Puglia: Discover the Heel of Italy

8 days
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4.7/5 Excellent
100+ reviews  
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Cancellation Policy
Small Group Tour
Puglia, known for whitewashed hill towns, traditional farmland, fine cuisine and a sweeping Mediterranean coastline, is the heel of Italy, and until recently, its best-kept secret. With a focus on art, architecture, traditions and local cuisine, this trip explores the highlights of the region. From Matera, a Unesco-listed town carved into bare limestone rock,...
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Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Trip pace
Balanced schedule


    • Baroque Lecce and crystal-clear sea in Salento
    • Trulli houses in Alberobello
    • Visit the unique Unesco town of Matera

What's this trip about?

    Puglia, known for whitewashed hill towns, traditional farmland, fine cuisine and a sweeping Mediterranean coastline, is the heel of Italy, and until recently, its best-kept secret. With a focus on art, architecture, traditions and local cuisine, this trip explores the highlights of the region. From Matera, a Unesco-listed town carved into bare limestone rock, where centuries-old caves are still inhabited, we travel to the elegant white city of Ostuni and on to the medieval coastal town of Otranto and baroque Lecce, known as the Florence of the South.Take a journey through the enchanting heel of Italy


Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeSmall Group - max of 18 people
Age range16 years and up
Flights and transportN/A
Start CityMatera
End CityLecce

Travel Themes

  • Culinary & Wine
  • Cultural


  • Europe
  • Italy


  • Alberobello
  • Lecce
  • Matera
  • Ostuni
  • Puglia


  • Culture

Trip includes

    • All breakfasts, 1 lunch/cookery class, 1 wine tasting
    • All accommodation
    • Tour leader throughout
    • Group arrival and departure transfers available

Popular Trips


Travel Map

Day 1 Start Matera

Our tour starts in Matera, one of the most unusual and memorable tourist destinations in Italy, home to extensive cave-dwelling districts, known as the Sassi District. Our hotel is in the heart of the district, a Unesco World Heritage site, and offers a terrace with p...

Day 2 Full day of sightseeing in Matera, including a tour of the Sassi District; overnight in Matera

We start our week with a full day in one of the most interesting, distinctive and memorable tourist destinations in Italy: Matera. On a hill, overlooking an impressive canyon in the neighbouring region of Basilicata, Matera has only recently gained the deserved spotli...

Day 3 Drive to Alberobello via the fishing town of Polignano a Mare; sightseeing and overnight in traditional ‘trullo’

In the morning, we take a private transfer to Alberobello, stopping en route at the village of Polignano a Mare, which is on the edge of a craggy ravine. We stroll along the whitewashed streets and enjoy superb views of the Adriatic Sea and coastline from a panoramic ...

Day 4 Free day. Visit the Castellana Caves or Monopoli by the Adriatic Sea

Today is free to choose among several local activities. You may choose to take a day trip to the scenic port town of Monopoli or visit the Castellana Caves, the most important and biggest cave system in Italy. At the entrance of the Itria Valley, these caves began to ...

Day 5 Explore the hilltop town of Ostuni; olive oil tasting and pasta-making demonstration in traditional 'masseria'

In the morning, we take a private transfer to the white city of Ostuni. On the way, we visit an ancient masseria (traditional Apulian farm) where we enjoy an olive oil tasting. For lunch, we visit another typical masseria surrounded by olive trees, some of which are m...

Day 6 Transfer to Otranto; visit the historic centre; afternoon optional coastal walk or relax at the beach (seasonal); transfer to Lecce

Today, we transfer to pretty Otranto, the easternmost town in Italy. We spend the day exploring the pretty architecture, views, seafront restaurants and white sandy beaches of the medieval centre. We also visit the Romanesque cathedral, dating to 1088 and with extensi...

Day 7 Morning free time; afternoon guided tour of baroque Lecce

In the morning, we have free time to enjoy shopping opportunities or visit well-known monuments such as the Roman amphitheatre. We then enjoy a guided visit to Lecce in the afternoon, arguably one of the most distinctive baroque cities in Europe. Most of the buildings...

Day 8 End Lecce

The tour ends in Lecce after breakfast. If you wish to spend longer in this endlessly fascinating city, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay. Otherwise, begin your return journey home.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $2,545
Price per day$318
Last Updated: 4/12/2024
Start Date
Finish Date
Double Standard
18 May 2024
25 May 2024
01 Jun 2024
08 Jun 2024
4 spots left
15 Jun 2024
22 Jun 2024
8 spots left
06 Jul 2024
13 Jul 2024
8 spots left
31 Aug 2024
07 Sep 2024
8 spots left
07 Sep 2024
14 Sep 2024
4 spots left
14 Sep 2024
21 Sep 2024
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28 Sep 2024
05 Oct 2024
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05 Oct 2024
12 Oct 2024
8 spots left
12 Oct 2024
19 Oct 2024
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Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Exodus Travels.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Exodus Travels Reviews & Ratings

4.7/5  Excellent


Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Outstanding Italy Trip

Great combination of sightseeing, excursions, walking and activities in Puglia. Trullo hotel in Alberobello was lovely; Matera was fascinating - luxurious cave-dwe...



Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Very enjoyable

A great week of cycling in a mix of road, old tracks, villages and town. An opportunity to swim in the Ionian Sea and Adriatic. Great real local food. Usual high s...



Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Been to Italy? Now visit Puglia

Like many people we meet we did not know Puglia existed until we saw this trip. A gem of a region, very different and so suited to a short leisurely summer trip wh...



Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Puglia: Discover Heel of Italy

excellent itinerary in covering Puglia in terms of scenery, landscapes, seascapes, distinctive landmarks in towns as covered, participating in or sharing local ex...



Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Highlights of puglia

Excellent trip Visiting e olive oil farm Excellent could have been more helpful

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Tour Operator

Exodus Travels

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It is all about adventure. That is what Exodus was founded upon and what the company is still all about. Discovering countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles; exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, we know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, we always remember that we are only guests. So we travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise our impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.

This is a philosophy we take with us around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across over 90 separate countries. We also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as we possibly can, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

Exodus started life on 4 February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments.

All our office staff have a passion for travel and adventure, and between us we’ve notched up experience that spans 171 different countries. That’s not all. In their former lives, our team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – so no-one is better placed to create tours that appeal to a wide range of specialist interests.

Their care in putting all the details in place really shines through too. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are a sign of our commitment to providing a holiday where your enjoyment, value for money and safety come first. It’s a telling reason why we remain one of the leading worldwide adventure tour companies. It is no exaggeration to say that our tour leaders can make a world of difference to the enjoyment of your holiday – so we choose them carefully. The result is that, in 2013, 93% of our clients stated that their leader exceeded their expectations. Where possible, we train and employ local leaders because they can provide invaluable insights that enrich the trip. What’s more, this investment in local staff really helps us benefit both them and their community.

Why we love this operator
With a huge range of trip styles and themes, they cater to basically every type of traveler out there- even those with super specific interests.
What they’re known for
Global trips to both classic and exotic destinations with a focus on themed adventures, exciting physical activities and discovery of local culture.

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What's excluded

    • Travel insurance
    • Single accommodation
    • Visas or vaccinations
    • Local city taxes (approx. €15)


Travel by private bus and train Group normally 6 to 18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs 5 nights 3 and 4-star hotels and 2 nights traditional Trulli houses All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner/cookery class and wine and produce tasting included,We mostly stay in renovated traditional buildings, which give a real taste of classic Apulian architecture. We spend two nights in a comfortable three-star hotel in the historic centre of Matera, two nights in authentic trulli houses (dry-stone dwellings) in Alberobello, one night in a four-star hotel in Ostuni, and two nights in a modern hotel near the historic centre of Lecce. Below are the hotels normally used: Matera: Hotel Sassi or Le Dodici Lune (nights 1-2) Opened in 1996, Hotel Sassi (above) took over a series of dwellings, some of which date to the 1500s. There’s an Italian spread for breakfast (most of the produce locally sourced) and wonderful views of Matera from the terrace. Alternatively, we stay in Le Dodici Lune, where 10 rooms are carved into the old city walls. Right in the Sassi district, it’s an excellent place to stay if you want to explore. Alberobello: Trulli houses (nights 3-4) Trulli are the symbol of Alberobello (perhaps all of Puglia) so a chance to stay in one of these traditional dwellings is often a highlight for our travellers. They don’t offer the same type of facilities or luxuries as you’d get at a hotel but do offer an insight into these old Unesco-listed buildings. We have a trio of accommodations we use depending on availability, namely Trulli Holiday, Trulli e Puglia or Charming Trulli. Ostuni: Hotel La Terra (night 5) In the White City, we stay in Hotel La Terra. La Terra (above) takes over a 13th-century building in the historic centre. This unique property offers a bar and restaurant on site but is also close to all of the sights that Ostuni has to offer. Lecce: Eos Hotel (nights 6-7) Our final two nights are spent at this contemporary 30-room hotel. It has a bar for a pre-dinner drink or final night toast and the main Lecce highlights (plus some excellent bars and restaurants) are around a 20-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride away.
Cancellation policy

The cancellation policies of this trip when booked through Travelstride are determined by the stated policies of the tour operator - Exodus Travels.

If you or any other member of your party decides to cancel a confirmed booking you must notify Travelstride in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only take effect when it is received in writing by Travelstride and will be effective from the date on which we receive it.

If You Cancel Your Holiday
You, or any member of your party, may cancel your travel arrangements at any time. Written notification from the lead name or your travel agent must be received at our offices. 

