The Delights of Puglia - Italy's Best Kept Secret

16 days from £1399pp.


Alberobello

Visit: Alberobello, Italy

Ostuni

Visit: Ostuni, Italy

Taranto

Visit: Taranto, Italy

Castel Del Monte

Visit: Castel Del Monte, Italy

Peschic

Visit: Peschic, Italy

Vieste

Visit: Vieste, Italy

Uncover the delights of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot. It boasts the country’s longest coastline, where the beautiful cities of Trani and Vieste lie, a superb climate, endless olive groves, fairy tale towns such as Alberobello, of whitewashed ‘trulli’ houses, ancient Baroque cities of Matera and Taranto and the charming Bari, with its spectacular Castel del Monte. With visits to the beautiful shores of Lake Garda, Ferrara, and the capital city of Rome, all included, this is the perfect holiday for anyone looking to discover the very best of Italy. This holiday is part of our GRAND EXPLORER range.

    Local departure by coach or Door-to-Door service, then to northern France for an overnight stay.

    We travel to the Parma area for an overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    We continue to the outskirts of Rome or the spa town of Fiuggi, south-east of Rome, for a two-night stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Rome

    Rome

    Today you have the full day to discover the Italian capital city of Rome on our included excursion. The Historic Centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with wonderful palaces, churches, basilicas, Roman ruins, monuments and fountains. It has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere. There will be ample free time for you to explore this wonderful city at your leisure. To make the most of your visit, why not join our optional guided sightseeing tour. The sightseeing tour takes place on both coach and foot and will introduce you to the city’s wonderful sights, including Piazza Venezia and the imposing Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy. We also see the exterior of the mighty Colosseum (entrance not included).

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Trani

    Trani

    We travel south into the Puglia region of Italy’s ‘boot’ visiting the city of Trani. Known as the ‘Pearl of Puglia’, Trani has a pretty medieval quarter and cathedral, literally perched on the water’s edge. The marina is the perfect place to relax and watch the white yachts and fishing boats in the harbour, while the historic centre, with its medieval churches, glossy limestone streets and faded yet charming Palazzi is an enchanting area to explore. We continue to our hotel in southern Puglia for a four-night stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Castellana Grotte

    Castellana Grotte

    Today’s included excursion begins at Castellana Grotte where we visit the famous network of caves created by underground rivers. ­­­­­­These caves are amongst the deepest caverns in Europe. We continue through the countryside, seeing a landscape dominated by the ‘trulli’, whitewashed cones made of stones held together, traditionally without mortar. Alberobello is the best place to see and visit the famous trulli houses – there are over 1300 of them here. These cylindrical whitewashed buildings with grey conical roofs tapering out to a point or sphere are often adorned with painted symbols and are the true image of Puglia – one of the most unique towns in Europe. We then visit Ostuni, a charming town, perhaps one of the most stunning in southern Italy. The bright, whitewashed houses create a perfect contrast to the green of the surrounding countryside and its maze of well-preserved, winding streets provide hidden delights around every corner.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lecce

    Lecce

    A day at leisure or why not join our full-day, optional excursion? We start by visiting Lecce, commonly nicknamed the ‘Florence of South Italy’ due to its rich architecture and monuments. Lecce is the main city on Puglia’s Salento Peninsula and because of the soft limestone that’s easy to work, it became the centre for the ornate architecture called the Barocco Leccese and the city is filled with Baroque monuments. The historic centre is compact making it a great place for walking and its restaurants offer and abundance of fine food typical of Puglia. We then continue to Otranto, which lies at the most easterly point of mainland Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. The imposing castle with its thick perimeter walls and robust towers, dominate much of the town. Otranto is home to a small port with a series of sea-front promenades and excellent fish restaurants. Spend time exploring the town at your leisure before returning to the hotel.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Matera

