The terrific coast from Otranto to the end of the "heel" of Italy
An amazing tour along the Adriatic coast from Otranto to S. Maria di Leuca: the southern cape of Puglia.
Otranto (recognized by Unesco as a Culture of Peace Messenger Site) and its historic city center with the Aragonese castle, the ancient walls and gate, the cathedral with the relics of the 800 martyrs and its astonishing mosaics with hundreds hidden meanings, the Byzantine church of St. Peter, the terraces overlooking the port.
Most of the day will be spent driving alongside the coast on the South of Otranto enjoying the stunning views of the rugged coastline, the satured colours of an exausted bauxite mine, the lighthouse of Palascia (the southeasternmost cape of Italy), the coastal watching towers, the bay of Porto Badisco, Santa Cesarea Terme (with the ecletctic apulian liberty style villas), Castro (with the small port and the fortified hamlet of Castrum Minervae dating back from the pre-roman age), the fiord of Ciolo, Tricase Porto, S. Maria di Leuca with the Basilica di S. Maria de Finibus Terrae.
It's also possible to modify the itinerary with a boat trip to admire the marine caves between Castro and Santa Cesarea and for a swim in a bay or in a marine cave with the sulphureus water coming out from the thermal spring; a visit to Zinzulusa Grotto (a cave with stalactites and stalagmites; it's a marine cave but the entrance is from the mainland); the hidden secrets of dolmens and menhirs (those mysterious prehistoric megalithic monuments with an extremely high density in this area: the southeasternmost of Italy and localted along the 40th parallel of latitude); the quaint hamlet of Specchia; the coast on the North of Otranto (with the legendary Cave of Poetry next to the archeological site of the ancient fortified city of Roca Vecchia, the dramatic view of the faraglioni stacks of Torre S. Andrea); the baroque and lively Gallipoli on the Ionian coast; Corigliano d'Otranto and its castle with the baroque facade; Galatina with the Basilica of S. Caterina d'Alessandria and its wonderful frescoes.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: at your hotel (or wherever you like) in Lecce or Otranto
End location: at your hotel (or wherever you like) in Lecce or Otranto
Duration: 8 hours
For this tour you need a transfer. If you have a vechicle I can come with you otherwise I can arrange for you the transportation by car, van, minibus, bus, wheelchair accessible vehicle, etc.
full day (up to 8 hours) private (I'll be entirely dedicated to you thus you won't share the tour with other travellers) guided visit in English language. I'm a licensed tour guide, wine and olive oil sommelier.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
15 eur - it depends if you like to stop for a meal, a snack, a wine tasting, etc.
- meals, typical food tastings and personal extras
- extra hour: 30 eur (per group, not per person) for each extra hour (if any) exceding 8 hours;
- entrance ticket if you like to visit Zinzulusa Grotto (a cave with stalactites and stalagmites; it's a marine cave but the entrance is from the mainland): 5 € per person;
- boat trip: 1 hour from Castro to Zinsulusa Grotto (15 € per person), 2 hours from Castro to Santa Cesarea Terme with 2 stops for a swim (25 € per person);
- transportation: to be quoted.
A Recent Review of this tour
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Alessandro is wonderful! Not only is he extremely knowledgable but he is a lovely person who is accommodating, easy going and tailors the tour to one's interests. We had a great day with him visiting a multitude of sights and learned a lot about the history and culture of the region.