– ROAD BIKE –
Gargano National Park by bike
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A bike trip in one of the must beautiful and naturally place of Apulia: The Gargano National Park
Riding in the shadow of the Umbra Forest to jump, downhill, on the coast with its charming bays… what else do you want?
Holiday TypeBicycle travel
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Min People
Gargano National Park by bike
A bike travel in one of the must beautiful and naturally place of Apulia: The Gargano National Park
Riding in the shadow of the Umbra Forest to jump, downhill, on the coast with its charming bays... what else do you want?
- Professional Local Guide following
- 7 night (Refuge b&b and Agriturism)
- 8 breakfasts
- 7 dinner
- 7 packet lunch
- Luggage transport
- Transfer from Trani to Monte Sant Angelo (1st day); and transfer from Mattinata to Trani (last day of the travel)
- On-line Assistance 24h/24h
- Extra night in Trani: on demand
- Bike Hire + Helmet: 112 euro (for 7 days)
Arrivo a Trani
Arrival in Trani, accomodation, delivery of the bike, briefing around the trip -
OPTIONABLE: Old Town guided tour
Overnight accommodation: B&B in Trani
Trani - Monte Sant Angelo (Transfer with our van), Monte Sant'Angelo - Foresta Umbra (by bike)
LENGTH OF THE RIDE: 20 KM (short way) - 35 KM (long way)
Only for this first ride you can choise if starting with a big up hill from the biginning and an itinerary 36 km long or catting the first part and riding 18 km up to the accomodation in the middle of the Forest.
HIGHTLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
MONTE SANT'ANGELO Monte Sant’Angelo, located on the south of Gargano promontory, overlooks on one side the Tavoliere tableland and on the other side the Gulf of Manfredonia.
The Sanctuary of San Michele is a UNESCO world heritage site and is a precious evidence of Lombard art in Italy. A rock-hewn staircase takes down to the Sacra Grotta (Holy Cave), the mystic place where the Archangel made its appearance and an important pilgrims’ destination.
In the neighbourhood Junno, the old part of the town, stroll through the houses built on the ground floor and the alleys, while the bakers cook make the traditional ostie ripiene, sweets filled with almonds and honey. The history still echoes off the walls of the Norman castle, home of Frederik II, the Rotari tomb and the complex of San Francesco, where there is the Museum of Gargano Popular Arts and Traditions.
8 km away from the town centre, amid dozens of rock-hewn hermitages, there is the ancient Abbey Santa Maria di Pulsano, perched on a spur overlooking the gulf and managed by monks, who organize courses on iconography, and has also a printing office. (Source viaggiareinpuglia.it)
THE UMBRA FOREST The green of the Umbra Forest, inside Gargano promontory, in the area of the National Park, surrounds the municipalities of Vico del Gargano, Vieste and Monte Sant’Angelo.
The Forest is the last part of the ancient “Nemus Garganicum”, which used to cover the whole promontory and it is one of the most extended areas with broad-leaved plants in Italy, of the largest in Europe.
It has a surface of almost 10.500 hectares and covers the North-east side of Gargano and, from 832 metres above sea level of Monte Iacotenente, goes down to 165 metres above sea level in the area of Caritate.
The turf boasts beech trees, Turkey oaks, oaks, maples and holm oaks. Among them, stands the holm oak of Vico del Gargano, 50 metres high, with a diameter of 5. It stands in front of a Franciscan convent and probably was planted there by the friar Nicola da Vico, died in 1719.
The visitor Centre, instead, offers a path where one can admire the diorama of Gargano, display boards, stone tools, the Xylotheque and the reconstruction of a station of charcoal burners.(source www.viaggiareinpuglia.it)
OPTIONABLE: Guided tour of Monte Sant'Angelo and to the San Michele Rupestrian Church
Overnight accommodation: Refuge
Foresta Umbra - Rodi Garganico - Peschici
LENGTH OF THE RIDE:37 KM (average)
HIGHTLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
VICO DEL GARGANO Located in the heart of the Gargano National Park, about 6 km (3.5 miles) away from the sea and 10 km (6 mi) away from the Umbra Forest, Vico is one of Italy's Most Beautiful Towns.
