Itinerary Highlights
    • Enjoy the dolce vita in Puglia, one of Italy’s most seductive regions
    • Stay in a collection of charming farmhouses characteristic of the south, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards
    • Set off on private tours of the medieval town of Otranto and the rock churches of Matera to really understand the ancient history of the region

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Sinking into the intense blue of the Mediterranean on the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’, Puglia is easily one of the most picturesque regions in the country. The pristine peninsula is lined by a collection of charming coastal towns, while the interior countryside harbours the region’s cultures and traditions: wine and olive oil production, livestock farming and handicrafts. This 11-day Puglian adventure dips between the sea and the countryside, taking you from the ancient port of Otranto to the curiously cone-shaped trulli houses of Ostuni and from the opulent Baroque architecture of Lecce to the crumbling rock churches of Matera.


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Your adventure to Puglia begins today. Head to the airport and whizz through airport security before settling into the airport lounge for some nibbles and refreshments. The flight to Brindisi is direct and takes about two hours. On arrival, collect your rental car and drive just over one hour to the charming coastal town of Otranto. Here, you’ll check in for two nights in a traditional hotel located on a beautiful farm. Spend the rest of today relaxing in your new digs and, when dinnertime comes around, settle in for a delicious meal based on local specialties.



For your first full day in Italy, you’ll be soaking in some local culture with a visit to Otranto’s castle and cathedral with a knowledgeable local guide. First up: Otranto Castle. This megalith of a white-stone medieval fortress is fascinating to walk through. But perhaps more fascinating is the fact that this building inspired the founding work of gothic fiction: The Castle of Otranto, written by Horace Walpole in 1764. Continue on to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, an exceptional monument that boasts a 12th-century mosaic floor. You can also visit the display of the remains of the Martyrs of Otranto, who were executed in August 1480 by Gedik Ahmed Pacha. Round off your tour with a refreshing ice cream to contemplate and discuss what you’ve learned today.



Today you’ll be swapping the coast for the countryside, driving an hour and a half north to Manduria. We recommend making a stop along the way in Lecce, a jewel of Baroque architecture nicknamed ‘The Florence of Southern Italy’. We can arrange for you to stroll the streets of the old town with a local guide, or you can explore independently. Continue on to a beautiful masseria (farmhouse) located just south of Manduria, where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. Even though you’re in the heart of the countryside, some of the most beautiful beaches in the area, Punta Prosciuto and Torre Borraco, are within a 20-minute drive. Spend the rest of today settling into your new home before enjoying a delicious meal at the in-house restaurant this evening.



Today is yours to spend discovering the scenic and cultural delights of Manduria. The historic centre is home to a collection of elegant palaces and sanctuaries which are well worth visiting. The giudecca and synagogue can be found in the old Jewish quarter of Chiesa Madre, while the Catholic horseman statue of ‘The Calvary’ is located in Via Maruggio. For a deeper dive into Manduria’s history, a visit to the archaeological park reveals the city’s antiquity and the old walls give a good idea of ancient engineering methods. The wider region is particularly well known for the quality of its vineyards and wines, most of which are developed using Apulian grapes. To the north of Manduria lies Oria, a town renowned for the building works of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen during the Middle Ages, who commissioned the construction of the castle. Surrounding the castle is a collection of both Renaissance and Baroque churches, including those of Saint Dominique, Saint François de Paule, Saint François d’Assise and Saint Jean Baptiste.



It’s time to hop back into your car and continue northwards to the beautiful town of Ostuni, a one-hour drive away. Settle in for two nights in a charming rustic hotel surrounded by classic Puglian flora. Spend the rest of today as you wish. You could stroll into town to catch a first glimpse of the seriously picturesque centre, find a spot for some local gelato, or simply relax in your new home before tucking into a hearty meal this evening.



