Mountain Bike: 5 Rings in the wild Apulia

Self-Guided Mountain Bike Trip

From April to October
6 days + 2
A partire da:

Let yourself be enchanted by the wilderness and the luxuriant nature of Italy’s most Southeastern region.
This cycle center-based holiday consists of 5 daily rides beginning from the Adriatic coast and adventuring in the internal side of Puglia, always starting and
ending nearby a station (with free bicycle carriage on the train!). (2 bike tours guided by a professional nature guide of the Alta Murgia National Park and 3 self-guided)

This trip can be combined with GARGANO MOUNTAIN BIKE ESCAPE: 2 RINGS ON THE SUN MOUNTAIN OF PUGLIA (Self-guided with local support, short break): ASK FOR PRICE!

In these added days you could visit the primeval Foresta Umbra, a Southernwood with Northern trees, that bears a broad network of trails suitable to riders of all kinds. From the Foresta Umbra, you can reach the wide-open pastures on the shepherd’s footsteps towards the internal side of the promontory, see the canyons and the pilgrim’s grottos and then back downhill to the Trabucchi coast.
And, if that’s not enough for you, Gargano has a bike park, where you can try challenging enduro or downhill trails.


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Features of the track

What’s included:

  • 6 night (b&b)
  • 6 breackfast
  • 2 guided daily tour in the Alta Murgia National Park
  • GPS with preloaded tracks of the itinerary and map
  • Information document about the Highlights of the travel (restaurant, monuments, and traditions)
  • On-line Assistance 24h/24h
  • Insurance (R/C)

Single traveler supplement: 450 euro

Ask for these options:

Bike Hire + Helmet: 70 euro

E-bike: (high-level motor): 120 euro

This trip can be combined with GARGANO MOUNTAIN BIKE ESCAPE: 2 RINGS ON THE SUN MOUNTAIN OF PUGLIA (Self-guided with local support, short-break): ASK FOR PRICE!

Single room extra:180 euro

Medical and luggage insurance: On-demand

Pay on site:

  • Train ticket from Bari to Pescariello Station (FAL railway)
  • Train ticket from Bari to Altamura (FAL railway)
  • Train ticket from Matera to Bari (FAL railway)
  • Train ticket from Gravina in Puglia to Bari (FAL railway)
  • Train ticket from Trani to Bari (Trenitalia railway)
  • Train ticket from Bari to the Airport
  • Train ticket from Bari to Ruvo di Puglia (Bari Nord railway)
  • Train ticket from Bari to Putignano (Ferrovie del Sud Est railway)
  • Train ticket from Polignano to Bari (Trenitalia railway) 

Guided visit to “GRAVINA UNDERGROUND” (duration 1:30 h): 10 euro per person

Booking in advance (ask to verify availability) – at least 2 pax

Commercialized by Corvino Travel

Day 1

Arrival at Bari Airport, transfer to Bari by train.
First night in Bari.
We suggest you book a bike tour in the Bari old town: book in advance, pay on-site

Overnight stay in Bari

Day 2

Itinerary of the day: Bari – Ruvo di Puglia (by train – Nord Barese Railway) / Ruvo – Castel del Monte – Trani (by bike) (90 or 70 km about)/ Trani – Bari (by train)

Lenght:90 km about
GAP +:842 m
GAP -:1.072 m
Highest point:666m
Lowest point:13 m
Lenght:70 km about
GAP +:614 m
GAP -:841 m
Highest point:538 m
Lowest point:13 m

THE MURGIA NATIONAL PARK: The Alta Murgia is the only place in Italy where is possible to observe how during the centuries the man and nature have worked together to give the landscape its present shape. Walking or riding throughout this land, which is actually the only left example of the Mediterranean steppe in Italy, one can easily find the traces of the men’s passage. This does not mean that it has been negative: in fact what happened in this territory can be defined as a spectacular example of the relationship between men and nature even from the point of view of social and anthropological science. The population of the Alta Murgia worked for many years to reclaim this land in order to make this hostile ambient more liveable. The land of the highest part of the hills was used as pasture for the ovine as it was not profitable, while the depressions between the hills, where in the past flew the rivers and where now are collected the rainwater, have been changed into agriculture fields after the removal of all the stones. These stones were so important for the local people that they started to use them to create tools, handworks and constructions. Just using the technique of fitting in the stones, here called “a secco”, the men have created such works as dry-stone walls, trulli, jazzi, specchie which has been fundamental for the local people life.
TRANI: Overlooking the sea like an elegant pale-stone amphitheatre, it features a recently restored small port, the town’s crowning jewel.

