Tour description

PUGLIA SMALL GROUP TOURS

Experience the Southern Italy lifestyle with a Puglia small group of 12/14 participants only! Distinctive and delightful, with crystalline seas, pretty countryside and endless sunshine, Puglia is a land of natural beauty, warm hospitality and amazing food and wine. A unique, much-loved southern region.Dramatic mountains, Byzantine rock-hewn churches, sun-baked olive groves, stunning Romanesque architecture and some of Italy’s best beaches are tempting more and more visitors to the exciting little-known regions. The high heel of the Italian boot looks and feels like nowhere else in Italy.

Colorful, exotic Puglia is the beguiling and stimulating place, with its own distinctive food, architecture and atmosphere. Its landscapes have an appealingly elemental quality – stark rocks meeting clean beaches lapped by crystal-clear water; gigantic olive trees spiraling up from dark red soil fringed by vivid wildflowers; fragrant pine forests opening onto chalk-white sands. Nature’s colors are bold in Puglia, and man-made shapes are simple – with chunky, cubic houses and conical-roofed cottages dotting the countryside. Its extensive coastline bears the marks of many conquering invaders:the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks.

Sun and sea, food, wine and quality of life – explore this diverse and captivating region with a small group tour.

We have a real passion for Puglia & Basilicata regions and look forward to sharing it with you!

Read what our friends say about this fantastic Puglia tour

SMALL GROUP TOUR HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 10 DAYS/9 NIGHTS

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP UNIQUE

  • Small, intimate group of 12/14 participants only!!
  • More than 10 included sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
  • Tour of BARI with its historical heritage and the FISH MARKET
  • Taste PRIMITIVO RED WINE
  • Visit CASA CISTERNA & CHIESA RUPESTRE in MATERA
  • Home-hosted lunch in ALBEROBELLO with a BURRATA cheese making experience
  • Marvelling at the Baroque splendor of LECCE
  • Experience the PAPIER MACHE WORKSHOP
  • Soak up the beauty of MATERA with its CAVE DWELLINGS
  • Discover magical TRANI
  • Visit the marvels of GALATINA- A mind-blowing Giotto-like experience!
  • Dine in traditional restaurants and taste authentic REGIONAL CUISINE
  • Fairy tale white city of OSTUNI
  • OLIVE OIL TASTING in Apulian MASSERIA
  • Falling in love with POLIGNANO A MARE
  • Admiring the imposing Medieval UNESCO CASTEL DEL MONTE
  • Losing yourself among the iconic TRULLI in ALBEROBELLO
  • BREAD EXPERIENCE in the medieval town center of ALTAMURA
  • Visit popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Local Tour Manager, experienced to accompany you throughout your journey
  • Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned luxury 20 seats motorcoach
  • Baggage transfers & porterage are included
  • Included gratuity for city guides only
  • No hidden extras
  • Tour package does not include transfer from Bari airport to your hotel, airfare, or any other personal travel expenses.We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour
  • Our included meals: All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only)
  • Activity level: Good/Moderate
  • Terms & conditions/Single supplement: (View here) & FAQ (View here)
  • Trip interruption & cancellation insurance is not included . We highly recommend Travelex-indurance.com to protect your vacation
  • Purchase of European Travel & Health Insurance is strongly recommended
OUR UNIQUE ACCOMMODATIONS
DAY-BY-DAY TOUR ITINERARY

 

BELLISSIMA PUGLIA TRAVEL ITINERARY

TOUR LIMITED TO 12/14 PARTICIPANTS ONLY FROM BARI TO BARI

Day 1: WELCOME TO BARI, COSMOPOLITAN MONOPOLI & MAGICAL LECCE

We meet in BARI outside the Oriente Hotel at 09.30 for a fascinating walking tour through the ancient alleys, visiting the Basilica of St. Nicholas, one of the most remarkable examples of Romanesque architecture, the exterior of the Swabian Castle built in Norman times and the fish market.Following an experience on seeing making Apulian orecchiette pasta, we’ll drive to the picturesque fishing ancient town of MONOPOLI for a guided stroll through the town’s quaint streets and along the water. Afterwards, continue to the elegant town of LECCE, known as The Florence of the South on account of its astonishing number of baroque and Renaissance-style buildings.Spend the first three nights of your Puglia adventure at the boutique hotel “PALAZZO DEI DONDOLIor similar.Dinner is included this evening in a local bistro.Overnight stay in LECCE

