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Cose da fare in Puglia, basilica di santa croce Lecce

Interesting things to do in Puglia

Puglia? It’s just sea. How many times have you heard or thought that? Well, know that it’s not so, there are many activities to do.

The important thing is to inform yourself and plan in advance. In this article you’ll find many ideas to enrich your holiday in Puglia, sorted by type of activity.

1.Athletic activities: Hiking, biking

escursione in kayak con Naturalmente Salento
Kayak excursion during an Apulian sunset ,
Facebook credits : Naturalmente Salento

Do you like athletic activities? Great! All over various cities in Puglia you can find many groups and companies that organize nature hikes both on foot and bike.

There truly plenty of choice in terms of the type of hike:

  • Duration: you can find 3 hour hikes just as you can find 8 hour ones, it also depends your physical condition;
  • Type: there are also mixed hikes which have a route that goes through dirt roads of the outback then explores the sea by kayak or sail boat, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to go snorkelling

Among the many groups and companies that organize these hikes, I would like to point out two that are very favourable.

They stand out as they both have a pre-set and bookable online hiking calendar and the possibility of creating a custom hike that is tailored to your needs.

The first company is called “Naturalmente Salento” led by the legendary Francesco Chiappalone, an environmental and excursion (A.i.g.a.e) guide of the Puglia Region.

The particularity of his hikes are that they bring a lot of knowledge of the territory with the walk, both in terms of plants and animals and its history.

And he’s also a very funny guy (I’d know as I’ve gone hiking many times with him!). On the website or even better on their Facebook page you’ll find in the “Events” section the entire calendar of organized hikes. The cost of each trip can vary, but it’s roughly €10,00 per person.

The second group that I recommend is “Salento Bici Tour”, a social promotion organization born thanks to the passion of two young Salentians: Carlo and Francesco. Their hikes are all on bikes, in fact, if you don’t have one you can rent one from them (They also have electric ones!). Visiting their site, you can see the various activities that they organize, there’s really lots to choose from.

2.Wine and Food Tasting Activites: Aperitifs in a wine cellar, wine tasting, visit to the oil mill and oil tasting.

Degustazione Cantine Castel di salve
A special moment of the wine tasting in Cantine Castel di Salve,
Instagram credits: rossa_di_sera

To connect with the place that you’re visiting it’s necessary to try, taste the local products. Puglia has been recognized as the mother of wine and high quality oil.

At least once in your life, you have to try a cup of our Negroamaro, which has a velvety, but at the same time decisive flavour.  But a separate chapter should be dedicated to the golden yellow, the oil. There’s something for every preference be it spicy, (usually oil from already green olives with an intoxicating scent), sweet, bitter, fruity, etc…. there’s a wide variety. It’s necessary to sample them if you want to know the flavour that suits you.

Taste tasting tours, both oil and wine have become very popular trends by the locals and tourists. In particular, aperitifs in a wine cellar are very popular, which are organized social gatherings directly in the wine cellar. You can have an aperitif and visit the cellar where the wine you just tasted is produced.

I’ll also mention the “Castel di Salve” winery in Depressa, just a couple kilometres from Tricase in the south of Puglia. There’s great wine and many events allowing you to enjoy it.

The agriculture company “Menhir Salento” in Bagnolo del Salento (near the town Minervino di Lecce) is also very interesting.

It has a winery, produces oil, is a restaurant called “Origano Osteria”, and a store where you can taste stuff and buy their products. Obviously my advice is to call ahead to better plan your visit.

For oil tasting, I’d like to bring “L’oleificio San marco” in Ruffano to your attention. It’s a co-op of olive producers which houses the entire production process from raw material to finished product. At the end of the visit it’ll be possible to receive a short theoretical tasting lesson before the actual tasting of the various types of oil.  

Another highly known company is “Olearia Schirinzi” in Carmiano near Lecce. Taste testing based on the comparison between the two aromas of extra virgin olive oil, fruity and balanced, is included with the booking of a visit to the oil mill.

If you want to visit the numerous oil mills present throughout the territory of Puglia, I advise you to read our article with a lot of additional information.

3. Cultural Activities: Museums, Churches

lecce-santa-croce-facciata-al- tramonto- tenuta la baronessa blog
Santa Croce Church in Lecce

Puglia is a territory rich with traditions and history, and very tied to religion. Due to this, the must see cultural attractions are museums and churches that develop these three themes.

In particular, the churches of Puglia are known for their majestic beauty and for the most part are a great representation of the Baroque era.

It would be simplistic to write a list of the churches that deserve a visit (because even the smaller and lesser known ones hide their own beautiful treasures inside).

I have to mention at least two: the first (my favourite) is the Basilica of Santa Croce in Lecce, majestic and elegant on the outside, refined and grand on the inside. Want a taste? Visit its virtual tour!

Another stupendous church that deserves a visit is the “Santuario del SS. Crocifisso di Galatone”  (Temple of the SS.Crocifisso of Galatone).

It’s rich with unique qualities like their iconographies, statues, and paintings which are among the most unique baroque examples. Also for this spectacle of Puglian architecture here’s the link for the virtual tour.  

It’s the same discussion for the museums. In the territory of Puglia there are many and all kinds of them. We can crudely divide them into three categories based on the topics covered: history, local traditions, and nature. 

The oldest museum in Puglia is without doubt the provincial museum “Sigismondo Castromediano” in Lecce.

It offers a two-ish hour visit to be able to admire various examples of works of art belonging to the medieval, baroque, messapica, and roman era.

If you would instead like to understand how working life evolved throughout time, I’d recommend the “Museo della civilità Contadina” (Museum of rural life) which is in both Presicce and Tuglie.

If you’re passionate about nature and the environment, I’d highlight two very nice ones:

“Il Museo di Storia naturale del Salento” (The Natural History Muesum of Salento) in Calimera where through various paths you explore the environmental and natural heritage of the lower part of Puglia.

“Il museo della Conchiglia e del Corallo” (Museum of Shells and Corals) in Palmariggi. The latter consists of just one indoor room where a series of shells and corals from the Mediterranean Sea are exhibited.

For your visit to Puglia, if you’re searching for a hotel or apartment that has a strategic location and allows you to visit and do these activities, check out our official website and choose the type of room and/or apartment that fits your needs or contact us directly via whatsapp.

Did I mentioned that we have two pools and huge farm? 

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