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Bicycle Ride

Cycle Monopoli Loop Ride

· 1 review · Bicycle Ride · Bari,Murge
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  • Polignano a Mare beach
    / Polignano a Mare beach
    Photo: Fran McCann, Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 40 30 20 10 km

Visit pretty Polignano a Mare and pedal vineyards and fruit orchards on a circular ride from Monopoli, through Conversano with its spectacular and fascinating castle. Please do read over the safety instructions on this day's notes, as if you are navigating by app, there are a few crucial points about the one way system on your return to Monopoli.
48.8 km
3:35 h
387 m
387 m
Begin your day with a departure from Monopoli, on some minor urban roads, before reachin the seaside town of Polignano a Mare with its iconic beach and clifftop buidlings. Polignano a Mare is a wonderful place to explore on foot, so you should make a detour here and indulge in an early gelato, and take in the narrow streets. Enjoy some quieter stretches of road after leaving Polignano a Mare to reach Conversano with its spectacular hilltop castle. After climbing to reach Conversano, it's mostly downhill back to Monopoli amongst pretty agricultural lands, filled with fruit trees. Enjoy some lengthy downhill stretches and the breeze as you go! Entering Monopoli, you are faced with some inevitably busier roads once again, until you reach the quiet and familiar lanes of the old town. Be sure to finish at the sea with a last look at the evening light settling on the Adriatic. Once back in the bustle of Monopoli, you can take your pick of delicious restaurants to relax after your day.

Author’s recommendation

Make time to dismount the bikes and wander the old town of Polignano a Mare to visit little shops and cafes.
Profile picture of Fran McCann
Fran McCann
Updated: August 01, 2018

Highest point
228 m
Lowest point
1 m

Safety information

Before starting your ride it’s always worth inspecting your bike for any damage. Check for any damage to the frame, components or wheels. Ensure there are no loose cables and that the tyres are inflated and the brakes are working. Always wear a helmet when cycling. If you are doubtful of the condition of your rental bike please call the office or the local bike hire on the number provided in your information pack.

Beware of traffic especially when entering and leaving the towns where the traffic flow tends to be highest. Take care all descents; make the most of the downhill but don’t speed around corners where you can’t see what’s coming ahead of you on the narrow single-track roads.  

Do remember to ride on the right-hand side of the road and whilst drivers in Puglia are respectful of cyclists, please do be mindful of other road users at all times, obeying local road signs and any change in road conditions.

Whilst we will try to flag any junctions which need special attention in the turn by turn directions, it is prudent to take extra care at every junction, particularly as some of the road markings and signs in Puglia vary in quality, so it is not always immediately clear which approaching traffic should give way. If in any doubt, pull in safely to the side and wait for a clear moment to cross or turn. Road surfaces vary too, so be mindful of any rougher terrain. Most of the rides are on smooth surfaces, but it is always good to be vigilant of holes in the road or rougher patches.

In Conversano, take care on any steep downhills, particularly if there are cobbled "steps". You should dismount for these.

ESSENTIAL READING. Important Information About One-Way System in Monopoli (on your return).

On your return into Monopoli, you will reach a junction where you must pass under the railway. DO NOT cycle under the railway (unless you are happy to make the detour at this very busy junction to turn left to pass under the railway bridge in the direction of the flow of traffic). Our directions will take you under the railway along a one-way street in the opposite (prohibited) direction, so you MUST walk on the pavement, in single file, with your bikes. After a short time you will be able to re-join Via Roma (turning right) and get back on your bike. The reason we suggest this route is that this is a very busy and fast flowing junction with traffic approaching from multiple directions, and if you are not a confident cyclist you will find this junction a challenge. Dismount safely before you reach this junction (you will see a stepped pavement on your right hand side, where the steps are wide enough to easily walk the bike down).

At the very end of your ride, we request that you also dismount on the very narrow streets approaching the Don Ferrante B&B as some of the roads are one way (you'll be facing oncoming traffic), and also very narrow. You will be becoming familiar with these streets by now, and a pleasent stroll is the perfect end to the day.

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

Polignano a Mare

The old town is a lovely place for a stroll around. When you cross the bridge, look out for the spectacular beach with the buildings clinging to the cliffs. Don't stop on the bridge to take photos, if you'd like to do this, park the bike after the bridge and walk back on the pavement!

Conversano: Castello Aragonese

The Castle in Conversano is an 11th Century castle with an even longer history, having been re-build from a much more ancient fortress. It does tend to close from 1pm - 4pm, so worth checking if it will be open when you arrive.

