Italy : Puglia

Walking in Puglia & Matera

Trip code: W07PG 4.3 (12 reviews)

Guided group walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

Operated by
Exodus Travels

SUMMARY

  • Operated by our sister company, Exodus
  • Walk among the trulli houses of Alberobello Discover Matera, a UNESCO-listed town dug into caves Explore the all-white hilltop town of Ostuni Walk over the Itria Valley hills to Locorotondo

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • All breakfasts, two dinners, one wine and produce tasting All accommodation Tour leader throughout Group arrival and departure transfers available

TRIP DESCRIPTION

The heel of Italy’s boot, formed of the largely undiscovered Puglia and Basilicata regions, offers gentle walking trails through cultivated countryside and towns seemingly plucked from a storybook – ideal for a culture-packed walking adventure. This trip begins among the fairytale trulli houses of Alberobello and continues to the highlights of the regions: the Itria Valley hills; the white city of Ostuni; and the cave town of Matera, a favourite of film directors and protected by UNESCO.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Start Alberobello

This walking trip starts in Alberobello, a town almost entirely formed of trulli, fairytale-like dwellings with conical grey-stone roofs. The origin of these UNESCO-protected limestone houses is obscure; however, local farmers claim they were originally built to evade taxes. When the tax inspectors were nearby, the dry-stone walls could easily be dismantled by removing the keystone above the door, and quickly rebuilt after the inspection. Accommodation: Hotel Ramapendula or Hotel Silva (or similar)

Day 2: Walk over the Itria Valley hills; visit Locorotondo, known for its superb wine

We start with a walk to Locorotondo. Sitting on a hilltop, our destination is among the most beautiful villages in Italy and renowned for the white wine produced at Cantina Sociale, the local winery. Following narrow country lanes, we walk over the Itria Valley hills, which are dotted with olive trees, vineyards and trulli. At the end of the day, we take a short train or bus ride back to Alberobello. Accommodation: Hotel Ramapendula or Hotel Silva (or similar)

Day 3: Morning visit to the white city of Ostuni; afternoon walk through olive groves and vineyards; visit Agnano Archaeological Park

In the morning, we take a private transfer to the whitewashed hilltop city of Ostuni. After free time, in which you can visit viewpoints and centuries-old churches, we explore the surrounding countryside on foot, walking through ancient olive groves and vineyards overlooking the Adriatic. Along the way, we stop at Agnano Archaeological Park, where we walk a winding path to see church ruins and the bones of a lady within a cave. This evening, we have a delicious dinner and stay either in a beautiful masseria – a renovated farmhouse typical of the Apulian region – or in a four-star hotel in the historic centre of Ostuni. Accommodation: Masseria Morrone or Hotel La Terra (or similar)

Day 4: Free day. Optional activities include visiting the baroque city of Lecce or the picture-perfect coastal village of Polignano a Mare

Today is free to discover the many jewels of this beautiful region. We recommend a day trip to the beautiful baroque city of Lecce, known as the Florence of the South, and home to more than 40 churches and countless palaces, plus a Roman amphitheatre. Alternatively, travel to the picturesque coastal town of Polignano a Mare, which is perched atop a limestone cliff rising from the Adriatic. Both destinations are reachable by train from Ostuni. In the evening, we regroup for a delicious dinner. Accommodation: Masseria Morrone or Hotel La Terra (or similar)

Day 5: Morning walk to the coast; transfer to Matera

This morning, to the coast, where we have time to relax on a beach or swim in the mild waters of the Adriatic Sea (depending on the season). In the afternoon, we head to the cave town of Matera, which is thought to have been inhabited for around 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest towns in the world. James Bond fans may recognise it as the scenic background for a thrilling car chase in No Time to Die (2021), while scenes for Wonder Woman (2017) and The Passion of the Christ (2004) were also shot here. Its crumbling beauty is undoubtedly a lure for film directors and location scouts, but it’s the ancient Sassi districts, formed of ancient cave dwellings dug into the limestone, that are the true star here. Our hotel is in the middle of the sassi; after check-in, we enjoy our first glimpse of the enchanting alleys and unique architecture of this troglodyte town. Accommodation: Hotel Sassi or Fra I Sassi Residence (or similar)

Day 6: Short walk in Matera’s Rock Churches Park and guided sightseeing in Sassi district; wine and produce tasting

Today we enjoy a short hike to the Murgia plateau, a vast protected area home to more than 150 Rupestrian churches dating to the eighth century, adorned with Byzantine frescoes and once inhabited by hermits. We hike to the top of the ravine, following a pathway that ends with a spectacular view of the Sassi district. In the afternoon, we walk back to Matera for a guided tour. Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, we wander the narrow alleys of the cave-dwelling district and learn about the history of this fascinating place. Back in Matera, we enjoy a delicious produce and wine tasting in the historic centre and the rest of the day is free to discover the city independently. Accommodation: Hotel Sassi or Fra I Sassi Residence (or similar)

Day 7: Walk in Matera and its surroundings, along sections of the Cammino Materano

Today we explore Matera and further afield, walking sections of the Cammino Materano – a hiking trail linking Matera and Brindisi. After a hearty breakfast, we set off from our hotel and cross two of the Sassi’s historic quarters: the Civita, dominated by the duomo (cathedral), and the Caveoso with its caves. We head towards the ridge of Matera’s ravine and continue along a route characterised by Mediterranean scrub and cave complexes dating to the 11th century. We continue the walk surrounded by olive groves and arable land until we reach Serra Pizzuta forest. We return by public bus to our hotel. Accommodation: Hotel Sassi or Fra I Sassi Residence (or similar)

Day 8: End Matera

The trip ends in Matera after breakfast. If you’d like to explore this wonderful destination a little longer, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $488.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $488.

TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or email sales@headwater.com

Transportation

A private minibus will be used for the airport transfers. We use a mix of private and public transport (train and bus) during the week.

Joining Instructions

nKey information Start hotel: Hotel Ramapendula, Via Locorotondo, Snc, 70011 Alberobello BA Phone: +39 080 432 6069 Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately Airport: Bari Airport (BRI) Getting to the start hotel The start hotel is approximately a 1hr 10min drive from the airport. Your options for this journey are: Take an Exodus transfer  Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer. Make your own way  It’s possible to reach the start hotel by public transport, but the journey is complicated. We therefore recommend joining the group transfer where possible. If not, we can arrange a private transfer prior to departure for approximately €90-€105 for the vehicle. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative. Catching your return flight The trip ends in Matera, approximately 45 minutes from Bari Airport. There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer. n

REVIEWS

This is a less well known area which rewards a visit - UNESCO World Heritage Sites, lots of history, typical Italian hospitality, food and wine, interesting walking but generally not too demanding except around Matera which takes more care. Temperatures in autumn are better than many a British summer day but the excessive heat has gone which makes the walking enjoyable. Our French / Sicilian guide was excellent. Both interesting and interested and went the extra mile. Masseria Morrone was the best accommodation due to attentive owners and excellent regional cuisine. Hotel Sassi in Matera has an unrivalled location in the old town with unique bedrooms formed from the limestone caves.

Mr Falconer, 5 Oct 2019

 

The farm house accommodation was very poor, extremely cold

Mrs Bartlett, 28 Sep 2019

 

Had a great time. Excellent local guide.

Mr Sewell, 28 Sep 2019

 

Anon - great group, locations, walking with excellent local guide, good local cuisine and wine - well organised all went smoothly

Dr Peck, 21 Sep 2019

 

We had an excellent holiday with a great group of likeminded people. However we felt that the holiday was poorly structured. The second hotel Masseria Morrone, was in the middle of nowhere and it was here that we had our “free day” whereby we had to leave early and return late just in time for a 6.30 meal. The Masseria Morrone appeared to have been selected for economic reasons rather than customer satisfaction especially the 2 included meals which were rather indifferent

The rooms in the Sassi Hotel in Matera varied enormously. We had a “cave room” with only one small window above the door and very little natural light however the hotel staff responded well and provided a much better room for the last 2 nights

Mr Monzani, 14 Sep 2019

 

This was an outstanding trip; the guide was thoughtful, considerate, generous and enthusiastic. The locations were beautiful and the accommodation characterful and uniformly excellent, as was the food (and drink 🙂) throughout. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a holiday more.

Mr Larner, 13 Jul 2019

 

Very enjoyable small group holiday. Interesting and varied itinerary, with ample time for fun and to experience local colour.

Mr Neal, 18 May 2019

 

Good trip, well organised. Vanessa was an excellent guide, very caring, very keen we take our time when any walking got tricky, so very safety conscious.

Mr Jones, 18 May 2019

 

All holiday arrangements were good. The only negative points were because the weather (in southern Italy - 11 to 18 May 2019) was very disappointing. Colder and wetter than south-east England - not what we were expecting. However, our Exodus guide - Fabrizio - was superb, and kept us all in good spirits - and we did see the sun sometimes between the showers! Our second hotel (the Masseria Morrone near Ostuni) was not as warm as we would have liked, but simply because the weather was so cool and damp. In "normal" weather conditions, it would have been lovely.

Mr Hanbury, 11 May 2019

 

Excellent holiday and our guide , Guiseppe , was attentive, helpful and informative at all times.

Mrs Turnbull, 20 Oct 2018

 

Two of the hotels were quirky and memorable. Guide was fantastic. Breakfast lovely in Matera - uninspiring at the other two hotels; but group dinners (4) were all truly fantastic, and there were plenty of very good restaurant options for the other 3 evenings all serving genuinely local cuisine at reasonable prices. All locations were superb for vegetarians and vegans. Easy walking - more a holiday for exploring historic towns and experiencing food and culture. Matera is extraordinary - maybe the last chance to get there before it's discovered (European City of Culture in 2019).

Mr Shore, 29 Sep 2018

 

A relaxing combination of leisurely walks and culture in a beautiful and unspoiled part of Italy.

Miss Adams, 7 Apr 2018

 


Guided group walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

Operated by
Exodus Travels

7 nights from $1840

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: +44 1606 720199

 

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