Join Italy Gay Travels on an amazing Gay Bike Tour in the southernmost tip of Puglia, known as Salento. Fast becoming the gay destination of South Italy, this area is rich in culture, food, awe inspiring landscapes, white sandy beaches and some gay nightlife for good measure! Our tour is set at an easy level that will suit most cyclists.
This gay bike tour is not only about cycling: see yourself kayaking in the protected wild park of Porto Selvaggio, test your cooking skills in a local farmstead learning regional traditional recipes and savor the tastes and flavors of the region’s stunning wines and aperitifs. This all gay bike tour allows you also to meet with like-minded gay men and to enjoy some free time to do what you like the most. You will have the opportunity to discover Lecce, a great Baroque capital of Southern Italy and also to explore Gallipoli, an old fishing port that is now the main gay hotspot of Puglia.
• Enjoy stunning daily bike rides through Salento and its coastline
• Visit Architectural Gems, such as Lecce and Gallipoli
• Taste Puglia Cuisine and Learn how to cook like a local
• Tour local olive groves and Discover the magic of olive oil
• Kayak along the wild coast of Porto Selvaggio
• Discover Incredible white sandy beaches and amazing sunsets
• Typical 3 course dinner with wine in Lecce
• Pizza and beer in Gallipoli New Town
• Make new friends from all over the world: great group atmosphere
Day 1 - Saturday
Welcome to Lecce! Known as the Florence of the South, Lecce is the Baroque capital of Salento, the southernmost part of Puglia. Lecce is the starting point of our Gay Bike Tour around this beautiful region. Here the sun reflects on white stones that adorn hundreds of churches and buildings enclosed in its historical city walls.
Once in Lecce, make your way to your accommodation in the very centre of Lecce and settle in: you will be given your Gay Bike Tour welcome pack. In the evening join your fellow bikers and your tour hosts, Sergio and Kendall, for an optional aperitif on top of Lecce. We will all get to meet each other and have a full briefing on the adventure that lies ahead.
Day 2 - Sunday
After breakfast the whole group will meet: we will adjust our bikes and make sure everyone is ready for the first bike ride of the tour. We leave Lecce and head to our first stop: ‘Lu Furnu’ Giannocaro. This farm was the main agricultural center of Frigole village during the Second World War. Here you will have the opportunity to savour local breads, sweet, pastries, cakes and, above all, the tasty ‘pittule’ (dough balls). Pittule, local delicacies, should be eaten rigorously whilst still hot. Don’t worry about the carbs, you will sure burn them off on the cycling you do! After this stop, we continue towards the coast, finally reaching the Adriatic sea. This coastline is rugged and rural and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop and take pictures as well as taking dips into the sea along the way!
The last stage today will be a visit to the historical medieval Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate. The complex of buildings was constructed in the 12th century and represents one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture you will find in Puglia. In the afternoon, after the visit we will head back towards Lecce. We will follow the Via Francigena, the ancient road used by the pilgrims.
In Lecce you will have the evening free to do as you please. Visit the beautiful Baroque centre of the city or stop off at its chic bars such as ‘Quanto Basta’ for world class cocktails created by trendy Italian Barmen.
Free time in the evening to eat, drink and explore or join our
Optional typical dinner in a Restaurant in Lecce
Day 3 - Monday
After breakfast, we all take a short transfer to reach one of the many Salento farmsteads. Here you will put your cooking skills to the test and be ‘chef’ for a few hours. Luckily this is not Hell’s Kitchen and the experience will be fun. You will learn how to prepare some typical Salento dishes: be prepared to get your hands dirty. The experience will end with a tasting of the dishes we have prepared.
Afterwards, we will get back on the saddle (weight allowing) and our Gay Bike Tour will follow a route into the natural reserve of the Cesine and the fortified village of Acaya. This is a route set in the natural beauty of Puglia. We will take a long cycle path surrounded by olive trees basked in the Puglian sun. Finally, we hit the coast and a beautiful beach where we take a dip in the sea adjacent to the reserve.
The route includes a stop in the small and enchanting village of Acaya. After visiting the castle which houses a Byzantine fresco still under study, we resume the road to Lecce. Free time in the evening to eat, drink and explore.
Day 4 - Tuesday
After breakfast, we will take a private transfer to the Lago Azzurro (The Blue Lake), a surreal place where an emerald pond is adorned by fire red earth. After spending some time here, we begin to pedal backwards along the coastline, passing beautiful cliffs and rugged beaches. We reach Otranto, a coastal city which looks a little displaced as the architecture mixes East and West. Here we spend some time admiring the city before we take another coastal road to reach beautiful creeks of Salento known as the Bay of the Turks. Marvel at the cliffs of Sant’Andrea and its hidden caves of poetry.
After a visit to Otranto, we make our way back to Lecce, for our last evening there.
Typical dinner in Lecce with wine included. Try dishes including ‘ciceri e tria’ (chickpea dish) and ‘Fave e verdura’ (broad beans and vegetables).
Day 5 - Wednesday
Today is the longest ride of our Gay Bike Tour: we leave Lecce and we cycle to Gallipoli, which means the ‘Beautiful City’ and for good reason. Please note we are not cycling to Turkey, same name but totally different location! Before arriving in Gallipoli, we cycle inland through Copertino, the city of the flying saint, and Nardo’, a very well known city, popular for its wine cellars and beautiful historic center.
Gallipoli’s Old Town is enclosed in a rocky island that is accessed by an eighteenth-century bridge. The town is a real feast of architecture in baroque style adorned with paintings by Neapolitan and Salento painters. Hand woven basket makers and fishermen are still working in the alleys and ports.
We check in to our hotel, Due Passi del Pizzo Hotel, in the afternoon. We have the rest of the evening free to explore Gallipoli or relax at the swimming pool of the hotel or at the very nearby beach.
Day 6 - Thursday
Today is a free day to enjoy the beaches in and around Gallipoli. There are beautiful sandy beaches that stretch for miles on your doorstep. There is a gay beach (G Beach) for those looking for a fully gay experience. If you are not a beach person then feel free to visit Gallipoli for a spot of sightseeing or shopping or just relax by the pool at the hotel.
There is an optional late afternoon visit to Gallipoli with Dinner and return transfer. Here you will get a guided tour of the town followed by dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 7 - Friday
Today we are back on the bike again for the last ride of our amazing Gay Bike Tour, awwww . No sad faces please as this route is full of smiles along the coast to a quaint little town called Santa Maria al Bagno. Just when you thought you had had enough adventure, a new one begins! Yes it is Kayak time and we will admire the coast of Salento from another point of view. We all embark on this Kayak adventure in the protected reserve of Porto Selvaggio, guided of course, where we can splash about before returning to Santa Maria al Bagno.
We spend a few hours relaxing before returning the bikes and make our way back to our hotel.
Typical Pizza and beer in Gallipoli new town included, followed by drinks in the local gay bar where you can mingle with the local talent! For those a bit more ambitious, there is a gay disco party night afterwards.
Day 8 - Saturday
After breakfast, we all say goodbye (no tears hopefully) and hope that we see you the next time