Start to explore Trani from the Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino, a Romanesque gem by the sea. Unusually tall compared to other religious buildings in the region, the Cathedral boasts a richly decorated interior and two crypts dedicated to San Nicola and Santa Maria, along with San Leucio’s hypogeum.

Not far from the Cathedral, the Castello Svevo (Swabian Castle) is an imposing fortress built by Frederick II
– Ruvo di Puglia: The Imperator Frederik II had his hand in building the fascinating Romanesque cathedral, a real treasure trove in the city, which charms with its elegant form, with a sloping roof and the wonderful 12- rays rose window, on which there is a mysterious figure, probably the Imperator himself.

CASTEL DEL MONTE: The great Emperor Frederick II, known as Stupor Mundi – Wonder of the World, is the “father” of Castel del Monte, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The extraordinary fortress sits on a gentle, green hill in the National Park of Alta Murgia.
The fortress might have originally been used as an astronomical observatory or as an imposing hunting lodge. Its mysterious octagonal base sets it significantly apart from all the other castles in Puglia.
Castel del Monte is protected by splendid mythological creatures which adorn the keystones in the inside halls and the coral crushed stone doorframes.

Overnight stay in Bari

Day 3

Itinerary of the day: Bari – Pescariello Station (by train FAL railway) / Pescariello Station – Pulo di Altamura – Pulicchio di Gravina – Gravina in Puglia (by bike) (61 km about)/ Gravina in Puglia – Bari (by train FAL railway)

Lenght:52 km about
GAP +:495 m
GAP -:546 m
Highest point:589 m
Lowest point:331 m

The Pulo, a carsick hollow of an elliptical form, with the widest part roughly 550m and the deepest 92m. This is probably a collapsed sinkhole, formed that is, by the collapse due to natural causes of the enormous roof. On the north-facing walls we have numerous caves, surely prehistoric settlements of hominid; to confirm this theory there are not only the discovery of archaeological findings but also the discovery not far from here, of the skeleton of the famous “man of Altamura” (the so-called pre-neanderthal man, which lived during the Pleistocene, in a period between 50,000 and 30,000 years ago.)

THE PULICCHIO OF GRAVINA: is the second-largest doline in the Murge plateau (Apulia, Italy) after Pulo di Altamura. It falls into the territory of Gravina in Puglia being located about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) north of the above city.
In the same way as Pulo di Altamura and Gurio Lamanna, the origin of Pulicchio di Gravina can be explained through karst processes, i.e. the physical (erosion) and chemical (dissolution) action of rainwater, that the fractured limestone rock of the Murge plateau underwent over the millennia (and it still continues).
The etymology of the toponym pulo is currently unknown. It is used only in the Murge plateau to denote a doline, while it is unused in other regions of Apulia. The term is also used for the nearby dolines Pulo di Altamura, Pulo di Molfetta, and Pulicchio di Toritto (pulicchio means small pulo), and it is attested as early as in the 17th century, since Domenico Santoro in 1688, referring to Pulo di Altamura, wrote “luogo detto dalli Cittadini lo Pulo” (place called by Altamura people ‘Pulo’)
GRAVINA IN PUGLIA: On the border between Puglia and Basilicata, Gravina is part of the Alta Murgia National Park. This amazing city is perched on the edge of a ravine more than 100 meters deep. The countryside, dotted with rocks having different shapes, has two archaeological sites, Collina Petramagna and Padre Eterno, with ruins of temples, walls and floors of ancient buildings, and several pieces of pottery.
Don’t miss the Church Madonna delle Grazie and the Basilica Cattedrale, on the edge of a crevasse, with a wonderful view of the ravine.

Overnight stay in Bari

Day 4

Itinerary of the day: Bari – Altamura (by train FAL railway) / Altamura – Matera (by bike) (63 km about)/ Matera – Bari (by train FAL railway)

Lenght:34 km about
GAP +:332 m
GAP -:366 m
Hightest point:444 m
Lowest point:317 m
ALTAMURA: The historic center, located just inside the ancient walls, can be entered through Porta Bari: it is full of palaces, churches, and characteristic claustri (small, closed courtyards). The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, in the heart of the town, is a must-see.: built by Frederick II, it’s a magnificent example of Puglia’s Romanesque architecture and Frederick’s elegant Gothic style.
When you’re in Altamura, make sure to try some of the famous bread.

