Apulia tour

600km driving across the heel of Italy

Overview

With its tangible cultural heritage, unique Trulli countryside, medieval architecture, and famed limestone cliffs overlooking glistening sandy white beaches below, the enchanting and compelling region of Apulia is one of Italy’s greatest treasures and best kept secrets.

Known as the garden of Italy, unspoiled and undiscovered, with the longest coastline in Italy, sun-drenched Apulia offers its visitors an abundance of fresh vegetables, olive oil and seafood, as well as fantastic awe-inspiring beaches.

The MotorValley Experience package consists of four nights and five days, including three unique days of touring, in the striking garden of Italy. Characterised by authentic Trulli buildings, vast olive groves and vineyards in addition to baroque, historical towns, this stunning region is not one to miss.

The tour takes you around the region’s greatly celebrated wineries and authentic restaurants, passing stunning traditional Trulli towns and picturesque coastal cities such as the Ostuni, Taranto, Santa Maria di Leuca and Otranto on our journey through along the heel of Italy’s boot.

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Included in price

  • 4 nights luxury accommodation, breakfasts
  • Roadbook & programmed GPS
  • Personal meet, tour & car briefing at the start
  • 600 km car rental, incl. insurances
  • On call support and assistance

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Itinerary

Day 1

For those arriving by plane, you will be met at Bari Airport by a chauffeur driven transfer vehicle, which will drive you to your luxury hotel in Monopoli for the evening.

You will travel 36 kilometre’s along the south-east coast of Italy, through the spectacular town of Polignano a Mare that rises high above the crystal blue Adriatic Sea below. As one of the most important ancient settlements in Apulia, the town is both rich in history and stunning natural landscapes.

Upon arrival at the hotel in Monopoli, you will be warmly welcomed with a glass of prosecco to kick-start your holiday.

After checking in you are free to explore the picturesque white beaches, and medieval buildings found in the delightful old fishing town of Monopoli, on Apulia’s Adriatic coast.

With a flourishing commercial port that is widely recognised as one of the busiest in the entire Apulia region, the historic city hides a maze of churches, monasteries, and castles behind its dramatic, towering limestone cliffs.

OVERNIGHT IN MONOPOLI: 5 STARS HOTEL DOUBLE/TWINS STANDARD ROOM

Day 2

Once you have enjoyed the 5-star hotel breakfast, your choice of supercar will be directly delivered to you by one of our MotorValley representatives who will give you a full briefing on the vehicle and the GPS roadmap system.

From here, you will spend the day driving 19 km’s south-west from Polignano a Mare on the adrenaline-inducing SP237 road as you head towards the famed Grotte di Castellana, a two-mile-long, complex labyrinth of caves, and dimly lit passages below the ground.

With over 15 million tourists from all over the world visiting this remarkable natural heritage site, it is clear to see why the caves of Castellana are one of the most prevalent and significant attractions in the Apulia region.

After exploring the 60 metre deep caves filled with an awe-inspiring collection of fossils, canyons, and stalagmites you will continue on your drive through the bending roads that line southern Italy’s coastline until you arrive at the world heritage site of Alberobello.

Characterized by its traditional, white-washed, conical-roofed Trulli houses, the small town has become a popular tourist destination famed for its unique Trulli homes that completely cover large parts of the city. Here, in the heart of the Itria Valley and Trulli Land you can sample a taste of the best traditional, local delicacies and fine wines from the region.

Following a delectable lunch, you will carry on driving 45 km’s south until you reach the coastal city of Taranto on the Ionian Sea.
Referred to as the city of the two seas due to being situated by the Mar Grande and Mar Piccolo bay, it is the third-largest continental city of Southern Italy, classified by its swinging stone bridges that connects the historic old town to the mainland.

The oldest part of the city, known as the Citta Vecchia of Taranto, lies on an island situated between the Mare Grande and inner harbour Mare Piccolo. With its narrow alleys and winding cobbled back streets, wandering around Taranto is a very delightful experience.

Although there is little remanence of the ancient splendour of, what once was, the largest city in the Magna Grecia colony, in the heart of Old town Taranto stands the gorgeous 11th century Cattedrale di San Cataldo that houses the relics of the city’s patron saint Cataldo.

We recommend you visit the town’s most impressive historical monument, the extraordinary and utterly beautiful, medieval Aragonese Castle that stands isolated out at sea, on a rocky islet detached from the mainland connected only by the Ponte Aragonese causeway.

As you explore the sunlit new town of Taranto, you can stroll down the glamourous Promenade Vittorio Emanuele III that is lined with decadent palm trees, or discover the extensive historical material found in the superb National Museum.

The next pit-stop of the tour is the intriguing and lively inland city of Manduria, located 35 kilometres east of Taranto that is home to the regions widely acclaimed full-bodied red wine, Primitivo di Manduria. Here you can enjoy a wine degustation tour in one of Apulia’s most famed vineyards.

Continuing on the SS7 road you will drive along the magical shorelines of southern Italy, arriving in Salento, at what can only be described as a shimmering paradise, lined with white sand and crystal clear turquoise water.

Following an exciting day exploring, you will recline in the land of indulgence in a stunning luxury hotel in the beautiful city centre of Gallipoli, where you can relax in the exquisite rooftop swimming pool and take full advantage of the various hotel amenities.

OVERNIGHT IN GALLIPOLI: 5 STARS HOTEL DOUBLE – TWINS STANDARD ROOM

Day 3

After catching up on a well-needed rest in the gorgeous setting of your luxury room, you will wake up and enjoy eating an incredible breakfast in the heart of this picturesque seaside town.

