15 Finest Issues To Do in Otranto in 2023

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Otranto is an historic fortified city positioned within the far southeastern nook of Puglia, Italy. The city’s combination of historical past and tradition makes it a improbable place to discover, and there are many issues to do in Otranto.

Whether or not you’re seeking to discover the city’s historic sights and expertise its tradition, gorge on scrumptious meals, chill out on a sunny Mediterranean seashore, or all the above, you’ll discover sufficient locations to go to in Otranto to maintain you busy for at the least a number of days.

The city is residence to a surprising Outdated City however receives fewer vacationers than among the different extra widespread locations in Puglia. This is likely one of the issues that I like most about it, because it’s potential to discover the city with out having to deal with crowds of different guests.

Finest Issues To Do in Otranto

Otranto is a reasonably small city but it surely has much more to supply than its dimension might recommend. Right here’s my choose of the highest issues to see and do in Otranto and the encompassing space:

1. Take a Strolling Tour of the City

walking tour in Otranto

One of many first issues I love to do at any time when I discover a brand new vacation spot is to take a strolling tour. It is a nice solution to orient and familiarize your self with the place, and the guides have a wealth of native information, suggestions, and proposals that you just won’t discover out in any other case.

This highly-reviewed strolling tour is run by a pleasant and educated native information who will present you some hidden gems and some of their favourite locations, along with the basic vacationer sights in Otranto.

It’s undoubtedly among the finest issues to do in Otranto!

2. Uncover the Centro Storico

Otranto alleys in Centro Storico

The historic middle of Otranto (or Centro Storico, in Italian) is extremely well-preserved, with twisting streets and alleyways, historic monuments, and several other stunning church buildings to get misplaced amongst.

It’s a paradise for historical past buffs, with a sequence of prehistoric homes positioned close to the harbor, and various historic Greek ruins scattered right here and there. Even for those who’re not massive into historic historical past, it’s nonetheless a surprising place to discover and is splendidly atmospheric.

Make sure to take your time wandering the cobbled streets, trying out the various hidden little squares and passageways, and absorbing the environment. Don’t neglect to carry your digital camera – it’s extraordinarily photogenic!

Tackle: Centro Storico, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

3. Go to the Cathedral of Otranto (One of many Most Well-known Locations to Go to in Otranto)

Cathedral of Otranto

The Cathedral of Otranto is likely one of the city’s most iconic monuments. In-built 1088, it’s an incredible mix of Norman, Romanesque, and Renaissance structure, with intricate sculptures on its façade.

Inside, the ground of the cathedral is roofed in a sequence of gorgeous and well-preserved Twelfth-century mosaics. The massive rose window on the entrance of the cathedral is a lovely piece of art work alone.

Tackle: Piazza Basilica, 1, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

4. Discover the Aragonese Fort

The Aragonese Castle at sunset in Puglia.

The Aragonese Fort (or Castello Aragonese) is one among Otranto’s most iconic landmarks. Surrounded by a deep moat and constructed with thick stone partitions, the fortress was erected in 1485 by King Ferdinand I and is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city’s harbor.

It was modified and strengthened over the centuries, with variations mirroring the advances of know-how and weapons all through time. Beneath the fortress lies a maze of hidden passageways and chambers which were used as each a jail and a meals retailer in distinction.

The fortress partitions provide wonderful views of the Outdated City, the harbor, and out to sea. This is likely one of the high issues to see in Otranto, and it’s undoubtedly value spending at the least an hour or so right here. Entry prices €3 per grownup and is free for under-18s.

Tackle: Piazza Castello, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

5. Head to the Seaside

Alimini beach in Otranto

The realm round Otranto is residence to some unimaginable seashores. Heading out for a day on the seashore is likely one of the finest issues to do in Otranto for households and anybody on the lookout for a repair of sand, sea, and solar.

There are a number of seashores positioned simply north of the city inside pretty straightforward strolling distance from the Centro Storico, together with Spiaggia dei Gradoni, Spiaggia della Riviera degli Haethei, and Lido della Staffa.

Nevertheless, if in case you have a automotive and don’t thoughts touring a little bit additional, you may go to some really spectacular seashores. Alimini seashore is a protracted stretch of white sand backed by dunes and a pine forest. The water is heat, crystal clear, and excellent for swimming (so long as the wind isn’t blowing an excessive amount of).

