Magic of Puglia & Matera
10 days - 9 nights
Our tour is designed to satisfy the most discerning travelers who want to explore the highlights of Southern Italy with its fascinating cultural heritage, excellent food and wine and stunning, picturesque landscapes. Distinctive and delightful, with crystalline seas, pretty countryside and endless sunshine, Puglia is a captivating region and the right place to spend your vacation.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN PUGLIA
Welcome to Apulia! We’ll meet you from Bari or Brindisi airport or train station and then take you for a delicious home-style lunch based on our regional specialties. After lunch we’ll head to your accommodation in Ostuni, the picturesque, hilltop, medieval 'white city' overlooking the Adriatic Sea. You'll spend the first three nights at either; Masseria Torre Coccaro or Masseria Salinola (Platinum option) where you can relax in the peaceful setting of the Apulian countryside. A former 16th century, old fortified farm which has been meticulously renovated to reveal its original splendour, highlighted by the white lime and stone inside. Equipped with all comforts the rooms are embellished with antique furniture. The farmhouse produces its own, high quality extra virgin olive oil and produce from the vegetable garden enhances the restaurant menu acclaimed by the most prestigious guides. If you prefer to be in the Centro Storico (the historic centre) another option is La Sommità (Gold/Platinum Option), a 5* boutique hotel inside a 16th century residence which boasts a magical setting with breathtaking views.
DAY 2: DISCOVERING CISTERNINO, ALBEROBELLO & POLIGNANO A MARE
This morning our first stop is Cisternino, where we’ll stroll through the narrow streets of this medieval village. Then we'll drive to Alberobello, the famous Unesco World Heritage Site, famed for its conical-shaped dwellings, built from limestone with rooves stacked of stone tiles without mortar. Lunch at a family-run restaurant “ La cantina” where the chef Francesco will cook a delicious meal in front of you in his open kitchen. In the afternoon we set off for Polignano a Mare, renowned for its breathtaking balconies with views to the crashing waves of the Adriatic below. Also the birthplace of the Italian singer, Domenico Modugno famous for 'Volare'.
Day 3: COOKING OR BOATING
After a delicious breakfast you’ll visit Masseria Brancati with its underground oil mill where you will taste five different oils produced there. You then have the option to partake in our cookery class set in a rustic setting. After your lesson, you’ll relax in front of a generous meal where you’ll enjoy the food you have made and more provided by the chef or take a two hour boat trip, including a light lunch, along the Adriatic coast and enjoy a swim. In the afternoon take time on your own to have a relaxing walk, visit the shops or just sit with a glass of wine in the old main square and people watch.
DAY 4: GALLIPOLI, THE BEACH, SEAFOOD AND WINETASTING
From Ostuni we’ll drive south, past Lecce, crossing the heel of Italy to Gallipoli, a charming fishing village on the Ionic Gulf. After a stroll through the fish market we will visit an underground oil mill before enjoying a nice lunch at “Puritate” one of the best fish restaurants on the Salento peninsula. In the afternoon we’ll head to a fantastic local winery “Schola Sarmenti”, in Nardò, where you’ll visit its cantina and taste their award winning, organic wines. Then we’ll return to Lecce for a brief siesta before dining at the celebrities favourite restaurant Le Zie. As we walk to and from the restaurant we will experience Lecce beautifully lit at night, the Palazzos and the stunning facade of the highly decorated Santa Croce. You will enjoy three nights either in the Palazzo Personé (Gold Option), situated in the heart of the city and formerly a 15th century synagogue, where there is a musuem beneath its foundations. This beautifully restored ancient building retains the historic atmoshphere whilst providing all modern comforts. Alternatively savour the delights of the Roof Barocco Suite, voted Travellers Choice on Tripadvisor's Top 25 Hotels in the World. Situated on the top floor of a 17th century building this luxurious and romantic hotel has a spectacular rooftop terrace and is perfectly situated near the Baroque chuch of San Matteo or Risorgimento Resort/Fiermontina (Platinum option).
DAY 5: HISTORICAL LECCE AND THE MARVELS OF OTRANTO
After breakfast we will explore the city of Lecce, much of the architecture is in the highly decorative Baroque style , which flourished in the 17th century and earned the city the name “ Florence of South”. We will visit Piazza S.Oronzo and the magnificent Roman Amphitheatre. Or, if you prefer, there is an option to take a boat trip and enjoy a swim in the crystal Adriatic waters in the morning. We will have our lunch at Il Cantico dei Cantici in the stunning seaside town of Otranto, one of Puglia's most vibrant towns, overlooking a pretty harbour and recognized by Unesco and named as one of the “Borghi piu’belli d’Italia” (one of the most beautiful small towns in Italy) where we’ll explore its charming historical centre. It is here that St Peter is fabled to have celebrated the first western mass.
