Check-in around 14.00 at your charming hotel in Lecce. There will be a briefing, bike fitting and the tour organizer explains the coming itinerary of this road cycling trip. Airport transfers (on request).
Lecce to Gallipoli - Distance 50 km
You will leave the main city and cycle towards the sea along the Ionian coast. You'll pass through vineyards, olive groves, crops and small villages. Copertino has a pretty small historic centre and a well-preserved Angevin castle: quick stop for a coffee with ice and almond milk in Lecce style! From here you will cross Nardò that deserves a look on its magnificent Baroque square, Piazza Salandra, enjoying a good glass of wine of local production sitting at one of the numerous bars. You will reach the sea at the edge of the Reserve of Porto Selvaggio, a real green lung defended and wanted by the population. This coast is famous for its sunsets: once arrived to Gallipoli enjoy it from the small bay of Purità, down from its walls.
Overnight in Gallipoli.
Gallipoli to Leuca - Distance 50 km
The “Beautiful City” of Gallipoli, so called by the Greeks, has been the most important Mediterranean olive oil trade centre in the past: the underground oil mill at Palazzo Granafei will tell you this piece of history. From Gallipoli you will cycle along the road parallel to the coastline passing Torre San Giovanni, a small harbour between volcanic low cliffs. You can stop at one of the beautiful white sand beaches before arriving at Punta Ristola, the extreme edge of Salento peninsula, place of legends and numerous finds dating to the Neolithic age. From here a wonderful view of the harbour of Leuca and, even further, of Punta Melisso. Now it would be perfect a boat trip to discover the numerous sea caves of Capo di Leuca: there are various ticket offices in the kiosks near the port! Overnight in the Finis Terrae of Puglia.
Leuca to Vignacastrisi - Distance 30 km
Cycle up to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca, white and blue are the colours all around. You can breathe calm and spirituality looking at this infinitive horizon made of the various shades of blue from sky and sea. Prepare yourself to get surprised many times today along the path. A panoramic stretch of road overlooking the sea will lead through beautiful seaside towns such as Tricase and Castro. And in the meantime hidden bays and caves, breathtaking cliffs and canyons, enchanting villages full of history will give you many chances to get a break for a WOW! Among gentle ups and downs you will reach Vignacastrisi by bike and the beautiful noble palace where you will stay overnight.
Vignacastrisi to Otranto - Distance 25 km
After a rich breakfast in Vignacastrisi you will reconnect with one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in Salento. This coast fascinates with its views of the sea, nature and the typical dry stone buildings of this area. Enjoy relaxing in the small rocky bays, go for a swim, stop at the fruit and vegetable vans, and savor the local specialties in the bars and restaurants you find along the way. Stops at the Palascìa lighthouse and bauxite lake very recommended. Overnight in Otranto, the city of the 800 Martyrs.
Stories and tradition from inland - Distance 30 km
A day around Otranto, an important little town in Salento. It has always been, thanks to its position, a connection point for trades, cultural exchanges, invasions between the western and the eastern world. You will explore magical places such as the Megalithic Park near the village of Giurdignano, that preserves an evocative atmosphere of rituals and legends, myths and pagan cults related to the peoples who over the millennia have inhabited and traversed these lands. Then a farm in the middle of nature, that promotes social activities ranging from biodynamic agriculture to handicraft production of rare fabrics. Before returning to Otranto, you can decide to visit La Cutura botanical garden, born from the love of a man for travels and… succulents!
Otranto to Lecce - Distance 55 km
One last greeting to Otranto, its castle, and its imposing Cathedral, an incredible but especially free museum. You can see the largest and most complex paved Mosaic in southern Italy, realised by a monk, Pantaleon, today considered a true encyclopedia of images of the time and culture of the Middle Ages. You will cycle close to the two Alimini lakes before riding again along the coast. Admire the wonders of the bay of Sant'Andrea and of the Cave of Poetry near the archaeological site of Roca Vecchia, maybe experiencing a jump in the sea. A regenerate ride through the Natural WWF Park “Le Cesine”, along with the discovery of Acaya, a fortified town where time seems motionless, will make gradual your return to the modern civilization and the charming Lecce. Back to Lecce for the last overnight.
Departure day. Time to say goodbye..., a good flight back home or a pleasant stay in Italy. Transfers on request.