Italy: Puglia & Amalfi Coast Self-Drive

  • Tours & Multi-centres in Italy

Begin your self-drive tour in the sun kissed regions of Puglia and Basilicata, scattered with groves of olives, medieval fortified villages and famed for its dramatic cliff edged coastline and crystal-clear sea. Finish your trip UNESCO protected fishing villages of the Amalfi Coast

Tour highlights

  • This wonderful self-drive itinerary lets you explore the stunning regions in southern Italy including Puglia, Basilicata and Campania at your own pace
  • You'll stay in well-located four-star hotels with breakfast and dinner included
  • Receive detailed maps with driving directions and suggested places to visit on route
  • Explore the stunning towns of Puglia including Alberbello, Otranto and Lecce
  • Spend time in the 2019 European capital of the world, Matera
  • Visit some of the most beautiful towns of the Amalfi Coast
  • Spend some time in Sorrento and Capri
  • Discover the ancient city of Pompeii

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Day 1: UK to Puglia

After the arriving at Bari airport, pick up your hire car at the car-rental office in the airport, and then head to your nearby hotel for your first night.

Approximate distance travelled: Bari airport to hotel 60km / 1 hour

Meals included: (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 2: Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina France

On your first full day we recommend exploring the Itria Valley and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello. The place is famed for its Trulli, picturesque, white-washed huts topped by conical roofs. Further down the road you’ll find the pretty hilltop town of Locorotondo. The beautiful pedestrianised town centre has a laid-back vibe, perfect for a leisurely stroll through its circular web of charming streets. After, make your way to Martina Franca, an elegant town that still retains its original baroque and renaissance gates. Wander along the shaded tree-lined street through the Porta di Santo Stefano archway into the city and head for Piazza Roma, where pretty flower boxes bring a vibrant dash of colour to the square. Explore the scattering of elegant palaces, such as the 17th century Palazzo Ducale before making your way back to your hotel.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Alberobello 20km / 20 mins; Alberobello to Locorotondo 10 km / 10 mins; Locorotondo to  Martina Franca 7km - 15 mins; Martina Frnace to your hotel 17km / 30 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 3: Andria and Trani

After breakfast, start today's road trip in the town of Andria where you’ll see the beautiful limestone Castel del Monte standing on the rocky outcrop. The imposing octagonal structure was built in the 13th Century by Emperor Frederick II and today stands as a monument to medieval military architecture. Your next stop will be the sea port of Trani. Head straight for the harbourside where you could spend hours watching the boats whilst enjoying a bite to eat from one of the local trattorias. Just along the promenade you'll see the Romanesque Cathedral of San Nicolás, with its 60-metre-tall bell tower. After exploring the cobbled streets away from the harbour begin making your way back to your hotel.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Andria 120km / 1 hour 40 mins; Andria to Trani 35km / 40 mins; Trani to your hotel 110km / 1 hour 25 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 4: Gallipoli

Today, head south along to Salento. Stop in the Baroque city of Lecce and explore its historic centre and ancient Roman Theatre. Discovered in 1929, this hidden gem has been excavated, bringing to light some of its former glory. Visit the nearby museum to learn more about the city’s fascinating Roman past. In the afternoon  you'll drive further south to the coastal town of Gallipoli. Surrounded by crystal clear water this fortified town is perched on a limestone island, connected to the mainland by a bridge. In the historic centre of the town stands the Baroque Cathedral, ornately decorated and built in the local Lecce limestone. Head up to the city walls where you can find a spot in a café or bar and watch over the water. Once you’ve had your fix of the charming town, make your way to your new hotel.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Lecce 160km / 1 hour 45 mins; Lecce to Gallipoli 40km / 40 mins; Gallipoli to your hotel 40km / 40 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 5: Santa Cesarea Terme and Otranto

At the far southern tip of Italy’s heel you'll find the village of Santa Maria di Leuca and its lighthouse that marks the meeting point of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. It's the perfect place to admire the panoramic views over the southern tip of Italy and the sea. Continue on your journey, driving along the beautiful Adriatic Coast to Santa Cesarea Terme. Set within the Costa Otranto National Park, it's home to natural thermal waters bubbling from cave systems. The town has an up-market feel, stemming from the 18th Century when wealthy aristocrats began to build their ornate summer villas and palazzi here, which can still be admired today. For your final stop for the day make your way to Otranto. The Castello Aragonese has been transformed into an art space, having exhibited the likes of Warhol, as well as local artists. The town boasts yet another gem, the Cathedral of Otranto. As you wander in you’ll notice the intricate mosaic that dates back to 1103 and spans the entire floor. The imagery depicts the many influences that have played a part in the history of the city. After exploring the town make your way back to your hotel.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Santa Cesarea Terme 35km / 45 mins; Santa Cesarea Terme to Otranto 26km / 16 mins; Otranto to your hotel 60km / 60 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Altamura and Matera

