Puglia from City to Coast with Matera

Discover Italy’s Deep South
 
Discover Baroque splendour, conical-roofed trulli houses, and ancient sassi dwellings on this immersive self-guided rail journey across some of southern Italy’s most iconic destinations, from Salento’s capital to the Itria Valley, and from the Adriatic coast to troglodyte Matera.
Puglia from City to Coast with Matera. 8 nights
Puglia from City to Coast with Matera. 8 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday by rail through Puglia & Basilicata

A gentle afternoon breeze sets the fishing boats of Trani’s elegant marina dancing, and – as the warm sun sets – Lecce’s Baroque extravaganza morphs from soft yellow to deep amber; the white walls of Locorotondo’s centro storico blind with their brilliance; and the bell tower of Matera’s cathedral burnishes gold above the ancient sassi dwellings.
These are the compelling faces of Italy’s deep south, where castles and cities pepper the endless coastline. Inland, vast plains braided by olive groves and vineyards give way to limestone ridges punctuated by hilltop towns.

Beginning in Lecce, known as ‘the Florence of the South’ due to its Baroque splendour, this leisurely exploration by train continues northwards to the circular hilltop town of Locorotondo in the Itria Valley. After exploring its labyrinthine alleyways, visit popular nearby Alberobello where some 1600 drystone trulli (circular houses topped with slate conical roofs) line narrow hillside streets. Journey onwards to the alluring coastal city of Trani with its famous castle, beautiful Duomo and bustling harbour front, before ending your journey in the enigma that is Matera. Staying in a sassi hotel, spend your time here exploring the maze of narrow streets that interconnect a beehive-like warren of cave dwellings, discovering remarkable rock churches, a unique history, and vibrant food scene.
 
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on almost any day of the week and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 13 13 15 18 23 27 30 30 27 22 17 14
    mm 81 65 73 43 32 22 16 31 57 87 90 82
  • Arrival in Lecce
    Night 1: at Palazzo Rollo or Suite Hotel Santa Chiara (the first of two nights in Lecce).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Lecce
    Set amid the red earth and scattered vineyards and olive groves of the Salento plains, Lecce’s rich and varied history is carved, as intricately as fine jewellery, into the amber-coloured stones of its monuments, earning it the sobriquet ‘the Florence of the South’. Infused with southern Italian exuberance, Lecce entices visitors into its maze of honey-stone streets and piazzas where characterful shops, bars and restaurants sit cheek by jowl with the extravagant Baroque finery of its palaces and churches. Our self-guided Lecce walking tour takes you to the city’s many highlights and reveals some of its lesser-known treasures.
    Tour Lecce's elegant streets
  • Lecce to Locorotondo: 3hrs by train
    The following day, board the relaxing, slow train to Locorotondo, meandering westwards through the Salento hinterland before turning north alongside the rich green Itria Valley dotted with the distinctive conical roofs of the region’s trulli. Arriving at Locorotondo, you spend two nights at either Dimora Graziana or Albergo Diffuso Sotto Le Cummerse. Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, with grandstand views over the Itria Valley, spend the afternoon and evening exploring Locorotondo’s charismatic centro storico, perhaps enjoying an aperitivo before dining in one of its many restaurants.
    Locorotondo
  • Explore Alberobello: 10-15mins by train
    Hop on one of the frequent local trains to nearby Alberobello, one of Italy’s most iconic villages and a UNESCO World Heritage Site where more than 1600 original, drystone trulli (singular trullo) tumble down the narrow streets of the hillside, most of them still occupied, either as private homes or tourist shops. Despite the prevalence of visitors, you can easily lose the crowds, and visit the fascinating Trullo Sovrano Museum to learn about how life used to be in a trullo. Return to Locorotondo for an afternoon relaxing in the town, perhaps tasting the local wine at a vineyard overlooking the Itria Valley.
    Trulli houses
  • Locorotondo to Trani: 1hr 40mins by train
    A taxi transfer takes you from the limestone ridge of Locorotondo into fertile lowland plains from where you catch the train to Trani on the Adriatic coast. Probably Puglia’s most elegant and stylish city, you spend your next two nights here, at Palazzo Filisio or Hotel Il Marè. On the harbour front, fishermen sell their daily catch to both locals and the restaurateurs whose tables and chairs line the back of the promenade and the narrow streets of the centro storico. Visit the city’s famous Swabian Castle and its magnificent cathedral and stroll the extensive Villa Comunale gardens with their noisy parakeets.
    Trani
  • Explore Barletta or Molfetta: 10 mins by train
    A journey of less than 10 minutes by train (pay locally) takes you further west along the coast to Barletta where you’ll find beautiful sandy beaches and several idiosyncrasies such as an Ancient Roman colossus – the largest bronze statue in the world. You can also visit the moated Barletta Castle, some fascinating excavations in the crypt of a church, and the tavern where, in 1503, a bar room insult escalated into a meeting on the battlefield. Alternatively (or additionally), equally close by train in the other direction is lovely Molfetta. Here, a pedestrianised walkway lined by boutiques leads to the walled centro antico of San Andrea, the harbourside Romanesque Duomo, and a long promenade flanking the bustling fishing harbour.
    Barletta Castle © Ryzhkov Aleksandr
  • Trani to Matera: 2hrs 30mins by train
    Taking the train to Bari and connecting onwards to the Basilicata region, you arrive at the incomparable town of Matera where you spend your final two nights in either the Sassi Hotel or Palazzo degli Abati. Set directly within the Sasso Baricano – one of the two ancient troglodyte areas of the town – your hotels open directly onto the maze of streets that permeate this UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Peruse restaurant menus along Via Fiorentini and perhaps enjoy an aperitif at one of the bars before selecting a restaurant for dinner.
    Explore Matera's maze of streets
  • Explore Matera
    One of the world’s oldest human settlements, the cave houses, or sassi, of Matera were once known as ‘Italy’s Shame’. Location of the opening sequence of the 2021 James Bond film, No Time To Die, today Matera is a thriving tourism centre. Using our detailed self-guided walking notes, immerse yourself in the sinuous streets that conceal innumerable hidden treasures including rock churches, a magnificent Duomo, quirky street art, and more compelling photo opportunities than you can capture.
    A rock church, Matera
 

