Walking in Puglia & Matera

8 days
from
£1,149
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 49 reviews >
Trip code: 
TEV
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Walk in the undiscovered heel of Italy, a food & wine lovers' paradise

In the heart of the Mediterranean lie Puglia and Basilicata, two unique and still largely undiscovered regions of Italy nestled between the emerald waters of the Adriatic and Ionian seas. This trip gives us the chance to explore the very best that these Italian gems have to offer, from the rock churches and UNESCO Sassi district of the beautiful city of Matera, to the fairytale Trulli houses of the lush Itria valley and the white hilltop town of Ostuni. Aside from the perfect mix of cultural discovery and gentle walking, we will have the chance to sample the legendary local cuisine and delicious wines that make this region a true food lovers’ paradise.

Some changes have been made to this itinerary for travel after the 1st January 2018.

From next year an extra night will be spent in Ostuni instead of Alberobello. Some dates will run in reverse or at premium accommodation. Please visit https://www.exodus.co.uk/italy-holidays/walking-trekking/walking-puglia-... for more information or click on your desired departure date to be redirected to the correct version of the trip.

Highlights

  • Visit the UNESCO towns of Matera and Alberobello
  • Walk in tranquil countryside past trulli, vineyards and olive groves 
  • Indulge in the succulent and fresh local cuisine

 

Key information

  • 6 nights 3-star hotels and 1 night converted farmhouse; all rooms en suite
  • 5 days guided gentle walking; 1 free day
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Travel by private minibus and train

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 dinner and 1 wine tasting 
  • All accommodation
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local city taxes
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

Pace:

Leisurely: 3-4km/2-3miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; well marked trails; some uneven rocky terrain

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.0miles
Day 312.0km/7.0miles
Day 46.0km/3.0miles
Day 510.0km/6.0miles
Day 713.0km/8.0miles

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
Alberobello
  • Day 1

    Fly to Bari; transfer to Matera.

    Our hotel is located in the heart of the Sassi district, a UNESCO World-Heritage Site since 1993.

  • Day 2

    Short walk in Matera’s Rock Churches Park and guided sightseeing in the town's marvellous UNESCO 'Sassi' district; free afternoon.

    We start the week with a short hike to the Murgia plateau, a vast protected area home to over 150 rupestrian churches dating back to the 8th century, once inhabited by hermits and adorned with Byzantine frescoes. We descend down the Matera's canyon until we reach a suspension bridge which allows to cross on the other side of the valley. We then hike to the top of the ravine following a pathway which ends with a spectacular view point of Matera's Sassi district. In the afternoon we walk back to Matera for a guided tour: accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, we wander through the narrow alleys of the town’s famous UNESCO cave-dwelling district and learn of the history of this fascinating place. The rest of the day is free to discover the city at our own pace (3,5 hrs walking:-350m +350m, 7km).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Walk from Matera along a scenic canyon trail exploring prehistoric caves and rock villages; overnight in Matera.

    In the morning we start our walk from the hotel through the old town. We soon reach the ridge of the ravine, the deep limestone canyon on which Matera is built. During our hike we will enjoy spectacular views of a dramatic landscape and rugged nature, while discovering different caves and rock villages. (4.5hrs walking:+250m -450m, 12km).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Morning visit to the white city of Ostuni; afternoon walk through olive groves and vineyards; visit Agnano Archaeological Park; overnight in a traditional renovated farmhouse.

    In the morning we take a private transfer to the white city of Ostuni, famous for the dazzling effect of its whitewashed houses. After some free time spent discovering this elegant hilltop town at our own pace, we explore the beautiful surrounding countryside on foot, walking through ancient olive groves and vineyards overlooking the Adriatic coast. Along the route we stop for a visit at the archaeological park of S. M. Agnano. This evening we have a delicious dinner and overnight in a beautiful Masseria - a renovated farmhouse typical of the Apulian region. (2hrs walking: +100m -100m; 6km).

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Morning walk to the coast; free time at the beach (in season) and transfer to the UNESCO town of Alberobello; enjoy a delicious produce and wine tasting.

    Morning walk from the Masseria to the coast, where we have time to relax on a beach or swim in the mild waters of the Adriatic sea (depending on the season). In the afternoon we make our way to Alberobello, home to 1500 Trulli (conical roofed houses) that have made its historical centre a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The origin of these funny-looking stone dwellings is obscure. However, local farmers claim they were originally built in an effort to evade taxes. When the tax inspectors were in the area, the dry stone walls could easily be dismantled by simply removing the key stone above the door and quickly rebuilt after the inspection. In the evening we enjoy a delicious wine and produce tasting. (3 hrs walking: -150m, 10km).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day. Optional activities include visiting the Baroque city of Lecce, the picture-perfect coastal village of Polignano, or the bustling old town of Bari.

