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Alberobello, Puglia, Italy

Puglia’s Cathedrals and Coastlines

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

10 Days

Prices Start from

£4,995pp (ex. flights)

A wonderful journey through the heritage, gastronomy and coast of the south eastern region of Puglia. This holiday idea uncovers Italy’s best kept secrets – those the locals would prefer to keep to themselves. Mountain villages, endless beaches and architecture to rival Florence.

Located in Italy’s sunny south, Puglia is a long, narrow region bordered on two sides by the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Home to rocky outcrops, the baroque jewel of Lecce and the fortified town of Otranto. Puglia is not the soft rolling hills of Tuscany or Umbria, but a more rugged landscape with aged olive oil trees, faded cathedrals and wide open spaces. Influenced over time by the Greeks, Arabs and Romans, it has a unique feel and history.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Roman Amphitheater, Lecce, Italy 1

Lecce

Baroque architecture and artistic flair, Lecce is the main town of Puglia’s Salento region and one of the highlights.

A collage with different stuffed pasta, Italy 2

Food & Wine

Visit a sustainable olive oil farm, have a go at making mozzarella and stay in a traditional Masseria or Truli house, in the Itria valley.

Matera, Puglia, Italy 3

Matera

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Matera is home to stone houses, rock churches and a 13th century cathedral.

Otranto, Puglia, Italy 4

Hidden beaches

Spend time on the Puglian coast with its golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning natural beauty.

How does this holiday make a positive impact?

This holiday supports small, artisanal food producers and their communities, helping to protect their legacy for generations to come. Spend time with Puglia’s sustainable olive oil producers and local art historians. You will stay in hotels that give careful consideration to their impact on the environment, at every level of their business, from renewable energy use, waste disposal, food miles and community involvement. Palazzo Bozzi Corso and La Fiermontina are family owned and run and work tirelessly to support their own NGO working with girls and woman’s health and education in Morocco. 

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive Brindisi

  • Day 2 - 3

    Lecce

  • Day 3

    Ostuni

  • Day 4

    Gallipoli

  • Day 5

    Monopoli

  • Day 6

    Lecce

  • Day 7

    Lecce - Matera

  • Day 8

    Matera

  • Day 9

    Matera

  • Day 10

    Depart from Bari.

Day 1

Arrive Brindisi

Arrive into Brindisi and make your way by car or private transfer to Lecce and the La Fiermontina or Palazzo Bozzi Corso

Day 2 - 3

Lecce

Spend two days exploring this Baroque masterpiece of a town. Wander the charming streets, have lunch at local Pugliese restaurants off the Piazza del Duomo. Explore sites such as the Basilica di Santa Crocce and Museo Faggiano.  Afternoons can be spent enjoying the cool comfort of the hotel before joining the family at the M.A.M.A museum for cocktails and dinner.

Day 3

Ostuni

Travel by train or car to Ostuni – a whitewashed hilltop town. Ostuni is known for its Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, a labyrinth of medieval backstreets and wonderful views towards the Adriatic Sea.

Day 4

Gallipoli

Travel to Puglia’s west coast to explore the towns of Galatina, Nardo and Gallipoli. Begin with the frescoes of Santa Caterina of Alessandria at Galatina before stopping for lunch at the peaceful and undiscovered Nardò, ending at the island city of Gallipoli.

Day 5

Monopoli

Explore this fortified town overlooking the Adriatic sea. Have a fabulous seafood lunch, wander round the old city and climb the 60-metre cathedral tower,  for a sublime view of the city. Monopoly is easily combined with Polignano a Mare, another coastal gem.

Day 6

Lecce

Further day spent at Lecce. Some ideas would be to laze by the pool, have a massage at Palazzo Bozzi Corso and further explore the town. For something special explore the pristine Puglian coastline from the privacy of a private yacht. A truly unforgettable experience.

Day 7

Lecce - Matera

Travel to Matera for a stay in one of the beautiful Sassi stone houses – now small boutiuqe hotels.

