Walks in Puglia and Matera

From $1495 per person

****# Based on 11 customer reviews
  • UNESCO towns of Matera, Alberobello and the 'white city' of Ostuni
  • Charming hotels in great locations; stay in unique Trulli and Sassi houses
  • Food and wine lover's paradise; fresh local produce and wine tasting
  • Explore the undiscovered region of Basilicata
  • Free day options include a trip to Bari or the Baroque city of Lecce
  • Adriatic coast and lush valleys; olive groves and vineyards Adriatic Coast and lush valleys; olive groves and vineyards

What's included?

  • 7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Selected Saturdays from 1 Oct '16 to 5 Nov '16
  • All buffet breakfasts and 1 evening meal
  • Managed by our sister company, Exodus
  • Sustainability rating: 92%
  • Wine tasting included
  • Air conditioned vehicle

Excellent for...

Walks in Puglia and Matera

This guided walking holiday takes in the heart of the Mediterranean where Puglia and Basilicata, two unique regions sandwiched between the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas, meet. A remote area dotted by thousands of ancient olive trees, rolling hills, sparkling seas and remote villages, it's a fascinating region with a turbulent history and intriguing architecture including its famous Trulli and Sassi houses.

Our itinerary explores the very best walks and towns in these captivating and still relatively unknown regions. We start the week in the UNESCO-listed Matera, a fascinating town famous for its Sassi houses carved out of the rock and inhabited since Prehistoric times. We then move on to the stunning 'white city' of Ostuni, perched high on a hill overlooking the Adriatic and make our way towards the idyllic coastline. We spend the remainder of our week in the heart of the lush Itria Valley in UNESCO-listed Alberobello, home to 1500 trulli (conical-roofed houses), still standing after 500 years. Aside from the perfect mix of cultural discovery and gentle walking, we'll have the chance to sample the excellent local cuisine and wines. On your free day you have the option to try your hand at pasta making, head to Bari, the capital of Apulia, or visit the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce, known as the 'Florence of the South'.

During the week we stay in three comfortable hotels, carefully hand-picked for their charming character and great locations. We'll sleep in a stylishly converted cave-like hotel dating back to the Palaeolithic Age, a typical masseria surrounded by olive groves overlooking the sea and, in Alberobello, the Hotel Ramapendula or Cuor di Puglia (subject to departure date), both of which are close to the town centre and offer an outdoor pool.

The terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks and tarmac to gravel, sections of days 2 and 3 cover some rough terrain so walking poles are recommended. Some ascents and descents should be expected. Please be aware that Puglia can also be very warm, possibly reaching 30°C in the summer.

Typical day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 Arrive at Matera

Arrive at your hotel in Matera.

Day 2 Rock Churches of Matera and its Sassi District 6km/4mi/3.5hr

Today we explore Matera's Rock Churches Park, a vast protected area home to over 150 rupestrian churches dating back to the C8, once inhabited by hermits and adorned with coloured Byzantine frescoes. We then enjoy a guided visit of Matera and walk through the town's famous UNESCO cave-dwelling district and learn the history of this fascinating place. The rest of the day is free to explore at your own pace.

Day 3 The Canyon and Rock Churches of Matera 14km/9mi/5hr

We start our walk from the hotel through the old town of Matera, soon reaching the ridge of the gravine, the deep limestone canyon on which Matera is built. We'll enjoy a dramatic landscape, discovering different caves and rock churches. A transfer by bus back to Matera leaves us with time to relax before dinner.

Day 4 Ostuni Walk 11km/7mi/4hr

We start the day with a private transfer to the 'white city' of Ostuni, famous for the dazzling effect of its whitewashed houses. Take time to discover this elegant hilltop town before we explore the verdant surrounding countryside, walking through ancient olive groves and vineyards overlooking the Adriatic Coast. Along the route we stop to visit the archaeological park of Santa Maria d'Agnano. It's then on to our beautiful masseria, a renovated farmhouse typical of the Puglia region, for dinner (included).