MATERA: In Matera you’ll spend a lot of time in caves. You’ll eat in a cave, drink an aperitivo in a cave, and even view modern sculptures in a cave. The ancient neighborhoods, known as sassi, are a series of grottoes carved out of limestone, teetering on the edge of a ravine. It’s one of the most unique and spectacular places we’ve visited in Italy or anywhere in the world.
– Matera is located in a remote corner of southern Italy in the small region Basilicata. It’s not the easiest place to reach which is why it has managed to remain relatively unknown, especially to foreign tourists, although since it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 visitor numbers are slowly growing.
In 2019 Matera will be the European Capital of Culture.

Overnight stay in Bari

Day 5

Itinerary of the day: Bari – Carovigno (by train Trenitalia railway) / Carovigno – Ostuni – Monopoli – Polignano a Mare (46 km about) / Polignano a mare – Bari (by train Trenitalia railway)

Lenght:89 km about
GAP +:775 m
GAP -:788 m
Hightest point:370 m
Lowest point:0 m

OSTUNI:Ostuni, the White Town, is magic thanks to the characteristic whitewashed houses of its historic center, a tradition the inhabitants still keep on. The Fifteenth century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral dominates mid town, with a façade sporting a 24-rays rose window of rare beauty.

Along the Via Cattedrale, which divides into two parts the medieval heart of town, there is the former Carmelite Monastery, nowadays seat of the Museum of pre-classical civilization of Southern Murgia, which contains the calque of Delia, a pregnant woman who lived 25,000 years ago.

A series of churches and elegant houses embellish the old town, surrounded by Aragonese walls, where there are the two ancient town gates, Porta Nova and Porta San Demetrio.

Old rural churches, exquisite manor farms, hypogeal olive il mills, rocky coutryside, and a moist area rich in plant and animallife. A treasure of biodiversity and a millenial culture; all that concentrated in barley ten kilometers, places ready to be eaten both with your eyes and your soul!
MONOPOLI: The outline of a castle and ancient walls announce the beautiful town of Monopoli.

The town’s 99 contrade (districts) stretch out flatly, allowing you to admire them entirely with a single glance from the splendid belvedere of Loggia del Pilato. This natural terrace, on the road to Selva di Fasano, overlooks a countryside characterized by masserie (farmsteads), churches, rupestrian settlements, and villas.

The symbol of the town is the Castello Carlo V (Castle of Charles V), which stands on the promontory of Punta Penna, and today hosts exhibitions and conferences.

POLIGNANO A MARE: Crystal clear waters and cliffs pitted with caves carved by the sea give Polignano a Mare its uniqueness. A small town, known also as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,”

Polignano is the birthplace of the renowned singer Domenico Modugno, who became famous for his song Nel blu dipinto di blu (“In the Sky, Painted Blue”). The fascinating historical center reveals traces of its Arab, Byzantine, Spanish, and Norman past, including the remains of the four watchtowers that once guarded the ancient town.

Head through the Arco della Porta (the Door Arch), once the town’s only entrance, and you’ll find yourself in the magical center, home to the 13th-century.

The high cliffs and jagged coastline between Palazzese Cave and Lama Monachile, make Polignano’s shoreline one of Puglia’s most beautiful coastal stretches, peppered with hidden inlets and charming sandy bays.

Overnight stay in Bari

Day 6

Itinerary of the day: Bari – Putignano (by train SudEst railway) / Putignano – Alberobello – Cisternino – Martina Franca – Locorotondo – Putignano (54 km about) / Putignano – Bari (by train SudEst railway)

Lenght:66 km about
GAP +:552 m
GAP -:571 m
Hightest point:442 m
Lowest point:323 m
LOCOROTONDO: Its very name (“round place”) suggests the characteristic circular form of the town’s historic centre. Its origins date to around 1000 AD, when farmers built a number of simple cottages, including typical “cummerse” (small houses with pitched roofs), on the hilltop.
Locorotondo produces an excellent DOC white wine.

THE APULIAN AQUEDUCT BIKE LANE: It’s a short bike lane, 15km, but it has a particular significance: it is the first part of the most famous aqueduct of Italy. The entire path is secure and it offers a very suggestive look in the landscape of the Valle d’Itria. This bike lane ends in Figazzano (Cisternino area), in the heart of the Valley, which is the place where we’ll spend the night. Cisternino is one of the most interesting places of the area, with its ‘fornelli pronti’ (the restaurateurs let the customer choose the meet to grill) and its picturesque old town centre.
MARTINA FRANCA: Its name is derived in part from its devotion to Saint Martin, who saved the townspeople from enemy invasions, and in part from the time when Philip of Anjou offered the local inhabitants a tax exemption (“franchigia” in Italian). The town, one of the most densely populated in the Taranto province, is a melting pot of history and art.

