Pedalling through Puglia

Salento, the heel of Italy
Leisurely routes on quiet roads, including spectacular coastal rides, is the essence of this self-guided cycling holiday, with luggage transported. Experience the region’s fascinating culture and cuisine, admire historic Lecce’s Baroque architecture and stay in traditional farmsteads.
Pedalling through Puglia. 8 nights
Pedalling through Puglia. 8 nights

Holiday information


A cycling holiday in southern Italy

The gently rolling plains of Salento form the heel of Italy, a bucolic landscape dotted with traditional masserie – ancient villa estates that have survived the turmoil of centuries, and which still maintain the countryside in time-honoured fashion.

This land, sandwiched between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, was first settled by Greeks – indeed, in some areas, the ancient language ‘Grika’ is still spoken – then conquered by the Romans, and later still by the Normans.
All have left their mark across the plains and along the coast, where crumbling watchtowers stand in decaying splendour.



The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on almost any day of the week, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 13 13 15 18 23 27 30 30 27 22 17 14
    mm 81 65 73 43 32 22 16 31 57 87 90 82
  • Arrival in Vernole
    Night 1: at Masseria Copertini (where you spend one night).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of cycling.
  • Vernole to Porto Badisco: 54km
    Begin by following quiet lanes to the walled village of Acaya (whose castle is worth a visit), then cycle through Le Cesine, an important wetland habitat for birds, to reach the sea. Roca Vecchia provides a good opportunity to get off your bikes briefly for a wander along the low cliffs to admire caves and some spectacular seascapes. Passing abandoned watchtowers and freshwater lakes, you continue south along the jagged coastline to reach the historic port of Otranto, where you can stop for a wander and refreshments. Then, pedal along a panoramic road above the coast to reach the wonderfully secluded Masseria Panareo near Porto Badisco, where you stay for two nights.
    Vernole to Porto Badisco: 54km
  • Circular route from Porto Badisco: 35km
    If you can tear yourself away from the pool, we recommend an easy and delightful circuit exploring a number of villages and sights of the interior, including the Baroque town of Poggiardo and the botanical gardens of La Cutura. You cycle mainly along quiet country lanes among the extensive olive groves and simple but colourful farming country that characterises this corner of Puglia.
    Circular route from Porto Badisco: 35km
    Traditional trulli
  • Porto Badisco to Gagliano del Capo: 42km
    Today you continue south along the wild coastline, which is honeycombed with caves, rock arches and grottoes. Stop off for morning coffee at the elegant spa town of Santa Cesarea Terme, characterised by Art Nouveau and Moorish style buildings, then take our recommended short detour to visit the spectacular Zinzulusa Cave, where there is also a panoramic restaurant for lunch. Later on, pause to admire Castro Marina, a harbour which still has a castle, a 12th-century cathedral and most of its 16th-century ramparts intact; and the small harbour and natural inlet at Tricase Porto, with its tiny beach. Continue along to the coast, eventually turning off to reach Masseria Alcorico, a short distance inland just outside Gagliano del Capo, with its palm-shaded pool.
    Porto Badisco to Gagliano del Capo: 42km
    Santa Cesarea Terme
  • Circular route from Gagliano del Capo: 31km
    Today’s circuit is a varied and very enjoyable one. First you cross the bottom of Italy’s ‘heel’ along country lanes through olive groves via the interesting town of Patù (whose narrow streets you can explore in seeking out the fascinating Centopietre – a tomb of a ‘hundred stones’), en route to the beaches of Torre Vado on the Ionian coast. We recommend stopping for a delicious seafood lunch here, or perhaps delaying until you reach the port of Marina di Leuca close to De Finibus Terrae (Italy’s ‘Land’s End’). Here you can visit the iconic lighthouse and remarkable basilica, located on the very tip of Puglia where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet. From here, it’s just a short ride – again inland across colourful agricultural land characterised by deep-red earth and dry-stone walls – back to your hotel.
    Circular route from Gagliano del Capo: 31km
    Torre Vado beach on the circular route around Gagliano del Capo
  • Gagliano del Capo to Gallipoli: 58km; shorter option: 19km 
    Although lengthy, today’s route around the coast to Gallipoli could scarcely be any simpler (or flatter), and makes for a very enjoyable ride. Pause at inviting beaches and interesting coastal towns before reaching the wide arc of Baia Verde (‘Green Bay’), where we recommend a dip in the sea from the extensive golden sands before continuing to Gallipoli for an overnight stay at Relais Corte Palmieri or Hotel Al Pescatore. Alternatively, you can start with a transfer, leaving you with just a short distance to cover to reach your destination. Whichever route you choose, it’s a joy to explore the Old Town (where your hotel is situated), connected to the mainland via an arched bridge and perched on a limestone islet. Known as Kallipolis (‘beautiful city’) in Greek, Gallipoli’s walls, ramparts and towers once defended the city from foreign raiders, and now shelter it from rough seas, as well as lending it a very special allure.
    Gagliano del Capo to Gallipoli: 58km
    Gagliano del Capo to Gallipoli shorter option: 19km
  • Gallipoli to Sternatia: 39km
    Today, you head north-east via the 'Grecia Salentina', a group of sleepy towns and villages where traces of the Greek-Byzantine civilisation linger on and Griko, the idiom or dialect that is close to modern Greek, still survives. Eventually you pass through the small town of Sternatia to reach the elegant and stylish Masseria Chicco Rizzo, located amid its own olive groves.
    Gallipoli to Sternatia: 39km
    Elegant architecture
  • Explore Lecce
    You may wish to do no more than relax by the pool or pootle around locally on your bike. However, our suggestion is to take the train (Monday to Saturday only) to Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South’. It is the most complete Baroque town in southern Europe, whose sumptuous architecture, enhanced by the pale honey-coloured local stone and featuring elaborately sculpted gargoyles and animals, lends it great charm. We provide detailed notes for a city walk taking in the Roman amphitheatre, parts of the old walls, and several of its wonderful churches.


