Italy : The Bay of Naples

Undiscovered Puglia Walk - Discovering the South-East Coast

Trip code: W07PL 5 (2 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1
Leisurely

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Superb yet gentle coastal walking to Puglia's most southernly point, Santa Maria Leuca
  • Walk in the steps of pilgrims along the southern section of the ancient via Francigena
  • History galore - Baroque cathedrals, Roman amphitheatres, Aragonese castles, ancient dolmen and menhirs

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walk transfers
  • Entrance fee to the botanical gardens

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Explore Puglia's pristine coastline, accompanied by glittering sea vistas, fragrant wild flowers and the gentle murmur of ocean waves as you head from Lecce towards Puglia's most southerly point at Santa Maria di Leuca. The region boasts a variety of wonders, from the Baroque buildings in Lecce and the Romanesque cathedral in Otranto to natural phenomena like the lunar landscape of the Blue Lake and the dramatic Zinzulusa Cave with its extensive stalactites and stalagmites.

En route, you overnight in traditional towns and villages, staying at small yet characterful accommodation that ooze Puglian charm. The final stretch runs along the Via Francigena del Sud, as you make your way to the pretty seaside town of Santa Maria, where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet.

Terrain

The walking predominately follows dirt tracks, quiet country lanes and coastal paths which are exposed to the sun. Routes are very gentle with the occasional longer, gradual ascent or a short steep section. Walking boots are recommended.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Lecce

Admire the city's superb Baroque architecture before dinner.

You stay at La Bella Lecce B&B.

hotel details

 equivalent

B&B la Bella Lecce, Lecce

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Run by an Italian-English couple, Roberto and Stephanie can provide you with essential local information to ensure you make the most of your stay in Lecce. Situated within Lecce's historic city walls, this small but pretty B&B is located within a late 19th century building with traditional vaulted ceilings and golden stone walls.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, A/C and private bathroom.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Lecce/Botanical Gardens to Otranto (13km/8.1mi)

We take you to the lush and colourful La Cutura Botanical Gardens, home to one of the largest private collections of rare tropical flora in Southern Italy. From here, set off through olive groves and past ancient stones, seemingly fallen from nowhere, as you head to the coast and spectacular Otranto.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Albania.

hotel details

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HOTEL ALBANIA, OTRANTO

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


This aptly named hotel takes its name from the majestic Albanian mountains which on a clear day are visible from the hotel's panoramic dining terrace. Located in the centre of Otranto, it’s ideally situated for exploring the Old Town, whilst being just a short walk from the seafront and the town's public gardens.

All rooms are furnished with a simple yet bright decor and include Wi-Fi, television, A/C, private bathroom with WC and shower, minibar and safe.

Day 3: Otranto to Uggiano La Chiesa (14km/8.7mi)

There's time to explore Otranto and its Romanesque cathedral, home to the famous 'tree of life' mosaic, then a glorious coastal path takes you past the stunning lunar landscape of the Blue Lake en route to Italy's easternmost tip, from where you can see as far as Albania on a clear day! End the day in the small village of Uggiano La Chiesa.

elevation

You stay at Masseria Gattamora.

hotel details

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MASSERIA GATTAMORA, UGGIANO LA CHIESA

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


The masseria - a traditional fortified farmhouse - dates back to 1763 and has been transformed into a small but cosy hotel, with the former oil mill and hay store now housing the bedrooms, and the restaurant in the former stables. Facilities include an outdoor pool, gardens, bar and the beautiful restaurant, which comes with vaulted ceilings and open fireplace.

All room are comfortable, spacious and tastefully decorated with exposed white walls and high vaulted stone ceilings.

Day 4: Uggiano la Chiesa to Santa Cesarea Terme (15km/9.3mi)

Wild flowers and sea views abound on today's walk as you follow the coastal path skirting the Sant'Emiliano promontory, topped by its panoramic 16th century lookout tower - built to protect the area from marauding pirates! The azure seas blend with impossibly blue skies as you continue to Porto Badisco - the perfect stop for a scenic lunch - before a gentle walk with more far reaching views takes you to the thermal resort of Santa Cesarea.

elevation

You stay at Villa Cesarea.

hotel details

 equivalent

VILLA CESAREA, SANTA CESAREA TERME

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Bank
Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


Villa Cesarea is located in the centre of Santa Cesarea Terme, overlooking the sea. The residence dates back to the early 1900s and was lovingly restored in 2018, retaining many of its charming original features. There is a lovely garden surrounding the villa with several terraces where you can sit back and relax.

Day 5: Santa Cesarea Terme to Castro (8km/5.0mi)

A shorter walk today with a background of lush hills and glittering waters, to the exceptionally beautiful town of Castro. Relax on its sunny terraces, bathe in the sea, visit the archaeological museum or the phenomenal Zinzulusa Cave - so called for the stalactites that seemingly hang like rags (zinzuli) from the cave ceiling. There is so much here to enjoy.

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You stay at Hotel degli Ulivi.

hotel details

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HOTEL DEGLI ULIVI, CASTRO

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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Hairdryer
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Minibar
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Just a 10-minute walk from the beach, the family run Hotel Degli Ulivi boasts superb sea views, with its balconies overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean. Rooms are simply furnished but comfortable, with ensuite facilities and sea view. The hotel also has a bar and restaurant which serves both Puglian and traditional Italian dishes.

Day 6: Castro to Tricase (16km/9.9mi)

Follow a coastal trail, fragrant with wild herbs, to the beautiful inlet of Acquaviva, with its pretty beach and picturesque marina. Then it's truly outstanding walking along age old trails boasting superb sea vistas, accompanied by the murmur of ocean waves, before heading inland to Tricase with its narrow winding alleyways and magnificent central piazza.

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You stay at B&B Rosa dei Venti.

hotel details

 equivalent

B&B ROSA DEI VENTI, TRICASE

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Located in the quiet and historic centre of Tricase, this charming B&B offers a traditional feel with modern amenities. There are just 3 rooms, all well equipped for a comfortable stay, with tiled floors, exposed honey coloured stone ceilings and whitewashed walls. There is also an internal courtyard area where breakfast is taken.

Day 7: Novaglie to Santa Maria di Leuca (11km/6.8mi)

After a short transfer to the pretty harbour at Novaglie, a spectacular clifftop trail winds its way through a breathtaking landscape of rocky cliffs dotted with euphorbia and prickly pear, with stunning views over the coastline and azure waters beyond. Today's final stretch runs along the Via Francigena del Sud, as you follow in the steps of pilgrims en route to the Holy Land to the Sanctuary at Santa Maria di Leuca.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Terminal.

hotel details

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HOTEL TERMINAL, SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


The Hotel Terminal has a prime location on the sea front, with lovely views over to the Punta Ristola Leuca, the southernmost point of Italy's 'heel'. Rooms at the Hotel Terminal are comfortable and well equipped whilst other facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, bar, outdoor pool and sun terrace. The hotel also benefits from its own private beach.

Day 8: Leave Santa Maria di Leuca

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$2390
$0
 
 
 
 

These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $267.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $267.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Hotel upgrades available
TRAVEL DETAILS

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

REVIEWS

We really enjoyed the walking holiday. We hadn’t expected to walk through so many meadows which were very enjoyable. It was a walking holiday where you do get away from everything and only see a few fellow walkers most days.

We would recommend that you visit the local shops, bakery etc. before you set off as there isn’t always anywhere on the way.

Sarah Sharman, 3 May 2024

 

Fascinating coastline and wonderful wildflowers. Great introduction to Salento.

Colin Wood, 1 May 2024

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1
Leisurely

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from $1850

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: +44 1606 720199

 

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