Salento Trekking and Thermal Baths
Salento Trekking and Thermal Baths overlooking the sea
A week break to fully enjoy the beauty of the southern tip of Puglia, the land of the Messapi
Location: Puglia, Salento, Santa Cesarea Terme
Duration: 7 Nights/8 Days
Accommodation: half-board (drinks not included)
From: € 660
Valid: from March 24, 2017
In collaboration with: www.slowactivetours.com
Take a week break in Salento, the land of the two seas, the Ionian and Adriatic, to find out step by step the natural wonders, historical and archaeological sites of southern Puglia. Thanks to the close proximity to the Spas (about 50m away), you will be able to combine a morning trek with wellness and body treatments at the thermal facilities, equipped with a wellness center with qualified medical personnel, a pool of hot sulphurous water overlooking the sea of Salento and much more.
Arrival in Santa Cesarea Terme, accommodation in the rooms and welcome drink served on the square overlooking the sea. Gourmet dinner followed by the presentation of the weekly tour hold by our guide.
We will spend the weekly overnight in Santa Cesarea Terme with private transfer services.
Early morning breakfast and departure with private transfer to Punta Palascia. Leaving behind the lighthouse, which is the easternmost point of Italy, we will continue north to reach Otranto. We will be walking along a short stretch of coast between rocks to admire the views of the canal, then we will follow inland paths to reach the ruins of San Nicola di Casole. Surrounded by green countryside, this place hosts the wall of the monastery, destroyed by Turkish in 1480. Continuing to North, we will admire a bauxite quarry characterized by shiny red and emerald green colors at Le Orte before reaching the Torre del Serpente, a Roman lighthouse that hides a mystery.
After breakfast, we will depart for the coast north of Gallipoli, on the Ionian Sea. The path will overlook the Ionian Sea winding along the Porto Selvaggio Natural Park and Le paludi del Capitano. We will walk along the natural beauties on the particular depressions generated by the collapse of underground rivers. Leaving the swamps behind, we will continue along the sandy coast before going up gradually to Torre Uluzza, and also along the paths of the Mediterranean scrubland to the western edge of Porto Selvaggio to reach Torre dell’Alto. Of course we will not miss a visit in the historical center of this beautiful city - Gallipoli.
We will take a more relaxed breakfast because this day will be free. We recommend relaxing in the thermal baths, at a spa or at the pool, or alternatively, if you do not want to give up on your daily walk, you can walk 1 km of waterfront, characterized by ancient carparo quarries, a stone typical of Salento, and then reach the bay of Miggiano to admire the greenery of its crystalline waters and yellow ocher of its stack. Nearby you will find one of the many coastal towers of Salento built by Charles V after the Saracen invasions. In addition, we plan a beautiful boat trip to discover the caves that, from Santa Cesarea Terme extend toward Castro Marina, 5 km away from the hotel. The Zinzulusa cave, located between Santa Cesarea Terme and Castro Marina, is reachable on foot along the coast. Castro Alta, placed above the sea, is a lovely old town where you can visit the castle built on Byzantine fortress in the XII-XII century AC. Recent archaeological excavations on July 2015 have uncovered a bust dating from the third century BC dedicated to Minerva, a Greek goddes.
We will drive to Marina di Novaglie and then we will take the path of Cipolliane. We will walk along walls protruding from the sea and high up to 90 meters where you can admire stunning views of the horizon. We will feel the scent of thyme, chives and oregano close to shelters naturally formed in the cliff. Down to thirty meters is the rainforest valley once invaded by the sea. Once arrived at the Ciolo bridge, we will continue in the paths to get to the small town of Gagliano del Capo. From there, we will take some countryside roads to reach the Basilica of Finibus Terrae, in Santa Maria di Leuca. Here, we will find the stairway to paradise made with 296 steps and the cascade of Puglia Aqueduct, that overlooks the city and the port.
We will reach the nearby village of Minervino di Lecce, to visit the first megalith discovered in Puglia, the "Li Scusi" dolmen, located inside the archaeological park among the trees of Salento. The slab of coverage has a hole in the center where the sun's rays will penetrate entirely only on the day of the summer solstice. We will walk down the greenhouse from Minervino to reach Porto Badisco, a place inextricably linked to the famous Grotta dei Cervi. This cave is not open to the public to preserve the fragile prehistoric paintings, that is the most impressive painting complex of Neolithic period in Europe. Weather permitting, we will take a relaxing dip in the beautiful sandy cove and then resume the walk in the valley to reach Sant'Emiliano tower. In this area it will not be unusual to see over our heads the flight of a hawk. We will conclude the day's hike at Cippano Masserie, near the tower.
Full day visit to the capital of Salento - Lecce. We will reach the city by transfer and will visit it with a specialized guide to fully discover the architectural marvels of Lecce and its history. We will be blinded by the ivory of the buildings built with the typical local stone. The rest of the day you can walk alone to discover the countless streets of Old Town. We will head back to Santa Caesarea in the afternoon, perfectly in time for booking your spa treatments.
Breakfast and check out. Before departure, you can spend the morning to take a last dip in the waters of Santa Cesarea Terme or a nice spa treatment.