HIKING IN SALENTO

A Walking tour of 8 days / 7 nights 

 

 

Salento is in the sunny Apulia, the easternmost region of Italy, also known as the "heel of the boot". Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it keeps the memory of the differen civilizations who have lived in these areas, from the Messapis to the Greeks, from the Romans to the Normans. Your hiking tour starts in Lecce, a Baroque city with important Roman ruins. You will walk through a region which is famous all over the world for its excellent cuisine, its deep blue sea and the rhythm of its folk music: the energetic Pizzica. 

 

 

 

 

Program

Day 1

Arrival in Lecce

Individual arrival at the Baroque city of  Lecce. In the late afternoon, briefing about the tour in which all will be explained about the tour. Today we recommend a short tour on foot in the historic centre of Lecce, also called the Florence of the South.
Overnight in Lecce. 

 

Day 2

Otranto (surroundings) - Valle dell'Idro  (12 Km)

Transfer by train from Lecce to Giurdignano. You walk through fields, beautiful olive groves and reach Giurdignano, where you will visit the megalithic garden with its dolmen and menhirs of the Bronze Age. Then you will head to Casamassella where you will admire the ancient looms brought back into production by the "Le Costantine" Foundation. Walking through the Idro Valley, you will discover an ancient Byzantine crypt. At the end of today's stretch, you will reach Otranto, the pearl of the Adriatic, with its Cathedral and its medieval "tree of life" mosaic floor. 
Overnight in Otranto. 

 

Day 3

Punta Palascia, the easternmost point of Italy (15 km)

Today you will explore the natural wonders of the surroundings of Otranto, like the Bay of Orte, then the lighthouse of Punta Palascia and the Bauxite Quarry. Today you will start from the castle of Otranto and go through the Porta a Mare. Once you have reached the main pier, you walk further along the coast towards the Snake Tower, which can be easily reached following easy trails.
You will see imposing cliffs and caves with stalactites and stalagmites. Finally you will reach the Lighthouse of Punta Palascia and then a bauxite quarry, whose intense colours create a unique landscape. From the cave you go back to Otranto where you will have your overnight stay. 

 

Day 4

The Ciolo and the foothpath of the Cipolliane (12 km)

In the morning, you take the train from Otranto to Gagliano del Capo (1 hour and 10 minutes).
You will reach your accommodation and then get ready to walk along the trail called Ciolo, which goes down towards a canal. The footpath will offer amazing views. Once you have reached the Ciolo bridge, take the foothpath of the Cipolliane, which starts right there. The vegetation is particularly interesting (agaves, capers, prickly pears etc.). You will visit the caves of the Cipolliane (with stalactites and colums, galleries and fossils and bird colonies). Back on the trail, you continue to Novaglie, where you can take a break) or go back to the Ciolo Bridge if you like to swim. After passing a reproduction of the Madonna di Leuca, you continue to Gagliano.
Overnight in Gagliano del Capo. 

 

Day 5

Capo Leuca and Gallipoli (9 km)

- walking tour from Gagliano del Capo to the station of Ruggiano-Salve 8,5 km - Train to Gallipoli 1 hour and a half - visit to the old city of Gallipoli - train to Narḍ, 1 hour -

This day is dedicated to the discovery of the Cape of Leuca, the southernmost point of Apulia, and of the beautiful town of Gallipoli. First, you will cross ancient paths that connect small villages: the first stop is Patù with its Centopietre, an enigmatic monument created with a funerary function and coming from Vereto, an ancient pre-romanic city situated in the vicinity. In Giuliano you will visit the Church of San Pietro and the castle; in Barbarano you will visit the Sanctuary of Leuca Piccola and its hypogeum, an ancient destination for pilgrims and a stop for the faithful people of Leuca. From here you take the train to Gallipoli. You will visit the historic centre, surrounded by the sea and you will get a chance to taste a drink on a terrace with stunning views. Situated on an island, this little village of fishermen is surprising for its light, its alleys and its fish market. After a visit, you will take a train to Narḍ. 
Overnight in Narḍ. 

 

Day 6

Porto Selvaggio (20 km)

Porto Selvaggio is one of the most striking coastal areas of Salento, which became a regional natural park in 2006: in the area there are numerous karstic caves with the remains of communities dating back to the Palaeolithic era. From Narḍ you walk along ancient dry stone walls and olive groves and you will arrive at the base of the slope of the Alto promontory where, on the upper plateau, you will find the Tower of Santa Maria dell'Alto, whose construction dates back to 1568. Then you will move down to Porto Selvaggio, admiring the famous Mediterranean Macchia and discovering beautiful caves like the grotta del Cavallo, an archeological site you can only see from outside. Then you will reach the tower of Uluzzo. The itinerary continues towards the Nova Masseria and from here, continuing along small trails, you will go back to Narḍ.
Overninght in Narḍ. 

 

Day 7

Galatina and Lecce (52 Km)

This the last full day of your trip. From Narḍ you go to Galatina by train and you will visit the historic centre with the magnificent basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria. Then, still by train, you will reach Lecce. Here you will have a guided tour of the city, also called "the Florence of the South". You will se Baroque palaces, courts but also a Roman theatre and amphitheatre, Santa Maria della Croce, the Cathedral etc. 
Optional: if you wish, you can stop in Galatone and take part in a traditional cookery course (train to Galatone and walk of 5 km towards the villa where the course takes place). Then you will take a train to Lecce, where you'll have the guided tour. 
Overnight in Lecce. 

 

Day 8

Departure

After breakfast end of this unforgettable walking tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tour includes:

  • 7 nights in Agriturismo, 3*** Hotel or B&B

  • 7 breakfast

  • Luggage transportation

  • GPS with tracks of the footpaths

  • Description of itineraries and cultural information

  • Local assistance 24 hours

  • Tickets for local trains

  • Guided tour in Lecce

 

Period

from 15th March to 14th July, from 30th August to 10 November departure every Friday and Sunday (other days on request)

Level 1/2

Easy/medium, tour for all. Some walking experience is requested. Flat to light hilly terrain 

Participants

Minimum 2 persons.

Prices p.p. 201

In double room, from 15.03 to 16.06 and from 20.09 to 10.11:  € 690 

In double room, from 17.06 to 14.07 and from 30.08 to 19.09:  € 760

Supplement single room € 190 

Supplement cookery course: € 80 

Transfer from or to Brindisi: € 30 

Transfer from or to Bari € 75