The town centre is dominated by a castle and by the massive dome of the Colleggiata dell'Assunta. This ancient district, known as the Rione Civita, is a triumph of stone with its chimneys, archways, capitals, stairways, and underground chambers carved out of the rock. Wander through the narrow twisting alleys, explore the medieval quarters of Terra and Casale, and let the Palazzo della Bella enchant you with its refined silhouette. If you're with the one you love, make sure to visit the Vicolo del Bacio (Kiss Alley).
Outside the town, the wonders continue with the Necropolis, an important archaeological site on the Mount Tabor plateau. The Umbra Forest, an immense spread of oak, beech and yew trees and typical arbutus (fruit-bearing shrubs), is ideal for outdoor activities. You'll find riding centres, trekking paths and a thick pine grove that leads down to the wonderful seashore between San Menaio and Calenelle.
Don’t miss the evocative Festa di San Valentino (Saint Valentine Festival), held to celebrate the town’s patron saint and Protector of citrus groves and lovers. During the festivities, a traditional procession passes through the streets of Vico, accompanying a statue of the Saint decorated with oranges and their flowers.
RODI GARGANICO The blue of the sea beds, the white of the houses and the orange of citrus trees: these are the colours of Rodi Garganico, wonderful of Gargano National Park.
The castle, royal residence of the King Ferdinand of Aragon, overlooks the sea, with the towers and the impressive city walls. The historic centre, surrounded by keeps, is a maze of winding streets, sloping stairs, arches and small gardens, where you are amazed by the gentle whitewashed houses with red roof, built one on the other as a way to protect the town from pirates attacks.
Don’t miss the churches of San Nicola of Myra and San Pietro and the Sanctuary of Madonna della Libera, to visit before arriving at the belvedere, where there used to be the main entrance gate. From here, you can enjoy a breathless view, extending from the Convent of the Capuchins to the coast.
Rodi is a destination not to miss, thanks to its extraordinary natural heritage: the coast surrounds the town, with the beaches of Ponente (West) and Levante (East), while in the hinterland, the scents of citrus trees and the lush vegetation of the Umbra Forest, not far away from here, enthrall and seduce.
PESCHICI Less than 15 km (9 miles) away from the beaches of Vieste, the beautiful town of Peschici perches on a cliff overlooking the sea and guarding one of Italy's most enchanting bays in the Gargano National Park.
Forming the heart of Peschici is the majestic Norman Castle and Torre del Ponte (Bridge Tower). This tower is the gateway to a magical stone maze of alleyways and stairways carved into the hillside, an area of pebble paved streets and houses that slope down to the sea with their distinctive white façades.
This charming fishing town has a rich history. Just outside the town, near Manacore, you'll find a prehistoric cave (now an archaeological park), the Abbazia di Santa Maria di Càlena (one of Italy's most ancient abbeys), and the Madonna di Loreto's Sanctuary, which, according to legend, was built by a group of fishermen who had survived shipwreck.
From the panoramic viewpoints in the historic centre, you can gaze out to the Aleppo pine trees that hug the coastline, and the watchtowers that overlook your exploration of this stretch of coast, one of the region's most beautiful. On the road to Vieste, you'll be able to see trabucchi, wooden structures suspended over the sea that were once used by fisherman, but now house delightful small restaurants.
