Beautiful South: Sassi, Trulli and BaroqueBasilicata & PugliaDifficulty path:
A walking tour in south Italy that shows some of the most beautiful paths of these regions, two Unesco towns 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, where the "first dawn" rises, just south of Otranto.
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
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 so good!
Matera and the Park of Rock Churches
(about 10km, 3 hours of walking, elevation gain: +210 -210)
After a rich breakfast, you will begin your hiking week going 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.
From Matera to Alberobello, by crossing Locorotondo
(about 14km, 3 hours of walking, elevation gain: +140 -110)
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 Matera - 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.
From Alberobello to Martina Franca
(about 17km, 4.5 hours of walking, elevation gain: +130 -100)
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 FSE public transports direct line (train or bus). Last but not least, in the afternoon you can enjoy a tasting of typical products in a Trullo shop.
From Alberobello to Ostuni
(about 12km, 3 hours of walking, elevation gain: +160 -70)
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, 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.
From Ostuni into the Natural Park Dune Costiere
(about 7km, 2 hours of walking, elevation gain: +10 -140)
After breakfast 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 walking tour from Matera to Otranto.
From Lecce to Otranto
(about 8km, 2.5 hours of walking, elevation gain: +80 -80)
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 trasportation, 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.
Our offer includes
- 7 nights with breakfast
- Scheduled public and private transports
- Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
- Tasting day 4 and 5
- Olive oil tasting and guided visit (in English) day 6
- Description and information material
- Phone assistance 8am-9pm
- 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
Supplements per person
The tour is suitable for anyone with a minimum of training. The length of a walking day ranges from a minimum of 7 to a maximum of 17km, with almost undemanding unevenness and travel times between 2.5 and 4 hours.
The tours wind 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 3* hotel.
The Superior tour offers accommodation in charming 4* hotel.
All rooms are ensuite.
2 nights in Matera
2 nights in Alberobello
1 night in Ostuni
2 nights in Lecce
7 breakfasts 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 8am to 9pm. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
You can reach Matera in many different ways.
BY TRAIN. The train stations close to Matera are Bari, Gioia del Colle, Ferrandina and Metaponto, info on www.trenitalia.it.
From Bari you can reach Matera by trains or buses, ferrovieappulolucane.it, 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 www.viaggiatreno.it.
Careful! on Sundays and public holidays there are no trains but only a few buses.
BY AIR. The two nearest airports are those of Bari Palese which is approximately 65km and with a direct shuttle bus service, and the airport of Naples Capodichino, which is about 160 km.
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. google.maps.com can help.
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.