Salento is particularly suitable for bicycle trips even for the little ones. The central part of the province is - in fact - completely flat and populated by small villages that allows numerous stops.
We have designed our family bike tour with shorter distances (15 to 30 km per day), all on secondary roads in the countryside, to allow also families to discover our region by bicycle.
For the little ones we provide seats or trolleys to attach to the adults’ bikes, for the older ones there are suitable bikes, also with special "arms" to tie them to their parents’ ones.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LECCE
In the late afternoon you meet our staff for a briefing on your trip and delivery of bicycles and GPS.
Then we recommend a walk - by bike or by foot - around the historic center of Lecce, known as the 'Florence of the South' that will win you over with its Spanish-style baroque architecture and its Roman ruins.
DAY 2: FROM LECCE TO MARTANO (29 KM)
Completely flat route and on secondary roads. First stop is in Cavallino, where you visit an open-air museum on the Messapian civilization (the people who lived here before the arrival of the Greeks and Romans). Continue then, through olive groves bounded by dry stone walls, up to Calimera; here you can visit a Museum of natural history, where you can discover the distinctive flora and fauna of the region.
Final destination is Martano, the capital of the “Salentinian Greece”.
DAY 3: THE ‘SALENTINE GREECE’ (23KM)
During the Middle Age in Salento, people spoke Greek, thanks to the presence of the Byzantine monks.
The 'Grecìa Salentina' is a small region of 9 municipalities where a version of this language is still spoken, called “Griko”
You visit some of these municipalities: Zollino, Sternatia, Martignano.
In their charming historical centers, you discover some of the most delicious gastronomic specialties, such as 'sceblasti', a soft bread seasoned with tomatoes, courgettes, onions and peppers. Just this on its own is a worthy lunch! Or you can taste “Sibilla” a pastry with a base of almonds dough – invented by a local pastry chef – to buy which, a lot of local people drive quite few kilometers.
DAY 4: FROM MARTANO TO GALATONE (28 KM)
The first part of the journey is still in the Grecìa Salentina: you, first, pass through Castrignano dei Greci where, among other things, you can admire the 'pozzelle', an ancient system of public rainwater collection, then on to Corigliano D'Otranto with its majestic castle in baroque style - until you reach the village of Cutrofiano, famous for its pottery crafts.
You can do an optional visit to an organic farm near Cutrofiano, a cheese producer and a honey producer.
DAY 5: AROUND GALATONE: GALATINA (19KM)
You can start the day by picking vegetables in the farm's vegetable garden and then take a cooking class with Anna, who will host you in her large country house with swimming pool. You can learn how to make orecchiette (typical pasta of the place, in the shape of an ear) and the "pitta di patate" - a pizza made with potatoes and “pasticciotto cake”. The house has a large swimming pool, so before and after lunch you can relax with your family. Then, you set off in the direction of Galatina, where you can admire the church of Santa Caterina, whose walls are completely covered with frescoes in Giotto style, and wander around the beautiful historical center of the city. Galatina is the center of 'tarantismo', a ritual in which sick people (supposedly bitten by a taranta, a spider) were treated through music (the famous 'pizzica'). The ritual itself is no longer pursued but the traditional music is still very much alive and performed everywhere. Do not miss the 'pasticciotto', a typical dessert of the locality, filled with a creamy custard that has in Galatina the great-grandson of its inventor: Mr Ascalone. Preferably eaten hot!
DAY 6: FROM GALATONE TO GALLIPOLI (16KM)
Today, you continue to ride in the countryside, among olive trees and "pajare" (typical dry stone buildings, which dot the countryside). In Galatone, you can visit the castle of Fulcignano (built by our Norman ancestor), in Alezio, the museum of the Messapian civilization. If you want, you can take a detour to Tuglie for a visit to the Radio Museum (where you can find a history of radio communication with dozens of ancient examples all still working). Final destination is Gallipoli.
DAY 7: AROUND GALLIPOLI - TO PORTO SELVAGGIO (20 KM)
A relaxing day by the sea. After a short ride along the coast (quite deserted outside the peak season), you get to the Natural Park of Porto Selvaggio: a wooded area of more than 1000 hectares close to the sea. The calm sea here is fed by spring waters, and you can swim and relax for your last day of travel.
On the way back, you really must stop in Santa Caterina, a very small town, where the inhabitants seem to know no other activity than that of eating ice cream!
DAY 8: ONWARD TRAVEL
In the morning, you can walk around the historic center of this fishing town, among whose narrow streets you can still breathe life as it would have been lived decades ago.
Do not miss the visit to the underground mill, where olives used to be processed when Gallipoli was the world capital for the export of olive oil. Transfer to Lecce organized by us.