When the wind picks up – because it usually does on this a part of Puglia – Alimini seashore (amongst others within the space) turns into a super spot for windsurfing. You’ll discover a handful of operators alongside the seashore providing windsurfing classes and leases, and the pure settings couldn’t be higher.

Lastly, Castro Marina has among the most completely azure-colored water in all of Italy. It’s very sheltered, so you may swim right here even when the ocean elsewhere begins to get a bit too uneven. A ‘correct’ seashore is missing, however the water is so unimaginable right here I needed to point out it.

6. Swim within the Grotta della Poesia

The spectacular Grotta della Poesia cave in Otranto

Grotta della Poesia (or Cave of Poetry) is an incredible pure pool surrounded on all sides by steep limestone cliffs. The pool is fed by water from the ocean by way of a sequence of tunnels and caves. It jogged my memory a little bit of the Mexican cenotes, or the Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman, however with saltwater.

To get all the way down to the pool, there’s a set of steps carved into the encompassing rockface. Or, for those who’re feeling courageous, you are able to do what the native daredevils do and bounce in. After all, watch out, and solely bounce the place the water is deep sufficient and it’s secure to (if unsure, watch the place different individuals land).

This is likely one of the hottest issues to do round Otranto and it could get busy, particularly on weekends. Attempt to go to midweek for those who can, because it’s normally nicer and fewer crowded.

Tackle: Strada Statale San Cataldo, 73026 Roca Vecchia LE, Italy

7. Cycle By the Salento Countryside

Salento Countryside in Italy

Salento is the title given to the southeastern half of Puglia which stands proud into the Mediterranean forming the “heel” of Italy. It’s a peaceable, enticing area with gently rolling hills, quaint outdated villages, stunning seashores, and a wild, rocky shoreline.

One in all my favourite methods to discover the countryside round Otranto is on two wheels. You’ll be able to rent a motorcycle from one of many varied cycle outlets on the town – this retailer comes extremely reviewed and is near the historic middle – and head out by your self.

Or, for those who’d moderately exit on a guided journey, this full-day bike tour takes you to among the finest native spots. You’ll get to go to prehistoric ruins, swim within the turquoise waters of Porto Badisco, style regional delicacies, and discover some lesser-known areas alongside the magnificent Salento shoreline.

8. Go Climbing

Torre del Serpe in Otranto

The realm round Otranto options some improbable climbing trails. The Costa Otranto Regional Nature Park is an space spanning greater than 3,200 hectares (7,900 acres) and over 50 kilometers of shoreline.

It’s an ideal place to discover by foot, with trails passing historic olive groves and pine forests alongside the rugged cliff tops, and thru historic villages and hamlets the place you get the sense that life hasn’t modified a lot for lots of of years. Preserve a watch out for native wildlife and seabirds.

If you wish to head out by your self, I like to recommend downloading Maps.me (my favourite offline map app) after which heading out south from town in direction of the ruined Torre del Serpe lighthouse. From right here, there’s a lovely coastal path that runs alongside the glowing, azure waters of the Adriatic.

Alternatively, you may be part of this guided climbing journey which takes you on a half-day climbing tour of the realm. It begins in Otranto city and also you’ll go to Torre del Serpe, Cava di Bauxite (an outdated quarry lake surrounded by vivid purple and orange-colored rock), and varied different picturesque spots within the ldro Valley.

9. Catch Sundown from the Lungomare

Lungomare in Otranto

Many Italian coastal cities have a Lungomare, or seafront promenade, and Otranto’s one is especially particular. The deep azure sea, brilliant blue sky, and dazzling white stone buildings of the Outdated City mix to create a sight that appears like one thing straight out of a journey journal.

It’s a beautiful place for a stroll at any time of the day, however my favourite time to return right here is sundown. Because the solar goes down it paints the southern Mediterranean sky shades of pink and purple, which replicate within the sea and onto the white buildings alongside the seafront.

Every evening guests are handled to a unique show, and there are benches the place you may sit and luxuriate in nature’s present. It’s actually wonderful and is an ideal factor to do pre-dinner.

Tackle: Lungomare Terra D’Otranto, 73028 Otranto, Province of Lecce, Italy

10. Take a Cooking Class

cooking class in Otranto

Puglian meals is amongst my favourite sorts of Italian delicacies. A few of my favourite native dishes embrace orecchiette with broccoli rabe, focaccia, polpette, and tiella. The flavors are simply so recent and scrumptious, and actually showcase the very best of the native produce.