Day 5 Walk to the Adriatic Coast 12km/7.5mi/3.5hr

A morning walk to the coast where we have time to relax on a beach or swim in the mild waters of the Adriatic Sea. In the afternoon, we make our way to the UNESCO-listed town of Alberobello by minibus, an intriguing city populated by trulli - dry-stone dwellings, and located in the beautiful Itria Valley.

Day 6 Free Day Optional excursions or pasta-making lesson

Today is free to discover the many jewels of this beautiful region. We recommend a trip to Bari by train, the Capital of Apulia, or to the Salento region and its capital, Lecce, the 'Florence of the South'. Alternatively, visit the impressive Castellana Caves, Italy's longest natural complex of subterranean cave networks, and the Baroque town of Matina Franca. It's also possible to arrange a pasta-making lesson!

Day 7 Itria Valley and Locorotondo 14km/9mi/5hr

Our destination today is Locorotondo. Sitting on the top of a hill, it's considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is renowned for its white wine and Cantina Sociale, the local winery. Following narrow country lanes, we walk over the rolling hills of the idyllic Itria Valley, dotted with olive trees, vineyards and trulli. In the afternoon we have the opportunity to visit one of the wineries where we sample wine and local produce before taking a short train ride back to Alberobello.

Day 8 Leave Alberobello

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Hotel Sassi, Matera   (3 Star)

Lounge Hotel sassi

Situated in Matera’s historic centre with fantastic views of the Sassi, the Hotel Sassi is a unique hotel in a unique location!

With some of the 33 quirky rooms being set within the old caves of this C18 edifice, all offer ensuite facilities and most have private balconies.

Breakfast is taken on the terrace or in the cave dining room.

There is a great selection of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Masseria Morrone, Ostuni   (3 Acorn)

courtyard

The agriturismo Masseria Morrone is situated a few miles outside Ostuni, surrounded by olive groves and stunning countryside, a working farm in the 18th century, now owned by the Leara family, offers accommodation in 10 air conditioned ensuite bedrooms all of which have been beautifully renovated.

Breakfast is a feast of homemade breads and jams, and there is a lovely sun terrace with beautiful views out to the sea in the distance.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Hotel Ramapendula, Alberobello   (4 Star)

Hotel Ramapendula

The Hotel Ramapendula is within walking distance of the fascinating Trulli district, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The rooms are bright and airy, with small balconies, all are ensuite.

The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, and the charming restaurant offers local specialities along with European cuisine.

This hotel is used on the following departure dates:

26 March; 30 April; 28 May; 10 September; 1 October; 5 November

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Cuor di Puglia, Alberobello   (3 Star)

Cuor di Puglia

The Hotel Cuor di Puglia is within walking distance of the fascinating Trulli district, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The rooms are comfortable and all are ensuite.

The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, and the restaurant offers local specialities.

This hotel is used on the following departure dates:

16 April; 7 May; 14 May; 11 June; 9 July; 3 September; 24 September; 15 October

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfers included from Bari airport at 12:10, and back to Bari airport at 09:45.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs Titley on 12/07/2016

*****
The guided Puglia walking holiday was fabulous. We had heard about Matera before out travels and we had time to explore the town and surroundings.It was an amazing place.Luigina, our leader on this holiday, was very knowledgeable and helpful. The 3 centres and scenery on the walk were quite varied. The free day was a good idea as it gave us the opportunity to visit Lecce.The holiday was a fascinating mix of history, geoography, culture and of course, food!

Reviewed by Mr Watson on 27/05/2016

***#.
A good holiday with excellent walks, but bear in mind this is run by Exodus, so hotels not up to the usual Headwater standard.

Reviewed by Mr Exell on 17/05/2016

*****
A wonderful guide lead us through a fascinating part of Italy and along the way we enjoyed superb local cuisine and wines.

