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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking on Puglia’s Coast

Italy
Available Departures: Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Sep, Oct, Nov

8 days from

US$1,075

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Explore Puglia’s magnificent eastern coast on this one week self-guided walking holiday

Trip Code: SGPW
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking on Puglia’s Coast

Highlights
  • Spend two nights in Otranto, known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’
  • Hike along the Cipolliane Path accompanied by far reaching views across the Adriatic
  • Discover the impressive town of Lecce with its unique Baroque architecture
  • Relax in the natural hot springs of Santa Cesarea Terme or take a dip in the many idyllic swimming spots

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking and sightseeing
  • Daily departures available
  • Join In Otranto / End in Lecce

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

Discover Puglia, the bread basket of Italy, on this excellent one week self-guided walking holiday. Step away from the crowds and into the culture of Italy’s heel; a culture built on fishing, olive oil production and fantastic food. You can look forward to enjoying rugged coastal walking from Otranto to Gagliano del Capo, accompanied by its ever changing landscape, from the oranges and olive groves of the Idro Valley to the curious Cava di Bauxite. Finally, you’ll take the scenic train journey to Lecce and have time to discover one of the most historically important cities in Puglia, a place steeped in baroque grandeur.


Staying in a fantastic selection of 3* and 4* hotels on a B&B basis with two evening meals included, you will be able to delight in sampling the delicious produce the region has to offer and unwind each evening as the sun sets, perhaps with a glass of the local red wine. Walking 4-5 hours a day you will have plenty of time for a dip in the numerous swimming spots waiting to be enjoyed along your way. Your walks will reward you with far reaching views across the Adriatic to the Balkans and Greece, the sweet scents of wild fennel, pine trees and olive groves, and the taste of the salt air as you hear the waves crash below. Puglia really is a trip for your senses.

LOOKING to extend your holiday?

Fancy the ultimate Adriatic experience?  For a complete experience why not turn your weeks holiday into a much bigger adventure. For something a little different you can hop on the ferry from Bari to undertake our Self-Guided Walking: Dubrovnik and Dalmation Coast and Self-Guided Walking the Coastal South of Albania.

Is this holiday for you?

This trip is ideal if you are looking to experience Puglia away from the crowds with the perfect mix of coastal walking, fantastic food, historic towns and idyllic swimming stops along your way. Walking an average of 4-5 hours and ascending no more than 500m a day on rocky paths your routes will take you to traditional villages and fishing towns, to hidden caves and through shaded pine forests. We …

This trip is ideal if you are looking to experience Puglia away from the crowds with the perfect mix of coastal walking, fantastic food, historic towns and idyllic swimming stops along your way. Walking an average of 4-5 hours and ascending no more than 500m a day on rocky paths your routes will take you to traditional villages and fishing towns, to hidden caves and through shaded pine forests. We have specifically designed this trip to allow plenty of time for you to stop off along the way at the many picture perfect swim spots and enjoy the delicious local cuisine. Staying at a fantastic selection of 3* and 4* accommodations along the way, and some with a pool, you can be sure to have the comfort to relax after a busy day exploring.

Why KE?

We have created this trip with tranquillity in mind, getting you off the beaten track for the perfect mix of rugged coastal walking, culture and swimming spots.

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Itinerary

Depending on your arrival time in Otranto, you will be able to settle into your hotel and explore this 'Pearl of the Orient'. Take time to be enchanted by its compact old quarter and visit the macabre artefacts that lay in glass cabinets behind the altar of the cathedral - the bones of 813 martyrs who brutally fought in the infamous battle with the Turks in 1480. If you prefer to have a slightly less morbid start to your holiday we suggest taking a stroll along the town's strong walls to the delightful port and seafront where you can enjoy a drink and spot of people watching as you take in the views across the Adriatic towards the Balkans and Greece. In the evening venture to one of the local restaurants to enjoy more of the region's fantastic specialities.