Since we incur costs in canceling your travel arrangements, you will have to pay cancellation charges as follows (see also the exceptions below): 

  • More than 42 days - No cancellation fee. Deposit can be transferred to a new booking departing within 2 years of date of travel of original booking. Any remaining balance will be refundedThis excludes all non-refundable costs as set out in clause 4 above (for example international and domestic flights and local services).
  • Between 41 and 21 days (inclusive) - No cancellation fee. Balance and deposit can be transferred to a new booking departing within 2 years of date of travel of original bookingThis excludes all non-refundable costs as further explained in clause 4 above (for example international and domestic flights and local services).
  • Between 20 and 15 days (inclusive) - 80% of the holiday cost
  • 14 days or less; or failure to join the holiday (inclusive) - 100% of the holiday cost

Certain trips may involve different cancellation charges; you will be advised if this is applicable to your holiday during the booking process.For Polar holidays, the following cancellation charges will be made for all Polar holidays. Period before departure in which you notify us: 

Cancelation charge

  • More than 133 days - Deposit only
  • 133 days or less (or failure to join the holiday) (inclusive) - 100% of the holiday cost

Notes (i) Your deposit is non-refundable, even if the cancellation charge calculated is lower than the deposit amount paid; (ii) If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges; (iii) certain travel arrangements may be subject to higher cancellation charges and could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements from the moment the booking is confirmed.

If You Change Your Booking

If, after our Booking Confirmation has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example your chosen departure date or accommodation, we will do our utmost to make these changes but it may not always be possible. Any request for changes to be made must be in writing from the lead name or your travel agent. You will be asked to pay an administration charge of $60, and any further cost we incur in making this alteration (including those charged by third party suppliers who provide the component parts of your booking).  You should be aware that these costs could increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible. Note: Certain travel arrangements may not be changeable after a reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.

You can transfer your booking to another person, who satisfies all the conditions that apply to this booking, by giving us notice in writing at least 7 days before departure provided that the new lead passenger accepts the transfer and these Terms and Conditions. Both you and the new traveler are responsible for paying all costs we incur in making the transfer. Please bear in mind that certain airlines and other transport providers treat changes as a cancellation and charge accordingly, up to 100% of the cost for that part of the arrangement. Where applicable these charges will be passed on to you.

If We Cancel Your Booking

Exodus reserves the right to cancel an itinerary before departure for any reason whatsoever, including too few participants ,logistical problems, a Force Majeure Event (as defined in Section 8), or any other circumstances that may make operation of the trip inadvisable. All trip payments received will be promptly refunded, and this refund will be the limit of Exodus’s liability without any further obligation on Exodus’s part. Exodus is not responsible for any expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the trip, including non-refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees, or other trip-related expenses.

If We Change Your Booking

  1. Changes to the price. We can change your holiday price after you’ve booked, only in certain circumstances. Changes in the price of the carriage of passengers resulting from changes to the cost of fuel or other power sources, the level of taxes or fees imposed by third parties including tourist taxes, landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports, or exchange rates mean that the price of your travel arrangements may change after you have booked.

  2. Changes other than the price. It is a term of your booking that we are able to make changes to any aspect of your booking. If the change is insignificant, we will ensure that you are notified about it. Examples of insignificant changes include alteration of your accommodation to another of the same or higher standard. If we are forced by circumstances beyond our control to alter significantly any of the main characteristics of the travel services that make up your package you will have the rights set out below.

    2.1 - We will contact you and you will have the choice of accepting the change or having a refund of all monies paid. You can also accept an alternative holiday, where we offer one (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). We will tell you the procedure for making your choice. Please read any notification of changes carefully and respond promptly as if you do not respond to us within the timescale given your booking may be canceled.

    2.2 - If you choose to accept a refund then that is the only liability we have and we will not be liable for any further sums, compensation or otherwise and you are advised to adequately insure yourselves against cancellation for any reason

Please note that insurance premiums and amendments charges are not refundable in any circumstances. 

Once you have put down a deposit for a tour, you are unable to cancel and re-book within a promotional period and we reserve the right to amend the pricing on any new booking you make within that time. If you cancel a tour and book the same tour under a promotional code, we reserve the right to decline the booking.

Important Note: Certain arrangements may not be amended after they have been confirmed and any alteration or cancellation could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements in addition to the charge above.

If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.

Where possible, we will deduct the cancellation charge(s) from any monies you have already paid to us.

For more additional details, see the booking conditions of TruTravels at the following web address: https://www.exodustravels.com/us/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions.

Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance alongside your travel package to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances such as medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other contingencies. It offers you peace of mind and ensures you are prepared for unexpected events that may occur before or during your journey
Visa requirements
Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin and your country of destination. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the relevant requirements. For a handy tool that can help you quickly find the requirements, please visit this link .
Meals Included
All breakfasts, one lunch/cookery class and one wine tasting A selection of food on offer includes: bread from the Murge; durum wheat pasta; olives; the pasta delicacy orecchiette, which is served with a sauce of turnip-tops or fresh tomato and sheep’s ricotta-cheese; cavatelli with pulses; aubergine (eggplant) and parmesan bake; grilled fish and seafood; burrata (soft mozzarella and cream cheese); plus excellent wines. This region is a food lover’s paradise and the abundance of delicious vegetables makes it a perfect destination for vegetarians. On this trip, there will be many opportunities to taste local specialties, in particular during the produce and wine tasting, cookery class and the traditional lunches included in the itinerary.
Age Requirements
16 years and up
Additional Information
Seven nights in three- and four-star hotels Group normally 6 to 18, plus leader. Minimum age: 16 Travel by air-conditioned private minibus Option to travel by train to your adventure
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