Cycling in Basilicata

GROUP HOLIDAYS: September 6th to September 13th 2020 (Enrollment before August 29th)

From 1180 €/person
Min. 14 people 6–13.9.2020 60 km/day; +700 m/day

From the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea: coast to coast by bike to discover Southern Italy

Even if Matera got pretty famous after being nominated as European Capital of Culture in 2019, the rest of Basilicata region is still unknown. There are still just a few tourists that travels around the region and thanks to that the villages and the inhabitants preserved their unique authenticity. The territory is rich of forests, incontaminate nature and large cultivations, most of them of Senatore Cappelli wheat, typical of the area. Traveling by bike in Basilicata is pretty challenging, be prepared to climb some hills and to cycle for many miles without meeting anybody: in the other hand, roads are almost car-free, there are lush nature, villages rich of history, traditions and local festivals. We start off from the Adriatic Sea, from the city of Bari, and we cycle towards Matera: there we spend three nights, in order to explore the surrounding area and to enjoy the city at its best. We visit the Murgia Materana Park and the rupestrian churches, thousand-years old; the village of Montescaglioso and the beautiful San Michele Abbey and the Lake San Giuliano, an area surrounded by wild nature. Then, we visit the Park of Piccole Dolomiti Lucana (the Basilicata Dolomites), that features great rock formations and two charming villages, Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa. We cycle to Aliano, an ancient village where the writer Carlo Levi was exiled: the village overlooks some impressive badlands, a moon-like land that surprised also the great writer. Finally the trip ends in Lido di Policoro, facing the Ionian Sea: a dive into the sea will be a great reward for the efforts during the trip. As usually, during our holidays we will focus on the delicious food of the region, a mix of mediterranean flavours from the mountains and the sea.


DAY 1 – Arrival in Bari

Individual arrival in Bari. Meeting with the organization in the hotel and breafing.

Overnight in BARI – Palace Hotel Bari ****

DAY 2 – Bari > Matera

68 km / +630 m

From Bari we head towards the countryside, crossing the whole city. We cycle on a few busy roads but once we get to the countryside we find peace and tranquillity, among large cultivations and olive groves. On the way we cross Bitritto, Sannicandro and Cassano delle Murge, little towns that feature pretty historical centres with clear-stone-made houses and small fortresses. We approach to Matera cycling in the Murgia area, surrounded by the silence of the countryside, and after a few climbs we reach this magical city, where we spend three nights.

Overnight in MATERA – BB diffuso

DAY 3 – Matera > Montescaglioso > Matera

45 km / +680 m

Like Matera, also the beautiful village of Montescaglioso is perched on the top of a hill. In order to reach it we first cycle fast downhill and then we climb the hill following a panoramic road that leads to the centre of the village after some hairpin turns. There we visit the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo, from where we can enjoy a great view over the countryside. After the visit of the Abbey we cycle downhill and we reach Parco dei Monaci, where we leave the bikes and we start to hike towards a wild ravine, where the small rupestrian church of cristo della Selva stands. Finally, we have to climb up to reach Matera.

Overnight in MATERA – BB diffuso

DAY 4 – Matera > Lago di San Giuliano > Matera

66 km / +760 m

This stage is a circular route among nature and culture. After cycling downhill from Matera, we cross the solitary countryside following small roads going slightly up and down until we reach one of the hidden treasures of the area: the Crypt of the Original Sin, kind of rupestrian Sistina Chapel. After visiting the crypt, we follow a beautiful road that flanks Lake San Giuliano, even if the lake is not always on the sight: it’s the triumph of the nature and here it’s easier to find a sheep flock than a car. Of course, going back to Matera is uphill.

Overnight in MATERA – BB diffuso

DAY 5 – Matera > Castelmezzano

15 km / +550 m

Minibus transfer to Trivigno. Here the landscape is different respect to Matera area, it’s much more mountainous and green. Today we cycle just 15 kilometres, but in order to reach the village of Castelmezzano we have to cycle up a demanding hill. The great view over the village of Castelmezzano, perched on the mountain, the rocky pinnacles of the Dolomiti Lucane are a great reward for all the efforts. From there it is also possible to glimpse the village of Pietrapertosa, on the other side of a large valley. The whole afternoon is free: trekking lovers can hike on a path that leads to Pietrapertosa and those who are looking for intense emotions can experience the “Angel Flight”, a zip-line that links the two villages.

Overnight in CASTELMEZZANO – Locanda di Castromediano

DAY 6 – Castelmezzano > Aliano

57 km / +1200 m

We head towards Pietrapertosa cycling along a panoramic road that flanks the mountain, then we continue on a beautiful wooden plateau with some small climbs. We cycle surrounded by nature until Cirigliano and the bottom of the valley, then we start to climb again on a road with large hairpin turns flanked by old olive trees until we get to Aliano. There we can enjoy a great view over the badlands, this is the place where the write Carlo Levi set the book Cristo si è fermato ad Eboli. Thanks to our host we can learn anecdotes about the writer and the book.

Overnight in ALIANO – B&B La Casa dell’Americano and Palazzo Scelzi

DAY 7 – Aliano > Lido di Policoro

66 km / +850 m

The fist miles of the route are a daydream: a small road goes slightly downhill and crosses the moon-like area of the badlands. The first part of the day is completely surrounded by nature, but a three kilometres section along a large road with some traffic. The first village we find on the way is Tursi, then we cycle again surrounded by badlands and we reach the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Regina di Anglona, a beautiful romanesque-style church with nice frescos built on the top of a hill. After this cultural break, we cycle downhill and we get to Metaponto, a large and plain area. Finally, we cross the city of Policoro, the ancient Herakleia, and we get to the sea by Lido di Policoro. After a refreshing dive in the sea, we go back to Bari by minibus.

Overnight in BARI – Palace Hotel Bari ****

After dinner, end of services of assistance and accompaniment.

DAY 8 – Departure

After breakfast, free day and individual departure from the hotel.

Book the tour

Enrollment deadline before August 29th.

The tour has already reached the minimum number and it is confirmed.

Clicking on BOOK NOW, you’ll proceed with the payment of 250 € (deposit).

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2020 Italy re-starts

A bonus of 50€ has already been applied to the price of this tour. #2020italyrestarts #iwilltravelagain

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