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Things to do in Otranto

Our most recommended things to do in Otranto

From Lecce: Otranto, S.M. Leuca, Gallipoli & Galatina Tour

1. From Lecce: Otranto, S.M. Leuca, Gallipoli & Galatina Tour

Take part in this tour to visit four of the most picturesque towns in Salento: Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca, Gallipoli, and Galatina. Follow a scenic route from the Adriatic to the Ionian Sea, between rocky coasts, small bays, and white Caribbean-style beaches. Stop first in Otranto, one of the most beautiful coastal villages in Salento. The town of Otranto is full of history and every corner highlights the passage of different civilizations, including the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and the Aragoneses. Enjoy free time to visit the splendid Cathedral, the Church of Saint Peter in perfect Byzantium style, the Castle, the Towers, the mighty Pelasgi Bastions, and the walls that surrounded the whole of the ancient city. After Otranto, reach Santa Maria di Leuca, along the wonderful Adriatic coast, characterized by cliffs overlooking the sea, caves, and bays with rocky bottoms. Along the way, admire Santa Cesarea Terme, Castro Marina, and the Ciolo Fiord. Enjoy exploring Santa Maria di Leuca, the heel of Italy, where the Ionian Sea meets the Adriatic Sea. From this tip of Puglia, marvel at spectacular views of the harbor and the sea, as well as the sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae. Next, arrive at Gallipoli, the pearl of the Ionian Sea. This Greek city can be divided into two areas, the new village, where the tourist facilities and modern buildings arise, and the old part of the city, which is located on a limestone island connected to the mainland by a 17th-century bridge. Walk through a labyrinth of narrow streets in the historic center, home to traditional shops with local crafts, impressive Baroque churches, and aristocratic palazzi. See the Cathedral dedicated to St. Agatha, the Angevine Castle, and the Greek Fountain, one of the oldest fountains in Italy. Lastly, see Galatina, a gem of art, history, and tradition. Visit the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul and the ancient "courtyard houses". Stop at the Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria is known for the mesmerizing frescoes inside, which were created by Giotto's disciples.

Otranto: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

2. Otranto: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Described as the “Gateway to the East” and the most Oriental of all Italy’s cities, Otranto was founded by Greeks from Crete thousands of years ago. Explore this fascinating history on a 2-hour walking tour of all its main sights. Discover the Norman cathedral, consecrated in 1088 and still the largest Romanesque building in Apulia. Admire the mosaic floor, formed of thousands of pieces of stone that depict scenes from the Old Testament and figures from Breton legends. Admire columns that are said to have come from a Temple of Minerva, and the bones and relics of the Martyrs of Otranto, who perished in the 15th-century siege of the city. Marvel at the 42 marble columns that support the crypt, and more. Continue to the Church of St. Peter and the Aragonese Castle, reinforced by Emperor Frederick II and rebuilt by Alphonso II of Naples in 1485-1498. Look at the irregular plan of 5 sides, with a moat that runs along the entire perimeter. Enjoy the panoramic views out to sea. If the weather is good you can see all the way across the Adriatic to Greece and Albania.

Otranto: Market Tour, Private Home Cooking Class and Dinner

3. Otranto: Market Tour, Private Home Cooking Class and Dinner

Go food shopping like a local, enjoying the distinctive Italian local market experience and learning how to recognize the best products by sight. Then immerse yourself in a cooking class at a local home, learning the secrets of the most famous dishes of regional cuisine. At the end of your lesson, savor the fruits of your labor, washed down with local wines. During the lesson, learn the tricks of the trade for 3 authentic local recipes from your local chef guide and have fun putting your cooking skills to the test. You will have a workstation equipped with utensils and all the ingredients to make the dishes. Then, taste everything you have prepared, accompanied by a selection of red and white local wines. Instead of loading your suitcase with souvenirs, take home Italian cooking skills that will stay with you for life.

Otranto: 1.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

4. Otranto: 1.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Discover one of Italy's most beautiful towns in the company of a local guide. Located at the easternmost point on the heel of the country, Otranto has always been considered the gateway to Italy. Learn about the town's interesting past from your guide as you meander through its center. During your walking tour, admire the old churches and quaint buildings that make Otranto the picturesque place it is. See the 15th-century Aragonese castle, whose towers and walls formerly served as protection for the city, and visit the Cathedral of the Annunciation where you can admire a stunning mosaic. From time to time, you will have spectacular glimpses of the landscape where the town meets the surrounding crystal-clear sea.

