Holiday Search

Know your tour name?

Tour highlights

  • Strasbourg
  • Rome
  • Lecce
  • Otranto
  • Matera and the ‘Sassi’
  • Alberobello and the ‘Trulli'
  • Vieste
  • Gargano Peninsula boat cruise
  • Turin
  • Days 1-2 - Eurostar and First Class rail to Rome

    Eurostar

    We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar for Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we cross the city by coach, and join our onward rail service on a scenic route to Strasbourg, where we stay at the Hotel Mercure Strasbourg Gare Centrale. On Day 2 we continue our journey south to Italy, travelling via Basel to Rome. Our hotel is the 4-star Hotel Universo, located close to the railway station and Rome's historic centre.

    Day 1 - Eurostar meal, dinner
    Day 2 - Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 3 - Exploring Rome

    Rome's Colosseum

    On our guided tour of the ancient city of Rome we explore some of the many fantastic sights and monuments in this remarkable city. Rome's architecture charts the passage of time as clearly as anywhere in Europe; with wonderfully preserved monuments from the early Romans and buildings with distinctive medieval, Renaissance and Baroque features. We pass the incredible Colosseum, Italy's most famous classical sight, and the Roman Forum, the ancient power centre of Rome, as well as the Piazza Venezia and the vast St Peter's Square. This afternoon you are free to savour Rome's seductive beauty at leisure.

    Breakfast

  • Day 4 - First Class rail south to Puglia

    Puglia

    Leaving Rome, we travel across Italy by rail - a fantastic journey which takes us through Foggia and along the gorgeous Italian Adriatic coastline. We travel into Puglia, the 'heel' of Italy - a wonderful, rustic, rural region which has an incredibly undiscovered feel, even in the more developed areas. Puglia is known as the "wine cellar of Italy", where the railway lines run through the middle of vineyards and among the olive groves which produce more than half of Italy's olive oil. Almonds, figs, tomatoes and melons are all grown abundantly throughout Puglia. The region's rugged, bright white coastline is home to secluded, deserted beaches - landing points for 2,000 years of invasions by Greeks, Romans, Turks and Venetians. The relaxed, unhurried and easy going way of life, practiced by friendly locals, has an irresistible charm. You will soon find yourself drawn in to the fashion for long, lazy lunches and relaxing evening strolls, thanks to the appeal of the local atmosphere, climate and cuisine. During spring, this region of Italy enjoys a terrific warm and dry climate. Our destination is the town of Lecce in southern Puglia. Home to a quaint, compact Old Town and boasting elaborate Baroque architecture, Lecce has been dubbed 'the Florence of the South'. On arrival we transfer to the 4-star President Hotel Lecce. Our early afternoon arrival gives you time to explore at leisure - the narrow alleys of the city centre are ideal for exploring on foot.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 5 - Exploring Lecce

    Lecce

    This morning we enjoy a guided walking tour of Lecce, during which we see many fine examples of Baroque architecture and beautiful sandstone buildings. We visit the decorative Chiesa di Santa Croce, with its intricately carved rose window and grand, elaborate chandeliers, and the Piazza del Duomo, the main square dominated by the 70-metre high bell tower of Lecce's cathedral. In the afternoon you are free to continue exploring Lecce. You could find a peaceful place to relax in the shade at the city's delightful botanical gardens, or visit Lecce's Roman amphitheatre - an archaeological treasure excavated in 1938. The huge, circular arena, dating back to the 2nd century AD, would have seated several thousand spectators and provides a real insight into ancient Roman culture.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 6 - Otranto

    Otranto

    This morning we travel to Otranto, a town which lies at the most easterly point of the Italian mainland, whose 15th century walls surround a tightly packed, car-free historic centre. Otranto has long since expanded beyond its walls, creating a lovely, seaside resort with a small fishing harbour and palm tree lined promenade. We enjoy a guided tour of the walled town before continuing into the countryside to sample one of Puglia's most renowned products - olive oil. We take a tour of an olive mill, gaining an insight into how the famous oil - used all over the world - is created. Following the tour, we enjoy a tasting of authentic local produce.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 7 - Alberobello and Matera

