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PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

usa
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PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

My husband and i are planning to visit Puglia mid august for 8 days but are confused whether to stay in Lecce or Otranto.

My main dream about this whole vacation is to stay in a seaside Italian village with cobblestone alleys, eat at local restaurants, go to the market and relax by the beach since we are incredible beach lovers. So Otranto was my first choice but after doing some research i found that most people suggest using Lecce as a base and moving from there around the coast, maybe visiting a new area/beach everyday. Is this smarter? Or staying in Otranto will we be able to do the same?

Any ideas on the matter?

D

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

Not everyone has the same dream - If your main dream about this whole vacation is to stay in a seaside Italian village, then why wouldn’t you stay in Otranto (or Gallipoli), a beautiful seaside town with a charming Old Town?

You will see and enjoy both Lecce and Otranto - Decide which base you find more appealing, and then day trip to the other.

Bases don’t have to be the top destination in an area for attractions if they match our dream.

You are not the first to ask this question – Choice of Ostuni, Otranto or Leece Daily tour:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187874-i799-k5480…

August is very hot and incredible beach lovers would love Otranto!

Vagabonda

usa
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2. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

Thanks Vagabonda for your reply!

I was certain that otranto was the place to stay but then my husband read a few things and thought lecce would be the smarter idea. We are from egypt so we dont mind the heat whatsoever hahaha!

Is Otranto too touristy? Would we get more of the Italian local experience in Lecce? We thought about dividing our days and staying in lecce a few nights and otranto a few nights but dont wont to bother with packing and unpacking.

The whole area is beautiful, so very confusing!!

D

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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3. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

Puglia is not an overly touristy region and you would enjoy local experience throughout.

The coastal areas are busier in August during peak season. Obviously there’s a difference between staying in a city and staying at a coastal town, and it’s a subjective decision that only you could make, but possibly dividing your time between the two would be worth the bother with packing and unpacking.

Vagabonda

Pittsburgh...
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4. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

We are recently back from 10 days in Puglia. 5 days in Peschici on the Gargano Penninsula, a small seaside town with a sandy beach. The town is dramaticlly set on the cliff side and tumbles down to the beach on one side the rugged coast line on the other. The old town, within the castle walls is almost car free. Cars only allowed so far in and only for residents. The rest of the old town is narrow, winding walkwak ways. There are plenty of restaurants in both the old town as well as the modern town. We stayed in a bed and breakfast that was just incredible, "Gli Orti di Malva". After a dozen vacations in Italy...this was the first where we felt we had the genuine "Italian" experience.

The second 5 days we stayed in Acaya. Half way between Lecce and the sea. We stayed at the Acaya Golf Resort (Doubletree by Hilton). Not necessarily recommending the hotel. But it had great ammenities...several pools, a private beach on the coast provided with shuttle service. There were other seaside/beaches within a short drive (San Cataldo). They also provided a shuttle bus into Lecce. A good alternative to do both beach and Lecce. Lecce was a wonderful day trip, but I prefer smaller towns and the seaside so would chose not to stay in Lecce. We drove the coast south to Otranto, on to Santa Maria di Leuce and then to Galiopoli. Beaches looked wonderful.

Otranto looked like an interesting town, with an old town for walking and shopping. A much larger town then Peschici. A bit more touristy...but August will be "touristy" wherever you go.

UK
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5. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

We thought Otranto was touristy in late October. The alleyways seem to be full of souvenir shops but our stay was worth it just to see the Cathedral. The coastal route south was very scenic and dramatic but being late in the season many places were closed.

usa
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6. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

Pghguy! I just checked out Peschici and it looks lovely! A bit too far from where we were thinking but will keep in mind for another time.

I also prefer smaller towns, maybe Otranto is sounding more like the right choice. Will still keep researching!

Anyone reccomed a place for us to stay in either lecce or otranto?

Our budget is 100-150 a night. Ive found a few places, but am suprised that Otranto is more expensive than lecce, thought it would be the opposite.

Thanks Joanna!

D

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

Dina111 - I feel your pain! My partner and I are planning a 2 week trip and I am looking for a similar experience. I have come to the conclusion (open to feedback, however) that a place like Galatina, Nardo, or Gallipoli is the best bet and driving to the beach in the day time.

My only concern is that we're going to be spending too much time driving too and from the beach. Can anyone comment on this concern? For me, being able to wander the cobblestone streets in the evening and having a leisurely dinner and wine (without worrying about driving) is priority #1.

We are looking for a vacation rental with a roof top terrace - which I have found several at a very reasonable price in both Nardo and Galatina. Gallipoli seems to be a bit pricier, perhaps because it's on the coast.

Can anyone give feedback on drive time to the beaches from inland centres like Lecce and Galatina? Sounds like both of us are facing the same issue.

Munich, Germany
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8. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

DINA - I'm not entirely sure but I think you haven't mentioned whether you will have a car or rely on public transport.

I'm personally never without a car (on holiday in Europe/states) but prefer not to drive to the beach. A lot of Puglia is only really accessable with a car.

Otranto does have a train station and rail links to Lecce. Trains can take anything from ~ 1h10 to 2hrs depending on service. There are also not really that many of them and the last train from Lecce is ~ 5pm. Really cheap though - Cost €3.20 single

Use www.fseonline.it for Puglia Rail & bus solutions.

NOTE: The FSE network is not part of the www.fsitaliane.it Italian national rail network

You can see the general routes here

www.fseonline.it/DownloadTimetables.aspx

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

Hi Dina,

We stayed both in Otranto and Lecce last Summer, and although we really enjoyed both, if you are wanting the seaside, Otranto might suit you better.

Or would you consider staying 5 days Otranto and 3 days in Lecce? We split our time in both towns and enjoyed each for what they had to offer.

Happy planning:)

usa
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10. Re: PUGLIA: Stay in Lecce or Otranto?!!!

Hey everyone!!

We will definitely have a car! I think itll be difficult not to have one on a trip as such. We are honestly considering staying in both lecce and otranto. We dont want to go visit one of them, end up having a few glasses of wine and face having to drive back tipsy...not an ideal situation if you ask me.

Ive really enjoyed thinkpuglia.com

Its a villa renting website but also has tons of info and pics of each destination in the puglia region.

Does anyone recommend any hotels? would like to sit in something quaint, maybe with a cool italian feel to it.

Still confused! Is lecce exactly like florence or a mini rome? Bec if so we are staying last 3 nights before we go back home in rome.

Help! Heheheh x