Puglia - Discover the Heel of Italy
8 days from £1,549 per person
With countryside that’s blanketed with olive groves, a collection of historic cities and fairytale towns, and a coastline stretching for 800-odd kilometres, Puglia is a rich region filled with simple pleasures. We’ll spend eight days winding through its quiet landscapes, discovering baroque Lecce (the ‘Florence of the South’) and the traditional trulli houses of Alberobello. We’ll even stretch into the neighbouring region of Basilicata to visit the 2019 European Capital of Culture - Matera - and explore its ancient cave dwellings.
Included excursions and visits: 11
- - Tour of Lecce and Otranto with local guide
- - Visit Ostuni (with olive oil tasting) and Cisternino
- - Tour of Matera by local guide
- - Visit Locorotondo and Alberobello (with wine tasting)
- - Tour of Castellana Caves with local guide
- - Visit Bari and Ruvo di Puglia
- - Tour of Castel Del Monte by local guide
- 7 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
- 12 meals: 7 breakfasts (days 2-8) 5 dinners (days 1, 3-5 and 7)
- VOX portable audio headset system on excursions
Plus all these benefits:
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Free connecting flights to London
- Check-in service by Titan staff
- Services of an experienced Titan tour manager
- Scheduled British Airways direct flights
- Best available coaches with experienced driver
- Hotel porterage (one bag per person)
- Airport taxes, security charges and fuel surcharges
- UK Air Passenger Duty (APD)
UK - Bari - Lecce
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Bari. On arrival we transfer to our hotel in Lecce.
Grand Hotel di Lecce (4-star)
Lecce - Otranto
This morning, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Lecce, known as the ‘Florence of the South’ for its baroque architecture. After admiring its honey-stone palazzi, we’ll make our way to Otranto. Here, we’ll step inside the magnificent Romanesque cathedral. It houses a vast mosaic floor dating back to 1166, which depicts a multi-coloured ‘Tree of Life’ amongst other scenes of myths and legends.
Ostuni - Cisternino - Alberobello
This morning we travel to Ostuni, a city which has been occupied since the Stone Age. Commonly known as ‘the white city, Ostuni’s hilltop citadel is encased in white walls and surrounded by white-painted architecture. The 15th-century cathedral is distinctive for the green, yellow and white slate tiles that encase it and the nearby buildings. We enjoy an olive oil tasting before travelling on to Alberobello, with a break to stretch our legs in Cisternino, a historic whitewashed town.
Grand Hotel la Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello (4-star)
Locorotondo - Alberobello
Explore the pretty, whitewashed maze of Locorotondo, before we drive to Alberobello (there’s a 15-minute walk to the town from the coach). Dozens of quirky trulli - circular, conical-roofed houses - can be found in and around the town. We visit a winery here for a tasting and light lunch.
Today we travel to the 2019 European Capital of Culture, Matera, famous for its ‘sassi’ - neighbourhoods of ancient cave dwellings. Monks first created this maze of living spaces and churches as they sought refuge from infidels at the end of the first millennium. Miraculously, they are still largely intact. After our guided tour of the rock church and caves, we enjoy a tasting of local wine and freshly baked focaccia, before returning to our hotel.
Castellana Caves - Bari - Ruvo di Puglia - Trani
We journey to the Castellana Caves today, a series of limestone caverns accidentally discovered in 1938. A guide will accompany you as you descend to explore the caves. We then travel to the old port city of Bari. The Romanesque Basilica di San Nicola is dedicated to St Nicholas, or Father Christmas, and was built to house his remains (which still lie in the crypt). We continue to Ruvo di Puglia, where you may like to visit Ruvo Cathedral, a 13th-century cathedral built in a late Romanesque style, or the Jatta Museum, where terracotta figures and pots decorated with mythical scenes give insight to early life in Magna Graecia. We travel on to the harbour town of Trani, our base for the next two nights.
Hotel San Paolo Al Convento, Trani (4-star)
Castel del Monte - Trani
This morning we depart for a guided tour of Castel del Monte. It was built by Frederick II in the mid-13th century, most probably as a hunting lodge, and crowns a medieval hilltop village. We return to Trani for time at leisure to explore the historic centre, stroll along the yacht-lined marina and perhaps visit the castle of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.
Day 8 Trani - Bari - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.