DAY 6: AMAZING FRESCOES AND WINETASTING
In the morning we will drive to Galatina and visit the Basilica Santa Caterina d'Alessandria with its amazing frescoes and paintings similar to those at the Basilica San Francesco in Assisi. It is thought that some of the artists that worked with Giotto were also employed to work here. We will then drive down to Leuca where we will have lunch at Osteria Del Pardo famous for its fish and seafood dishes. In the afternoon we will visit the centuries old winery Castel di Salve that brings together wines produced from four of their vineyards which, are geographically very close but fall into four very distinct microclimates and soil environments. You'll have a chance to taste them all! We will then visit the old town of Tricase and enjoy an aperitif at Farmacia Bilboa. You are then free to enjoy the evening in Tricase before we drive back to Lecce.
DAY 7: THE SASSI OF MATERA
Today we leave Lecce, we’ll start the tour with a visit to Grottaglie, famed for its ceramics, where we will visit the workshop. We then continue our journey to Matera, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Where we will have a delicious lunch at Falco Grillaio then begin to explore the fascinating Sassi. The people of Matera once lived in these Sassi, dwellings scooped out of the rock. Many chapels were also gouged out of the rock and we will be visiting some of these chapels and dwellings on route. You will spend two nights in either the Corte San Pietro (Gold Option) or Sexantio Grotte della Civita (Platinum Option), both hotels with the magical atmosphere of the Sassi. The rooms are carved from the tufa stone, soft local sedimentary limestone, their restoration has been a long and accurate process which allows you to enjoy the originality of sleeping in a cave whilst providing modern technology and comfort. In the summer your breakfast is served in the attractive courtyard. The hotel also has an exciting underground world to explore, an itinery of eight cisterns used in the past for the collection of rainwater for household purposes. Another choice is the Albergo Italia (Silver Option), set in the ancient palazzo of the aristocratic Giura Longo family. The town's heritage is inherent in the classical interiors where culture and style live on. This sumptuous hotel has panoramic vistas and has created an outstandingly cosy and informal ambience. We will dine at Abbondanza, a chic restaurant in a cave.
DAY 8: DISCOVER RUPESTRIAN ART
After breakfast, we will visit the Crypt of the Original Sin commonly known as the Sistine Chapel of Rupestrian art it was discovered as late as 1963. Experts have dated the cycle of paintings back to the second half of the eighth century, painted by Basilian monks. After a wonderful lunch at Baccanti you may choose between a bike tour to a natural preservation area just outside Matera or an easy walk in the old town to look at workshops of local artisans or perhaps relax at a local cafe and pastry shop.
DAY 9: CASTEL DEL MONTE AND TRANI
Today we travel to “Castel del Monte” built in the 13th century by the Norman emperor Fredrick the second to be used as a hunting lodge. This is one of the most sophisticated secular buildings of the middle ages and its octagonal geometry has inspired many novels. Lunch at “Corte in Fiore” in Trani, an excellent awarded restaurant. In the afternoon we will visit Trani and its amazing cathedral built by the sea. During the middle ages the town was an active port and bustled with mercantile activity with merchants and Knight Templars that travelled throughout the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. We will also visit one of the few working synagoges in Puglia built in 1246-7, in the time of the greatest Jewish community in Trani, which in 1160 had a population of 200 families. We will spend the last night either at The Palace Hotel or Nicolaus(Gold Option) or The Grande Albergo delle Nazioni (Platinum Option) in Bari.
DAY 10: GOODBYE
We’ll escort you to Bari airport for your return journey. We hope you will return to visit us and keep exploring more of our colourful land. “Goodbye!”
TOUR MAGIC OF PUGLIA AND MATERA 10 DAYS - 9 NIGHTS
Our tours are designed to host two to ten guests
PRICES: 5 to 7 participants 2 to 4 participants
Magic Puglia + Matera 10 days/9 nights Gold Mid Season: 3,590 Euros pp 3,990 Euros pp
Magic Puglia + Matera 10 days/9 nights Gold High Season: 3,680 Euros pp 4,890 Euros pp
Magic Puglia + Matera 10 days/9 nights. Platinum Mid Season: 5,590 Euros pp 5,890 Euros pp
Magic Puglia + Matera 10 days/9 nights. Platinum High Season: 5,990 Euros pp 6,690 Euros pp
These prices refer to prices per person, double occupancy, 2-4 participants. For larger groups please enquire.
- Pick up and Drop off from/to airport Bari or Brindisi.
- Accommodation (option Gold) with Breakfast
3 Nights – Ostuni
3 Nights – Lecce
2 Night – Matera
1 Night - Bari
- 8 Lunches & 2 dinners with wine (in the best restarurant of Puglia, for example, Restaurant la Puritate in Gallipoli, Restaurant La cantina in Alberobello, Restaurant Il solito posto in Ostuni, Restaurant Le zie in Lecce, Restaurant Abbondanza or Falco Grillaio in Matera)
- 1 Cooking course with lunch or A Boat trip with lunch
- Visit to Olive Oil mill and tasting
- 2 Winetastings
- Entrances to Museums and monuments
- VAT and city taxes
March Sat 25th to Mon 3nd April
April Sat 8th to Mon 17th or Sat 29th to Mon 8th May
May Sat 27th to Mon 5th Jun
Jun Sat 17th to Mon 26th
July Sat 1st to Mon 10th or Sat 22nd to Mon 31st
August Sat 19th to Mon 28th
September Sat 9th to Mon Sept 18th
October Sat 7th to Mon October 16th