Otranto is so much more than just a city, it is an amalgamation of history, culture, architecture, white-sand beaches, and sea-facing restaurants. It is a city with a full blast of everything blended together to provide you with a perfect smoothie. It’s interesting, charming and picturesque.
Otranto is definitely worth a visit. There are so many tours and sights worth doing and visiting. In this article, we have put together 10 of the best tours and sights you can visit while you are on your holiday in Otranto. Be sure to put them all on your list.
The best tours you cannot miss in Otranto!
Enjoy the beautiful and breathtaking Otranto on a guided full day tour. The tour commences at around 8:30 am and you visit the 11th-century cathedral, which has Italy’s biggest medieval mosaic floor that is still intact. The floor dates back to the 12th-century and depicts a tree of life which spiritually embraces all major religions and beliefs known in Europe. You also walk through the wide alleys, vibrant with their bazaar.
After a sumptuous lunch, drive up the Adriatic coastline and visit some of the hidden gems of the Marina di Melendugno. First, visit Torre Sant’Andrea and the famous “Faraglioni”, coastal limestone stacks eroded by the waves. Afterwards, stop at Torre Dell’Orso for photos and visit the twin stacks, Le Due Sorelle. After the photo stop, proceed towards Roca and peek into a natural cavity known as Grotta Della Poesia. Roca is famous for its ice creams and the locals consider it to be the best, so try them out and see for yourselves.
This excursion takes place only on Wednesdays, so make sure you are prepared well in advance.
Otranto and the breathtaking Marina from Salento
Address: Gallipoli, Italy
Price: From 59.27 USD
The tour begins by exploring Otranto. The town overlooks a breathtaking harbor that is recognized by UNESCO and is named as one of the “Borghi Piu Belli d’Italia”, which means one of the most beautiful small towns in Italy. Also visit the 11th-century cathedral whose mosaic floor is still intact. You will have lunch in either “Altro Baffo” or “Cantico dei Cantici” in the stunning seaside town of Otranto. After lunch, visit the wonderful Castro. It is a beautiful fishing village.
Otranto and Castro Full-Day Tour
Address: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 9 hours (approx)
Price: From 207.45 USD
When exercise meets fun and exploring, who doesn’t love it. On this tour, grab your bikes and explore the typical and the fascinating areas of Salento - the surroundings of Otranto. Reach the Byzantine crypt of Saint Angel, and visit the foundation “Le Costantine”. It is a centre dedicated to organic farming and traditional weaving with old looms. Continue cycling towards the megalithic garden of Giurdignano. After that, visit a small lake that is present in a disused bauxite quarry.
You’ll finally stop by a bakery with a stone oven for a delicious lunch with typical products and also by Porto Badisco for a sweet coffee with ice and almond milk. This tour is likely to sell out, so make your bookings well in advance.
Otranto and Surroundings Full-Day Bike Tour
Address: Otranto, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx)
Price: From 100.76 USD
Discover the beautiful town of Otranto with this guided short walking tour. Walk through the streets, discover the old town, shop in the local shops, visit the historic cathedral with its mosaics and more.
This tour takes you through a cultural ride in reverse and you will find yourself amidst a lot of places and sights of historic importance. Visit the cathedral that has Italy’s biggest mosaic floors that are still intact. Find yourself in the Church of St. Peter and the castle that was reinforced by Emperor Frederick II and rebuilt by Alphonso II of Naples. Be ready to go on a historic ride, and feel the enchantment while you walk through these streets and sights.
Private Tour: Otranto Guided Walking Tour
Address: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 2 hours (approx)
Price: From 141.07 USD
5. Trekking in the Otranto-Leuca Natural Park: The Cibolo Canyon and Cipolliane Caves (From 59.27 USD)
Natural wonders, canyons, prehistoric caves, hidden coves, and walking through a breathtaking scenery - these are the ingredients for a perfect day. On this tour, you get to experience this and much more. You get a chance to get close to native wildlife, soak up the atmosphere and explore.
