Boutique small group travel tour to
Puglia & Amalfi Coast
The Heel of Italy – Puglia, A Feast for the Senses
No Single Supplement
Fully escorted 17 days
1st – 17th September 2018
Discover the enduring charms of two vastly different regions of Italy on this boutique small group travel tour to Puglia & Amalfi Coast.
Puglia, located in the heel of Italy, is an area still largely undiscovered by international tourists. It lies between the sparking emerald green and soft blues of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.
You’ll find Baroque towns, white-walled trulli (the traditional and distinctive white washed buildings with conical roofs only found in Puglia) , olive groves , picturesque seascapes, memorable hill-top and coastal towns, plenty of sunshine and some of Italy’s best food and wine.
From Puglia we’ll travel by coach to the mountainous region of Benevento before arriving at the always spectacular Amalfi Coast. This boutique small group travel tour of Puglia, Benevento and the Amalfi Coast will deliver slow travel at its best. There will be opportunities to discover local markets, wander the narrow medieval streets, spend a morning people watching at a local café, take a cookery class and enjoy the food and wine the locals enjoy.
Boutique small group travel tour to Puglia & Amalfi Coast
Highlights and Inclusions
- Individual transfers from Bari or Brindisi airport to the hotel
- 16 nights accommodation in 4 star hotels of charm
- 16 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 10 dinners
- English speaking guide
- Cooking class in a 1500’s neoclassical palace
- Day tour to Otranto, a historic seaside town on the Adriatic coast and the ‘White Town’ of Ostuni – one of the most beautiful towns in southern Italy
- 2 Michelin star restaurant dinners
- Explore the caves houses and churches in Matera Matera and visit the mysterious Castle del Monte
- Transfers in air conditioned vehicles to Benevento & Amalfi coast.
- Hortus Conclusus, home to a complex of notable sculptural works by Domenico Paladino
- Visit the Alberti family, producers since 1860 of the famous ‘Strega’ liqueur.
- Sant’Agata dei Gotti, an ancient and picturesque village, over 1,000 years old
- Guided tour of Naples including the Royal Castle and Cathedral
- Ravello, famous for its stunning gardens and view which inspired Wagner to create his “Parsifal”
- Capri including Axel Munthe’s villa
- Pompeii & Gragnano famous for the best tasting pasta in Italy
- Tips for drivers and guides
- Entrance fees to all included excursions
Your Itinerary for this boutique small group travel tour to Puglia & Amalfi Coast
Your Itinerary for this boutique small group travel tour to Puglia & Amalfi Coast
Days 1-3 Lecce
Accommodation: 3 nights in Lecce at Risorgimento Resort occupying a prestigious historic mansion dated back to 1880 in the heart of Lecce. Enjoy the view over the old city from the roof top restaurant. The hotel has an in-house spa if you’re looking for some pampering to help you relax after your journey.
Lecce is the baroque masterpiece of southern Italy often described as the “Florence of the South” with its wonderful confection of architecture sculpted from the soft local sandstone. A graceful and relaxed city full of surprises.
Arrive at Bari or Brindisi for a private transfer to your hotel in Lecce.
In the early evening we’ll take a leisurely stroll with our local guide to a stunning neoclassical palace, originally built in the 1500’s. With the help of the chef and a glass of wine or two we’ll create our own dinner featuring local delicacies. A perfect way to break the ice with your fellow travellers. D
After a leisurely breakfast our guide will lead us on a walking tour of Lecce, once a Greek settlement and later an important centre of the Roman Empire. Your afternoon is free to continue exploring this fascinating city before we head to one of the famous wineries in Salice Salentino, arguably the most important wine district in all of Italy. BD
This morning we’ll head into the countryside for a full day of exploration. Our first stop will be the UNESCO site of Otranto, a lovely historic seaside town and port on the Adriatic coast. After a seafood lunch we’ll continue our journey to the southern cape of Puglia, Santa Maria di Leuca, where the Ionian sea meets the Adriatic sea. This evening will be free to explore more of the wonderful restaurants on offer within walking distance of our hotel. We’ll be happy to recommend those favoured by the locals. BL
Days 4 – 8 Martina Franca
Accommodation: 5 nights in Villa San Martino Hotel Resort di Lusso in Puglia | Relais Villa San Martino a country house surrounded by a beautiful green park just outside the baroque city of Martina Franca.
