Transmurgiana, 8-days Self-guided road bike trip in Puglia

We have thought of a program of over 8 days for those who want to combine exploring the green heart of Puglia with discovering the coast.

This version of the journey is self-guided, allowing you to manage your time independently without a predefined schedule, while leisurely following the GPS tracks of the itinerary we have designed for you. Additionally, we will provide you with all the useful information (points of interest, restaurants, and local curiosities) to ensure you have a fully immersive experience of the places you will pass through.

The itinerary takes place on low-traffic asphalt roads and some stretches of light dirt roads.

Self-guided trip

Departure calendar
Every Friday of April, May, June, September, October (in March and November on demand).
Duration 8 days
Difficulty 3/5
Self-Guide trip Price: from 750,00 €

Puglia by bike among nature, history and charm.

You will start from the southern coast of Bari, discovering the famous villages of Polignano a Mare and Monopoli. You will then continue along the Coastal Dunes Park along the Ancient Via Traiana, which in this stretch has been renamed the “Via of the Ancient Olive Trees” due to the dozens of thousand-year-old olive trees that make this itinerary unique.

You will then ascend towards Ostuni, the beautiful white city, to delve into the heart of the Itria Valley, passing through the charming villages of Locorotondo, Alberobello, and Noci.

The journey will continue towards the wonderful Alta Murgia National Park, the only pseudo-steppe in the Italian mainland, passing through the town of Altamura, Gravina in Puglia and Ruvo with a stop, outside the region, in Matera, one of the oldest cities in the world.

You will then descend towards the stunning city of Trani, “The Pearl of the Adriatic,” with its Romanesque cathedral by the sea, one of the most beautiful in Europe.

In the same bicycle journey, you will symbolically unite three UNESCO sites: Alberobello, with its trulli, Matera, the ancient city carved into the rock, and Castel del Monte with its octagonal shape and the mysticism that characterizes it.

Itinerary specifications

Length of daily itineraries: 50 km mainly on asphalt roads with very low traffic

DAY 1 RIDING (Polignano – Ostuni): Stage length: about 56 km –  positive Elevation gain: 444 m

DAY 2 RIDING (Ostuni – Noci): Stage length: about 70 km –  positive Elevation gain: 747 m

DAY 3 RIDING (Noci – Matera): Stage length: about 62 km –  positive Elevation gain: 410 m 

DAY 4 RIDING (Matera – Altamura): Stage length: about 25 km –  positive Elevation gain: 209 m (if you want to visit the Pulo of Altamura, you need to add 20 km more, round trip, with 119 m of positive Elevation gain)

DAY 5 RIDING (Altamura – Alta Murgia National Park): Stage length: about 70 km –  positive Elevation gain: 744 m

DAY 6 RIDING (Alta Murgia National Park – Trani): Stage length: about 75 km –  positive Elevation gain: 393 m

Type of activity: this is not a sport ride, it doesn’t matter who arrives first…;) Explore the land and learn Murgian culture!

Ask for an e-bike.

Technical organization: AuthenticPugliaTours.
For travel terms & conditions click here.

Price of Self-Guided version in Low Season (March, November): 700 euros 

Price of Self-Guided version in Peak Season (April, May, June, September, October): 750 euros

Comfort accommodation supplement*: € 160 (*superior category accommodations)

Single room supplement: € 30,00 per night

Single traveler supplement: € 100,00

Price of Guided version: ON DEMAND!

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WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE SELF-GUIDED VERSION

  • 7 overnights: in Agriturismo, B&B, or Hotel (3*).
  • 7 Breakfast
  • 1 Food&wine Tasting (day 5)
  • Luggage transfer (you will cycle without your luggage and you will find them at the accommodation).
  • Preloaded GPS track of the itineraries on your smartphone.
  • Information document on the places crossed during the trip.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE SELF-GUIDED VERSION

  • Anything not explicitly specified in the “what’s included” section

OPTIONS:

  • Hybrid bike rental: € 100
  • E-MTB rental: € 190
  • Pannier rental: € 25,00 (each)
  • Helmet rental: € 10,00

Self-guided mode

  • You can travel with complete autonomy.
  • We will provide you with the GPS tracks of the Itinerary that you will be able to follow on your smartphone.
  • You will receive advice on what to see along the way and where to buy the best local products.
  • We will move your luggage from stage to stage to make you pedal lightly.

DAY 1
Bari

Independent arrival in Bari. Check-in at the accommodation and bike delivery.

Start warming up your legs with a self-guided walking tour of “Bari Vecchia,” the charming old town of the capital of Puglia!

DAY 2

Bari – Polignano a Mare – Ostuni

You’ll take a train to the picturesque town of Polignano a Mare, where our cycling journey will begin.

