The enchanting Italian region of Puglia is famous for its historic cities, quaint fishing villages and exquisite cuisine. From Naples to Bari, Lecce, Martina Franca, Matera and back again, we'll delve into the area's many splendours - touring historic towns, discovering local traditions and indulging in a tasting or two along the way.
A hub of intoxicating culture and historic masterpieces – we’ll meet the group in the vibrant city of Naples. After settling in, tonight we’ll have the opportunity to get to know one another over a delicious welcome meal. Accommodation: Palazzo Alabardieri (or similar)
After breakfast, we’ll board the mini-coach and hit the road to the first stop of our journey: Andria. Whilst we’re here, a local expert will reveal how mozzarella and burrata are made – and we’ll have the chance to taste both delicious cheeses before we move on to bustling Bari. First, we’ll uncover the city’s seaside charms and rich history with a local guide. Then, we’ll enjoy the rest of the evening to delve into the vibrant food scene at our leisure. As the birthplace of orecchiette pasta, we recommend sampling the local hand-made delicacy in one of the trattorias of Bari’s Old Town. Accommodation: Bari Palace (or similar)
Today, we’ll leave Bari behind as we make tracks to Ostuni – also known as the ‘White City’ thanks to its plenitude of white-washed houses. Upon arrival, we’ll learn the secrets behind some traditional cuisine at a cooking demonstration and savour our sumptuous creations for lunch. Appetites satiated, we’ll move on to magnificent Lecce – where we’ll have the rest of the evening to explore the impressive sandstone buildings, upmarket boutiques, winding alleyways and spectacular piazzas. Accommodation: Hotel Santa Chiara (or similar)
This morning, we’ve an appointment to keep at an underground olive mill museum in the historic fishing port of Gallipoli. Here, we’ll uncover the age-old technique of how local farmers extracted ‘green gold’ to be exported across Europe. Then, we’ll enjoy some free time to wander at our leisure – before returning to Lecce for an in-depth walking tour. Resplendent church facades and intricately detailed gargoyles – our local guide will take us around the exquisite Baroque architecture that gives the city its distinctive character. Accommodation: Hotel Santa Chiara (or similar)
Today, we’ll make our way into the stunning Manduria region. We’ll savour a tasting of the region’s famous Primitivo wine – a unique blend that draws its intense flavours and deep colours from the region’s indigenous grapes. Following that, we’ll move on to our final stop of the day: the beautiful Martina Franca. Accommodation: Relais Villa San Martino (or similar)
Our first stop of the day will be Alberobello – a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s famous for its charming cone-topped trulli. After learning more about the limestone buildings on a locally guided walking tour, we’ll move on to the spellbinding Castellana Caves. This expansive cave system boasts a unique landscape of stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over 2 million years. You’ll have some free time to explore at your own pace – however visiting the breathtaking Grotta Bianca is a must! Back in Martina Franca, we’ll have the evening to explore the city at our leisure or relax back at our hotel after a busy day. Accommodation: Relais Villa San Martino (or similar)
This morning we’ll explore the medieval streets of Altamura with a local guide – with an included bread tasting session at a quaint local bakery to round off our visit. Then, our journey continues onwards to the mesmerising city of Matera: the jewel of the Basilicata region. We’ll embark on a walking tour of the ancient Sassi cave dwellings – with our local guide providing a fascinating insight into Matera’s extraordinary history. Later, we’ll enjoy some relaxation time back at our hotel – before coming together for tonight’s final group dinner. Accommodation: Palazzo del Duca (or similar)
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll say goodbye to beautiful Matera as we hit the road again. Coming full circle this afternoon – our tour will end in Naples.
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With more than 30 years’ experience in small group and tailor-made tours across the UK, Europe and Asia, Back-Roads Touring is truly the original Small Group Touring company.
With each tour capped at 18 passengers (14 for Asia tours), Back-Roads curates authentic, off-the-beaten-track travel experiences.
Catering for the mature traveller, Back-Roads has built up a brand rooted in expert local knowledge, sustainable tourism, culinary excellence and premium boutique accommodation.
Their award-winning tour leaders are committed to delivering the ‘Back-Roads difference’ whether that be dining with the group, offering the flexibility to change the itinerary, giving personal recommendations for lunch or bringing each destination to life with their insight and knowledge. Their Tour leaders are dedicated to delivering a truly authentic, personalised experience. The Back-Roads Difference inludes:
Back-Roads Touring was named Best Small Coach Holidays Company for 2015, 2016 and 2017 in the British Travel Awards and have been nominated for two awards in 2018.
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