Tag Archives: holiday houses

Salento by bike, the cycling routes to discover new places

16 Mag

Faster to feel the breeze on your skin or slower to observe every detail: the bike is undoubtedly the best way to discover Salento. Here they are two different routes, in length and in stages, but easy to follow even for less experienced cycle enthusiasts and which will give you the unmissable opportunity to get to know Salento from an unusual perspective.

LECCE – ACAYA – OTRANTO

Length 78 km; difference in altitude up to 405 meters

We start from Lecce and cycle for 12 km southwards, until we reach the ancient fortified village of Acaya, with the 16th century castle still intact. Passing through the “Le Cesine” nature reserve, you have the privilege to go through a path made up by trees, before arriving close to the beaches of San Foca and Torre dell’Orso.

We surely reccomend a stop in Roca Vecchia and a dip in the Grotta della Poesia. Along the Adriatic coast and after passing the splendid Sant’Andrea with its stacks, you arrive in the small town of Borgagne. The Alimini lakes are the last stop on the itinerary before reaching Otranto, the “Gateway to the East”.

MAGLIE – PUNTA PALASCIA – LEUCA – GALATINA

Length 186 km; difference in altitude up to 1500 meters

The second itinerary starts from Maglie, crossing the towns of Muro Leccese, Giurdignano and Otranto, from here you are very close to Punta Palascìa, the easternmost point of Italy. Along the Adriatic coast, you reach the small bay of Porto Badisco, where Aeneas landed from Troy and Santa Maria di Leuca, where the two seas, the Ionian and the Adriatic, meet.

The famous lighthouse of Punta Palascìa

From here, we are ready to go up the Ionian side through the medieval town Castrignano, Patù up to Gallipoli. The last stop is Galatina with its treasures, including the cathedral of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, one of the most distinguished expressions of Gothic and Romanesque art in Puglia.

Here, some tips for your stay in Salento:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home   

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

“Via Francigena” route, the path from Brindisi to Leuca

9 Mag

Watching from the window the landscapes that slowly change from town to town is a romantic aspect of the trip. But what if we slowed down further? What would we observe and what experience would we have if we crossed lands and places with the pace of the traveler? If you love to discover unknown landscapes with the pilgrim’s eye, the itinerary of “Via Francigena” route is perfect for you.

The route, in its last southern offshoot, starts from Rome and reaches Santa Maria di Leuca, the ancient Finibus Terrae. Recognized by the Council of Europe, the cultural itinerary will allow you to “savor” the colors of our land, a crossroads between East and West.

HISTORY – A stretch of more than 900 km through 4 different regions (Lazio, Molise, Basilicata and Puglia) was the path traveled by pilgrims from all over Europe during the Middle Ages to reach the ports of embarkation for the Holy Land. In Salento, the stretch of the Via Traiana Calabra, which connects Brindisi to Otranto, passing through Lecce, leads to Leuca, the last stop, before landing in Jerusalem.

The route began to take on greater importance starting from the late ancient age, when, following the political upheavals following the end of the Roman Empire and the subsequent Byzantine control of the territory, the town of Otranto assumed greater importance.

THE ITINERARY – The path follows in the footsteps of the pilgrim from Bordeaux who walked it in reverse in 333 AD, passes by the remains of the ancient Valesium, reaches Torchiarolo (one of the first municipalities to have given hospitality to contemporary pilgrims) and, finally, ends in Lupiae, now Lecce, symbol of the Baroque, whose artistic expression finds prominence in the numerous monuments and churches that, like embroidery, enrich the old town.

The path continues through Carpignano Salentino, and then Otranto, ancient Hydruntum, with its unparalleled architectural beauties: the cathedral, with its the medieval mosaic, and the Aragonese castle.

The route ends in Leuca, passing through Marittima, Tricase and Castro. Once at their destination, the traveler will complete his itinerary with a visit to the Basilica of Santa Maria, where a column indicates that the journey to Jerusalem will continue across the sea.

THE FOOD – Frise”, rings of toasted bread baked and cut across the wire and then baked again and dried in their two parts, are one of the culinary symbols of Salento. Thought to be a long-lasting food, easy to store and to transport, frise have been the food for pilgrims and sailors.

Even today it is the main dish of Salento summers, whether you are on the beach or you want to enjoy a quick lunch or dinner, but no less tasty.