Accommodation

Hotel

Waking up to the fresh Mediterranean breeze you can enjoy a relaxed continental breakfast before putting on your walking boots to enjoy a fantastic introductory hike through the Idro valley. Today's route is a loop taking you along the Idro River, through fragrant orchards of oranges and fields of olive groves. Along your way you will discover the curious Sant Angelo Cave, a church carved into the rock with detailed frescos dating back to the 13th century. The church is the only one of its kind in Puglia with two underground floors where six tombs were excavated. You will have time to explore this unusual church before continuing your loop to Otranto to enjoy another delicious evening meal as the sun sets on a great first day of walking.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

96 M

Descent

96 M

Distance

8 KM

This morning you say farewell to Otranto as you make your way through the maze of narrow streets to the port. You will have opportunity to enjoy a coffee before heading along the coast. Before long you head inland to discover the intense emerald waters and deep red rocky walls of the Cava di Bauxite - it's hard to believe this lush lake area was once a quarry now that nature has taken hold. The trails return you to the coast where you will see the Punta Palascia Lighthouse in the distance, your next goal. The lighthouse marks the easternmost point of Italy, just 71km from Albania whose mountains you can often see in the distance. It is possible to easily combine this trip with our Self-Guided Walking the Coastal South of Albania via ferry so you can take a closer look at those mountains in the distance.

As you continue along the coast to your home for the night in Porto Badisco you will be accompanied by the cooling sea breeze and witness locals enjoying a dip in the inviting crystal clear waters. This area known as Salento is known for its pristine beaches so today is certainly a day to pack your swimsuit.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

270 M

Descent

240 M

Distance

13 KM

Today's walk will take you further along this beautiful coastline along a shepherd's track, punctuated with typical 'pagliari' - round, flat topped stone building where shepherds traditionally slept as they kept watch over their flock. As you reach the half way point of your hike you steer away from the coast to ascend to a plateau providing far reaching views. Making your way along the plateau's narrow paths you are greeted by a pine forest providing the perfect shaded spot for a picnic. Descending from the plateau you arrive in the beautiful town of Santa Cesarea Terme standing proud like a glittering white gem above the Adriatic Sea. The town is famed for its wonderful natural hot springs known for their health benefits making them the perfect end to a day hiking.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

200 M

Descent

170 M

Distance

13 KM

Feeling refreshed and fuelled by a tasty breakfast in your hotel your walk today provides a lovely mix of scenery and several swimming opportunities too. Leaving Santa Cesarea you ascend to reach an old walled road leading inland through tranquil farmlands to the Ancient Messapian town of Castro. Castro is a gem of a town with its old world atmosphere protected by the strong fortress, towers and high walls. Walking through the narrow streets you will soon be led to the main square and the panoramic terrazza for fantastic views across to Corfu. You will have time to enjoy a spot of lunch before making your way to the port where you will see fisherman bringing in the day's catch, or in the summer months perhaps a dazzling yacht and holiday makers enjoying a dip in the cooling sea.

Following the rocky coastline you make your way to the stunning and secluded Acquaviva Cove, a wonderful swimming spot where fresh water springs feed into the crystal clear Adriatic. When you have finished taking in this dreamy spot you will make a final ascent through the shade of the forested Acquaviva Valley to your hotel in Marttima. Take time to settle into your hotel and explore this welcoming town before enjoying a feast of local delicacies in a nearby restaurant.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

310 M

Descent

245 M

Distance

12 KM

Your walk today will take you through series of immense olive trees to tranquil countryside steeped in history. Joining a traditional 'tratturi' (a system of ancient roads and footpaths used by locals in the south of Italy to connect villages and orchards), you make your way towards the coast and descend to Tricase Porto. Take time to explore this sleepy harbour town, visit the Torre del Sasso sitting proudly on its majestic rock, or enjoy lunch and a 'caffe in ghiaccio' (iced coffee) in one of the harbour cafes before continuing on your walk. Arriving into Marina Serra you will have time to discover the town's natural swimming pool where the waves have cut into the rocky coast that wends between the reef to gift a fantastic pool complete with grottoes - a truly enchanting swimming spot.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

310 M

Descent

370 M

Distance

14 KM

Your final hike of the week begins with a short ascent along the Sentiero del Nemico (Enemy's Path) so named as it is the perfect place to plot an ambush to unexpected visitors during times of unrest. With no fear of an ambush today, you can instead enjoy the beautiful views. Before long you re-join the ancient tratturi network to take you inland to the sleepy town of Novaglie where you can reward your morning's efforts with a coffee. The final section of your walk is one of our favourites, as you join the spectacular Cipolliane Path as it wends its way along the coast, high above the clear waters below. Named after the caves below, the pathway is punctuated with prickly pear trees and euphorbia as it leads you to Ciolo Bridge, a lovely spot for a final swim. From the Ciolo Cove you make your way up the Ciolo Valley to Gagliano del Capo where you can raise a glass to a great week of walking in Puglia before catching the train to Lecce to spend your final night.