    Matera

    Today our included excursion takes us to the cities of Matera and Taranto. We start in Matera where you can see the fascinating Sassi district, the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region (entrance included). Now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sassi district is one of Southern Italy’s most important attractions. We then continue to Taranto, one of Italy’s oldest and most beautiful port cities. Taranto is also called ‘The City of Two Seas’ due to its location on a spit of land that separates the open sea into what is known as the Mar Grande and Mar Piccolo. The artificial channel that connects them is surmounted by the famous swing bridge. Beyond the bridge, lies the heart of Old Taranto, an ancient medieval town comprised of the Cathedral of San Cataldo and the Castel Sant’Angelo.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Bari

    Bari

    En route to our hotel in the Vieste area of northern Puglia, we call at Bari, the capital of Puglia. Its labyrinth of seemingly endless passages weave through courtyards and under arches where you are likely to see local artisans making their wares or people making pasta. Continue to Castel del Monte, where you’ll visit the most splendid of all Puglia’s castles and one of the finest surviving examples of Swabian architecture. We stay for three nights in the Vieste/Rodi Garganico area.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Enjoy a day at leisure.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Vieste

    Vieste

    Today join our included scenic coastal tour. Enjoy the fabulous coastal city of Vieste, with its ancient centre, set above towering, sheer white cliffs. The old town sits on the easternmost of the two promontories, at the tip of which stands the Chiesa di San Francesco, once a thriving monastery. There will be free time in Vieste before we continue to the small town of Peschici, perched on top of an impressive cliff overlooking the bay and filled with whitewashed houses which cling to the rocky headland. The old town of Peschici climbs from the harbor to the fortifications of the Swabian Castles. Here there will be time for you to explore the narrow ally’s and hidden squares.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    We leave Puglia and travel up to the eastern Marche region for an overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Ferrara

    Ferrara

    En route to our hotel on Lake Garda, we visit Ferrara, an outstanding Renaissance city rich in history and regarded as one of Italy’s hidden treasures. There will be free time for you to explore the sights such as the San Giorgio Cathedral which dates back to the 12th century and the Este Castle complete with towers, moat and drawbridges. Later today we continue our journey north to Lake Garda for a two night stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lake Garda

    Lake Garda

    Enjoy a relaxing day in resort or join our full day optional excursion along the shores of Lake Garda visiting some of the picturesque villages on its shoreline. Spend time exploring the narrow streets or relax in one of the many cafes. During the day our excursion allows us to take to the water on a boat cruise where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the picturesque views of the surrounding area from the lake itself.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Travel north to Belgium and our overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Return home.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    At a Glance

    Tour Includes

    • 15 nights hotel with continental breakfast
    • 13 evening meals
    • Convenient local joining points
    • Travel by Silver Service or upgrade to Luxuria

    Included Excursions & Visits

    • Rome - Wonderful ancient sights
    • Trani - Perched on the water's edge
    • Castellana Grotte, Alberobello & Ostuni - A real taste of Puglia and the trulli houses
    • Matera & Taranto - See the Sassi Houses and pretty town
    • Bari - Capital of Puglia
    • Castel Del Monte - Splendid fortress
    • Vieste & Peschici - Fabulous coastal scenery
    • Ferrara - Rich in history

    Optional Excursions & Visits

    • Lecce & Otranto - Florence of South Italy and pretty harbour towns
    • Lake Garda - Pretty lakeside resorts
    • Rome Sightseeing - See the famous sights

    Notes


    Single Room Supplement from £259.00 (16 days).

    Certain excursions are included in the price of your holiday. If you choose not to go on an included excursion, for whatever reason, no refunds will be made.
    Yes, you will receive one with your Travel Documents, which are sent 7-10 days before departure.
    We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old (except for Disneyland Paris bookings) however, we will consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian aged over 18 years old.
    You can check weather averages at here.

    Accommodation

    You will stay for four nights in southern Puglia in a minimum 3-star hotel, such as the Hotel Lo Smeraldo in the Cisternino area, followed by three nights in northern Puglia in a minimum 3-star hotel, such as the Villa Americana Park in Rodi Garganico. You will also stay for two nights in the Lake Garda area. Overnight stays in Italy, northern France and Belgium will be in minimum 3-star hotels.

    All hotels will have a restaurant and bar.

