8 Days Walking Holiday in the South of Italy - Sassi, Trulli and Baroque
Duration: 8 Days | 7 Nights
Countries to be visited: Italy (Puglia, Basilicata)
Departure & Return Locations: Matera (Nearest Airport Bari Palese Airport)
Season Dates: Low: Jan 01-Mar 26 | Oct 29-Dec 17, Mid: Mar 27-Jun 24 | Sept 5-Oct 28, High: Jun 25-Sept 4 | Dec 18-Jan7
This trek crosses the ancient lands of Terra d’Otranto and Terra di Bari, beyond the imperceptible boundaries between Basilicata and Puglia. During this walking holiday in Puglia and Matera, you will visit and stay in the most popular towns of the heel of Italy: Matera, Alberobello, Ostuni and Lecce.
A walking tour in south Italy that shows some of the most beautiful paths of these regions, two Unesco towns, Matera and Alberobello, and the most representative cities of southern Baroque, such as Lecce and Martina Franca.
To brighten the last days will be the presence of the beautiful Adriatic Sea, that meets the Ionian Sea in the easternmost point of Italy, just south of Otranto: where the "first dawn" rises.
Note: This is a self-guided walking holiday with almost undemanding unevenness and walking travel times between 2 and 4.5 hours each day. The tour winds mainly through dirt paths and country lanes and only when strictly necessary on busy roads. You will be given a detailed guide book with maps, and local support is available by phone anytime.
Day 1 Matera
Private Transport from Bari Airport (or Brindisi Airport) to Matera and accommodation in hotel. Welcome to the City of Rocks. Overnight in Matera.
Day 2 Matera and the Park of Rock Churches (10km, 3h, +210m -210m)
After a rich breakfast, you will begin your hiking week going down and up the ravine and coming up to Murgia Timone, inside the Natural Park Chiese Rupestri (Rock Churches) of Matera. Today’s route will take you along an enchanting panoramic trail. After walking, devote the last hours of the day enjoying the history of Sassi. To get a well knowledge of Matera, we recommend a visit to Casa Noha, where, in the rooms, short videos illustrate the evolution of the Sassi over time. Overnight in Matera.
Day 3 Matera – Puglia Aqueduct – Locorotondo – Alberobello (14km, 3h, +140m -110m)
Private transfer to the Itria Valley, a territory that tries to keep its ancient balance between man and nature, focusing on a local development that emphasizes its architectural and craft peculiarities. The walk from Matera to Otranto goes in the heart of Puglia, where the towns of Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Cisternino are the last eastern edge of the Murgia plateau, bordering the Messapian plain of Salento. Today the path will take you to the village of Locorotondo by a walk onto the Greenway of Puglia Aqueduct, the longest aqueduct in Europe. In Locorotondo, so called because it was "Luogo Rotondo" (round place) on the ancient lithographs, we suggest you visit the historic center, made of concentric lanes and unusual low-roof houses, the "cummerse". Back by train to Alberobello: here you will spend the next two nights.
Day 4 Alberobello – Martina Franca - Alberobello (17km, 4,5h, +130m -100m)
Today’s walk will start from Alberobello to proceed southwards along country roads and short stretches of gently sloping paths. One of the most beautiful naturalistic views will be the Bosco Selva, the "green heart” of the area and rare example of the vast oak forest that once covered the entire surrounding area. Continuing towards Martina Franca, among the high dry stone walls typical of this area and the wide pastures that preserve ancient Trulli, you will climb to Monte San Martino to reach the elegant old town, splendid example of Puglia Baroque art. Return to Alberobello for overnight by public transports - train or bus.
