Suggested Bike Excursions in the Itria Valley

Suggested Bike Excursions in the Itria Valley

Planned excursion routes, logistic support, nature bike rides in the country passing Masseria and trulli, away from the traffic and noise of town life.

Relax Puglia collaborate with a local bike hire and excursion centre run by Vito of Nature Bike. We can organise one of tours below in our suggested excursions or we can create bespoke excursions for groups of 2 or more.

Contact us with your requirements.

Bike Excursions

Bike Excursions

Planned excursions – inclusive of:

  • on the ground logistic support
  • cycle hire for adults and children
  • latest generation bike hire
  • excursions for all age groups
  • varying levels of difficulty
  • helmets, puncture kits, pump etc
  • transport
  • Fat Bike, Mountain Bike, Hybrid, Road Bike, Electric Bike

Prices:

  • Day hire – €15
  • Weekly hire – €100
  • Child Seats – €10
  • For specialist bikes & cost of hiring accessories, please send your enquiry.
Rent-a-bike

Rent-a-bike

Legend has it that Sturno, Diomede’s companion founded ancient Sturnium which was destroyed in 216 B.C. by Hannibal’s army. But the origins of Cisternino town however, date back to the 12th century A.D. This has been confirmed through the works unearthed of the Basilian monks who came here originally when seeking protection against persecution.

But its the countryside of Cisternino that enthralls cyclists and walkers alike. The surrounding valley, otherwise known as the Valle d’itria has a favourable geographical position as it is set upon four small hills and has six small terraced parks which stretch out along the valley.

Excursion I – Monte Pizzuto to the Fossil Dunes

Meeting Point – Cisternino

Distance – 40kms.

Duration – 4 hours

Gradient – Minimal, short slopes

Difficulty – Medium for off road enthusiasts

Ophrys_apulica_Parco_Dune_Costiere

Orchids found along the dune protected coastline

Type of Road – rough dirt track and also paved but little traffic

Route – From Caranna – Monte Pizzuto via a rough path to Pezze di Greco passing many olive trees and masserie (farm holdings). – Torre Spaccata to Torre Canne with a tour of the centre. Then along the coast to the dunes. From there, the path leads to fossil dunes and typical grassland. And to the Trojan Way – San Giovanni Battista – Speziale!

About – The fossil dunes date back 100,000 years and rise to about 150 metres above sea level. The dunes are covered in a carpet of scrubland with thyme plants and wild orchids. The dunes are a protected habitat.

Monte Pizzuto has a fantastic panorama looking towards the sea with a unique mediterranean scrubland.

Excursion II – The Valle d’Itria, Sovereign Trullo

Meeting Point – The Pineta, San Quirico

Distance – 32kms.

Duration – 3.5 hours

Gradient – Minimal, short slopes

Difficulty – Medium for off road enthusiasts

Type of Road – rough dirt track and also paved but little traffic

trullo sovrano

trullo sovrano

Route – From The Pineta we approach the hamlet of Fasola, passing the woodlands of Monte Castel Pagano, the Apulia Aquedotto (water pipelines), which runs through the Valle d’Itria, Restano, with views of prickly pear, grapevines, olive trees and typical country housing. Arriving at the Hindu spiritual centre of Bhole Baba.

Following the old school path to Fantese, Cappelluzzo and Galante, take an old path which arrives at the Masseria Recupero before continuing on “via Crucis”, which symbolises Christ’s journey to the cross, finally arriving at Trullo Sovrano then the 1700 Masseria Montereale whose name refers to the hospitality offered to King Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, Villa Cenci, Contrada Caperi and back home to Cistenerino.

About – Trullo Savrano (sovereign) is one of the oldest round dry-stone houses with a cone-shaped roof dating back to 1600. It was lived in until 1960, last inhabited by the Family Zizzi. It is unique as it is over two floors.

The Valle d’Itria is particularly unique also with its unique buildings and high concentration of the coned shaped buildings we call trullo (trulli), the lands are bordered by kms of dry-stone walling.

Excursion Route III – The Trajan Way, the Dolmen

Meeting Point – Hotel Lo Smeraldo, Cisternino

Distance – 38kms.

Duration – 4 hours

Gradient – Minimal

Difficulty – Medium for off road enthusiasts

Type of Road – rough dirt track and also paved but little traffic

dolmen_Parco_Dune_Costiere

Dolmens – Dune Coastline

Route – From Lo Smeraldo Hotel we travel along the rocky road to Masseria Marangiulo, continuing through various farm-holds that have been transformed in to B&B’s over the years, passing age old olive trees and the sea.