Highlights of the historic centre include the characteristic white houses that wind their way up the small, twisting streets, and the sumptuous baroque architecture of the Ducal Palace, Palazzo Martucci, Palazzo dell’Università, Palazzo Motolese, Palazzo Maggi, and Palazzo Ancona.

POMONA GARDEN (visit 2 hours time. Ask as to book in advance and pay on-site): In the heart of valle d’Itria, halfway between the whitewashed towns of Locorotondo and Cisternino, not far from the Adriatic Sea there is the botanical conservatory I Giardini di Pomona. Here biodiversity expresses itself through thousand different ancient fruit varieties coming from all over the world, many of which were saved from extinction. The ten hectares covered by the conservatory are part of a fascinating landscape and are entirely run following organic methods, joining conservation purposes with low-impact tourism. A memorable jump into biodiversity. Thousand different fruit tree varieties for a historical and botanical journey across traditional and rare plants. The largest collection is dedicated to the species Ficus carica (fig) and includes 560 varieties, making it one of the largest fig collections in the whole Mediterranean.

NOCI: is surrounded by trulli and caves and by an important natural heritage with forests and woods, a real green lung, which encloses the treasure of the historic centre, dotted with “gnostre”, original courts closed on three sides and overlooking the street.

Fortified masserie (farmsteads) and country houses, covered with “pignon” (pitched roof), trullo or pignon-trullo roofs, with cubical shape, are perfect to spend a day in contact with nature and to taste the renowned dairy products.

ALBEROBELLO: In the heart of the Murgia dei Trulli, a lovely spread of pinnacles announces Alberobello’s characteristic historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The old town centre is entirely composed of trulli, traditional dry stone huts whitened with quicklime and capped by conical bare-stone roofs. Crosses, pierced hearts, and zodiac signs decorate the roofs, maintaining the air of mystery that surrounds the trulli.

Overnight stay in Bari

Day 7

If you choose to make your trip 2 days longer, after the breakfast and the hotel checkout, you will take the train from Bari to Foggia. Once there a private transfer brings you from the Foggia Train Station to the  Umbra Forest on the top of the Sun Mountain to the sea, into the heart of the GARGANO NATIONAL PARK.

On this day you can choose  between three different itineraries, both starting from the same location in the center of the Forest:

1) Self-guided tour from Sfilzi Forestal Refuge to the coast. At the beginning you will be set on the way to the Sfilzi path, a meditative immersion in the deepest green of the Gargano nature: a short deviation – you should make it on foot and in a religious silence – will make you visit a medieval fountain built on the place of only water source in the forest. After the pit-stop to the fountain, a forestal path will bring all downhill straight to the charming fisherman’s village of Peschici past fairytale woods listening to the sound of woodpecker birds. After visiting Peschici, you follow the coast road to Vieste where you may shoot lots of pictures of the trabucchi (ancient fishing machines) and relax in a deserted bay.

Length: 13.577 km about
GAP +:169 m
GAP -:702 m
Highest point:576 m
Lowest point:11 m

2) self-guided bike tour  riding on the crest of the hills surrounded by oaks and pinewoods, all downhill to the coast until you reach your accommodation in Vieste.

Lenght:34.89 km about
GAP +:374 m
GAP -:1032 m
Highest point:828 m
Lowest point:8 m

3) Guided tour on a technical itinerary down into an old canyon, one of the most important naturalistic heritages in the Gargano, it develops in the area between Vico del Gargano and Ischitella.
In the beginning, it was an ancient river (dried by now) which, over the millennia, created with its erosive force a beautiful “Canyon”.
For this reason, it has also been called the “Canyon of the Gargano”.
Going through the ecosystem of the stream you can deduce the geological history of the Gargano.
Numerous lithic sculptures dating back to the Lower Paleolithic period have in fact been found near the Canyon; like the tools formed on stone chips (Clactonian and Acheulan). After the off-road ride, the itinerary comes back to the Sfilzi Refuge passing through the two little and nice towns of Ischitella and Vico del Gargano.

FEATURES OF THE 1st ITINERARY (The Romandato Canyon ring):
Length: 40.711 km about
GAP +:938 m
GAP -:938 m
Highest point:93 m
Lowest point:796 m

Overnight stay in Vieste

Day 8

End of services after breakfast

Transfer from  Vieste to the Bari Airport

Tips to live a comfortable adventure:

  • Wear sports clothes
  • k- way and a change of clothes
  • If you have bike shorts, use them!
  • hat
  • Water supply
  • Sunglasses

Self-Guided Mountain Bike Trip

From April to October
6 days + 2
A partire da:

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