7 nights
45 mls (km)
Southeastern Italy
Mar to Jul, Sep to Oct

Puglia Walking Holidays in Authentic Italy

  • Hike the ‘Sentiero delle Cipolliane Grotte’, a picturesque walking route named after the famous caves found along the coastline
  • Stumble upon relics from all ages on your route, testament to a history of competing cultures and ideas
  • A myriad of fantastic swimming spots in the seaside coves and fresh water springs found along your route
  • Follow traditional traturri routes (formerly used only by shepherds and locals) to some of the region’s most pristine, naturally beautiful areas
  • Extend your walking holiday with one night in the Trulli region, staying in the whitewashed stone town of Alberobello – a UNESCO world heritage site
  • Observe baroque architecture and history in the city of Lecce, with the Piazza del Dumo, Basilica di Santa Croce and sunken Roman amphitheater

Why this Walk?

Hiking Puglia offers the opportunity to discover this unspoilt Italian region on foot, as well as a chance to find yourself in an ideal place to simply watch the world go by. Puglia’s ascendancy from Italy’s best kept-secret to a hotspot for Italophiles is a very recent development, but less obvious is the region’s wealth of national parks, nature reserves and miles of awe-inspiring rugged coastline. A walking holiday is the perfect way to see a side of Puglia often overlooked, following trails that originated as shepherd paths and trading links between villages. It’s a pursuit very much in keeping with the ideals and aims of slow travel, as you have time to fully appreciate where you are in the moment, at a pace best suited for taking in the wild and beautiful landscape of Puglia.

A map of our walking route in Puglia
Our route takes you down along the heel of Italy from Lecce to Gagliano del Capo

The Path

Follow the traditional routes used by the locals, known as “traturri”. These are a time-honoured system of ancient roads that linked villages and orchards to the neighbouring Adriatic. As you follow inland paths through olive groves to the old shepherd paths along the coast, the combination of the bleached limestone cliffs on one side and the vivid blues of the sea on the other create a truly striking effect.Following these paths, you’ll find a landscape largely unaffected by large-scale development, where artefacts from the Paleolithic, ancient Greek and Roman and second world war sit alongside each other as you follow the route that link spa town and fishing village along the coast.

The Accommodation

We have selected 3* and 4* accommodation in larger towns, Agriturismo farmhouses for more rural areas, as well as older country estates, rustic and stately - known as ‘Masseria’. All rooms have private bathrooms, breakfast included.Throughout the trip there will be many opportunities to dine out or taste some of the region’s prestigious regional wines. We have included evening meals in Porto Badisco and Marina Serra as there are no alternative options in the immediate surroundings.

Our Puglia Itineraries

  • Otranto to Gagliano del Capo
    Distance: 44.7 miles (71.5km)
    7 Nights, 6 Days
    from £735 pp
    ITA-PUG1 ~ Otranto to Gagliano del Capo ~ 7 / 6 classic
    • Day 1
      Arrival in Lecce

      Arrive in the baroque streets of Southern Italy, a vivid, vital city filled with masterpieces of Roman architecture, open for exploration after you’ve settled in for this evening’s arrival and tomorrow morning’s start.

    • Day 2
      Otranto Circular Walk
      4.7 miles/7.5 km

      Begin today with a transfer to Otranto, and a gentle start to your journey with a route through the Idro valley, crossing paths with the impressive rock structure of the Saint Angelo Sanctuary along your route as you follow the way back over the bridge to Otranto. The route charts a course along the river through lemon, orange and olive groves, a circular route that takes you out to the pastoral outer reaches of Otranto and back into the town for the end of your walk.

    • Day 3
      Otranto to Porto Badisco
      7.9 miles/12.7km

      The winding alleys of the old town join a coastal route, a level gravel route that outlines the edges of the numerous coves and inlets of the area. Bunkers from the second world war are dotted along the route, and there is the (recommended) option of taking a short detour to a nearby Bauxite Lake. The red earth of the surrounding ridgescontrast with the emerald pool of water below - a dramatic visual effect which is popular with photographers. Re-joining the route along the coast you’ll notice the Punta Palascia Lighthouse, the easternmost point of Italy from which you can see the mountains of Albania over the Adriatic.