Reviewed by Mr Simpson on 02/11/2015

*****
An excellent holiday with a like minded group of people. Our guide Nino went out of his way to ensure everyone got what they wanted out of the holiday. He changed arrangements to suit the weather and ensured that everyone was happy with what was happening each day. Pleasant walking( despite slightly inclement weather at times) through lovely countryside and interesting historic sites. Unfortunately it was too cold for our swim in the Adriatic . Alberobello is a very pretty town with its large concentration of Trulli. Matera is a fascinating city with its ancient settlements and interesting history.

Reviewed by Mis Harper on 27/10/2015

*****
A brilliant holiday, our guide Antonino was excellent, he looked after us very well and went out of his way to make sure we were always well looked after and very well fed. Transfers during the walk went like clockwork. An incredibly interesting part of Italy; as it was cold and wet we all agreed to visit local caves instead of the beach and they were magnificent. One boot was the right classification, there was some 'scrambling' over rocks and through vegetation, the rest mainly rocky/stony tracks with minor ascents and descents.

Reviewed by Mis Lloyd on 14/07/2015

*****
This is an excellent and very relaxing holiday. The walks were well planned and very well led - picnics were wonderful! Unsurprisingly, in early July, it was hot but setting off early made the most of the cooler hours and enabled us to explore the towns and villages at leisure. Our guide, Salvitore, was really excellent - attentive, charming, efficient and knowledgeable.

Reviewed by Ms Teevan on 26/05/2015

*****
Our guide, Angelo, really lived up to his name. He went more than the extra mile for us: organising picnic feasts which were inexpensive, and negotiating terrific and generous group meals at bargain prices with a huge range of antipasti. He is a wonderful standard setter for other guides. I particularly liked our stay in Matera which is fascinating. A swim in the Adriatic en route was a treat too and I found the archaeological site near Ostuni very interesting. Overall the walking on this holiday was just the right level for my expectations, as advertised, and the weather was good for walking, despite the forecasts.

Reviewed by Mrs Iredale on 12/05/2015

***#.
I did enjoy the holiday as that particular area of Italy is very interesting also our guide Adrianne did his utmost to make it so. I felt it should be described more as a sightseeing holiday as the walking was not very challenging or exciting. I was disappointed that a lot of the walking was on minor roads rather than paths.

Reviewed by Mr Jones on 01/05/2015

*****
Very good holiday, lots to see and well guided. Good value for money and very companiable group of people on walks.

Reviewed by Mrs Cullum on 28/04/2015

***#.
Headwater were very poor on administration I had to request both confirmation invoices and twice request travel documents which had to be courried to us 9 days before we left which was poor considering we had to book our seats with Easyjet. The hotels were not as comfortable as they should have been as we were cold in them.

Reviewed by Mr Allan on 28/04/2015

*****
Puglia and Basilicata a truly inspiring choice. We were inspired by Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli in 'Italy Unpacked' and this holiday fully met our expectations...........though the food not always quite so great- needed more green vegetables! Our Guide was delightful and charming. We learned that living in a cave has draw backs - high humidity - but still worth staying in the Sassi ! We also loved walking around hill top towns.......delightful!

Departure dates & prices

October 2015 departuresTour only 
Oct 31$1710
November 2015 departuresTour only 
Nov 7$1710
March 2016 departuresTour only 
Mar 26$1495
April 2016 departuresTour only 
Apr 16$1495
Apr 30$1495
May 2016 departuresTour only 
May 28$1495
June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 11$1495
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 9$1495
September 2016 departuresTour only 
Sep 3$1495
Sep 10$1495
Sep 24$1495
October 2016 departuresTour only 
Oct 1$1495
Oct 15$1495
November 2016 departuresTour only 
Nov 5$1495

Holiday details

Minimum group sizes

A minimum of 4 people (in total) are required for each departure.

Holiday type

Guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by our sister company, Exodus.

Departures

Selected Saturdays from 1 Oct '16 to 5 Nov '16, for 8 days (7 nights).

Meals

All buffet breakfasts and 1 evening meal.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Bari airport at 12:10, and back to Bari airport at 09:45.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

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