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Ostuni

Secrets of Puglia

9-day small-group escorted tour from £2,785 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

An in-depth exploration of the heel of Italy’s boot

Highlights

  • Admire the baroque masterpieces of Lecce, ‘the Florence of the South’
  • Enjoy a mozzarella and burrata making workshop in Andria
  • Visit the iconic trulli houses of Alberobello
  • Explore the spectacular Castellana Caves
  • Spend a night among the ancient Sassi cave dwellings of Matera

In Brief

  • 1 Night Naples
  • 2 Nights Polignano a Mare
  • 2 Nights Lecce
  • 2 Nights Martina Franca
  • 1 Night Matera

About

Recommended for:
Food & wine | History & culture

Immerse yourself in the rich history, culture and cuisine of Puglia on this small-group escorted tour around the heel of Italy’s boot, bookended by stays in Naples. Alongside discovering the contrasting delights of larger cities like Bari and Lecce, you’ll also visit the stunning whitewashed towns of Ostuni, Polignano a Mare and Martina Franca, the iconic trulli houses of Alberobello, and the spectacular Castellana Caves. Enjoy guided walking tours and authentic culinary experiences throughout, ranging from a mozzarella and burrata workshop to a bread making masterclass and a Primitivo wine tasting session. After meandering through the fertile plains of the Itria Valley, you’ll make an overnight stop in Matera and explore its ancient Sassi cave dwellings en route back on the west coast. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart the UK

Start your holiday in style with included airport lounge access before your flight to Naples. On arrival, you’ll be picked up and driven to your city centre hotel, within walking distance of key landmarks including the Duomo di Napoli, Castel Nuovo and Via dei Tribunali, one of the main streets running through Naples’ historic core. Later on, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know the rest of the group over a delicious Neapolitan welcome dinner – perhaps followed by a few drinks thereafter. 

Stay: Palazzo Salgar (Superior)

Meals: D

Day 2
Naples to Polignano a Mare region

After breakfast, board the mini-coach and begin your journey heading east towards Puglia. You’ll make a stop in the region’s bustling coastal capital, Bari, where a local guide will introduce you to the city’s atmospheric Old Town (Bari Vecchia), filled with labyrinthine cobbled streets and crowned by the resplendent, Romanesque-style Basilica of San Nicola. After the tour, you’ll continue to your hotel in the peaceful countryside just outside the delightful seaside town of Polignano a Mare. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure, perhaps cooling off in the outdoor pool or indulging in a pampering session at the spa, which features a Turkish bath, a sauna, an ice fountain and a Jacuzzi. 

Stay: San Lorenzo Boutique Hotel & Spa (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 3
Andria & Polignano a Mare

Today, you’ll set off towards Andria, a city on the eastern fringes of the Alta Murgia National Park in the north of Puglia. It’s renowned for its nearby 13th-century citadel and hilltop castle, Castel del Monte, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The views from here, overlooking the olive groves and vineyards of the surrounding countryside, are superb. Here, you’ll also be shown how local mozzarella and burrata cheese are made and have a chance to taste them before returning to your hotel. Feel free to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the poolside or at the spa, or take the opportunity to head into Polignano a Mare, where pretty whitewashed buildings are clustered on a cliff overlooking the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea. 

Stay: San Lorenzo Boutique Hotel & Spa (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 4
Castellana Caves, Alberobello & Lecce

Your journey continues inland, making your first stop of the day at the Castellana Caves. This spectacular network of karst caves, filled with enormous stalactites and stalagmites, is one of Puglia’s most impressive natural wonders, reaching a maximum depth of 122 metres below street level. After exploring at your own pace, it’s onwards to Alberobello, whose iconic trulli houses hold UNESCO World Heritage status. This is perhaps Puglia’s most photogenic village, so be sure to have your camera at the ready as you learn about the history of the trulli on a guided walking tour. Finally, you’ll round off the day in Lecce, nicknamed ‘the Florence of the South’ due to its rich array of baroque masterpieces. 