Overnight accommodation: B&B in Peschici
OPZIONABLE: Peschici - Tremiti (traghetto)
IF THE FERRY WORKS!! YOU CAN CHOOSE TO STAY ALL DAY ON THE TREMITI ISLANDS
- The departure is at 9:00 AM , arrive to the Tremiti at 10:30 AM; last return route at 4:30 PM, arrive to Peschici at 6:00 PM
OTHERWISE YOU COULD STAY ALL THE DAY RELAXING YOURSELF IN PESCHICI ( we suggest you a swim in the wonderfull Sant Nicola Bay where you could have a lunch in the old Trabucco da Mimì, right on the bay. or you could ride from Peschici to the Manaccora Bay (6 km)
TREMITI ISLAND The Isole Tremiti are an archipelago in the Adriatic Sea, north of the Gargano Peninsula. They constitute a comune of Italy's Province of Foggia and form part of the Gargano national park. The name of the islands relates to their seismic hazard, with a history of earthquakes in the area: tremiti means "tremors".
The islands were used for the internment of political prisoners during Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime. This was nothing new: two millennia earlier Augustus had exiled his granddaughter Julia the Younger to one of these islands (then named Trimerus in Latin, maybe from Greek Trimeros, Τρίμερος, meaning "tree places" or "tree islands").
The islands are now an important tourist attraction because of the clear waters surrounding them. Up to 100,000 visitors come to the islands in the summer season. Ferry services from the mainland operate from Termoli, Foggia, Vieste, Rodi Garganico e Capoiale.
Islands San Domino is the most developed island for tourism and has the only sand beach in the archipelago. San Nicola is where most of the population resides. It is the site of a monastery where a monk named Nicolò was buried. Legend has it that every time someone tried to move his corpse off the island, a violent storm would break out, preventing navigation around the island. Capraia (or Capperaia) is deserted. Cretaccio is a large block of clay and thus uninhabited. Pianosa is a small, uninhabited island. Its maximum elevation is 15 meters. Sometimes, during storms, the waves cover it. On the Island is possible to rent a cayak or a dinghy.
MANACCORA BAY The bay of Manaccora, nestled amid two rocky promontories, is one of the most popular ones, located west of Peschici. The large coastline, embellished by the Mediterranean scrub, has several private beaches, near a village and a camping site, while there is a small public beach.
The beach is characterised by soft and golden sand, shallow water and sloping sea bed and turquoise sea. Don’t miss the nice “trabucco” along the coast, an ancient fishing wooden platform on which fishermen used to put the nets.
Walking along the shore, you dive in the archaeology, visiting the “grottone”, a wonderful natural cave located in the north part of the bay, where the primitive man used to live during the Bronze Age.
Overnight accommodation: B&B in Peschici
Peschici - Vieste
LENGTH OF THE RIDE: 25 KM (average)
HIGHTLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
TRABUCCO Along the Vieste-Peschici coastal road you find the historic trabucchi of San Lorenzo (130 years old), Punta Lunga (112 years old) and Molinella (123 years old), across three suggestive beaches bearing the same names, as well as the enchanting beaches of Colombi and Braico. Along this route, there are Mediterranean Shrublands areas, ancient tuff caves and century old pine woods.
At the MOLINELLA TRABUCCO, sometime, two trabuccolanti will welcome visitors, showing the complete machine setup and explaining each operation in detail. During fishing operations, visitors will be actively involved: pulling the winch, spotting fish, and sharing the catch. At the end, the daily catch will be prepared according to local traditions, either preserved or cooked.
VIESTE Vieste is the easternmost town on the Gargano promontory, situated in the National Park, halfway between Peschici and the wonderful coastline of Mattinata.
Vieste has a historic medieval centre, a charming maze of ancient houses and narrow alleyways studded with typical souvenir shops and craft shops. After you've explored this ancient district, visit the Castle and the Cathedral, and then stroll down to Piazzetta Petrone, a small square with a remarkable coastal view.
The Pearl of Gargano charms with its silvery pink sand, limpid, crystal clear waters, long beaches, cliffs and 26 sea caves. The sea also stars at the Malacological Museum, which has more than 15 thousand shells from all over the world.
The coastline, a continuous series of inlets and coves, features must-see beaches at Vignanotica, Castello, San Lorenzo, the Bay of San Felice (with an “architello”, a natural stone archway over the sea), and Punta Lunga. After an afternoon on the beach, the smell of the sea also hangs over dinner at the trabucchi, traditional fishing huts, housing charming restaurants over the Adriatic.
