Between the olive trees in Apulia, self 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. Youwill be cycling approximately 30 km a day (about 3 hours of leisurely cycling), mainly crossing secondary roads, with sea-breaks, guided visits and wine and local products tastings. We follow the philosophy of “slow-moving” to fully enjoy the surrounding landscape and the culture with all its different aspects. GPS maps will guide you through the most suggestive and less busy roads.
Duration: 8 days
Departure: every Friday and Saturday 22/03/2019 - 06/07/2019 (last departure) and 30/08/2019 - 02/11/2019 (last departure)
Price: 600,00 eur per person
- accommodation (7 nights) in B&B, small family ran hotels or farms
- 2 tasings of wine, cheeses and local products
- transportation of luggages
- GPS with tracks
- road book with cultural information and tips about the route
- 24 hrs assistance on phone (english speaking)
- the costs of transportation for getting to Lecce
- bike rent: trekking bike 21 gears 80,00 eur; e-bike 170,00 eur
- guide / assistant
- lunches and dinners
- 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
arrive in Lecce
Meeting in Lecce. Bicycle delivery, with GPS navigator. Briefing about the route.
Lecce – Otranto 56 km
Flat route today, with many interesting cultural and naturalistic sights. First youvisit Acaya – a fortified city with a huge castle and then you plunge down to “Le Cesine” – a WWF protected area, crossing point for many species of migratory birds. From there you head towards the coast, along the ruins of Roca Vecchia – an ancient Bronze age city – and ‘Alimini’ Lakes. Some more kilometers and you are in Otranto, where narrow streets reveal wonders at every corner: the St. Peter church 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.
Otranto's surroundings 35 km
Exploring Otranto’s surroundings day. Riding along the little river “Idro” (“water”), which gave the name to the city, you arrive in Casamassela, where old looms are still being used in “le Costantine” foundation. After a guided tour you move toward Giurdignano, crossing a Bronze age megalithic park containing huge stones (“dolmen” and “menhir”), and you arrive to “La Cutura” botanic garden. Here ‘Toto’ will lead you through his incredible plants collection (unique in Europe for its cactus species). In late morning visit to a characteristic stone-made oven, where you will taste typical bread, cheese and other baker products. Return to Otranto and free dinner in the historical centre.
Otranto – Lueca coast 52 km
Today you cycle along the wildest Salento coastal stretch. You visit ‘Palacìa’ lighthouse (far east point of Italy) and a little red lake surfaced in a disused bauxite quarry. Then you carry on riding along the coast: nestled among the cliffs above the sea, this road is a huge balcony that looks onto Otranto Strait. With a little bit of luck you will able to see the mountains of Albania and Greece. You could visit ‘Zinzulusa’ cave, going down nearly 200 feet into the earth bowels. On the way we 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,) you reach Santa Maria di Leuca where you visit the sanctuary, following the ancient pilgrims footsteps.
Leuca – Gallipoli 61 km
Today you discover 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 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. Finally you visit Leuca piccola (‘little Leuca’), an important pilgrimage station which still maintains a vast underground area. Through olive groves and dry stone walls you’ll reach Ugento, a chance to visit its archaeological museum. In the afternoon you’ll reach again the ionic coast until the St. Andrew’s island and “Punta Pizzo” natural park. In Gallipoli you could enjoy an aperitif on a terrace overlooking the sea. Located on an island, this small fisherman village is striking by its light, its alleys and its fish market.
Gallipoli's surroundings 30/60 km
Day dedicated to Gallipoli’s surroundings. First stop is in Sannicola to discover its underground oil mill, then Tuglie with its amazing “rural culture museum”.You ‘ll go to Galatone to visit its beautiful Baroque old town and the Norman castle of Fulcignano. In the afternoon you reach Galatina where you can admire the church of Santa Caterina, totally painted with frescoes in Giottesco style, and then visit the beautiful historical center of the town. Possible return by train.
way back to Lecce 42 km
Last day of your trip. You ’ll pass by many 19th century fortified farmhouses and villas on your way back to Lecce. You stop in Nardò to visit its decadent baroque style historical center. Next stop in Copertino to discover its impressive Norman castle and listen to stories about ‘the hopi of flights’. Some km before Lecce a last stop at a handcraft traditional pottery, at the Martina brothers, skillful keepers of this ancient art.
Late afternoon arrival in Lecce and bikes drop off.