Puglia Cycling Break

  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely to Moderate
  • Duration/s

    5 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Lecce / Lecce
  • Distance

    127 miles/205 kms
  • Themes

    CoastalEbikeGastronomic
  • Accommodation

    Superior
  • Tour code

    019-123CIT
Price From £445

Overview

A 5 night cycling break exploring the southern tip of Puglia. Starting and finishing in the beautiful old town of Lecce with its butter coloured sandstone buildings, this charming route leads you along quiet country lanes and coastal roads to historic towns and sleepy villages.

This idyllic short cycling break in Puglia packs a lot of scenery and experiences into a short trip. After enjoying a night in the beautiful old town of Lecce you will head south through the olive groves to Gallipoli on the Ionian coast. Thanks to its strategic position this old fortified town has a troubled and violent past but thankfully these days things are a lot calmer and its winding alleyways are a joy to explore.

You then head down the Ionian coastline to Santa Maria di Leuca located at the southern-most tip of the peninsula. This remote town marks the point at which the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet and has a real end-of-the-earth feel to it. The route then leads you up the rugged east coast to the charming old town of Otranto with its lovely beaches and beautiful Cathedral.

Otranto

Otranto

The final ride leads you past more fabulous beaches and through a wildlife reserve before delivering you back to the the historic town of Lecce.

The route is very manageable for most abilities as it is mainly on quiet secondary roads and there are very few hills.

Itinerary & Map

The route is very manageable for most abilities as it is mainly on quiet secondary roads and there are very few hills.

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Lecce

Lecce

Make your way to your hotel in Lecce and the rest of the day is yours to explore this delightful old town with its baroque limestone buildings, charming piazzas and historic palazzi. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow winding streets, perhaps stopping off at one of the many pavement cafes or restaurants for sustenance before continuing your exploration. Sights to see include the 2nd century Roman amphitheater, the beautiful Piazza del Duomo with its 70m bell tower and the completely over-the-top baroque facade of the Basilica di Santa Croce.

Day 2: Lecce – Gallipoli, 32 miles/50 kms

Gallipoli

Gallipoli

Your first day’s ride leads you south along quiet, country lanes lined with gnarled old olive groves and ancient stone walls. This peaceful and enjoyable ride ends at the fortified port town of Gallipoli on the Ionian coast. The town occupies a strategic position and this has resulted in its long and bloody history. A visit to the impressive fortress will provide you with more details on its violent past. The narrow, winding streets of the old town have a Moorish feel to them and are the perfect place for an evening stroll.

Day 3: Gallipoli – Santa Maria di Leuca, 32 miles/50 kms

Santa Maria di Leuca

Today you continue south along the Ionian coastline, the coast here is quite rugged but there are a few beaches along the way so it’s a good idea to have your swim things packed in your pannier today. After this lovely coastal ride you arrive in the small town of Santa Maria di Leuca. The town marks the point where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet and has that lovely end-of-the-earth, remoteness about it. This is probably why it has attracted quite an eccentric population many of whom live in the numerous, quirky but luxurious villas that abound here. You’ll spend the night in this pleasant little town

Day 4: Santa Maria di Leuca – Otranto, 32 miles/50 kms

Otranto

Otranto

Bid the Ionian Sea farewell and say hello to the Adriatic as you head northwards along its rocky coastline. Today is all about superb sea-views, pretty coastal villages and quaint ports. The swim spots are not as frequent as on yesterday’s ride but they do exist so be sure to pack the swim stuff again. You could also stop off at the Zinzulusa Cave, a stunning Grotto with clear turquoise waters and/or the spa town of Santa Cesarea, known for its sulphurous mineral springs and mud therapy treatments. Otranto itself is an enchanting old town and the waterfront promenade is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal after the day’s activities.

Day 5: Otranto – Lecce, 35 miles/55 kms

Le Cesine Beach

Your last day of cycling takes you further along the coast past the Alimini Lakes to Torre dell’Orso – a great place for a swim. Here you can also visit the Grotta della Poesia (Cave of Poetry) a natural swimming pool built into the rocks. A little further on the beach at Le Cesine is idyllic and well worth another quick stop. The route then leads you through the peaceful wetland bird reserve and then inland and back to the Baroque city of Lecce. Historically, Lecce was always the powerhouse of Puglia and this is evident in its opulent and ornate architecture. Perhaps celebrate your achievement with a nice meal in one of the town’s many restaurants.

Day 6: Departure

After breakfast it is time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2020 Arrival Dates
March23
April6132026, 27
May3, 410, 1117, 1824, 2531
June1, 78, 1415, 2122, 2829
July
August23, 2430
September6, 713, 1420, 2127, 28
October4, 5121926
November2

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2020 Prices
019-123CIT
Per person
23 Mar
to
05 Apr
06 Apr
to
02 May
03 May
to
29 Jun
23 Aug
to
26 Sep
27 Sep
to
18 Oct
19 Oct
to
02 Nov
Superior category
Double/twin £467 £561 £620 £620 £561 £467        
Single £622 £716 £775 £775 £716 £622        
Triple £445 £539 £598 £598 £539 £445        
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Deposit per person £173

Price Includes

5 nights accommodation. See practical information
5 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer (1 x 20kg piece pp + 1 x 10kg piece pp)
Maps & route information
Welcome briefing
GPS route data
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire & helmet (see supplements)
Tourist tax (approximately €8 payable locally)

Supplements

Extra night Lecce, double/twin, superior (£54)
Extra night Lecce, single, superior (£80)
Regular bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£59)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£138)
Helmet (£15)

Practical Information

Bikes

Mens bike

Example of bike (man’s version) used on this tour

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 27 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons, alternatively helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Lecce: Hotel Delle Palme
Gallipoli: Hotel 33 Baroni
Santa Maria di Leuca: Hotel Terminal
Otranto: Hotel Corte Di Nettuno

Getting There

Fly into and out of Brindisi Airport. Transfers can be arranged from/to the airport at either end of your holiday – see supplements panel on dates and prices tab.

From the airport you can catch a bus straight to Lecce or take the shuttle bus to the nearby Brindisi train station and catch a train to Lecce.

At the end of the holiday take a bus to the town of Zollino and from the there a train to Lecce followed by a bus to Brindisi airport.

Gallery