Come and spend an unforgettable week experiencing the passionate culture of southern Italy. You will enjoy tasty Italian cuisines, take part in cooking classes, try olive and cheese tastings, and visit many interesting attractions. You will also join walking and cycling tours to explore the beauty of Italian villages, cities, and landscapes staying away from the hustle and bustle of life before spending nights at charming accommodations along the trip.
Airport transfer available:
Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (US$23 per person)
You will stay in deluxe agriturismo and four-star hotels in convenient locations. All lodging includes private bathrooms and a variety of other amenities. You will stay at Hotel Palazzo Viceconte for two nights, Hotel Corte Altavilla for two nights, and Hotel Masseria Salamina, agriturismo in the last two nights in standard rooms.
Corte Altavilla Hotel with restaurant and meeting rooms is waiting for you. Corte Altavilla is one of the most esteemed four-star hotels in Apulia with its comfortable rooms and suites. In the morning, you wake up wrapped by a unique quiet, served breakfast in room service, or in their stone wall restaurant. During the day, a private and enchanted solarium or spa with a great view will give you unique emotions and relax.
Masseria Salamina, an agricultural center and noble residence since the end of the 1600s, once fortified to defend itself against the attacks of the Saracen pirates, has for over twenty years been home to a farm rich in history and charm, in which the ancient agricultural vocation joins an authentic hospitality. The De Miccolis Angelini family, owner since 1986, will take care of your hospitality and well-being, bringing you in the charm of the past and reviving the simple life of the farm, rich in wonderful environments, with a divine Mediterranean humanity.
Welcome to Palazzo Viceconte Matera, where you can enjoy the luxury of a break in a seductive and calm atmosphere of the past. The recently restored Matera Palace is located in the oldest part of the city, from which you can see the most beautiful panorama of the Sassi and the surrounding area of Matera.
Highlights of this tour are Trulli houses in Alberobello, Ostuni's architecture also known as "The White Town", and Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost point of Puglia region.
After arriving in Bari, you will be transferred to stunning Matera, a UNESCO world heritage site. You will explore the ancient cave dwellings known as "sassy" with your guide. Later, you will be treated to an appetizer and dinner at an award-winning trattoria.
Today starts with a visit to a bakery in Altamura to get an up close and personal experience on how bread is made here by the locals. After a light lunch, you will hike through the ravines around Matera, covered with ancient caves, many of which contain breathtaking frescoes inside. Tonight you will be on your own for dinner. Of course, local guides will give you the inside scoop on the best places to eat.
You need to be sure to eat a good breakfast today. After checking out of the hotel, you will be transferred to the hilltop town of Conversano. Here you will be fitted to your bicycle and start a memorable bike ride down to the charming coastal town of Polignano a Mare. Here you will explore the striking coastline and visit sea caves by boat, followed by a light lunch. Then, you will ride your bike back up to Conversano (uphill but with a gradual grade). Your hotel here has a wonderful spa. You are free to explore the town's restaurant scene on your own with recommendations from your guides.
Today's ride goes into the northern stretches of the Itria Valley, filled with nut and cherry trees along with the traditional dry stone Trulli houses specifically to the region. If time permits, you will stop at the farmers' market to collect ingredients for tonight's cooking class. You will then descend to the coastal town of Monopoli with seawalls, a beautiful castle, and cobblestoned streets. You will have free time to explore, shop, and have lunch before the ride back to Conversano.
Tonight, you will be fully immersed in Pugliese cuisine and traditions at the country kitchen of Mara and Marina. Marina is also a sommelier, so rest assured you will have perfectly paired wines with your authentic dinner. This experience involves the freshest seasonal ingredients available, traditional techniques and recipes, and fine wine, all designed to immerse you in the heart and culture of southern Italy.
After the breakfast and checking out of the hotel, you will take a short transfer to Alberobello for a short hike among its Trulli houses. Then it is back on your bike for one of the most picturesque rides in all of Puglia. You will stop at a dairy farm to learn the secrets of mozzarella cheese making and enjoy tasting delicious burrata cheese. This activity can change if a custom departure has this day fall on Sunday.
The ride will then turn back to the coast with dramatic vistas all along the way. Your accommodation for the night is in a stunning castle and estate. You will relax by the pool or go into the kitchen for another hands-on culinary experience. Either way, your dinner will be delicious.
Puglia is blessed with amazing landscapes, rich history, and phenomenal local produce. On today's hike, you will experience all three first-hand. Your hike begins at the archaeological site of Santa Maria D'Agnano, known for the discovery of 'Delia,' a 20-year old pregnant woman whose ancient remains date back 25,000 years. As you hike past the site, you will see plains full of olive trees stretching all the way to the coast.
You will then hike to an olive oil mill on an estate that has been in use for thousands of years. You will learn about the history and tradition of the olive oil production before enjoying a tasting and private picnic on the property. Tonight's dinner is very special, a six-course meal at the renowned Masseria il Frantoio.
This morning, you will say 'arrivederci' as your Puglia adventure draws to a close. You will be transferred to Bari for your departure.
Bianchi bikes include hybrid and road bikes. Hybrids are included in the trip price. Road bikes are available for a supplement of 15 and 30 EUR per day for aluminum and carbon frame bikes respectively. E-bikes have a 30 EUR per day of supplement. GPS is also available for rent if requested in advance.
Included with bikes, there are helmets (one size fits all), handlebar bag with hybrids and road bikes, panniers optional (supplement) with hybrids and included with E-bike, handlebar bag including a map reader, puncture kit including tire levers and spare inner tube, patch kit, lock, and frame pump.
Pedals are flat. You may bring your own clipless pedals to have installed. If you bring your own pedals, please bring your tool to remove them from the bikes at the end of the tour.
During this tour, you will explore the ancient cave dwellings on day one. On the next day, you will visit a bakery in Altamura, hike through the ravines around Matera. You will then bike ride down to the charming coastal town of Polignano a Mare, visit sea caves by boat, and be back to Conversano on the third day. The day after is the time for you to visit Itria Valley and the coastal town of Monopoli.
You will come to Alberobello for a short hike among its Trulli houses and then bike to Puglia on day five. On the sixth day, you will hike to the archaeological site of Santa Maria D'Agnano and an olive oil mill on an estate.
The tour will take place in Puglia, Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that sits between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Basilicata is the neighbor of Puglia to the west. Both of these agricultural regions are abundant with over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine production that has flourished over the last decade. The wine from Puglia and Basilicata is regarded by many as some of the most exciting wines in the world.
You will be served daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner with wine extra and try olive oil and cheese tastings included in the prices. You will have a dinner on day one, a breakfast and a lunch on day two and three, a breakfast and a dinner on the next two days, and three meals on the sixth day.
Please book your flight to arrive at Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Transfer from this airport to the train station is about 20 EUR and takes about 25 to 30 minutes.