Checking out of our hotel we’ll drive to the walled city of Ostuni. With its incredible view overlooking the coast known as the “White town” it is one of the most beautiful towns in southern Italy. The rest of the day is at leisure to wander the park surrounding the villa or relax by the pool. Why not join the locals for the obligatory passagiata and aperitifs in the historic centre of Martina Franca before finding the perfect spot for dinner. BL
Why not hop on one of the hotel’s bikes to explore the nearby coastal path. Early afternoon we’ll head to the heart of the Murgia upland and one of the most beautiful landscapes of the region. A splendidly cultivated valley bearing olives, fruit and vines. Our final stop for the day will be at Alberobello. A UNESCO Heritage site we’ll wander at our leisure before dining in a fantastic 1 star Michelin restaurant. BLD
In an area famous for its mozzarella cheese we can’t resist a visit to a local dairy to see how it’s made and of course to taste this marvel of a cheese.
Puglia is rich in UNESCO World Heritage sites and today we’ll be heading to Matera Matera, one of the ancient world’s city centres. Traces of human settlements go back to the pre-historic times. It’s impossible not to marvel and wonder at what living was like in these cave dwellings known as “Sassi’’ in which frescoed churches and houses were established and where families were still living until 1952. You might also recognize it as the location chosen for the Mel Gibson movie ‘’Passion’’. BL
Join us on another bike tour this morning or just enjoy the facilities of the villa. After lunch, we’re in for a treat as we visit the famous and mysterious Citadel and Castel del Monte. A marvel of medieval military architecture and a successful blend of elements from classical antiquity, Islamic Orient and north European Cistercian Gothic.
Our restaurant for dinner tonight is in Noci, a quiet town rarely frequented by tourists. It’s characterized by winding streets and small courtyards where we’ll no doubt see women busy peeling the beans for the family dinner or sharing the joys and sorrows of the day with their neighbours. BD
A morning city tour of Bari by pedal cab. Look out in the old part of the city for the women making the famous ‘’orecchiette’’ – the typical ear shaped pasta. Time to explore on your own and for last minute shopping before we head back to the hotel to relax by the pool or enjoy a spa treatment for tonight is our farewell dinner. We’ll be heading this evening for a feast at Ceglie Messapico, one of Puglia’s gourmet capitals and a 1 star Michelin restaurant. BD
Days 9 -10
The next stage of our boutique small group travel tour to Puglia & Amalfi Coast has us heading due west over the mountains.
Accommodation: 3 nights Hotel Aquapetra nestled among the olive groves this spa hotel is an oasis of calm.
Checking out of our hotel we’ll drive across the Vulture area where you can still feel the spirit of the Swabian Emperor, Frederick II. We’ll visit his favourite castle, Melfi, where in 1231 he issued the famous ‘Constitutions of Melfi’ a legal code that regulated feudal rights. An evening tour of Benevento, the city founded after the destruction of Troy and also knows as the “city of witches’. BLD
Our tour this morning includes the Hortus Conclusus (walled garden) home to a complex of notable sculptural works by Domenico Paladino. BLD
Today’s delights include the extravagant Royal Palace built for King Charles III, with over 1,000 rooms and surrounded by splendid gardens and parks. Following an afternoon at leisure we’ll be heading to Sant’Agata dei Gotto. This ancient and picturesque village is over 1,000 years old and a living open-air museum. BLD
Days 12 – 17 Sorrento – Hotel tbc end of September 2017
Checking out of our hotel we’ll head to the Amalfi Coast with our first stop in Naples where you’ll have time to enjoy some of it’s famous ‘street food’ as part of our exploration of this fascinating city. BD
It’s hard to choose a favourite spot on this fabulous coastline but mine would have to be Ravello. You’ll find out why when we visit its ravishing gardens and enjoy the stupendous views. Wagner, while staying at the 11th century Moorish Villa of Rufolo, was inspired to write one of the most evocative scenes in his ‘Parsifal’. BL
A short ferry ride and we’ll be in Capri which needs no introduction. Our visit will include the blue grotto (weather permitting) and Alex Munthe’s villa with its own breathtaking views. BD
We’re all familiar with the tragic story of the destruction of Pompeii and today you’ll experience the reality of what happened to this once vibrant city. From there our focus will turn to the perennial joy of pasta. The nearby delightful little town of Gragnano is known for the best pasta in Italy. BL
Day at leisure to relax, explore and last minute shopping before our farewell dinner tonight in Sorrento.
Group transfer to Naples airport
Your Tour Costs for our boutique small group travel tour Puglia & Amalfi Coast(Per Person)
- Land costs only.
- Indicative cost tbc end September 2017 once hotels have been finalized. No Single Supplement