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A wide range of bike tours to offer you the best way to explore Salento and appreciate its colours, scents and landscapes.

Tours leave from Lecce, Gallipoli, Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca. Each tour shows you spots of historical, natural and gastronomic interest. They run mostly through secondary roads and bike paths, away from traffic. The itineraries are safe and scenic.

North Lecce | South Lecce | Gallipoli | Otranto | Santa Maria di Leuca

North Lecce

  • Distance: about 35 km
  • Level: medium / easy
  • Duration: a day (10 hours)

Departure from Lecce old town. Just outside the city, you´ll see the Romanesque Church of St. Mary of Aurio, which dates back to the 12th century when the area was a Byzantine settlement.
Continuing on dirt patches, you´ll see fortified farmhouses and stop by some of them.
From here you´ll reach the coastline and stop by the beach near Torre Rinalda and have your packed lunch (arranged by the organization upon request at the cost of € 5 per person).
After the lunch break, surrounded by twisted trunks of olive trees, you´ll get to St Mary Abbey in Cerrate, an important Byzantine site near the ancient Trajan-Calabra Way that led from Brindisi to Otranto. Right next to the abbey there is the Provincial Museum of Popular Traditions, which preserves objects and tools of peasant labour and some accurate samples of Salento ancient houses.
Keeping on secondary roads you´ll head towards Guagnano for a visit to the house-museum of the eclectic artist Vincent Brunetti.
The tour will end with a wine and cheese tasting at the "Feudi di Guagnano" winery.
Return to Lecce by train and bikes transport in a van.

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South Lecce

  • Distance: about 30 km
  • Level: medium / easy
  • Duration: a day (10 hours)

Starting from Lecce, you´ll reach the neighbouring town of Cavallino and enjoy a guided tour of its archaeological site with the remains of Cavallino Messapian settlement.
From Cavallino you´ll continue on country roads to the fortified city of Acaya and visit its castle which was recently restored.
From Acaya you´ll move on to the Adriatic coast road north of Torre Specchia for a refreshing swim, weather permitting, and for your packed lunch of fruit and typical products (arranged by the organization upon request at the cost of € 5 per person).
In the afternoon you´ll enjoy a visit to Le Cesine Nature Reserve, a humid environment among the best preserved and most important in southern Italy. After the visit, you will stop by the adjacent farmhouse for a food and wine tasting.
Then, you´ll cycle back to Lecce and be there in the late afternoon.

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Gallipoli

  • Distance: about 35 km
  • Level: medium
  • Duration: a day (10 hours)

Firstly you´ll go to Alezio and visit its Messapian museum.
Then you´ll head towards Sannicola and visit an ancient underground oil mill from the 17th century.
Along secondary roads, among olive trees and dry stone local constructions (trulli and pajare), you´ll reach Galatone with its imposing Norman castle, the Church of the Crucifix - masterpiece of Leccese baroque style - and the noble palace.
After the visit, in about half an hour you´ll be at the back of Porto Selvaggio Natural Park to visit a farmhouse and enjoy a tasting of local cheese.
Then you´ll move on to Santa Caterina, leave your bikes and walk to the nature reserve where you´ll spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon.
Possibility to rent a canoe and reach Porto Selvaggio beach.
Back on your bikes you´ll cycle along the coast road towards St Mauro church, dating back to the Byzantine time and preserving a great fresco (under renovation at the moment).
Return to Gallipoli in the late afternoon.

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Otranto

  • Distance: about 35 km
  • Level: medium
  • Duration: a day (10 hours)

By going through the Idro valley along a pleasant dirt patch, you´ll reach St. Mauro Crypt, which was carved into the soft rock of Salento at the Byzantine time.
You´ll move on to Casamassella and stop at the Costantine Foundation, a center dedicated to organic farming and traditional weaving with old looms.
Then you´ll reach Giurdignano, main megalithic centre of Salento due to the many dolmens and menhirs, first evidence of human presence in the area.
The next stop will be Giuggianello, where you will visit the beautiful botanic garden "La Cutura", featuring hundreds of Mediterranean, tropical and subtropical plants species, and a unique collection of succulent plants in Europe.
Stop by a bakery with a stone oven for a delicious lunch offered by the organization.
After lunch, you´ll cycle to Porto Badisco for a long break, and weather permitting, a swim. It is also possible to rent canoes.
You´ll then move on along the magnificent coast road towards Otranto. You will stop at the fortified farmhouse of Cippano, Punta Palascìa lighthouse, the easternmost point of Italy, and a peculiar lake in a disused bauxite quarry.
Return to Otranto in the late afternoon.

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Santa Maria di Leuca

  • Distance: about 15 km
  • Level: easy
  • Duration: a day (10 hours)

First stop is at the small village of Salignano for a visit to its impressive defense tower. The entire population of the village could take refuge in the tower in case of attack by the Saracens.
Then you´ll move on to Patù and the Centopietre, an enigmatic monument built with a funerary function, then used as a religious chapel (there are traces of Byzantine frescoes) and, in recent times, even as a sheepfold.
Cycling through country roads, you will see the hill where Vereto village once was, probably the largest and most important Messapian settlement of Salento.
You´ll then reach Barbarano and visit the Shrine of Small Leuca and its cave, an ancient pilgrimage destination and shelter for pilgrims going to Leuca.
On the way back you´ll visit Giuliano castle and finally Castrignano with its impressive ancient underground oil mill.
Final tasting in local restaurant in Castrignano.

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Prices

For groups up to 4 people (self guided tour)

  • € 35 per person for a full day
  • € 25 per person for half day

The price includes:

  • Bike rental, Bottecchia 765 and 766 model
  • Safety equipment
  • Didactic material and maps
  • GPs navigator with maps included
  • Entrance fees to museums and historical and archaeological sites
  • A food & wine tasting
  • Liability insurance

The price does not include:

  • Bike delivery

Distances are suitable for everyone, even if you are not trained and especially for families: children from 8/10 years old up will have their own bike, younger children will avail of a seat placed on the back of their parents or the guide´s bike. The pace will be slow and relaxing and, in any case, suitable to the group´s requirements.

Self Guided Bike Holidays

 

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