5 must-see things travelling by bike in the Gargano

5 must-see things travelling by bike in the Gargano

5 must-see things travelling by bike in the Gargano, perfect for a weekend outing

So, you decided to discover the Gargano by bicycle and you’re lookin’ for ideas? Or, you haven’t thought yet of the Gargano for a cycling holiday?

Gargano is a natural paradise, and the best way to discover it all is by bicycle. And, thanks to e-bikes, also the Sun Mountain becomes suitable for all!

THE FORESTA UMBRA

If you think of Gargano only as a sea destination, you might be wrong. Since 2017 the beech woods of the Foresta Umbra – together with the “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” – has become a UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) reserve, a Natural World Heritage. The peculiarity of the Foresta Umbra and other beechwood in the Gargano is that of being   “depressed”, that is of growing under 800 meters above sea level (the one in Ischitella starts growing at 200 meters).

The reason is that the geology is one of an island, and the Foresta Umbra represents the core of the primeval forest covering the entire promontory of the Sun Mountain in ancient times.

The Foresta Umbra covers about 10.000 hectares, which is almost one-tenth of the surface of the whole Gargano National Park. At the top, 832 meters, the Falascone reserve spot is where beechs and yews (Taxus baccata) flourishes, instead of the lower parts covered by oaks.  

At the top of the Foresta Umbra, the Visitor Center of the Gargano Nationalk Park hosts a museum (ticket € 2) featuring the diorama of the Gargano, lithic finds, the xylotheque and a reconstruction of the charcoal burners village.

if you want to rent a bicycle for a bike tour in the Foresta Umbra, you can call us or send a message on WhatsApp. We drop off and pick up your bicycles (minimum 2) at an agreed time, give you a map (or a GPS track for your smartphone) and illustrate the routes: thanks to the bicycle, you can make in a couple of hours a 10-15 km ring which by foot would take instead a half-day, while visiting all the important points of interest like Torre Palermo, Lago d’Otri and the Grava di Marianna.

TRABUCCHI COAST

The trabucco is an ancient phishing machine made of wood (Aleppo pine) widespread in the lower Adriatic, Abruzzo and Molise (where they are called trabocchi), and in the northern part of Apulia, especially in the Gargano. The trabucco of the Gargano has a particularly monumental structure. Its platform is stretched out directly sheer on the sea with long and numerous aerials from which the nets are dropped with a winch. The word trabucco comes from the similarity of its functioning at the one of the homonymous medieval catapult, whose etymology derives from the provencal trabucar: «pour, letting fall (from above)».

Nowadays there are about 20 remaining tracucchi along the coast from Monte Pucci, north of Peschici, to Pugnchiuso, south of Vieste. Much of them have been restored and are working for phishing demonstrations. In some cases, they have become beautiful locations for a toast overlooking the sea.  

THE GARGANO OF STONES

All the Gargano’s territory is dotted with archaeological sites dating back to the times of prehistory. The Sun Mountain is one the first places in Italy the Homo Sapiens choose to settle down due to the abundance of wood,  flint to produce tools and make fire, caves to find a shelter. The most important archaeological site f the Gargano is Grotta Paglicci in Rignano Garganico: its peculiarity is the fact that this is a real layers deposit which has been frequented first by the Neanderthal Man hundreds of thousands of years ago and then one tenth thousands of years ago by the Cro-Magnon Man, the last evolution of the Homo Sapiens, who let there some formidable traces of parietal art.

Again at the end of the Palaeolithic (12 – 10 thousand years ago) goes back the Riparo (shelter) di Sfinalicchio between Peschici and Vieste. On its walls geometrical figures and more complex and abstract composition have been engraved. Their meaning is difficult to interpret even they probably  were used for magical rituals. Not far from Sfinalicchio is the necropolis La Salata. It lays directly in front of the seas and immersed in a luxuriant oasis created by the homonymous brook of karst origins, this necropolis belonged to the near settlement of Merino in the territory of Vieste. For visits, it is necessary to book a guided tour thanks to the Museo Civico Archeologico di Vieste.

VICO DEL GARGANO

Vico del Gargano belongs to the most beautiful “borghi” (villages) in Italy. Il suo centro storico è il regno della roccia, che si fa portale, stemma, scalinata scoscesa e campanile, in un suggestivo presepe fatto di comignoli e tetti rossi, dove sembra che il tempo non sia mai passato: a Vico è possibile ancora oggi rivivere l’arte del telaio grazie al lavoro di Maria Voto e gli spazi sotterranei del borgo ospitano il Museo Trappeto Maratea, frantoio ipogeo testimone delle fatiche agricole dell’olivicoltura garganica. Un must-see è anche il Vicolo del Bacio, strada situata nel centro storico larga non più di 50 centimetri, luogo di incontro degli innamorati che, soprattutto il 14 febbraio, vi si danno appuntamento. E’ il periodo della raccolta delle arance, ma anche della festa patronale essendo San Valentino il protettore di Vico del Gargano.

Prima di partire da Vico, non possiamo non gustare la paposcia in un forno e alcuni dei prodotti di pasticceria a base di agrumi canditi. E, poi, un saluto ad un’oasi di tranquillità con un monumentale leccio del covento, un albero secolare il cui tronco ha raggiunto la circonferenza di 5 metri.

Scendiamo, quindi, lungo la strada dei Mulini che ci porterà alla frazione di San Menaio, non prima di una sosta presso la chiesetta rurale si Santa Maria Pura per ammirarne la monumentale Fontana Vecchia.

FERROVIE DEL GARGANO

Gargano is easy to reach with the bus or the train from Foggia. The trip itself with the Ferrovie del Gargano until the end of the line in Calenella is an unmissable experience. A breathtaking landscape plus the comfort of transporting free the own bicycles on the train.

We have designed for you this itinerary of almost a hundred kilometers. You can do this in one or two days, contacting us for organization and rental. We deliver your bicycles at the station of Peschici-Calenelle or at the terminal of Ferrovie del Gargano in Vieste. Don’t hesitate to ask us for more info.