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From £799 per person
- Get to know the authentic regions of Puglia and Basilicata
- Explore coastal towns and hilltop cities at your own pace
- You'll stay in three and four-star hotels with breakfast included
- Receive detailed suggestions of places to visit on route
- Explore the stunning towns of Alberobello, Otranto and Lecce
- Discover the natural wonders of the Gargano National Park and Castellena Grotte
- Visit the cultural capital of Basilicata and see the ancient cave dwellings
Day 1: UK to Puglia
Fly to Bari or Brindisi airport and collect your hire car. Make your way to Matera, the capital of Basilicata – you’ll spot it high on a rocky outcrop as you approach. Spend your first night in the area.
Distances: Bari airport to Matera 70 km (1 hour 15mins) or Brindisi airport to Matera 140km (2 hours)
Day 2: Altamura, Gravina and Matera
This morning head for the border between Puglia and Basilicata to the town of Altamura. The 13th century cathedral here is a must-see. Later on, visit the churches and buildings carved into the stone in Gravina. Human settlement here dates back to pre-historic times. You can even head underground to check out the cave dwellings.
Drive back to Basilicata and spend the afternoon getting to know Matera. The ancient sassi district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the town's been noted for its history and culture since being named European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Distances: Matera to Altamura 20km (25 mins); Altamura to Gravina 14km (20 mins); Gravina to Matera 27km (30 mins)
Day 3: Taranto and Gallipoli
Hit the coastal roads today. Start in Taranto where you’ll find one of the most notable Magna Grecia Museums in Italy and the striking 15th Century Aragonese Castle. Find a spot to have lunch, pop into artisan shops or just soak up the atmosphere before making your way to the island town of Galappoli. A 16th Century bridge links the mainland to the old town where you can explore narrow alleyways and discover hidden nooks. There’s another amazing fortress to see too, Castello Angioino.
In the evening, head for your hotel in the Salento area.
Distances: Matera to Taranto 75km (1 hour 15 mins); Taranto to Gallipoli 145km (1 hour 45mins); Gallipoli to Salento area 40km (40 mins)
Day 4: Salento, Santa Maria di Leuca and Otranto
Drive down to the tip of Italy’s heel and reach Santa Maria di Leuca. Art Nouveau villas line the water’s edge and you can walk up to the lighthouse that marks the point where the Ionian and Adriatic Seas meet. Drive on to the spa town of Santa Cesarea Terme. The 19th-century Villa Sticchi with its ornate Moorish dome is a real treasure. Further along the coastal road you'll find Otranto, Italy’s easternmost town. It’s a laid back place with lots to see. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata has an amazing medieval ‘tree of life’ mosaic that covers the floor.
Distances: Salento area to Santa Maria di Leuca: 7km (10 mins); Santa Maria di Leuca to Otranto: 50km (1 hour); Otranto to Salento area: 50km (1 hour)
Day 5: Lecce, Martina Franca and Alberobello
Venture through the olive groves and vineyards of the Itra Valley today and spot the cone-roofed trulli houses. You'll begin in Lecce, which is famed for its Roman Theatre and Cathedral. Further north, see the ornate baroque architecture in Martina Franca and finally reach Albrerobello, the capital of trulli.
Distances: Salento area to Lecce 85km (1 hour); Lecce to Martina Franca 100km (1 hour 25 mins); Martina Franca to Alberobello 15km (20 mins); Aberobello to Ostuni area 12km (40 mins)
Day 6: Bari, Castel del Monte and Trani
Visit the capital of Puglia today. Bari is a bustling city on the coast where you can see Puglia's traditional pasta being made in the streets. Head to the UNESCO site Castel Castel del Monte before spending some time in the historic fishing port of Trani. Wander through the limestone lanes and soak up the town’s history. There’s nice bars and cafés at the marina so stop for a drink and watch the fishing boats in the harbour.
Distances: Ostuni area - Bari 87km (1 hour 15 mins); Bari to Castel del Monte 55km (1 hour); Castel del Monte to Trani 35km (40 mins); Trani to Ostuni area 110km (1 hour 50 mins)
Day 7:Castellana Grotte, Polignano a Mare and Ostuni
Venture into the limestone Grotte di Castellana, an interlinked cave system. Spend the morning exploring the caverns before heading to the seaside town of Polignano a Mare. Grab a coffee or ice cream in the main square and soak up the atmosphere. The beach in the cove below is the perfect place to catch some sun and have a swim. In the afternoon, make your way to the whitewashed town of Ostuni. In the evening we’ve planned a tasting for you where you can sample some of the locally produced olive oil.
Distances: Ostuni area to Castellana Grotte 40km (50 mins); Castellana Grotte to Polignano a Mare 20km (30 mins); Polignano a Mare to Ostuni area 50km (45 mins)
Day 8: Puglia to UK
After breakfast head to the airport for your flight home.
Distances: Ostuni area to Bari airport 105km (1 hour 20) or Ostuni area to Brindisi airport 45km (40 mins)
- Car hire with unlimited mileage
- 7 nights’ three and four star accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis (5 nights half board available for a supplement**)
- Detailed suggested itineraries and information
- Olive oil tasting
Your holiday excludes:
- Any extras, drinks and personal expenses
- Dinner at the Hotel Montecallini is not included in the optional half board supplement
- Parking costs (where applicable)
- Tourist tax
Please note that the distances between destinations are estimates and may vary.
★★★ Hotel Sassi, Matera (2 nights)*
★★★★ Hotel Montecallini, Salento Area (2 nights)**
★★★★ Città Bianca Country Resort, near Ostuni (3 nights)
Your Meals: Breakfast in the hotel's is usually buffet style and includes options like fresh bread, fruit, cereals, yoghurt and a selection of teas an coffees. If you upgrade to half board you'll have dinner included on five nights of your seven night trip.
*Hotel Sassi in Matera - guests choosing the optional half board will have dinner in a local restaurant.
** Hotel Montecallini in the Salento area is not included in the optional half board upgrade. If you'd like dinner here you can eat in the hotel's à la carte restaurant or a local restaurant and pay locally.
Please note that these hotels are subject to availability at the time of booking. If they are not available, they'll be changed to hotels of a similar standard and location. Not all hotels have a swimming pool and some use outside restaurants if you choose half board.
Flexible daily departures from May to mid October