Cycling holiday in Puglia: Lecce, Bacchus and BaroqueSalento - PugliaDifficulty path:
You will be based in Lecce, the baroque city par excellence. Here you will sleep in a 4-star hotel a stone's throw from the historic center.
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 from Lecce you will visit its most beautiful surroundings and, at the table, you will be attracted by its ancient typicality that local trattorias love to offer. Between those who faithfully follow the recipes of the gastronomic tradition and those who decide to revisit them a little, you will be spoiled for choice as well as plenty of time to choose your favorite!
Choose your date and travel with your own group, always accompanied by one expert local tour leader.
The most beautiful coasts of Puglia by bike
Otranto, Gallipoli and the enchanted Acaya
The “Green Gold” and the underground oil mills
Visit a Wine cellar in Nardò
The medieval Abbey of Cerrate on the Via Francigena
Salento Street Food
Welcome to Salento: the land of the Sun, the Sea and the Wind to be discovered on bicycle!
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.
Based in Lecce, during this relaxing Cycling holiday in Puglia you will discover the wonders of Salento peninsula.
In the late afternoon meeting with your local guide, bike delivery and dinner together.
Overnight in Lecce.
Gallipoli and the west coast
After a healthy and rich breakfast your Cycling holiday in Puglia begins.
Today we will reach Gallipoli, "beautiful city" in ancient Greek.
From Lecce we will cycle inland discovering the towns of Copertino, the city of the Saint who flies, and Nardò, popular thanks to its wine cellars and its beautiful historic center. Here visit and wine tasting at Schola Sarmenti.
From Nardò we will continue towards the Porto Selvaggio Reserve, and then it will be all along the coast up to today's destination of this first bicycle excursion in Salento: Gallipoli.
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.
In the afternoon, return to Lecce with a private transfer.
Lands of Acaya
Today’s itinerary is dedicated to Le Cesine nature Reserve and the fortified village of Acaya.
From Lecce we will cycle 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. Then we will reach the sea adjacent to the reserve for a nice regenerating dive or a group photo.
The route includes a stop almost mandatory in the small and enchanting village of Acaya. After visiting the Castle which houses a Byzantine fresco still being studied, we will return to Lecce by bicycle.
We will stop and visit a Slow Food farm, to taste some of its delicacies.
If you want to taste a typical Street Food of the area, 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 rustico and enrich on you Cycling holiday in Puglia.
On the Via Francigena
After breakfast we will leave Lecce by bike 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, we will continue towards Santa Maria in Cerrate, medieval Abbey commissioned by Count Tancredi and now reassessed by the Italian National Trust, the FAI.
Today's pedaling is then enriched by a stretch of dirt road inside the Rauccio Natural Park, following roads once traveled by pilgrims headed to the ports of Otranto or Leuca, from where they embarked in the wake of the Holy Land.
"Compulsory" stop at the sea and return to Lecce in the afternoon.
Otranto and the east coast
After breakfast, the last excursion of this cycling holiday in Puglia begins.
Today the destination to reach by bike is Otranto, a city that has always been a meeting point of cultures and trade from the East and the West.
We will ride on the coast road from which it will be easy to see and reach the most beautiful places in this part of Salento: Roca Vecchia and its Cave of Poetry, the long beaches of San foca and Torre dell'Orso, Sant' Andrea and its cliffs, the Alimini lakes.
Once in Otranto we will visit the enchanting historic center and the magnificent Norman cathedral. We leave some time for the last stretch by bike towards the Blue Lake, an incredible place that preserves an emerald pond in bright red soil.
In the afternoon transfer back for dinner included and last night in Lecce.
Last day in the "baroque living room" of the beautiful Lecce.
For a "final study" on typical delicacies we recommended a last brunch at the historic Bar Alvino in Piazza Sant'Oronzo ... and if you want to bring with you something of the typical Apulian food and wine, here is a small and simple recipe book.
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.
Our offer includes
- 5 nights with breakfast
- Local English speaking guide during excursions and dinners included
- 2 dinners (drinks excluded)
- Wine tasting and visit day 2
- Visit and tasting in masseria day 3
- Tasting of baked goods day 4
- Scheduled transfers day 2 & 5
- 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 guided Cycling Holiday in Puglia is suitable to anyone with a minimum of training to the bicycle. The daily mileage goes from 40 to 55 daily kilometers, with programmed pause for the visits and the 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 the luxury Palazzo dei Dondoli.
All rooms are ensuite.
In case of non-availability: the accommodation we choose is always within cycling distance of the main attractions, shops or restaurants. In case of limited availability we choose an alternative position with similar characteristics. Alternative details will be noted in the updated service list.
5 breakfasts, 2 dinners and 3 tastings included. All other meals are not included.
Tailor-made holiday for small private groups (min 5-max 12 people) or mini private groups (2-4 people, with supplement) of friends, families and colleagues.
Just choose your date and travel with your own group, always accompanied by one expert local tour leader.
You will be accompanied during the excursions and dinners by one of our expert guides, coordinator of the group and passionate about travel, nature and the territory visited. He/she will support you, becoming a travel companion and trying to meet the needs of the group, while being attentive to individual requests.
He/she will help make your vacation authentic, relaxing and fun.
A few days before departure you will receive by e-mail the documentation containing the latest information relating to your holiday.
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.
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.
If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.