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  • Amalfi Coast, Basilicata and Puglia Touring Holiday

    Views of the Amalfi Coast

    Hotel Santa Caterina

    Locanda della Donna Monache

    Masseria Torre Coccaro

    Fly-drive touring holiday of the Amalfi Coast, Basilicata and Puglia

    12 nights/13 days
    This fly-drive holiday is a leisurely exploration of the southern part of Italy, covering both the well-known beauty spots of the Amalfi Coast and the lesser-known, more southerly regions of Basilicata and the eastern coast of Puglia. This is a touring holiday of dramatic seascapes and beautiful interiors, both wild and cultivated, and is an ideal way to combine multiple regions and explore the south.

    Click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Your touring holiday starts by flying into Naples, where you collect a hire-car and make the short journey southwards to Amalfi. Your first stop is at the five-star Hotel Santa Caterina, which can be found perched on a cliff-edge on the breath-taking Amalfi coast. An early 19th-century building, interiors blend traditional and authentic features, with handmade floor tiles and antique furniture combined with comfortable furnishings. Best known for its dramatic coastal scenery, the Amalfi Coast is dotted with charming towns which are well worth visiting. After four nights in Amalfi, drive further southwards about two and a half hours into the Basilicata region. It is in the lovely coastal town of Maratea that you will find your second hotel, the Locanda delle Donne Monache. Basilicata is a historical region of outstanding natural beauty, with an unspoiled coastline of bays, coves and long sandy beaches. The interior is rugged and sparsely populated, allowing visitors to discover an authentic and ancient part of southern Italy. After spending four nights in Basilicata, your touring holiday will conclude in the region of Puglia at the five-star deluxe Masseria Torre Coccaro. The journey from Maratea to Savelletri takes you through wild and mountainous countryside as you travel from the west coast of Italy to the east coast. After spending four nights in Puglia, drive less than an hour north along the coast to Bari airport, where you return your hire car and fly back to London.

    PRICES
    Prices from about £3,320 per person in low season and £3,620 per person in high season based on two people sharing

    What’s included:
    • Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi.
    • Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the Locanda delle Donne Monache, Maratea.
    • Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the Masseria Torre Coccaro, Savelletri.
    • Scheduled flight with British Airways London to Naples, returning from Bari to London.
    • Hire of a basic group car for the twelve days.

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Fly-drive touring holiday of the Amalfi Coast, Basilicata and Puglia

    Day-by-day itinerary

    DAYS ONE TO FOUR
    Arrive in Naples and take the short drive to Amalfi, where you will stay for four nights

    Upon your arrival in Naples, pick up your hire car and begin this touring holiday with a short drive to the Amalfi coast. Exchange the uproarious noise and lively activity of the anarchic Naples for the peaceful serenity of the colourful towns of the Amalfi Coast, often built high onto the rocky coastline.
    Your hotel in the white seaside town of Amalfi, the Hotel Santa Caterina, is situated conveniently near to the centre of town. Enjoy this enviable location by taking a wander to explore all Amalfi has to offer, or merely spend your days poolside, soaking up the rays in fragrant and beautiful surroundings. At the centre of town lies the Piazza Duomo, so called because at the top of the 57 stone steps that dominate the piazza is the Duomo di Sant’ Andrea Apostolo. The exterior of Amalfi’s cathedral is in the Italian Byzantine style, but the interior is predominantly Baroque. Venture down into the crypt to see where the bones of Saint Andrew are kept, before wandering around the tranquil Chiostro del Paradiso and looking around the museum. Take in the magnificent views across Amalfi from the atrium before heading back down into the town.
    Walk from Amalfi to nearby Ravello via the trail through the Valle delle Ferriere nature reserve. You will pass waterfalls, climb old stone steps, cross bridges, wander through forests, and observe serene abandoned buildings, before you reach the small picturesque village of Ravello. Alternatively, appreciate the nature within the town of Amalfi itself by walking along the river on the Valle dei Mulini Amalfi. For a taste of the Amalfi history, visit the Paper Museum, which houses the last paper mill used in the area, or walk around the Piazza dei Dogi, formerly known as the Piazza dei Ferrari due to the abundance of blacksmiths that used to line the square. Visit the Antichi Arsenali, the old shipyards, for a tour of Amalfi maritime history, and in the evening view the Amalfi Musical under the arched stone ceiling of one of the shipyards. Wander up between the towering white houses of the Vagliendola, or learn the history of the famous Amalfi lemons at the Museo dell’ Agricoltura. Nearby Conca dei Marini, built on a promontory, is the site of the famous and beautiful Emerald Grotto, a half-submerged cave, accessible by boat, in which the waters glow green. Experience the Amalfi Coast’s Saracen history in the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Atrani, or visit Cetara to try some of the local tuna and anchovies.
    From Positano, the home of original and colourful boutique dresses, take a boat trip to the Isles of li Galli to see the tall towers that defended against the Saracens. Other excursion and sightseeing possibilities include the islands of Capri and Ischia, and the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Spend your evenings on one of the natural terraces back at the Hotel Santa Caterina, overlooking the deep blue waters.