Food & Drink

Polignano a Mare is a lovely stop for gelato, coffee or a crepe, the old town is particularly nice and you should dismount the bike to wander through. After this you will reach Conversano around half way through your ride. The medieval castle is worth a visit, but although there are some restaurants (particularly near the castle), be wary that not many seem to open around lunchtime (when you are likely to arrive), and shops close around lunchtime too. There is definitely a laid-back Italian attitude to opening hours here!

We would advise you take a picnic, just in case. Beyond Conversano there are no large towns so you won't find much more opportunity for food or drink until returning to Monopoli, where there is an abundance of great places to eat. Of course, always take plenty of drinking water too.


Don Ferrante Boutique Hotel, Monopoli (4 m)
40.953877, 17.305499
40°57'14.0"N 17°18'19.8"E
33T 694038 4536196


Don Ferrante Boutique Hotel, Monopoli

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Begin with your back to Don Ferrante B&B, facing the sea. You will then TURN LEFT towards the harbor.

0.05 km – Before your reach the stone arch, TURN LEFT onto Via Orazio Comes. Continue STRAIGHT ON along this narrow street (beware of traffic from behind and pull aside to let cars past as the street is very narrow). Pass under the building archway then TURN LEFT and immediately TURN RIGHT.

0.45 km – The road opens out into a square, continue STRAIGHT ON being wary of traffic at intesections.

0.5 km – Go STRAIGHT ON exiting the square along Via Castelfidardo. For the next stage, you will be negotiating the one way system in Monopoli. This can take a little caution, in particular when reaching each junction and checking for signs or checking your route finding app. If you are not confident riding in busy towns, please do dismount and walk the bike along the pavement, using the crossings.

0.8 km – TURN RIGHT onto Via N Bixio

1.0 km - Take the third left turn to TURN LEFT along Via Marsala

1.2 km – At the busy junction, BEAR LEFT (remember you can dismount to use the foot crossing if you are unsure). After 25m you will pass under the railway and should immediately TURN RIGHT.

1.3 km - At the top of the hill, TURN RIGHT on Via Serg. Corbacio Eustachio, then when you reach the junction BEAR RIGHT (you will be facing a railway crossing) and immediately TURN LEFT onto Via Arenazza, before the railway crossing. Continue STRAIGHT ON keeping the railway on your right hand side.

1.7 km – BEAR LEFT away from railway (ignore right hand road), to stay on Via Arenazza.

1.9 km – When the road divides, BEAR RIGHT onto Via Baione.

2.1 km – At the stop sign, stop before crossing the busier road carefully to continue STRAGHT ON.

2.2 km – Travel around the roundabout to continue STRAIGHT ON. You now have a long stretch on this road.

4.3 km – TURN RIGHT into an industrial area. The street is called Contrada Passionista although the signs are not obvious. If you look out for a large seafood producer “Mare Gioioso”, this will indicate you are at the correct turn. After 100m, at the T-Junction, TURN LEFT to keep Mare Gioioso on your left.

5.1 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON under the underpass with care. Immediately after the underpass, TURN LEFT to keep the busy road on your left hand side.

5.5 km – At the crossroads, TURN RIGHT, and ignore the left hand turn soon after this. This road is a little rougher, but still a comfortable ride.

6.7 km – TURN LEFT to take the newer road over the railway. Do not continue down the track alongside the railway, as this leads to a dangerous crossing. The new road will take you over a bridge safely.

8.3 km – TURN RIGHT when you reach the T-Junction then after around 100m TURN LEFT onto a busier road, keeping the motorway to your right hand side. Take care at the junction when the road dips, and continue STRAIGHT ON.

9.9 km – Take care at this junction to TURN RIGHT then as soon as you pass under the motorway, TURN RIGHT again, followed immediately by a third TURN RIGHT to join Via Vito Cosimo Basile. This route negotiates the one-way system, however if you wish you could continue straight (instead of taking the third right turn, but you would need to dismount as this is a one-way street.

10.3km  - At the busy junction with Via Pompeo Sarnelli, TURN LEFT with care.

10.5 km – At the small roundabout, TURN RIGHT. (If you walked the bike from the earlier point mentioned, this is where you re-join the route)

10.7 km – At the next, smaller roundabout, TURN LEFT then take the first TURN RIGHT  onto Via Togliatti.

11.0 -km – At the roundabout go STRAIGHT ON then carefully immediately TURN LEFT off the road onto the seaside cycle path, keeping the sea on your right hand side. Enjoy this winding path (being careful of pedestrians of course) for around 600m.

11.6 km – As the path opens out into a large car park / tarmac area, cross the tarmac area to TURN LEFT along Via Rodolovich II. Take care at the small crossings until you reach Via Cerere when you should TURN RIGHT.

12.1 km – At the stop sign, stop before BEAR RIGHT onto busier road. This is a good point to dismount your bike and take a stroll to the right into the old town.

