Puglia, found at the heel of the Italian boot, is a remote, lesser-known jewel. Its deserted beaches, pretty vineyards and whitewashed, seaside towns are a far cry from the crowds of Rome, brimming with understated charm and blessed with that famous Mediterranean climate. You’ll take it all in on quiet, country roads that trace idyllic coastlines and hinterlands to bookend a private-beach getaway with Trani’s medieval grandeur and Lecce’s Baroque extravagance. Along the way, you’ll spend your nights in traditional villas and boutique palaces as you discover the region’s ancient settlements.
Day 1: UK/Trani
Start your holiday with complimentary airport lounge access before your flight to Bari where grand boulevards lead to authentic trattorias and great castle fortifications alike. Perhaps explore its historic old town, rejuvenated with student energy, as you collect your hire car and begin your journey through Puglia. Within minutes you'll be driving along country roads as you journey north, along the coast, to the port town of Trani. Here, you'll check into your delightful accommodation, a historic palace found right next to the town's pretty harbour and 12th-century cathedral.
Stay: Palazzo Filisio (Superior & Deluxe)
Days 2-3: Trani
You'll have two full days to explore Trani, with highlights including its 13th-century castle and the Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino, perched dramatically on the edge of the Adriatic. It’s all part of a historic old town where narrow lanes hide a wealth of historic treasures that remember the town’s crusader past, including a church built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. If you fancy making use of your hire car, the labyrinthine streets of Bari offer a treasure trove of neoclassical architecture, while the UNESCO-listed town of Matera excites with its ancient cave complex and captivating hillside setting. Here, thousand-year-old residences tumble down dramatic cliffs.
Stay: Palazzo Filisio (Superior & Deluxe)
Day 4: Fasano
Returning south, you'll drive back along the coast to Fasano, checking in to your choice of accommodation – two historic properties combined with contemporary charm. The rural landscapes of the Fasano Planes and the golden shores of the Adriatic are also close at hand, making for idyllic walks, bike rides and lazy afternoons spent on the beach.
Stay: Borgo San Marco (Superior) or Masseria Torre Coccaro (Deluxe) (year round)
Days 5-6: Fasano
Spend the next two days exploring central Puglia at your own pace, visiting local cheese and olive farms, lazing on the nearby beach and getting acquainted with the local cuisine – perhaps on an optional cooking course or gourmet cycling tour. You'll also have time to experience some of the region's historic gems such as the unique, dry-stone trulli houses of the Itria Valley, a collection of agricultural dwellings famous for their conical roofs. The spectacularly white Caves of Castellana are also well worth a visit for their stunning rock formations. As is the town of Martina Franca, renowned for its Baroque and Rococo architecture.
Stay: Borgo San Marco (Superior) or Masseria Torre Coccaro (Deluxe)
Days 7-9: Lecce
Continue south to Lecce, your final stop. You'll finish in style, with a stay in either our 19th-century Superior option or a 17th-century palazzo; found right in the centre of the city, it overlooks the ornate Baroque façade of the Santa Croce Basilica. It's the perfect springboard to explore Lecce's historic delights, with intricate palaces and churches competing for your attention. There's also an impressive Roman amphitheatre, sculpted from honey-coloured sandstone, that's set alongside an enticing mix of upmarket boutiques, charming antique shops and some of southern Puglia's best bars and restaurants. Nearby attractions include the vibrant seaside town of Otranto, whose historic centre and narrow, car-free lanes make it a favourite for some beach relaxation. During your stay in Lecce, leave the car behind and enjoy a guided tour into the Puglian winelands for an included wine tasting experience
Stay: Risorgimento Resort (Superior) or Patria Palace (Deluxe)
Day 10: Departure
After a last included breakfast, drive back to Brindisi Airport to return your hire car and board your flight home.
Please note that a one-way drop fee will apply between Bari and Brindisi airports which must be paid locally (approx Euro 40.00)
Please note: this tour is also available as a privately guided tour with transfers. Please contact us for prices.
*The wine tour from Lecce visits the Salento for the Negroamaro red wine tasting, alternatively the tour can travel north to Martina Franca where Locorotondo white wines are produced
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
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