    Italy

    Lo Smeraldo Hotel

    Lo Smeraldo Hotel

    Italy

    Villa Americana Park Hotel

    Villa Americana Park Hotel

    Lo Smeraldo Hotel


    Situated in the Cisternino Hills surrounded by pine forests, the hotel lies in the heart of Puglia and is less than half hour drive from the coast. Enjoy typical Italian cuisine in the restaurant, and the hotel also has its own excellent pizzeria and bar. Stroll around the hotel gardens or relax by the outdoor swimming pool.The hotel offers a shuttle bus (at small additional cost) which takes you to the charming medieval town of Cisternino, with its ancient walls and pretty narrow streets. The town is the perfect spot to sit and watch the sun set after a day of sightseeing.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    Villa Americana Park Hotel


    The Park Hotel Villa Americana is situated in the centre of the Puglian resort of Rodi Garganico. A walk down the flight of steps takes you to the beach of the resort. The hotel has shops, bars and restaurants within easy walking distance. Enjoy the food served in the spacious restaurant. Relax in the lounge or by the outside pool. All bedrooms have satellite T.V., air-conditioning and some have balcony.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • WiFi Available
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    If you prefer, then you can join the tour at the hotel. To do this, we will require a copy of your passport for identification purposes and you must advise us at the time of booking.

    No reduction will be given if you should choose to do this.

    All hotel rooms benefit from private bathroom facilities.
    Some hotels have tea and coffee making facilities. Please check the tour pages for more information or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Most hotels have a lift, please call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 for more information.
    Some hotels have ground floor rooms. Please email for information on individual hotels or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Your hotels will supply towels in your room.

    We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.

    We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.

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    Travel Information

    Departure times given for each region are approximate. Please check your travel documents to confirm the actual timings.

    Front row seats can be reserved for £14pp (up to 6 days duration), £22pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £25pp (9 days duration and over) on all European tours. In addition to this seats on the second row can be reserved for £7pp (up to 6 days duration), £14pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £15pp (9 days duration and over). This offer is only available for bookings of two or four persons on the front row and is subject to availability. Guaranteed front/second row seats cannot be reserved on feeder journeys to/from the U.K. port. Children under 15 years cannot occupy a front row seat due to French Law.

    Please note: On some coaches the legroom on front seats may be slightly less than that available on other seats due to the presence of a modesty board in front.

    If your tour is cancelled for any reason and front/second row seats are not available on your new tour you will be refunded the supplement. No other compensation will be payable.

    Alternatively, we can take seating requests on your booking. However, requests are not guaranteed. All seat numbers are confirmed on travel documents approximately 7-10 days prior to departure.

    We guarantee that all passengers on the same booking will be seated together on the main tour coach. Seats on the transfer coaches to and from the U.K. port are not allocated.
    Hot and cold drinks are served on the main tour coaches. Prices are approximately £1 or 1.25 Euro per drink. Prices will be confirmed by the driver. Drinks may also be served on the transfer coaches but this is not guaranteed.

    Transfer coaches are routed approximately 2-3 weeks before departure and will depend on where passengers are booked to travel from on any particular date as to which route is taken. If you require further detailed information regarding the route to the port you can contact our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 two weeks before you are due to travel.

    With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.

    All main tour coaches have on-board toilets. Transfer coaches to and from the U.K. port may not have on-board toilets. When non-British coaches are used on transfers and tours (air or TGV holidays only) an on-board toilet may not be available. However, comfort stops will be made during long journeys.
    All coaches feature air-conditioning. Should the air-conditioning system break down for a period exceeding 12 hours, compensation will be awarded up to a maximum of £10 per fare-paying passenger per tour.
    We operate a passenger interchange at the Channel port. Transfer coaches, including taxis, minibuses, Megabus and National Express operate to and from the U.K. port. You will join your main tour coach at the port.
    One medium sized suitcase per person, which should weigh no more than 20kg when full. We may refuse to carry larger or heavier cases. Hand luggage can be stored in the overhead racks aboard the coach.
    It could be either - This will be confirmed in your travel documents.

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