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Highlights of Puglia Tour Overview

Travel with us to Italy’s deep south – Italy’s up and coming Puglia region. Found on the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia is an ancient region hugging the Adriatic coast with friendly people, mouthwatering dishes and some of the most unique architecture you’ll find anywhere in the world.

You’ll discover the fairy-like white trulli houses of the Itria Valley and charming fishing villages where local pasta dishes are topped with catch of the day fresh seafood. Baroque beauty Lecce is an elegant city with intriguing laneways and elaborate churches while the capital Bari hums with activity you’d expect at a bustling port.

group dinner puglia

Food and wine are always on our minds and it’s a pleasure to explore Pugliese cuisine inspired by the freshest local produce – oozy burrata cheese, hand rolled orecchiette pasta with broccoli and delicious pastries filled with tomato sauce. And while the local wine is not well known outside Italy, you’ll quickly discover that a glass of Primitivo is the perfect match to your meal.

Puglia’s close neighbor Basilicata is home to one of the oldest cities in the world – Matera. We take a short detour here on our tours to enjoy one of the world’s most unique experiences – wandering among the sassi dwellings, admiring and even staying in a cave hotel.

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Tour of Puglia Highlights

Delicious Pugliese food and wine • Baroque beauty Lecce • Trulli houses of the Valle d’Itria • Coastal towns on the Adriatic Sea • Magical Matera • Local artisan makers

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matera cave hotel
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Magical! Beautiful! I’m a bit of a dreamer and I just got lost there last night. Lost in this beauty.. Magnificent! I just loved it – view video

Vicki / Australia

We have been to Italy several times, but never like this. It has been a wonderful experience – view video

Pati / USA

Aside from every little surprise around every corner, I’ll remember Cosimo and the genuine excitement and pride that come out of him and his storytellingview video

Steve / USA

Best of Puglia Itinerary

Day One

Arrive in Valle D’itria

Welcome to the fairytale countryside of Puglia’s Valle d’Itria!

This area of Puglia starts from Putignano in the north to Ostuni in the south, and encompasses vineyards, never-ending olive groves, and of course the iconic coned roofs of Trulli, traditional stone huts that locals once lived in. 

We meet in the region’s vibrant capital Bari and whisk you away to a ‘locals only’ countryside restaurant nestled between the olive groves. Prepare yourselves for an unforgettable long lunch Pugliese style!

Dish upon glorious dish arrives as we sit back and get to know the group over crisp white Verdecca wine. Explore the charming property in between courses – there are beautiful flowers in bloom all through the garden and locals in the know enjoying quality time together. 

Refortified and inspired after our first taste of Pugliese cuisine, we travel onwards to our gorgeous countryside masseria. Here you have time to unpack and relax. 

This luxurious country farm house hotel will be our home for the next few days and the perfect base to explore the wonders of land and sea close by.

Once you are settled in, we enjoy our first evening relaxing with a spritz or glass of local wine and our welcome aperitivo as you soak up the beautiful location.

  • MEALS: Lunch with wine, Evening welcome aperitivo
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria
alberobello puglia tour

Day Two

MONOPOLI and Alberobello

This morning we hit the road for a seaside adventure in pretty Monopoli, where colorful fishing boats bob up and down in the turquoise Adriatic waters. Here we enjoy a short guided tour before you have time to wander on your own, popping into one of the many beautiful boutiques in town with gelato in hand.

With the sea breeze in our hair and bellies beginning to rumble, we visit a local caseificio (dairy). Here we taste the traditional cheeses of Puglia (including creamy burrata, caciocavallo, and stracchino). Relax on the outdoor terrace as we enjoy a delicious lunch together.

This evening, we hit the road to visit one of the borghi più belli d’Italia (most beautiful villages of Italy) – Alberobello.

This town is most famed for its trulli houses and was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996. The trulli are constructed using a prehistoric building technique and are made of roughly worked limestone boulders with signature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs.

We will meet our guide and enjoy a guided walking tour through this fairytale town that will enchant and delight us all. Mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the trulli, we follow our noses down the little lanes and go underground into one of the best restaurants in town.

