Between the olive trees in Apulia, guided
Puglia is a region in southern Italy or the Italian “heel”, which is proud of its trulli houses, traditional masserias, the oldest olive trees in the world and a high quality olive oil, very tasty food and authentic lifestyle.
Salento is a region that is almost completely flat, making the ride a pleasant journey for any level of rider. We will be cycling between 30km and 60km a day, mainly crossing secondary roads, with sea-breaks and guided visits. We follow the philosophy of “slow moving” to fully enjoy the surrounding landscape, to discover small, typical villages, masserias, rural roads and workshops …
This tour is suitable for both families and couples, as well as for small groups of friends.
Duration: 9 days
Departure: 14/04 - 22/04; 12/05 - 20/05; 16/06 - 24/06; 08/09 - 16/09; 13/10 - 21/10
Price: 1560,00 eur per person
- accommodation (8 nights) in small family ran hotels or farms, in dbl room
- HB treatment – breakfasts and dinners, drinks included
- english speaking assistant for the tour
- 3 tastings of local food, cheeses and wine
- trip on a sailing boat, with lunch
- home made pasta cooking class
- bike rent (hybrid bike 21 gears)
- bike assistance and mechanic
- transportation of luggage
- the costs of transportation for getting to Lecce
- supplement for e-bike 110,00 eur
- anything not mentioned under “the price includes”
***The itinerary is only indicative, detailed description and any other information will be available at the moment of confirmation
arrival in Lecce
Meeting in Lecce. Bicycle delivery, Briefing about the route. Welcome dinner.
Lecce – Otranto 56 km
Flat route, with many interesting cultural and naturalistic sights. First we visit Acaya – a fortified city with a huge castle – and then we plunge down to “Le Cesine” – a WWF protected area, crossing point for many species of migratory birds. Seafood Tasting in San Foca for lunch. From there we head to the coast, along the ruins of Roca Vecchia – an ancient Bronze age city – and ‘Alimini’ Lakes. Some more kilometers and we are in Otranto, where narrow streets reveal wonders at every corner: the San Peter church Byzantine frescoes, a walk along the ramparts overlooking the sea and finally the cathedral with his paved mosaic, a sort of figurative Middle Age encyclopedia.
Otranto's surroundings 30 km
Exploring Otranto’s surroundings. Ride along the little river “Idro” (“water”), which gave its name to the city, you arrive in Casamassela, where ancient looms are still being used nowadays at “le Costantine” foundation. After a guided tour we move towards Giurdignano, crossing a Bronze age megalithic area containing huge stones (“dolmen” and “menhir”), and we arrive at “La Cutura” botanic garden. Here ‘Toto’ will lead you through his incredible plants collection, unique in Europe for its cactus species. Then we will have a tasting lunch in a characteristic stone-made oven, enjoying typical products and local wine. Further we go back to Otranto and we are free to enjoy the afternoon in the shop area, swimming in a little beach close to the town or doing an horse ride along the cliffs at sunset (suitable also for beginners).
Otranto – Leuca coast 52 km
Today we cycle along the wildest Salento coastal stretch: the ‘Palacìa’ lighthouse (far east point of Italy) and a little red lake surfaced in a disused bauxite quarry are between the most interesting spots. Nestled among the cliffs above the sea, this road is a huge balcony that looks onto Otranto Strait. With a little bit of luck we will able to see the mountains of Albania and Greece. We could visit ‘Zinzulusa’ cave, going down nearly 200 feet into the earth bowels. On the way we can also admire some terraces and dry walls, the ingenious devices of peasants to get arable land in barren and impervious areas. After crossing the bridge over the “ciolo” (a small and rich in rare flora canyon carved by the waters,) we reach Santa Maria di Leuca where you visit the sanctuary, following the ancient pilgrims footsteps.
Leuca Cape's treasures 22 km
Little cycle route discovering Leuca Cape, the southern part of Apulia. After an astonishing defense tower – situated in the centre of a small village – it is time to visit an ancient olive mill, dug into the rock, and then an enigmatic funerary monument made by big stones (its name “centopietre”, means “hundred stones”), coming from Vereto, an ancient pre-romanic town situated nearby. In Giuliano we’ll find a castle and a X century church. Finally we visit Leuca piccola (‘little Leuca’), an important pilgrimage station which still maintains a vast underground area. At the end of the morning sailing boat excursion, discovering the most beautiful corners and caves of the coast, with lunch served onboard. Return to the port in late afternoon and free evening in Leuca.
The Ionic coast 65 km
We start riding up the west coast of Salento, where rock give way to wide beaches with crystal clear water. After some km we are again in the the countryside, through olive groves and dry stone walls and we’ll reach a farmhouse, for a cookery class to learn how to make homemade pasta and a tasting of organic products. Then, we’ll move on to Gallipoli where we’ll enjoy a rich aperitif. Located on an island, this small fisherman village is striking by its light, its alleys and its fish market. After a delicious ice cream, we ride again toward the San Mauro church: one of the hidden treasure of this country, hosting an ancient Byzantine frescoes cycle. Enjoying the sunset we cycle to Santa Caterina, Quiet village on the borders of Porto Selvaggio Natural Park. In the afternoon optional kayaking in the Park of Porto Selvaggio.
Gallipoli's surroundings 48 km
This is a day dedicated to Gallipoli’s surroundings. We first stop in Sannicola to discover its underground oil mill, then Tuglie with its amazing “rural culture museum”. Then we ride through Neviano, to visit the ruins of Macugno abbey, and then Cutrofiano, where you can step in the “fossil park”. Organic lunch at “Piccapane” a little farm house, where Giuseppe will cook the vegetables you will have picked yourself! In the afternoon we reach Galatina where you can contemplate the church of Santa Caterina, totally painted with frescoes, in Giottesco style, and then visit the beautiful historical town centre. Later, you stop in the vinery “Santi Dimitri”, to discover the secrets of oil and wine making…followed by a wine and cheese tasting, of course!
to Lecce 42 km
Last day of our trip. We will admire many XIX century fortified farmhouse and villas we will meet on the way back to Lecce. We will stop in Nardò to visit its decadent baroque style historical center. Next stop will be in Copertino to discover its impressive Norman castle and listen to stories about Sant Joseph of Cupertino, “the hopi of flights”. Some km before Lecce, last stop at a handcraft traditional pottery, at the ‘Martina brothers’, skillful keepers of this ancient art. By the end of the afternoon, we will have a long dinner in one of the best restaurants in town.