Salento for families

An 8-day cycling tour
Cycling tour
Cycling Tours
Difficulty level 1,5
Individual tour
Self guided tour
code: ITPUG03C
Italy
Puglia

Prices

from 650€

Salento, bike tour for families

Lecce-Martano-Galatone-Gallipoli

Salento is the easternmost part of Italy, the ‘heel of the boot‘, in Puglia. Located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, it keeps the memory of the different civilizations that inhabited it, from the Messapi to the Greeks, from the Romans to the Normans. Your bike trip begins in Lecce, a Baroque city with important Roman remains. Take your time to wander through the narrow streets of golden sandstone, for finding hidden piazzas and to enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the wine bars or cozy restaurants, where tasty dishes like the cecamariti pancakes. Gallipoli was because of its harbor and importance as trade centre always subject to attacks from conquering peoples, like Byzantines, Greek, Spanish and Normans. It is a town, where history flourishes at every corner, which can be seen in the mixture of architectural styles.

Apulia

From Gallipoli you make a suggestive round tour along the coast to visit Porto Selvaggio, one of the most striking coastal areas of Salento, which became a regional natural park in 2006. There are numerous karstic caves with the remains of habitations dating back to the Palaeolithic era. This tour is ideal for families, because the routes are short and you do not have to change hotel every day.

Olive groves

The daily program of the 8-day tour

Arrival in Lecce. In the late afternoon, briefing about the tour with one of our representatives, delivery of bikes and GPS. Today we recommend you a tour by bike or on foot in the historical centre of Lecce, also known as “The Florence of the South”: the city will conquer you with its baroque architecture and its Roman remains.

Overnight with breakfast in Lecce. 

Your itinerary today is completely flat and along secondary roads. The first stop is Cavallino, where you will visit a real open-air museum on the Messapic civilization, and other populations that inhabited this land before the arrival of the Greeks and Romans. Continue through olive groves delimited by characteristic dry stone walls, until you get to Calimera. Here you can visit a natural museum, where you will discover the typical fauna and flora of the region. Today’s final destination is Martano, the capital of the “Salentine Greece“.

Overnight with breakfast in Martano

Distance: 26 km / 16 mi

Ascent: + 113m

In the Middle Ages, in Salento, the population spoke Greek, thanks to the presence of the Byzantine monks. The Salentine Greece is a small region with 9 municipalities, where people still speak a variant of this language. You will visit some of these municipalities: Zollino, Sternatia, Martignano. In their pretty ancient towns you will discover some food and wine specialties, such as sceblasti, a soft bread topped with tomatoes, zucchini, onions and peppers. Just this bread is enough to make a tasty lunch!

Overnight with breakfast in Martano

Distance: 26 km / 16 mi

Ascent: + 153m

The first part of today is still in Salentine Greece: you will pass through Castrignano de Greci, where, among other things, you can admire the “pozzelle“, an ancient public rainwater collection system. Then you will continue to Corigliano d’Otranto, with its majestic castle. You can make an optional visit to the castle or head to an organic farm near Cutrofiano – which is also an educational farm, where cheeses and honey are produced.

Overnight with breakfast in Galatone

Distance: 35 km / 22 mi

Ascent: + 230m

Today, you can start the day by picking vegetables in the farm garden, or take a cooking class with Anna, who is hosting you in her large country house with swimming pool. You will learn how to make the Apulian orecchiette (typical ear-shaped pasta), and the “pitta di patate“, a pizza made of potatoes. The house has a beautiful and large swimming pool: before or after lunch, you will be able to relax with your family. You will then leave for Galatina, where you will admire the church of Santa Caterina, whose walls are completely frescoed in Giotto style, and you will discover the beautiful historical center of the city. Galatina is the centre of “tarantismo”, a ritual according to which sick people (probably bitten by taranta, a spider), were treated with music (the famous “pizzica“). The ritual itself is no longer practiced but traditional music is still very much alive and felt, practically everywhere. Don’t forget to try the “pasticciotto“, a typical local dessert, filled with custard. To be enjoyed preferably hot!

Overnight with breakfast in Galatone

Distance: 30 km / 18 mi

Ascent: + 175m

Today you will continue cycling in the countryside, among olive groves and “pajare” (typical dry stone buildings, which characterize the Salento countryside). In Galatone you can visit the castle of Fulcignano (built by the predecessors of the Normans), in Alezio the museum of the Messapic civilization. If you want, you can choose to take a detour to Tuglie and visit the Radio museum, where you will find the history of radio communication with dozens of ancient specimens, all working.

Overnight with breakfast in Gallipoli

Distance: 25 km / 15 mi

Ascent: + 179m

A relaxing day by the sea. After a short stretch along the coast (very quiet out of season), you will enter the Porto Selvaggio natural park: a wooded area of ​​more than 1000 hectares near the sea. Here, the calm sea is fed by spring waters and you can swim and relax on your last day of travel. On the way back, you absolutely must stop in Santa Caterina, a town where the inhabitants seem to know no other activity than that of … eating ice cream!

Overnight with breakfast in Gallipoli

Distance: 25 km / 15 mi

Ascent: + 200m

This morning you can visit the historical center of this fishing village; walking through its narrow streets, you can still breathe life, as it was many years ago. Do not miss a wine tasting in the underground oil mill, where olives were used to grind when Gallipoli was the world capital of olive oil exports. Your journey into the wonders of Salento ends here. Transfer to Lecce/Brindisi/Bari.            

Impressions

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Self guided tour
Difficulty level 1,5
Salento for families
An 8-day cycling tour

Lecce-Martano-Galatone-Gallipoli

Code | ITPUG03C
LEVEL 2,5

Easy, tour for families. The itinerary usually follows quiet country lanes or cycle paths, usually flat or with a little difference in level (no more than 200 m). You ride 3-4 hours a day and you have enough time to enjoy the villages, the beaches or the swimming pool … The routes are short, max 30 km per day. Children should have cycle experience.

Total km: About 167 km / 104 miles

 
DEPARTURES:

Every Friday and Saturday from 19 March to 10 July and from 27 August to 6 November 2021

PARTICIPANTS:

Minimum 2 persons. Individual travellers upon request.

 
START / FINISH:

Lecce / Gallipoli

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Salento for families

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