Popularly referred to as the ‘White City’, Ostuni is easily one of the prettiest towns in all of Puglia. Pristine white-washed houses featuring authentic craft workshops line the cobbled streets which wind up the hillside to the Cathedral of Ostuni. Other beautiful historic sites include the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Church of San Vito Martire, with its Baroque facade and twirling 18th-century Lecce-style ornamentation. To the northwest of Ostuni lies the Itria Valley, a spectacular landscape home to gorges, caves and many wildlife species, including nocturnal birds of prey and owls. Our team could also arrange for you to head out with a local guide to visit the unusual trulli of Alberobello, dry-stone buildings with cone roofs, before sampling some local produce.



Today it’s time to bid farewell to Ostuni and head to Matera, another of the most beautiful towns in the region, just under two hours away. Settle in for two nights in a delightful farmhouse nestled in the countryside. The afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. You can head into Matera to walk in the footsteps of James Bond in No Time to Die or simply kick back and relax in your hotel, ready for a delicious dinner based on regional produce this evening.



After a hearty breakfast this morning, you’ll be met by a knowledgeable local guide to head out to one of the most fascinating sites in the region: the rock churches of the Sassi. This ancient ensemble of houses, monasteries and cisterns, all built into the limestone tufa, is something to marvel at. Byzantine monks, who settled here during the Middle Ages, decorated their churches with frescoes, many of which can still be admired today.



The time has come to set off for your final destination in Puglia: a beautiful hotel located just north of the Alta Murgia National Park, less than two hours away. Spend the rest of this afternoon enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with staying in the heart of nature. For dinner this evening, settle in for a hearty and nutritious meal based on local produce.

DAY 10


It’s your last full day in Italy and there’s not a moment to waste as you’re in a region oozing with both cultural and natural charm. The town of Andria boasts several interesting historic sites merging Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque features, including the 13th-century tomb of Isabella II of Jerusalem, wife of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. A few miles from the city is the Castel del Monte, an octagonal castle that is considered a major achievement of the Middle Ages. We can arrange for you to discover this castle with a local guide, before sampling some local wines and culinary specialties. To the east of Andria, Barletta combines Adriatic coastline and heritage, while immediately west, the Alta Murgia National Park features some stunning landscapes. The erosion of a limestone plateau resulted in a region perfect for pastoralism. The trulli, conical straw-roofed shelters characteristic of the region, bear witness to this tradition. This region is also home to the only purely Italian breed of horse, the solid Murgese, as well as wolves, wild boar and bustards.

DAY 11


Sadly, the time has come to leave Italy behind and head back home. You’ll be flying back from the airport in Bari, which is less than an hour’s drive away. You should have time to soak in some sights of this charming coastal city before boarding your flight. Depending on how much time you have you could visit the ramparts of the Norman castle, the Cathedral of San Sabino and the Basilica of San Nicola and the 1920s-style Palazzo Mincuzzi. Head back to the airport to drop off your rental car in time to catch your three-hour flight back to the UK.

A la carte


Head into the heart of Lecce with a knowledgeable local guide to admire some of the most emblematic squares and streets of the splendid Barocco Leccese architectural style. The grandeur on display speaks of an era, between the 16th and 18th centuries, where peace and prosperity gave way to an opulent artistic expression. You’ll also have the opportunity to sample some local delicacies along the way, such as pasticciotti, a shortcrust pastry filled with custard.


It’s no surprise that the Alberobello and its trulli houses is a UNESCO World Heritage site. These conical-roofed limestone sheep pens are steeped in history and culture and your local guide will tell you all about how they came to have such a peculiar shape and the cultural importance they carry today. You’ll then head to a local messeria (farmhouse) to sample some of the region’s most prized dairy products. Mozzarella di Gioia del Colle and burrata di Andria are some of Puglia’s signature cheeses.


The Castel del Monte, built in the 13th century by Emperor Frederick II, is an enigma. Not in keeping with the military architecture of the time, its function and purpose is still questioned by historians. The mathematical rigor of the engineering was no doubt a major achievement of the Middle Ages: its octagonal shape, the precision of its astronomical markers and overall symmetry and balance. After exploring the site with a private guide, sit down for a local lunch and a wine tasting session.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip starts from £1,955 to £2,780 per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average starting price for this trip is £2,605 per person.
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