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Group Travel Tour Operator for holidays to Puglia, Italy

‘Heel & Arch’ – Puglia and The Basilicata Adventure

  • Castell del Monte, Puglia, Italy

    Castell del Monte, Puglia, Italy
9 day tour
Prices on request

Discover Italy's beautiful south, exploring the best of the Puglia region

For those who looking to escape the touristic hot spots of Veneto, Tuscany and Campania, look no further than than the incredible region of Puglia (Apulia). This has to be one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in the Mediterranean. Discover the ancient remnants of bygone eras and relax in the tranquil bays the heel and arch of Italy.

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Lecce; “The Florence of the South”

The beautiful city of Lecce, is considered a must see in the region of Puglia. This graceful city has been cultivated over thousands of years and it is fair to say the Ancient Greeks left their mark on this city. Quintus Ennius, considered “the father of Roman Poetry”, was one who sought inspiration from Greek culture and transformed an empire from his native Lecce. To this day, in the Grecìa Salentina, a group of towns not far from Lecce, the griko dialect is still spoken. It is not surprising the greeks took such a shine to this region as it is truly fascinating. Nowadays, you find some upmarket boutiques, decent Pugliese restaurants but the main draw is the stunning architecture, so profound that it received its own name; Lecce Baroque (barocco Leccese). Many consider Lecce to be one of the hidden gems in Italy and has been named “The Florence of the South”, endearing as it is to describe the city’s beauty, it may be an injustice when describing the city’s uniqueness.

The Seaside resorts and spectacular scenery of Puglia

Puglia’s location on the southern tip of Italy on the Adriatic, lays way for some beautiful beaches, tranquil waters and wondrous hills. Otranto, a coastal town is home to beautiful picture-perfect blue waters and plenty of diving rocks. Nearby beaches include the popular Alimini Beach and the Baia dei Turchi. At the harbour, Torre Matta tower has sweeping sea views. Also, on a clear day, it is possible to over the Strait of Otranto to Albania.  Further up the coast past Lecce and Brindisi is the town of Polignano a Mare. Known for beaches like the white-pebble Lama Monachile, also known as Cala Porto. The town is perched atop a 20 metre-high limestone cliff above the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, Polignano a Mare offers breathtaking views of the beautiful Adriatic Sea and coastline.

Alberobello; Trulli a UNESCO sight to be seen

Alberobello a UNESCO World Heritage town is truly unlike anywhere else. It’s known for its Trulli, whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs. These are built from the limestone found in the area and are thought to have been built in the 14th Century. The buildings are now home to many different outlets includingg trullo bars and trullo shops. However it is in the Piazza del Popolo, high above the town, where the Belvedere Trulli lookout offers fabulous views across the tight streets and hundreds of Trulli buildings.

Matera; The Ancient city fit for a film

Matera, the jewel of Basilicata, is considered to be the world’s third-longest continuously inhabited human settlement. Attracted to the natural caves located in the limestone the first inhabitants are thought to have settled here as early as 7000 years ago. Structures of course, have been built on top of these ancient grounds, but the city has not lost its sense of spectacular history. It is clear to see why so many films portraying ancient life have been filmed here, including Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, the 2016 version of Ben-Hur as well as the not so ancient films of James Bond’s No Time to Die and Quantum of Solace.  However, Matera hasn’t always been the home of fabulous film sets. In the 1950’s Matera was considered the ‘Shame of Italy’ due to extreme poverty and the residents living in squalor conditions. The ancient city has since been revived and in 2019 the city was recognised as a European Capital of Culture.

With many cities, towns and stunning beaches waiting to be explored,  Puglia is a destination for everyone.


Dates throughout 2021

Suggested itinerary by air

Day 1

Depart the UK

On arrival at Bari Airport, transfer to your hotel in Lecce for 3 nights.

Day 2

Lecce Sightseeing

One of the most beautiful cities in Italy with many palaces, churches and the remains of a Roman amphitheatre.

Day 3


Otranto is located on the eastern tip of the ‘heel’, whose 15th century walls surround a pedestrianised historic centre. It is also a lovely seaside resort with a fishing harbour and promenade.

Day 4

Ostuni – Polignano a Mare

Ostuni is famous for its white painted houses, traditionally maintained by the local womenfolk. Continue to Polignano a Mare for the next 3 nights.

Day 5

Castel del Monte – Trani

Castel del Monte is one of Puglia’s most impressive fortresses with its eight towers built in a perfect circle. Continue towards Trani, where you can see the cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino.

Day 6

Le Murge – Martina Franca – Alberobello – Locorotondo

Le Murge is located on a plateau where you will see the typical white ‘trulli’ houses, with their conical-shaped roof. Martina Franca is a medieval town with many palaces. Return via Locorotondo, a town that takes the name from its circular shape.

Day 7


Caveoso Sasso are ancient troglodyte caves used as dwellings and churches. Pass by the Porta Empia with its breathtaking panorama. See ‘rock churches’ and a typically furnished Casa Grotta (cave house). Continue to Matera area for your final night.

Days 8

Return to the UK

Transfer to Bari Airport for the return flight to the UK.

We can provide a wide selection of 3 and 4 star hotels to suit your budget

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2021 dates Prices available on request
All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room and with one free place in a single room, based on a minimum 25 full fare paying passengers. Prices do not include UK coach hire or travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Smaller groups can be quoted for on request. Greatdays Holidays Limited is a member of ABTA (Y0380) which means you have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. Greatdays Holidays Limited has an ATOL licence (4279) and all of our air package tours are protected under this licence. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any monies you have paid to us for an advance booking. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this tour are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: Our website policy is to use only copyright free images or images which have been authorised to us for free use by the owner. If you consider an image to be unauthorised or to be your property, please contact us immediately and if invalid we will have the image removed. If your image requires crediting or is missing a copyright statement then we will be pleased to add this to the webpage, contact us at

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Greatdays Wholesale

Greatdays offer a trade only booking service for coach and tour operators or professional group travel organisers and we can provide single or multiple elements of a holiday.

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Greatdays Holidays

Greatdays are able to offer a complete tailor-made booking service for group travel organisers with the help of one of our friendly consultants to assist you through the booking process.

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