Off the beaten path of bike trip in Puglia
The map says Italy, it is south point of heel of the boot shape: Salento
Though you may feel you’ve strayed into Greece, and that’s a part of Puglia’s appeal. Endless olive groves, a rugged coastline and the blue-green Adriatic.
The people are welcoming and down-to-earth, the cuisine rustic and satisfying: enjoy regional specialties that include fresh seafood, orecchiette pasta, and Salice Salentino the powerful red wine from Lecce.
Bike ride past ancient stone villages, prehistoric menhirs and crypts into the picturesque seaside town of Otranto, then dinner by the sea in this former Byzantine stronghold.
Explore a scenic cliff-side grotto and cycle along the coast to the southern tip of western Europe with views all the way to the Balkans on a clear day.
Cycle past the Alimini Lakes and through the Graecia Salentina, an area famous for its charming, historic villages and the distinctive local dialect.
The tour starts and ends in the gorgeous city of Lecce.
You’ve found your perfect cycling trip
Cycling Southern Italy Highlights
- The medieval village of Castro and Grotta Zinzulusa.
- The Aragonese Castle, the cathedral with its impressive Renaissance rose window and the village surrounded by walls, in Otranto.
- Cycling along Italy’s most stunning coastal road to Otranto:Baia di Enea.
- Bike from coast to coast, from the Ionian to the Adriatic.
Arrival day - Welcome in Lecce
One day to visit Lecce and explore the surrounding delighting your sense with the local food & wine, astonishing your view with the Baroque architecture, Castles and Palaces that make this region unique. Take a walk in the beautiful historical center of Lecce, losing yourself among its baroque palaces, do not forget to visit the cathedral and its square, the Church of Santa Croce and Amphitheater.
After breakafst Meet&Greet at hotel and professional bike fitting.
Start the ride cycling towards the Ionian coast via Copertino explore charming villages and fascinating landscape - Reach the coast at Sant’isidoro where amazing beaches await for you – a stop for a jump is suggested. Continue skirting the coast going south and pass Santa Caterina e Santa Maria Al bagno- many option to stop for a lunch on beach club – arrive at the fishing town of Gallipoli enjoying the local food & wine with the people that craft it.
A must to do is the evening stroll in the typical streets of the old town
Santa Maria di Leuca
Leave Gallipoli along the beautiful Ionian Sea, directed towards south: today Cristalline water, amazing rocky gardens and eclectic villas, more epicurean adventure will disclose the eastern strip of Italy after a coast to coast ride to reach the Adriatic sea.
Cost about 25 km away and arrive Torre San Giovanni and continue to Torre Vado, Torre Mozza and San Gregorio another 25 km towards the southern part of the heel of the boot: Santa Maria Di Leuca. Here the land ends at a lighthouse and sanctuary that has drawn pilgrims for centuries. Do not miss art nouveau buildings and the basilica de finibus terrae of Santa Maria Di Leuca
Terrain: Rolling hills
Today is the most spectacular ride: from Leuca , the direction of your cycling route will be the North, and with the Adriatic Sea on your right you will cycle towards Otranto distant about 55 km, crossing Tricase Porto and Castro Marina and Santa Cesarea Terme. Do not miss to stop at medieval village of Castro and Cave Zinzulusa
Once in Otranto we suggest the visit of the town: the beautiful Cathedral with its rose window and interior mosaic, and the Aragonese castle and its defensive walls. Strongly suggested a sea fish dinner.
Baia di Enea
Terrain: Flat & Rolling hills
An easy loop to allow the inland exploration of many little authentic villages Minervino, Giurdignano, Cocumula e Cerfignano, and reach again the coast and pass again the beautiful Porto Badisco and enchanting Baia di Enea
Back to Otranto
Skirting the coast pedaling north, along Alimini lakes , ponds of fresh water flowing into the sea, after about 20 km you will reach the seaside town of Torre dell’Orso, a must: beach and swim in a fantastic blue sea . pass San Foca and the the Cesine WWF natural reserve, famous for bird watching before arrive the little town of Acaya, with a huge castle at short distance from Lecce.
Palazzo dei Dondoli - LeccePalazzo Dei Dondoli: charming, boutique style, exclusivity, in the heart of beautiful Lecce art city and Salento. Housed in a residence of the '900,the palace includes within it the charming Court of swings, a small agora, the heart of the palace, who won all the senses.
Palazzo Mosco - GallipoliPalazzo Mosco Inn is a period residence of the nineteenth century, located in Gallipoli, in the heart of the old town centre, still nowadays a fishing village. Among the lanes and the small courtyards that smell of history and tradition, behind the beautiful St. Agatha’s Cathedral, Palazzo Mosco Inn is the ideal place to enjoy the comfort of a beach holiday in the centre of the town, close to historic sites, cultural places and amazing landscape.
Corte Palmieri - GallipoliRelais Corte Palmieri is a wonderful historical house dating back to 1700 situated in the dense maze of alleys, streets and squares of the famous fishing village of Gallipoli. Characterized by sunny terraces and walls covered by colorful bougainvillea, this beautiful unique building, evocates a Moroccan Riad.
Montiro - LeucaHeralding spectacular views over a beautifully landscaped mediterranean garden. as the only retreat in over 12 acres of unspoiled wilderness teeming with wildlife to explore exclusively, your experience at the Montiró hotel is intimate and truly exceptional.
Valle dell'Idro - OtrantoFew minutes walking from Otranto old town and from local beaches, the Relais Valle dell’Idro is an exclusive hotel where you can appreciate design and details attention, the location allows you to enjoy a breathtaking view of Valley, old town and Adriatic Sea. Rooms are comfortable, bright and chic. Indoor and outdoor breakfast area - terraces is perfect for the “happy-hour” time at the sunset. There is also a roof top with solarium area and hot tub.
Luxury upgrade in Gallipoli: Palazzo del CorsoThe five star luxury Hotel Palazzo Del Corso is an elegantBoutique Hotel situated in the main street of Gallipoli, just a few steps awayfrom the old town centre. Born from the renovation of two ancient buildings of XIX century, the Hotel reflects the love for luxury and the attention to detail. Panoramic terrace with a hydro massage-pool.
Price & Inclusions
Cost: Euro 1530 per person in double occupancy
Single room supplement euro 450
Six nights in four star superior and luxury hotels
Bike Delivery in Lecce and professional bike fitting
Route notes, maps, elevation gain and city map
Sightseeing, restaurant and shopping suggestions
All Baggage transfers
Garmin Edge Touring (one for 2 people)
Drop Off bikes and gear in Lecce
Keepsake Cicloposse water bottle
Bike Rental for entire tour
Hybrid bike euro 180
Race bike euro 220
City Tax each village charges a tax per each day between euro 1 to 4,00.
Airport pick & drop off