  • ACTIVITIES: Guided walking tours of Monopoli and Alberobello, and cheese farm visit
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch with wine, Dinner with matching wines
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria
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Day Three

POLIGNANO A MARE AND LIQUID GOLD

Did you know Puglia is famous for their olive oil? This morning, we head to an olive grove for a tour before sitting back to enjoy an extra virgin olive oil tasting. 

Then we are off to explore one of the most picturesque towns in all of Puglia – Polignano a Mare. Renowned for its characteristic beach nestled between the cliffs, we will have plenty of time for photos, exploring and watching daring locals leap from the cliffs into the sea. Our guide shares stories as we stroll through this pretty town. 

We sit down for a seafood lunch at a casual local eatery. Try the local crudo (raw fish) or enjoy a seafood panino. Don’t leave town without a fortifying glass of ‘caffe speciale’ either – it’s a hyper local drink from Polignano itself. 

This evening, we venture to a nearby white washed hilltop town with a stunning view over the Itria Valley. The locals come out to play when the sun starts to set and it’s beautiful getting lost in the cobblestoned streets. We meet at a gorgeous local spot with an incredible panoramic view. Dinner is full of vegetables, and fresh flavors to break up all our feasting. Of course, it’s not complete without a cocktail and glass of wine or beer. Salute.

  • ACTIVITIES: Olive oil farm visit, and guided walking tour of Polignano
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with a cocktail, wine or beer
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria
lecce puglia tour

Day Four

LECCE, WINE TASTING & OSTUNI

Sometimes called – the ‘Florence of the South’, today we visit the truly beautiful Lecce. This baroque town is famous for its many churches, but perhaps above all else its stunning golden sandstone buildings. We meet our local guide for a walk through the historical centre of Lecce which includes a stop at the Roman amphitheater and hidden sights down the city’s many picturesque laneways.

Afterwards, enjoy some free time wandering the Baroque streets and shopping in the many excellent artisan workshops. Don’t miss a ‘rustico’ and caffe leccese. This local pastry is filled with piping hot passata (tomato sauce) and oozing mozzarella, and is even more delicious than it sounds. The famed caffe’ lecesse – a cold coffee drink with almond flavouring that is very refreshing on a warm day is sure to be a hit too.

This afternoon, we head inland towards a beautiful winery in the Salento area. This family-run winery produce wines from ancient native vines including Verdeca, Susumaniello and Primitivo.

Our next stop is Ostuni – an incredibly beautiful whitewashed jewel of a town in Puglia. Enjoy some free time to explore its nooks and crannies or indulge in an aperitivo. We meet again a little later to enjoy a delicious dinner together at a special location. 

  • ACTIVITIES: Wine tasting, Guided tour of Lecce
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with wine
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria

Day Five

ceramics and a cooking class

Pugliese ceramics are famous throughout Italy and we’re about to find out why. This morning, we visit a ‘secret garden’ – our lips are sealed as to what makes this just so special…Afterwards, we continue onto our guide’s workshop and watch artisans at work before having some time to wander through the array of fantastic ceramic shops in Grottaglie.

Stop for a caffe’ where you will drink out of quite possibly the country’s most beautiful tazze (cups) and observe even the local dogs drinking out of beautifully crafted water bowls.

After a truly off the beaten track experience, we’re off to visit another gem in the Valle d’Itria. We sit down to a wonderful lunch together paired with local wine as we reflect upon our secret garden (and more) experience. 

In the afternoon, we return to our masseria where you have time to freshen up, go for a swim, or relax. Tonight, we will be rolling up our sleeves and learning how to make the traditional pasta of Puglia (orecchiette), as well as some other local dishes. Relax with a delicious dinner and local wine – we’ve earned it.

  • ACTIVITIES: Ceramics workshop visit and secret garden, Cooking class
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with wine
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria

Day Six

THE HEART OF BARI & a cave hotel

We say farewell to our beautiful masseria today, and travel outside of Puglia to the region of Basilicata. On our way, we make a stop to get to know the capital of Puglia a little better.

A lively and exhilarating port city, Bari has fascinating sights, sounds and food waiting for us to discover. We spend our time in Bari enjoying an historic walking tour with a focus on local food traditions including a wander around the fish market, and watching local women roll orecchiette (local pasta) in the street.

