More than 600 km “in the blue which is painted blue” …
The Adriatic Cycle Route is a national route of about 1300km crossing seven Italian regions and connectin Trieste with Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost point in Apulia. The Apulian stage, more than 500kmlong, offers a dramatic variety of breathtaking views.
From Lesina, the Adriatic Cycle Route offers two variants: the classic one always with the sea on sight which circumnavigates the Gargano peninsula, or a shortcut through the flatland called “Tavoliere” which joins the other in Manfredonia; the first option is more challenging as it climbs the coastal switchbacks of the Gargano promontory, but more interesting as a landscape. Not to be missed is the Foresta Umbra in the heart of the Gargano National Park and the shrine of Monte Sant’Angelo, both UNESCO sites. The Sun Mountain in North Apulia will captivate not only of serious cyclists but also of culture and nature enthusiasts.
After Gargano, one stills needs around about 350 km before getting to the Leuca cape! In the central Apulia you will ride on countryside backroads, with just a few tractors and cars in sight. Bari and its coast offer plenty of interesting sites. Just to mention a handful: Bari, Polignano a Mare and Monopoli, the important Egnazia archeological site nearby Fasano and Cisternino, which can be reached with a short detour from Torre Canne. While heading back to the seaside, you cannot miss a visit to Ostuni, the White City with its limewashed houses. As the earth becomes red, you enter the Salento peninsula past Lecce, Otranto and finally reach Santa Maria di Leuca.
Once in the most southern point of the heel of the boot, you can reach the train station of Gagliano del Capo, which is 6 km north of Santa Maria di Leuca.
Useful tips: Better avoiding the hottest months of July and August when the seaside is crowded and the traffic is high.
The route is in general flat, except in the Gargano and between Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca.
- Rodi Garganico
- Polignano a Mare
- Santa Maria di Leuca
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