Otranto: Dining Experience at Local Home

5. Otranto: Dining Experience at Local Home

Get ready for a culinary experience like no other at a local home in Otranto. Over 3 hours, enjoy exclusive cooking instruction from your genial host and taste authentic Italian dishes. Treasured in family cookbooks, these recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.  Feel the warmth of Italian hospitality as you make a genuine connection with locals. Enjoy a 4-course menu including a starter, pasta, a main course with a side dish, desert, plus a selection of regional wines and coffee.

Otranto: Market Tour and Private Home Cooking Demonstration

6. Otranto: Market Tour and Private Home Cooking Demonstration

Arrive at the home of your expert cook then go food shopping like a local. Enjoy the distinctive Italian local market and learn how to recognize the best produce. When you return to your host’s home, enjoy a private cooking demonstration where your host will share the secrets of her family cookbook while preparing the dishes right in front of you.   Once the end result is ready, sit at an authentic Italian table and enjoy your 4-course seasonal menu including a starter, pasta, main course with side dish, and dessert.

Otranto: Cooking Class at a Local's Home

7. Otranto: Cooking Class at a Local's Home

Immerse yourself in a cooking class at a local home, learning the secrets of the most famous dishes of regional cuisine and taste the fruits of your labor, accompanied by local wines.  During the lesson, the cook will reveal the tricks of the trade for three authentic local recipes. Have fun putting your cooking skills to the test.  You will have a workstation equipped with utensils and all the ingredients to make the dishes. Taste everything you have prepared with a selection of local wines. Instead of loading your suitcase with souvenirs, take home Italian cooking skills that will stay with you for life.

Castro: 2-Hour Private Tour (Puglia) w/Great View of the Sea

8. Castro: 2-Hour Private Tour (Puglia) w/Great View of the Sea

The guided tour of Castro will begin with a visit of the Mother Church dedicated to the Madonna of the Annunciation. The church was erected on a Greek temple. Of Romanesque design, the interior is characterized by a high altar in Baroque style and numerous paintings such as the Madonna of the Annunciation, protector of the village. Following the tour, you will continue in the narrow streets of the historic center until you get a suggestive view of the sea and its Aragonese castle built on the remains of the oldest Byzantine fortress.  The castle has a rectangular plan with four corner towers. Entering, there will be a courtyard formerly used to store agricultural products that were marketed, and a large scale, now disappeared, with which you accessed the upper floors. In the courtyard, you'll also find the doors of the rooms on the ground floor. Inside, visit the Antonio Lazzari Civic Museum with its permanent archaeological exhibition "Castrum Minervae: between Greeks and Messapi," which will allow you to admire the numerous and various finds from recent excavation campaigns in the area of the historic center.

Otranto: Pasta and Tiramisu Class

9. Otranto: Pasta and Tiramisu Class

During this private lesson, you will learn how to prepare 2 pasta recipes and the tiramisu dessert from scratch. Your Cesarina will reveal the tricks of the trade of these iconic recipes. Have fun putting your cooking skills to the test and amaze your friends and family once home with an Italian meal! This experience is suitable for families with children of all ages.

Available activities

  • Guided tours
  • Workshops & classes
  • Private tours
  • Day trips
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What people are saying about Otranto

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 40 reviews

A truly unforgettable Italian experience. Lydia an experienced former chef and has some great insights into Italian cooking. We made three different dishes, (pasta, fish and tiramisu), were given different wines to try and aperitif's. After cooking, we ate together in Lydia's lovely garden. As she was not a great english speaker, her son was there to translate. This is a truly authentic experience where you get to see how the local live and eat in Otranto. A highlight of my holiday. So much better than the cooking class I got at my hotel!

Another wonderful day spent with our Guide Stefano, wo was very professional, informative and very very kind and showed us in 2 days almost the whole of Salento, beautiful places, excellent food, wonderful sceneries!! We are so thankful for meeting you, thank you very much for your time and effort!! ☺️

Stefano was a perfect guide. Knowledgeable, personable and very accommodating. It was a real pleasure to have the chance to see these cities with him as our guide and driver. Cannot recommend him more highly

our guide Stefano made us discover the wonderful Salento, a highly recommended experience

Best cooking experience my family and I have ever had.