santa cesarea thermal village on the salento coast
santa cesarea thermal village on the salento coast

Puglia Easy Coastal Hike

Level
1
Distance
42 km
Duration
8 days | 7 nights
period
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Sep Oct
price from
€ 836
CO2 footprint
142 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Hiking Tours
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSW302E

This enchanting coastal hike from Lecce to Gagliano del Capo encapsulates everything wonderful that Puglia has to offer: mesmerizing vistas, pristine azure waters, undiscovered villages beckoning exploration, and unspoiled nature inviting wanderlust.

Following a delightful walk through fragrant orange and olive groves, your departure from Otranto leads you along a terracotta-hued path hugging the coastline, guiding you to Punta Palascia's lighthousethe easternmost point of the Italian peninsula—and the idyllic cove of Porto Balisco.

Then, your path weaves through quaint fishing villages, rejuvenating thermal towns, and ancient Messapian cities, culminating in the exploration of Baroque palaces and Roman remnants within the heart of Lecce.

This expedition is a sensory celebration, where nature's vibrancy unfolds with each step. Enchanting sea breezes carry the scent of the ocean through olive groves, accompanied by the melody of crickets, the aroma of wild fennel and licorice, and the mesmerizing azure sparkle of the sea.
 
 

Highlights

  • Fabulous walks along the “Tratturi”, ancient roads and footpaths running through orchards and olive groves;
  • The “Cipolliane path”; a breath-taking walk overlooking the sea and named afer the caves you can visit along the way;
  • Historical sights of all ages, from Roman masterpieces and Messapian towns to the present day: churches, fortresses, villas;
  • The buzzing city of Lecce, with its baroque palaces, delicious food and artisan shops.
  • Great beaches for swimming with crystal clear waters

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Lecce

Arrival in Lecce

Upon settling into your accommodation, step outside and relish the incredibly fresh, crisp air wafting in from the Mediterranean Sea. Spend your afternoon exploring the historic center, with its captivating blend of Baroque architecture and ancient charm. As evening descends, let all your senses be delighted as you prepare for your phenomenal walking adventure ahead, with the enchanting city of Lecce promising an immersive experience. Known as the "Florence of the South", Lecce boasts ornate Baroque palaces, Roman ruins, and a vibrant atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the local culture, savoring the unique flavors, and take in the architectural wonders that make Lecce a highlight on your journey.

Day 2

Travel to Otranto, optional Bauxite Cave walk, 5 km

Travel to Otranto, optional Bauxite Cave walk, 5 km

Upon arriving in Otranto, you'll find yourself enchanted by the town's undeniable allure. Nestled on the easternmost coast of Italy, Otranto boasts a mesmerizing blend of historic charm and coastal beauty. Explore the charming old town with its narrow, winding streets, adorned with traditional whitewashed buildings and hints of vibrant colors. The iconic Cathedral of Otranto, with its intricate mosaic floor and historical significance, stands as a testament to the town's rich heritage. Stroll along the fortified walls, gazing out at the azure Adriatic Sea, and embrace the unique atmosphere that Otranto exudes – a perfect blend of history, culture, and coastal splendor.

For the more adventurous spirits seeking an immersive experience, consider extending your exploration beyond the charming confines of Otranto's town center. A captivating option awaits those who yearn for a scenic trek – the journey to the Bauxite Caves. Nestled amidst the rugged landscapes, these caves are a geological wonder, showcasing vibrant hues of red and ochre against the natural backdrop. The trail leads you through olive groves and offers glimpses of the idyllic countryside, providing a sensory-rich journey. As you approach the caves, the surreal landscape of mineral-rich bauxite pits unfolds before you, creating a unique and memorable excursion that complements the historical charm of Otranto with the allure of its natural wonders.

Distance: 5 km

Elevation Gain: +70/-70 m

Day 3

Transfer to Punta Palascia and walk to Masseria Panareo, 5,5 km

Transfer to Punta Palascia and walk to Masseria Panareo, 5,5 km

In the morning, a brief transfer will take you to the easternmost point of the Italian peninsula – Punta Palascia.

As you arrive at Punta Palascia, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking panorama that unfolds before you. The dramatic coastal cliffs, kissed by the morning sun, overlook the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Punta Palascia's iconic lighthouse, standing tall against the azure sky, marks the geographical extremity of Italy and promises a unique starting point for your day. From this coastal marvel, your journey continues on foot, embarking on a scenic walk towards Porto Badisco.

As you tread along the coastal paths, the stunning views of the sea provide a picturesque backdrop, creating an unforgettable transition from the easternmost point to the charming Masseria Panareo.

Distance: 5,5 km

Elevation Gain: +100/-70 m

Day 4

Transfer to Porto Badisco and walk Santa Cesarea Terme, 9,5 km

Transfer to Porto Badisco and walk Santa Cesarea Terme, 9,5 km

After breakfast you take a short transfer to Porto Badisco, from where you start walking towards Santa Cesarea Terme.

