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Highlights of Puglia, the Amalfi Coast and Naples
7 days
Italy - Trip code PAN

Highlights of Puglia, the Amalfi Coast and Naples

This full on trip combines the fascinating Trullis and Sassis found in the Heel of Italy with Amalfi's stunning coastline and the nearby world famous archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. We'll travel by coach, but in true Explore spirit also by ferry, hydrofoil boat and local bus. This holiday will give you a great introduction to the sunny south of Italy. You'll eat pizza in one of Naples' most historical pizzerias, sample wine on our included tasting in Matera and burn off the calories on one of the best coastal walks in the world, the Walk of Gods.

Trip highlights

  • Matera's - Discover the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage listed ancient troglodyte 'Sassi' quarter
  • Alberobello and Locorotondo - Explore the beehive-shaped Trulli houses
  • Herculaneum and Pompeii - Guided tours of these incredible excavations of ancient Roman cities
  • Amalfi Coast - Enjoy the breathtaking views and picturesque towns
  • Food and Wine - Sample delicious local wines and regional specialities
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Full on
Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a-block full of new experiences as possible!
Group Size:
12 - 18
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Alberobello and stay in the iconic Trulli houses

Our trip begins in Alberobello, an area famous for its unusual Trulli round houses with their white washed dry stone walls and pointed 'witches hat' tiled roofs and this evening we'll be spending the night in these unique buildings. Trullis or Trullos as they're also known are either built singly or in groups of up to five which would have originally been occupied by a single family. After checking in and meeting the group, the evening is at leisure. Alberobello is a small town with a number of restaurants and shops and typically Italian bars can be found along the main street of Largo Martellotta.

Day 2 - Visit natural caves and a historical citadel en route to Taranto

This morning we discover more of the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Alberobello and the pretty neighbouring town of Locorotondo. Next we'll drive to Castellana Caves, one of the most amazing natural wonders in Puglia. We will take a guided tour to see the amazing array of stalactites, stalagmites and fossils that can be found in this underground grotto which started to form about 90 million years ago.

We then drive on to Ostuni to visit the beautiful hilltop citadel surrounded by its ancient city walls and with its white painted architecture and bright green and blue painted doors. The town's centrepiece is its cathedral in a late Gothic style. After time to wander through the maze of narrow streets filled with little restaurants and boutiques and soak up the atmosphere we drive on to Taranto where we spend the night. Located on the coast Taranto is known as the 'city of two seas' as it lies on a narrow strip of land between the Ionian Sea and the inner basin of Mar Piccolo. The city is famous for being home to the only colony ever founded by Sparta and in ancient times it would have been one of the largest cities in the world.

Day 3 - Stay in Matera's Sassi cave dwellings and enjoy a wine tasting

Before leaving Taranto we will go to visit the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon and also the National Archaeological Museum. The temple ruins are one of the few remaining examples of Taranto's Sparta past.

This afternoon we drive to Matera, which is just over the regional border in Basilicata. The town is impressively located on the side of a gorge eroded by the Gravina River and is famous for its ancient 'Sassi', a UNESCO World Heritage listed troglodyte quarter, which originates from the prehistoric era. After seeing some of the limestone churches built into caves, we head for our hotel located within these original Sassi cave dwellings.

In the evening we'll enjoy a tasting of Basilicata wines with dinner including local specialities. The menu for our meal will often be made with aubergines, peppers, pumpkin, salami and cheeses and followed by something sweet for dessert.

Day 4 - Ferry ride along the Amalfi Coast; chance to visit Ravello

This morning we leave the Heel of Italy and head for the beautiful Amalfi Coast. When we reach Salerno's Piazza Concordia we board a local ferry which will take us on a scenic trip down the coast to Amalfi where we stay for the next two nights.

Please note that your main luggage will remain on the coach when we board the ferry to Amalfi and it will continue by road to our hotel where you'll be reunited with it. If the ferry is cancelled for any reason then we will travel to Amalfi by coach instead.

On arrival in Amalfi we'll have an orientation tour by our Explore Leader. A great maritime power since the Byzantine era, Amalfi went on to reach its pinnacle during the Middle Ages, when it was an independent trading republic rivalling those of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. The beautiful 11th century Cathedral of Saint Andrea dominates the town - a magnificent combination of Romanesque and Saracen design, with an impressive set of bronze doors that hail from Constantinople. At the far end of the town lies the Valley of the Mills, a once important centre of Amalfi's paper industry, that today echoes with the ghosts of its past glories.

You'll also have the option of visiting nearby Ravello by public bus or to enjoy some free time in Amalfi to perhaps take a scenic walk or enjoy a delicious gelato. Ravello is a tranquil spot located high on a rocky promontory overlooking the azure waters off the coast. A glorious mix of Moorish flair and aristocratic excess, the town's captivating charms have attracted artists and writers to its enchanting streets for generations. Whilst here you might like to visit the beautiful Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, which offer great views over the coast.

