Self - Guided Walking in Puglia and Matera

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Traveller ratings
4 / 5 from 3 reviews >
Trip code: 
LTY
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Self-Guided Walking
Min age:
12

Independent walking trip allowing you to discover the beauty of Puglia and Matera

Puglia is a land forged in history by an incredible mixture of civilisations and cultures. From the unique 'trulli' style houses of Alberobello, the cave houses (Sassi) in Matera, to the beautiful White City of Ostuni. This independent 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 spend lingering afternoons savouring the traditional cuisine.

Highlights

  • Visit the UNESCO sites of Matera and Alberobello
  • Discover mouth-watering local food and wine
  • Charming hotels in great locations
  • Walks are optional with plenty of time to discover each destination

Key information

2 nights in 3-star hotels, 3 nights in charming B & Bs and 2 nights in a typical Trullo

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 dinner & 1 typical product tasting
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • Route notes
  • All baggage transport

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Transfers to the start/end point
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Terrain:

Varies between manmade paved tracks, tarmac and gravel.

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.0miles
Day 413.0km/8.0miles
Day 711.0km/6.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Matera
to
Lecce
  • Day 1

    Start Matera.

    Make your way to Matera from Bari or Brindisi airport. Spend the night in a charming hotel in the old city centre of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • Day 2

    Beautiful morning hike to rock churches on the Murgia plateau.

    This morning take a transfer and then a scenic walk to discover the Murgia plateau facing Matera, and take some time to admire the impressive rock churches of the 8th Century. 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. In the afternoon enjoy a guided visit of the 'Sassi' area of the town. Overnight in Matera. Distance 7km, approx. 2 hours walking. Ascent 150m, descent 150m.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Morning transfer to Alberobello; afternoon tasting of wine and typical regional products.

    Take a morning transfer to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site, an intriguing city populated by dry stone dwellings known as 'trulli', nestled in amongst the beautifully exotic Itria Valley. Enjoy a wine and local product tasting, and, subject to availability, spend the night in a typical 'Trullo' in the historical centre of Alberobello.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Follow an old aqueduct through the Itria Valley, amongst ancient olive trees, vineyards and trulli.

    Today you walk along an old aqueduct towards Locorotondo, through the gently rolling countryside of the Itria Valley. Walk through ancient olive groves, vineyards and trulli. Take a short (15 minute) train ride back to Alberobello. Distance 13km, approx. 4 hours walking. Ascent 100m, descent 100m.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Ostuni; the ‘White City’; optional loop walk.

    Private transfer to Ostuni. This striking hilltop village, a short distance from the sparkling Adriatic sea, is known as the 'White City' due to its fortress of whitewashed buildings clustered together on the hillside. Ostuni's charm lies within the enchanting maze of Greek-style narrow streets, displaying some beautiful Mediterranean architecture. Enjoy a free afternoon with time to discover this enchanting town.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Transfer to Ostuni train station and train to Lecce; optional walk in the city.

    Take a private transfer to Ostuni train station and a train (60 mins) to Lecce. Enjoy some free time to discover the main monuments of the Salento region's capital, characterized by the baroque style. Optional city walk in the afternoon.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Train to Otranto and hike along the coastline.

    Take a morning train or bus to Otrano, a little seaside village facing the Adriatic sea and known as the gateway to the Orient. The Cathedral houses an impressive 'Tree of Life' mosaic which covers its entire floor, and is well worth a visit. Hike along the coastline, discovering the imposing coastal watchtowers, and appreciating the beautiful plantlife. Take a train or bus back to Lecce and spend the night there. Distance 11km, approx. 4 hours walking, ascent 100m, descent 100m.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Lecce

    End in Lecce after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner (in a typical Puglian farmhouse) on day 4 are included. There is also a wine and local product tasting. 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!

Weather

The Puglia region of Southern Italy enjoys a wonderful Mediterranean climate with all year round sunshine and just enough rainfall to ensure that the green is never too far off. Although Puglia covers a large area it is long and narrow - not more than 30km across. This means that you're never far from the sea which has a moderating effect on the weather.

Is this trip for you?

