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Essential Apulia

The coastline of Gallipoli 4
Cycling through beautiful Lecce The coastline of Gallipoli Typical Apulian landscape Typical Apulian village
The coastline of Gallipoli

Essential Apulia

  • Level
  • PriceFrom 515 euros
  • DAY5 nights / 6 days

More info: Receive detailed hotel list, bike specs, and route description

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Description

By exploring the Apulian countryside by bicycle, you will fall in love with the breathtaking landscapes featuring endless groves of olive and citrus trees as well as stunning sea coasts. Even the coastline will have a variety of beaches, grottos, gullys, and lighthouses! If you are keen on history and art, Apulia has beautiful streets and incredible local architecture (Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman). The Otranto Cathedral, a highlight of this tour, has one of the largest floor mosaics in Europe. This tour also features castles, ornate basilicas, and ancient ruins. Lecce’s roman theater is one such ruin, but the Salento region is also home to neolithic cave paintings, known as “the Sistine Chapel of Prehistory.” Being along the coast, the food you’ll be eating is as fresh as can be, especially if you love seafood. This tour truly has something for everyone!

 

For travel and cycling tips to Apulia, visit our "travel and cycling tips" section.

Itinerary

D1Arrival in Lecce

You'll meet with our local representative tomorrow morning, so take advantage of the day and explore Lecce, which is known for its 17th century baroque architecture. The Sigismondo Castromediano Museum, Lecce Castle, and the Roman Theater are fantastic sites!

D2 Lecce to Gallipoli 63 km/39 miles, 349 meters/1,145 ft of climbing

Departing for the day, you’ll be headed south towards San Donato di Lecce. About halfway through the day you’ll pull into Galatone. This a great place to stop for lunch and stroll through some of their ornate churches such as the Sanctuary of the Crocefisso Della Pieta. After, you’ll head southwest towards your destination on the coast. When you arrive in Gallipoli for the day, their aqua waters will be picture-perfect. That being said, leaving the beach for the Frantoio Ipogeo di Palazzo Granafei Museum, an old olive oil mill with english-speaking guides, is definitely a must!

D3Gallipoli to Leuca (or Marina San Gregorio) Via the Coastline 52 km/32 miles, 269 meters/883 ft of climbing; Via Specchia 72 km/45 miles, 533 meters/1,749 ft of climbing

For your third day, you can choose your own adventure. We’ve created two different routes to Leuca! Our shorter route follows the coastline all the way to the heel of Italy’s boot (Leuca). This route will bring you passed Torre San Giovanni, Torre Vado, Marina San Gregorio, and dozens of gorgeous beaches and grottos. Our longer route follows the coast until Torre Sinfono where you’ll then turn inland and bike through quiet country roads and national parks, as well as the towns of Ugento, Acquarica del Capo, and Specchia. When you arrive in Leuca, be sure to visit its monumental staircase and lighthouse! The beautiful waters in front of you is where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet, and you can’t go wrong with any seafood dish on the menu!

D4 Leuca to Otranto 53 km/33 miles, 723 meters / 2,372 ft of climbing

From Leuca, you’ll follow the coastline north to Otranto. Along the way you’ll pedal passed gullys, grottos, old towers, and beaches, as well as charming seaside towns! In Tricase Porto, you can visit the Maritime Museum, home to sea art, traditional boats, and ancient sea traditions. Around kilometer 41 (mile 25) you’ll arrive at Porto Badisco. The wall art of their “Deer Cave” is known as the Sistine Chapel of prehistory. These paintings date back to the Neolithic period, around 7,000 years ago. Shortly afterwards, you’ll arrive in Otranto which is famous for the Archdiocese of Otranto, a church where the bones of 813 martyrs are celebrated, as well as its intricate mosaic floors surviving from the 1100’s. Indeed, Otranto Cathedral’s floors are famous for being one of the biggest mosaics in Europe! For an attraction a little less macabre, the Otranto Castle has a museum you can tour, as well as a fantastic panoramic terrace to view the city from.

D5Otranto to Lecce Via Lake Alimini Piccolo 57 km/33 miles, 326 meters/2,372 ft of climbing; Via Melpignano 79 km/49 miles, 456 meters/1,496 ft of climbing

For your last ride, you have two route options to choose from. The shorter route takes you north to lakes Alimini Piccolo and Alimini Grande and continues along the coastline. Our longer route has you headed inland to Melpignano, Castrignano de’ Greci, and Carpignano Salentino. Our two routes will rejoin at Conca Specchiulla, a small coastal village, before pedaling the remainder of the route north along the picture-perfect turquoise coast. Like the last couple of days, you’ll have dozens of beaches and caves to stop and explore along the way! Before your final destination you’ll enter the small town of Acaya. While it’s a perfect place to stop for an espresso, it’s also home to a castle made by the famous architect Gian Giacomo dell’Acaya! Finally arriving in Lecce, the Saint Lazarus Column, the Basilica of Santa Croce, and the Palmieri Convent (now a cultural center) are great stops to finish off your tour.

D6Departure

After breakfast, you are free to depart at your leisure (you might want to visit a couple more attractions before you leave!). If you're departing by train, Lecce conveniently has a train station on the west side of town.

If you’re going to Brindisi’s Salento Airport, the best route is the direct Pugliair Bus that leaves from Lecce’s City Terminal and takes about 35 minutes. You can also take the train from Lecce to Brindisi, but this requires a change at the train station to Brindisi’s local AP bus line to get to the airport itself.

Booking & Pricing

  • Option A
  • 5 nights in 3-star properties and guesthouses “of character”

  • 515 euros per person in January through April; October through December. Single supplement is 170 euros
  • 640 euros per person in May, June, and September. Single supplement is 210 euros
  • 760 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 245 euros
  • Option A+
  • 5 nights in Boutique hotels, Deluxe guesthouses and 5-star hotels

  • 770 euros per person in January through April; October through December. Single supplement is 350 euros
  • 1,010 euros per person in May, June, and September. Single supplement is 405 euros
  • 1,260 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 490 euros

These prices include:

  • 5 nights’ accommodation as described above
  • Daily breakfast
  • Meeting with our local representative
  • Luggage transfers
  • Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
  • Tourist information
  • Pre-loaded GPS unit
  • Assistance if necessary (you will be provided with our local rep’s mobile number)
  • Service charges and most taxes

These prices do not include:

  • Nominal city taxes, to be paid in cash directly at each hotel (from 1-4 euros per night depending on the season, the town and the accommodation types)
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Bicycle rentals. Hybrid bikes are available at the rate of 80 euros. Full-carbon racing bikes are available at the rate of 170 euros. E-bikes are available at the rate of 175 euros (these prices include the drop-off fee)

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