Pathways of Puglia

Salento – slow-paced villages and a sparkling sea
 
Journey on foot from the tip of Italy’s stiletto ‘heel’ to its easternmost point, and fall in love with Salento’s simple, slow-paced ways of life. A dazzling coastline – far reaching views and pristine coves – is balanced by a timeless hinterland, and the walking here is a delight.
Pathways of Puglia. 7 nights
Pathways of Puglia. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in Puglia

Salento, the humble and rough-hewn, southernmost part of Puglia, is a region worth getting to know. Although its colours are instantly beguiling – creamy stone, a rich red soil, silver-green olive groves and an expansive blue sky – much of its charm lies hidden from view.
This could be down to centuries of history – the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Spanish all left their mark; it might be due to the easy-going charm and genuine warmth of the people; or it could be the fact that this bucolic region, with its rural simplicity and slow pace of life, so richly repays the patient traveller. Whichever it is, this journey on foot, from the tip of Italy’s stiletto ‘heel’ to the historic port town of Otranto, reveals Salento’s secluded soul.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, 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 Lecce
    Night 1: at Hotel Santa Chiara or Palazzo Rollo (where you spend one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is the first day of walking.

    (Depending on your travel timings, you might be able to make the most of the hotel’s central location to admire some of Lecce’s renowned architectural treasures today; or add an extra night for more time to explore.)
  • Lecce to Gagliano del Capo: 6km, 2hrs; 160m ascent / 20m descent
    Catch a train south from Lecce to Gagliano, for a short taxi transfer to Santa Maria di Leuca, whose iconic lighthouse towers over the bluest of seas at the very tip of Italy, de finibus terrae. After exploring the atmospheric sanctuary, and a spot of lunch, follow quiet lanes between red-hued fields – criss-crossed by dry-stone walls and olive groves – to reach Masseria Alcorico for an overnight stay.
    Lecce to Gagliano del Capo: 6km
    Santa Maria di Leuca
  • Gagliano del Capo to Castiglione d’Otranto: 11km, 3.5hrs; 240m ascent / 260m descent
    Today’s walk takes you through the town of Gagliano, a former feudal holding, and onto a trail through the Canale del Ciolo gorge to the Sentiero delle Cipolliane, a beautiful coastal path. Quiet lanes then lead inland to Corsano, where you are collected by taxi for the short journey to Castiglione d'Otranto. Here, hosts Sonia and Emanuele welcome you to Palazzo Mellacqua for an overnight stay.
    Gagliano del Capo to Castiglione d’Otranto: 11km
    The coastal path
  • Castiglione d’Otranto to Santa Cesarea Terme: 11km, 4hrs; 170m ascent / 200m descent
    Following a short transfer to Marittima, you return to the coast and continue north to Castro, where you can explore the harbour area and centro storico, with its 16th-century Aragonese castle. The route crosses a plateau before descending through woodland to arrive at your destination – the elegant, cliff-top spa town of Santa Cesarea Terme. The Est Hotel, situated just above the town, is the venue for your next overnight stay.
    Castiglione d’Otranto to Santa Cesarea Terme: 11km
    The 16th-century Aragonese castle at Castro
  • Santa Cesarea Terme to Porto Badisco: 12.5km, 4.5hrs; 210m ascent / 220m descent
    Cross a plateau with views to the sea, then return to the coast at picturesque Porto Badisco. Stop for a swim, perhaps, before following a rugged coastal path via clifftop Torre Emiliano, turning inland through rolling countryside to reach Masseria Panareo or Tenuta Sant Emiliano.
    Santa Cesarea Terme to Porto Badisco: 12.5km
    Porto Badisco
  • Porto Badisco to Otranto: 11km, 4hrs; 80m ascent / 125m descent
    Follow rural tracks north to the site of a stunningly colourful bauxite mine, Cava di Bauxite. From here, descend to a rugged coastal path with ideal spots for a picnic before rounding a headland to arrive in Otranto for two nights at the maritime-themed Corte di Nettuno.
    Porto Badisco to Otranto: 11km
    Punta Palascia lighthouse
  • Circular route from Otranto: 8km, 2.5hrs; ascent/descent 90m
    Take some time to explore this compact, fortified port town on foot, admiring its imposing castle and the Norman cathedral’s 12th-century mosaic floor. Then follow our leisurely circuit into the surrounding countryside, head to the beach or take a boat trip to seek out some of the Adriatic’s hidden coves. Afterwards, pick a seafront restaurant for dinner, to enjoy a final taste of this seductive – and very rewarding – corner of Italy.
    Circular route from Otranto: 8km
    Around Otranto
 

Accommodation

This holiday offers an eclectic mix of good-quality accommodation.

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.

Wherever you stay in Lecce, we recommend adding extra nights to give yourselves more time to explore this Baroque gem of a city, ‘The Florence of the South’, using our self-guided walking tour.
 
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.
Currency converter

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  • 7 nights: 01 April 2024 - 30 June 2024 & 01 September 2024 - 01 November 2024

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Apr - 15 May 2024 £1095 £195
    16 May - 23 Jun 2024 £1180 £205
    1 - 15 Sep 2024 £1290 £230
    16 Sep - 25 Oct 2024 £1160 £195
    3rd & 4th person discount -£100
    Single traveller supplement £100

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

    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)

    Suite Hotel Santa Chiara, Lecce
    Superior: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £7
    Superior: 01 Sep - 01 Nov 2024 £7
    Masseria Alcorico, Gagliano del Capo
    Sea view with terrace: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £11
    Sea view with terrace: 01 Sep - 01 Nov 2024 £11
    Masseria Panareo, near Porto Badisco
    'Comfort': 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £11
    'Comfort': 01 Sep - 01 Nov 2024 £11

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

    Suite Hotel Santa Chiara, Lecce (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £84 £130
    01 Sep - 01 Nov 2024 £84 £130
    Est Hotel, Santa Cesarea Terme (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 28 May 2024 £70 £123
    29 May - 02 Jun 2024 £92 £150
    03 Jun - 30 Jun 2024 £70 £123
    01 Sep - 01 Nov 2024 £70 £123
    Masseria Panareo, near Porto Badisco (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £77 £114
    01 Sep - 01 Sep 2024 £103 £156
    02 Sep - 01 Nov 2024 £77 £114
    Corte di Nettuno, Otranto (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £86 £121
    01 Sep - 21 Sep 2024 £116 £166
    22 Sep - 01 Nov 2024 £86 £121
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    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 (0h30) £40 flexible
    bus Brindisi airport to Lecce (0h40) pay locally 1730
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Lecce (0h40), bus Lecce to Brindisi airport (0h40, pay locally) £40 1245
    direct taxi hotel to Brindisi airport (1h10) £66 flexible
    taxi hotel to Lecce station (0h40), rail Lecce to Brindisi station (0h30) £55 1100

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bari

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Bari airport to hotel (2h) £103 flexible
    rail Bari Centrale to Lecce (1h20-1h55) £29 1630
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Bari airport (2h30) £145 flexible
    taxi hotel to Lecce (0h40), rail Lecce to Bari Centrale (1h20-1h55) £59 1230
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 2 dinners
    4 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • transfers on days 1, 2 & 3
 
Reviews

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 >

 

FAQs

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.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/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, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • 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.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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