Day 2: THE BAROQUE SPLENDORS OF LECCE & HISTORICAL PALAZZO

Southern Italians have long known historic LECCE and its glorious profusion of Baroque mansions and churches.A beautiful baroque town with a remarkable architectural confection of palaces and churches intricately sculpted from the soft local sandstone. In the morning, we take a private tour around the city with our locally born guide to have the key sights explained to us. Lecce is known for its crafts, most notably papier-mache’ figurines, and this display is dedicated to explaining the skills and artistry that go into a local product.The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration.You might choose to visit the Museo Faggiano, which will give you an even greater insight into the city’s long history.In the evening,the owner of a stunning historical PALAZZO welcomes you for an aperitif followed by dinner on your own.Overnight stay in LECCE

Day 3: THE SALENTO PENINSULA & THE SEASIDE TOWN OF OTRANTO

This morning we depart to CAPE OTRANTO to visit a recently restored 19th century lighthouse from where on clear days you can see the mountains of Albania.We then move to OTRANTO, a charming harbor town overlooking the turquoise Adriatic sea.You’ll have time for viewing the stunning Cathedral where, in the interior you can find a remarkable 12th century mosaic floor depicting the Tree of Life balanced on the back of two elephants.After an included lunch in a fishing restaurant,we’ll end the day in a popular beach for swimming (weather permitting).The evening is all yours to head to the old town for a meal or taking in the atmosphere of the evening “stroll”-LA DOLCE VITA !!!Overnight stay in LECCE

Day 4: THE MARVELS OF GALATINA & PRIMITIVO WINE TASTING

Leaving beautiful Puglia region, we drive to nearby BASILICATA and the town of MATERA. Even for Italians, Basilicata is off the beaten track and little known, despite being portrayed as Biblical Palestine in countless film epics.Our first stop is the town of GALATINA, an important Greek colony in the Middle Ages and nowadays renowned for its splendid church of ST CATERINA D’ALESSANDRIA which contains early 15th-century frescoes with scenes from the Old and New Testaments.A mind-blowing Giotto-like experience!Continue to a well-known winery for a tasting of their wines “PRIMITIVO“.Our hotel for the next two nights is “LA SUITE MATERA” or similar, located near the Sassi district, said to be one of the world’s oldest towns, inhabited since the Paleolithic Age. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight stay in MATERA

Day 5: BIBLICAL MATERA 

MATERA is a fabulous troglodyte town of prehistoric grottoes, cave tabernacles, abandoned hovels and Renaissance houses, all excavated into the luminous limestone tufa. The rock-cut cave dwellings known as the SASSI, date back to Byzantine times.With the help of a locally-grown expert, we’ll learn the stories of old and new Matera. Discover an ancient cave dwelling which tells a tale of poverty, hardship and struggle, whose history is best immortalized in writer Carlo Levi’s superb book “Christ stopped at Eboli“,comparing the Sassi to Dante’s Inferno.Today Matera contains some 3000 habitable caves.Visit a cave church-featuring medieval frescoes with their own legends that we learn about.Your afternoon is free to relax and explore.This evening we’ll meet for a delicious meal in a local gourmet restaurant.Overnight stay in MATERA