Day 8

Matera

Full day to explore this fascinating town, full of rock houses, stalagmites and hidden alleyways.

Day 9

Matera

Spend your last day exploring or use the time to have a cooking lesson. This part of Italy is home to sublime local food.

Day 10

Depart from Bari.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Palazzo Bozzi Corso, Lecce, Puglia, Italy
Palazzo Bozzi Corso, Lecce, Italy
Martina Franca, Puglia, Italy
Martina Franca, Puglia

Lecce

A haven of baroque architecture with its central Piazza del Duomo and Cathedral di Lecce, Lecce, found in the centre of the Salento region of Puglia, is an easy rival to its better known cousin, Florence. Sitting in the heel of Italy, Lecce is the perfect base in which to explore the coast line – a favourite holiday destination with Italians, the cultural sites of Galatina, Nardeo and Gallipoli. Lecce has a relaxed air of sophistication, a joy to explore on foot, discovering local restaurants, independent boutiques and galleries. A highlight of this region.

 

Otranto, Puglia, Italy
Otranto, Puglia
Borgo Egnazia, Fasano, Puglia, Italy
Borgo Egnazia, Fasano, Italy

Salento Region

Salento is the most southern part of Puglia. Explore the coastal towns from Otranto and its unique mosaics to the end of Italy’s heel at Puglia Santa Maria di Leuca, to witness the Adriatic sea crashing into Ionian. The coastline is awash with history, wild landscapes and unique marinas blending art, cultures and unique endless vistas.

polignano a Mare Puglia
Italy
Matera, Puglia, Italy
Matera

Historical Towns

Sun baked villages and towns such as Specchia, Locorotondo and Galatina perch up high, looking down over the olive oil farm lands. The traditional sea ports of Gallipoli, Monopoli and Castro, look out majestically over the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The towns of Puglia are as varied as its food and architecture – some accessible by train, making them the perfect destination for a long local lunch.

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Katie was very helpful and extremely responsive in arranging our hotel. Help and advice was always forthcoming and invaluable.

Destination: Italy
Travel Expert: Katie

A note on price

This holiday idea is jam-packed with special, unique experiences and activities which has increased the overall price. Each day you are accompanied by a specialist or expert in some field. By reducing activities/experiences the overall price can be reduced considerably. Please ask our experts to tailor-make your itinerary.

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling and accommodation choices. In this itinerary, we suggest a mixture of luxury hotels and mid-range accommodation.

Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £4,995 Per person

When to travel

Italy in January

The promise of winter sunshine and milder temperatures make Italy an enticing destination in January. Some attractions will be closed as it is the offseason, but the south of Italy and Sicily will be quiet and very pleasant. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Italy in February

February is generally low season, other than Carnival which falls in the period before Lent, generally during the month of February. Except in beach and island locations, many restaurants, shops and family-run hotels shut down. You can enjoy the major cities without the crowds, and hotels often offer significant discounts. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Italy in March

March is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in April

April is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable, and in the spring you can hike through the lush, green meadows of the Italian Alps. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in May

Early May is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable, and in the spring you can hike through the lush, green meadows of the Italian Alps. From mid-May through July and again in September, the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect very warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in June

In June the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in July

In July the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in August

August is generally very hot in Italy and considered low season, with practically the entire country going on holiday, especially during the second half. Head for the mountains for cooler climes for exceptional walking and hiking opportunities.

Italy in September

In September the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in October

Shoulder season is arguably the best time to visit Italy. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. In the autumn, you’ll have food festivals galore to choose from, as well as the grape harvest in October and the olive harvest in November. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in November

Shoulder season is arguably the best time to visit Italy. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. In the autumn, you’ll have food festivals galore to choose from like the olive harvest. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in December

The promise of winter sunshine and milder temperatures make Italy an enticing destination in December. Some attractions will be closed as it is the offseason, but the south of Italy and Sicily will be quiet and very pleasant. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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