Barese focaccia is made with semolina flour and potato and is studded with tomatoes and olives. It’s delicious and the perfect snack to munch on as we stroll along the beautiful lungomare (promenade) soaking up the atmosphere.

This afternoon we are off to the truly unique city of Matera. Famous for its sassi or cave dwellings, built into the cliff face, many date back to the Palaeolithic era, meaning the city is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world.

We check in at our luxury cave hotel for a truly once in a lifetime stay. This afternoon, you have free time to explore or indulge in our unique dwelling for the night before our evening ‘rooftop’ aperitivo with an incredible view.

Matera is ethereally beautiful at nighttime, so make sure to take it all in as the sun sinks below the horizon. Afterwards, we wander over to a local restaurant. It’s our final dinner together tonight and we try some local specialities of the Basilicata region (including fantastic local bread).

  • ACTIVITIES: Bari food and walking tour
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with wine
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star cave hotel in Matera

Day Seven

MAGICAL MATERA

After enjoying perhaps the most unique breakfast spot you’re ever likely to experience, we get to know a little more about fascinating Matera. This morning, we meet our local guide in the city of the sassi for a guided walking tour where we hear about the city’s incredible history and stories over many hundreds of years of inhabitation.

Blown away by incredible Matera, we begin making our way back to Bari. But not before one final lunch together. We make a stop in bread nirvana Altamura for a wander through the Cathedral and lunch in a historic bakery from 1391. Say cheers to your new friends and our incredible adventure through Puglia together. 

Alas, it’s onwards and back to Bari. We say farewell in the afternoon after an incredible week of exploring and tasting some of the best that Puglia has to offer – bellies and hearts full to the brim.

  • ACTIVITIES: Matera walking tour
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch
  • TRANSFERS: Back to Bari

Puglia Tour Inclusions

We have strived to make our Puglia tour as all inclusive as possible with no hidden surprises. Included in your tour are:

  • 6 nights in charming luxury 4 star accommodation – 5 nights at luxury masseria in Puglia and 1 night in stunning cave hotel in Matera
  • 5 guided orientation walking tours with expert local guides
  • Unique experiences: Olive oil tasting, cheese tasting, cooking class, food tour, ceramics workshop and secret garden visit, winery visit, Pugliese music and dance class
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 aperitivo and 5 dinners as specified in the itinerary, wine and bottled water is included with meals other than breakfast
  • Luxury air-conditioned mini-bus
  • Tips and gratuities for drivers and guides
  • Group arrival and departure transfers
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Highlights of Puglia Tour FAQ

Accommodation on Tour

matera cave hotel

We have two incredible accommodation stops on this tour. Our home base in Puglia is a gorgeous 4 star Masseria in the heart of the Itria Valley where you can enjoy a swim in the pool on warm summer days. In Matera we stay in a stunning cave hotel in the heart of the ancient sassi area. This unforgettable experience stays with you forever.

Meet Your Host

Olivia is an Australian woman living in Rome, with a passion for the land of la dolce vita, cooking and wine. Her super powers include finding the most charming villages and delectable cheeses.

Olivia is your local host that ensures your trip is memorable for all the right reasons.

Arrivals and Departures

Our tour begins in central Bari at  midday on our first day. Our activities conclude in central Bari at around 3pm. Inquire if you would like to add additional nights to your stay or need assistance planning transfers.

Upcoming Tour Dates

  • 2024 – ALL TOURS SOLD OUT
  • EARLY SUMMER 2025 – May 11 – 17 and May 25 – 31
  • Exclusive tours available on request for groups of 6-10 – inquire

Booking Information

  • Price from $US 5,390 per person based on twin share accommodation
  • A supplement applies for solo travelers wanting a private room
  • 30% deposit required to reserve your spot
  • Cancel for a full refund up to 120 days before departure
  • Read complete terms and conditions
GENERAL TOUR FAQ

Discover the Puglia region

Fast becoming one of the most popular places to visit in southern Italy, Puglia retains a rustic local charm found in its charming seaside towns and elegant cities. From gorgeous Baroque architecture in Lecce to the white washed trulli towns of the Valle d’Itria, there’s also a commitment to delicious local produce, dishes, olive oil and wine.

Puglia Travel Guide

Uncover the highlights of the region

READ THE GUIDE

Picturesque Puglia Towns

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