’s in its name).
 

Accommodation

Your accommodation ranges from stylish hotels to comfortable agriturismi.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. Wherever you stay in Matera, we recommended adding extra nights, as there is much to see and explore.
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 9 nights: 01 April - 30 June 2019 & 25 August - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 April £1230 £290
    1 - 23 May £1260 £310
    24 May - 21 June £1295 £340
    25 August - 8 September £1335 £395
    9 - 30 September £1295 £340
    1 - 22 October £1260 £310
    3rd & 4th person discount -£195
    Single traveller supplement £195

    Includes accommodation, meals, bike hire, luggage transfers and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus cycling notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Electric bikes available: add £90 per person

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel San Paolo al Convento
    Superior with harbour view: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £6
    Superior with harbour view: 25 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £6
    Masseria Lama di Luna
    Superior: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £15
    Superior: 25 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £15
    Superior Murgia: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £15
    Superior Murgia: 25 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £15
    Locanda di San Martino
    Junior suite: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £24
    Junior suite: 25 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £24
    Abate Masseria
    'Trullo' junior suite: 01 Apr - 31 May 2019 £15
    'Trullo' junior suite: 01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £19
    'Trullo' junior suite: 25 Aug - 28 Sep 2019 £19
    'Trullo' junior suite: 29 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £15

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day’s hire of a standard bike and of an e-bike.
    Hotel San Paolo al Convento (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £80 £124
    25 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £80 £124
    Locanda di San Martino (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £95 £138
    25 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £95 £138
    Abate Masseria (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 18 Apr 2019 £112 £142
    19 Apr - 21 Apr 2019 £128 £174
    22 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £120 £155
    01 May - 09 May 2019 £112 £142
    10 May - 31 May 2019 £120 £155
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £128 £174
    25 Aug - 14 Sep 2019 £138 £214
    15 Sep - 28 Sep 2019 £128 £174
    29 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £112 £142
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Bari, Brindisi

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bari (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Glasgow - Bari (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Bari Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Bari British Airways,  easyJet 
    Gatwick - Brindisi easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Brindisi British Airways 
    Heathrow - Brindisi (via Milan Linate) Alitalia 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Bari Wizz Air 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Bari Ryanair 
    Stansted - Brindisi Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Brindisi Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bari

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Bari airport to hotel (0h45) £33 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Bari airport (1h20) £45 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Brindisi

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Brindisi to Trani (1h50-2h30), taxi Trani to hotel (0h10, pay locally) or walk to hotel (0h20) £26 1700
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    hotel transfer hotel to Brindisi airport (1h15) £59 flexible
What is included
  • 9 nights
  • 3 dinners
    9 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • high-quality bicycle
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help.
  • Our cycle supplier will provide you with a hybrid bike with 27 gears; a waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; and a lock. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade (see price panel), subject to availability, and must be requested at the time of booking. The bike shop also has a limited number of tandems.
  • While we would always recommend that you take your own well-fitting helmet, they can be hired locally for a small fee. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to hire a helmet.
  • Yes, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. (We also provide maps and our tried-and-tested route notes.)
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. On mornings when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation so that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.
  • You do need to make sure you’re covered, because it’s you who is responsible for any damage to or loss of the bike during the holiday. You should always lock it (preferably to an immovable object) and remove any easy-to-steal accessories when leaving it unattended. The travel insurance policy that we offer covers you for loss and damage (provided you’ve locked or stored it appropriately). If you are arranging your own insurance, but it doesn’t cover bikes, we can provide bike-only cover for £19 per person. More details >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/16/2019 5:50:20 AM