The only difficulty, so to speak, in the preparation process is the “sponzatura“, that is the time of immersion in water to soften the frisa: in a basin for a few seconds for those who taste it softer, only one quick moment under the water for those who love it more crunchy. The seasoning is according to taste. Do not miss the excellent local olive oil and fresh tomatoes. All the variants are welcomed: oregano, capers, olives or grilled vegetables, etc.

Here, some tips for your stay in Salento:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

“Via Francigena” route in Salento, the paths you can walk

2 Mag

Backpack on the shoulder and comfortable shoes, the hiker is the pilgrim of the 21st century! It is not uncommon for many tourists to choose to discover an area through the slow pace of walking outdoors, in contact with nature.

For this reason we point out to the modern traveler the ancient routes, already trodden by real pilgrims, centuries ago. This is the last segment of the Via Francigena, the path that led from Rome to the Holy Land. We have divided it into itineraries with stops and complete it with km and duration, in order to discover Salento from an unusual perspective.

Itinerary 1: Route: 22km Duration: 6h

Starting from the provincial Squinzano-Casalabate (about 15 km north of Lecce) you arrive at Masseria Patricelli and Masseria Alcaini. From here, after crossing an olive grove, you can admire the Abbey of Santa Maria in Cerrate, famous for its extraordinary medieval frescoes and recently recovered thanks to the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano).

This leads to a wind farm and then to Surbo. From here, you walk till Lecce, in the Monastero degli Olivetani area, inside which there is the church of Saints Niccolò and Cataldo from the 11th century. We also recommend a visit to Piazza Sant’Oronzo, characterized by the column on which there is the statue of the Saint and the Roman amphitheater.

Itinerary 2: Route: 30 km -Duration: 8h30

From Piazza Sant’Oronzo, in the heart of Lecce, move towards via Merine and, after passing the Gardens of Athena, head towards Acaya, a splendid medieval fortified village, which preserves its castle intact. The exit from the center, through the church of San Paolo, is marked by paths characterized by the presence of stone walls and dry buildings that lead to Acquarica di Lecce. Through a cycle path you reach Vernole.

The itinerary ends at the gates of Martano, a characteristic center of the Grecìa Salentina, with a visit to the Monastery of the Cistercian Fathers where you can admire the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione and where the monks produce local products such as liquor, oil and jams.

Itinerary 3: Route: 29.7 km – Duration: 8h30

From Martano, to reach the center of Carpignano Salentino it is necessary to reach the Church of the Madonnella and from here cross a path made up of ancient carriageways. Taking advantage of the cycling route, you arrive at Serràno and then in Cànnole. Taking the Scoppelle local road, you arrive at Masseria Torcito, immersed in a pine forest.

Always crossing the carriageways, you leave the wooded stretch to continue to the Sanctuary of Montevergine, an important place connected to pilgrimages, from which, through a descent, you reach the center of Palmariggi. Continue on the old road to Giurdignano, arriving near the Masseria Quattro Macine, an old abandoned medieval farmhouse, from which you reach an area where you can appreciate dolmens and menhirs. After Giurdignano, the Via Francigena crosses splendid olive groves and an holm oak forest, and then reaches the center of Otranto with the splendid Cathedral and the Byzantine church dedicated to St. Peter.

Itinerary 4: Route: 21.9 km – Duration: 6h

It starts from the port of Otranto, where, just outside the town, you can reach the suggestive former quarry of Bauxite, with its lunar-colored landscape. Through a dirt road you reach Uggiano la Chiesa and then Cocumola. After admiring the menhir of the Cross, you go along a straight line surrounded by olive and pine trees and you reach Vitigliano, where we can visit the church of San Michele Arcangelo. Continue until Vignacastrisi.

Itinerary 5: Route: 14.3 km – Duration: 4h

Leaving the town of Vignacastrisi and passing the Chapel of the Madonna di Costantinopoli, proceed to Marittima. Crossing the provincial road and after taking a dirt road, you arrive near the ruins of the Torre del Sasso. Going further, you will come across a wood of eucalyptus, pine and oak trees, typical of this area. Finally, you reach an intersection that indicates the port of Tricase, the last stop on this itinerary.

