Best of Southern Puglia Cycling
Best of Southern Puglia Cycling

Best of Southern Puglia Cycling

6 days

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Spend 6 mesmerizing days cycling in southern Puglia on this self-guided cycling tour

There is no better way to explore southern Puglia than by bike! This 6-day circular cycling route beginning and ending in Lecce is the perfect mix of activity and relaxation. The Best of Southern Puglia Cycling will have you tracing the Mediterranean Peninsula's borders and experiencing some of Puglia's most stunning landscapes and charming seaside towns.

Experience the beauty of Lecce, the capital of Baroque art in Salento, admiring its myriad of historical and architectural jewels. Pedal through the Park of Porto Selvaggio, delighting in its rugged cliffs, coastal towers, and mystical caves. Discover a Norman Cathedral in Otranto, admiring the largest paved mosaic in southern Italy.

This cycling tour is the perfect escape for those looking to experience southern Puglia up close and personal in all its majesty. The mostly flat roads and beautiful balmy climate make this a pleasant ride, and the endless scenic landscapes will make this an adventure you're sure to cherish.

Highlights of the Best of Southern Puglia Cycling

Enjoy the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation as you pedal beautiful coastline and nature reserves.
Cycle serene country roads lined with grapes through the famous vineyards of Copertino.
Experience the old charm of the island-like town of Gallipoli, exploring its fascinating historic center.
Be charmed by Otranto, exploring its ancient castle and dining in one of its beautiful seafront restaurants.

Prices

From $595USD
6 days
Difficulty
Self-Guided
Hotels, B&Bs
  • No Booking or Credit Card Fees
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Best of Southern Puglia Cycling

Best of Southern Puglia Cycling Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive

Benvenuti! Make your way to your accommodations in Lecce, located in the beautiful old town.

This historic city, first under Messapian and later Roman rule, is a sight to behold. After settling in, perhaps check out the well-preserved Roman amphitheatre and the great collection of Baroque buildings that grace the town.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Lecce
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Cycle Copertino and the Park of Porto Selvaggio to Gallipoli

This morning following breakfast, a welcome meeting and bike fitting will take place before you set out on the road.

Your first day of cycling begins on beautiful country roads leading you to Copertino. Famous for its wine, the route through Copertino boasts exquisite vineyards and olive groves. Continuing to Nardó, you’ll witness the most beautiful baroque square in all of southern Italy.

Reaching the coast, you’ll enter the “green lung” of this part of the Ionian coast, where you’ll cycle through the Park of Porto Selvaggio. The park boasts captivating scenery, including rugged cliffs, coastal towers and cryptic caves.

Following the coast, you’ll reach the island-like town of Gallipoli. This magical ancient town is perfect for an evening of exploring. The imposing Gallipoli Castle towers above the center of the city, surrounded by the sea. Top off this spectacular first day by enjoying the sunset on the small beach of Purità!
Overnight Location: Hotel in Gallipoli
Distance: 50 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Cycle Punta Ristola and Discover the Devil’s Cave

Departing Gallipoli this morning, you’ll cycle along the road parallel to the coastline until you reach Punta Ristola, the extreme edge of the Salento Peninsula and the heel of Italy.
From the promontory where the Devil’s Cave is, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the harbour, including Leuca and Punta Melisso.
Arriving in tonight’s overnight location of Leuca, you can take a boat trip (not included) to discover the magical caves off the coast, an experience you won’t want to miss!
Overnight Location: Hotel in Leuca
Distance: 50 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 The Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca and Ciolo Canyon

Enjoy another scenic ride today from Leuca to Otranto, taking in the magical horizon of shades of deep blue from both the sea and sky.

Having reached the southernmost point in Salento, enjoy Santa Maria di Leuca, exploring its legendary sanctuary and famous lighthouse.

Proceeding on a scenic stretch of road overlooking the sea, you’ll pedal gentle hills to the Ciolo Canyon—a whimsical landscape home to prehistoric caves and unique species of flora.

The scenery continues as you pass through the Bay of Acquaviva, Castro and Santa Cesarea.

Finally, you’ll reach Otranto, the easternmost city in all of Italy. Spend your evening exploring this pleasant coastal paradise, observing its ancient architectural connection points that once lead to the great Byzantium (Istanbul today). A visit to the Norman Cathedral of Otranto is also a must!
Overnight Location: Hotel in Otranto
Distance: 55 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 Cycle Le Cesine and Acaya

Another beautiful stretch of coast characterizes your final day of cycling in Sorento. Pedalling scenic roads, you’ll reach The Cesine Nature Reserve. This protected oasis is home to extensive wetlands, dunes, beaches, and lovely woods.