For those who’d wish to learn to make conventional Puglian meals your self, I like to recommend taking a cooking class throughout your keep. This is likely one of the finest issues to do in Otranto for {couples} or mates, (though you could possibly undoubtedly attend by your self for those who’re touring solo).

There are a number of totally different choices to select from. On this small group pasta and tiramisu-making class, you’ll learn to roll recent pasta (identified regionally as sfoglia) by hand, tips on how to make common and crammed pasta, and tips on how to put together your very personal tiramisu.

For those who’re on the lookout for one thing much more genuine, check out this cooking class which takes place in a conventional native residence. Your trainer will present you tips on how to make three regional recipes, which you’ll then get pleasure from along with a collection of native wines.

11. Stroll Across the Historical Marina

Porto di Otranto

Porto di Otranto is likely one of the oldest pure harbors in Italy. In actual fact, town of Otranto lies on the location of an historic Greek port metropolis often called Hydrus which was an vital political and commerce hub, being the closest level to Greece on the Italian peninsula.

Right now, Otranto harbor is used principally as a marina for fishing and pleasure boats, and taking a stroll across the marina is one among my favourite free issues to do in Otranto.

You’ll probably see locals portray their boats, repairing nets, and chatting with their neighbors. It’s a really nice, slow-moving place, good for absorbing the environment of this stunning historic city.

Tackle: By way of del Porto, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

12. Go to the Torre Pinta Tower and Tunnels

Ipogeo tunnel in Otranto

The Ipogeo di Torre Pinta is an interesting historic advanced that’s nicely value a go to. Its precise goal is unknown, however the tower itself is believed to have been used as a dovecote for housing service pigeons, which have been presumably utilized by the navy for sending messages.

Beneath, there’s a community of underground passages, chambers, and tombs that are considered at the least 2,000 years outdated. It accommodates an oven (presumably used for cremation), in addition to lots of of cavities within the partitions, presumably used to accommodate the cremated ashes of the useless.

This wonderful place was solely found in 1976 and lies on privately-owned land. To go to, head to the Tenuta Torre Pinta guesthouse (which is positioned subsequent to the location) and ask for the important thing in alternate for a small donation.

Tackle: By way of Memorie, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

13. Style Ciceri e Tria

focaccia in Otranto

Otranto has loads of great eating places that serve scrumptious Puglian dishes akin to orecchiette, focaccia, and recent seafood. One different dish that’s significantly widespread in Otranto is thought regionally as “ciceri e tria”.

Made with thick ribbons of pasta, a few of which is boiled and a few of which is fried ciceri e tria is created by mixing the pasta along with chickpeas and a beneficiant serving to of the best native olive oil. It’s fairly uncommon, I’ve by no means had something fairly prefer it earlier than, but it surely’s very tasty.

You’ll discover ciceri e tria on menus throughout this a part of Salento. Probably the greatest locations in Otranto to strive it, and a variety of different Puglian classics, is Il Pumo restaurant. It’s one among my favourite locations in townnand having fun with a meal right here is likely one of the finest issues to do in Otranto at evening.

Tackle: By way of Presbitero Pantaleone, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

14. Make a Day Journey to Santa Cesarea Terme

Santa Cesarea Terme in Otranto

Just some kilometers south of Otranto lies the small spa city of Santa Cesarea Terme. It’s a tiny place that’s extremely picturesque and is thought for its scorching springs and wonderful thermal baths.

You’ll be able to bathe within the scorching springs that are wealthy in sulfur and iodine, and supposedly nice for curing an entire host of illnesses. The baths are open between Might and November and you can even deal with your self to various massages, mud, and scorching mineral remedies.

It takes about 25 minutes to drive from Otranto to Santa Cesarea Terme. To make the journey by public transport, it’s essential to take the practice from Otranto to Maglie, then catch a bus from Maglie to Santa Cesarea Terme. The journey takes about 90 minutes in whole.

Tackle: Santa Cesarea Terme, 73020 Province of Lecce, Italy

Punta Palascìa lighthouse in Otranto

Otranto can be near the Nineteenth-century Punta Palascìa lighthouse which stands on the easternmost level of Italy. The entire place feels very rugged and distant, and it’s one other improbable spot to observe the sundown.

That is additionally the purpose the place the Adriatic Sea turns into the Ionian Sea. You’ll be able to see a great deal of seabirds right here, together with gulls, terns, and cormorants.