THE PIZZOMUNNO Vieste is one of the best-known of the Gargano's tourist destinations. Its popularity is mainly due to its beautiful beaches, clear waters and the strong breezes that make it particularly suitable for sailing and other wind sports. In addition, the area's underwater beauty attracts divers and snorkellers from the whole of Europe. There are many legends concerning the origins of the enormous limestone Pizzomunno cliff, the main feature of the Vieste beach of the same name. Not to be missed is a natural-archaeological trip to the WWF managed tombs at 'La Salata', that date back to between the third and fourth centuries, the most striking of which also goes by the name of 'La Salata', and has been described by experts as the most historically important in the entire Mediterranean basin. Tourist visits to the tombs are led by WWF guides. (source Visual Puglia)
Overnight accommodation: B&B in Vieste
Vieste - Pugnochiuso
LENGTH OF THE RIDE: 19 KM (average)
HIGHTLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
PUGNOCHIUSO Vieste is situated on the furthest eastern point of the headland and is one of the most famous tourist locations around the Gargano. The “pearl of Gargano” mainly owes its name to its 30 kilometres of coastline drenched by the clearest sea divided among long stretches of countless, sandy bays such as Baia di Pugnochiuso, Baia di Vignanotica, Baia delle Zagare and Baia di Campi with its little islands and beautiful sea caves, such as Grotta dei Contrabbandieri, Grotta della Campana Piccola, Grotta Viola, Grotta dei Colombi, Grotta delle Sirene and solitary little bays such as Cala San Felice with natural arches. There are also impressive cliffs such as the natural limestone monolith of Pizzomunno that rises at the beginning of the coastline and turns towards Pugnochiuso Bay. There are numerous beaches that host tourists during the summer season, including those in San Lorenzo, Punta Lunga and Scialmarino. The splendid seabed and winds that beat against the Vieste coastline make this area particularly suitable for aquatic sports. There are numerous spots for surfing enthusiasts, in particular Punta Lunga, Baia Molinella, Baia di Santa Maria, Baia di Porto Nuovo and Crovatico. You can also kite surf in various locations around Vieste, thanks to the equipped centres available to tourists. Tourists can also explore the splendid seabed around Gargano by going to the diving centres that organise guided tours.
Overnight accommodation: B&B
Pugnochiuso - Mattinata
LENGTH OF THE RIDE:33 KM (average)
HIGHTLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
MATTINATA In the heart of the Gargano National Park, Mattinata sits on two hillsides, surrounded by olive groves and forests, and bathed by the Adriatic Sea. This is a land of cliffs and orchids, with some 83 species of the splendid flower growing in the area.
Mattinata, which grew out of the ancient Roman city of Matinum, has a long history. Testifying to this are the archaeological artefacts on show at the Civic Museum, and the ruins of the Roman villas, necropolises, and abbeys that lie along the archaeological trekking routes that traverse the countryside.
The Rione Junno, the ancient heart of Mattinata, retains traces of the town's earliest dwellings. Known as “pagliai,” these were made out of rough-hewn stones wedged against each other. In among the Rione's lanes, you'll find stone stairways and small piazzas, as well as Palazzo Barretta and the elegant Palazzo Mantuano, seat of the town hall and library.
Following the coast towards Vieste, the Gargano reveals some of its most beautiful shorelines. Highlights include the Bay of Vignanotica, with its pebbly beaches and caves dug into the rocks, and the Bay of the Faraglioni, with its transparent waters and dunes coated with vegetation.
Redelivery of the bike and the rented equipment and bus transfer to Trani.
END OF THE TRAVEL
OPTIONABLE: Overnight accommodation in Trani
- Wear sport clothes;
- k- way and a change of clothes
- If you have bike shorts, use it!
- Water supply
- Sun glasses