12.3 km – Cross the bridge which has an beautiful view over the beach and cliffs with buildings clinging to them. Do not stop on the bridge. Dismount before if you’d like to take a photo.

12.5 km – BEAR LEFT to continue on the same road (Via S Vito). After this point a cycle path will begin on the right hand side, which you should use.

14.0 km – At a road junction, the cycle path continues downhill, however you should TURN LEFT onto the road then immediately TURN RIGHT to rejoin the main road in the same direction as you were previously traveling.

14.3 km – You will be turning left at a junction to continue under the motorway. This is a tricky junction, as the traffic is often busy. If you are confident, signal and TURN LEFT to pass under the SS16 motorway. If you are hesitant, we would advise you pull in as far as you can to the right and wait for clear traffic to make the turn.

14.9 km – You will see some signs indicating no bikes beyond this point. This is your signal to TURN LEFT off this busy road, just before the warning signs that indicate you are approaching a motorway (once again, take care and stop first if you are unsure). Do not continue past these warning signs. Once you have turned left, immediately TURN RIGHT, then after around 50m TURN LEFT once again onto a more gravely road.

15.9 km – When you reach the junction to leave the rougher road, TURN LEFT  then soon after BEAR LEFT (follow Conversano sign).

17.2 km – At the junction with the Vineyard Tenuta Terre Di San Vito,  BEAR RIGHT to continue straight.

17.6 km – With Neapolis Grupponitti on your right, BEAR LEFT ignoring road to the right.

18.3 km – At the divide in the road, BEAR LEFT.

19.2 km – Ignore road straight ahead to TURN RIGHT

19.8 km – At T-Junction, TURN RIGHT then after 100m TURN LEFT.

20.5 km – At 4-way junction, CONTINUE STRAIGHT (sign Contrada Pesciacrice)

21 km – At the divide in the road with house in the middle, BEAR LEFT.

22.1 km – At T-Junction, TURN RIGHT

23.7 km At T-Junction, TURN RIGHT (a religious monument and benches will be on your left, and are a good spot for a rest).

24.6 km, at Junction, TURN RIGHT (taking care as always to give way).

25 km – As you enter the town of Conversano, look for a sign indicating that the road ahead is one way, and just before this sign you should TURN RIGHT onto Via L Gallo. 

25.3 km – At car parking area, TURN LEFT then quickly reach the divide in the road, where you should BEAR RIGHT to follow one-way system.

25.4 km – TURN RIGHT at the junction (take care as this street is busy and narrow. When you reach the roundabout at the top of the hill, TURN RIGHT (you will feel like you are doubling back on your path – that’s OK!).

25.7 km – as you round the hill, you will see the ancient buildings around Castello Aquaviva D’Aragona to your left. We suggest at this point you stop safely to the right, and use the crossing to cross to BEAR LEFT off this main road, up the paved area towards Piazza Castello, before you TURN LEFT along Piazza Castello, keeping the Castello to your left. (Unless the road is quiet, in which case simply turn left towards the Castle. Take care – although it looks like a pedestrian area, it does allow traffic. There are some restaurants near here.

25.8 km CONTINUE STRAIGHT along Via Porta Antica Della Citta, leaving the Piazza.

26.0 km – Look out for a T-Junction sign ahead. Before you reach it, TURN RIGHT along the narrow street Via Tarsia. Soon after, BEAR LEFT where you will see a steeper descent with cobbled steps, which passes under an arch. Dismount and walk the bike down. At the bottom, you may return to the saddle and TURN LEFT along Corso Umberto I.

26.2 km – at the square, TURN RIGHT down Via Guiseppe di Vagno

26.3 km – TURN LEFT down Via Stefano Martino then TURN LEFT again onto Via Fratelli Rossellini. These streets and one way systems can be tricky, don't worry if you go slightly awry, as long as you reach Via Fratelli Rossellini and turn left onto it.

26.5 km – Reach the roundabout, continue STRAIGHT ON (bearing slightly left) on Corso Dante Alighieri.

26.9 km – TURN RIGHT onto Via Monopoli.

27.1 km – Stay on Via Monopoli as it bears slightly right, then TURN LEFT onto Via Sant’ Antonio Abate. This is a fairly indistinct junction, but you should be able to see the Pala San Giacomo large sports complex ahead of you at the point you should turn. Around 100m after this turn, you should take care to cross the railway level crossing (be mindful of any stop signs and lights).

27.7 km – At the T-Junction, TURN RIGHT

28.2 km – As the road divides, BEAR LEFT

28.7 km – At the next devide, also BEAR LEFT

30.5 km – Then you should ignore any side roads until a T-Junction. At the T-Junction TURN LEFT

31.4 km – At the T-Junction, TURN RIGHT

33.1 km – At the crossroads, continue STRAIGHT ON.