Early in the afternoon, you will drive south for about 25 minutes on the main SS7 road, towards the architectural and artistic hub, Ugento, a town located near the tip of the heel of Italy.

From here you will continue on your journey through the spectacular Apulia region to the famed, town between two seas, Santa Maria di Leuca, on the southernmost tip of the Salento peninsula.

Since the 20th century, locals have flocked here to enjoy the seaside town’s historic architecture, sandy beaches, and dramatic cliffs, littered with hidden grottos and caves.

After exploring Santa Maria Di Leuca’s beauty, fine wine and food you are free to explore the northern coastal town of Castro, which is equally famed for its theatrical grottos, namely the limestone Grotto of Zinzulusa.

On our winding journey along the boot of southern Italy, you will drive through the historical town of Badisco, which, as mythology narrates was the site of Aeneas first landing in Italy after escaping from Troy. The secluded bay of Porto Badisco offers arguably some of the most jaw-dropping views in Apulia.

From Badisco you will cruise along the northern shorelines of Santa Cesarea Terme, with its marvellous cliffs that hang above the picture-perfect, tranquil turquoise water below, towards the historic, beautiful seaside town of Otranto.

Like much of Apulia, the seaside town of Otranto has a very mixed past, and many parts of the historical town centre seem to be frozen in time, full of cultural memory. For those with a taste for history, Otranto is home to one of Apulia’s most important historical sites, Martyrs’ Church, the resting ground of the 800 inhabitants who were decapitated, in 1480, for refusing to convert to Islam.

As your journey through the enchanting region continues, the tour will take you through various historical and famed archaeological sites such as Marina di Melendugno, in the Lecce province, of south-east Italy. Known for its seemingly endless crystal clear beaches that look out onto the Adriatic Sea, the charming town has captured the hearts of all who have visited.

As you leave the divine southern shores of the Marina di Melendugno, you will drive 24 km’s north via the SS16 road, past the ancient fortified town of Acaja, to reach Lecce, known as the Florence of the Baroque or Rome of the South.

We recommend you explore and take a tour around the city’s picture-perfect little lanes and widely famed historic baroque buildings, such as the Roman amphitheatre, Basilica di Santa Croce and the enchanting Duomo square, to discover all that Lecce has to offer.

Following a delicious, authentic meal in Lecce, you will spend your evening in a gorgeous luxury hotel room, in the heart of the baroque showpiece of southern Italy, reclining in the splendour of your surroundings.

OVERNIGHT IN LECCE: 4 STARS HOTEL DOUBLE/TWINS STANDARD ROOM

Day 4

As you wake in your luxury hotel room after a lovely sleep, you will enjoy a tantalizing breakfast in the stunning surroundings of your hotel, right in the middle of Lecce.

You can choose to spend a few hours unwinding in your hotel room or you can take advantage of the various hotel amenities on offer, before you jet off into the neighbouring countryside, in your supercar of choice.

After a well-needed rest, the next stop on our journey through the heel of Italy’s boot is the delightful city of Brindisi, home to palm-tree lined avenues, a scenic seafront promenade with a plethora of award-winning Apulian restaurants and bars, serving the best wine and food from throughout the region.

Known as the gateway to the east, the city has a large natural harbour as well as one of Italy’s most important ports but also boasts an iconic medieval fortress, Svevo Castle, and a 16th-century palace Palazzo Granafei-Nervegna, in the heart of the historic centre of Brindisi.

From here you will drive 30 kilometres north-west as you head to Ceglie Messapica; one of the oldest towns in the entire region, characterized by its traditional Trulli farmhouses, secular olive groves, and karstic caves.

Positioned in-between the rolling Apulian hills and Salento plain’s, this historic town is an alluring place to discover, with its intriguing narrow lanes, ancient churches, and Ducal Castle that overlooks the settlement below. With a reputation for great cuisine, when exploring works up an appetite you can enjoy a selection of gourmet, authentic cuisine from several award-winning local restaurants.

Following a delicious meal in the heart of enchanting Cegile Messapica, you will cruise north-east along the SP22 highway until you reach the medieval hilltop town of Ostuni, widely known as the White City.

Rising high above the rolling hills of the Trulli country, abundant with olive groves and vineyards and the nearby Azure Sea, this charming town boasts a network of intriguing narrow lanes nestled between the cities famous white-washed houses, medieval cathedrals, and baroque, gothic churches.

As Apulia’s centre for exquisite gastronomy, there is a plethora of restaurants and smart cafes serving ingredients from the neighbouring countryside, with an array of freshly picked local vegetables, seafood, grilled meats, superb olive oil and fine wine for you to discover.

Leaving behind the fine wine of Ostuni, you will continue north past the delightful town of Fasano, located in the northern central area of Apulia, in the Province of Brindisi. From here, you will continue on the SS16 road until you arrive in Polignano a Mare where you can enjoy some downtime and recline in your luxury hotel for the evening.

OVERNIGHT IN POLIGNANO A MARE: 5 STARS HOTEL DOUBLE/TWINS STANDARD ROOM

Day 5

Following a delightful sleep and hearty gourmet breakfast at your five star hotel, you can spend your last day in this beautiful region exploring the gorgeous cliff-top setting of Polignano a Mare.

We recommend that you visit the port city of Bari, and capital of southern Italy’s Apulia region before you take your flight back home.

You will be collected from your hotel by your chauffeur driven transfer vehicle, which will drive you to the airport for your outward flight.

Duration

4 nights / 3 days touring

Tour Region

Apulia

Driving Distance

600 Km

Availability

February to October

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Best and unique italian locations

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