Italy : Puglia

Self Guided Walking in Puglia: From Lecce to Matera

Trip code: W07PM 4.7 (31 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,

Level: 1

19.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App


  • Visit the UNESCO sites of Matera and Alberobello
  • Discover Baroque Lecce - the Florence of the South - and the white city of Ostuni
  • Savour mouth-watering local food and wine
  • Charming hotels in great locations
  • Walks are optional with plenty of time to discover each destination


  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walk transfers (excludes rail/bus transfers)


Puglia is a land forged in history by an incredible mixture of civilisations and cultures. From the Baroque splendour of Lecce, to the unique 'trulli' style houses of Alberobello and the cave houses (Sassi) in neighbouring Matera, this self-guided walking trip allows you to discover the beauty of the region at your own relaxed pace. There is plenty of time to appreciate the magnificent coastline and trulli strewn landscapes, and to spend lingering afternoons savouring the traditional cuisine.


The walking predominately follows dirt tracks, quiet country lanes and coastal paths which are exposed to the sun. Routes are very gentle with the occasional longer, gradual ascent or a short steep section. Walking boots are recommended. Walking poles are recommended if opting to do the Rock Churches of Matera walk over the Ponte Tibetano into the centre of Matera (easier alternative provided).




Day 1: Arrive in Lecce

Arrive in Lecce. We brief you on the week's walking, then discover the main monuments of the Salento region's capital, with its baroque architecture, stunning basilica and Roman amphitheatre.

You stay at Selected hotels.

hotel details

 equivalent

Hotels , Puglia and Matera

All the hotels on this trip have been specially selected for their location and character. In Alberobello we use a family-run hotel in beautifully restored 'trulli' houses while in Matera, your hotel is just a few steps from the famous Sassi district, with wonderful views from its panoramic terrace.

Upgraded accommodation is available; please ask your sales consultant at the time of booking.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included. In Puglia you will find genuine regional cooking that has strong links to the land and the sea. To give you an example of the types of food on offer in Puglia: simple, tasty dishes such as the pasta delicacy “orecchiette” served with a sauce of turnip-tops or fresh tomato and sheep’s ricotta-cheese, “cavatelli” with pulses, aubergine and parmesan bake, courgettes “alla poverella” - marinated in oil, garlic, mint and vinegar, etc., to accompany grilled fish, seafood, horse-meat chops, lamb, “burrata” (soft mozzarella and cream cheese), mozzarella and “caciocavallo” sheep’s cheese... plus excellent wines. This region is a food lovers paradise!

Day 2: Otranto Walk (10km/6.2mi)

Take a morning train or bus to Otranto (train or bus ticket not included), a little seaside village facing the Adriatic sea and known as the gateway to the Orient. Visit its Aragonese castle and cathedral, home to the impressive 'Tree of Life' mosaic which covers its entire floor and is well worth a visit. Then follow the coastline, past imposing coastal watchtowers, to the Orte cove. Return to Lecce by bus or train (pay locally).


Day 3: Lido Morelli to Ostuni walk (15km/9.3mi)

Private transfer (1hr) to the golden sands and crystal clear waters of Lido Morelli. Then set off through the rich and verdant wetlands of the Dune Costiere Natural Park, passing traditional masserie (farmhouses) and ancient olive trees - at 1000 years old, they are the oldest in the Mediterranean. End the day in the striking hilltop town of Ostuni, known as the 'white city' due to its brightly whitewashed buildings clustered together on the hillside. Explore Ostuni's enchanting maze of Greek-style winding streets before dinner.


Day 4: Locorotondo and the Itria Valley (13km/8.1mi)

We take you (40 mins) to the sleepy village of Correggia, then make your way through the gently rolling countryside of the Itria Valley, past ancient olive groves, vineyards and trulli, to the wine town of Locorotondo. Take a short (15 minute) train ride back to Alberobello (train ticket not included). Spend the night in a typical 'Trullo' in the historical centre of Alberobello.


Day 5: Alberobello exploration or Martina Franca Walk (14km/8.7mi or 19km/11.8mi)

Discover Alberobello, UNESCO World Heritage Site and iconic town owing to the 1000 white-tipped trulli that can be found here. Alternatively, walk through a patchwork of trulli dotted meadows, wheat fields, vineyards and olive groves to the elegant Baroque town of Martina Franca. There is an optional transfer to the start of this walk to make a shorter walk of 14km.


Day 6: The Rock Churches of Matera Walk (9km/5.6mi)

After a private transfer (1 hour), this scenic walk takes you across the Murgia plateau facing Matera, and the impressive 8th century rock churches that pepper the landscape. This area is perfect for a spot of birdwatching as you walk amongst the pastures and stone farmhouses, keeping your eyes out for birds of prey as you go. We take you into the centre of Matera; those wanting a bit more of a challenge can opt to walk down through the gorge and across the Ponte Tibetano into the centro storico (walking poles recommended).


