A bridge between Italy and the East, Puglia's endless coastline and undulating hills have been swept by millenia of visitors and invaders who have all left their mark: neanderthals, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Lombards, Normans, French, Turks, Spanish etc, making it a very fascinating destination!
We will meet in the foyer of our hotel, a classic hotel on the centre of the old town of Lecce, the 'Florence of the South'. After the group meeting, we'll walk to neighbouring restauran for dinner. (Dinner).
Today we will spend the morning exploring the centre of this elegant city, taking a guided tour with visits to the atelier of one of city's master craftsmen, a cartapesta workshop, and an extra ordinary private museum. After lunch, afternoon and evening are free. (Lunch)
This morning we leave Lecce and head for Otranto. On the way, we stop for a cooking lesson, learning the secrets of the ‘cucina povera pugliese’. After lunch, we carry on to Otranto, the best-preserved town on the coast of Puglia. Our base for the next four nights is a perfectly preserved medieval port tucked behind 15th century Spanish walls above an idyllic harbour. Our accommodation is in a 5-star boutique hotel set in a 14th century palazzo inside the town's bastions. The evening is free. (Lunch)
This morning we walk south of the town following trails along the coast passing a number of medieval lookout towers and the lighthouse that marks the eastern most point of Italy. After stopping for a coffee in a strategically placed ‘agriturismo’, we’ll continue on down the coast to a lovely small bay, where you can a swim before a delicious buffet lunch. (13 kms, 4 hrs, grade 3). We’ll be given a lift back to our base, where the rest of the afternoon and evening are free. (Lunch)
Today is a lazy day, taking two sailing boats to head down the Adriatic Coast to a small bay where we'll anchor and have lunch served on boats. There will be plenty of chances to swim in the blue Mediterranean water. We'll return to our bases later in the afternoon, where the rest of the afternoon is free. We’ll regroup in the evening for a lovely fish dinner in the town's best restaurant (the female chef was voted 'best young chef' in Puglia last year). (Lunch/dinner)
Today we drive across the peninsula across the peninsula to Puglia's oldest national park, for a lovely walk along the Ionian Sea. On the way we stop at a small town for a coffee and a visit to one of the artistic treasures of Puglia: the extraordinary 14th century frescos of the Basilica of Santa Caterina.
We finish with a swim and a light lunch (6 kms, 2.5 hrs, grade 1). We’ll meet in the evening for our farewell-to-Otranto dinner at one of my favourite little restaurants on the edge of the old town. (Lunch/dinner)
This morning we leave the austere beauty of the Salento and head north to the Itria Valley. On the way we will visit an innovative winery, which has been producing the celebrated ‘primitivo’, Puglia’s classic red wine, as well as experimenting with other, rarer, local grapes. After a tasting of their wines and a light lunch we’ll keep heading north.
Our base for the next four nights is a beautiful hotel composed of restored 'trulli' (traditional conical dry-stone cottages) with a pool and surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Dinner is at the hotel's fine restaurant. (Lunch/dinner)
Today we walk from our base, through vineyards, cherry orchards and forests to Alberobello, a fascinating nearby town, the capital of the trulli district. There are over 1500 trulli crowded into the historical centre of the town. These strange, ancient constructions are only found within a 10-kilometre radius of the town. (13 kms, 4 hrs, grade 2).
Later in the afternoon, we'll be drive to the nearby coast (40 mins) to visit a wonderful masseria (or fortified farm complex) near Ostunni, which is surrounded by ancient olive trees and is famous for its organic produce and cooking. After a tour of the masseria, we'll have an aperitivo and a delicious dinner. (Lunch/dinner)
Matera is an extraordinary town, not only for its past but also its future. Although only a pleasant one-hour drive across wide open plains from our base, Matera seems to belong to another world. Below the modern town, in a deep ravine, are the famous Sassi, one of Italy's oddest urban settlements, a silent medieval cave city, with prehistoric origins. We will spend the whole day exploring this fascinating town, being taken on a guided tour through its twisting lanes. (Dinner)
Today we do a beautiful walk out of our base, along country lanes through olive groves, orchards, and oak forests before picking up an ancient stone path, the hamlets and neighbouring villages.
We'll have a light lunch in a charming agriturismo and then head back to relax at our base. (12 kms, 4 hours, Grade 2) In the evening, we will drive to a nearby town to join its famous passeggiata through narrow Baroque streets and enjoy dinner at a tucked away restaurant. (Lunch/dinner)
This morning we leave the trulli and drive north across the rolling plains of Le Murghe. After an easy walk through forest and farmlands, we climb up to one of the most remarkable buildings in southern Italy: Castel del Monte, the mysterious, isolated octagonal castle constructed by Frederick II in the 13th century. (40 mins, 3 kms, grade 1)
After a visit to the castle, we’ll have a light lunch and then drive south to Bari. Along the way, we stop to visit a fascinating private museum full of exceptional artefacts from ancient Greek history. Once we are checked into our hotel in Bari, the evening is free. (Lunch/dinner)
Today you will be taken on a guided walk to explore the secrets of the medieval Bari Vecchia, the old town of Bari, a buzzing maze of tight alley ways and small piazzas adjacent to the city's port. There are many star attractions, but the real pleasure of Bari Vecchia is simply wandering the narrow lanes soaking up the vibrant southern life. The afternoon is free. We’ll regroup for dinner in a nearby restaurant. (Dinner)
After breakfast, you’ll be able to continue your holiday. Bari is well connected by air, rail and road to the rest of Italy and Europe.
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Puglia walking tour in spring, Tour 2: Bari to Lecce
5 May to 17 May, 2025
(The 2024 tour is fully booked)
Tour costs quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD)
Tour Size7 to 15 people
Single supplement $1000 (double room for single use)
- 12 nights accommodation (see the itinerary for details) in 4-star boutique hotels
- All breakfast, and all lunches and dinners (wine included) listed in the itinerary
- All transfers and activities during the tours
- All taxes and service charges at the hotels and restaurants
- All paid admissions during the tour
- 8 guided walks
- Guided sight seeing tours of Bari and Lecce
- Services of a full-time professional tour guide
Puglia walking tour in the spring: Bari to Lecce FAQs
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I think you've got the combination just right: well paced walks and memorable lunches - the food was superb. You do it all very well and I think your personalised tours must be unique. Thanks for a great holiday!
– Jan M, PugliaView all Testimonials ›