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Select Cosmos 2021 Europe tours are limited to an average of just 24 guests per tour. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos European tour, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery Europe vacation is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
Total meals included:
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring Naples, one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Guided sightseeing this morning gives you an introduction to the eventful history of this city and its colorful traditions. Depart Naples and travel into Apulia, the legendary “heel” of Italy. Stop at Castel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the 13th century by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, and renowned for its unique octagonal shape. Continue to the Adriatic coastline for an orientation tour of the beautiful port city of Bari.
Today’s Distance: 204 mi/ 328 km
Head to Castellana Grotte to visit the famous limestone caves. This impressive system is a wonderland of captivating stalactites, stalagmites, and crystallized mineral deposits. Next stop is Alberobello, renowned for its distinct conical-roofed “trulli” houses. Follow the coastline to lovely Lecce, the “Florence of the South.”
Today’s Distance: 107 mi/ 173 km
On your included excursion to Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost tip of Apulia, discover oriental art nouveau villas and beach huts from the early 20th century. On to Gallipoli, an ancient Greek city built on an island in the Ionian Sea. Enjoy the Old Town with its quaint ambiance, winding streets, and inviting squares. Discover Frantoio Ipogeo, an underground olive press buried in the tufa rock. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, workers pressed Gallipoli’s olive oil, and used it to light the city’s oil lamps. Return to Lecce. Time to marvel at its opulent Baroque buildings.
Today’s Distance: 130 mi/ 210 km
On to Manduria, situated in the rural wine-growing region. Visit a wine cellar and get to taste some of the typical Primitivo. Next stop is Ostuni, only 42 miles from Greece, but characterized by its flat-roofed, white, Greek-looking town centre. Overnight in Fasano, a peaceful town surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, not far from the Adriatic Sea.
Today’s Distance: 109 mi/ 175 km
Today is free to do as you like. Maybe join the optional excursion to Matera and Altamura. The impressive “rock city” of Matera is home to the prehistoric sassi cave dwellings, while a guided tour of Altamura reveals the amazing stone-clad city, with free time afterwards to stroll through the Old Town on your own.
Puglia is famous for its olive trees and, this morning, you’ll visit a traditional olive mill to taste some genuine olive oil, enjoy a light lunch, and stroll around the groves. Later, travel back to Naples for a chance to treat yourself to a real espresso coffee shot or the most authentic pizza.
Today’s Distance: 199 mi/ 320 km
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
Holiday Inn Naples is located right in the Centro Direzionale business district, a perfect position to get to the train station Naples Garibaldi (15 minutes by car) and Amalfi coast (1 hour drive). All rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, safe, and work desk, and many overlook the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
Hotel Excelsior is just 100 meters from Bari's shopping area and a 3-minute walk from the rear entrance of the train station. All rooms are equipped with elegant furniture, parquet floors, comfortable beds, and free Wi-Fi. The Excelsior's rooms are spread throughout eight floors, all offering windows overlooking the courtyard and a private road. Each guestroom features a marble bathroom with bath or shower and hairdryer.
Modern and comfy, the hotel was born in 2008 from an unusual design competition, Viaggio nel Salento (Travel to Salento). The modern design hotel Eos, offers 30 air-conditioned guest rooms that come with a satellite TV and a minibar. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout and the good location is jkust a stone's throw away from Lecce making it the ideal place from which to enjoy Salento.
Hotel Sierra Silvana in the heart of Selva di Fasano, on the outskirts of Salento, consists of five houses surrounded by a large Mediterranean garden where there are also 4 beautiful trulli.In its Mediterranean Garden the 120 rooms are gathered in 5 abodes plunged into plants and trees of different species: here lie 7 trulli too, for guests who want to spend some days in these pretty cone-shaped houses.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.