Published by Traveller Magazine
Written By Steve McKenna
It’s noon on the first day of our Puglia cycling tour when we pedal into Otranto, one of the region’s most historic port towns.
Pausing by a pretty clifftop chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the warm, slightly breezy, salty sea air is alive with the sound of pealing bells and there, below us, under a cloudless sky, is the Adriatic, a blanket of navy blue with pockets of astonishingly clear azure water closer to the shore, sparkling under the midday sun, and seducing a cluster of tanned, scantily-clad bathers.
We’ll get used to views like this on our five-day sojourn in Puglia – a remote, overwhelmingly rural slice of south-eastern Italy often referred to as “the heel of Italy’s boot”.
This isn’t your bog-standard bike ride. We’re doing things in style with Butterfield & Robinson, a luxury Toronto-based operator that blends pulse-raising, muscle-flexing adventures with memorable pit stops, where you meet engaging local characters and glean absorbing insights into the culture, heritage and (especially) cuisine.