- Trulli houses in Alberobello
Puglia - Discover the Heel of Italy
- VIP door to door
Trulli houses, ancient cave dwellings and endless olive groves…
With countryside that’s blanketed with olive groves, a collection of historic cities and fairytale towns, and a coastline stretching for 800-odd kilometres, Puglia is a rich region filled with simple pleasures.
We’ll spend eight days winding through its quiet landscapes, discovering baroque Lecce (the ‘Florence of the South’) and the traditional trulli houses of Alberobello. We’ll even stretch into the neighbouring region of Basilicata to visit Matera and explore its ancient cave dwellings.
7 nights in hotels
12 meals: 7 breakfasts (days 2-8) 5 dinners (days 1, 3-6)
- International flights†
- Travel in destination by coach
Excursions and visits
- Guided tours of Lecce (including entrance to the cathedral and Basilica di Santa Croce), and Matera
- Visits to Ostuni (with olive oil tasting), Cisternino, Locorotondo, Alberobello (with wine tasting), Bari, Altamura (with foccacia tasting) and Polignano a Mare
- Excursions to Castellana Caves, Trani, Castel del Monte, and Otranto (with orientation tour)
†Prices are based on return flights with British Airways from London Heathrow or Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports
Portable audio headset system on excursions
- Day 1 UK to Bari to Otranto
- Day 2 Lecce to Otranto
- Day 3 Ostuni to Cisternino to Alberobello
- Day 4 Locorotondo to Alberobello
- Day 5 Matera
- Day 6 Castellana Caves to Bari to Polignano a Mare
- Day 7 Trani to Castel del Monte
- Day 8 Polignano a Mare to Bari to UK
Grand Hotel la Chiusa di Chietri
Hotel Cala Ponte
Day 1 UK to Bari to Otranto
Our VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Bari.
On arrival we transfer to our hotel in Otranto.
Day 2 Lecce to Otranto
This morning, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Lecce, known as the ‘Florence of the South’ for its baroque architecture. After admiring its honey-stone palazzi, we’ll make our way back to Otranto.
Here, we’ll step inside the magnificent Romanesque cathedral. It houses a vast mosaic floor dating back to 1166, which depicts a multi-coloured ‘Tree of Life’ amongst other scenes of myths and legends.
Day 3 Ostuni to Cisternino to Alberobello
This morning we travel to Ostuni, a city which has been occupied since the Stone Age.
Commonly known as ‘the white city', Ostuni’s hilltop citadel is encased in white walls and surrounded by white-painted architecture. The 15th-century cathedral is distinctive for the green, yellow and white slate tiles that encase it and the nearby buildings.
We enjoy an olive oil tasting before travelling on to Alberobello, with a break to stretch our legs in Cisternino, a historic whitewashed town.
Day 4 Locorotondo to Alberobello
Explore the pretty, whitewashed maze of Locorotondo, before we drive to Alberobello (there’s a 15-minute walk to the town from the coach).
Dozens of quirky trulli - circular, conical-roofed houses - can be found in and around the town. We visit a winery here for a a wine tasting accompanied by some local products.
Day 5 Matera
Today we travel to the 2019 European Capital of Culture, Matera, famous for its ‘sassi’ - neighbourhoods of ancient cave dwellings.
Monks first created this maze of living spaces and churches as they sought refuge from infidels at the end of the first millennium. Miraculously, they are still largely intact.
After our guided tour of the rock church and caves, we enjoy a tasting of local wine and freshly baked focaccia, before returning to our hotel.
Day 6 Castellana Caves to Bari to Polignano a Mare
We journey to the Castellana Caves today, a series of limestone caverns accidentally discovered in 1938. A guide will accompany you as you descend to explore the caves.
We then travel to the old port city of Bari. The Romanesque Basilica di San Nicola is dedicated to St Nicholas, or Father Christmas, and was built to house his remains (which still lie in the crypt). As part of the magical Christmas build up here, the local children write letters to St Nicholas and place them in the crypt, before joining a special church service dedicated to them.
We continue to Polignano a Mare, where we’ll explore this pretty coastal town before arriving at our hotel for the next two nights.
Day 7 Trani to Castel del Monte
This morning we depart for Trani for time at leisure to explore the historic centre, stroll along the yacht-lined marina and perhaps visit the castle of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.
We’ll then continue for a guided tour of Castel del Monte, built by Frederick II in the mid-13th century. Most probably intended as a hunting lodge, it crowns a medieval hilltop village.
Day 8 Polignano a Mare to Bari to UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Upon arrival, your vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Accommodation is locally rated and may change, but will always be of a similar standard.
In many cities in Italy, a room tax of between €1-5 per person per night (subject to change), is payable directly to the hotel on check-out.