Day 7: Matera exploration or Gravina Walk (7km/4.3mi)

Matera's Sassi district is renowned for its cave-houses, which have been inhabited for centuries and have since been converted into comfortable accommodation. Take a guided tour to learn more of this UNESCO recognised city (payable locally), or hop on the train to Gravina, birthplace of Pope Benedict XIII, with its historic palaces and dramatic canyon. From the town's iconic 17th century aqueduct bridge, head uphill to the Botrugno Hill for sweeping views of this picturesque town, before returning to its atmospheric centro storico. Return to Matera by train.


Day 8: End Matera

End in Matera after breakfast.



These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $411.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $411.


Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at for enquiries or to book your trip.


As we were on a self guided walking holiday it was important that everyone played their part when they needed to (airport transfers, chauffeurs, luggage transfers, etc) and Headwater made that happen and so the holiday was stress free. Everything worked like clockwork and crucially the route notes were well written and accurate which has given us confidence in another self guided holiday experience.

Martin Pilcher, 4 May 2024


Would we recommend this Headwater holiday in Puglia to friends? Absolutely. There were a few 'hiccups' but overall, we really enjoyed our trip.

James Gerry, 2 May 2024


This was our first self guided walking holiday. It exceeded our expectations - excellent varied and interesting routes, interesting and comfortable accomodation, friendly people throughout, wonderful breakfasts to start the day and great local evening meal recommendations. The transfers all worked beautifully and we enjoyed the train journeys. The walks were very peaceful; we especially loved the wildflowers, olive groves and vineyards. (The final gorge walk into Matera was not much fun - very congested and slippy - we were anxious about falling despite our walking poles and boots. It was a holiday weekend and the suspension bridge was newly opened so may usually be quieter.)

Margery Bell, 26 Apr 2024


Very good. Great tour - so varied. Beautiful part of Italy.

Nadia Turner, 21 Apr 2024


One thing that really stood out was how flexible and understanding the team were with our requirements. My wife was suffering with morning sickness and her capacity to do the full itinerary was really compromised. The itinerary itself allowed for a bit of a pick-and-choose approach but I was really impressed with - and appreciative of - the quite late notice change of pick-up times and drop off points.

Edward Noel, 5 Apr 2024


The app is terrific; it's clear that great care has gone into it's creation. Occasionally it was a little wobbly in orienting itself and a few yards behind us (as it were) in navigation, so we had to wait a few moments for it to catch up. These are minor points however, it's great!

Philip Warley, 14 Mar 2024


The overall holiday once in Puglia was fantastic. The local partner was excellent, the walks and accommodation hit the mark. The walking level was spot on and the options worked well. Using local trains also worked well. All transfers and pick ups worked like clockwork. More work is needed in the outbound flight arrangements. The choice of hotel in Milan was poor - nature (old), location and price. The whole flight combo to get to Brindisi or perhaps Rome / Bari needs thinking through. The original return flight had a 24 hour stopover in Rome which we had changed. With a 5 hour connection, no stopover is needed.

Paul Armitage, 5 Mar 2024


We have had over 10 holidays with Headwater and always enjoy the walks and the hotels. It gives us a flavour of the country we are visiting.

David Cameron, 31 Oct 2023


The locations and walks were interesting and varied. Accommodation was good.

Ian William Crook, 13 Oct 2023


Nav app was excellent, different accommodations brilliant, choice of route itinerary was also excellent for varied scenary and interesting holiday.

David Croxall, 22 Sep 2023


Everything went according to plan and we were very satisfied overall. The accommodation was excellent and the transfers went smoothly. There were a few minor issues that I have listed below.

David Meaden, 19 Sep 2023


Probably the best organised holiday I have ever been on. And I'm a travel agent! Less than a week before we were due to travel our holiday had to be cancelled due to damage caused by extreme weather in Greece. We had trains and hotel booked in Gatwick for the night before departure and Headwater moved heaven and earth to get us an alternative going on the same day so our arrangements weren't ruined. They did it within 24 hours, at no extra cost and boy was it a good alternative. The accommodation we had was outstanding, quirky, high standard and very different, the walking was varied through some lovely countryside and along the coast. The app worked perfectly, especially when we managed to miss a turning, it got us back on track very efficiently. The local transfers were by suited chauffeurs in large Mercedes which was a bit above and beyond. I can't say enough good things about Headwater, this was a fabulous trip and we will definitely be doing another. Thank you.

Jaclyn Wood, 16 Sep 2023


Well planned and organised. The only disappointment was that we were told the Tibetan bridge in Matera was closed, which it wasn't. The final walk Matera would have been much more interesting if the bridge had been included (although we can understand why it wasn't).

William Phillips, 12 Sep 2023


Everything went well with all aspects of the holiday.

