The central part of Apulia is essentially a flatland with wide arid expanses, which makes it a perfect region for off-the-beaten-path tours as on sandy or rocky flat surfaces. Surrounded by seas and known or the vast history, you can see the region of Apulia with every detail that it holds in this tour.
The small villages of Matera, Altamura, Alberobello and Castellaneta are only some of the destinations included in this tour, offering you the exquisite charm of Apulia and The Gargano Coast but also letting you enjoy unique culinary specialties and endless architecture.
And while Apulia is all about medieval towns and castles, in Gargano you will see intricate and complex paths creating a unique and picturesque look.
Day 01: Bari Arrival | Welcome to Apulia! Upon arrival at Bari airport meet your driver and transfer to Polignano. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Polignano.
Day 02: Alberobello and Gioia Del Colle Private Guided Tour | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver and guide at the lobby. In the morning visit Alberobello’s Trulli (UNESCO World Heritage Site), one of the most important monuments of southern Italy. Your Alberobello guided tour will start from the Aia Piccola, in the heart of the city of the Trulli traditional houses. See the ancient church of St. Anthony. You'll find the inside of the Sovereign Trullo (housed in the museum) where you can see the decor typical start of the century 1900s. Declared a Italian national monument and housing the Blessed Sacrament and the relics of St. Cosmas and Damian, visit the local craft shops with shopping and a relaxing break. After lunch in a characteristic Apulia Masseria (Farm/Wine Estate), continue to Gioia Del Colle, a little town strategically located half way between the Ionian and Adriatic seas to the east and west. Its name comes from the legend of a Queen who, having found a cache of buried jewels, had them made into a necklace, thus giving Gioia its name of ‘Jewels of the Neck’. The ‘Centro Storico’ or Historic Quarter is distinguished by a wealth of arches that hundreds of years ago marked the entrances to the private gardens of some of the wealthy families. The town’s castle is one of several built by Frederick the II, with only 2 of the 4 original towers left standing. Surprisingly, Gioia is also the birthplace of the increasingly popular Primitivo wine. Local history records a17th century Benedictine monk finding the first vines in the gardens of his monastery and later planting them in the surrounding fields. Primitivo is increasingly popular in the UK, and is already a favourite in the United States, via its genetic twin Zinfandel, which is grown in California. Return to your hotel for overnight. Overnight in Polignano.
Day 03: Matera and Altamura Private Guided Tour | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver and guide at the lobby. Today enjoy a Full day visit of Matera and Altamura. Explore the historic town of Matera, a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993 due to its unusual rock houses known as the “Sassi di Matera." Following a pick-up from the cruise terminal in Bari, or from a city center hotel, drive inland across the plains of Basilicata. Upon arrival at Matera, start your tour of the rock-cut settlement in the Piano, the last level of urban development on top of the Sassi. Proceed along the paths and alleys to peer down stairs that offer a glimpse back in time. The Sassi of Matera were dug into the soft tufo rock centuries ago, providing home to the peasants right up until the 1950s. Considered one of the world's oldest rock-cut settlements, it recalls ancient Jerusalem and Cappadocia. Your guide will provide a historical introduction to the Sassi, analyzing the different stages of urban development, and exploring the changing socio-economic conditions that led to their gradual decline and eventual abandonment. Peer inside rock churches, and marvel at some of the most impressive of the cave houses to discover how they were furnished. Learn about the water collection system and cellars and gain a better understanding of a unique system of dwellings. After lunch in a characteristic Apulia Masseria (Farm/Wine Estate), continue to Altamura for an amazing walking tour. Visit the Cathedral, stroll around the heart of the city to discover hidden cloisters, the symbolic places of social and cultural aggregation, Noble’s Palaces and Mansions and ancient churches. You will have deep knowledge of Altamura, among history and curiosities through the various museums which recount its ups and downs, from prehistory to the present time, putting this small city of Puglia on the world scene. The tour will conclude with a tasting of famous local products and of course the worldwide know bread of Altamura! Late afternoon, return to your hotel. Overnight in Polignano.
