Cycling with a local guide in southern Puglia

A group holiday to enjoy Salento art and culture, discover wonderful and unknown spots and taste local products... all in a slow and ecofriendly tour.

Salento is a region that is almost completely flat, therefore the ride is a pleasant journey for any level of riders.

You will be cycling between 30 and 50 km per day, mainly through secondary roads, with seaside or photo stops, guided tours and tastings.

The philosophy behind these holidays is the “slow tour” to fully enjoy the landscape and culture with all their different aspects.

  • Day 1: Arrival
  • Day 2: From Lecce to Otranto
  • Day 3: Otranto surroundings
  • Day 4: Otranto-Leuca coast
  • Day 5: Cape Leuca treasures
  • Day 6: Leuca to Gallipoli
  • Day 7: Gallipoli surroundings
  • Day 8: Back to Lecce
  • Day 9: Departure

Day 1: Arrival

You will reach Lecce on your own and meet your guide for the bikes delivery and the tour briefing.

Welcome dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2: From Lecce to Otranto (56km)

Flat route, with many interesting cultural and naturalistic sights.

First stop is Acaya, a fortified city with a huge castle, and then you move on to “Le Cesine”, a WWF protected area, crossing point for many species of migratory birds.

Seafood Tasting in San Foca. From there you head towards the coast, along the ruins of Roca Vecchia, an ancient Bronze age city, and the Alimini Lakes.

After a few more kilometres, you will reach Otranto, where narrow streets reveal wonders at every corner, such as St Peter church with its Byzantine frescoes, a walk along the ramparts overlooking the sea and
finally the cathedral with its paved mosaic, a sort of figurative Middle Age encyclopedia.

Day 3: Otranto surroundings (35 km)

Riding along the little river “Idro” (water), which gave the name to the city, you´ll get to Casamassela, where old looms are still being used in “Le Costantine Foundation".

After the guided tour, you´ll move towards Giurdignano, crossing a Bronze age megalithic park containing huge stones called “dolmen” and “menhir”.

Then, you´ll visit “La Cutura” botanic garden with its incredible plants collection (unique in Europe for its cactus species) before having a tasting lunch in a traditional stone-made oven, enjoying typical products and local wine.

Return to Otranto and free time. Optional horse ride along the cliffs at sunset.

Day 4: Otranto-Leuca coast (52 km)

This ride will take you along the wildest Salento coastal stretch.

You´ll see Punta Palascìa lighthouse (easternmost point of Italy) and a small red lake surfaced in a disused bauxite quarry.

You´ll keep cycling along the coast: nestled among the cliffs above the sea, this road is a huge balcony overlooking Otranto Strait. With a little bit of luck you will able to see the mountains of Albania and Greece.

You may visit the Zinzulusa seacave and then continue through terraces and dry walls.

After crossing the bridge over the “ciolo” (a small canyon carved by the waters,) you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca, famous for its sanctuary.

Day 5: Cape Leuca treasures (22 km)

You´ll explore Leuca Cape, the southernmost part of Apulia.

After an astonishing defense tower located in the centre of a small village, you´ll visit an ancient mill and an enigmatic funerary monument made by big stones (its name “centopietre”, means “hundred stones”).

Finally you´ll reach Leuca piccola (´little Leuca´), an important pilgrimage station which still maintains a vast undergound area.

In the late morning you´ll enjoy a sailing trip, discovering the most beautiful corners and caves of the coast, with lunch served on board.

Return to the port in the late afternoon and free evening in Leuca.

Day 6: Gallipoli and the Ionian coast (63 km)

Your day will start riding up the west coast of Salento, where cliffs decrease in favour of white sandy beaches.

Cycling across olive groves and dry stone walls you´ll reach a farmhouse, for a cookery class and a tasting of organic products.

Later you will move on to Gallipoli, a fisherman village located on a peninsula. After an aperitif and an ice cream, next stop is St Mauro church, with its ancient Byzantine frescoes cycle.

While enjoying the sunset on the Ionian sea, you´ll move on to Santa Caterina, a small village bordering Porto Selvaggio Nature Park.

In the afternoon optional kayaking in the Park of Porto Selvaggio.

Day 7: Gallipoli surroundings (60 km)

First stop of the day is Sannicola where you´ll discover its undergound oil mill. Then you´ll move to Tuglie and the amazing “rural culture museum” before you visit Neviano remains of Macugno abbey.

In Cutrofiano you´ll step inside a fossil park and for lunch you will stop by “Piccapane” farmhouse, where you pick up vegetables and Giuseppe cooks them for you.

In the afternoon you´ll get to Galatina old town and Santa Caterina church, which is totally painted with frescoes in Giotto style.

Later you´ll enjoy a visit of Santi Dimitri winery, where you´ll learn about the process of oil and wine making, and delight yourself with a wine & cheese tasting.

Day 8: Back to Lecce (52 km)

On your last day you´ll admire several 19th century fortified farmhouse and villas.

You´ll visit Nardò baroque old town and discover Copertino with its impressive Norman castle and its stories about St Joseph, ´the saint of fligths´.

Some km before Lecce, you´ll explore a traditional pottery workshop and finally reach Lecce where you´ll return your bikes.

Final dinner in one of the best restaurants in town.

Day 9: Goodbye Salento

Guided walking tour of Lecce and departure.

What´s included

  • 8 overnight stays, in double room, in villa, resort or farmhouse
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 8 meals
  • 3 tastings with wine, cheese and local products
  • 1 homemade pasta cookery class
  • 1 sailing boat excursions with lunch served on board
  • bike rental with accessories (hybrid bikes 21 gears)
  • bike assistance & mechanic
  • baggage transportation
  • 7 days route support
  • 24 hours English speaking escort guides
  • hotel taxes and service charges

Please note the min. number of participants to run the tour is 8 people.

Please contact us if you wish to add extra nights or take out one night.

Guided Bike Holidays

 

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Electric bike supplement
€120.00 (10%) ( Per week )
  
Single Supplement
€270.00 (10%) ( Per week )
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