Itinerary 6 – Route: 17.5 km, Terrain: dirt, asphalted, Duration: 5h

After Tricase, continue to Tiggiano with its splendid Baronial Palace and Corsano. Continuing along a path in the open countryside dotted with dry stone walls, you arrive to Gagliano del Capo, with the church of San Rocco and the Convent of San Francesco di Paola. Through a municipal road, crossing the countryside, you reach the Sanctuary of Leuca, the last offshoot of the Italian peninsula in the Adriatic. The two angels who welcome the traveler are the symbol of a journey that ends and still the symbol of the beginning of a journey that leads to Jerusalem

Here some useful tips where you can stay during your trip in Salento:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home  

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Salento means not only sea, let’s discover Corigliano D’Otranto and Specchia

18 Apr

Corigliano D’Otranto and Specchia: what have the two small villages of Salento in common? Not everyone knows it, but these two locations have been awarded by the “Bandiera arancione”, the award given by the Touring Club (an italian association which promote the beauties of Italy) to of the inland municipalities for their excellence.

Everyone knows that Salento is famous above all for its beaches, but those who come on holiday here certainly notices how much beauty and tradition there is, even in the small villages far from the coast, full of history and tradition.

“Bandiera Arancione”, awarded since 1998, is a tourist-environmental quality mark. Beauty of the historical-cultural heritage and quality in welcoming tourists have made Specchia and Corigliano d’Otranto the two of the most beautiful villages of Apulia.

CORIGLIANO D’OTRANTO – One of the most characteristic villages of Grecìa Salentina, thanks to the typical courtyard houses that embellish the old town and cultural centre, thanks to the activities that take place inside Castello De’ Monti, an ancient manor with a noble baroque facade.

Just 25 km from Lecce, the richness of the traditions of the small town is even reflected in the local language, the griko, an ancient legacy of the Hellenic domination. The names of the streets are also of Byzantine derivation. The Lucchetti Arch, which surmounts the entrance to a small courtyard, tells, through the Byzantine symbols carved in stone, the love of a man for his bride.

SPECCHIA – The small town in southern Salento (about 54 km from Lecce) already boasts a prestigious award, namely the mention among the “most beautiful villages in Italy”. In fact, walking through the sunny streets, where time seems to have stopped and where life passes slowly, it is not hard to understand why the village has earned these awards.

A maze of intricate alleys, courtyard houses with balconies in bloom and crossroads embellished with traditional niches with saints: the historic center of Specchia, now a widespread hotel, is an experience for the eyes!

The most famous buildings to seal this splendor are Risolo Castle, the Convent of the Black Franciscans and the Column of Immunity, so called because it was enough to touch it to not being arrested. A town with a thousand virtues, Specchia is known for its quality of life, for the use of renewable sources and for its underground oil mills.

To find out where to stay to visit these and other villages in Salento, take a look here:

Holiday houses –> www.casesalento.com   

Holiday villas –> www.villesalento.it            

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Salento, things to do if you’re here on holidays in May

11 Apr

Mild temperatures, long days and good weather: May is the prelude to summer. So what could be better than anticipating your holidays and visiting Salento?

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For those who dream of the beach and the sea, they could enjoy the most enchanting places without the overcrowding. In May, apart from sunbathing, there are a lot of things to do for those who’d like to know better the traditions of this land. Continua a leggere

Natural oasis of Salento: the park of “Porto Selvaggio e Palude del Capitano”

4 Apr

A dense forest of pines, a cliff overlooking the emerald green of the sea is the panorama that can be admired from the Park that extends around the area of ​​the homonymous bay of Porto Selvaggio for 7 km of coastline and 1500 hectares of surface, in the area of ​​the municipality of Nardò.

The Natural Park was established in 2006 in an area on the sea affected by various reforestation interventions that began in the 1950s. First barren and rocky, today the landscape is characterized by the presence of a dense pine forest inserted in the splendid setting of the Ionian Sea.

The vegetation of the wood is characterized by Aleppo pines, some specimens of cypresses and eucalyptus and by the presence of an undergrowth with wild myrtle, olive trees and spontaneous local vegetation (Macchia Mediterranea), including orchids and rosemary.

Do not fail to spot species such as foxes, weasels, hedgehogs, chameleons and, during the migration period, even the blackbird, thrush and hoopoe in addition to the lesser kestrel and the kestrel.

A few meters from the coast you can also visit the Palude del Capitano where the karst phenomenon has given rise to the “spunnulate”, or caves whose vault has collapsed, forming lakes of brackish water. To find out other natural parks in Salento, read here.

For your holidays, you can stay in one of these houses:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/affitti_vacanze/Sant%20Isidoro

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Natural oasis of Salento: the park of “Isola di Sant’Andrea e Litorale di Punta Pizzo”

28 Mar

The “Isola di Sant’Andrea and Litorale di Punta Pizzo Regional Natural Park”, established in 2006, includes the southern territory of Gallipoli (Punta Pizzo) and the nearby island of Sant’Andrea, where there is a nesting colony of the Corsican gull, unique in all Italy.