To get to the lighthouse, it’s a simple 10-minute drive from the middle of Otranto. For those who don’t have a automotive, you could possibly additionally stroll, though it’s about 5 kilometers (3 miles) every approach.

Tackle: SP87, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

Fast Journey Itineraries For Otranto

Listed below are a number of advised Otranto journey itineraries that will help you get essentially the most out of your time there:

1 Day in Otranto Itinerary

You’ll be able to see a lot of the major Otranto sights in in the future, though you received’t have time to go to all the locations within the surrounding space which might be talked about on this submit.

Begin by taking a strolling tour of the city to orient your self and get your bearings. Most strolling excursions go to the Cathedral, so afterward, it’s time to take a look at the Aragonese Fort. Spend the remainder of the morning exploring the Centro Storico.

Within the afternoon, you may both take a cooking class or go to one of many spectacular seashores close by. End your day with a meal in one of many eating places I can advocate beneath, adopted by a night stroll by way of the traditional marina.

2-3 Days in Otranto Itinerary

Spend your first day sightseeing in Otranto itself, as advised above.

On day two, you may both go for a hike or take a lengthy bike journey to discover the gorgeous Salento countryside.

If in case you have a 3rd day (and a automotive), take a day journey out to Torre Pinta, then head throughout to the Grotta della Poesia for a refreshing dip. End off your final day by having fun with the sundown from the Punta Palascìa lighthouse.

1 Week in Otranto Itinerary

With every week in Otranto, you may comfortably do all the issues listed on this submit. You’ll have loads of time, so you may take issues straightforward and actually get pleasure from every exercise.

The order you do issues is completely as much as you, however I like to recommend spending at the least two full days within the city so you may get a superb sense of the place. Then, remember to spend a full day climbing and/or biking within the surrounding countryside, and one other on the seashore.

Supplied you have got your individual automotive, it’d be pretty straightforward to mix seeing Grotta della Poesia, Grotta dei Cervi, Torre Pinta, and the Punta Palascìa lighthouse in a single (pretty lengthy) day – pack snacks!

Lastly, I recommend taking a full-day journey to go to Santa Cesarea Terme for a calming spa therapy (you’ve earned it!) to spherical off your week.

The place to Keep in Otranto

These are a number of of the very best neighborhoods in Otranto for vacationers:

Centro Storico – Finest for First-time Guests

Otranto’s Outdated City is the very best place for many guests to remain. You’ll be inside straightforward strolling distance of all the city’s main sights and most of its finest eating places. The environment is great and it’s a stunning place to discover always of the day, proper by way of the evening.

Take a look at this wonderful mid-range condo that has an unbeatable location and a terrace with gorgeous views out over the Centro Storico.

Outskirts of Otranto – Finest for Finances Vacationers

Otranto isn’t a very massive place and the vast majority of lodging choices are positioned within the metropolis middle. Nevertheless, there are a number of locations a little bit additional out that are typically cheaper and so is perhaps higher for price range vacationers to contemplate.

This is a wonderful one-bedroom price range condo that’s solely a 15-minute stroll from the historic middle.

Northern Suburbs – Finest for Seaside Lovers

There are a number of nice seashores simply north of the city, throughout the Bay of Otranto. This could be an awesome place to remain if you wish to be inside straightforward strolling distance of the seashore. From right here, it’s a few 30-minute stroll (or a 10-minute drive) to the middle of city.

Take a look at this improbable condo that’s proper subsequent to the seashore and contains a terrace with improbable sea views.

Finest Eating places in Otranto

Don’t miss these nice locations to eat in Otranto:

Il Pumo Restaurant

Il Pumo is by far my favourite restaurant in Otranto. It’s elegant and fancy, however not overpriced, and serves a variety of native specialties. Their seafood is wonderful and so they normally have a number of glorious dishes of the day.

Retro Gusto

Retro Gusto is an upmarket restaurant positioned on the sting of the Centro Storico. It’s finest identified for its scrumptious recent seafood, and each dish is superbly introduced. It’s a little bit on the expensive facet, however I feel it’s value it as the standard is actually glorious. Strive the spaghetti with lobster and the grilled grouper fish.

Icon Restaurant Otranto

Positioned near the marina and the fortress, Icon is primarily a seafood restaurant (strive their seared tuna) but it surely additionally gives various tasty vegetarian choices. Their wine checklist is nice too, and so they have a balcony/terrace space the place you may eat whereas having fun with a improbable view of the Outdated City.