Arriving at the 4 star hotel Masseria Montalbano (16th century) we take the Trajan Way towards the Dolmen (prehistoric megalthic structure). Casa del Parco is a former Station House Fonte Vecchia. From here we travel to the sea and Torre San Leonardo which dates to the 16th century. Using the underpass we have a journey through Lama Fiume Morelli and Lama Difesa di Malta before returning to Speziale.

About – the via Appia Taiana – the Trajan Way – was built by the Emperor Trajan in 109BC connecting Rome to Brindisi. In the early ages, the Trajan Way was used by pilgrims and crusaders on their way to the ports of Brindisi and Bari from where they boarded ships for the Holy Land.

The Dolmens however date back to the second millenium BC. There use is not entirely understood but it is believed that they may have esoteric use or used for funeral rites.

Excursion IV – Egnazia & centuries old olive trees

Meeting Point –  Cisternino

Distance – 42kms.

Duration – 4 hours

Gradient – Minimal but an uphill start

Difficulty – Medium for off road enthusiasts

Type of Road – paved but little traffic

Egnazia

Egnazia Archeological Site

Route – From the countryside of Cisternino we travel through Caranna, Marinelli, Tumbinno, Lamie di Olimpia with breathtaking views! Laureto, down to the town square of Fasano before arriving at the archeological site – Egnazia. We then travel on to the fishing bay of Savelletri and follow the coast to reach Torre Canne. See the lighthouse which dominates the town. The tour ends at Speziale.

About – In terms of archeological sites, Egnazia is one of the most interesting in Puglia. Its history has been revealed over the centuries. In the 15th century B.C. (The Bronze Age) a settlement of village huts were built. In the 11th century B.C. the Lapigi people from the Balkans invaded and settled here. Later in the 8th century B.C. we see the arrival of the Messapians. But unfortunately the Egnazia went in to decline after the Roman occupation in 266 B.C.

You will be able to see the foundations of defensive walls reaching 7m high in places over 40 hectares. The archeological site of Egnazia covers 2kms with remains of the Messapian era and the Necropolis with its underground tombs decorated with fine frescoes.

Excursion V – Hilly Roads & Underground Olive Mill

Meeting Point –  Cisternino

Distance – 45kms.

Duration – 4.5 hours

Gradient – Minimal but an uphill start

Difficulty – Medium to high

Type of Road – paved but little traffic

olive mill undergroundRoute – Starting with Our Lady Hibernia shrine, which is believed to date back to 1180 according to the Papal Bull of Pope Alexander III. Pilgrimages are considered auspicious for pregnant women. From here we continue to the hamlet Termetrio, Masseria Piccola and Specchia before heading to Ostuni following the Strada dei Colli (the road of many hills). Admire as you pass the Statue Saint Oronzo. We can then visit the Masseria “Il Frantoio” (The Olive Mill) the underground olive mill dates back to medieval times. You can taste the owners home grown products including olive oils, jams and liquers. We then turn in the direction of Lo Spagnulo, continue to Montalbano Vecchio then stop at Speziale.

About – As above ground is a mass of olive trees, the work to produce the oil went underground. The naturally formed limestone caves were further excavated to also be used as homes, shelter for livestock and also places of worship by the Basilian monks and later by the Benedictines. The latter of whom used the underground place for milling olives.

Not only did the underground area serve as a purpose built area for milling the olives, it also offered extra protection and security plus constant temperatures of 20°C.

Excursion VI – Alberobello and the Canale di Pirro

Meeting Point –  Cisternino

Distance – 50kms.

Duration – 5 hours

Gradient – 25% uphills

Difficulty – Medium to high

Type of Road – paved but little traffic

Route – From Cisternino through to Barbagiulo and Fasola passing the woodland called Vaglio before arriving at Figazzano, Cocola and Tagato. Then we come upon Locorotondo to admire its round white walled city. Then on to Foggia di Baraba, trulli land, Monte Tre Carlini.

Before long we arrve in Alberobello. Here we stop to visit the incredible historic centre with a visit to St. Anthony’s Church, before heading off to the picturesque Corregia and finally Canale di Pirro, – (the canal of water tanks) a countryside apart. Making a return trip to Cisternino.

alberobello3About – Alberobello dates back to the 16th century, once a small fiefdom under feudal countrol of the Counts of Conversano. The counts allowed the farm labourers to build dry-stone houses which could be quickly demolished in case of royal inspection. And why should they be demolished? Because permanent dwellings come with a heavy tax burden under the then Barons Law. Quite a shrewd move on behalf of the counts, to avoid paying the heavy taxes.

By 1797, the inhibitants, who were tired of this existence, went to see the King in Taranto, Ferninand the IV so that on the 27th of May 1797, the king issued a decree freeing the town’s people of their fleeting existence.

Since 1996, Alberobello has been designated a U.N.E.S.C.O world heritage site.