    DAYS FIVE TO EIGHT:
    Drive southeast for Maratea, where you will spend four nights
    Leave the Santa Caterina after breakfast and drive southeast to the next stop on this touring holiday. Enter the Basilicata region of southern Italy and arrive in the small hilltop village of Maratea; a rural, traditional Italian village, it is protected from mass-tourism by its size and location. On the Costa di Maratea, this village is another excellent point from which to appreciate the Italian coast.
    Your hotel, the Locanda delle Donne Monache, was once the home of the Visitandine nuns. The building’s religious heritage can still be read on the shape and design of its exterior. With it central location and elevated position, guests can enjoy an excellent perspective of this traditional town with its winding streets and terracotta roofs. The real charm of Maratea comes with being acquainted with the flow of its little streets and lanes, its dilapidated archways, and hidden grottoes, or by dining in one of the small outdoor cafés that line the edges of the Piazza Buraglia. Dotted along these winding streets are a total of 44 churches, all of which offer valuable insight into the town’s religious history. The most striking of these churches, however, is the Chiesetta del Calvario, with its many attractive frescoes and depiction of the Virgin Mary. Avid explorers will uncover the crumbling houses and overgrown lanes that hark back to an older Maratea, thus far untouched by any form of modernisation.
    Drive down closer to the shore to Maratea Porto to have dinner in a harbour-side café or restaurant, before observing the art displayed on the harbour streets. Further along a coastline dotted with ruined defensive castles, you will find the smaller beaches of Fiumicello and Castrocucco, perfect for a relaxed afternoon’s excursion on one of your three days in Maratea. Head to Santa Caterina to go scuba-diving with the local Centro Sub Maratea, or trek up the Mt. San Biagio in the Cliento National Park to reach the statue of the Redeemer. This statue, reaching 22m high, is reminiscent of the Redeemer on Mt. Corcavado in Rio de Janeiro, but the Maratea depiction is distinctly more joyful, youthful, and appears to be more dynamic in stance. Maratea hosts a festival in the month of May dedicated to San Biagio, while the summer months bring with them a wide range of events: from Jazz concerts and food tastings. You may, therefore, want to plan your trip to make the most of these unique, local traditions. Other possible day trips include excursions to the beautiful hilltop village of Rivello or to the remains of the Roman town of Grumentum, with its still discernible amphitheatre and temples. 

    DAYS NINE TO TWELVE 
    Drive across Italy to Savelletri, where you will stay for four nights
    Before leaving Basilicata and entering Puglia , stop off at Matera on your way across inland Southern Italy. Famous for being a cave-settlement with a scandalous past involving disease and poverty, Matera has now been reclaimed by its former residents and its cave-houses nurtured into habitability. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it remains one of the most perfectly preserved troglodyte settlements in Europe.
    Your third destination on this touring holiday, however, is the Masseria Torre Coccaro, a charming hotel just outside the town of Savelletri, located in the heart of the countryside about three kilometres from the sea. Combining modernity with rustic simplicity, the property blends in perfectly with the picturesque surroundings of olive groves, fig trees and traditional farms. The unique grounds are home to a large garden where vegetables are grown and used in dishes served in the restaurant, while a small underground spa is found in a natural cave. Guests can visit the hotel’s private beach, rent a motorised yacht and crew for day trips along the coast or explore the Puglian countryside where typical sights include mediaeval castles and small villages of white-washed houses. The closest settlement to the hotel is the fishing village of Savelletri on the Adriatic Coast.
    The main attraction of Savelletri is its harbour and promenade, on which you will find the rustic beach club, Lido Ottagono. This is the perfect point from which to enjoy the sea and explore the coves. We highly recommend taking the time to sit in one of the harbour-side cafés and sample the Italian gelato. On a more sombre note, the village’s Archeolido is worth a visit, comprised of a sprawling necropolis, a museum, and various archaeological sites around the town that are still being investigated.
    A number of sports are available in Savelletri, such as horse-riding on the beach, golf at your hotel, or diving and sailing in the bays of Polignano. For a taste of the local produce and cuisine, seek out the many local cheese farms and olive oil mills, or go Soul Running through the Trulli Hills and try the Primitivo wines. The town of Selva di Fasano is only a fifteen minute drive away and offers a chance to get in touch with the Puglian landscape and tradition. Within the town the buildings are built in the Trulli architectural style, with pointed roofs. Its streets are lined with olive, carob, almond, and oak trees, as well as vines, arbutus, and mastics. It is also home to the largest wild animal zoological park in Europe.
    Surrounded by a varied and beautiful landscape, seek out the natural caves that punctuate the mountainsides, especially the S. Elia cave and its magnificent stalactites. From high up on the hillside you get a fantastic view across the Fasano Valley, and the small nearby villages. The hot springs of Torre Canne are very close by, as is the village of Alberobello, a somewhat fantastical image with its low white houses with circular pointed roofs, and narrow winding paved streets. In the evenings, return to your hotel to dine in one of the four restaurants, or swim in the ambience of the cave-enclosed swimming pool. 