Polignano a Mare is the birthplace of the famous singer Domenico Modugno. This village is built on a high cliff overlooking the sea. It has a very ancient historic center with Byzantine, Spanish, and Norman influences. During this first day on the south coast of Bari, you will also explore:

  • Monopoli, a village inhabited since the Bronze Age, was fortified by the Messapi with mighty and huge walls. The Romans turned it into a military port, and in the 1500s, a fascinating castle was built.
  • The “Coastal Dunes Park,” which includes the “Path of the Ancient Olive Trees”
  • Archaeological Park of Egnazia
  • Ostuni is known as the “White City” for the dazzling whiteness of its lime-washed houses.

Halfway through the route, we suggest stopping for lunch by the sea, enjoying fish and sea urchins at a restaurant in Forcatella!

Overnight in Ostuni

DAY 3

Ostuni – Noci

From Ostuni, you will start cycling among trulli, ancient fortified farmhouses, and wonderful villages: you will be in the fascinating Itria Valley.

During this day, you will visit:

Ceglie Messapica, famous for its delightful culinary arts (trying the Ceglie sandwich here is a must!), and then straight to the “Ciclabile dell’Acquedotto Pugliese” (Europe’s longest Aqueduct), through the heart of the Itria Valley, to admire this corner of indescribable beauty. Along the cycle path, you can stop to visit the Ashram of Cisternino, a place of great spiritual charm, founded in the late 1970s and still active for Hinduism practice but open to all visitors. Locorotondo, awarded the Orange Flag by the Touring Club, is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, a maze of alleyways adorned with colorful flowers, with a terraced vineyard right on the edge of the old town. Alberobello, the capital of “Trulli”,  the famous limestone houses with conical roofs. Due to its uniqueness, it became a UNESCO site in 1996.

The final stop will be the town of Noci, with its distinctive white houses and “gnostre,” the courtyards where it won’t be difficult to encounter children playing.

Overnight stay in Noci

DAY 4

Noci – Matera

On this fourth day of traveling, you will cross the border between Puglia and Basilicata, encountering surprisingly different landscapes. The destination of the day is Matera, the city of the Sassi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, from prehistoric times to the present day. Today, this small center in Basilicata is rich in cultural ferment, and despite the enormous media attention it received after being chosen as the set for various Hollywood productions, it remains a sincere place, inhabited by welcoming and simple people.

Overnight stay in Matera

DAY 5

Matera – Altamura

From Matera, you will return to Puglia,  to visit the Alta Murgia National Park, the largest pseudo-steppe in Italy, known for its endless and unique landscapes. The first city you will encounter is Altamura, with its historic center characterized by an intricate labyrinth of narrow streets and small squares, enriched by the imposing Frederick II Cathedral. Altamura is famous for the renowned Altamura DOP bread and the ovens that have been producing it since ancient times.

Just outside the urban center, you can reach the Pulo di Altamura, one of the most important Geosites in the National Park. You might be wondering: what is the Pulo? When you see it, you will immediately think of the huge crater of a meteorite, but it’s not!

But we won’t spoil it for you, where’s the fun in that…

You will spend the night in Altamura.

DAY 6

Gravina in Puglia – Poggiorsini

From Altamura, you will cycle towards the fascinating city of Gravina in Puglia. Its ancient center, adorned with ancient palaces and beautiful churches, overlooks a canyon through which the Gravina stream flows. Here, you can choose to visit the underground city (La Gravina Sotterranea).

Next, you will reach the small village of Poggiorsini to admire the “invisible” Garagnone Castle; why “invisible”?

It is a mystical and ancient place, and by reading our digital guide, you will see what is no longer there…

The ride will continue to the Agriturismo where you will spend the night.

DAY 7

Castel del Monte – Ruvo di Puglia – Trani

On the seventh day, there will be a bike ride towards the ancient Necropolis of San Magno, followed by a visit to the most famous castle in Puglia: Castel del Monte, a UNESCO site.

From the Castle, you will bike downhill towards the coast through the pre-Murgia, a rural area rich in vineyards and orchards, passing through the town of Ruvo di Puglia, with its charming historic center, before reaching Trani, the “Pearl of the Adriatic“, with its small port and the famous Romanesque Cathedral, almost by the sea, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Overnight stay in Trani.

DAY 8

Check out and end of services.

Every Friday in April, May, June, September, and October (in March and November on demand).

If you are a group, you can request a customized trip on the dates of your preference by specifying them in the registration form.

Self-guided trip

Departure calendar
Every Friday of April, May, June, September, October (in March and November on demand).
Duration 8 days
Difficulty 3/5
Self-guide trip Price: from 700,00 €
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