Day 5 Alberobello – Natural Park Dune Costiere – Ostuni (12km, 3h, +160m -70m)
From the Capital of Trulli you will reach by private transfer a Masseria, old farmhouse, in the Natural Park Dune Costiere. Hike through fields and crops: here the soil is rich and generous, and each season is able to give an incredible variety of fruits and landscapes. After a short break in a small family-run farm surrounded by all this nature, you will continue up the hills, through the forest, climbing slowly towards the white Ostuni and its hilltop old town. On the way, you can also take a detour to the Sanctuary of San Biagio, an almost hidden rock settlement dating back to the Middle Ages. Impressive, but little preserved, every year on 3 February is a pilgrimage destination where to pay homage to the patron saint of the city of Ostuni. You will also pass close to the Archaeological Park of Santa Maria di Agnano, in which findings prove human presence in the area from the Paleolithic. Overnight in Ostuni.
Day 6 Ostuni – National Park Dune Costiere – Lecce (7km, 2h, +10m -140m)
Today a short trail, mainly on gravel roads downhill towards the sea will take you to the edge of the Regional Natural Park Dune Costiere. This protected area between Ostuni and Fasano, with its numerous natural habitats, ancient olive groves, historic masseria farms and underground oil mills, develops an important role in the environmental protection and relevant sustainable economic development. In an ancient farmhouse you will taste extra virgin olive oil, visit the underground oil mill supposedly dating back to Roman times, the private museum, the small 18th century church. Here the olive trees are waiting to be entered on the Unesco World Heritage. Then a private transfer to Lecce. After check-in you will have time for a first visit to the capital of Salento Baroque, where you will stay the last two nights.
Day 7 Lecce – Otranto – Lecce (8km, 2,5h +80m -80m)
After breakfast you will reach Otranto by train or public bus. You will spend the day in and around the most eastern city of Italy, always been a link between East and West. Down the coast there will be unexpected discoveries and unspoiled landscapes until you see the most eastern tip of Italy: the fascinating Cape of Otranto. Here the currents of the two seas, Adriatic and Ionian, separate and come together in an incredible scenery. We will head back to Otranto not before an impressive detour to its, now famous, abandoned bauxite quarry or Blue Lake for a breathtaking picture full of colours and strong feelings. Before returning to Lecce, still by local trasportation, we recommend to spend the time left for the visit of Otranto.
Day 8 Lecce
After breakfast private transfer to Bari Airport (or Brindisi Airport)
Note: In order to guarantee the included tastings, we may sometimes reverse the programme of day 5 with that of day 6 - also reversing the routes. The programme does not change substantially, only a difference of 4 km. In summary:
- Day 5 From Alberobello to Ostuni : private transfer + olive oil tasting + walk to Ostuni (7km, +140m -10m)
- Day 6 Ostuni and the Natural Park Dune Costiere: walk (8km, +70m -160m ) + coffee break in a farm + private transfer to Lecce)
• Price shown is for a person based on twin share accommodation in a basic room, for the travel period chosen. Superior rooms are available for a higher price.
• Where public transport is indicated in the itinerary, we can arrange private transport at an additional cost
• Pricing shown is for mid season during the recommended period above. A small adjustment will be made for low or high seasons (~A$200 less or more).
• All prices displayed are subject to availability and can be withdrawn or varied without notice.
• Prices are guranteed once booking is confirmed by us and paid in full by the due date.
• Depending on your needs and group size (individual, couple, family, group, etc.) we will provide the final pricing for your tour.
• Flexible booking terms and conditions are available. Contact us for enquiries.
• 7 nights with breakfast (2 nights in Matera, 2 nights in Alberobello, 1 night in Ostuni and 2 nights in Lecce - A mixture of standard, Trulli and B&B accommodation). All rooms are ensuite.
• Short tasting day 5
• Olive oil tasting and guided visit day 6
• Scheduled public and private transports
• Detailed route description with maps
• Travel App (maps, tracks, route notes)
• Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
• Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
• International and domestic airfare
• Travel Insurance
• Airport taxes and charges
• Entrance Fees to attractions
• Hotel Tourist Taxes payable directly to hotels.
• Any Private Expenses
• Meals not mentioned
• Personal Incidentals such as Telephone calls , Room Service, Laundry
• Tip to Guide/Driver, Porterage Fee and others which are personal in nature
• Other services not mentioned in the itinerary
Please refer to our Standard Booking Conditions for booking terms and conditions.