9 Days Gourmet Walking Experience in the South of Italy - Puglia and Matera
Duration: 9 Days | 8 Nights
Dates: All year possible but recommended for April - Early July & September - November
Countries to be visited: Italy (Puglia, Matera)
Departure & Return Locations: Otranto (Brindisi Airport) - Matera (Bari/Brindisi Airport)
A Puglia & Matera Walking Experience follows the pace of this wonderful land. Walking is the best way to appreciate the beauty of the places, marvel at the hidden details, savor the experience of an authentic Puglia.
You will combine the discovery of the beautiful paths between Puglia and Basilicata with the pleasure of taking part in local craftsmanship courses, tastings of typical products and a cooking class. Because an unforgettable experience in Puglia is only such if knowledge and taste come together.
Wine Therapy: relax with wine in an alternative way
The coastal landscapes south of Otranto, the East of Italy
Apulian Cheeses, an Italian excellence
The magic of Papier-mâché: the secrets of an old Lecce art
Walk with breathtaking views of the Sassi di Matera
Charming accommodation and Gourmet experiences
Note: This is a self-guided walking holiday. The walking routes proposed in this holiday are easy and practicable even for the youngest, as long as they have a minimal aptitude for walking. These are itineraries that develop mostly on paths and roads with low traffic, with some indispensable passages on busy roads and some passages that are a bit more technical. You will be given a detailed guide book with maps, and local support is available by phone anytime.
Day 1 Welcome to Otranto
Your Charming Puglia Walking tour starts from the history of these places, and Otranto is the village that preserves its roots. After meeting your guide, a first cognitive walk inside the ancient village awaits you: crossing Porta Alfonsina, the gate of the old town, will be like immersing yourself in a timeless place. The historic center is protected by walls and ramparts overlooking a splendid crystalline sea, hides alleys of rare beauty, but to celebrate your experience in Puglia it will undoubtedly be a visit to the Cathedral of Otranto. It houses the Tree of Life, one of the largest floor mosaics in Europe. The fascination of history, religion, myths and legends will accompany you for the rest of the journey. First dinner in company and overnight in Otranto.
Day 2 - Walking on the coast south of Otranto - DAIRY EXPERIENCE (14km, +/- 150m)
There is a small detail of the journey in Puglia that makes it different from any experience in Italy: Otranto is the easternmost point of Italy, if you are an early riser you can admire the sunrise before any other part of the Bel Paese. After breakfast, a special meeting awaits you. You will visit a dairy and walk with the master cheese maker to discover every stage of cheese production. The Gourmet Walking Experience in Puglia is not just for the mind and we will return to the trails only after a rich tasting of local products. After satisfying the palate, accompanied by your guide continue walking on the coast south of Otranto, crossing coastal places shaped by the wind, bays carved into the rock and scenery that has stopped in time. The walk along the coast will cross Porto Badisco, the Sant'Emiliano Tower, the Masseria Cippano, part of the Via Francigena, Lake Bauxite and the Bay of Orte, and then return to Otranto. We do not add anything else to these places, amazement is an essential part of a Charming Puglia Walking tour. Overnight in Otranto.
Day 3 - Baroque Lecce - PAPIER-MÂCHÉ WORKSHOP (13km, +/- 150m)
This morning you will be masters of your time. You can walk alone along the Idro Valley and follow step by step the path that will take you to Le Constantine Foundation, in the territory of Uggiano La Chiesa. It is a place, which by the will of its founder can be defined as: "A place where everyone can feel at home as a big family... where you can live close to nature, away from the city, from the progress and robotization of minds". Your Charming Puglia & Matera Walking Experience will continue with the visit to La Cutura Botanical Garden, where you can admire eleven wonderful gardens, over three thousand succulents and tropical plants, over a hundred animals. From here you will reach Lecce. A walk in the old town of Lecce in the company of your local guide will make you live the experience of art and light. Churches and historic palaces look embroidered in stone and, with your eyes to the sky, you will try to admire every detail. The Gourmet Walking Experience in Puglia does not exclude any of the five senses and in the afternoon, it will be the turn of the touch, a papier- mâché workshop will give you the opportunity to model the paper like the historic artisans of Lecce. Overnight in Lecce.
Day 4 Ostuni, walking among the millenary olive trees - VISIT AND TASTING (6km, +/- 150m)
Leave Lecce to reach Ostuni. The first stop is at Masseria Brancati, located on the plain of centuries-old olive trees. It is a farm run in organic agriculture that has been branded "Sustainable Tourism". After a walk among millennial olive trees, there will be a tasting of superb EVO oil and typical products, for a great Gourmet Walking Experience in Puglia. You then walk along the uphill paths to Ostuni, the White City par excellence. Recommended lunch at one of the restaurants of the old town and afternoon free to visit this beautiful city, its alleys, looking for unforgettable views. Overnight in Ostuni.
