Day 1 – Palermo arrival and transfer to the hotel
Upon arrival at Palermo airport you will be met by your private English-speaking driver for a transfer to the gorgeous Hotel Rocco Forte Verdura Resort 5*****L near Agrigento . Check-in and enjoy the rest of the day to relax . We have booked 1 Double de luxe room sea view . Spread over 230 hectares overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this sumptuous golf resort is 15 km from the Enchanted Castle, an evocative open-air museum full of mystery and charm. The sophisticated rooms and suites have a terrace or balcony overlooking the sea and golf courses. All have free WiFi, designer toiletries, flat-screen TVs and minibars. As for the suites the breakfast service is included in the price; one suite features a private swimming pool. The property offers, in addition to 3 golf courses, 4 restaurants, 5 bars, 6 tennis courts and an outdoor infinity pool. There is also a fine spa offering treatments, saunas, 5 swimming pools and a gym. The property also offers guests a private beach.
Day 2 – Selinunte & Planeta Ulmo Winery - Full day – 7/8 hours
After breakfast meet your private English-speaking driver for a day tour to Planeta Ulmo Winery & Selinunte. First you will be taken to Sambuca di Sicilia to visit The Planeta Ulmo Winery, surrounded by vineyards and a native olive tree grove. You will tour the production facility, visit the aging-cellar and have a tasting of four different wines paired with a local lunch. Transfer to visit the Archeological Park of Selinunte, on the southwest coast of Sicily. It is one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. Selinunte has been abandoned for over 2,000 years, its numerous temples, Acropolis and agora are left in dignified ruins. Discover the incredible history going back to the Greek period. End of tour and transfer back to your hotel. Time at leisure at the resort.
Day 3 – Valley of the Temples & Kolymbetra garden with picnic lunch - Full day – 10 hours approx.
After breakfast and check out meet your private English-speaking driver and transfer from the Rocco Forte Verdura Resort to the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina with stop along the way to visit Agrigento. Agrigento was one of the greatest cities of the ancient Mediterranean. Its supremacy is demonstrated by the remains of the magnificent Doric temples, much of which still lies intact and preserved in an exceptionally good condition. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997. Private tour of the magnificent “Valley of the Temples” a place where time seems to have stood still. The Valley includes remains of seven temples, all in Doric style. You will visit Temples of Juno, Concord, Castor and Pollux and Vulcano and The Necropolis. Reach the Kolymbetra Garden a wonderful Mediterranean botanical Garden that was an old Greek water reservoir. Originally, this garden had an exquisite artificial lake, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. It was not only used as a water reserve for the city, but also a place for people to sit and contemplate. Today, the Kolymbetra Garden, represents an enchanting concentration of the ancient agricultural and natural landscapes of Southern Sicily. For lunch you will enjoy a unique experience in an unexpected location, surrounded by colors, flavors and scents of Sicily, where we will set up an amazing picnic. You will taste arancini, the famous local deep fried rice balls, cheese paired with home-made marmalade, olives and extra virgin olive oil, street food such as Sfincione Siciliano, panelle and “pani cunzatu” with oregano, olive oil and caciocavallo cheese… A different way to enjoy so many Sicilian specialties and taste fine wines in a little corner of paradise amongst the Greek temples. Transfer to your hotel in Taormina Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo 5*****. We have booked 1 Double superior room with balcony sea view . Check in and time to enjoy the town at leisure.
Day 4 – Taormina - Catania/Brindisi
Breakfast and check out from the hotel and private transfer to Catania airport for departure to Brindisi where, upon arrival, you will be greeted by your private English-speaking assistant and driver for a direct transfer to your hotel in the South of Apulia, Palazzo Ducale Venturi 5*****L. We have booked 1 Ducale Suite. Check-in and the rest of the day to relax. Set in Minervino di Lecce, 36 km from Lecce, Palazzo Ducale Venturi - Luxury Relais & Wellness features a seasonal outdoor pool, water sports facilities and an indoor pool open all year round. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. You will find a kettle in the room. The rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a bidet. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes and slippers.There is a 24-hour front desk at the property.The property features 2 traditional ovens and arranges baking classes. The hotel also offers free use of bicycles. Gallipoli is 38 km from Palazzo Ducale Venturi - Luxury Relais & Wellness, while Otranto is 9 km away. The nearest airport is Brindisi.
