Puglia & Basilicata Self-Drive - 11 nights

  • Tours & Multi-centres in Italy

Explore a land of ancient castles and medieval fortresses while driving through nature reserves and along the striking Adriatic coastline. Uncover the region's history and origins while tasting local delicacies and get a true feel for Puglia and Basilicata. This is Italy at its most authentic, where you’ll discover new places, people and experiences.

Tour highlights

  • This wonderful self-drive itinerary immerses you in the authentic regions of Puglia and Basilicata
  • Explore the coastal towns and hilltop cities 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 Alberbello, Otranto and Lecce
  • Discover the natural wonders of the Gargano National Park and Castellena Grotte
  • Spend time in the 2019 European capital of the world, Matera

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Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Puglia

On arrival in Puglia make your way to the car-rental office to collect your hire car. Drive from the airport, passing olive and citrus groves, to your hotel in Bari for your first night’s dinner and stay.

Approximate distance travelled: Bari airport to hotel 20km / 25 mins or Brindisi airport to your hotel 100km / 1 hour 30 mins

Meals included: (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 2: Bari and Trani

After breakfast head in to Bari and spend the morning exploring Puglia's Capital. Make your way through the narrow-cobbled streets of the old town and ancient fortified citadel where you’ll find the striking white stone Basilica di San Nicola. While here, be sure to try delicious seafood dishes such as ciambotta, a local fish stew, and wood-fired focaccia (payable locally). Drive inland towards the Alta Murgia National Park to visit the 13th Century Castel del Monte before continuing on to the historic fishing port of Trani. Wander through the limestone lanes and admire the striking cathedral that towers over the waterfront.

Approxmiate distance travelled: Your hotel to Bari 15km / 20 mins; Bari to Trani 55km / 50 mins; Trani to your hotel 65km / 50 mins

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

Day 3: Bari to Gargano

This morning continue your journey northward Castello Svevo di Barletta where you can walk along the battlements whilst looking out across the sea. Next explore the unique landscape of the Margherita di Savoia salt flats, with its shallow pools that take on a subtle pink hue. You may even spot flamingos. The town of Lucera was founded by the Romans in the 4th Century BC and has a rich, yet tumultuous history having been conqured by the Lombard, the Byzantium, the Swabian and Charles the II of Anjou. Explore the Roman Amphitheater before heading to your hotel near Gargano.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Barletta 65km / 50 mins; Baletta to Magerita di Savoia 15km / 20 mins; Magerita di Savoia to Lucera 90km / 1 hour; Lucera to your hotel 70km / 1 hour 20 mins

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

Day 4: Gargano National Park

Spend the day taking in the sights of Gargano National Park. At the very tip is the costal town of Vieste, which is flanked by two sandy beaches. Spend your morning soaking up the Apulian sunshine or head to the historic centre before visiting the town of Peschici. In the walled old town, the white washed Arabesque buildings nestle closely together. Head for the Torre del Ponte bridge tower that marks the gateway to the maze of steps and lanes carved into the hillside. Later, drive further inland to Vico del Gargano with its well-preserved historical centre.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Vieste 75km / 1 hour 30 mins; Vieste to Peschici 25km / 30 mins; Peschici to Vico del Garno 12km / 25 mins; Vico fel Garno to your hotel 60km / 1 hour 25 mins

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

Day 5: Monte Sant'Angelo, San Giovani Rotondo and Rignano Gargarnico

Take a scenic drive through the Gargano National Park to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Monte Sant’Angelo. Explore the white washed town and some of the best views of the gulf of Manfredonia. Continue to San Giovanni Rotondo, the birthplace of Padre Pio a well-known Italian saint. Today, about seven million pilgrims flock here each year to pay homage at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Finally head to the medieval town of Rignano Gargarnico, known as the balcony of Puglia, to enjoy spectacular views across the surrounding countryside.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Monte Sant’Angelo 35km / 45 mins; Monte Sant'Angelo to San Giovanni Rotondo 25km / 30 mins; San Giovanni Rotondo to San Marco Lamis 12km / 20 mins; San Marco Lamis to Rignano Gargarnico 8km / 15 mins; Rignano to your hotel 15km / 20 mins

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

Day 6: Venosa, Melfi and Vulture

At the base of the extinct volcano Monte Vulture lies the city of Venosa, one of the largest Roman colonies. Explore the remnants of the town’s rich history including the Castle of Pirro del Balzo, the Abbey and ancient amphitheatre. Next, drive to Melfi, once the Capital of the Normans. After a heavy day of history, make your way to Rionero in Vulture, which is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of the local wine.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Venosa 125km / 1 hour 30 mins; Venosa to Melfi 20km / 30 mins; Melfi to Vulture 13km / 20 mins; Vulture to your hotel 110km / 1 hour 30 mins

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

Day 7: Altamura and Matera

Begin your day with a visit to Altamura. The town is famed for its bread and a visit here wont be complete without tasting the wood-fired Pane di Altamura (payable locally). Next, stop at Garvina to explore the ancient settlements and historic religious buildings. In the afternoon make your way to Matera and web of streets that wind their way through the Sassi.