Today you'll head towards Basilicata in Matera. On route visit Altamura, a town famed for its 13th Century Cathedral. Altamura is also known as the city of bread, famed for its course-grain oven baked loaves and focaccia. Take a break for lunch and enjoy this local delicacy with mozzarella and juicy sun ripened tomatoes. Next, stop in Gravina where you’ll find fascinating churches and buildings carved into the rock. Arrive in Matera in the afternoon. Stacked on top of a rocky ravine, the UNESCO protected Sassi district amkes up the ancient part of the city. You’ll find yourself amidst a beautiful web of lanes and staircases, with plenty of lookout points where you can stop to take in the views.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Altamura 250km / 3 hours; Altamura to Gravina 14km / 20 mins; Gravina to Matera 25km / 30 mins; Matera to your hotel 20km / 25 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 7: Salerno and Vietri Sul Mare

Today you'll head towards the Campania Region. Start your exploration in Salerno, a buzzing port city. Head up to the Lombard Castle of Arechi to admire the panoramic views before venturing to the old town to visit the Minerva Botanical Gardens of Salerno Medical School – the oldest university of medicine in the world dating back to the 14th Century. The terraced gardens and collections of rare an exotic plant species were once used to teach medical students. After, wander through the palazzo lined streets down to the Trieste Lungomare, the palm tree lined promenade that meanders beside the clear waters of the Gulf of Salerno. After grabbing a bite to eat, hop back in the car and drive further up the coast to Vietri Dul Mare. This part of the Amilfi Coast is still somewhat undiscovered yet is home some of the finest treasures the coastline has to offer. It marks the beginning of the Amalfi's coastal road and is famed for its ceramics. The pottery production here dates back to the Roman times and today you’ll see how the craft lives on as you wander through the heart of the town. Later enjoy the stunning sea views as you drive west along the Amalfi Coast, through lemon groves and villages to your hotel.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Salerno 200km / 2 hours 20 mins; Salerno to Vietri Sul Mare 6km / 15 mins; Vietri Sul Mare to your hotel 25km / 1 hour

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 8: Amalfi, Ravello and Positano

Wake up to explore the stunning fishing villages of the Amalfi Coast. Begin in Amalfi, the once maritime republic and hub of trade. Make your way to the centre of town to the Piazza del Duomo where you’ll find the striking Arab Norman Caherdral. Next, explore Positano. The vertical village clings to the mountainside in a hue of pastel buildings. Find a terrace bar and watch the yachts cruise by whilst you relax. Your final stop is Ravello. Known as the jewel of the coastal crown, the tiny town take pride of place high above sea level with spectacular views of the bay below. Visit the 11th Century Duomo di Ravello to marvel at its beautiful ceramic interior.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Amalfi 4km / 10 mins; Amalfi to Positano 15km / 45 mins; Positano to Ravello 23km / 1 hour; Ravello to your hotel 8km / 20 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 9:  Sorrento and Capri

Set out for Sorrento, the cliff top town that overlooks the Bay of Naples. Make your way straight to the lively hub that is Piazza Tasso. The square is lined by small cafes and narrow streets with shops selling trinkets and souvenirs. Make your way to the seaside village of Marina Grande, home to colourful boats and fishing nets bobbing beside the sandy shore. Next, get a feel for la dolce vita on the chic Italian island of Capri. Cross from the mainland by boat. Explore Capri Town and Anacapri where you can take the one-man chair lift up to, Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Sorrento 35km / 1 hour 25 mins; Sorrento to your hotel 35km / 1 hour 25 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 10: Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

This morning check out from your hotel and begin your drive to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD wiped out the entire city and today you can see the buildings, pots and even frescoes that are astonishingly well preserved. In the afternoon continue on to the Mount Vesuvius National Park. If your feeling adventurous, park in the car park and take the shuttle service up to 1,050 metres, from which you can take the four kilometre trail (there and back) to the crater.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Pompeii 35km / 1 hour; Pompeii to your hotel 30km / 40 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 11: Naples to UK

If you have time on your final morning, visit the coastal city of Naples and its stunning architecure and try some delicious local cuisine. Then say your farewells to Italy and drive to Naples Airport to return your hire car and catch your flight home.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Naples airport 10km / 20 mins

Meals included: Breakfast

Please note that this itinerary may not be suitable for guests with walking difficulties due to the steep pavements and steps in some cities and towns. Driving around the Amalfi Coast may get very busy at times, especially during peak season therefore we would recommend this itinerary for confident drivers. It is possible to use public transport including buses and boats when on the Amalfi Coast to visit the more popular towns.

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Your holiday includes

  • Car hire with unlimited mileage
  • 10 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis (optional half board supplement)
  • Detailed driving instructions, maps and suggested itineraries
  • Olive oil tasting with a small gift in Puglia
  • Sfogliatella tasting in Naples (if visited)

Your holiday excludes:

  • Any extras, drinks and personal expenses
  • Parking costs (where applicable) 
  • Hotel city tax

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Please note that these hotels are subject to availability at the time of booking. If these are not available, they will be changed to hotels of a similar standard and location.

★★★★ UNA Hotel Regina, near Bari (3 nights)

★★★★ Hotel Montecallini, near Salento (2 nights)

★★★★ Fuori le Mura, Altamura (1 Night)

★★★★ Hotel Villa Romana, Minori (3 nights)

★★★★ Hotel San Francesco al Monte, Naples (1 night)

Departure dates

  • Daily from May to October

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This accommodation is not available to be booked online, please call our Reservations Team on 01483 791111 to book or for further information

Due to the constantly changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, we may need to change or withdraw at short notice some advertised accommodation facilities and resort services to help keep everyone safe.

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