Stay: Palazzo Rollo (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5
Lecce

All of today is set aside for soaking up the enchanting ambience of Lecce and admiring its gorgeous architecture, starting with an in-depth morning walking tour. As you wander between its honey-hued streets and elegant piazzas, highlights include Lecce Cathedral, the Roman amphitheatre, the ornate Basilica di Santa Croce and the trio of old city gates. Following the tour, you’ll have ample time to explore further and seek out a sumptuous pasticciotto – a custard-filled pastry originating from Lecce that goes perfectly with a coffee. You’ll also find an abundance of fabulous restaurants and bars to choose from, where you can indulge in more of Puglia’s culinary delights. 

Stay: Palazzo Rollo (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 6
Lecce to the Itria Valley

Leave Lecce behind this morning as you make your way to the Manduria region, known for producing some of Puglia’s finest wines – particularly of the Primitivo variety. These velvety, intensely fruity and full-bodied wines are made with grapes that thrive in the region’s warm temperatures and iron-rich soils. After a tasting session, you’ll move on to Martina Franca, a charming hilltop town replete with an attractive mix of whitewashed buildings, cobbled streets and baroque flourishes. Continue deeper into the Itria Valley, a high, fertile plain in the centre of Puglia, where you’ll be based at a beautifully renovated masseria (historic farmhouse) for the next couple of nights. This evening, enjoy an included dinner and share stories of the day’s adventures with the rest of the group. 

Stay: Hotel San Michele (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 7
Ostuni & Itria Valley

Next up on your Puglian adventure is Ostuni, nicknamed ‘The White City’ for its gleaming whitewashed houses on a hill overlooking the olive grove-carpeted countryside. On arrival, you’ll learn the secrets of local cuisine in a cooking workshop and enjoy your creations for lunch. Afterwards, there will be plenty of time to stroll Ostuni’s picturesque maze of cobbled alleyways, perhaps stopping for a drink or two in the main square, Piazza della Libertà, punctuated by the 20-metre high statue of Saint Oronzo. For the best views of the city, take a walk along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Later, you’ll return to the hotel for the evening. 

Stay: Hotel San Michele (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 8
Matera

Today, you’ll cross from Puglia into the Basilicata region to explore the ancient city of Matera. Led by a local guide, a walking tour will provide you with a fascinating insight into the Sassi cave dwellings carved into the hillside. It’s a truly stunning place which holds UNESCO World Heritage status and, unsurprisingly, has been chosen as a filming location for numerous movies, most notably the James Bond hit, No Time To Die. Your hotel for the night is set right among the Sassi, so you’ll be totally immersed in the city’s history throughout your stay. Come nightfall, join the group at a local restaurant for a memorable final dinner.

Stay: Matera Hotel Sassi (Standard)

Meals: B D

Day 9
Matera to Naples to UK

After a leisurely breakfast, it’s time to hit the road once more, briefly crossing back into Puglia as you visit Altamura. Here, you’ll be shown around the town’s medieval streets by a local guide and take part in a bread making session at an artisan bakery, in which you’ll learn all about Pane di Altamura – a nutty, subtly sweet bread made using durum wheat semolina. The final leg of your journey sees you return to Naples, where you can either opt to extend your stay or head to the airport to catch your flight home. 

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

9-day small-group escorted tour
from £2,785 pp incl. flights

Superior

Low Season 2025

from £2,785 pp. incl. flights

High Season 2025

from £3,125 pp. incl. flights

Secrets of Puglia departs between March and November with a maximum group size of 18 people

Departure dates:

20 Mar / 03, 17 Apr / 01, 08, 15, 22 May / 05, 19 Jun / 28 Aug / 04, 08, 11, 18, 25 Sep / 02, 09, 16 Oct / 06 Nov 2025

Includes

  • Complimentary UK airport departure lounge access
  • Return flights between UK and Naples
  • Arrival and departure private airport transfers
  • 8 nights accommodation 
  • Meals as stated in itinerary: 8 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinner
  • Services of a tour leader and driver
  • Premium mini-coach transportation

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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