    Matera

    Our full-day coach tour takes us to explore some of the region's most fascinating heritage destinations. We travel first to Matera, located in Basilicata. The town sits in a small canyon and is most famous for its 'Sassi' - ancient troglodyte caves used as dwellings and churches since the Palaeolithic era. Over the last decade many of the Sassi have been adapted into fantastic houses, hotels and restaurants. We have time to explore the caves and the town itself, where you will find a number of artisan craft shops. We continue to Alberobello, a charming town packed with as many as 1,400 'trulli' - peculiar cone-shaped houses built from stone. These unusual homes, which resemble large stone beehives, were originally built without any kind of mortar - quickly dismantled and easily rebuilt, allowing the occupiers to evade tax collectors when word spread of their imminent arrival. The countryside surrounding Alberobello is covered in thousands of trulli.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 8 - A day at leisure

    Lecce

    Today you are free to relax and enjoy Lecce at leisure. You can remain in Lecce, enjoying the hotel facilities and the fantastic atmosphere of the town. Alternatively, you could choose to visit one of the nearby resorts, such as the attractive seaside town of Gallipoli, which boasts a superb beach and fantastic shallow waters.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 9 - To Vieste

    Vieste

    We leave Lecce this morning, travelling in First Class along the picturesque Adriatic coastline and through Bari before we arrive in Foggia. From here we transfer by coach to the old town of Vieste, located on the Gargano Peninsula. This is the 'spur' on the heel of Italy, part of a large national park, brimming with pine forests and lined with long sandy beaches. One of Vieste's most recognisable features is the Pizzomunno; a large white limestone stack that stands proudly on the beach. We spend three nights at the 4-star Palace Hotel Vieste.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 10 - The Gargano Peninsula by boat

    Gargano Peninsula

    Our excursion today takes us along the fascinating Gargano Peninsula by boat - a fantastic opportunity to see this incredible stretch of coastline and national park from a different perspective. Our boat trip passes the many caves cut into the cliffs and the idyllic, secluded coves that feature regularly on the shoreline. We also see many of the picturesque villages that are perched on the cliff tops.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 11 - A day at leisure

    Peschici

    Today you have the chance to relax at the hotel or explore Vieste and its ancient city centre, set above and alongside the towering, sheer white cliffs. Alternatively, visit the small town of Peschici, where white-washed houses cling to the rocky headland at the end of the sweeping sandy bay. Here you could relax in a local café and admire the views or take a walk along the beach.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Days 12-13 - First Class rail and Eurostar to London

    Turin

    We travel by coach to Foggia and board the train, (First Class) via Milan to Turin, where we overnight. On Day 13 we travel by TGV to Paris and connect with the Eurostar to London.

    Day 12 - Breakfast, dinner
    Day 13 - Breakfast, Eurostar dinner
    These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday

  • Please note

    St Peter's Square, Rome Please note April 18 departure visits Rome over Easter weekend, with the chance to see the Pope at St Peter's Basilica.
Experience
  • Book with the UK’s leading rail holiday operator with over 30 years’ travel experience
  • Our Tour Managers and experienced local guides share their in-depth knowledge of each destination
  • Choose a fully escorted tour or speak to our experienced Travel Consultants about a tailor made holiday
Value
  • Our tours include rail travel, transfers, a Tour Manager, quality hotels and many meals
  • Enjoy a full programme of exciting excursions, guided tours and sightseeing
  • Every holiday covered by the exclusive Great Rail Journeys Price Promise
Service
  • Speak to a dedicated team of Tour Advisors based in our York offices
  • Flexibility to add UK rail, domestic flights, overnight hotels, upgrades and tour extensions
  • Our service has been recognised in The Telegraph Travel Awards and British Travel Awards
Fully Protected
  • Great Rail Journeys is a member of ABTA and AITO
  • All flight inclusive bookings are ATOL protected under license 3278
  • Online bookings are secured by Thawte and payments are processed using Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode technology
 
ABTA No. V2170
ATOL 3278
AITO
CLIA
Sustainable Tourism - 3 star
British Travel Awards 2013 - Best Overall Holiday Company by Train
The Telegraph Travel Award 2011
IIC
Opening Hours (EST)

Easter Monday

5:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Tuesday

3:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Wednesday

3:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Thursday

3:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Good Friday

5:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Saturday

4:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sunday

5:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Cookie Control

By continuing to browse our website you are consenting to the use of cookies

Full details of the cookies used on our website can be found in our Statement on Cookies.

More information