Five Best Tours of Puglia

by Chris Newens  |  Published December 17, 2022

Situated on the “boot” of the Italian peninsula, Puglia is the Mediterranean like it appears in dreams. Graced by olive groves, unspoilt medieval towns, hundreds of miles of sparkling coastline, and some of the best food anywhere in the world, this is the Italy that Italians go on holiday to. Let that sink in.

The whitewashed old town of Ostuni (Photo: Tourradar)

With so much to see, do, and taste, it should be no surprise to hear that there are hundreds of different tour companies offering a whole antipasto of ways to enjoy this little corner of paradise. So whether you’re a gastronome, nature-lover, or history buff, we’ve got you covered.

Discovery of Puglia
If you’re looking for the best overall introduction to this bewitching region, look no further than this eight day tour up and down the Puglia coast. Starting and ending in the port of Bari, along the way, you’ll explore the UNESCO heritage sites of Alberobello, Castel del Monte, and Matera, indulge in sumptuous quantities of local food and wine, and even spend a couple of nights in one of the traditional cylindrical “trullo” dwellings that so characterise this part of the world. And you’ll be taken around all this in private transportation by an award-winning local guide.

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Walking in Puglia and Matera
It’s safe to say that Italy offers more to see every square mile than just about any other country on Earth. There are few ways of appreciating this better than taking it slow, and walking through the landscape. Not a continuous hike, so much as a best of package, this trip takes you between the region’s highlights, then sets you off on manageable guided walks that allow you get up close and personal with those olive groves and teetering hill top towns. And what better way to appreciate the food, than spending days on foot, working up an appetite for your evening meal!

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San Pietro Caveoso in Matera (Photo: Tourradar)

Taste of Salento-Authentic Culinary Experience
To travel is to eat; and to travel to Puglia is to eat magnificently. Why not cut the other stuff and accept the real reason you’ve come to Italy: to feast like a king! Along with being personally directed to some of the very best restaurants in the region (read also: best in world), this seven day tour includes tastings of local wine, learning the art of olive oil production, and courses in trying your hand at pasta making yourself. Of course, you’ll probably also have to lap up some of Puglia’s culture and scenery on the way, which isn’t so bad either.

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Premium Puglia Tour
If luxury is the order of your day, then book into this premium offering from Intrepid Travel, which also has the added bonus of ending on Italy’s other coast, in the perpetually beguiling town of Naples – baroque in nearly all senses of the word. You’ll see how olive oil is made, you’ll be guided about some of the most beautiful towns ever built, you’ll sleep in comfort, you’ll never want to come home.

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Traditional trulli (Photo: Tourradar)

Cycle Puglia
Bringing you close to the elements, letting you see as much of the region as possible under your own steam, and with excellent route planning to negotiate Italy’s sometimes confusing road systems, this guided cycle trip lets you experience a sizable chunk of Puglia, ferrying you by private transport to the best cycling loops, and represents an excellent way to account for all those evening meals. Like your favourite level of Peleton, except you’re actually there.

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