Puglia Cycling Holiday

A get away from it all cycling holiday in southern Puglia, discovering the back-roads, small villages and sublime beaches of serene Salento. Olive groves, dry-stone walls, turquoise seas, scrumptious cuisine and charming accommodation characterise this laid-back holiday.

On this holiday you will get to know the beautiful region of Salento in southern Puglia. Daily rides along quiet country lanes will lead you through ancient olive groves to sleepy villages and small towns. Each route will also unveil different sections of coastline, providing multiple opportunities for swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Lecce

Besides its spectacular scenery, Salento also enjoys a deserved reputation for it’s superb cuisine so besides some wonderful cycle rides can also look forward to some delicious food along the way too.

The holiday starts in the ancient baroque town of Lecce with its butter-coloured limestone buildings. From here you follow a meandering route southwards through a countryside shaped by hot Sirocco and cool Tramontane winds towards the historic coastal town of Otranto. Olive groves and traditional dry-stone walls are your constant companions, giving way every now and then to charming little villages, wetland nature reserves, rugged coastlines and gorgeous beaches.

The route mainly follows secondary country roads with some unpaved sections along the way. It’s mostly level with some short climbs here and there.

Puglia Cycling Holiday

A get away from it all cycling holiday in southern Puglia, discovering the back-roads, small villages and sublime beaches of serene Salento. Olive groves, dry-stone walls, turquoise seas, scrumptious cuisine and charming accommodation characterise this laid-back holiday.

On this holiday you will get to know the beautiful region of Salento in southern Puglia. Daily rides along quiet country lanes will lead you through ancient olive groves to sleepy villages and small towns. Each route will also unveil different sections of coastline, providing multiple opportunities for swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Lecce

Besides its spectacular scenery, Salento also enjoys a deserved reputation for it’s superb cuisine so besides some wonderful cycle rides can also look forward to some delicious food along the way too.

The holiday starts in the ancient baroque town of Lecce with its butter-coloured limestone buildings. From here you follow a meandering route southwards through a countryside shaped by hot Sirocco and cool Tramontane winds towards the historic coastal town of Otranto. Olive groves and traditional dry-stone walls are your constant companions, giving way every now and then to charming little villages, wetland nature reserves, rugged coastlines and gorgeous beaches.

The route mainly follows secondary country roads with some unpaved sections along the way. It’s mostly level with some short climbs here and there.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Lecce

Make your way to your hotel in Lecce and then spend the rest of day exploring 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 to the coast and back
28 miles/45 kms

Your first ride is a great introduction to cycling in Salento. Quiet roads, flanked with olive groves lead you on a relaxing ride out to the east coast. At Frivole, if the weather is warm, you may be tempted to take a swim break at the lovely little beach (remember to pack your swim things in your pannier). The route then leads you along the coast for a bit (more swim-stop opportunities abound) before heading inland again. Make a stop at an old Masseria (farmhouse) to taste some fresh local produce before winding your way back to your hotel in Lecce.

Day 3 : Lecce – Acaya – Le Cesine – Caprarica
28 miles/45 kms

Today’s ride leads you along a scenic, quiet road to Acaya, one of the few fortified villages remaining in Puglia. Visit the 16th century castle before riding on through the olive groves out towards the coast. You’ll then ride through Le Cesine, a protected coastal, wetland area where nature still holds sway. At the edge of this serene wetland you will find the beautiful Ultima Spiaggia delle Cesine, a lovely beach that will tempt you to stop for a swim.

Back on the bikes, the route heads inland once more, following a network of quiet country roads where the cricket chorus is the loudest sound. After riding through a couple of small villages you arrive in the peaceful little village of Caprarica where you will spend the night.

Day 4 : Caprarica – Grecia Salentina – Uggiano La Chiesa
37 miles/60 kms

Today you will ride through an area known as Grecia Salentina ( Little Greek Salento). The local ethnic Greek community are proud of their roots and many still speak a dialect known as Griko. The peaceful ride along quiet, winding, rural lanes, visits several small villages as it makes its way out towards the coast. At Roca Vecchia the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic tempt you to stop for a dip and don’t miss the incredible Grotta della Poesia (Cave of Poetry), a natural sea cave swimming pool set among the rocks. The route then leads you south along the coast past the spectacular Torre Sant’Andrea before heading inland past the pleasant Alimini lakes and on to the charming town of Uggiano La Chiesa. This pleasant little town with its lovely central square will be your base for the next three nights.

Day 5 : Uggiano La Chiesa – Megaliths Way – Turks’ Bay – Uggiano
37 miles/60 kms

Today’s ride leads you out into the peaceful countryside and along the Via dei Megaliti (Megaliths way). Near the village of Giurdignano you can stop to admire the mysterious and isolated burial chamber, built with ancient megaliths. Keen gardeners and/or botanists may also wish to take a break at La Cutura. a fascinating botanical garden with plant species from 5 continents.

As you have come to expect by now, the route then heads for the coast and today you will visit Turks’ Bay where you will be tempted into the gorgeous turquoise waters of this popular swimming spot. The route then heads south, via the bustling town of Otranto, back to Uggiano La Chiesa.

Day 6 : Uggiano La Chiesa – Castro – Otranto – Uggiano La Chiesa
28 miles/45 kms

Today’s beautiful and varied route heads south through the olive groves, via some charming small villages, to the pretty coastal town of Castro. The town occupies a bluff overlooking a small bay and is a very picturesque little place to stop for lunch. You then head back up the coast following an incredibly scenic route with panoramic sea views to your right. The coast here is rugged and wild, and the lighthouse at Punta Palascia warns ships of the local dangers.

Eventually you reach the lovely seaside town of Otranto and if you didn’t explore it fully yesterday then now is your chance. If it’s hot you may be tempted to head straight for one of the towns many lovely beaches or, alternatively you could explore the winding streets of the old town perhaps ducking into the beautiful cathedral to admire the large scale mosaics dating from the 12th century. Afterwards it is only a short ride back to your hotel in Uggiano La Chiesa.

Day 7 : End of trip

After breakfast it is time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

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

Caprarica: Agriturismo Masseria Stali

Uggiano La Chiesa: Masseria Hotel Gattamora

Local taxes

Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night

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 trip we suggest you book the transfer as detailed under supplements. Alternatively, you can take a taxi to the town of Zollino and from there, the train to Lecce followed by a train or bus to Brindisi airport.

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