Nelson Park

A brief stroll from the middle of city, Nelson Park is likely one of the finest pizzerias within the space. It’s widespread with the locals (which tells you all it’s essential to know) and has a reasonably backyard space. In addition they serve a scrumptious antipasti platter of native cheeses, cured meats, and breads – most Italian!

Pasticceria Merola

Pasticceria Merola is an incredible bakery that serves a variety of scrumptious pastries in addition to gelato. Strive their ricotta pasticciotto (a sort of pastry stuffed with candy ricotta) – it’s unimaginable; you received’t remorse it.

Getting To Otranto

The closest worldwide airport to Otranto is Brindisi, which is served by a number of main European airways together with Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways, and Finnair. From there, it’s a 1-1.5 hour drive to Otranto.

I extremely advocate hiring a automotive on the airport if potential as the general public transport choices in Salento are considerably restricted. Though remember to examine that your condo has parking amenities earlier than reserving something.

For those who’re utilizing public transport, you’ll must journey by way of Lecce and may do the journey by both bus or practice. It takes something from 2.5-4 hours, relying on the time of day and day you’re touring.

For these arriving from one other area of Italy, you may take a long-distance, high-speed practice to Bari (the capital of and largest metropolis in Puglia), then one other practice to Lecce. Then, make the ultimate leg of the journey both by regional practice or bus.

For those who’re coming from Lecce, you can even take this handy non-public switch service. Alternatively, try this full-day guided day journey from Lecce that features Otranto and three different picturesque Salento cities: Leuca, Gallipoli, and Galatina.

When you get to Otranto, you may stroll to all the main locations within the city itself. Nevertheless, to get to most of the different locations described on this submit, you’ll in all probability both want to rent a automotive or be part of a guided tour that features transport from Otranto.

Issues To Do in Otranto: FAQs

Listed below are some solutions to generally requested questions on visiting Otranto:

What’s Otranto identified for?

Otranto is especially identified for its gorgeous Eleventh-century cathedral, its enticing historic harbor, and its imposing Aragonese fortress. The city can be near a number of stunning seashores and has many nice eating places.

When is the very best time to go to Otranto?

The perfect time to go to Otranto is in Might or September (i.e. late spring or early autumn). It’s normally heat and sunny, not too scorching, and far much less crowded than through the peak summer time season. September is my favourite month in Otranto as the ocean remains to be pretty and heat from the lengthy, scorching summer time.

Is Otranto value visiting?

Sure, Otranto is certainly value visiting. There are numerous stunning locations to see in Otranto, and it’s additionally only a actually nice little city to spend a while in.

What number of days ought to I spend in Otranto?

There’s sufficient to do in Otranto to maintain you busy for at the least in the future. Nevertheless, as you may inform from this submit, there are various different improbable issues to do and locations to go to close to Otranto.

I’d advocate staying for at the least two or three nights for those who can. It’s an awesome place to base your self to discover extra of the broader area.

Is Otranto secure?

Sure, Otranto is a very secure city. After all, petty crimes akin to pickpocketing can occur anyplace, so it’s at all times a good suggestion to take the same old precautions when touring.

What’s the hottest factor to do in Otranto?

Exploring the Centro Storico, together with the Cathedral and the Fort, is the preferred factor to do in Otranto.

What’s the finest seashore in Otranto?

There are a number of nice seashores positioned simply north of the primary city, together with Spiaggia dei Gradoni, Spiaggia della Riviera degli Haethei, and Lido della Staffa. Nevertheless, for those who don’t thoughts touring a little bit additional afield, Alimini seashore is even higher.

What meals ought to I strive in Otranto?

I like to recommend making an attempt some conventional Puglian and Salento specialties throughout your time in Otranto. These embrace orecchiette pasta (particularly if it’s served with broccoli rabe), ciceri e tria, focaccia, sfogliatelle, and panzerotti.

In Closing

Now you already know what to see and do in Otranto, one among my favourite locations in Puglia. It’s an awesome vacation spot in its personal proper, with many enjoyable issues to do in Otranto and the encompassing space.

Otranto isn’t precisely off the overwhelmed monitor, though it not often feels too crowded, particularly in contrast with many different widespread locations in Puglia.

If in case you have your individual automotive, Otranto is a good place to base your self when exploring the broader area, particularly for those who favor staying in smaller, quieter cities versus massive cities. I might simply spend a number of weeks right here having fun with the pleasant, laid-back vibe and the leisurely tempo of life. I hope this submit lets you plan your journey!

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