Day 6: BREAD EXPERIENCE IN ALTAMURA,BURRATA CHEESE MAKING & MAGICAL ALBEROBELLO 

Our day starts with a visit to the historical town of ALTAMURA. Settled in the 5th century BC by the Peucezi people, it become an important agricultural centre in 13th century.Famous today for its beautiful Cathedral built by Frederick 11 and since antiquity for its local bread town as Pane di Altamura.We take a private walking tour through the town and sample the locally made bread during an exclusive visit to a bakery in the old town.Afterwards,continue to ALBEROBELLO, famous for its district of Trulli, spread over the hillside to the south of the town.These square structures have conical roofs covered with “Chiancarelle”, grey-limestone roof slabs and are crowned by differently shaped pinnacles, each with a magical significance.Your expert guide will show you an 18th century small Trullo house, giving something of the atmosphere of trullo life, with sweet, rounded rooms that include a re-created bakery, bedroom, and kitchen.We end the day visiting a CHEESE MAKING FARM for a tasting of their famous BURRATA CHEESE.Spend the next two nights in the white town of OSTUNI at the “HOTEL LA TERRA” or similar.In the evening, take a stroll through the narrow alleys and steep stairways of the picturesque town which shines like a pearly white tiara, extending across three hills with the magnificent gem of a late-Gothic 15th century cathedral.Overnight stay in OSTUNI

Day 7: OLIVE OIL FARM,HANDS-ON-COOKING & FASCINATING LOCOROTONDO

Today’s visit takes you to a typical Apulian MASSERIA for a tour and olive oil tasting, then continue to the mooring feel town of MARTINA FRANCA where an Apulian family will open the doors of their house for a HANDS-ON-COOKING.Later we visit the small, whitewashed village of LOCOROTONDO considered one of the most picturesque ones in Italy boasting an extraordinarily beautiful and whisper-quiet pedestrianized historical center, where everything is shimmering white aside from the blood-red geraniums that tumble from the window boxes.Dinner is included in a gourmet restaurant.Overnight stay in OSTUNI

Day 8: SAILING IN POLIGNANO A MARE & UNESCO CASTEL DEL MONTE

Wide horizons, bold colors, sometimes harsh and a bit lunar.Such is the landscape of the Murgia Valley from the Imperial Puglia, dominated by the presence of Frederick II .We start the day with a drive to the stunning town of POLIGNANO A MARE for sightseeing and a boat tour along the dramatic Apulian coastline.(weather permitting).Continue to the UNESCO Heritage site of CASTEL DEL MONTE, a masterpiece of medieval architecture, which dominates the countryside of Andria from its 540 meters on sea level.Spend the last two nights in the nearby fishing town of TRANI, staying at the central hotel “MARE RESORT” or similar.The remainder of the day is at leisure.Overnight stay in TRANI

Day 9: COLORS OF PUGLIA: LIVE THE MAGIC OF TRANI 

In the morning meet your tour guide for a walking tour of beautiful TRANI. Start to explore from the Cathedral of San Pellegrino, a Romanesque gem by the sea, the Swabian Castle, an imposing fortress built by Frederick II.Behind the port, you can explore the Jewish quarter, a maze of small alleyways,synagogues and artisans’shops.The elegant port is the town’s beating heart.Tonight we’ll celebrate your Apulian adventure with a Farewell dinner at one of the typical regional restaurants in Trani. Overnight stay in TRANI

Day 10: ARRIVEDERCI PUGLIA!

Arrivederci from Secret Tours Team.You might also like our new 7 Days Small Group Tour to ABRUZZO & THE GARGANO PENINSULA

TOUR DATES & PRICING

2022 TOUR PRICE: € 3,400      SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: € 400       Currency Converter 

Price is per person based on double room occupancy for 10 days/9 nights

REVIEWS

Puglia Reviews Summary

5
Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Excellent100%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%