Martyn Thomas, 6 Sep 2023


Enjoyed holiday and booking went smoothly - the tour round Puglia was good and well thought out. Staff at Headwater were good and very helpful.

Would also like thanks passed to your agent in Italy for their excellent service.

Hugh Williams, 6 Sep 2023


We enjoyed the holiday very much but didn't always get on that well with the navigation app or the printed notes.

Zoe Kavanagh, 4 Sep 2023


This holiday provides a great opportunity to see some of the main highlights of the Puglia region, visiting many sights of historical interest, a good standard of accommodation, nice manageable walks, and very efficient transportation (apart from some unpredictable Italian train services).

FAGAN, 28 May 2023


The walking holiday in Puglia was exactly what we expected and hoped for. Using the GPS system we were able to walk at our own pace and enjoy the beautiful wild flowers, scenery and the varied walks that made up the tour.

Almost all of the accommodation was very good although our stay in Ostuni left a lot to be desired.

We were generally very happy with the organisation and planning that had gone into the visit.

RAWLINS, 21 May 2023


As an experienced walker I enjoyed being able to do interesting and varied walks in an area that I didn't know at all. The tranport of luggage meant we could take a bit more than we normally would which was a bonus.The app was excellent and worked flawlessly. The descriptions of the walks were accurate and they were largely off the road. Spectacular wild flowers.It was good to have coastal walks then inland ones. It would have been good to have some options for extended walks. We did an extra section at Otranto towards the lighthouse that was spectacular. The accomodation was varied and interesting though we did have issues at one hotel with lack of hot water and heating. These were responded to appropriately by Headwater. The towns we stayed in were interesting especially Matera and Lecce. The additional information given about each site was useful and we followed some of the recomendations for restaurants. We would certainly use Headwater again and indeed visit Puglia again.

FARRELL, 10 May 2023


Varied and interesting itinerary, with a good mix of private transfer, train and walking. The accommodation was excellent, especially my trulli in Alberobella. The local agents, Slow Active, were excellent, always on time and ready to help. Matera was an amazing city to end the holiday with, and I'm glad we had several days there.

Ms Harrison, 24 Apr 2023


Good varied walking - each day was different. Beautiful places to stay. In Fuente Heridos, there is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called “Veg and Veg”. The food is really good and interesting, and it is run by an enthusiastic couple who told us all about the food. We had one of the best meals of our trip, and we are not even vegetarian. Thoroughly recommended, particularly as a change from the general pork-based cuisine of the area

Mr Evans, 3 Mar 2023


Excellently organized holiday where most things worked well let down by the occasional flaw. For example the B&B in Lecce claimed not to be aware of our early arrival, whilst the initail briefing was of little added value party coz the guide admitted to being distracted by events elsewhere. The wealth of overlapping, sometimes conflicting, documentation does not always instill confidence. The walking app can be a little quirky but overall works very well particularly the off route and proximity alerts, making guidance very easy.

Mr Head, 5 Oct 2022


A very lovely holiday staying in beautiful cities in a variety of different types of accommodation. The walks were varied and well explained.

Mr Salisbury, 17 Sep 2022


We enjoyed our holiday in Puglia. All the hotels were good except the one in Alberobello which wasn’t a brilliant location and the breakfast was average.

We didn’t go to Otranto as the train times weren’t great. The driver at Alberobello was lovely and extremely helpful.

Ms Jones, 13 Sep 2022


A great holiday as long as you are happy to find your own way around places and have a good level of fitness. Very well organised and efficient.

Mrs Walker, 10 Sep 2022


We loved our holiday. The arrangements worked very well, although changing planes in Munich seemed to involve numerous checks of passports and boarding passes. The Ostuni Palace was of the highest possible standard and so it took quite an adjustment to settle into Palazzo Rollo where the room was much more basic. Everyone was exceptionally kind and helpful. Taxis worked well and so did the train journeys.

Mrs Williams, 10 Aug 2022


A first walking holiday booking with headwater proved most enjoyable and I regret not having discovered the company nor the concept of walking holidays in my younger years

Dr Thomson, 26 Jun 2022


A lovely holiday in a quiet, unspoilt part of Italy.

Dr Eaden, 30 Apr 2022


Walking in Puglia is a great way to see the area, as there is time to see both the countryside and the beautiful towns.

Mrs Woodruff, 29 Apr 2022


Comfortable hotels in prime locations and still the opportunity to hike and walk and have an active yet luxury holiday feel.

Mr SCHOONBAERT, 26 Oct 2021


Excellent holiday with efficient service and great transport. Good choice of locations and good walks with good route notes. A very enjoyable holiday.

Mrs Pring, 8 Oct 2019


Self-guided walking

7 nights,

Level: 1

19.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

7 nights from $1805


Call: +44 1606 720199