Day 04: Polignano → Ostuni Private Guided Tour → Lecce | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver at the lobby. Today you will transfer to Lecce via Ostuni. Once in Ostuni, meet your private guide. The gleaming white city of Ostuni is located on the top of the last hill of the southern Murgia plateau. From the top of its white walls you will see a vast plain full of ancient olive trees and the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. You will walk you through the town’s narrow alleyways, so you can admire the flowers that adorn the old balconies and enjoy the views that stretch out from the terraces. Following the walls' circular structure built in the XIV century, narrow streets, arches and stairways join Ostuni's tiny dwellings to the highest point of the town’s medieval settlement, where a castle was located. After lunch in a characteristic Apulia Masseria (Farm/Wine Estate), continue to the beautiful town of Lecce. Overnight in Lecce.
Day 05: Lecce Private Guided Tour | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver at the lobby. This morning you will enjoy a Private Guided Tour transfer of Lecce Historic Centre. Stroll the streets of Lecce and discover why the city is often called the “Florence of South Italy.” Admire monuments of dazzling marble and see traces of the city’s Roman past. Your guide will tell you city secrets and take you to hidden corners, as well as point out all the buildings cast in limestone marble. Built in an elaborate baroque style by 17th-century architects, the city has a homogeneity that many other Southern Italian cities lack. Discover Lecce’s harmonious form at sites such as Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the Cathedral and Bell Tower. Continue to the Chiesa di S. Irene, and on to Piazza Sant’Oronzo to see the ruins of the Roman Empire and Chiesa di San Marco. Discover the old Roman Amphitheatre, built in the 2nd century AD and now half-buried by other monuments built over it throughout the centuries. End at the Basilica di Santa Croce and Celestine Convent, designed by Giuseppe Zimbalo, one of the most prominent architects of the Baroque of Lecce. After the tour you will return to your Hotel. Lunch and rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Lecce.
Day 06: Gallipoli and Otranto Private Guided Tour | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver and Guide at the hotel lobby. This morning you will enjoy a Private Guided Tour of Gallipoli. The old town centre sits on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a 17th century bridge. It is almost completely, surrounded by defensive walls, built mainly in the 14th century. The east side is dominated by a robust fortress dating back to the 13th century, but largely rebuilt in the 1500s when the town fell under Angevin control. These fortifications tell us a lot about Gallipoli’s history: thanks to its strategic position, it was frequently under siege. Founded, so legend tells us, by Idomeneo from ancient Crete, the town soon became part of Magna Graecia and remained so until Pyrrhus, presumably following one too many disastrous victories, was defeated by the Romans! The island heart of Gallipoli is home to numerous impressive Baroque churches and aristocratic palazzi, testament to the town's former wealth as a trading port. A labyrinthine weave of narrow streets all eventually lead to the broader sea-front promenade with its wonderful views. After lunch in a characteristic Apulia Masseria (Farm/Wine Estate), continue to the beautiful town of Otranto. Described as the “Gateway to the East” and the most Oriental of all Italy’s cities, Otranto was founded by Greeks from Crete thousands of years ago. Explore this fascinating history on a 3-hour walking tour of all its main sights. Discover the Norman cathedral, consecrated in 1088 and still the largest Romanesque building in Apulia. Admire the mosaic floor, formed of thousands of pieces of stone that depict scenes from the Old Testament and figures from Breton legends. Admire columns that are said to have come from a Temple of Minerva, and the bones and relics of the Martyrs of Otranto, who perished in the 15th-century siege of the city. Marvel at the 42 marble columns that support the crypt, and more. Continue to the Church of St. Peter and the Aragonese Castle, rebuilt by Alphonso II of Naples in 1485-1498. Look at the irregular plan of 5 sides, with a moat that runs along the entire perimeter. Enjoy the panoramic views out to sea. If the weather is good you can see all the way across the Adriatic to Greece and Albania. Late afternoon, return to your hotel in Lecce. Overnight in Lecce.
