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Puglia is even more flavourful around Christmas. The market in Putigano will entice you with music, magic and crafts. There's a puppet fair in Lecce, and Scorrano's street illuminations are out of this world.
These distinctive cylindrical constructions topped with coned roofs are scattered all over Puglia’s rolling countryside and are unique to this area. You'll even get the opportunity to stay in one!
The ancient cave dwellings, grottos and natural ravines of Matera’s Sassi are rooted in ancient history and archeology, originating as far back as the Palaeolithic age. European capital of culture 2019.
Enjoy an array of culinary experiences typical of Puglia ranging from delicious local restaurants, a Southern Italian cooking class, pasta making, olive oil and wine tasting which offers an authentic taste of the region.
"Great tour, stayed in the centre of everything which was great. Loads of info from our guide. Amazing sights and experiences. Loved it! Price is great for what you get included. And lots of local knowledge and experiences you would not get arranging the trip by yourself"
Bn - Guest
Not only will you have plenty of time to enjoy the superb culinary delights of Puglia in its famous restaurants and eateries, but you’ll also get the opportunity to witness the magic that takes place behind the scenes at local bakeries close to Matera, in ancient olive groves, and even on the streets of Bari where the women will show you how the region’s special pasta is made. The experience also includes a rustic cookery session where you’ll try your hand at whipping up a proper Italian feast for dinner using local ingredients from Puglia. All this combined with the beautiful whitewashed towns of Bari and Locorotondo, the sparkling coast, and fine Southern Italy weather. And for just a little bit of Christmas spirit, visit the Christmas Markets at Putignano with its crafts, music and magic. Lecce awaits with it's famous Fiera dei Pupi (puppet fair). Lastly, Scorrano will spark the Christmas cheer up with the street illuminations.life here in Puglia is so sweet that you probably won’t want to leave.
NEED TO KNOW
|GROUP SIZE||8 people|
|FLIGHTS||For more information on flights from the UK please refer to the Trip Details section.|
|VISA||UK, EU & US not required|
Arrive in Bari. Transfer to your accommodation in the heart of Barivecchia. Evening to explore the charming old town with its St. Nicholas Chirstmas markets. Do make sure to tuck into some Puglian delicacies.
Morning exploring Bari via a Bike Tour and Pasta Making Experience. Cycle round Bari with a local guide then learn the art of making orecchiette pasta with the famous Italian mammas before your journey to Lecce. Evening transfer to the nearby Scorrano for the most majestic Christmas lights in Italy.
Morning transfer to Alberobello with a stop for an olive oil tasting and tour through ancient olive groves at an organic olive farm near Ostuni. Wine tasting and tour at a local vineyard, minutes away from your accommodation in Alberobello, land of trulli. Transfer to Putignano to explore the Christmas Markets. Evening in your very own trullo, typical of this region in Southern Italy.
Early transfer to Matera. Explore the Sassi region and rock churches. Afternoon cookery masterclass at a local Masseria learning to prepare rustic Italian dishes then feasting on your culinary creations over a traditional Italian dinner. Free evening to explore the Christmas Markets.
Morning transfer to Altamura for a visit to a legendary DOP bakery for some bread-making and focaccia tasting. Transfer back to Matera for lunch and free time in the afternoon before your transfer to Bari airport. Fly home.
A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.
With all lodgings well located in Bari, you'll be well placed to explore the charming, pretty old town of the city including the Church of St. Nicholas.
Typical Accommodation: B&B 62 Marinai, Apulian B&B or similar
Our unique cave accommodations are located amongst the maze of streets in the Sassi so you'll be able to explore it all on foot. Just try not to get lost!
Typical Accommodation: San Giovanni, Rizzi Residence or similar
People come from far to visit the famous Trulli and you will have the opportunity to stay in your own traditional Trullo in the heart of town.
Typical Accommodation: Trulli e Puglia B&B, Trulli Resort or similar
As with all our hand-picked accommodations, you will be staying centrally in Lecce as well. Only minutes away from the main attractions. Typical Accommodation: Vico Dei Bolgnesi B&B or similar
WHERE YOU'RE GOING
Blessed with golden sunshine, blue skies, ancient olive groves and white washed old towns clinging to hillside precipices, the heel of Southern Italy is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Puglia’s location along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas boasts exquisite stretches of coastline where fine sand disappears into emerald and powder blue waters, and showcases the remnants of its eclectic invaders—the Normans, Greeks and Turks—through the mishmash of architecture scattered across the region. But it’s not the beautiful baroque churches, sweet stone trulli, sun-drenched landscapes or the laid-back Italian lifestyle that make Puglia such an attractive destination. It’s all about the food–fresh fish, ripe figs, citrusy olive oils, perfect pasta and full-bodied wines.
"Italians eat dinner late, typically starting from about 9pm so try to sync your eating time so you get to feel the authentic local atmosphere in the towns. Entire families enjoying each other's company until late!"
Marius M - Untravelled Paths
Please bear in mind that shops tend to close for lunch from just after midday until later in the afternoon around 3pm or 4pm so it's a A good time for an afternoon siesta!
Eat like the locals
Given the siesta culture, Italians eat dinner late, so sync your eating times. If hunger strikes early have an afternoon snack (a merenda) and grab a pasticciotto at the local pastry shop.
Never bring food into a church, do not sip from your water bottle while inside, switch off mobile phones before entering, and never go into a church during a service.