Recent Puglia Reviews

Surprising Puglia

Rated 5 out of 5
25/06/2022

I travelled through Puglia in late May with 9 other fellow travelers, a wonderful tour leader and an excellent driver. We just all fit together.I hadn’t travelled for a couple of years with secret and nothing has changed, everything just gets better. If you want to get away from the crowds, stay in some unique and first class lodgings, eat until you nearly burst with fine food and wine, then this tour is for you.Each day was a surprise as we meandered through villages and towns, visited

wineries, olive groves, a cave, a cheese factory (don’t eat breakfast!!) and a bakery. No it wasn’t the food and wine tour, but it could have been called that. All supported by the fun and capable Paola who is just a treasure.The local guides were informative but not pushy and it was great to learn with such a small group.Be prepared for steps and walking, but hey it’s Italy, bring your hat, sunscreen, water, joggers and a sense of humour and you will be fine.There is also time to relax or wander in the towns. I booked this tour as I have always been fascinated by the Trulli; however I have learnt so much more about this part of Italy, Bari, Lecce and the history of Matera. From the time I made contact with the team to enquire about space; to my booking and extra night, everything is made as easy as possible in a professional manner.Thank you to Aldo, Paola and the team for showing another side of the gorgeous Italy.I have wonderful memories of my lovely travel companions and the fabulous times we had.

Gaye Evans, Australia, May 2022

Bellissima Puglia

Rated 5 out of 5
22/06/2022

We have now taken 3 SecretItalia tours and as the others, this tour exceeded our expectations. On this tour, it was my wife and our two adult children.The tour is filled with great experiences, such as making paper Mache figures and statues, making Burrata cheese, making bread, wine tasting (I ordered a case for the US), oil tasting and the history of harvesting oil since pre-Roman times, having a lovely lunch with a local family in their home, and a boat ride to see naturally carved caverns. . In some cases, we actually participated in making things-bread, paper mache etc. Most tours are just sightseeing, but this tour is full of culture that you can experience and have memories of.Now the food! Dinners and lunch in local places, including a street food experience. Food provided on the tour was great and references to restaurants when we were on our own always resulted in good food at reasonable prices-and I should mention the pasta, fish, gelato, focaccia, pastries and Tagliere (plates of regional meat, cheese, bread etc).We toured and stayed in several small cities, each with their own unique characteristics, Lecce, Ostuni, Trani, Matera —Some incredible sites like the cave dwelling in Matera (Note that we had the experience of staying in a hotel built within a cave), We walked a lot, visited the shops, churches and other sites, just enjoying our days without a rush. We stayed in several lovely unique boutique hotels including two converted convents.Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention our wonderful Guide. She was knowledgeable, helping us understand all the sites, their history and culture. She was warm, congenial, and flexible and always worked to make our trip a superb experience. We will miss her. Hope our paths cross again.In summary, I highly recommend this trip and touring with SecretItalia

Robert De Marino (USA), June 2022

Outstanding Puglia Tour

Rated 5 out of 5
15/06/2022

Hi Aldo,

We hope you are well and enjoying summer weather.

We just got home from our trip and I wanted to thank you for the best group tour we have ever been on. Puglia was a totally different and special destination but what made it more memorable was the amazing Paola. She was such an outstanding tour guide. She was knowledgeable, funny, helpful and such a great person to spend our 10 days with. The tour was well organized and we learned so much. We particularly enjoyed the pasta making with the nona, the olive tour and Matera. The tour balanced the group time , yet provided enough time for independent exploration.The restaurants that you chose were the best and catered to our non meat requirements. Paola always made certain that we liked the choices and went out of her way to ensure that we had enough to eat( which was never a problem)!!! Great variety of food choices and excellent menus. I’ve never eaten so well and such a high calibre of food.Thank you so much again.It will be a trip that we will remember forever,

Wendi and Paul Bonder, Canada

Review Puglia

PUGLIA & BASILICATA

PUGLIA & BASILICATAMany travelers who claim to “know” Italy have never set foot out of Rome. But plenty of Italophiles say that the fun starts once you leave Rome’s southern city limits. Italians refer to the part of Italy south of Rome as the Mezzogiorno, which means midday and refers to the hot sun that blazes down Read more