|Tour Provider||Back-Roads Touring Co.|
|Number of Days||
4 to 18
No specific theme
Our first stop entails a drive to Andria followed by our first taste of Puglia food culture: smooth burrata and silky mozzarella cheeses. After lunch, it’s on to Matera to enjoy a tour with a local guide. As dusk sets in, it’s time to relax into our welcome dinner at a local pub.
This morning we’ll move on to a local olive grove and oil mill to uncover the secrets of the oil-making process (with a chance to sample the local fare, of course). Next, in Alberobello, we’ll take some time to marvel at the cone-topped trulli dotted across the landscape. After lunch, we’ll head below ground to the spellbinding Castellana Caves. Look up to see stalactites and down to find fossils hidden throughout these fairytale grottos. After that, we’ll return to Martina Franca.
With its jumble of icing-sugar buildings, pretty Ostuni wholeheartedly lives up to its nickname: the White Village. And it’s here that we’ll begin day three of our tour. This pretty hamlet is huddled in quintessential Puglia countryside, so it’s only right that lunch today will be in a rural masseria – a country estate. After watching a cooking show, we’ll drive on to Lecce – our home for the night – where we’ll enjoy a walk with a local guide and taste some local produce.
Emerald lake. Turquoise seas. Pink-hued hills. The pretty-as-a-postcard harbour town of Otranto is where we’ll swap town and country for a seaside sojourn. When we stop at the beautiful bay of Porto Badisco, be sure to search for some freshly caught sea urchins – a not-to-be-missed treat. We’ll wash them down with a selection of wines at Castel di Salve, famous for its Santi Medici Bianco, Santi Medici Rosé, Armecolo and Cento Su Cento Primitivo. Then it’s onwards to the historic fishing port of Gallipoli, where the sun sets on day four of our trip.
When in Gallipoli, we’ll do as the fishermen do. That means an early start down at the fish markets, where stalls are piled high with a dazzling array of seafood. Here, we’ll taste raw shrimp and shellfish straight off the boat. Then we’ll tear ourselves away from the water with a trip to the old town of Nardò. It’s a treasure trove of some of Puglia’s finest Baroque architecture and an area renowned for exquisite red wines, so it’s only right that we pay a visit to Manduria’s Museo della Civiltà del Vino Primitivo for a guided tasting – and to pay homage to the celebrated Primitivo grape.
Within its peaceful honey-stone cloisters and Romanesque architecture you’ll find thousands of years of history. When we step inside Santa Maria di Cerrate, we’ll discover a monastery with roots deep in Puglia’s rich food culture. Afterwards, we’ll climb the coastal road up to Polignano a Mare – the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, and our final stop. And with that, it’s time to say goodbye to this exquisite region, as we round up our tour back in Bari.