You stay in a delightful selection of traditional working masserie or agriturismi – as well as a historic hotel in Gallipoli.

In some places, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

Extend your stay

Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 8 nights: 01 April 2024 - 30 June 2024, 01 September 2024 - 31 October 2024, 01 April 2025 - 30 June 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day except Sunday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2024 £1685 £200
    1 May - 22 Jun 2024 £1795 £195
    1 - 14 Sep 2024 £1930 £220
    15 - 24 Sep 2024 £1810 £205
    25 Sep - 23 Oct 2024 £1750 £200
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £1755 £210
    1 May - 22 Jun 2025 £1870 £205
    1 - 14 Sep 2025 £2010 £230
    15 - 24 Sep 2025 £1885 £215
    25 Sep - 23 Oct 2025 £1820 £210
    3rd & 4th person discount -£190 to -£195
    Single traveller supplement £190 to £200

    Includes accommodation, meals, bike hire, luggage transfers and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus cycling notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Electric bikes available: add £130 per person in 2023 or £143 per person in 2024

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Masseria Alcorico, Gagliano del Capo
    Sea view with terrace: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £11
    Sea view with terrace: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £11
    Sea view with terrace: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2025 £11
    Sea view with terrace: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £11

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day’s hire of a standard bike or of an e-bike.
    Masseria Copertini, Vernole (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £143 £169
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £143 £169
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2025 £150 £177
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £150 £177
    Masseria Panareo, near Porto Badisco (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £145 £189
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £145 £189
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2025 £155 £201
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £155 £201
    Masseria Alcorico, Gagliano del Capo (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £134 £145
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £143 £154
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2025 £140 £151
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £150 £161
    Relais Corte Palmieri, Gallipoli (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £138 £160
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £160 £202
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2025 £145 £168
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £170 £214
    Masseria Chicco Rizzo, Sternatia (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £143 £189
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £138 £184
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2025 £150 £198
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £145 £193
    Brindisi or Bari
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Rome.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bari (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Edinburgh - Brindisi (via Milan Bergamo) Ryanair 
    Edingburgh - Bari (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bari (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Glasgow - Bari (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Bari Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Brindisi (via Zurich) Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Bari British Airways,  easyJet,  Wizz Air 
    Gatwick - Brindisi easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Bari (via Rome Fiumicino) Alitalia 
    Heathrow - Brindisi British Airways 
    Heathrow - Brindisi (via Milan Linate) Alitalia 
    Heathrow - Brindisi (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Heathrow - Brindisi (via Rome Fiumicino) Alitalia 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Bari Ryanair 
    Stansted - Brindisi Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Bari (via Brussels) Brussels Airlines 
    Manchester - Brindisi Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Rome.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Brindisi

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Brindisi airport to hotel (1h) £50-£52 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Brindisi airport (0h45) £50-£52 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bari

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Bari airport to hotel (2h) £126-£135 flexible
    rail Bari Centrale to Lecce (1h20-1h55), taxi Lecce to hotel (0h30) £50-£52 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    hotel transfer to Lecce (0h30), rail Lecce to Bari Centrale (1h25-1h50) £39-£41 1500
    direct taxi hotel to Bari airport (2h) £140-£150 flexible
What is included
  • 8 nights
  • 7 dinners
    8 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • high-quality bicycle
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • Our cycle supplier will provide you with a hybrid bike with 27 gears; a waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; and a lock. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade (see price panel), subject to availability, and must be requested at the time of booking. The bike shop also has a limited number of tandems.
  • While we would always recommend that you take your own well-fitting helmet, they can be hired locally for a small fee. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to hire a helmet.
  • Yes, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. (We also provide maps and our tried-and-tested route notes, which remain the principal means of navigation).
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. On mornings when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation so that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our cycling holidays in Europe page.
  • You are responsible for damage to or loss of the rental bike while it is hired to you. Always be careful to lock it up, ideally to an immovable object, and remove all easy-to-steal accessories whenever you leave it unattended.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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