Tour description

10 DAYS PUGLIA SMALL GROUP TOURS

Experience the Southern Italy lifestyle with a 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.

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. Yet, despite its diverse influences, Puglia has its own distinct and authentic identity. Sun and sea, food, wine and quality of life – explore this diverse and captivating region with a Secret Tours.

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

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 10 DAYS/9 NIGHTS
  • Guaranteed departures small group travel: small, intimate group of 12/14 participants only!!
  • More than 10 included sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
  • Tour of BARI with its historical heritage
  • Wine tasting of PRIMITIVO WINES in MANDURIA & visit to the WINE MUSEUM
  • Visit CASA CISTERNA & CHIESA RUPESTRE in MATERA
  • Home -host lunch in ALBEROBELLO with taste and demonstration of Apulian BURRATA cheese
  • Marvelling at the Baroque splendour of LECCE
  • Visit to an historical PALAZZO LECCESE
  • Experience the PAPIER MACHE LABORATORY
  • Wine tasting of LOCOROTONDO WINES in the Valle d’Itria
  • Soak up the beauty of MATERA with its CAVE DWELLINGS
  • Discover MARTINA FRANCA and magical TRANI
  • Charming fishing village of CASTRO with BOAT TRIP
  • Dine in traditional restaurants and taste authentic REGIONAL CUISINE
  • Fairytale white city of  OSTUNI
  • OLIVE OIL TASTINGS in Apulian MASSERIA and its OLD OIL MILLS (Frantoi Ipogei)
  • Falling in love with POLIGNANO A MARE
  • Admiring the imposing Medieval UNESCO CASTEL DEL MONTE
  • Losing yourself among the iconic TRULLI in ALBEROBELLO
  • The mystery of the CASTELLANA CAVES, with its amazing amount of richly colored stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Learn how to make typical Apulian pasta ORECCHIETTE while touring the ancient alleys of BARI
  • BREAD EXPERIENCE in the medieval town center of MATERA
  • Visit popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Local Tour Manager, experienced to accompany you throughout your journey
  • Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned luxury 9 or 16 seats motorcoach
  • Transfers while overseas, baggage transfers & porterage are included
  • Included gratuity for city guides only
  • No hidden extras
  • Our divine included meals: All breakfasts, 2 foodie experience,4 lunches, 4 dinners (main meals include wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only)
  • The tour will begin on Day 1 from Bari hotel at 09.00 and end with morning transfers at scheduled times to Bari airport and train station from Trani on Day 10.We recommend arriving a day or more prior to the beginning of the tour.
  • 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
  • PRE/POST TOURS: 4 days/3 nights in BEAUTIFUL CALABRIA
OUR UNIQUE HOTELS
TOUR ITINERARY

 

DISCOVER THE MAGIC OF PUGLIA & MATERA WITH A SMALL GROUP TOUR

UNKNOWN PUGLIA & MATERA DELIGHTS TRAVEL ITINERARY

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

Day 1: WELCOME TO PUGLIA AND THE SALENTO PENINSULA

After breakfast in your hotel, meet your tour guide Paola at 09.00 for a fascinating walking tour of Bari (We recommend arriving in Bari a day or more prior to the beginning of the tour) through the ancient alleys, visiting the “Basilica of St. Nicholas“, one of the most remarkable examples of Romanesque architecture and the exterior of the “Swabian Castle” built in Norman times. Following a lesson on making typical Apulian “Orecchiette” pasta, we’ll drive to the picturesque town of Polignano a Mare, perched on limestone cliffs, boasting stunning views and colorful narrow streets for an Italian gelato. Leaving Polignano a Mare, we continue to elegant Lecce, known as “The Florence of the South“on account of its astonishing number of baroque and Renaissance-style buildings for our first three nights at the central historical hotel “RISORGIMENTO RESORT” or similar.This evening join your local tour director and fellow travelers for a welcome drink followed by an included feast of flavors in a local tavern where you’ll feel like one of the family. Eat like a real Pugliese! Overnight stay in LECCE

Day 2: LECCE AND ITS BAROQUE SPLENDORS

Southern Italians have long known Lecce and its glorious profusion of Baroque mansions and churches.Historic Lecce is 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 your guide to have the key sights explained to us. After a foodie experience with typical “salty rustico” and a “papier mache” experience, we’ll explore an historical Palazzo with its gardens located in the ancient corner of Lecce. You’ll have the afternoon free for more discoveries of beautiful Lecce. Overnight stay in LECCE

Day 3: THE MARVELS OF OTRANTO AND THE FISHING VILLAGE OF CASTRO WITH BOAT TRIP

This morning we depart to Otranto, a charming harbor town overlooking the turquoise Adriatic coast.Here you’ll visit  the stunning Cathedral where, in the interior you will find a remarkable 12th century mosaic floor depicting the Tree of Life balanced on the back of two elephants. After a walking tour to discover the charming historical center and an included lunch in a local fishing restaurant, you’ll move to Capo d’Otranto to visit a recently restored 19th century lighthouse from where on clear days you can see the mountains of Albania. Before going back to Lecce, we’ll take a scenic road trip to the tiny fishing village of Castro for a relaxing boat trip.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:  WINE TASTING IN MANDURIA & TIMELESS BASILICATA: BIBLICAL MATERA