Lecce is a city to experience and be captivated by as you soak in the city's architecture and character, be sure to take time to get lost in the narrow streets unveiling hidden piazzas and extravagant churches. Be sure to take time to discover the city's distinctive architecture and delight in dinner in one of the many open air restaurants around the city as locals take part in the 'la passeggiata'.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

530 M

Descent

380 M

Distance

13 KM

Enjoy breakfast in your hotel and, if timings allow, take a final stroll through the narrow streets of Lecce as the city awakes. The city is a fantastic place for a city break and we can arrange additional nights' accommodation if you wish to stay and explore a little longer. Please ask our sales team for details.

Alternatively, if you would like to turn your week's holiday into a much bigger adventure then this trip can be ideally linked with any of our other Italian trips (the Italian rail network is fantastic) or for something a little different you can hop on the ferry from Bari to undertake our Self-Guided Walking: Dubrovnik and Dalmation Coast and Self-Guided Walking the Coastal South of Albania trips for a full tour of the Adriatic.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes
  • Luggage transfers

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to Otranto
  • Travel from Lecce
  • City Taxes (approx. 2-5 euro per night)
  • Public buses and taxis
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using a signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for most of our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, so please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling instead.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts in Otranto. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport for this trip is Bari Airport with many departures from regional UK airports.

If you are flying into Bari Airport, it is possible to take the metro to Bari Train Station from where you can take the bus direct to Otranto. The journey takes approximately 3 hours.

The trip finishes in Lecce. From Lecce you can take the train direct to Bari Centrale, from where you can take the metro to the airport. The journey takes approximately 2 and half hours.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday. We have also included two evening meals at your hotel when there are fewer options close by.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Italy has long been a foodie’s dream, but discovering Puglia is a real treat for the taste buds. With it’s vast coastline providing endless supplies of delicious seafood waiting to be feasted on alongside the regions famous Pane de Altamura bread (perfect for mopping up any dish). But, the real treat is the vast amount of vegetarian dishes on offer in the region. The southern region has traditionally been a poor one built on agriculture, and this shows through in the fantastic hearty cuisine where vegetables and pasta are the star ingredients. You can look forward to snacking on Taralli, small rings made from crispy bread dough served with dipping oil; picnic on Apulian focaccia and Panzerotti, a deep-fried parcel of dough stuffed with mozzarella and tomato; and dining on Orecchiette pasta served with broccoli or Parmigiana di Melanzane (aubergine) or Parmigiana di Carciofi (artichoke). For those with a sweet tooth (like us here at KE) then you can enjoy the immensely moreish Pasticciotti, mainly found as you near Lecce, these little fried pastry puffs are served with sugar and almonds. Yum!

For this trip we have hand selected a wonderful group of 3* and 4* hotels, each with their own personal style in keeping with the region. All hotels offer fantastic hospitality, a lovely breakfast and have sociable communal areas perfect for unwinding after a busy day exploring with gardens, terraces and some also have outdoor swimming pools.

It is possible to arrange additional nights' accommodation in Otranto before your trip, or Lecce at the end of your trip if you would prefer to extend your time living 'la dolce vita'. Please speak to one of our sales team for details.

Your main luggage will be transferred between each of your hotels while you are out on your walk. We ask that you please ensure that each piece of your luggage is under 20kg and that your luggage is ready for collection each morning. You will also need a daypack to carry your daily essentials with you whilst you are walking.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace. However, getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense and the fitter you are the more enjoyable your walks will be. The walks take you along beautiful coastal paths which can be rocky in parts, across rural landscapes, and along traditional tratturi, an ancient road network. You should be comfortable with walking 4 to 5 hours for consecutive days with ascents up to 500m per day. Coastal paths can be vertiginous in parts so a head for heights is required. We suggest that you try to fit in a number of daily walks in hilly countryside before your trip and it’s always a good idea to spend some time walking in the footwear you are going to use on this holiday.

Puglia has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers when temperatures can reach up to 30 degrees Centigrade, and mild winters. The most enjoyable time to visit this region is in the spring and autumn months when temperatures are a little cooler (between 10 and 25 degrees Centigrade).

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Head Over Heel: Seduced by Southern Italy – Chris Harrison
  • Finding Myself in Puglia: A Journey of Self-Discovery Under the Warm Southern Italian Sun – Laine B Brown
  • Puglia and Basilicata – Lonely Planet

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Long/short hiking trousers

  • Hiking socks

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Waterproof trousers

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit inside your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

  • Walking poles

  • Headtorch & spare batteries

  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

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2025

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Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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