Beautiful South: Sassi, Trulli and BaroquePuglia & BasilicataDifficulty path:
A walking tour in south Italy that shows some of the most beautiful paths of these regions, two Unesco towns, Matera and Alberobello, and the most representative cities of southern Baroque, such as Lecce and Martina Franca.
To brighten the last days will be the presence of the beautiful Adriatic Sea, that meets the Ionian Sea in the easternmost point of Italy, just south of Otranto: where the "first dawn" rises.
The City of Rocks and its specialties, like the Bread of Matera
Locorotondo's DOC wines, and the "cummerse"
The Fairy Trulli of Alberobello and Ostuni, the White City
The Baroque Cities of Lecce and Martina Franca
Monumental Olive Groves and Tasting of EVO oil
Otranto and its beautiful Coast
- A Walking Holiday in Puglia and Matera, a tour full of surprises
Welcome to Matera
Individual arrival to Matera and accommodation in hotel. Welcome to the City of Rocks.
It is a Unesco site since 1991 and the European Capital of Culture 2019: Matera will host you in its simple and genuine way, making you know about its historical centre, unique in the world, and its extraordinary landscapes.
Walking through Matera, you can find the ancient public oven where the housewives used to bake bread until the 1950s: they delivered it to the bakers to cook it, but first it was stamped.
Yes, you read that correctly: the bread stamps were commissioned to the shepherds, who made them during the transhumance. Away from home and with so much free time, they carved wood to make a stamp different from that of other families ... and the Matera bread is sooo good!
The Park of Rock Churches
11km, +320m -320m
After a rich breakfast, you will start your Walking holiday in Puglia and Matera.
Hiking down and up the ravine and coming up to Murgia Timone, inside the Natural Park Chiese Rupestri (Rock Churches) of Matera. Today’s route will take you along an enchanting panoramic trail, rich in naturalistic and stunning views over the Sassi, in frescoes and cave churches.
After walking, devote the last hours of the day enjoying the history of Sassi. To get a well knowledge of Matera, we recommend a visit to Casa Noha, a site preserved by the Italian FAI, where, in the rooms, short videos illustrate the evolution of the Sassi over time in a suggestive way.
Overnight in Matera.
From Matera to Alberobello via Locorotondo
14km, +140m -110m
Private transfer to the Itria Valley, a territory that tries to keep its ancient balance between man and nature, focusing on a local development that emphasizes its architectural and craft peculiarities.
The walk from Matera to Otranto goes in the heart of Puglia, where the towns of Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Cisternino are the last eastern edge of the Murgia plateau, bordering the Messapian plain of Salento. Today the path will take you to the village of Locorotondo by a walk onto the Greenway of Puglia Aqueduct, the longest aqueduct in Europe.
In Locorotondo, so called because it was "Luogo Rotondo" (round place) on the ancient lithographs, we suggest you visit the historic center, made of concentric lanes and unusual low-roof houses, the "cummerse".
Back by train to Alberobello: here you will spend the next two nights.
From Alberobello to Martina Franca
19km, +230m -210m
Today’s walk will start from Alberobello to proceed southwards along country roads and short stretches of gently sloping paths.
One of the most beautiful naturalistic views will be the Bosco Selva, the "green heart” of the area and rare example of the vast oak forest that once covered the entire surrounding area. Continuing towards Martina Franca, among the high dry stone walls typical of this area and the wide pastures that preserve ancient Trulli, you will climb to Monte San Martino to reach the elegant old town, splendid example of Puglia Baroque art.
Return to Alberobello for overnight by public transports (train or bus).
From Alberobello to Ostuni
12km, +230m -110m
From the Capital of Trulli you will reach by private transfer a Masseria, old farmhouse, in the Natural Park Dune Costiere.
Hike through fields and crops: here the soil is rich and generous, and each season is able to give an incredible variety of fruits and landscapes. After a short break in a small family-run farm surrounded by all this nature, you will continue up the hills, through the forest, climbing slowly towards the white Ostuni and its hilltop old town.
On the way of this Walking Holiday in Puglia and Matera, you can also take a detour to the Sanctuary of San Biagio, an almost hidden rock settlement dating back to the Middle Ages. Impressive, but little preserved, every year on 3 February is a pilgrimage destination where to pay homage to the patron saint of the city of Ostuni. You will also pass close to the Archaeological Park of Santa Maria di Agnano, in which findings prove human presence in the area from the Paleolithic.
Overnight in Ostuni.
Ostuni and the Natural Park Dune Costiere
6km, +10m -140m
Today a short trail, mainly on gravel roads downhill towards the sea will take you to the edge of the Regional Natural Park Dune Costiere.
This protected area between Ostuni and Fasano, with its numerous natural habitats, ancient olive groves, historic masseria farms and underground oil mills, develops an important role in the environmental protection and relevant sustainable economic development.