Day 5 – Full day tour exploring Lecce
After breakfast meet your private English-speaking driver at your hotel. First you will reach the baroque city of Lecce and discover ‘Florence of Southern Italy’. You will discover a city that since the Renaissance is literally filled with art. It is the religious fervor of the counter reformation to transform the face of Lecce, the seat of the most powerful religious orders who engage generations of stonemasons for centuries to glorify themselves and the Church, triumphant through redundant architecture and excessive authentic ephemeral glory. You will meet your private English-speaking guide for a walking tour of the city center. You will stop for a coffee tasting with almond milk and the typical “pasticciotto leccese”. The Apulia region is one of the most famous when it comes to food and if you’re in Lecce you can’t miss a taste of this well-known small cake made of pastry and creamy custard, joy to the palate. Nobody knows exactly who invented the ‘pasticciotto’ but it seems to be the single-dose version of the traditional cake from Lecce made with pastry and cream and the one made with pastry and ricotta cheese; it’s definitely a typical product from Lecce and the Salento area of Apulia and you can find it everywhere in this area. After the tasting you will stop at an artisans work shop where they will explain and show the different phases of the production of unique masterpieces which are still carried out according to the ancient tradition handed down from generations. You will be part of a special hands on papier-mâchè lesson and after which you will be able to take back home with you an object totally created you! After the workshop you will enjoy lunch at the gourmet restaurant of Hotel Risorgimento *****L. After lunch transfer back to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 6 – Minervino di Lecce (Lecce) – Free day
Breakfast at the hotel and free day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities of the Relais. The Relais is in a strategic position, in an easy distance from all the pearls of Salento, and their beautiful beaches. It is only 10 km from Santa Cesarea, 7 km to Porto Badisco, 9 km to Otranto.
Day 7 – Full day excursion to Gallipoli and lunch at an old wine estate
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your private driver for an excursion exploring the Salento. You will reach Gallipoli and visit the old town together with your private English-speaking guide. The old town, surrounded by the remains of its strong 14th-century walls is the best place to linger. It’s punctuated by several baroque chapels, a traditional fishing port, a windswept sea drive, and narrow lanes barely wide enough to accommodate a Fiat cinquecento (500). After the visit you will reach an old wine estate dating back to 1489, where you will enjoy your lunch and taste the traditional apulian dishes and well known D.O.C. wines. In the afternoon transfer back to the Relais and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 8 - Minervino di Lecce/Oil tasting and Burrata experience/Borgo Egnazia
After breakfast and check out meet your private English-speaking driver at your hotel. Stop-over during the journey for an oil tasting experience and lunch at a traditional Masseria, near Fasano. You will find a place rich with history and fascination in which ancient farming is united with authentic hospitality. Battlements, dry stone walls, olive groves and the azure blue sea will make you to fall in love with this unique estate. Here it will be possible to discover the superior class production of their authentic extra virgin olive oil . After which you will transfer to a traditional cheese farm for your delicous burrata experience. After lunch meet up with your private driver for a transfer to your luxury Resort: Borgo Egnazia 5 ***** . Check in and the rest of the day will be at leisure. Featuring traditional architecture from Puglia and a panoramic setting in the Mediterranean vegetation, Borgo Egnazia Hotel offers 4 swimming pools and a spa center. It overlooks San Domenico Golf Club. The luxurious rooms are decorated with soothing shades of white. They all have a private balcony facing the hills, the sea, or the golf course. Flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi are also available. The elegant bathrooms are in stone.The Borgo Egnazia resort is surrounded by large Arab-style gardens and dry-stone walls. It includes 3 on-site tennis courts and a private beach club in Savelletri, one kilometer away. Mediterranean cuisine can be enjoyed on the outdoor sea-view terrace, or under traditional vaulted ceilings in white stone. Drinks and cocktails are served by the beach or in a stylish indoor bar.
Day 9 – Borgo Egnazia/ Alberobello/Grotte di Castellana– Full day excursion with lunch
Breakfast at the hotel. Then meet your private English-speaking driver in the hotel lobby for a transfer to Alberobello to meet up with your private guide. On this walking tour you will discover the origins and features of the Trulli , the unusual cone shaped houses that were built centuries ago in this valley and cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. You will visit the residential district of Aia Piccola, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the heart of the city . Here you will find Trulli of different sizes in various shades of light gray and will be able to get a closer look at the stone construction of these houses. You will discover when and why the trulli were first built and how they have become the unique symbol of the Itria Valley. Lunch will be at a traditional restaurant in Alberobello where you will sample some typical local dishes from the Apulia region. Lunch and transfer to Castellana, for a visit to one of the most important attractions in Puglia , a completely priceless natural heritage to Italy. The Castellana Caves that began to take form 90 million years ago. The beautiful caves are the magical expression of nature’s tireless work over millions of years. In this natural phenomenon, you will see spectacular spires, reminiscent of Gothic cathedrals, as well as mythical animals and ancient trees. The guided tour focuses on one of the most complex and spectacular underground kast cave systems in Italy only discovered less than a century ago. After the visit, transfer back to your Resort and the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 10 – Borgo Egnazia – Free day
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a free day at leisure to relax at the beach or wallow in the many services and facilities this luxury resort offers such as: a championship golf course, two glamorous beach clubs, a stunning spa and four swimming pools including a heated indoor pool, two at the main building – La Corte – plus a family-friendly pool. A sandy beach is just a short ride away via the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service, or if you prefer, there is also a rocky beach nearby to enjoy. The gourmet restaurants are very popular. The spa offers various different options.
Day 11 – Borgo Egnazia - departure
After breakfast and check out from your hotel meet your private driver for a direct transfer to Bari Airport.