Before riding your final stretch to return to Lecce, you’ll cross the magnificent Renaissance fortified town of Acaya.

Your cycling journey may have come to an end, but there’s still time to enjoy one last evening in Lecce, soaking up the sights and sounds of this picturesque seaside haven.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Lecce
Distance: 55 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Depart

After breakfast this morning, check out of your accommodations before departing to the airport saying “addio!” to beautiful Salento.
Overnight Location: None
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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Best of Southern Puglia Cycling Price and Dates

This self-guided cycling tour of Salento and Puglia is run as a custom tour for your group and the price depends on the time of year in which you choose to travel and whether you prefer standard or superior accommodations.

The best time to visit Salento and Puglia for this tour is in the late spring, early summer, and early fall. High summer tends to be very hot and busy.

Private Self-Guided Best of Southern Puglia Cycling

Have your own private tour with just your group! Prices below are per person:

Prices for tour in standard accommodation:
Low season (January 5th - March 26th and October 26th - December 16th)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $775 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $595 USD per person

Mid season (April 6th - June 24th and September 1st - October 25th)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $825 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $650 USD per person

High season (March 27th - April 5th, June 25th - July 25th, and December 17th - January 4th)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $1,050 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $875 USD per person

Peak season (July 26th - August 31st)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $1,175 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $995 USD per person

Prices for tour in superior accommodation:
Low season (January 5th - March 26th and October 26th - December 16th)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $950 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $750 USD per person

Mid season (April 6th - June 24th and September 1st - October 25th)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $1,025 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $850 USD per person

High season (March 27th - April 5th, June 25th - July 25th, and December 17th - January 4th)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $1,250 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $1,075 USD per person

Peak season (July 26th - August 31st)

  • Self-guided Solo Traveller: $1,375 USD
  • Self-guided Groups of 2+: $1,195 USD per person
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Accommodation on the Best of Southern Puglia Cycling

This tour is based in either 3-star or 4-star hotels and B&Bs depending on whether you choose the standard or superior package.

Rooms are double occupancy and single travellers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $175 USD - $375 USD (depending on the season and category chosen) to have a private room in a hotel.

Standard accommodation:

Night 1-5

B&B’s and Hotel in Salento (3-star)

Stay in Bed and Breakfast accommodations, as well as one hotel while exploring Salento. These accommodations are simple but clean and comfortable. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms and great locations.

Superior accommodation:

Night 1-5

B&B’s and Hotel in Salento (4-star)

Stay in charming Bed and Breakfast accommodations, as well as a comfortable hotel as you wander through Salento. These 4-star accommodations offer modern amenities, pleasant rooms with ensuite bathrooms and great locations.

What’s Included in the Best of Southern Puglia Cycling?

Meals

5 breakfasts are included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 5 nights are included.

Transportation during the Tour

Luggage transportation from hotel to hotel is included on this tour.

Also Included

  • Briefing meeting and bike fitting on Day 1
  • Maps and route directions
  • Phone assistance between 8 am and 9 pm

Not included

  • Bike rental
  • Flights to and from Italy
  • Airport transfers
  • Visas if required
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist taxes if applicable
  • Meals or drinks and snacks not previously mentioned
  • Fees not mentioned as 'included'
  • Guide

Optional Extras

  • Activities and excursions unless otherwise mentioned as included
  • Single room supplements
  • Solo traveller supplements
  • Any additional nights before or after the tour
  • Bike rental:
    • Trek bike: $75 USD per person
    • All Road Bike: $125 USD per person
    • E-Bike: $150 USD per person
  • Airport transfers (min. 2 travellers):
    • Brindisi Airport to Lecce: $75 USD per person
    • Bari Airport to Lecce: $125 USD per person

Frequently Asked Questions about Best of Southern Puglia Cycling

Slow Active Tours is a tour operator specializing in "slow pace" outdoor activities, which mainly concern cycling, trekking and snorkeling in beautiful Italy. Based in Puglia, the wonderful heel of Italy, Slow Active Tours was born from a long experience in responsible and sustainable tourism, combined with a love for culture and a strong passion for traditions, history and respect for nature.
Dynamic holidays "at a slow pace", because in this way it is possible to savor every moment of a great journey, full of adventure, hearty breakfasts, moments of peaceful well-being, food and wine tastings, fresh dips in the most beautiful seas of Italy, smiles and chat with the locals.
Each trip includes everything you need to make the experience comfortable and to be free to travel safely.

Learn More

Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. The route is based mostly on flat winding roads. Daily distance covered ranges from 50 km-55 km. You should be comfortable riding a bike and used to cycling these distances. Breaks for rest and refreshments are frequent on the tour.

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