In an ancient farmhouse you will taste extra virgin olive oil, visit the underground oil mill supposedly dating back to Roman times, the private museum, the small 18th century church with its altar made of a white Lecce stone. Here the olive trees are waiting to be entered on the Unesco World Heritage list and you will discover why.
To follow a private transfer to Lecce. After check-in you will have time for a first visit to the capital of Salento Baroque, where you will stay the last two nights of this easy walking tour in Puglia and Matera.
From Lecce to Otranto
8km, +100m -100m
After breakfast you will reach Otranto by train or public bus. You will spend the day in and around the most eastern city of Italy, always been a link between East and West.
Down the coast there will be unexpected discoveries and unspoiled landscapes until you see the most eastern tip of Italy: the fascinating Cape of Otranto. Here the currents of the two seas, Adriatic and Ionian, separate and come together in an incredible scenery.
We will head back to Otranto not before an impressive detour to its, now famous, abandoned bauxite quarry or Blue Lake for a breathtaking picture full of colours and strong feelings.
Before returning to Lecce, still by local transportation, we recommend to spend the time left for the visit of Otranto, its Cathedral with the impressive mosaic of Pantaleone, and the Castle.
After breakfast, end of services.
If you want to continue your Walking Holiday in Puglia up to the tip of the heel, we suggest you to combine this tour with the hike along the southeast coast from Otranto to Leuca.
Tour programme variations
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example road works) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each walker can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.
Our offer includes
- 7 nights with breakfast
- Short tasting day 5
- Olive oil tasting and guided visit day 6
- Scheduled public and private transports
- Detailed route description with maps
- Travel App (maps, tracks, route notes)
- Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
- Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Meals and drinks
- Entrance fees and tips
- Hotel tourist taxes (about € 14,00)
- Insurance and what's not listed as Included
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
The Walking Holiday in Puglia and Matera is suitable for anyone with a minimum of training. The length of a walking day ranges from a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 19 km, with almost undemanding unevenness and travel times between 2 and 4.5 hours.
The tour winds mainly through dirt paths and country lanes; rarely, and only when strictly necessary, on busy roads.
We recommend to wear comfortable walking shoes, better if trekking boots, and to bring with you a hat, drinking water, sun cream, swimming suite and a waterproof jacket in case of rain.
The Standard tour offers accommodation in simple B&B and selected 3* hotel.
The Superior tour offers accommodation in charming B&B and 4* hotel.
All rooms are ensuite.
- 2 nights in Matera
- 2 nights in Alberobello
- 1 night in Ostuni
- 2 nights in Lecce
In Alberobello, if available, accommodation in the typical trullo house.
7 breakfasts and 2 tastings included. All other meals are not included.
We will take care of your luggage while you are walking.
In case of need you can call our emergency number ON from 08:00 to 21:00. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
A few days before departure you will receive by email the Service List with instructions for using the Travel App.
At the first hotel reception you will receive:
- updated Service List;
- luggage Labels;
- detailed Route directions with maps.
Matera is easily reachable by train, car and by air.
BY TRAIN. The train stations close to Matera are Bari, Gioia del Colle, Ferrandina and Metaponto, info on Trenitalia website.
From Bari you can reach Matera on board the trains or buses of the FAL-Ferrovie Appulo Lucane, while from Metaponto and Ferrandina you can go to Matera only by bus (check the times on the SITA sites and FAL). To know deletions or additions of stops, cancellations, delays, detours and many other useful information for those traveling by train with Trenitalia, see viaggiatreno. NB: on Sundays and public holidays there are no trains but only a few buses.
BY AIR. The nearest airports to Matera are those of Bari, Brindisi and Naples.
The Bari Palese airport is located at about 60km and is connected by shuttle services of various companies or, having reached the central station of Bari with the Ferrovie del Nord Barese, you can take the FAL train to central Matera (about 80min). NB: on Sundays and public holidays there are no trains but only a few buses.
Brindisi Casale airport is about 150km away, from here you can reach Matera by bus passing Bari Palese airport. Visit the Aeroporti di Puglia website for more detailed information.
Naples Capodichino airport is about 250km away and is connected to Matera by various bus companies.
BY BUS. Matera is also accessible by bus. Here are the major companies operating the service: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Marozzi, Busmiccolis, Petruzzi autolinee.
BY CAR. The nearest motorway exits are Bari Nord and Gioia del Colle for those taking the A14 or Adriatica highway; exit at Sicignano-Potenza for those coming from the A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.
Back to Matera
From Lecce you can reach Matera with Trenitalia getting to Bari, in combination with Ferrovie Appulo Lucane from Bari to Matera. The entire trip cost varies from € 16 to € 30 depending on the type of trains; the travel time is about 3.5 hours. NB: on Sundays and public holidays the train service is replaced by bus rides.
If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.