Slow Active Tours
Southern Italy experience
Nature, emotion & art
Hiking in Puglia was a hard idea to achieve until a few years ago.
In Puglia there are almost no organized and marked paths, and the few ones that you can find are short and, even though they are very beautiful, sometimes it makes no sense to walk them, if not connected to other attractions. From this point, we took many cues for a daily trip – that, however, did not still include a walking tour plan divided into daily stages – to walk through our awesome Heel of Italy.
In Puglia there are no mountains to be climbed, neither long trails characterised by uphill hairpin bends leading to who knows which peaks. Here, the hills are part of the landscape of the rolling Murge and of the green Valle d’Itria, heart of Puglia, popular destination thanks to its beauties and particularities, such as the fantastic trulli of Alberobello.
From Valle d’Itria, you can gently accede to the plain of Salento, which continues until the extreme point of the cape of Leuca.
In this region, the nature is lush, there is no lack of countryside, oak and pine forests, kilometres of coasts and heights blocking the view. Venturing in a trekking tour in Puglia can be surely done, and the beauty is that, presenting no difficulties or risks in the paths, it can be thought for everyone. The main characteristic is to follow a slow rhythm, to go at the pace of the local life, but at the same time actively, always aimed at discovery, according to our idea of tourism, Slow & Active.
The desire to organize in detail walking itineraries in Puglia has teased us during a December with a spring climate. Here at Slow Active Tours we had a mission in our minds: to carry by foot the banner of peace along the Park Otranto – Leuca. So, we went in search of a path that we actually did not know, but that let itself be discovered. We wanted to bring around a message of peace and the journey led us physically and ideologically where we wanted, in the southernmost point of the Heel of Italy, Santa Maria di Leuca, where the Shrine de Finibus Terrae stands out.
As it almost always happens, since it was the first time, not all was perfect, but we were ready to test this new way of travelling. During our walk in the Park Otranto – Leuca, we have been helped by many friends who we knew to find along the trail and who helped us to better organize our days and gladden our evenings. Such as our friends of the association CoppulaTisa, who showed us the way, let us sleep and gave a good warm meal in their splendid seat Celacanto, a few steps from the sea, brightening up the meeting with music and a mini-workshop to learn how to make handmade pasta.
The important and exciting experience made us revaluate and rethink our territory, giving us the idea that hiking in Puglia could be something to be studied and organized, creating an emotional tourist product, Slow & Active, just the way we like it.
From that moment on, an intense work on the territory started, studying our first itinerary, that seemed not to be achievable from the papers.
On the base of our personal and long experience in the field of the active tourism, and in the organization and planning of itineraries that could lead the walking lovers to discover in complete freedom our territory, we organised a tour of Salento lasting more than one day. It’s almost all immersed in the Park Leuca – Otranto: a wonderful trekking tour in Puglia along its most beautiful coast.
The itinerary had and has all that characterizes a beautiful tour: you walk the most along gravel roads or countryside narrow streets with a low traffic, having the opportunity to admire many points of interest. The daily stages are affordable for whoever has a minimum of training in the walk, with almost imperceptible differences in altitude and limited distances from a minimum of 8 km to a maximum of 15 km per day.
Awesome towns are connected and you can spend your night in cozy and select accommodations, close to the old towns to allow our walkers to have time to visit them; moreover, as we had imagined, you stay a night in a “masseria” (traditional farmhouse); the final destination is the extremity of the Heel of Italy, Santa Maria di Leuca.
In Puglia, our offer of slow and active tours is very varied, and we often include also the close Basilicata, because both the regions were part, in the past, of the same land, “Terra d’Otranto”. From Matera you can go down to the long Puglia, which can surprise kilometre after kilometre. And we love to explore and share with you the peculiarities of every corner of this territory.
And, so, we propose to you itineraries, which wind high and low through this ancient and rich in history region. Itineraries characterised by various landscapes, from the gentle hills of the Murge, to the green Valle d’Itria, with its wonderful hinterland towns, and, finally, along the coasts of Salento, with one of the most beautiful seas of Italy, both on the Adriatic and on the Ionian side.
You will have the possibility to plan interesting stops to discover the genuine tastes of the local tradition and perhaps to prove yourself in workshops of cooking or crafts. You can visit museums telling the Apulian history and travel back in time to prehistory! And – why not? – you can stop chatting with the local aged people, who could convey to you the folk wisdom, through stories and proverbs.
Slow Active Tours is a project born from the passion for the territory and from the desire to rediscover it slowly through active and sustainable tours.
Over the years, we have implemented our services to allow our customers to live complete and comfortable adventures.
We have studied various itineraries, we have personally walked them and then elaborated proposals of experiences and services, to pack tours suitable for every need. If that were not enough, we support our clients in customizing their tour, proposing variants of itineraries or experiences that we have previously tested!
Follow the maps that we give you and our tips, also through our mobile app, where you can check the trail also offline: your journey will be safe and exciting!