Just a stone's throw away, you'll discover a charming local hub where the tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the promise of delectable sandwiches, expertly crafted for your picturesque picnic today.

Traverse along the coast, following a shepherd's trail adorned with the iconic "pagliari" – quaint, circular stone shelters with flat tops, once used by shepherds for peaceful repose. After a delightful 6 kilometers, your path ascends to the lush inland plateau, leading you through meandering trails amidst the fields. At the 8.5-kilometer mark, a hidden oasis awaits in the form of a pine tree forest, creating a perfect picnic spot with ample shade for sunny days.

The final stretch unfolds along a well-paved road, guiding you downhill to the spa haven of Santa Cesarea Terme, where inviting swimming spots beckon for a refreshing dip.

Distance: 9,5 km

Elevation Gain: +130/-115 m

Day 5

Walk From Santa Cesarea Terme to Castro and transfer to Marittima, 6,5 km

Walk From Santa Cesarea Terme to Castro and transfer to Marittima, 6,5 km

Embark on an enchanting expedition starting from Santa Cesarea, where your scenic adventure unfolds with each step. Soon, you'll transition onto a charming old gravel and grass pathway, enclosed by rustic dry-stone walls. Meandering through the picturesque inland, discover narrow paths weaving through fields, leading you to the captivating Ancient Messapian town of Castro.

Here, imposing high walls encircle the town, inviting you to explore its rich history and perhaps indulge in a leisurely lunch within the time-honored ambiance. As your exploration unfolds, descend to the enchanting port of Castro, a perfect retreat for a rejuvenating swim in the crystalline waters.

In the afternoon you take a short transfer to Marittima, where you will relax at your accomodation

Distance: 6.5 km

Elevation Gain: +95/-40 m

Day 6

Walk from Marittima to Tricase Porto and transfer to Marina Serra, 10 km

Walk from Marittima to Tricase Porto and transfer to Marina Serra, 10 km

Indulge in a flavorsome journey by acquiring a delectable sandwich in Marittima. Initially, embark on a picturesque route along a well-trodden surfaced road, winding its way through sprawling orchards adorned with ancient olive trees of immense stature.

As you traverse, encounter the first of many traditional "tratturi" – a labyrinth of ancient roads and footpaths that once served as lifelines connecting villages, orchards, and the sea. Each weathered stone beneath your feet bears witness to the resilient tales of a bygone peasant life.

The shimmering sea awaits as you gracefully descend towards Tricase Porto, where a refreshing break invites you to savor a delightful "caffè in ghiaccio" (iced coffee) and indulge in a rejuvenating swim in the pristine waters.

In the afternoon you take a transfer to Marina Serra, where you'll relax at your accomodation.

Distance: 10 km

Elevation Gain: +120/-210 m

Day 7

Transfer to Novaglie and walk to Gagliano del Capo (train to Lecce), 5 km

Transfer to Novaglie and walk to Gagliano del Capo (train to Lecce), 5 km

After breakfast you take a short transfer to Novaglie, from where you start walking towards Gagliano del Capo.

From Novaglie embark on the awe-inspiring "Cipolliane path", a trail named after the mesmerizing caves awaiting exploration along its route. This scenic pathway guides you to the iconic Ciolo bridge, a pinnacle on your journey and the ultimate swimming spot.

Beginning at the quaint Ciolo cove, the trail gracefully ascends the picturesque Ciolo valley, leading you to the final destination of Gagliano del Capo.

Here, take a train to Lecce for your last evening in the enchanting Baroque city, adorned with architectural wonders and rich cultural experiences.

Distance: 5 km

Elevation Gain: +200/-75  m

Day 8

Departure from Lecce

Departure from Lecce

Last day included. Service ends after breakfast.

 

Details

Included


What is included

  • 7 nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • Luggage transportation from day 3 to day 7
  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Maps and detailed description of the itinerary in digital form, app
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance


What is not included

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • Lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated.
  • Visits and entrance fees - tips
  • Personal expense
  • Possible sojourn taxes
  • Everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section. 


Optional Services
These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.
  • Travel documentation in printed form (maps and detailed description of the itinerary), shipped to the first hotel

Practical info

How to arrive


If you land in Brindisi, you have several alternatives:

  • Salento Easy Shuttle, which connects Brindisi Airport to Otranto;
  • STP bus or taxi to Brindisi train station, and then a Marozzi direct bus to Otranto;
  • Train from Brindisi train station to Lecce and then direct bus to Otranto.

In you land in Bari, you need to reach Bari Centrale train station by either train or bus. From there, you catch a train to Lecce, and then a direct bus to Otranto.

On departure, you can take a train from Lecce to either Brindisi or Bari train station and then a bus to the relative airport.

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Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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