Day 5 In the park of the coastal dunes - WINE THERAPY RELAXATION (14km, +/- 150m)
A walking route will take you from Ostuni to Natural Park Dune Costiere. Along the way you can visit the rocky shrine of San Biagio, patron saint of Ostuni. From the shrine there is a wonderful view of the Plain of olive trees that extends to the sea. For a Gourmet Walking Experience in Puglia, a tasting of typical products in Masseria will be the way to recover the energies. After one last stretch on foot to reach your farm, in the afternoon Wine Therapy awaits you, an authentic Charming Puglia experience: beauty treatments and wellness based on wine and must, to counteract skin aging and detoxify the body. Overnight in Montalbano.
Day 6 Walking to Locorotondo - COOKING CLASS (15km, +/- 200m)
After breakfast transfer to Cisternino. Today the Puglia & Matera Walking Experience is dedicated to the Itria Valley, a unique piece of experience in Puglia. The walking route from Cisternino to Locorotondo will follow, for a while, the traces of the ancient Apulian Aqueduct. The cycle-pedestrian route was built on the walkways of the Main Canal of the Apulian Aqueduct, the main course which, since 1906, has been transporting water of the River Sele from Campania to Puglia to solve the traditional drought problems of the region. The water route will take us to Locorotondo, here will begin your experience on Puglia cuisine, a practical cooking workshop and dinner will close the day. Overnight in Locorotondo.
Day 7 Walking between Martina Franca and Alberobello - TRULLO EXPERIENCE (18km, +/- 250m)
It's already been a week since you arrive, but your Charming Puglia Walking holiday will not cease to amaze you.
Today you begin to walk from Martina Franca, the path resumes towards the land of the trulli: Alberobello. To many of you, Alberobello will seem an enchanted place. The trulli are a type of conical construction in dry stone, traditional of Puglia, the oldest trulli of Alberobello date back to the 14th century. The architectural uniqueness and historical importance of Alberobello has been recognized by UNESCO and the city has been a World Heritage Site since 1996. To better admire this uniqueness of Puglia, we thought of a typical aperitif inside a trullo. Then, you will return to Locorotondo with a private transfer. Overnight in Locorotondo.
Day 8 Walking in the Park of Rock Churches of Matera (8km, +/- 350m)
The Puglia & Matera Walking Experience is also adrenaline and today you will find out why. The path of this day takes you along the Natural Park Chiese Rupestri (Rock Churches) of Matera. You begin to walk near the valley of the Gravina stream, arriving at the confluence with the Jesce River, which separates the Murgia Timone from the Murgecchia. The landscape of the Murgecchia includes churches and caves carved into the rock and offers the first beautiful views of the Sassi di Matera. The Murgia Timone, in addition to offering a privileged view of the Sassi di Matera, is rich in artistic and archaeological references. The walking route will take you between the rocky churches of San Canione, Sant’Agnes, San Vito alla Murgia and Madonna delle Tre Porte. To reach the ancient village of Sassi, just cross the suspension bridge that connects the Murgia to the city. The bridge is suspended over the Gravina stream and in addition to giving you a thrill of adventure, it will offer you a beautiful view of Matera from the bottom up. Overnight in Matera.
Day 9 Matera
The Puglia and Matera Gourmet Walking Experience ends with a short stop in Basilicata, in Matera, before returning to the airport. Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world, custodian of the first human settlements in Italy. In 1993 UNESCO declared the Sassi di Matera a World Heritage Site. Strolling through the alleys of the old town and visiting the Sassi you will be fascinated by the signs of History and witnesses of an unparalleled cultural heritage.
• Price shown is for a person based on twin share accommodation, for the travel period chosen.
• 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 for any bookings made for tours. Contact us for enquiries or see below for details.
• 8 nights with breakfast (2 nights in Otranto, 1 night in Lecce, 1 night in Ostuni, 1 night in Montalbano, 2 nights in Locorotondo, 1 night in Matera)
• Transfer IN & OUT Bari/Brindisi Airports
• Welcome briefing and dinner day 1
• Guided walking excursion day 2
• Dairy visit and local cheese tasting day 2
• Tasting and Papier-mâché workshop day
• 3 Olive oil tasting and guided visit day 4
• Tasting of local products day 5
• Wine therapy day 5
• Cooking Class with Dinner day 7
• Aperitivo in trullo house day 7
• Scheduled Private transfers
• 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
• Hotel Tourist Taxes (~A$23) - paybale 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 this particular booking the following terms apply relating to cancellations and rebooking.
Favorable cancellation terms
Free cancellation up to 31 days before departure, for any reason, with the option of:
- be refunded of the total amount already paid;
- postpone the holiday without penalty;
- receive a voucher (transferable to third parties), to be used by 31/12/2023.
Cancellation without penalty from 30 to 10 days before, for any reason, with the option of:
- postpone the holiday;
- receive a voucher (transferable to third parties), to be used by 31/12/2023.
Cancellation from 10 days before, with application of the following penalties:
- withdrawal from 10 to 4 days before holiday start date – 75% of total holiday cost;
- withdrawal within 3 days before holiday start date – 100% of total holiday cost.
Carefree government restrictions
In the event of government restrictions due to the Covid-19 emergency (in the countries of origin and destination) preventing travel: full refund for cancellations up to the day before departure.