33.8 km – At the crossroads with traffic light signals, continue STRAIGHT ON (paying heed to lights).

34.7 km - At the large junction with the religious monument, TURN RIGHT.

35.3 km - You will come to a point where there are two roads leading off to the left, very close together, with a gated house in-between. Take the second road to TURN LEFT. (NB there is a left turn just before this pair of roads, which should also be ignored). Stay on this road as it twists and turns.

37 km – Take care on approach to a junction that is hard to spot in advance, then TURN RIGHT at this junction.

37.3 km – TURN RIGHT (to continue on the same road) at the Junction.

37.7 km – BEAR LEFT to avoid the no-entry sign indicated ahead,

38.3 km – You will come to a large junction with two possible routes off to the right. The first is close to a right angle, the second almost doubles back on your route. You should TURN RIGHT on the first, ignoring the smaller road which doubles back. There are a few stop signs at this junction but be wary of approaching traffic from behind you.

38.9 km – At the T-Junction TURN LEFT sign reads Padre Sergio.

39.4 km – Look out for a right turn where two properties with similar large gated walls flank the side road. You should TURN RIGHT here.

40.4 km - Ignore right turn signed for San Gerardo

40.5 km - TURN LEFT where sign reads S VINCENZO

44.0 km - After a lengthy stretch downhill, look out for a right turn after a white building and TURN RIGHT. There is not much of note here, but as you turn right there will be an agricultural producer to your left (depending on the time of year you will see poly-tunnels or their frames). Immediately afterwards, TURN LEFT to pass through this agricultural producer. Should you feel you have missed this turning, you will be alerted if you feel the road start to incline slightly after the very long downhill! In that case turn carefully to retrace your route.

44.9 km - Ignore a rougher road continuing straight, and BEAR LEFT to stay on your road.

46.3 km - Pass under the motorway.

46.8 km - At stop sign, take care then continue STRAIGHT ON.

47.3 km At stop sign, take care then continue STRAIGHT ON. The traffic will be getting busier so take care.

47.6 km - At the next stop sign, TURN RIGHT onto Viale Aldo Moro.

47.7 km - At the busy roundabout, TURN LEFT. If you are not feeling confident and traffic is very heavy, you could dismount and use the pedestrian crossings.

47.8 km - BEAR RIGHT to follow the one way system and heed the following instructions......

48.2 km – As you approach the railway, with the stepped pavement to your right hand side, we suggest you pull to the side and stop safely well in advance of the upcoming railway underpass and dismount the bike, moving onto the pavement. This can be a very tricky junction when busy, with traffic approaching fast from many directions, so please do dismount and walk the bike (which is also a way to skip the one-way system). The pavement on the right hand side towards the junction is narrow and has steps, but the steps are very wide so it is possible to push your bike, guiding it down with realative ease. After you pass STRAIGHT ON under the railway bridge (on the pavement to the right hand side), proceed for a short distance then TURN RIGHT onto Via Roma. You will have skipped much of the one-way system! On Via Roma, you can once again get on the bike and continue.

48.7 km - TURN LEFT onto Via Calatafimi. This is a narrow road so take care, you are following the one way system of traffic.

48.9 km - When you reach Piazza Alessandro Manzoni, TURN LEFT after the Square. At this point, the one-way system once again becomes tricky to negotiate, so we would suggest dismounting from the bikes on the corner of Piazza Manzoni and Largo Vescovado (the next right turn) to TURN RIGHT. You will be in familiar surroundings now, so you can push the bike to the left to BEAR LEFT to re-join Via Barbacana. Please note this is one of the very narrow old town streets and the one-way system is not in your favour! Therefore we would suggest pushing the bike and pulling to the side to allow any traffic to pass. Continue STRAIGHT ON and you will reach Castello Carlo V once again.

49.5 km - Your accommodation at Don Ferrante B&B is to your right.


all notes on protected areas


40.953877, 17.305499
40°57'14.0"N 17°18'19.8"E
33T 694038 4536196
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Always be prepared to cycle through a change of weather conditions and do check for any local weather warnings before cycling. Make sure to always carry weather appropriate gear and clothing with you (including sun protection).  Most cyclists wear [fingerless] cycle gloves for some padding on the handlebars. Don't forget a spare battery pack for an emergency charge of any navigation unit you may decide to use.

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Tony Dunn
September 15, 2020 · Community
Outskirts of Pogliano
Photo: Tony Dunn, Community
Photo: Tony Dunn, Community
Photo: Tony Dunn, Community
Photo: Tony Dunn, Community
Photo: Tony Dunn, Community
Photo: Tony Dunn, Community

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Outskirts of Pogliano
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387 m


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