Italian land and nature: Apulia by Bike
- WTI Magazine #138 Apr 17, 2021
Apulia is truly a fascinating Region, and to discover some of its most beautiful places by bicycle makes traveling it an unforgettable experience. Apulia, given its gorgeous and diverse natural settings, and its numerous history- and culture-rich towns and cities, offers numerous delightful itineraries.
Vacationing by bike all over the Region lets visitors discover its innumerable treasures, from UNESCO World Heritage Sites and nature reserves to age-old villages and the wide open sea.
The most preferred bike tours are those that go in discovery of the Salento zone – Italians' favorite place in Apulia during the summer – and of some of Apulia’s prettiest cities, such as Lecce, Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca and Gallipoli.
Many tourists, on the way to and from those aforementioned, carry on to lesser-known towns, like Galatina and Martano – where the Griko dialect is spoken – in order to explore the culture and traditions of the area known as Grecia Salentina.
Cycle excursionists here can also seek out the so-called "White Cities", including Brindisi, Ostuni, San Vito, Cisternino and Locorotondo.
Perhaps trace the splendid Itria Valley and stop at such attractions as Alberobello (with its magnificent trulli), and the Baroque villages of Martina Franca and Manduria (home to one of Apulia’s top wines, the Primitivo).
Nature enthusiasts can also visit Torre Guaceto, pedaling around this marine reserve in Upper Salento.
Another favorite spot of cycle tourists is the Murgia National Park, made up in part of Gravina in Puglia and Minervino, extra-special for the weekend excursions organized just for cyclists, and offering tastings of the local culture and products.
Art lovers will certainly appreciate a tour of the terrain north of Bari, where they can learn about the Romanesque Cathedrals in Trani and Ruvo di Puglia, and admire the castles built by Frederick II in Oria, Castel del Monte, San Vito dei Normanni and Mesagne.
Further north, in the Province of Foggia, cyclists can find plenty of other intriguing paths and trails, specifically near the Umbra Forest, in the territories of Mattinata, Monte Sant’Angelo, Vico del Gargano, Peschici and Vieste.
The magnificent Gargano Promontory and the Tremiti Islands are an ideal destination for cycle tourists, who can enjoy moving through the centuries-old olive trees and infinite expanses of the Tavoliere delle Puglie.
It Is Also Interesting to Know…
That both difficult and easier itineraries abound throughout the Region, thus making cycle excursions accessible and palatable for all.
To really appreciate all Apulia has to offer, it is often best to follow less-traveled routes and paths, immersing oneself in less touristic zones that speak to the Region’s authentic nature: that made of peasants', fishermen's and other genuine, quotidian realities, and of unadulterated millenary traditions and tastes.
The first ad hoc services for cycling and cycle tourism were recently started in the area north of Bari that touches on Alberobello, Castellana Grotte, Putignano, Noci and their environs. The new Bike-Hotel "Hotel Bike Friendly" network features B&Bs and hotels offering accommodation and special services just for cyclists: not only lodging and reception, but also bicycle assistance, GPS-marked itineraries, and tours with cycle guides very familiar with the territory.