The long heel of Italy’s boot, the country’s longest coastline, is lined with enchanting towns of Trulli houses, Baroque architectures, ancient olive groves and glorious beaches. With stunning classical sites, Lecce the “Florence of the South” and the UNESCO World Heritage village of Alberobello in its treasure chest, you definitely want to visit this secluded gem of Puglia before it starts overflowing with tourists!
Day 1 –Bari
Arrive at Palese International Airport and board your airport transfer to your hotel in Bari. Spend the day at leisure. Overnight in Bari.
Day 2 – Bari, Alberobello
After breakfast, we will depart for the remarkable karst cave system located in the municipality of Castellana Grotte. Visit this beautiful natural wonder of situated at a depth of 70 meters, along more than 1 mile of road. In the afternoon, we will explore Alberobello, a village known for its unusual ‘Trullo’ dwellings, characterized by white-washed conical-roofed housing which resembles an elf’s hat. Check into your hotel and spend the night in Alberobello.
Day 3 – Alberobello, Ostuni, Gallipoli
After breakfast, we will make our way to Ostuni. It is commonly known as the “White City” due to its tiny white houses, which are typical of Mediterranean architecture. We will spend the day visiting its historic centre and famous landmarks, such as the Church of St Maria Maddalena, Palazzo Ducale, the Guglia di St Oronzo, the Sanctuaries of St Oronzo and St Biagio, the Church of the Annunziata, the Cathedral of Ostuni with the Bastions of Aragon.
After lunch, we will make a short stop at the famous Masseria Ferri to sample some of their famed cheeses, including Caciocavallo, Cacio ricotta and Canestrato. We will then depart to Gallipoli and check into our hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and retire for the night.
Day 4 – Gallipoli and Lecce
Our private tour of Gallipoli will commerce after breakfast. From its spectacular and charming historical city centre, Gallipoli seems as if it is an island connected by a bridge to the new city. After which, we will depart to Lecce, a city bequeathed with a generous stash of baroque buildings by its 17th-century architects for a walking tour. Bestowed with the illustrious moniker “Florence of Baroque”, Lecce will send you back in time as you marvel at its artistic monuments built from Pietra Leccese, a gold colored stone. Head back to your hotel in Gallipoli for an overnight stay.
Day 5 – Gallipoli, Leuca and Otranto
After breakfast, we will depart to Salento, also known as the ‘heel’ of Italy due to its location in the southernmost part of the country. Perched on the rendezvous point of the Adriatic and the Ionic sea is one of Italy’s most prominent lighthouses, a 48m high structure, situated on the cliffs around 102m above sea level.
We will then take the coast drive from Leuca towards Otranto, passing by a whole stretch of scenic promontories and idyllic little coves until we arrive at Castro Marina, an ancient fishing village surrounded from a bay and protected from the harsh elements of the wind and sea. Explore the spectacular caves of Romanelli and Zinzulusa, well known for their awe-inspiring natural beauty and housing prehistoric fossils within them. A few kilometres up north lies the elegant Santa Cesarea Terme, famous for its extensive range of spa treatments
We will then arrive in Otranto and check-in to the hotel in the afternoon. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay in Otranto.
Day 6 – Otranto, Brindisi, Bari
Spend the morning touring Otranto’s historical centre. Visit the best of Otranto: The Cathedral, Casa Arcella, the Byzantine Church of St Pietro, the Church of St Maria dei Martiri, the Aragon Castle, the Borgo Antico and the Harbor. After lunch, depart to Brindisi – Italy’s famous port that has served Roman troops and merchants of Venice since the ancient times. Known as the “Gateway to the East” after the launch of Suez Canal, it is still the doorway to many tourists journeying towards the East. After the tour, we will depart and spend the night in Bari.
Day 7 – Departure
Check out after breakfast and head to Palese International Airport for your return flight.