You’ll typically have to pay a couple of euros cover charge or ‘coperto’ in restaurant. This is the Italian way so don’t be surprised if you see it added to your bill
As a tour operator we are not able to offer inclusive flights as part of our experiences however we are more than happy to help you find the most appropriate incoming and outgoing flights for you. All the listed airports fly directly in and out of Bari with multiple different airlines to choose from. We highly recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
Please note that this experience has been built around the Ryanair flight from Stansted. If you opt for alternative flights, you might miss out on elements of the experience or might require private airport transfers at an extra cost.
In order to be fully covered on your trip should anything happen, we suggest getting an insurance before you travel. We recommend True Traveller, designed especially for adventure travel, who will be able to tailor an insurance package based on your needs. You can find out more here.
Our prices are based on people sharing, for solo travellers who would prefer a private room the price per person will include a solo occupancy fee.
If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.
Book your trip in a few easy steps.
Once you’ve chosen the dates you’d like to travel on using our availability calendar all you need to do is head over to the booking page and fill in the enquiry form.
BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS
We will get back to you answering any questions you might have and confirming availability. If all is good, we can hold the places for you for 48 hours while you book your flights. Please note that this stage does not represent a guarantee of the booking.
Once you have made your necessary arrangements, we will send you a booking form you will need to fill in with your details and any other relevant information.
PAY FOR YOUR TRIP
As you fill in the booking form, you will also be asked to make the payment through a secure link; if you are travelling in less than 8 weeks, the payment will be paid in full, otherwise only a 35% deposit will be taken.
Shortly after you pay, you will receive a confirmation invoice, followed by a personalised itinerary and digital booklet. All you need to do now is write the dates in your diary, prepare your packing list and look forward to your next adventure!
Please note deposit is non-refundable. The balance will only be refundable if you cancel with more than 8 weeks in advance. More information about the cancellation policy can be found in our Terms & Conditions. We highly suggest getting insurance before you travel to avoid any problems. Our personal recommendation is using True Traveller.
As a member of the European Union, the currency in Italy is the euro, or the ‘eh-uro’ as the Italians say.
The easiest option is to head to a cash machine once you’ve touched down in Italy to withdraw funds. There are ATMs in most of the towns you’re staying in so access shouldn’t be a problem just take note of the advice below when it comes to withdrawing and bear in mind that you typically won’t be able to take out more than
€250 a day. Alternatively you can exchange currency (cambio) at a bank. If you’d like to change money at a bank then do make sure you go in the mornings as local banks are often closed during the afternoon.
If you want to get hold of euros beforehand, head to an exchange bureau in the UK when the euro is readily available. You can also purchase currency online and collect it from your local post office or even have it delivered straight to your door. Ordering currency online with the Post Office is commission-free and available for next day delivery. Obviously the more you buy the better rate you’ll receive.
Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Puglia however it can be a good idea to have cash on you just in case. As a general rule though you should have no problem using your card to pay for drinks or dinner. It is always advisable to inform your bank that you’re travelling abroad in order to avoid the frustration of having your card blocked.
Prices in Puglia are much lower than the rest of Italy’s other major tourist destinations like Rome and Venice so costs should be very affordable. As a general rule, you’ll be able to have a good lunch for around £10 a head and will pay around £15 a head for a nice evening meal. Naturally, the type of establishment you choose to eat in and what you order will dictate the cost of your meals. Be aware that ordering imported drinks can cause your bill to sky-rocket so drinking local wines, beers or spirits is advisable (besides, sampling the local products is what you’re here for!). We reckon around £200 for meals, drinks and snacks for two people is plenty. Please note that these are rough estimates and you can always choose to spend more or less depending on your budget and preferences.
Tipping in Puglia is by no means compulsory, however it is customary in restaurants. Bear in mind that most restaurants will also include a cover charge (coperto) of around €1.50–3 a head. Some also include service charge (servizio) on top of that, generally amounting to ten percent. If it isn’t included do leave an appropriate tip relative to the standard of service you’ve received. In cafes, do as the Italians do and leave some small change on the bar when you’ve ordered and paid for your coffee however if you decide to sit down at a table then the same restaurant tipping guidelines apply. It is also commonplace to round up fares in a taxi to the nearest euro.
Spring: Puglia enjoys wonderful weather in both April and May in the run-up to summer so expect clear blue skies in Bari, warm sunshine in the
Itria Valley and balmy evenings in Matera.
Summer: Summer is high season in Puglia not so much for tourists but for the locals who flock to the coast to escape the intense inland heat. The
weather during these summer months is Mediterranean hot with bags of sunshine so sun cream is a must!
Autumn: The perfect time to visit Puglia. The hoards of locals have all but dispersed by September and October, leaving you to enjoy Southern Italy in relative peace. The weather in Puglia is still warm and wonderful making it perfect for those who aren’t too keen on baking
hot summers. This is our preferred time to experience Puglia apart from the spring.
You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you travel, you will also receive a personalised itinerary with the contact details of the local manager in Romania should there be any problems. Your guide will be on hand throughout the trip as well, so you're in safe hands.
Our digital booklet, which you will receive before travel, contains all the information you need about optional activities. Simply drop us an email letting us know what you'd like to do during your trip, and we'll take care of the rest. Please note that the payment for the optional activities will be taken locally in cash.
The water is safe to drink throughout Puglia and you're likely to come across an abundance of public fountains in town squares. Just avoid drinking water where signs read ‘aqua non portibile’ as the water is unsafe to drink. Despite all this, we always recommend sticking to bottled water, which is widely available just in case - an upset tummy is not ideal on such a wonderful foodie experience!
As this is a foodie experience, we will ensure everyone will be able to enjoy it to the fullest. The Puglian diet is based on vegetables and tomatoes (and pasta, of course!) so if you're a vegetarian, you won't miss out on anything. For other dietary requirements, please let us know beforehand, and the team will make sure they are catered for.