Approximate distrance travelled: Your hotel to Altamura 20km / 30 mins; Almatura to Gravina 13km / 20 mins; Gravina to Matera 27km / 30 mins

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

Day 8: Lucanian Dolomites

Begin exploring the Lucanian Dolomites, with its natural landscape of rocky spires dotted with mountain villages. Start in Acerenza, known as the cathedral city and stop in Lagopesole to see the towns imposing castle that towers over the Valle di Vitalba. For a unique experience head to the small villages of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano to see the Il Volo dell’Angelo (Angel Flight), a zip line that glides from one side of the valley to the other connecting the two Borghi più Belli d'Italia. Alternatively, if you want to get out into nature, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the trails of the Dolomiti Lucane National Park on a hiking tour. 

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Acerenza 75km / 1 hour 5 mins; Acerenza to Lagopesole 30km / 40 mins; Lagopesole to Pietrapertosa 59 km / 1 hour; Castelmezzano to your hotel 83km / 1 hour 10 mins

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

Day 9: Taranto and Valle d'Itria

Today, start in the seaside town of Taranto, home to a significant archaeological museum and 15th-century Aragonese Castle. Continue on to the beautiful baroque town of Martina Franca in the Valle d'Itria, bursting with elegant palaces and and ancient churches. End your day visiting some of the towns and villages that are considered some of the most beautiful in all of Italy - Locorotondo and Cisternino.

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Taranto 70km / 15 mins; Taranto to Martina Franca 30km / 35 mins; Martina Franca to Locorotondo 6km / 10 mins; Locorotondo to your hotel 17km / 25 mins

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

Day 10:  Lecce and Otranto

Today you can visit Lecce, the 'Florence of the south'. Stroll through the ancient streets and marvel at the city's architecture A few steps from the Duomo and Piazza Sant’Oronzo you'll see the Ancient Roman theatre that was built in the 2nd century AD. In the afternoon visit the medieval town of Otranto and its beautiful basilica with intricate mosaic floors. 

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Lecce 105km / 1 hour 15 mins; Lecce to Otranto 45km / 40 mins; Otranto to you hotel 150km / 1 hour 50 mins

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

Day 11: Castellana Grotte and Alberobello

On your last full day start by seeing the Castellana Grotte. These caves with their beautiful stalagmite and stalagtite rock formations are over 60 metres deep. As you have explored the region you'll have noticed traditional conical houses called trulli, today visit 'the capital of trulli' Alberobello. See the whitewashed town of Ostuni and end the day in Cisternino, where you can enjoy a tasting of the fresh local olive oil. 

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Castellana Grotte 20km / 25 mins; Alberobello to Ostuni 35km / 50 mins; Ostuni to Cisternino 15km / 23 mins) Cisterno to your hotel 15km / 25 mins

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

Day 12: Puglia to UK

This morning after breakfast, make your way to the airport to return your car and fly home. 

Approximate distance travelled: Your hotel to Bari airport 50km / 1 hour or Brindisi airport 65km / 50 mins

Meals included: Breakfast

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Your holiday includes

  • Car hire with unlimited mileage
  • 11 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis (half board available for a supplement)
  • Detailed driving instructions, maps and suggested itineraries
  • Olive oil tasting with a small gift

Your holiday excludes:

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

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Hotels

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 (2 nights)

★★★★ Ariae Hotel, near Gargano (3 nights)

★★★★ Hotel Sassi, Matera (1 Night)

★★★★ Tenuta Monacelle, near Monopoli (3 nights)

 

Departure dates

  • Daily from May to October

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Total price from
£1898
per person from £949
Includes £60pp discount
Puglia & Basilicata Self-Drive - 11 nights
Tours & Multi-centres in Italy, Bed & Breakfast
10/10/2020 - 11 nights
2 adults
From London Gatwick
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