Southern Italy was also called 'Magna Graecia', 'Great Greece', in ancient times. Starting in 750 BC, the Greek colonised the mainland coast and the islands around it. Later the rule of the region fell into Roman hands, and even later numerous other rulers followed, whose traces can still be found today in this fascinating region.
This experience trip combines the best of what Southern Italy has to offer: Pompeii - the buried city - with a wealth of culture and history, Puglia with its unique cone-shaped 'trulli' and its baroque towns, the unspoilt Basilicata with the cave dwellings of Matera, protected by UNESCO, and Campania with its impressive temples and its unspoilt coastlines.
DAY 1 : Departure to Naples
Your trip starts at the airport where you will eagerly await your flight to Naples. There, you will pick up your rental car and drive to one of our top locations near Sorrento.
DAY 2 : Pompeii and Ercolano
You'll visit the excavations of two cities that was completely buried when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, but where life is still palpable. Caractère will arrange for you to be accompanied by a local guide so you can learn all about how life used to be here.
DAY 3 : Capri
From Sorrento, you will take the ferry to Capri. A short boat ride with infinite views will take you to this beautiful island. Take the cable lift to the top and get lost in the cosy streets or explore the island by boat.
DAY 4 : Vesuvius
Strap on some sturdy walking shoes and get ready for a tough ascent. At the top of the historic dormant volcano, you'll discover the impact of centuries-old eruptions at the top. On a clear day, the views here are breathtaking. Afterwards, relax by the hotel pool or get lost in Sorrento's quaint streets.
DAY 5: Sorrento - Maratea
During your drive to Basilicata's pristine coast, you'll pass the Amalfi Coast and the hills of Capaccio. Take a break and visit the beautifully preserved Greek temples of Paestum.
DAY 6: Maratea and Rivello
Today, you'll enjoy the beautiful town of Maratea and its beach. Or you can drive about 30 kilometres north to the high-altitude medieval village of Rivello, from where you can enjoy stunning views over the Tyrrhenian Sea.
DAY 7 and 8: Maratea - Matera
You'll leave Maratea behind you and travel on to Matera, Basilicata. Here you'll spend the night in the heart of the 'sassi' where you'll find ancient cave dwellings protected by UNESCO. Also make sure to explore the 'Sasso Barisano' and the 'Sasso Caveoso' with their dozens of cave churches.
DAY 9 : Puglia
You will swap the "Sassi" for the "Trulli" as you drive on to Puglia. You'll stay in the northern part to explore the whole region from here. You can also choose to split up your last nights. You can spend a few days in the north and a few days in the region around Otranto.
DAY 10: Locorotondo / Alberobello
A fun fact about Locorotondo is that this town is the only one in the Guinness Book of Records, as there is no single other town rocking five O's in its name. Other than that, this is just a very cosy and typical village with excellent restaurants. Alberobello, in turn, is home to the largest number of Trulli in the region, but it can get very crowded here during the high season.
DAY 11 : Caves of Castellana / Polignano a Mare
Visit the magnificent Castellana caves, which constitute the most famous speleological site in all of Italy. Another well-known location in Puglia is Polignano a Mare, where the sea wildly slams against the cliffs. Yet this picturesque village always stands proudly, and rightly so. Explore this ancient town and wander its streets. Are you looking for some adventure? Then you can go on a kayaking trip at sea here.
DAY 12 : Lecce - Otranto - Gallipoli
You will drive to the far south and visit the pinnacle of baroque in southern Italy, Lecce. Otranto with its cathedral featuring beautiful mosaic floors and Gallipoli, 'the Beautiful City', are also worth a visit.
DAY 13 : Return home
You will drive back to Naples airport where you will return your rental car. During your flight home, you will reminisce about all your wonderful travelling adventures.
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