Castel del Monte | Italy
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FROM: R63,670 pp
Puglia Discovery - 9 days map

SMALL GROUP TOUR: Our most comprehensive tour of Puglia in southern Italy! This 9-day trip takes in the best of the region, including Bari, Lecce, the cave dwellings of Matera and the mysterious Castel del Monte. Stay in a traditional Trulli house in Alberobello, stroll through the 'White Towns' of Locorotondo and Ostuni and sample fresh organic olive oil at an Italian farmhouse. Visit the 'Pearl of Puglia' in Trani, learn how to make traditional pasta and visit the pretty coastal towns of Monopoli and Polignano a Mare.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Bari - Enjoy a guided tour of the Puglia region's capital city, taking in the Basilica of San Nicola and the central square, Piazza Mercantile
Castel del Monte - See this ancient UNESCO-listed fortress, which is octagonal in shape and shrouded in mystery
Matera - Explore the historic centre of the city, Sassi di Matera, which is known for its cave dwellings carved into a river canyon
Lecce - Join a guided tour of 'Florence of the South' to see the Baroque architecture of the Old Town and Piazza del Duomo main square
Gallipoli - Take a day trip to this vibrant town, known for its nightlife, pretty harbour and historic outer walls
Trani - Admire the whitewashed 12th-century cathedral and delve into the vibrant Jewish quarter in the city known as the 'Pearl of Puglia'
Alberobello - Spend two nights in a Trulli, a traditional conical-shaped house made from local Italian limestone
Ostuni - Stroll around this pretty whitewashed town independently, see some of the 3,500-year-old olive trees and taste the local olive oil
Supersano - Tuck into authentic local cuisine at a rural farm on the final night of our tour and see how pasta is made the Italian way
Monopoli - Discover this fortified coastal town and nearby Polignano a Mare, known for its idyllic coves and beaches

Included

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 5 dinners (including lunch and olive oil tasting at a Masseria farmhouse and a special dinner at Masseria le Stanzie in Supersano)
Escorted by an English-speaking Italian tour guide with specialist guides for some sightseeing
Guided sightseeing with local guides in Bari, Matera & Lecce
Note: Touring is operated in conjunction with other tourist groups, not solely On The Go. You will join travellers who booked through other operators for sightseeing each day, some staying in different hotels, and spend your evenings at leisure. The maximum group size on this tour is 15 travellers.
6 nights 4 star hotels & 2 nights in a boutique Trulli in Alberobello
Transportation by deluxe coach with Wi-Fi and audio headsets
Entrance tickets to the Castel del Monte

Not Included

International flights and visas
Additional meals and drinks unless specified
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Airport transfers
Entrance fees not mentioned in Inclusions
City tax of €1 - 6 per person per night (tax varies by city), to be paid directly to the hotel at check-in/out. See Trip Notes for details. Please note we recommend paying your city tax when checking in or in the evening during your stay to save time on check out!

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Puglia!

Welcome to Bari, capital of the Puglia region of southern Italy, located in the 'heel' of Italy's 'boot'! Arrive in the city independently and meet your Tour Leader at the hotel for our 14:00 walking tour with an expert local guide.

We discover the charming narrow alleyways of the historic city centre, and admire the Basilica of San Nicola, an important pilgrimage destination for Christians. We also see the 12th-century Norman-Swabian Castle, surrounded by a moat and known for its impressive Aragon walls. We'll see the castle from the outside and there is free time to explore inside the castle and enjoy the panoramic views offered if you choose (own expense). We also see the Column of Justice in Piazza Mercantile before enjoying dinner and an evening at leisure.

Please note: Our walking tour of Bari commences at 14:00 so make sure you arrive in Italy in plenty of time on day 1 or before, to avoid missing the tour!
Overnight: Bari  |  Dinner

Day 2

Trani, Castel del Monte & Alberobello

Bari - Trani - Castel del Monte - Alberobello. After breakfast at the hotel, we leave Bari by coach and travel to Trani, known as the 'Pearl of Puglia'. We'll explore the vibrant Jewish Quarter and see the historic 12th-century cathedral, made from beautiful white stone.

After our stop in Trani we continue to Castel del Monte, a 13th-century citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site. This octagonal castle features on the Italian one-cent coin and is shrouded in mystery, as its exact historical purpose remains unknown.

Our final destination today is Alberobello, best known for its traditional conical houses made from local limestone - these are called Trulli. The village has a fairy-tale feel and our hotel tonight sees you sleeping inside an unusual Trulli - a unique experience!
Overnight: Alberobello  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

The cave dwellings of Matera

We visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site today with a day trip to Matera. The historic centre of this city is known as Sassi di Matera and is unique due to the large number of cave dwellings that were carved into the canyon created by the Gravina River, around 9,000 years ago! In this long history, Matera has been occupied by Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, and many other groups.

Many of the caves are still used today, as houses, pubs, hotels, and other businesses. We'll enjoy sightseeing with a local guide to take in the best of the cave dwellings. And we will also see the Roman Catholic cathedral which overlooks the city. We then transfer back to Alberobello for dinner and another night in your magnificent Trulli.
Overnight: Alberobello  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4

'White towns' & Lecce

Alberobello - Locorotondo - Ostuni - Lecce. Today we visit two of the iconic 'white towns' of Puglia. Our first stop is Locorotondo, a town of around 14,000 people perched on a hill. There's free time to explore this small town and enjoy the view over the surrounding countryside, including the Trulli pointing upwards.

