Puglia small group tour, Italy

“A week long, guided, small group cultural tour of Puglia, Italy’s most elegant heel, staying in a fine mix of traditional and gorgeous places en route. ”

Highlights

Lecce | Salento | Otranto | Ostuni | Agnano | Alberobello and Trulli dwellings | Bari | Castel del Monte | Matera

Description of Puglia small group tour, Italy

This stunning part of Italy is the 400km long heel that is laden not only with coastal but also cultural gems, meaning that Puglia holidays have never a dull moment.

We spend eight days working our way up the ‘east’ coast, although Italians call this side of the peninsula ‘la Costa Adriatica’, starting in the Baroque town of Lecce and working our way up north and finally inland to our final point at Matera. Not that it ever feels like ‘work’ traversing this stunning part of Italy, travelling from one Baroque beauty to the next, including the ‘White City’ of Ostuni and the church filled delight of Otranto, where bells echo out over the Mediterranean.

Puglia is packed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites too. These vary greatly, from unique conical roofed houses, or trulli, in Alberobello, the magnificent Castel del Monte to the aforementioned Matera, where we tour around a wonderfully intact troglodyte or cave dwelling settlement overlooking Gravina canyon. Such natural delights are also a feature of our tour, with a couple of walking trails thrown into this pretty Puglia package, along the stunning Salento coast and through the vineyards and olive groves of the Ostuni countryside. Reminding us that local produce is not thin on the ground in Puglia either, which is why we include a couple of wonderful culinary experiences along the way.

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18 Sep 2021
£1549
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02 Oct 2021
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Environment: Buying bottled water has detrimental impacts on the environment; we can make a conscience effort to reduce plastic waste by not buying water. On this trip, water in all the accommodation we stopover in is drinkable. Clients who bring their own water bottles will be able to refill them daily, when out and about the local guide will be able to point out places where they can top up their water bottles, for example, this is possible in a lot of the main squares.

Regional cooking in Puglia has strong links to the land and sea; very little is imported from abroad therefore having a positive impact on the environment.

Group size: This small group tour has a maximum of 18 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

Activity: We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. By using local drivers for transfers, local restaurants and small shops, we make daily contributions to the economy and the community.

UK office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation & meals: During this trip we stay in accommodation that is locally run (sometimes family run) and staffed with people from the surrounding areas, which has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region. Most lodgings are located in proximity to the town centers and the UNESCO historic site we visit, which reduces further the need for carbon producing transfer vehicles on the trip. The majority of lunches and dinners are not included on this trip, this benefits the local economy; clients can enjoy various local authentic dishes and at the same time support numerous local businesses.

Community & Culture: There are plenty of opportunities for clients to support local enterprise while discovering the heel of Italy. In Lecce on day three we visit one of the last remaining laboratories where papier-mâché artwork is still created; money spent here directly supports and maintains this very traditional industry. We continue to support traditional industries, in the afternoon we have a tour around an old olive oil mill which concludes with an olive oil tasting. The following day we visit a ‘Masseria’, a typical Apulian farm, here we try their organically farmed produce in a converted Apulian farmhouse. Afterwards a pasta making class lesson is led by a local chef in a traditional trattoria in Ostuni allowing clients to practise and taste traditional recipes. On day 5 we visit a winery in Alberobello and sample the wines from the region.
 
When visiting Otranto and Matera we further support the local tourist industry by having specialist local guides as well as the local leader, this benefits the local community by providing employment opportunities whilst clients have the advantage of in-depth insight of the country.

Social responsibility: Our local partner is an active member of Addiopizzo; a grassroots organisation established by local businesses and private citizens who refuse to pay the ‘pizzo’ – mafia extortion money.

Climate

6 Reviews of Puglia small group tour, Italy

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 29 Sep 2019 by

Had a fabulous time. The guide worked exceptionally hard to ensure everyone enjoyed the trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2019 by

Every day had something special in store. Amongst the most memorable parts were the Castellana Caves, the 3000 year old olive tree still bearing fruit, the mosaic floor of the cathedral in Otranto and the fantastic Trulli houses and the Sassi in Matera. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 May 2019 by

I had a great time! I will go back to this part of Italy! Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2018 by

The visit to Metera was the most memorable because it is such an unusual place with a powerful atmosphere, very sensible to do this visit last as it is an absolute highlight. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2018 by

Very disappointing and think the holiday was over priced. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Oct 2016 by

Very good. Excellent guide. Nice mixed group. Great taster for an underrated part of Italy. Read full review

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