Begin the tour by exploring the Canyon of Ciolo, which was excavated in an ancient coral reef. The trails here reveal pre historic trails; you can observe unique species of flora in this part of the coast. Continue your trek along the trail of Le Cipolliane. The Cipolliane caves are ancient caves that were inhabited by pre historic men. Birdwatching is another activity to interest you. Then go back, eat and enjoy ice cream and thus, finally end your nature-tastic day.
Trekking in the Otranto-Leuca Natural Park: The Cibolo Canyon and Cipollini Caves
Address: Leuca, Italy
Price: From 59.27 USD
The best sights to see in Otranto!
6. Otranto Cathedral
A Roman Catholic Cathedral, it is also known as the Skull Cathedral. The most stunning and at the same time creepy thing about the cathedral is that it houses a morbid altar of human skulls. Also, another interesting thing about Otranto Cathedral is its mosaic floor, which remains intact till date. The floor has a series of pictorial depictions that have puzzled scholars for centuries.
The mosaic depicts the Tree of Life and reflects the journey of humans from the Fall to Salvation - the battle between good and evil. The skulls, and bones, are said to be those of the 800 Martyrs who bravely fought the Turks and were decapitated by them because they refused to convert to Islam. The rock that was used to decapitate is also on display there. If you love such a fascinating history, this cathedral should definitely be on top of your list.
Address: Piazza Basilica, 1, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy
Time to Visit: June to September 7:00 am - 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm, and from October to May 7:00 am - 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
Website: Otranto Cathedral (in Italian)
7. Capo D'Otranto
A lighthouse built in 1867 and abandoned in the 1970s; Capo D'Otranto was reopened for the public in 2008. It is one of five Mediterranean lighthouses protected by the European Commission.
It has a wonderful view and is frequented by the public on the New Year, since it stands at the point where the dawn of the new year may first be seen in Italy. Be sure to visit it since the walk and the view are both beautiful.
Address: Località La Palascìa, SP87, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy
8. Château d'Otrante
The Château or Castle of Otranto gave the name to the first gothic novel in history. You can marvel at the architecture of the castle as you walk through the majestic walls. The details such as the Alfonsina towers, Duchess and Ippolita, and the bastion called Punta di Diamante will leave you in wonder.
Address: Via Cenobio, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy
Time to Visit: 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Website: Château d'Otrante (in Italian)
9. Deer Cave
Reproduction of the Deer Cave - Salento IT #weareinpuglia #salento #puglia #apulia #amazing #grottadeicervi #wow...Posted by Serafino Apulia Incoming Operator on Sunday, 28 August 2016
The Deer Cave is a natural cave south of Otranto. You can enjoy the paintings on the walls of this cave, which is also known as Grotta dei Cervi. The paintings are representations of hunting, dancing and more, many of which are still to be deciphered. The Neolithic paintings tell a story of their own and you will surely have a good time deciphering them.
Address: SP87, 73028 Porto Badisco, Otranto LE, Italy
Website: Deer Cave (in Italian)
10. Cava Di Bauxite
Located near the lighthouse of Punta Palascia and Monte Sant'Angelo, Cava Di Bauxite is a surreal beauty that should not miss on your list of things to do in Otranto. The pond has formed in a demolished mining field and has turned an emerald green color, making it look spectacularly amazing. Highly photogenic, this place is a favorite amongst tourists as well as locals.
The beautiful landscape and the contrast of emerald green of the water against the rocky red of the surrounding area make it all the more interesting and fascinating. Make sure to tick this off your list while you are in Otranto.
Cava Di Bauxite
Address: Laghetto Cave di Bauxite, 73028 Otranto, Province of Lecce, Italy
A historic and fascinating journey!
Being the stunning place that Otranto is, it sure has a lot to offer to those who venture onto its soil. From history, culture, architecture to natural wonders - Otranto shall never fail to amaze you.
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