Leaving beautiful Puglia region, we drive to nearby Basilicata region and the town of Matera. With its primeval forests, sandy coves, chic cave dwellings, Castles and ancient rock-hewn churches, Basilicata is both a timeless biblical land a beguiling new destination. Our first stop is a well-known winery located in the Manduria region for a tasting of their local wines “Primitivo” and a visit to the wine culture museum. Following this, we head to the town of Matera for hands on making bread and focaccia made in old wood-burning oven. Our hotel for the next two nights in Matera is the family run “CORTE SAN PIETRO HOTEL” or similar,located in the heart of the Sassi district, said to be one of the world’s oldest towns, inhabited since the Paleolithic Age.Overnight stay in MATERA

Day 5:  A WANDER THROUGH SASSI OF MATERA-A CAVE WITH A VIEW

Breakfast in hotel. 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. We’ll visit “Casa Cisterna” 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. After an included light lunch with typical, you’ll visit a “Chiesa Rupestre” -a cave church-featuring medieval frescoes with their own legends that we will learn about. Rest of the afternoon is on your own.This evening we will meet for a delicious meal in a local tavern.Overnight stay in MATERA

Day 6: THE ENCHANTING “TRULLI” DISTRICT & HOME-HOSTED LUNCH WITH BURRATA CHEESE EXPERIENCE

Today’s visit takes you to Martina Franca with its white old town, stunning ramparts and the bustling Piazza Roma, bordered by the 17C Palazzo Ducale. We continue to the town of Alberobello, famous for its district of Trulli (about 1400), spread over the hillside to the south of the town. These square structures have conical roofs covered with “Chiancarelle”, grey-limestone roof slabs. They are crowned by differently shaped pinnacles, each with a magical significance.Here you’ll enjoy a demonstration of Burrata cheese making in a local family masseria followed by an included home-hosted lunch. Our charming local tour 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.You’ll spend the next two nights in the white village of Ostuni at the “OSTUNI PALACE“or similar. Overnight stay in OSTUNI

Day 7: OLIVE OIL IN MASSERIA & WINE TASTING NEAR LOCOROTONDO

Breakfast in hotel. This morning we take a stroll with our local guide through the narrow alleys and steep stairways of picturesque Ostuni, a town which shines like a pearly white tiara, extending across three hills with the magnificent gem of a late-Gothic 15th century cathedral. After a wine tasting in a wine cellar, we’ll visit the small 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. After time on your own for lunch, we return to Ostuni to visit a locally Masseria farm for an olive oil tastings and viewing an underground ancient olive mill.Dinner is included this evening in a local pizzeria. Overnight stay in OSTUNI

Day 8: IMPERIAL PUGLIA: CASTELLANA CAVES, UNESCO CASTEL DEL MONTE & TRANI

Wide horizons, bold colors, sometimes harsh and a bit lunar.Such is the landscape of the Murgia Valley dominated by the presence of Frederick II .Our first highlight are the Castellana Caves, a series of limestone caves accidentally discovered in 1938 and are now one of Puglia’s main attractions. A guide will accompany you as you descend to the caves.After lunch on your own, you’ll visit UNESCO Heritage site of Castel del Monte which dominates the countryside of Andria from its 540 meters on sea level. Drive to the fishing town of Trani with its bustling port which a thousand years ago attracted pilgrims and crusaders.One of its highlights is the striking Cathedral dedicated to the pilgrims’ Saint Nicola. Spend the last two nights in a central hotel looking over the port” MARE RESORT” or similar. The remainder of the day is at leisure.Overnight stay in TRANI

Day 9:  COLOURS OF PUGLIA-DOLCE FAR NIENTE IN TRANI 

Breakfast in hotel. Morning with your tour guide for a walking tour of beautiful Trani. Start to explore the Cathedral of San Pellegrino, a Romanesque gem by the sea, the Swabian Castle and the Jewish quarter, a maze of small alleyways,synagogues and artisans’shops. 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!

Morning transfers to Bari airport and train station.Thanks for travelling Secret Italia Tours!

2019 TOUR DATES & LAST MINUTE

2019 TOUR PRICE: EUR 3,100       SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: EUR 400       Currency Converter 

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

April 29-May 8    LIMITED SPACE

May 9-18   LIMITED SPACE

May 23-June 1       LIMITED SPACE

June 9-18      LIMITED SPACE

Sept 4-13

Sept 14-23

Sept 24-Oct 3

Oct 4-13

Oct 14-23

Available departures

2019 Tour Price: 3,100 €| Single Suppl 400| €10 days/9 nights |up to 12/14 Participants only! To book a tour with us, simply fill in the online booking form with all your details Book Now! May 4-13 May 14-23 June 9-18 June 25-July 4 Aug 26-Sept 4 Oct 3-12

Tour score and score breakdown

10 / 10

Based on 1 reviews

Overall
10   
Accommodation
10   
Transport
10   
Meals
10   
Guide
10   
Value for money
10   
Program accuracy
10   

Guest reviews

  • Small Group Tours & Shore Trips in Sicily, Malta, South Italy & Portugal
    2014-10-12

    "Our South Italy tour was a wonderful experience thanks to the excellent planning by Secret Italia.."-Pamela & Mike Brophy ( CANADA)

    All ECCELLENTE