8 Day self-drive tour of Apulia and Matera

8 Day self-drive tour of Apulia and Matera

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Vacation Packages
difficulty Easy
Wheelchair Not Accessible

Independent tour of Apulia with car rental

This 8-day self-drive tour of Apulia and Matera will take you to some of the most iconic sights of Southern Italy, including the old town of Bari, the Renaissance centre of Lecce, and the mysterious UNESCO listed cave town of Matera.

Tour of Apulia and Matera by car with accoomodation highlights: 

  • Enjoy the best of Apulia independently with a rental car staying in typical accommodation
  • Take a self-guided tour of one of Italy’s most fascinating and unusual towns – Matera
  • Explore the traditional cone shaped trulli in Alberobello and take a guided tour
  • Take a scenic drive along the southern coast from Otranto to Castro
  • Taste artisanal wine and olive oil in Ostuni

Tour of Apulia and Matera by car with accoomodation

Take the chance to visit some of the most beautiful sights in Southern Italy, including the cities of Lecce, Bari, and Matera as well as some beach time thrown in too! You’ll do a round trip starting and ending in Bari.

Day 1: arrival in Bari

This fantastic self-drive tour kicks off in the gorgeous seaside town of Bari, one of the highlights of Puglia. A private transfer will take you to reach the point to pick up your rental car. After you pick up your car, it will be time to check at your hotel and then you’re free to explore Bari and get dinner on your own.

Day 2: Bari – Polignano – Alberobello

The second day of your tour will see you able to enjoy some beach time in Polignano a Mare, which has some of Puglia’s most beautiful white sand beaches and this is one of the most picturesque towns of Apulia, with its high cliffs and jagged coastline. Don’t miss Lama Monachile beach where you can sunbathe as you like.
After some time taking in the sea air, drive to Alberobello. Here you can first enjoy a lunch on your own, and then you’ll have a guided tour of the unusual cone shaped trulli houses. After the guided visit, it will be time to check in at the accommodation in Alberobello area and you decide how to spend your evening. 

Day 3: Alberobello – Matera

Check out of Alberobello and drive to Matera – one of the highlights of the tour. After lunch on your own, in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy some leisure time in this UNESCO World Heritage site, where people lived in caves as recently as last century! You will be astonished by the peculiar structure of the city, walking around the famous "Sassi", which was the set of many famous movies, such as "The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson. Don’t worry about finding somewhere for dinner – it’s already reserved for you by us, in a typical restaurant! 

Day 4: Matera – Grottaglie – Lecce

After breakfast at the accommodation in Matera, it will be time to move for the next destination: the day will bring you finally to Lecce. This long journey from Matera to Lecce is broken up by a stop in Grottaglie, a very peculiar Apulian town, where you’ll be to participate in a ceramics workshop: Grottaglie is in fact famous for its historic ceramic production. After this very local experience, you will take a guided visit of the pretty little town, before heading onto Lecce, where you will check in at the accommodation and have dinner on your own. 

Day 5: Lecce

The morning of day five is dedicated to exploring independently the stunning baroque architecture of Lecce – one of the highlights of the whole trip. We particularly recommend spending some time in Piazza del Duomo admiring the cathedral and to stroll around the tiny alleys of the city centre. In the afternoon, you will be given the chance of joining another local experience: a laboratory of papier mache, which the artisans of Lecce are famous for. Evening and dinner at your own leisure and overnight in Lecce. 

Day 6: Lecce – Otranto

After breakfast, you will head towards the deep root of Salento area: you will visit the tip of the ‘heel’ of Italy, Otranto. By the car you will first admire the fascinating coastline between Otranto and San Cataldo. After check in at the accommodation, you can continue by visiting  Otranto’s ancient castle and cathedral. After lunch on your own in Otranto, we highly recommend to have a ride towards Castro Marina, another beautiful town by the sea. Then, come back to Otranto for a delicious and traditional Pugliese meal we reserved for you. 

Day 7: Otranto – Ostuni

You will leave Otranto to take a trip to Ostuni, also known as the "white city" of Apulia. But, first on the way you will stop for pasticciotto in Maglie, the delicious typical dessert of Salento. After lunch at your own leisure, it will be time for another incredible experience of local culture and food. You will in fact visit  a masseria in Ostuni, where you will have a wine and olive oil tasting. In the evening you will be free to choose where to enjoy a last dinner on your own in Apulia! Overnight in Ostuni.

Day 8: Ostuni – Bari

After breakfast in your hotel, return your car to Bari. From here, a private transfer will take you to the Bari Airport or wherever you wish to go. 

Other tour in Apulia

If you liked this tour, try also this Full Day Tour exploring around the Via Traiana by e-bike, or this Full Day Private Tour, with guide, of the Gargano Area by Boat!