Accommodation

Your varied accommodation ranges from a cave hotel to a centuries-old palace, and also includes characterful white-stone village houses and a boutique hotel.

In each location we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

With so much to see and do, there are plenty of reasons to add an extra night in Trani and/or Matera.
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 8 nights: 01 March 2024 - 30 November 2024 & 01 March 2025 - 30 November 2025

    Start any day except Friday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 14 Mar 2024 £995 £275
    15 - 27 Mar 2024 £1030 £285
    28 Mar - 30 Apr 2024 £1155 £330
    1 May - 26 Oct 2024 £1190 £330
    27 Oct - 22 Nov 2024 £1110 £335
    1 - 14 Mar 2025 £1035 £300
    15 - 27 Mar 2025 £1070 £295
    28 Mar - 30 Apr 2025 £1205 £345
    1 May - 26 Oct 2025 £1240 £345
    27 Oct - 22 Nov 2025 £1155 £345
    3rd & 4th person discount -£40
    Single traveller supplement £40

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Dimora Graziana , Locorotondo
    Suite: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2024 £20
    Suite: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2025 £21
    Hotel Il Maré , Trani
    Superior junior suite double with sea view: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2024 £27
    Superior junior suite double with sea view: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2025 £28
    Hotel Sassi, Matera
    Junior suite: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2024 £12
    Junior suite: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2025 £12
    Suite with terrace: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2024 £20
    Suite with terrace: 01 Mar - 30 Nov 2025 £21

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Il Maré , Trani (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 30 Nov 2024 £123 £145
    01 Mar - 30 Nov 2025 £130 £153
    Hotel Sassi, Matera (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 21 Mar 2024 £60 £100
    22 Mar - 03 Nov 2024 £70 £115
    04 Nov - 30 Nov 2024 £60 £100
    01 Mar - 21 Mar 2025 £62 £104
    22 Mar - 03 Nov 2025 £73 £120
    04 Nov - 30 Nov 2025 £62 £104
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Brindisi or Bari
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying into Rome. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bari Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Bari (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Edinburgh - Brindisi (via Milan Bergamo) Ryanair 
    Edingburgh - Bari (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bari (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Glasgow - Bari (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Bari Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Brindisi (via Zurich) Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Bari British Airways,  easyJet,  Wizz Air 
    Gatwick - Brindisi easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Bari (via Rome Fiumicino) Alitalia 
    Heathrow - Brindisi British Airways 
    Heathrow - Brindisi (via Milan Linate) Alitalia 
    Heathrow - Brindisi (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Heathrow - Brindisi (via Rome Fiumicino) Alitalia 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Bari Ryanair 
    Stansted - Brindisi Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Bari (via Brussels) Brussels Airlines 
    Manchester - Brindisi Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying into Rome. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Brindisi

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Brindisi airport to hotel (0h30) £38-£40 flexible
    bus Brindisi airport to Lecce (0h40) pay locally 1730
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    rail Matera Centrale to Brindisi airport (4h) £6 1300 Mon-Sat
    rail Matera Centrale to Brindisi airport (4h) £6 1630 (Sun)

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bari

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Bari airport to hotel (2h) £99-£103 flexible
    rail Bari Centrale to Lecce (1h20-1h55) £22-£23 1630
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    bus Matera to Bari airport (1h15) pay locally 1000
    rail Matera Centrale to Bari Centrale (1h45) £6 1100 Mon-Sat
    bus Matera Centrale to Bari Centrale (1h45) £6 1500 (Sun)
What is included
  • 8 nights
  • 8 breakfasts
  • rail travel Lecce-Locorotondo-Trani-Matera
  • taxi transfer Locorotondo-Fasano
  • detailed notes for every town/city featured
 
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FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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