Day 07: Lecce - Rodi & Peschici - Gargano | Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning meet your driver at the lobby. Today you will transfer to your Gargano Hotel. Guided visit of Rodi Garganico: the town is just a few kilometers east of Lake Varano, perched on a rocky promontory between two long sandy beaches, surrounded by lush vegetation composed mainly of orchards of citrus, olive tree, pine, carob and fig trees. The historic center of medieval origin, is characterized by narrow streets and mostly steep, with intricate and complex paths, flanked by whitewashed houses. Along the coast there are the famous trebuchets, ancient wooden buildings used by fishermen to adjust their fishing nets, with which the fish are caught. Lunch in a characteristic local restaurant. In the afternoon, guided visit of Peschici, known as the "Pearl of the Gargano," one of the most famous holiday paradises in Puglia. The name of Slavic origin means "sandy soil", because there are long and beautiful beaches with shallow waters, small bays with fine sand. Visit of the old town. Continue to your hotel for overnight. Overnight in Gargano.
Day 08: Day at Leisure or *Optional Tour: Tremiti Islands| Breakfast at the Hotel. This morning meet your driver and guide at your hotel lobby to enjoy a private guided tour of along the Tremiti Islands. The largest island of the archipelago is St. Domino Island; largely covered by forests of Aleppo pine, for fertility and spontaneity of flowers of every color, was called by the Benedictine monks "Garden of Paradise." The waters are clear, the coast is indented with coves, headlands and cliffs, wonderful are the rock of the Elephant, the rock of Pagliai, pyramid-shaped. The archipelago boat tour allows you to visit, among other things, the Grotta delle Viole, Bue Marino and Rondinelle. Lunch in a characteristic local restaurant. In the afternoon visit of the San Nicola Island, artistic historical center of the archipelago, with the ancient Byzantine Abbey: for the numerous traces of an ancient and glorious past, it is considered an open museum. Late afternoon return to your hotel. Overnight in Gargano.
Day 09: Vieste and Monte Sant'Angelo | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver and Guide at the hotel lobby. Today you will visit Vieste, visit of the ancient village perched on the sea, with narrow streets that climb towards the Cathedral, between whitewashed houses and colorful bazaar. On the beach front there is the famous rock Pizzomunno. Visit the beautiful coast of the Gargano, rich with coves, ravines, caves, from Vieste up to the beautiful bays of Pugno Chiuso and Portopiatto, very well-known tourist. Crossing the lush Umbrian Forest, home to thousands of species of shrubs, arriving in Monte Sant'Angelo and lunch in a typical restaurant. In the afternoon visit of the Sanctuary: Archangel Michael's Cave, a place of worship, and the beautiful medieval quarter "Junno." Late afternoon return to your hotel. Overnight in Gargano.
Day 10: Bari Departure | Breakfast at the Hotel. Unfortunately it is time to say Arrivederci. At your convenience we will transfer you to Bari airport. Ciao!
- 3 Nights Polignano
- 3 Nights in Lecce
- 3 Nights Gargano
- Assistance and Porterage at Airports, Train Stations and Hotels
- Private Transportation by Mercedes E or V Class with English Speaking Driver
- Private Guided Tours with Professional Local Guides | Door to Door Service
- Entrances to Museums, Galleries, Archeological Parks and other Venues
- Breakfast at Hotels, All Food & Wine Tours/Enogastronomic and Most Lunches.
- 24/7 Assistance and Support from our Ground Operational Office in Italy
- Details up on request
Private Package Tours Rates: The Price for an Italy Private Luxury Tour will vary according to the type of Package sought, the number of travelers in your party, Travel Season, Hotels and Rooms preference, number of days at leisure and length of Tour.
The following starting Prices are based on 2 people traveling in Low Season in Double Occupancy. May 1 through October 17, Hotels Supplements Rates apply.
Silver: in 4* Standard Hotels: Starting at 450 Euro per person/per day.
Gold: in 4* Boutique Hotels: Starting at 600 Euro per person/per day.
Platinum: in 5* Standard Hotels: Starting at 800 Euro per person/per day.
Diamond: in 5* Luxury Hotels: Starting at 1,000 + Euro per person/per day.
For Private Small Groups of 4, 6 and 8 + price per person will be lower.