    DAY THIRTEEN
    Drive to Bari for your return flight to London
    On arrival in Bari, perhaps take the time to explore the grander, metropolitan side of Puglia. Tour the city streets, discovering the architectural gems, such as the cathedral and Pinacoteca. Perhaps even wander up to the old town to wander around the maze-like streets. Afterwards, return your hire car and embark on your return flight to the UK.

    Driving times for this touring holiday:
    Naples to Amalfi:1 hour 25 minutes
    Amalfi to Maratea: 2 hours 40 minutes
    Maratea to Savelletri di Fasano: 3 hours 30 minutes
    Savelletri di Fasano to Bari: 50 minutes.

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Amalfi, Basilicata, and Puglia v2

    Hotel Information

    These are the outstanding hotels that are featured in this touring holiday of the Amalfi Coast, Basilicata and Puglia. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    Hotel Santa Caterina
    Amalfi
    The Hotel Santa Caterina, a ‘grand-style’ 5 star hotel, stands surrounded by flower-filled terraces and gardens on the coast about a ten minute walk from the centre of Amalfi, in the direction of Positano. Perched on a cliff, the Santa Caterina was built in the early nineteenth century and was a favourite haunt of leading cultural and political figures at the time. As well as enjoying breath-taking views out to sea and of the Amalfi coast, the guests of the Hotel Santa Caterina have the benefits of the luxuriant vegetation of the palm trees, umbrella pines, lemon trees and bougainvillaea that adorn the terraces beneath the hotel. Pot plants, paintings, hand-made tiles and antique furniture give the public areas and the bedrooms a homely feel. You can dine under the white, vaulted ceiling of the restaurant or al fresco under the fragrant scents of the pergola of lemon. The menus are very good value (from about Euros 50 per person) and the cuisine is based on fresh, local produce with lots of fish and seafood (but please note that the restaurant at the Hotel Santa Caterina is closed in January and February). In the distance is the sparkling of the sea and the coastline of the Bay of Salerno. The Hotel Santa Caterina has its own man-made beach and swimming pool by the sea, reachable by lift from the hotel; here a wide variety of light meals and pizzas are served at lunch-time. Most bedrooms, which vary in size, have balcony or terrace and all have private bathrooms decorated with specially designed tiles. It is probably well worth upgrading to the deluxe room with front sea view to make the most of the dramatic location of the hotel. We recommend the Hotel Santa Caterina highly for a relaxing stay and a friendly, cosy atmosphere.
    Find out more here.

    Locanda delle Donne Monache
    Maratea
    La Locanda delle Donne Monache is set in the heart of the delightful coastal town of Maratea and was once occupied by Visitandine nuns. The hotel, nestling in its private gardens with large terrace, is ideally placed for enjoying the coast and the beaches of Maratea, whilst also exploring the dramatic wealth of scenic and cultural treasures the Lucania region here has to offer. The atmosphere is one of understated elegance, and simplicity with a slight exotic touch. The rooms, each named after an aspect of the ancient monastery life, make the most of the abundant light, and their furnishings combine the classic with warmth; each room is decorated with Murano lamps, contemporary oils and traditional paintings. All rooms have long windows, balconies or terraces with private gardens. The hotel’s restaurant, Il Sacello, offers local and traditional recipes served to the highest contemporary standards and guests can dine both indoors and under the portico overlooking the garden.
    Find out more here.

    Masseria Torre Coccaro
    Savelletri di Fasano
    Located just outside of the town of Savelletri, about three kilometres from the sea and a ten-minute drive to the town of Fasano in Puglia, the Masseria Torre Coccaro is a pretty hotel in the heart of the countryside. Surrounded by olive groves and fig trees and a number of old masserias, or farms, the landscape is particularly beautiful. The Masseria Torre Coccaro hotel has the perfect balance of modernity and rustic simplicity. The grounds are quite unique and there is plenty to explore. The hotel uses the large garden to grow their own vegetables, which are used in the dishes served at the restaurant. Cuisine here is very much Pugliese, with fish, pasta and fresh vegetables featuring predominantly on the menu. The Masseria Torre Coccaro also runs cooking courses for guests who wish to enhance their culinary skills. There are a number of communal areas, such as reading rooms and lounges, inside, and a restaurant, swimming pool and attractive bar outside. The real focal point of this property is the original masseria; excellent work has been carried out to restore it. The building that houses the majority of bedrooms is very new, yet it blends in perfectly with its surroundings. Bedrooms are very spacious and again reflect the original style of the masseria; most have their own private terrace and a garden overlooking olive trees. Two suites resemble caves and underground niches. Another feature of the Masseria Torre Coccaro hotel is the small underground spa set in a natural cave complete with an indoor pool, Turkish bath, fitness room, massage and treatments. Aveda sponsors the spa and guests will find these products in their bedrooms. The hotel has its own private beach area about three kilometres away, where there is also a fish restaurant and sushi bar. Guests can also rent a motorised yacht and crew for day trips along the coast. The Masseria Torre Coccaro superbly captures the character of an old masseria but still remains a comfortable and quality hotel.
    Find out more here.

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