5. From Lecce: Otranto, S.M. Leuca, Gallipoli & Galatina Tour
Take part in this tour to visit four of the most picturesque towns in Salento: Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca, Gallipoli, and Galatina. Follow a scenic route from the Adriatic to the Ionian Sea, between rocky coasts, small bays, and white Caribbean-style beaches.
Stop first in Otranto, one of the most beautiful coastal villages in Salento. The town of Otranto is full of history and every corner highlights the passage of different civilizations, including the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and the Aragoneses. Enjoy free time to visit the splendid Cathedral, the Church of Saint Peter in perfect Byzantium style, the Castle, the Towers, the mighty Pelasgi Bastions, and the walls that surrounded the whole of the ancient city.
After Otranto, reach Santa Maria di Leuca, along the wonderful Adriatic coast, characterized by cliffs overlooking the sea, caves, and bays with rocky bottoms. Along the way, admire Santa Cesarea Terme, Castro Marina, and the Ciolo Fiord.
Enjoy exploring Santa Maria di Leuca, the heel of Italy, where the Ionian Sea meets the Adriatic Sea. From this tip of Puglia, marvel at spectacular views of the harbor and the sea, as well as the sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae.
Next, arrive at Gallipoli, the pearl of the Ionian Sea. This Greek city can be divided into two areas, the new village, where the tourist facilities and modern buildings arise, and the old part of the city, which is located on a limestone island connected to the mainland by a 17th-century bridge. Walk through a labyrinth of narrow streets in the historic center, home to traditional shops with local crafts, impressive Baroque churches, and aristocratic palazzi. See the Cathedral dedicated to St. Agatha, the Angevine Castle, and the Greek Fountain, one of the oldest fountains in Italy.
Lastly, see Galatina, a gem of art, history, and tradition. Visit the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul and the ancient "courtyard houses". Stop at the Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria is known for the mesmerizing frescoes inside, which were created by Giotto's disciples.