Day 5 - Walk of Gods to Positano and hydrofoil boat trip back to Amalfi

We begin today by taking the public bus to Praiano where we begin the Walk of Gods to Positano, which is regarded as one of the greatest coastal walks in the world. The high cliff path contours west, with magnificent views of the Bay of Salerno and Capri. The trail passes under huge limestone cliffs and above picturesque stone farmhouses until it reaches the attractive village of Nocelle. From here, we descend down an ancient stairway, passing pretty flower gardens, into Positano. A poor fishing village until the 1950's, Positano has grown into a chic town that is still a favourite with Hollywood stars.

Today's moderately-graded walk will take approximately 5 hours and will cover a distance of 8 kilometres with a 650 metres descent. The walk today can be shorted and end in Montepertuso for anyone who doesn't want to do the steep final descent into Positano. Please note that there are a significant number of steps on this downhill descent. From here it's easy to take the public bus to Positano to catch up with those finishing the walk there.

Later this afternoon we will take the hydrofoil ferry boat back along the picturesque coastline from Positano to Amalfi.

Day 6 - See Pompeii and Herculaneum; walking tour of Naples

Our first stop today is at Pompeii for a guided walking tour to introduce us to this remarkably well-preserved example of a provincial Roman city. The town once housed 15,000 people and was an important commercial centre, as well as a favourite residence of wealthy Roman patricians. Of course, on one fateful day some 2,000 years ago, it all changed when the powerful eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius buried the city, preserving the town and its citizens in layers of ash and pumice. On our tour, we will see the extensive colonnaded forum with its Temple of Jupiter and the magnificently-decorated villas, such as that of the Vetii. Human casts of some of the victims trapped by the eruption give an emotive snapshot of this catastrophic event.

We drive next to the nearby ruins of Herculaneum at the foot of the western slopes of the volcano. Buried by the Vesuvius in the same eruption as Pompeii, the city was hermetically sealed under a thick layer of volcanic mud, which preserved a staggering amount of wooden furniture and other organic materials - even fruit. After our two hour guided tour, you'll have a further hour to explore before we continue to Naples.

On arrival in Naples we enjoy a walking tour with our Explore Leader of the city. Exploring the old city streets, open air markets and narrow alleyways provides a captivating insight into the city's beating heart, probably unchanged in essence for generations. In the evening we'll enjoy our final dinner at the famous pizzeria 'Ciro a Medina', which is one of the oldest in the city.

Day 7 - Trip ends in Naples

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Naples.

Why book this trip

This trip offers the perfect balance of culture, food and drink and walking along the beautiful Italian coastline. You'll get to stay in the remarkable Trulli and Sassi buildings, which are unique to the Heel of Italy.

What's included?

Transport
  • Bus
  • Ferry
  • Public Bus
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
  • Local Guide(s)

Trip information

Country information

Italy

Climate

April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Italian

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Amalfi - Paper Mill Museum entrance €3.50; public bus to Ravello €2.40 per way, Villa Cimbrone entrance €7.00; Villa Rufolo entrance €5.00

Clothing

July and August are the hottest months and lightweight cotton clothing is best. During spring and autumn temperatures can be lower or drop during the evenings and there is also a stronger possibility of rain. You'll need your swimming costume and light rainwear may be needed at any time of year. A warm fleece/jacket is recommended for cooler evenings and nights and layers for if you decide to climb Mount Vesuvius where the temperatures are lower.

Footwear

Comfortable walking shoes for exploring (historical sites can be uneven underfoot) and trainers or sandals for relaxing.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

A water bottle, sunhat and high factor sunscreen are all essential, and a torch is useful in case of power cuts or emergencies. Most importantly don't forget your camera.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly you should allow approximately €20.00 for gratuities for local staff.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Country Information

Italy

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£5.00 - 10.00
Dinner price
£15.00 - 20.00
Beer price
£2.00 - 4.00
Water price
£1.00 - 2.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
GBP.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
Major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Larger hotels and restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Only in major towns. Please note, the exchange rate for cash and Travellers Cheques is poor.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Ferry, Public Bus

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.


In Alberobello we'll be accommodated in original Trulli buildings and the group will be split between them, but they're only a short distance apart and are all of a similar size and standard. Each Trulli has its own bathroom, but this may be shared between two bedrooms within the same Trulli.

In Matera we will be accommodated in original Sassi cave buildings. At this unique hotel each of the rooms are different sizes and layouts and some are located within the caves themselves and others in the ancient entry buildings attached to the caves. They are all only a short distance apart and rooms are en suite. There are excellent views from the hotels terrace over the surrounding cave dwellings and Matera Cathedral.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Visas are not required by UK, E.U Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Included activities

This holiday is designed to acquaint you with the highlights of Heel of Italy with Amalfi in just 7 days. Most of our explorations within the towns and cities visited are done on foot and there is an included walking excursion as well, so please bring sensible footwear and be prepared for the busy nature and amount of walking involved in this enthralling holiday.

Non refundable permits

Italy

Vaccinations

Nothing required. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from

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