Then we reach Ostuni, a coastal town popular with Italian tourists in summer. Ostuni is known for its ancient olive trees as well as its whitewashed buildings - many of the trees have been carbon-dated and are known to be more than 3,500 years old. Despite this age, they still produce the famous Ostuni olive oil. If you find a restaurant for lunch, you are sure to be served dishes that use this delicious local product!

After visiting these two towns, we reach Lecce, in the heart of the Salento region.
Overnight: Lecce  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5

Lecce sightseeing & Otranto

This morning we enjoy a 3-hour guided sightseeing tour of Lecce with an expert local guide. Known as the 'Florence of the South' thanks to its treasure trove of Baroque architecture, highlights of our tour include the historic Old Town and the 12th-century cathedral. We also see the beautiful Basilica di Santa Croce and Piazza del Duomo, the city's main square.

After our tour we depart for Otranto, a city known to have been ruled at times by the Greeks, Romans and Turks. Because of this, Otranto has a wonderfully diverse mix of cultures, and there is free time to explore the town and find somewhere for lunch. We recommend visiting the iconic cathedral to see its well-preserved mosaic floor, and the bones of 813 martyrs eerily displayed behind the altar.

Tonight, a special dinner takes place in the town of Supersano. We will be dining at Masseria le Stanzie, a rustic farm and restaurant that is Puglia at its finest. Learn more about the food and history of the region, see how pasta is made the Italian way, and visit the farm's medieval tombs before enjoying a dinner made using the finest local produce. Then it's back to Lecce for the evening.
Overnight: Lecce  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Visiting Gallipoli

Today we visit the coastal town of Gallipoli, unrelated to its Turkish namesake! The town has good beaches and historic outer walls, and there are always some nice yachts to see in the port. We enjoy some free time to explore before returning to Lecce for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Lecce  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Back to Bari

Lecce - Bari. Today we make the return journey to Bari, with plenty of sightseeing enroute. We see the town of Martina Franca, home to a number of beautiful Baroque churches. There's free time in the town, we also recommend taking a look at the Cathedral and perhaps enjoying a coffee in the urban focal point, Piazza Plebiscito.

We drive through the olive groves and vineyards of Valle d’ Itria and enjoy lunch in a local "masseria" farmhouse where you can also taste the home-produced organic extra virgin olive oil, which is packed with health benefits! Arriving in Bari, the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Bari  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Monopoli & Polignano a Mare

Departing Bari after breakfast we make our first stop in the fortified citadel of Monopoli. This town developed rich trading links with Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Our second stop of the day is in Polignano a Mare, an idyllic clifftop town known for its beautiful coves, bays and beaches. There's free time to explore and do any last minute shopping before we return to Bari for our final night.
Overnight: Bari  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Bari

Enjoy a final breakfast at the hotel before our tour comes to an end.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

2024
Twin Share
Single Room
12 Jul - 20 Jul 19% off
R78,605
R63,670
R89,675
R72,637
19 Jul - 27 Jul 19% off
R78,605
R63,670
R89,675
R72,637
18 Oct - 26 Oct 19% off
R78,605
R63,670
R89,675
R72,637
25 Oct - 02 Nov 19% off
R78,605
R63,670
R89,675
R72,637
08 Nov - 16 Nov 19% off
R78,605
R63,670
R89,675
R72,637

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

The Nicolaus Hotel, Bari

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Nicolaus Hotel is located in the residential district of Poggiofranco on the outskirts of Bari, 10 minutes by taxi from the city centre. This well equipped, modern hotel features an indoor pool, gym, sauna, Turkish baths and a hot tub. Dining options include The Seasons restaurant, serving a range of Puglia specialities. Or there is The Roof on the 14th floor, serving high quality a la carte meals in a roof garden. Stylish rooms offer free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, TV and ensuite bathrooms, and the majority of rooms feature a balcony.

Trulli Holiday Albergo Diffuso, Alberobello

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Mid-range Boutique Hotel

Accommodation with a difference! Located in Alberobello, Trulli Holiday Albergo Diffuso gives guests the chance to sleep in a real 'Trullo' - a traditional stone building with a conical roof. Each Trullo offers antique furnishings and a private bathroom, and all have vaulted ceilings boasting original stone features. The rooms are UNESCO-protected thanks to their cultural importance. Breakfast is served in the communal dining room and there is an onsite spa and wellness centre. Free Wi-Fi is also available.

Hotel Delle Palme, Lecce

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This conveniently located 4-star hotel is just 10 minutes on foot from Lecce's historic centre. Free Wi-Fi connection is offered throughout the property, and a daily buffet breakfast is served onsite. The large a la carte Estia restaurant also serves popular regional cuisine, as well as typical Italian and international dishes. Recently refurbished guest rooms come with a minibar, air-conditioning, safe, TV and ensuite bathroom.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Bari
Ends
Bari
Departs
Fridays
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 15
Hotel Rating
4-star hotels
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 8, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 5
Countries
Minimum Age
No minimum age
Arr. Transfer
No
Dep. Transfer
No
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