South-East Trail: trekking by the sea

Trekking is not only mountains! This guided tour allows you to discover the beautiful Salento landscapes, characterized by country roads, cliff-side paths, centenary olive tree groves, and Mediterranean scrubs. The route goes from Otranto to Leuca (82 KM), passing through the Costa d’Otranto Natural Park and visiting numerous sea caves. You will also enjoy a visit at a cheese dairy (with cheese tasting included) and ancient olive oil mills.

This tour is recommended to those who are used to long-distance trekking on rocky and arduous tracks. But don’t worry! Your heavy luggage will be transferred every day for you, so that you only have to carry a light backpack with things you need along the way. And in case you are not able to get to the end of a stage, with the “Early Stop” assistance we will take you to the destination of the day, so you can rest to start again the following day.
The trekking hours indicated below don’t take stops into account.


DAY 1 (Saturday): ARRIVAL AND VISITS
Transfer from the airport (Brindisi) to Lecce. Guided tour of Lecce, the capital of baroque. Transfer to Otranto, check in at the B&B. You can relax, or for those who want it, some trekking to familiarize with Salento tracks. Introduction to the guides and the program of the week. Typical seafood dinner and a quite night out in the old town centre of Otranto.

DAY 2 (Sunday): FROM OTRANTO TO PORTO BADISCO (16 KM, 5 hour trekking)
After breakfast, guided tour of Otranto, and finally the trekking starts southward to the Bauxite Caves (in the hot season it is also possible to go for a swim in the beautiful lake, a real unforgettable experience!). Keeping south direction, the track will lead you to Porto Badisco. On the way to the agritourism, you will stop at a cheese dairy to taste and buy cheese to take home. Typical local dinner with wine tasting.

DAY 3 (Monday): FROM PORTO BADISCO TO CASTRO (20 KM, 6/7 hour trekking)
The trekking will lead you to Santa Cesarea Terme, stopping at Torre Minervino and Torre Specchia la Guardia. You will have the chance to go for a swim at the beautiful bay of Porto Miggiano. The route will continue through maritime pine groves, typical of the Mediterranean region, and wide country roads, until you get to Grotta Zinzulusa. After the visit to the cave, the trekking continues to Castro and its castle. Aperitivo on the sea, and typical home-made dinner.

DAY 4 (Tuesday): FROM CASTRO TO TIGGIANO (21 KM, 8/9 hour trekking)
Leaving Castro behind, after a few kilometers you will find yourself into the deep vegetation of Seno dell’Acquaviva, which emerges into a splendid little bay characterized by crystal water. After a short swim (you won’t resist that), the track goes up to Torre Capo Lupo, with a beautiful view on the coast line. You will then start to Porto Tricase, walking through sunny country roads and cliff-side paths, until you reach Torre Palane. After relaxing a while in the fresh waters of its fabulous natural swimming-pool, you will finally reach the final destination, Tiggiano. You will enjoy a typical dinner at a local “osteria”.

DAY 5 (Wednesday): FROM TIGGIANO TO GROTTA MANNUTA (18 KM, 7/8 hour trekking)
Walking through centenary olive tree groves, the itinerary of the day will lead you down toward the sea. Once you arrive at Torre Nasparo, you will start the so-called “Vie del Sale”, alternating side-cliff paths to suggestive country roads, until you reach the incredible Ponte Ciolo where you won’t resist a refreshing swim. The final destination of the day is coming closer and closer: trekking through the Mediterranean scrubs and side-cliff plantations, you will finally get to Grotta Mannuta. After visiting the cave, you will have a reviving typical dinner at a “trattoria”.

DAY 6 (Thursday): RELAX
After walking 75 km, some rest is what you need. You have many options: beaches and little bays to sunbath and go for a swim; do some sport activities of your choice; visit archaeological sites, little villages and churches, olive oil mills, and Salento heritage sites to discover the ancient history and culture of this region; you can enjoy a day on a boat to discover the numerous sea caves. For dinner, a juicy barbecue in the countryside, or dinner at the “trattoria”.

DAY 7 (Friday): FROM GROTTA MANNUTA TO SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA (7 km, 5/6 hour trekking)
This final track is the shortest, but the most demanding. The path is cliff-side and you will enjoy the beautiful scenery. The arrival is at Leuca lighthouse and sanctuary. After a refreshing drink on the sea, barbecue in the countryside or dinner at the “trattoria”.

DAY 8 (Saturday): DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport (Brindisi).


The tour includes:

  • Transfer from/to the airport (Brindisi)
  • 7 dinners at “trattoria” or agritourism (drinks and extra not included)
  • 7 nights at a B&B/”masseria”/agritourism with breakfasts
  • 6 baggage transfers
  • “Early Stop” Assistance: if you can’t reach the destination of the day, we will take you there!
  • Guided tours of Lecce and Otranto
  • Entrance to Grotta Zinzulusa
  • 24/7 Assistance from our team
  • Insurance

The tour does not include:

Meals not listed above and drinks. Packed lunches are planned for this tour, but if you have specific requests it is possible to plan otherwise.
Everything that is not included in the list “the tour includes”.

Equipment you need to have:

  • 35/40 lt. backpack
  • Headlight
  • Comfortable and already tested trekking boots
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Rain poncho
  • Proper trekking clothes
  • Swimsuit, sunscreen, cap, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, water flask, towel

 

* If you are interested in this tour but you don’t reach the minimum number of participants required, you can contact us to check for an existing group you may join.

 

Contact us for a quotation.