The island, with a diameter of only 4.5 km, has no headlands and is easily exposed to the elements of the sea. During the winter season, the central part, being below sea level, remains covered with water.

The coast of Punta Pizzo looks like an environmental mosaic composed of sandy expanses, protected by dunes, local typical vegetation (Macchia Mediterranea), wet and marshy environments. From the strawberry tree to the spiny broom, from myrtle to mastic, from rosemary to thyme, the habitat of the present flora.

In the vicinity of wetlands such as the Li Foggi canal, however, it is possible to peek at the colors of the aquatic avifauna, among which the Knight of Italy stands out. To find out other natural parks of Salento, read here.

For your vacation, you can stay in one of these holiday houses:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/affitti_vacanze/Gallipoli

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Natural oasis of Salento: the park of “Costa Otranto-Santa Maria di Leuca e bosco di Tricase”

21 Mar

The zinzuli (the stalactites) that give the name to the Grotta della Zinzulusa and the prehistoric pictograms of the Grotta dei Cervi are just some of the most famous destinations that the park contains, an expanse of over 3000 hectares that rises in one of the most spectacular stretches of the Salento coast, along the eastern side.

Established in 2006, the park falls within the territory of 12 coastal municipalities of Salento, from Otranto to Tricase, passing through Castro. This offers a variety of panoramas ranging from the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, with stretches of high and rocky coast, to fields dotted with country walls.

On the road that leads from Tricase to the sea stands the “Vallonea of ​​the Hundred Knights”, an example of centuries-old oak unique in Western Europe.

The park’s flora is very rich and varied and includes numerous rarities, from the Leuca cornflower to the Alisso and from Giacomini’s Veccia to orchids. Without forgetting the expanses of sea fennel and salicornia fruticosa that cover the cliffs overlooking the sea. The monk seal made its last appearance in the region right here, while nourished colonies of bats inhabit the humid caverns of various caves. To find out other natural parks in Salento, read here.

For your vacation, you can stay in one of these holiday houses:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/affitti_vacanze/Santa%20Cesarea%20Terme

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Natural oasis of Salento: “Bosco e Paludi di Rauccio”

14 Mar

Very close to Lecce, which is just 9 km away, the Rauccio Park represents the latest example of the great system of woods and marshes that in the past extended along the coast between Brindisi and Lecce.

Established in 2002, the park covers an area of over 1500 hectares, the landscape of which is characterized by ponds behind the dunes, where the short course of the Idume stands out. The wood is made up of a dense and intricate holm oak forest and a rich undergrowth where mastic, myrtle and Mediterranean honeysuckle thrive.

In the open clearings, marshes are formed colonized by rare amphibians such as the Italic newt, the emerald toad and the Italic tree frog.

The best known part of the park is that of the holm oak wood (“Rauccio’s wood”), which incredibly survived a total deforestation that took place in the Thirties to obtain wood, and today it is a popular destination for funny trips outside the town on sunny days. To find out the natural parks in Salento, read here.

For your vacation, you can stay in one of these holiday houses:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/affitti_vacanze/Spiaggiabella

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Natural oasis of Salento: the park “Litorale di Ugento”

7 Mar

Established in 2007, the “Litorale di Ugento” Natural Park covers about 1600 hectares in the area between Torre San Giovanni and Lido Marini. The reserve is characterized by a profound variety of landscapes that go from sandy beaches to rocky ones

From the place known as “Pazze” to Torre San Giovanni, in fact, the coast appears low and rocky, while from Torre San Giovanni to Lido Marini it becomes sandy and is characterized by a series of low dunes. Typical of this oasis are in fact the so-called “gravinelle“, or karst gullies carved into the rock by the water.

As for the Cesine, this park is also ideal for bird watching, since in the wetlands you can admire migratory birds such as herons, egrets and bitterns. Many other animals populate the woods such as fox, hedgehog, stone marten and badger.

The “Litorale di Ugento” Park is rich in natural habitats. Among rosemary, prickly juniper and pine forests, the rare and colorful orchids stand out.

The “Litorale di Ugento” Natural Park can be reached from Lecce by taking the west ring road towards Gallipoli and with the State Road 274 Gallipoli-Santa Maria di Leuca with the exit at Felline. The visitor center is in Piazza Adolfo Colosso in Ugento. To find out other natural parks in Salento, read here.

For your vacation, you can stay in one of these holiday houses:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/affitti_vacanze/Gallipoli

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

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