Cycling the Salento Coast

The last day of our VBT bicycle tour through Puglia and Lecce was saved for a ride up the Salento Coast.  Our longest and perhaps most scenic scheduled ride was saved for last, heading south from our hotel Tenuta Centoporte to reach the eastern coast at Castro. Castro was the site of one of many area lookout towers, the ruins of which still spot the entire coast. A thousand years ago, this area was well within range of invaders from the east. The towers thus played an important part in defending the coast. We then biked north along the Salento Coast to Santa Cesarea Terme, where we stopped for lunch.

Watchtower in Casto (click on image for a larger view)

Watchtower in Casto
(click on image for a larger view)

Santa Cesarea Terme is a beautiful town resting high on a cliff and overlooking the Ionian Sea. The day was hazy and slightly overcast, yet still a fine day for sightseeing. This image started as a photograph, but it just didn’t seem to impart the painted effect of this entire area. So, after optimizing the photo in Photoshop, I ran it through a couple of special effects by Topaz Labs. I think this finished image is far more representative of the character of the Salento Coast. Although it’s a lot different than my usual posts, I really like it and hope that you do as well.

Santa Cesarea Terme (click on image for a larger view)

Santa Cesarea Terme
(click on image for a larger view)

Following a fine picnic lunch and obligatory gelato for dessert, we continued north to Porto Badisco, a secluded little cove where we had a chance to relax while many chose to cool off in the water. After this rest stop, we continued north, following the coast to Capo d’Otranto. This marks the easternmost point of Italy, putting us only 45 miles from Albania as well as marking the division between the Ionian Sea to the south and the Adriatic to the north.

Porto Badisco (click on image for a larger view)

Porto Badisco
(click on image for a larger view)

The final part of our ride north gave us great views of the water from high up on the cliffs, until we turned inland to begin the loop back around to our hotel. There was still lots to see along the way as much of the last few miles were through olive groves, a couple of small towns, and even the odd flock of sheep.

Sheep along the roadside near Otronto (click on image for a larger view)

Sheep along the roadside near Otronto
(click on image for a larger view)

A beautiful lat day for our trip, but why post this now? Well, on our whole trip the weather was fine with moderate, warm temperatures. Despite the mild winter so far here in the Northeast, it did get cold and snowed a foot on Friday, with more on the way. That leaves me sitting here remembering what a fine time we had.  Hope that you enjoy the photos.

 

Bike trip from Bari to Castro. (click on image for a larger view)

Bike trip from Bari to Castro.
(click on image for a larger view)

Bicycle ride up the Salento Coast (click on image for a larter view)

Bicycle ride up the Salento Coast
(click on image for a larter view)

 

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8 Responses to Cycling the Salento Coast

  1. Gale Morgan

    Well, I enjoyed it as well and dreaming of warm summer weather like you. It is 62 or 63 today but it is the winds that outrageous again. Again, the gulf looks like the Atlantic on a stormy day in Maine. I took a walk and are still chilled thru as the wind is so cold.At least the sun is out but does not seem to help much. Someone just told me that the worst January in 9 yrs. We will see what Feb brings. All this week it will again not be getting out of 60’s, mostly mid at that! But it does beat a snow storm! Gale

  2. Steve Rezendes

    Cycling is the best to see the countryside. Photos are stunning.

  3. John Kelly

    Love these photos. Italy was one of our favorite places. Especially liked the “painting” effect of the coastal village. Would love to see more.

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