    • Day 4
      Porto Badisco to Santa Cesarea Terme
      8.3 miles/13.3km

      From the mouth of the Porto Badisco, follow the shepherd’s path that cling to the contours of the coastline. Your starting point at Porto Badisco is a fantastic place to grab a coffee and some local delicacies for a picnic, and along your way you’ll meet the rotund, dry stone former Shepherd dwellings, known as “pagliari”. Towards the end of your journey, the path diverts inland to a charming track through pine forests, offering nice shady spots to and have lunch. Follow a descending surfaced path to the Spa town of Santa Cesarea Terme for the end of your walk and some fantastic swimming spots.

    • Day 5
      Walk from Santa Cesarea Terme to Marittima
      7.2 miles/ 11.5km

      Leaving the commune of Santa Cesarea Terme, follow a surfaced path uphill before reaching an old road made up of gravel and dry-stone wall. Join a spindly inland route through fields to Castro, an ancient Messapian town surrounded by towering walls. Explore the old town, and consider taking lunch before visiting the old port – a great place to dip into the sea for a cool off. The following coastal route takes you to the Acquaviva cove, a tiny inlet and legendary swimming spot as well as fresh water spring. The final section of today’s hike takes you through the dense forest of the Acquaviva valley towards the village of Marittima.

    • Day 6
      Marittima to Marina Serra
      8.5 miles/ 13.6km

      A winding path through orchards and olive groves kicks off the penultimate section of the hiking trip. Your path is largely comprised of the “Traturri”, the familiar network of traditional roads and footpaths for day to day life – linking orchards and villages to the coast. You’ll find the vestiges of this old “paesano” culture life very much in evidence as you follow a high-level route looking out over the sea. There are plenty of opportunities for a swim, as well as a “caffé in ghiacco” (iced coffee) at Tricase Porto. The last section of this day is a short stretch across asphalt to the coastal hamlet Marina Serra (which also has some fantastic swimming spots).

    • Day 7
      Marina Serra to Gagliano del Capo
      8.1 miles/13.1km

      The last day of your journey begins with a brief incline uphill on a trail known locally as Sentiero del Nemico (enemy’s path), an archaic name deriving from its strategic location for fending off outsiders. A short asphalt path joins with some more of the typical “traturri” along the coast to Novaglie, a rocky beach that is an ideal for a rest stop. From here, your path meets the famous “Sentiero delle Cipolliane”, with its spectacular caves open for discovery. Take a break to enjoy the last swimming point of your journey at Ciolo Bridge, and from the sheltered Ciolo cove, follow the Ciolo valley to Gagliano del Capo.

      Transferred to your accommodation in Lecce, with the evening free to explore the city. Alternatively, we can arrange an extension to your holiday in Bari, or the town of Alberobello in the Trulli region.

    • Day 8
      Departure Puglia

      Breakfast and public transfer to the airport (additional option of pre-booking private transfer, request at point of enquiry).

    or ask us a question
    What's Included:
    6 walking days
    7 nights accommodation
    7 breakfasts , 2 evening meals
    PricesTwo people sharing (p.p.) Single person (in a group)Solo person
    20/03/2020 - 26/05/2020£745£955£1225
    27/05/2020 - 22/06/2020£780£1015£1285
    23/06/2020 - 12/07/2020£835£1115£1385
    13/07/2020 - 26/07/2020£895£1240£1510
    27/07/2020 - 31/08/2020*UnavailableUnavailableUnavailable
    01/09/2020 - 10/09/2020£835£1115£1385
    11/09/2020 - 30/09/2020£765£990£1260
    01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020£735£935£1205

    Throughout the trip there will be many opportunities to dine out or taste some of the region’s prestigious regional wines. We have included dinner in Porto Badisco and Marina Serra as there are no alternative options in the immediate surroundings.

