Salento Bici Tour (SBT) è un’associazione di promozione sociale per la promozione della mobilità sostenibile e del cicloturismo nel Salento. SBT offre la possibilità di esplorare il paesaggio salentino ed i tesori culturali, artigianali ed enogastronomici nascosti nell’entroterra, in bici, lentamente, attraverso stradine secondarie. Le passeggiate in bicicletta possono durare da mezza giornata ad una giornata intera. Possono essere richieste privatamente in modalità guidata o autoguidata.
Salento Bici Tour (SBT) is a no profit organization focused on the promotion of sustainable mobility and cycling tourism in Salento. SBT offers the opportunity to explore the landscape and the cultural inland hidden treasures (food, cultural heritage, handcraft) by bike, slowly, through secondary no busy roads. The tours last half day or one day. It can be guided or self guided. GUIDED TOUR: 45 euro/pax a day, 35 euro half day. Group of 4 pax minimum SELF GUIDED TOUR: 35 euro/pax a day, 25 euro half day. Group from 5 to 14 pax The cost includes:
- bike rental
- technical tools and first aid kit
- specialized guide (eng, french, span) or gps with maps/road book
- museum/archeological/culturale site pass
- tasting of local products
- civil insurance (RC).
The tours will depart from Otranto, Lecce, Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca, each tour touches points of historical, natural and gastronomic interest. They are used almost exclusively secondary roads and bike paths, away from vehicular traffic. The courses are designed to be crossed safely and enjoying the scenery. The distances chosen are within the reach of anyone, even the less fit, especially suitable for families: children aged 8/10 years of age can take advantage of their own bicycle, children will have a seat to be placed on the rear of the bicycle as their parents or guides. The gait will be slow and relaxing, and in any case, adapted to the needs of the group. Here are some examples of excursions. Eventually customers will be able to join up with special excursions that Salento Bike Tour will organize during the period of their stay. NORTH LECCE Starting point: Lecce old town Distance: about 35 km Difficulty: medium / easy Duration: a day (10 hours) Departure from Lecce old town. Just outside the city, we’ll find the Romanesque Church of St. Mary of Aurio, which dates back to the 12th century when the area was a Byzantine settlement. Continuing on dirt patches, we’ll see fortified farmhouses, some of which we stop by. From here we’ll reach the coastline and we will stop by the beach near Torre Rinalda and have our packed lunch (arranged by the organization upon request at the cost of € 5 per person). After the lunch break, surrounded by twisted trunks of olive trees, we’ll get to the Abbey of St. Maria in Cerrate, an important Byzantine site near the ancient Trajan-Calabra Road that led from Brindisi to Otranto. Right next to the abbey there is the Provincial Museum of Popular Traditions, which preserves objects and tools of peasant labour and some accurate samples of Salento ancient houses. Keeping on secondary roads we’ll head towards Guagnano, where we will visit the house-museum of the eclectic artist Vincent Brunetti. Our tour will end with a wine and cheese tasting at the “Feudi di Guagnano” winery. Return to Lecce by train and bikes transport in a van. SOUTH LECCE Starting point: Lecce old town Distance: about 30 km Difficulty: medium / easy Duration: a day (10 hours) Starting from Lecce, we’ll reach the neighbouring town of Cavallino and we’ll enjoy a guided tour of its archaeological site with the remains of Cavallino Messapian settlement. From Cavallino we’ll continue on country roads to the fortified city of Acaya and we will visit its castle which was recently restored. From Acaya we’ll move on to the Adriatic coast road north of Torre Specchia for a refreshing swim, weather permitting, and for our packed lunch of fruit and typical products (arranged by the organization upon request at the cost of € 5 per person). In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a visit to the Nature Reserve Le Cesine, a humid environment among the best preserved and most important in southern Italy. After the visit, we will stop by the adjacent farmhouse for a food and wine tasting. Then, we cycle back to Lecce, where we should arrive in the late afternoon. OTRANTO Starting point: Porto Alfonsina Distance: about 35 km Difficulty: medium Duration: a day (10 hours) We’ll go up the Idro valley along a pleasant dirt patch and we’ll see St. Mauro Crypt, which was carved into the soft rock of Salento at the Byzantine time. We’ll move on to Casamassella and stop at the Costantine Foundation, a center dedicated to organic farming and traditional weaving with old looms. Then we’ll reach Giurdignano, main megalithic centre of Salento due to the many dolmens and menhirs, first evidence of human presence in the area. The next stop will be Giuggianello, where we will visit the beautiful botanic garden “La Cutura”, featuring hundreds of Mediterranean, tropical and subtropical plants species, and a unique collection of succulent plants in Europe. Stop by a bakery with a stone oven for a delicious lunch arranged by the organization. After lunch, we’ll cycle to Porto Badisco for a long break, and weather permitting, a swim. It is also possible to rent canoes. We’ll then move on along the magnificent coast road to Otranto. We will stop at the fortified farmhouse of Cippano, look at Punta Palascìa lighthouse, the easternmost point of Italy, and a peculiar lake in a disused bauxite quarry. Return to Otranto in the late afternoon. GALLIPOLI Starting point: bus yard on the outskirts of Gallipoli. Distance: about 35 km Difficulty: medium Duration: a day (10 hours) Firstly we’ll go to Alezio and visit its Messapian museum. Then we’ll head towards Sannicola and visit an ancient underground oil mill from the 17th century. Along secondary roads, among olive trees and dry stone local constructions (trulli and pajare), we’ll reach Galatone with its imposing Norman castle, the Church of the Crucifix – masterpiece of Leccese baroque style – and the noble palace. After the visit, in about half an hour we’ll be at the back of Porto Selvaggio Natural Park to visit a farmhouse and enjoy a tasting of local cheese. Then we’ll move on to Santa Caterina, leave our bikes and walk to the nature reserve where we’ll spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon. Possibility to rent a canoe and reach Porto Selvaggio beach. Back on our bikes we’ll cycle along the coast road towards St Mauro church dating back to the Byzantine time and preserving a fresco (under renovation at the moment). Return to Gallipoli in the late afternoon. SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA Starting point: bus yard on the Gagliano/Leuca road Distance: about 15 km Difficulty: easy Duration: a day (10 hours) First stop at the small village of Salignano for a visit to its impressive defense tower. The entire population of the village could take refuge in the tower in case of attack by the Saracens. We’ll move on to Patù, where we’ll discover the Centopietre, enigmatic monument built with a funerary function, then used as a religious chapel (there are traces of Byzantine frescoes) and, in recent times, even as a sheepfold. Cycling through country roads, you will see the hill where Vereto village once was, probably the largest and most important Messapian settlement of Salento, main land of that population whose buildings remains were found in the whole peninsula. We’ll then reach Barbarano and visit the Shrine of Small Leuca and its cave, an ancient pilgrimage destination and shelter for pilgrims going to Leuca. On the way back we’ll visit the castle of Giuliano and finally Castrigano, where we’ll go down to the impressive ancient underground oil mill. Final tasting at the restaurant “Retrò” in Castrigano.
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