Apulia is rightly renowned for its ability to provide magical summer moments. But is this all there is to Apulia? In reality, in addition to its splendid maritime scenery, Apulia is a land rich in traditions, fragrances and ancient testimonies that are just waiting to be discovered by those who know how to go beyond its best-known wonders.
Group departures: 16th September 2023 | 14th October 2023
Beyond the splendid maritime scenery Apulia is a land rich in traditions, fragrances, and ancient testimonies. This journey will guide you through some of these treasures, starting from the largest european protected area of Margherita Saltpans Nature Reserve to the National Park of Gargano. The cultural history of the territory is scattered all over the region, among tangible heritage and intangible traditions, knowledge, culture. We will try our hand at a cooking class of fresh pasta and a tasting od organic oil produced in the area.
Apulia is also home of some of the most beautiful villages of Italy, such as Bovino, Peschici, Lucera, Vico del Gargano.
Arrival in Puglia, at Bari International Airport, and transfer to Barletta. According to flight schedule, possible free time in Barletta to explore the city centre. Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast and check-out and visit to the Margherita Saltpans Nature Reserve, the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world, a regional protected area. We will aslo discover the history of the village including the Turkish tower, the Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the Roman Port of Vitruvio.
After lunch we move to the Canne della Battaglia, which lies on the site of an ancient Daunian village. The Canne archaeological park contains precious finds from the Roman, early Christian and medieval periods (the park is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-7pm). Afterwards, transfer to Orsara, a small, authentic village in the Daunia region, with its historic centre and the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo. Accommodation at a characteristic B&B where, before dinner, we will try our hand at a Cooking Class of Fresh Pasta or a Tasting of organic olive oil produced locally. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, departure to Bovino, included in the list of “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (Most Beautiful Villages in Italy), where we can visit the Diocesan Museum with the Castle, the Civic Museum and the Cathedral. At lunch, visit to Lo Moleno dell’Acqua, a FAI Heritage Site (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano). It was built to defend the Cervaro River, a nineteenth-century work dating back to the Bourbon period, partly renovated and in perfect working order, it has been run by the Grasso family for over 100 years.
In the afternoon, the tour takes us to visit Troia, known for its famous Romanesque cathedral and beautiful historic centre. During the walk, we may taste a typical local cake, the Passionata, a sweet made of almond paste and sugar. After the visit, return to Orsara for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast, check-out and departure to Lucera. It is known for its Swabian-Angevin fortress and its Augustan amphitheatre, among the oldest in southern Italy, and has a well-preserved historic centre. Together with Brindisi, it was one of the cornerstones of the Roman presence in Apulia.
Early afternoon transfer to the Gargano, to Monte Sant’Angelo. We will visit the famous rock sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, the place where the Saint first appeared in a cave in the 5th century, and the place where the cult of St. Michael started all over the world: the site has been designated by National Geographic as the eighth most beautiful cave in the world. We will also visit the Complex of San Pietro with the beautiful Tomb of Rotari, the Norman-Swabian Castle, as well as the ancient and characteristic Rione Junno. In the evening accommodation in our hotel for the overnight.
After breakfast, transfer to the nearby Umbra Forest (Foresta Umbra), inside the Gargano National Park. Here, in an enchanting setting, we will make an excursion to the Visitor Centre, the beech forests and the Deer Reserve. Afterwards, transfer to Peschici. Free time to relax or enjoy the city on your own. Possible half-day boat tour along the coast (price upon request and availability). In the evening, accommodation in a typical B&B in the historic centre, dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast we will leave for a wonderful excursion to the Tremiti Islands. A whole day in this paradise, between nature and history (from June to September departures from Vieste, from October to May departures from Termoli). Morning dedicated to the visit of the historic Island of San Nicola, where we will be able to appreciate the Castello dei Badiali, which surrounds the Sanctuary of Santa Maria a Mare: it was built at the behest of Charles of Anjou to protect the island and the Monastery from attack. Afterwards, transfer to the island of San Domino. In the afternoon, some free time to enjoy the island or take a bath. In the evening, return to our hotel, dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel, then we start the visit of Peschici, which stands on a cliff in a splendid position overlooking the sea. Peschici still retains the influence of its Moorish origins, a reminder of Arab dominations and incursions, with caves carved into the rock and old white houses with domed roofs.The historic centre is full of evocative views. Afterwards, transfer to Vico del Gargano. One of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia”, Vico stands on a hill between the sea and the Umbra Forest. Among the alleyways of its historic centre, we will visit the Trappeto Maratea Museum, an olive press dating back to the 14th century, very important for understanding the local rural culture. In the afternoon, transfer to Vieste and visit the historic centre, a maze of extremely characteristic white alleyways. At sunset, a unique experience awaits us: we will visit an original Trabucco, learn about its history and try our hand at real fishing, as well as enjoy a typical local aperitif on the Trabucco.
In the evening, transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Last day, breakfast and transfer to Bari Airport according to the flights.
Time permitting, we will still have time to admire something in the morning: Siponto, near Manfredonia, for a visit to the Archaeological Park with the amazing Palochristian Basilica, partly reconstructed with steel cables by the artist Edoardo Tresoldi (access from Wed to Sun from 12.30 to 21.00, free). Nearby we will see the beautiful Oasi laguna del Re (King’s Lagoon Oasis), where it is possible to take an interesting excursion.
From March to October, see scheduled departures.
More departures upon request and availability.
On request – quotations from 2 to 12 pax.
For further information on the price or a tailor-made quotation please contact us at email@example.com.
Along the coast and in the flat areas weather is generally hot, windy and dry summers and mild winters. Rainfall is generally scarce. Summer temperatures have peaks of 40 degrees and in winter the lows can reach -2 degrees.
The quote includes 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners, 1 lunch, 1 aperitif.
We travel by minibus or bus according to the size of the group.
For logistics or technical reasons, the itinerary can be run with some amendments on the sequence of the visits and excursions.
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