Book a 2018 holiday before 31 July and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
Take the road less travelled on this authentic Italy adventure that sees you wine tasting at a village winery, sampling locally pressed olive oil and exploring the history behind the region’s beautifully preserved ancient buildings.
Fly to Bari where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
Today explore the peninsula that forms the heel of the Italian boot, visiting first of all, Gallipoli, an ancient Greek city which was built on an island in the Ionian Sea. The old town has a beautiful quaint setting with winding streets that suddenly open into small squares, inviting you to discover the Frantoio Ipogeo, an underground rock-cut oil mill, formerly used to light the city's oil lamps. Continuing to the Cap Santa Maria di Leuca, the southern-most tip of this outstretched piece of land, you'll discover Oriental Art Nouveau villas and beach huts from the last century that lend a special flair and unique flavour to the area.
Drive to Brindisi for the first visit of today's tour, travelling through some of the amazing highlights of the area including the port, the famous column which marks the end of the Via Appia, the Palazzo Nervegna and the churches of San Giovanni al Sepolcro and San Benedetto. On reaching Manduria in the wine-growing region of Primitivo, visit a winery for a tasting experience. Continue to Grottaglie, an amazing place, aptly named after the ravines and caves dating back to prehistoric times, which were dug as refuges. An impressive castle from the 14th century dominates the city. Grottaglie is also known for its pottery and you can witness the processing of Terra Cotta. In the evening you reach your Hotel in the Fasano area for the next five nights.
Today starts by visiting Bari, the capital of the Apulia region, whose centre consists of two contrasting sections; an atmospheric old town with winding streets is found next to the new town with elegant landscaped checkerboard commercial districts and fine boutiques. The port of Bari, nicknamed the Gateway to the Orient, is an important transit point for goods from the Mediterranean. In the afternoon drive to the famous Castel del Monte, built by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century. It is a striking octagonal fortress, with eight octagonal towers and which has been included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today journey to the neighbouring region of Basilicata and the picturesque Rock City, Matera, for a walk on the Panoramic Road dei Sassi with its beautiful views of the houses and cave mazes lying on the rocky slopes of the Gravina River valley. This is an ancient site with wells and irrigation systems dating back to the Bronze Age as well as several rock-hewn churches and a monastery - part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to Altamura, a partially walled city that was once called Lioness of Puglia. After a guided tour of the amazing stone clad city, you have time for a stroll through the old town with its claustri, a connection from a farm to a narrow alley that led to a forecourt. In the evening return to the hotel.
After breakfast, depart for Castellana to visit the famous network of caves created by the underground rivers which filter down through the limestone soil of the Murge hills. Next stop is a visit to the exceptional city of Alberobello, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Famed for its "trulli" houses, Alberobello is one of a kind with its unique white-washed limestone dwellings made with dry stone walls, with black conical roofs. The origins of the trulli are not clear but the prehistoric building techniques are remarkably still used today. Take time to wander around these unique buildings and admire their construction.
In the morning take a leisurely walk through the typical Apulian olive groves and enjoy the beautiful views. Puglia is known for its olive trees and therefore a visit with tasting, to an olive oil mill must not be missed. In the afternoon drive to the White City of Ostuni, which hovers like an eagle's nest above the coast. The white-washed houses can be seen from afar and they blend perfectly with the soft and colourful hills giving Ostuni its own special charm. Take a walk through the beautifully preserved old town with its quaint winding streets and enjoy the great panoramic views across this stunning landscape.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Lecce area: Grand Hotel Tiziano
Fasano: Hotel Sierra Silvana
Naples: M Gallery Palazzo Caracciolo or Ramada
Fasano: Sierra Silvana
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for- like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating holiday adventures since 1961. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.