    • Accommodation for 7 nights in a mixture of very comfortable hotels, Agriturismo rustic farmhouses and B&Bs (with breakfast included in each)
    • 2 evening meals
    • Detailed maps and route notes in English
    • Luggage transfer
    • Transfers during walk
    • 24-hour telephone assistance
    Optional Extras
    • Extra nights/ rest days in any of the locations ~ Please enquire for extra night prices
    • Extra night in the Trulli town of Alberobello
    • Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the holiday
    Not Included
    • Evening meals for 5 nights, hosts can advise on best places
    • Personal expenses such as drinks, tips etc.
    • City taxes (per person) only payable direct to accommodations – The prices below indicate the total to pay per person, rather than per night.
    • Please consider city tax can vary during the year and new taxes can be introduced
    • (Lecce 2€, Otranto 3€, Porto Badisco 2.5€, Santa Cesarea Terme 1.5€, Lecce 2€)
    • Packed lunches (own arrangements)
    • Travel to/from Lecce. Optional Airport Transfers (available upon request at time of booking):
    • Whilst you will be supplied with route notes and printed maps to follow your route for each walking day, please note that we are unable to supply an accompanying walking map publication with your walk pack as there are currently no map publications for Puglia Region at a 1:25 000 or 1:50 0000 scale.

    You choose which day you would like your holiday to start on. We will book your holiday in accordance with your requirements.

    Our Puglia holidays are available to walk March to July, September to October.

    Due to its location at the ‘heel’ of Italy, Puglia is a viable destination for any season. However, for walking, you may want to consider avoiding high summer as you may find the hot weather (though not a humid heat) to be an obstacle while hiking. It’s also possible to visit in Winter, although a dip in the sea is not quite as an attractive prospect as it is in Spring or even Autumn.

    Puglia’s two major airports, Bari (BRI) and Brindisi (BDS), are served by both major and economy airlines. From there, walkers can take a train or taxi to the respective towns, with an adjoining train to Lecce.

    You are responsible for booking your air travel to airports and onward travel to your first accommodation and from your accommodation on departure.

    Train timetables - http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

    Optional transfers can be booked from airports to Lecce and return

    Please advise at time of booking

    • Brindisi Airport to Lecce - prices available upon request.
    • Bari Airport to Lecce - prices available upon request.
    We can organise additional nights/rest days, as well as transport options. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you with your specific requirements. Call one of our helpful team on +44 (0)1291 689774 or e-mail us here.

    Puglia Client Reviews

    4.7/5 based on 4 reviews
    Celtic Trail were prompt and efficient. Excellent organisation of arrangements in Italy. This holiday had a positive impact on our health and well-being - we have returned to Australia refreshed, with the batteries recharged.
    - November 2019
    Very good.
    - October 2019
    After three summers of hiking in cooler climates, the team decided to try Italy. The Puglia region was fascinating and relatively undiscovered. The scenery and water were wonderful. People were very friendly and helpful, with a language barrier. Celtic Trails are better than other companies we've used - they provide a complete hike trip. The hikes are very well planned, material arrives in a timely manner; accommodations are well situated for the hike. The hikes are well orchestrated , leaving little to chance.
    - July 2019
    Celtic Trails provided excellent logistics. We returned feeling refreshed, with a desire to do another walking tour. The scenery was spectacular and varied; some paths followed the coastline and sometimes they went inland. There were paths through olive groves and fields of wildflowers.
    - May 2019
    Leave your own review of your Puglia Walking Holiday with us - add review.
    Booking Request - Puglia
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    What Happens Next?

    We will check your details and come back to you within two working days with a personalised estimate based on your requirements. We will then formally request a deposit of £150 per person (£100 per person for a single centre break) and book all your arrangements - find out about our full booking process here.

    Please note this does not constitute a booking confirmation, we kindly ask you to refrain from booking any travel until we have confirmed all your arrangements.

    Still Have Questions?

    If you are still unsure on any of your requirements, please do enquire with us first and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with any queries you have.

    Enquire About Puglia
    +44 (0)1291 689 774
    Our lines are open: 9am to 5pm (GMT), Monday to Friday
    Sample Accommodations

    Please note: exact accommodation booked will depend on availability.