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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.


We are currently unable to take new bookings for this holiday.


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.
    Trani to Montegrosso: 54km
    Castel del Monte
  • Montegrosso to Venosa: 51.5km
    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.
    Montegrosso to Venosa: 51.5km
  • Choice of routes from Venosa: 29.5km 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: 29.5km
    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.
    Circular route via Maschito: 29.5km
    Circular route via Melfi: 51km
    Melfi on the circular route around Venosa
  • Venosa to Grottole: 87.5km; shorter option: 35.5km
    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.
    Venosa to Grottole, longer option: 87.5km
    Basilicata's rolling landscapes
  • Grottole to Matera: 40.5km
    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.
    Grottole to Matera: 40.5km
  • 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.
    Circular route from Matera, longer option: 54km
    Views from Montescaglioso
  • 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.
    Matera to Noci: 59km
    Pedal through rural landscapes to Noci
  • 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).
    Circular route via Castellana: 56km
    Circular route via Locorotondo: 59km


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

What is included
  • 9 nights
  • 3 dinners
    9 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • high-quality bicycle
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation

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 >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – cycling holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety, not least taking tests before and after your holiday for many destinations.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
    Entry requirements for non-UK destinations & for re-entering the UK >
  • 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, which remain the principal means of navigation).
  • 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 are responsible for damage to or loss of the rental bike while it is hired to you. Always be careful to lock it up, ideally to an immovable object, and remove all easy-to-steal accessories whenever you leave it unattended.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines (but not, currently, with Ryanair). 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. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). 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 and Lizzie to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to 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.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • 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 take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • 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 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 for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • 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.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit

    At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them, regardless of what is happening in the European political sphere.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) 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 : 12/1/2021 2:57:31 PM