Lecce, Bacchus and BaroqueSalento - PugliaDifficulty path:
Lecce will host you, the baroque city par excellence. Here you will spend your nights during your bike trip, staying in a fine B&B within the elegant city centre.
Lecce is a vibrant city, which downtown streets light up at sunset to animate the pleasant and warm evenings.
In a few days you will discover the beautiful land inhabited by the ancient Messapi: cycling to its most hidden corners and, at the table, you will be attracted by ancient recipes still used in its restaurants.
The most beautiful coasts of Puglia
Otranto, Gallipoli and the enchanted Acaya
The “Green Gold” and the underground oil mills
The “Lecce Stone” and its uses
The medieval Abbey of Cerrate on the Via Francigena
Salento Street Food
Welcome to Salento, Land of Sun, Sea and Wind.
The Baroque capital of southern Puglia will welcome you: a unique city, elegant and tidy. Here the sun reflects the white stones that adorn the hundred churches enclosed in its historical centre and fills with light this city that will dazzle you for its beauty.
Gallipoli and the west coast
Early in the morning you will reach Gallipoli with private transfer. Its old town is enclosed in a rocky island that is accessed by an 18th century bridge. The village is a real “gallery” in Baroque style adorned with Neapolitan and Apulian paintings. Hence the use of local stone, carparo, did not allow the same decorations that the stonecutters were able to make in Lecce. So Gallipoli has its own Baroque, whitewashed and painted gold on precious wood in Rococo style.
Clean facades of the many churches hide sumptuous and magnificent interiors. The history of this town is tied to its “green gold” and you will discover it in one of the many oil mills that the old town still preserves under its palaces.
Left Gallipoli you will drive along a stretch of coast up to Porto Selvaggio Reserve; from here you will ride in the hinterland discovering the village of Copertino, home of the Holy Flying San Giuseppe, and Nardò, popular due to its wine cellars and its beautiful historic centre. Here Wine tasting.
Back in Lecce we advise you to try a delicious ice cream at one of the popular ice cream shop near Sant’Oronzo Square.
Lands of Acaya
Today’s itinerary is dedicated to Le Cesine nature Reserve and the fortified village of Acaya.
You will drive along the Fondone, a long road leading up to Le Cesine. Within the reserve there is a provincial highway now become a long cycle path surrounded by olive trees and reeds. You will then reach the sea, where it will be easy to find a shack near the shore for a break before or after a dip in the beautiful sea adjacent to the reserve.
Again on the bike to return to the city. The route includes a stop almost mandatory in the small and enchanting village of Acaya. Here if you are lucky you will find open a tiny bar/grocery where you can find almost everything. After visiting the Castle which houses a Byzantine fresco still being studied, you will take the road to Lecce.
Sun, sea and … Rustico! If you want to taste a typical Slow Street Food, we recommend the traditional Rustico Leccese. The historical origins of this goodness are uncertain, but the recipe is well known by many bakeries, bars or takeaways in town, so it will be easy to find it everywhere, even in the early hours of the morning. Enjoy your meal!
On the Via Francigena
After breakfast you will leave Lecce following Via Vecchia Frigole. First stop will be at “Lu Furnu” in Masseria Giammatteo, big agricultural centre during the Second World War. Here you can have excellent bread, sweet and spicy lace, cakes and, above all, the unbeatable pittule, very good especially if still hot.
After having enriched the palate, continue towards sea and reach the Adriatic coast.
The last stage today, purely historical, will be dedicated to Santa Maria in Cerrate, medieval Abbey commissioned by Count Tancredi and now reassessed by the Italian Environment Fund-FAI. After the visit you will back off Lecce trying to follow the roads once traveled by pilgrims heading to the ports of Otranto and Leuca, from where they embarked to the Holy Land.
Otranto and the East coast
After breakfast by private transfer you will get to the Blue Lake, an incredible place that preserves an emerald pond in bright red soil. From here you will begin to pedal backwards along the coast. In the blink of an eye you will reach Otranto, a city always stretched between East and West, that you cannot fail to visit.
Left Otranto behind you will cycle on a coastal road from which it will be easy to see and reach beautiful creeks: the Turkish Bay and its cliffs; Roca Vecchia and its Cave of Poetry; Sant' Andrea and its stacks.
Sun, sea and…Pasticciotto! If you have not already done so, just returned to Lecce taste the delicious local sweet, a single-portion pie made with pastry and stuffed with custard.
After breakfast end of services.
You can find a great souvenir at the Bar "Cotognata Leccese", where you can buy an excellent quince marmalade!
Tour programme variations
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example road works) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each biker can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.
Our offer includes
- 5 nights with breakfast
- Welcome briefing with Pasticciotto and Coffe & almond tasting
- Wine tasting
- Scheduled transfers day 2 & 5
- Information package
- Smartphone offline GPS app
- Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Meals and drinks
- Entrance fees and tips
- Bike rental
- Hotel tourist taxes (about € 10,00)
- Insurance and what's not listed as Included
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
This tour is suitable to anyone with a minimum of training to the bicycle. The daily mileage goes from 40 to 55 daily kilometers, with programmed pauses for visits and refreshments.
The bike will be a way to work off the good food and enjoy the many landscapes offered by this land. There will also be strictly cultural moments and the possibility of a refreshing swim in the clear sea of Puglia.
5 nights in an elegant 4* hotel or charming B&B in the historical centre of Lecce.
All rooms are ensuite.
5 breakfasts, 1 Welcome and 1 tasting included. All other meals are not included.
The morning of the second day, after breakfast, you will have a Welcome meeting.
In case of need you can call our emergency number ON from 8 to 21. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
During the welcome briefing you will receive your Information Package. The Package contains the following Travel Documents:
- updated Service List;
- Vouchers to be delivered to the partners;
- luggage Labels;
- Route notes: a summary of daily information.
Lecce is easily reachable by car, train, bus and by air.
BY AIR. The closest airports are Bari and Brindisi, both connected with the most important Italian and foreign cities.
The Salento airport of Brindisi is about 40 km from Lecce, and the airport of Bari-Palese is about 160 km from Lecce. From Bari and Brindisi there are several public transport solutions to reach Lecce. More info on the website Aeroporti di Puglia.
If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer with us.
BY BUS. Lecce is also accessible by bus. Here some of the major operating companies: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Busmiccolis, Sais autolinee, Buscenter.
BY CAR. The main highways are the A14 Bologna-Taranto and the A16 Napoli-Canosa. We recommend you exit the motorway in Bari and continue along the highway to Brindisi, then take the SS613 towards Lecce. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.