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Situated between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas is where you find the peninsula Puglia. Divided up in to six exceptional provinces, Puglia (Apulia) remains a delightful holiday destination in Italy. This is especially true if you enjoy cycling vacations filled with adventure, culture and awesome terrain.
Climate and Terrain
Out of 375 days a year, 300 of these days produce sunshine over the region. Puglia’s Mediterranean climate produces warm autumns and springs, hot summers and mild, comfortable winters. Comprised of low ranging mountains stretching from the Southern Apennine, vast plains and rolling hills, Puglia’s varied terrain is ideal for active mountain bike riding. The Southern Apennine actually travels down the center of Puglia to form its backbone.
Along Puglia’s 500-mile coast are delectable beaches, harbors and many other natural attractions, including the Gargano Promontory in north Puglia. The Gargano Promontory, easily recognized for its high cliffs and flourishing forests trees, sits near the province of Foggia. With these amazing conditions, you can experience perfect cycling just about any day of your holiday.
Best Wine Regions in Puglia
With fertile soil conditions rivaling the great Po Valley in Italy, Puglia’s wine regions produce Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and other grape varietals in Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto. Salice Salentino, which is in Taranto, follows the tradition of superior winemaking by producing Aleatico Dolce and Salice Salentino Pinot Bianco. Of course, dining on a sumptuous meal of oysters and tarantello (tuna belly) is a must when drinking either of these two wines.
The province of Brindisi uses the dark, full-bodied flavors of Negroamaro to make its wines. When blended with Malvasia Nera, Negroamaro goes quite well with Puglia’s regional meals of homemade pasta dishes, such as ciambotta with fish sauce and orecchiette.
When hybrid cycling in Lecce, take a wine tasting tour and partake in the most superb samplings of Primitivo di Manduria and Fiano. Luxury bike tours or family tours often include van transportation, full meals and luxury hotel accommodations.
Best Cities for Cycling Tours and Visits
One of the best ways to enjoy a cycling tour in Puglia is to visit its capital, Bari. You can get into Bari by taking a flight to Bari International Airport, which is 10 km from the town’s center. Once in Bari, road biking is a popular way to get around to see famous medieval sites like the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, Palazzo del Catapano and the Fortino of Saint Antony.
If you wish to leave Bari, you can take an all-inclusive tour - with a starting point in Bari and final stop in Lecce - through Pedals & Sea Adventures. The tour routes through the tough hilly terrain of the Val d’Itria, where sights of “trulli” – buildings with cone-shaped roofs made of limestone - are found.
Another location to see is Gargano National Park in the providence of Foggia. The park is home to Umbra Forest, wildlife - such as ducks, wolves and birds - and coastal scenery. Within Gargano are paved and graveled bike trails and paths varying in difficulty. Most of the hardest paths are in the heart of Umbra Forest, which has many single tracks and steep downhill areas suitable for expert mountain bike cyclists. Easy to moderate riding by road bike is found along the coastal areas.