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On top of a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea there is the unmissable Ostuni. White houses, Baroque decorations, noble palaces, shops and churches give life to one of the most beautiful historical centre of Salento area.

Tour based in Ostuni, cycling between rolling hills and coastal dunes, beautiful villages and pristine natural reserves, you will discover a territory that still preserves ancient mills and skilled artisans.

Highlights

  • The White City and the local crafts
  • The Cookie of Ceglie, Slow Food Presidium
  • Cisternino and its special “Fornelli”
  • The Norman Castle of Carovigno
  • The Sea in the Torre Guaceto Reserve
  • Nature in the Coastal Dunes Park and the archaeological sites

Day 1 - Ostuni

Welcome to Puglia, you are in Ostuni, the White City par excellence.
Ostuni is shown as an inverted cone up to 240m above sea level and marks the boundary between the plains of Salento and the Murge hills.
The custom of whitewashing the walls with lime dates back to the Middle Ages, to make brighter and fresher the narrow alleys. Besides being a natural disinfectant lime prevented the spread of the plague when an epidemic broke out in the 17th century.

Day 2 - Ceglie Messapica (about 30km)

After taking the bikes you will know soon the gentle ups and downs of the Itria Valley. Cycling between dry stone walls and country roads in a landscape that will enchant you from the very beginning, you will reach Ceglie Messapica, where you will spend the day. The old core of the town consists of a Norman Tower over 30m high overlooking the entire complex. A walk through the alleys of the old town will immerse you in an ancient and surreal atmosphere that ranges from the time of Messapians to medieval times. But the strong element of Ceglie is definitely the food, enough to be considered with all due respect the gastronomic capital of the Itria valley. Stop for lunch at one of its restaurants and check it for yourself! Among the most traditional dishes is the Mashed Fava-beans, often accompanied by wild vegetables; among the desserts stands out Cookie of Ceglie that you will surely find at the Bar Centrale, birthplace of this Slow Food product.

Day 3 - Cisternino (about 30km)

From Ostuni you will take the so-called Via dei Colli towards the shrine dedicated to St. Oronzo, one of the patron saints of Ostuni, to whom the city dedicates the most important religious festival of the year, with fireworks, processions and parades of armored horses. With these rites, Ostuni thanks the saint who miraculously saved the city from the terrible plague that afflicted most of the Land of Otranto in 1657.
After the small village of Casalini you will arrive in Cisternino. The town is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” and is well known in the Itria Valley for its mazy oriental charm, reflected in the alleys, arches, courtyards and stairways of its four old districts. This spontaneous and unique architecture branches around the Clock Tower Square.
Before getting back to Ostuni try to stop at one of the oil mills in the area, where you can sample one of the many varieties of extra virgin olive oil.

Day 4 - Carovigno and Torre Guaceto Reserve (about 50km)

With today’s itinerary you will have made the tour of all the historic hill towns of the northern Salento!
After Ostuni in few kilometers you will reach Carovigno: a short climb will take you directly to the entrance of the Castle Dentice di Frasso, imposing building of Norman origin that will welcome you in its elegant courtyard planted with trees.
Before arriving in Brindisi you can explore the extraordinary reserve of Torre Guaceto, natural paradise full of Mediterranean vegetation, ancient olive groves, marshy reeds, high sand dunes and crystal clear water: here it will be easy to distinguish the myriad colours of the flora and fauna in the sea.
Return to Ostuni backwards following the sun sinking behind the ridges of the Murge hills.

Day 5 - Among olive trees and dunes (about 30km)

Today’s stage is dedicated to the natural beauty of the Natural Park Dune Costiere: a slice of heaven in a thousand of hectares. A complex and rich territory where the dunes preserve many natural habitats. Not only fossil dunes, but also long and beautiful beaches, a fragrant Mediterranean vegetation, ponds and wetlands, archaeological sites of historical and cultural significance, historic farms and oil mills, rock settlements and more.
You will find a rural environment coming up to the dunes, protection from a sea that has nothing to envy to the Caribbean one.
Back to Ostuni following the road uphill. If you have not already done so try to look for the shop of the master craftsman Tonino Zurlo and his fine works in olive wood.

Day 6 - Ostuni

After breakfast end of services.
If you like to round off the visit of Ostuni, try to go to the Gardens of the Grata, a project carried out by “Solequo Cooperative” which gave new life to the terraced plots close to Ostuni by adopting organic farming techniques.

What’s included

  • 5 nights in 3 * Hotels/Masseria on B&B basis
  • Bike rental
  • Roadbook and information material
  • Phone assistance 8am-9pm

Not included

  • Airport transfers
  • Meals and drinks
  • Entrance fees and tips
  • Hotel tourist taxes
  • Insurance and everything not listed as Included

Self Guided Bike Holidays

 

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