This is a self-guided tour; you can walk at your own pace (we recommend taking plenty of time to rest and enjoy the views!). However, on some of the walks the terrain encountered is similar to the one you would find on a moderate walking trip, hence the Leisurely/Moderate grade. Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate). Average daily walk: 10km (6 miles) No. of days walking: 5 (2 days optional) Terrain & route: The terrain and type of path will vary between manmade paved tracks, tarmac and gravel. All walks take between 3 and 6 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness. Please be aware that Puglia can be very warm, possibly exceeding 30 degrees in the summer. Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you and will be on call throughout the trip should you need. As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

All the hotels on this trip have been specially selected for their location and character. Located in the heart of the historical centre, the B & B in Lecce is found in a 17th Century palace, and in Alberobello we use a family-run hotel in beautifully restored 'trulli' houses.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2017
    Nigel Goodwin

    An authentic taste of Italy

    An interesting trip through the heel of Italy, with fascinating places, brilliant accommodation and warm, friendly people. The walks were easy, but sometimes the self-guided notes didn't quite match with the track, which made it a little frustrating at times. But all-in-all, an enjoyable experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chatting with school kids on the regional trains - they love to practice their English, and were thrilled to meet people from Australia.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Puglia is very slow-paced. People are very happy to help with directions etc, but often speak little English.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Amy Lavisher

    Bountiful mix of History, Culture & Wildlife

    A busy holiday exploring lots of different towns and landscapes. Plenty of colour both plant wise and insect wise, ancient gnarly olive trees, deep ravines, calm and rough Adriatic. Complex cave houses, conical rooved buildings, hilltop towns and Roman remnants. We went in mid- June and had sun and thunderstorm's at the beginning of the week moving to very hot days at the end. On some days it would have been better to start the walks earlier but was restricted by the time of the transfers between accommodation. The walking routes were easy although on hard ground. Very easy to find places to buy food from and eat in the evenings, just need to remember shops close between 1 and 5 most places and we didn't need to reserve tables. All arrangements for transfers, tours & tastings worked smoothly and plenty of support if needed. Accommodation very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding 2 baby kestrels in an alcove below our balcony. Watching ballerinas perform in the Roman amphitheatre. Eating delicious Pucca. Matera at night.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was a self guided holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Stick to the advice given in your packs, especially to wear walking trousers with good walking shoes or boots. Watch out for snakes, we saw 3 on the Alberobello - Locorontondo walk. Take an umbrella. Use the town maps provided by the accommodation providers, they are very good. It's fine to drink the tap water and make sure you have at least 1.5 litres per person on every walk.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Use the maps and walk directions together as the lefts and rights were occasionally muddled.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Caroline Barley

    Self-guided walking Puglia and Matera

    A fantastic blend of local accommodation throughout Puglia and Matera with a good cross section of walks through ancient olive groves and into small medieval villages. The local food and wine was a revelation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several highlights to this trip. Starting with staying in a converted cave in the Sassi area of Matera and finishing up in a historic baroque family-owned palazzo in Lecce. Another highlight was the trullo in Alberobello and the food tasting that the local owner does - a great opportunity to try local cheeses, meats and wine. The church in Otranto was another highlight with the extensive mosaics - make sure that you go downstairs to the crypt.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    n/a - self-guided holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about the connecting trains to Otranto - they wait for each other, and it's well worth a visit. Rail tickets are sold at the local newsagent. Request the hotel to confirm the reservation and any transfers for the next day. A lot of places are closed from midday to 4 pm including tourist offices, so best to make the most of exploring in the towns in the morning. There are limited options for public transport on Sundays.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Puglia and Matera are fantastic places to explore. The walk in Matera took in several rock hewn churches with ancient frescos still visible in some of them. They can be a little difficult to find, but stick with the notes and you should be able to find them. The church in Otranto was beautiful with an amazing mosaic of the tree of life inside - be careful on opening hours so that you don't miss it. Lecce was a lovely city and full of baroque architecture to finish the trip. All in all a great mix of local culture, walking and enjoying the local food and wine.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 0208 772 3936