    Today is free to discover the many jewels of this beautiful region. We recommend to take a trip to the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce, known as the 'Florence of the South', and home to over 40 churches, countless palaces, as well as a Roman amphitheatre and theatre. Alternatively, for those who are looking for something a bit different, your leader can advise on other activities available in the area such as a visit to famous Castellana Caves - Italy's longest natural complex of subterranean cave networks - local wineries or cooking classes.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Walk over the hills of the Itria Valley, dotted with olive trees, vineyards and trulli; visit Locorotondo, known for its superb wine.

    Our destination today is Locorotondo. Sitting on the top of a hill, it is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is renowned for its white wine and Cantina Sociale, the local winery. Following narrow country lanes, we walk over the rolling hills of the idyllic Itria Valley, dotted with olive trees, vineyards and trulli. At the end of the day we take a short train ride back to Alberobello. (4.5hrs walking, +150m -150m, 13 km)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Bari; fly to London.

    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.

Combine this trip with

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, 1 dinner a typical Apulian farmhouse (Day 4) and 1 wine and local produce tasting are included.

In Puglia you will find genuine regional cooking that has strong links to the land and the sea. To give you just a small list of the types of food on offer in Puglia: Bread from the Murge, durum wheat pasta, olives, 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, grilled fish and seafood, burrata (soft mozzarella and cream cheese), plus excellent wines. This region is a food lovers paradise and the aboundance of delicious vegetables makes it a perfect destination for vegetarians! On this trip there will be many opportunities to taste the best local specialities, in particular during the produce and wine tasting and the traditional dinner included in the itinerary.

Weather

Puglia 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. Please note that Puglia can be very hot, reaching high 30s in the summer.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level 2, Leisurely/Moderate During the days we walk for 3 to 6 hours (including lunch and photo stops). The terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks and tarmac to gravel. The walks are easy, although some ascents and descents should be expected, so a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Please be aware that Puglia can also be very warm, possibly reaching 30 degrees in the summer months between July and September. Be prepared for climbing a lot of steps, sometimes uneven, in Matera and Ostuni during the sightseeing.

Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

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 & Farmhouse

All hotels on this trip have been specially selected for their location, character and comfort. We stay in renovated traditional buildings which give a real taste of the typical Apullian architecture. In Matera we stay at the 3-star Hotel Sassi which offers tastefully renovated cavelike rooms in the heart of the historic UNESCO district. In Ostuni we spend one night at Masseria Morrone, a traditional farmhouse surrounded by olive groves and overlooking the sea. In Alberobello we stay at Hotel Ramapendula or Cuor di Puglia (depending on departure dates), both offering outdoor swimming pool and located within reach of the town centre.

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 September 2017
    Sue Reeves-Jones

    Walking in Puglia and Matera

    Matera was beyond expectations and the whole trip was one amazing sight and experience after another. Guiseppe, our guide, was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and amusing. This was an excellent first group walking trip and I will definitely book to go on others, based on this experience. The day off was excellent and I would highly recommend visiting Polignano al Mare and Monopoli. Guiseppe provided great supporting information for both sites after the initial possible options information.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Matera and it's recent history have left a lasting impression.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As previously mentioned, he could not have been bettered. Having been brought in at short notice, to cover for our scheduled guide on what should have been his week off, his dedication to the group and our enjoyment of the trip could not be faulted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you feel like too much of a mole (talpa) in your allotted room in Matera, do not hesitate to see if there is something more suitable available. It worked for us!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Mary Robinson

    Walking in Puglia and Matera

    Marinella was a great guide, knowledgable, patient and very fit! The walks and the restaurants she found us were outstanding for food, wine and price. Thank you

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A few of the meals! The company

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you can walk 15 km in high temperatures in the full sun if you go in summer!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would choose Exodus again
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Susan Hely

    Great way to discover southern italy

    I recommend this tour of two regions of southern Italy - Basilicata and Puglia and our wonderful guide Guissepe. Relaxing walking off the beaten track together with great local food and wine. Guissepe took care of all the details including organising gluten free food. I was particularly impressed by his plant knowledge as well as history, particularly of ancient Matera. Good amicable and interesting group. Highlights included staying in the Masseria, home cooked feast of food from their garden, swimming at a beautiful sandy beach after a long hot walk followed by a memorable seafood lunch. And dinner at a farmhouse where they kept cows and made all their own cheeses.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunset at Matera - really beautiful

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Loved Guissepe. Never had my Coeliac's disease looked after so well. Very helpful. Good knowledge.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maybe ask for different rooms. Webput up with a very damp and airless room at the sassi hotel - room 610 - and the third night I was really sick with a cough and had to sleep with my daughter who had a lovely room - 502. Should have asked to change!
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Dan Johns

    Great walking in an area where there are few foreign visitors.

    Puglia and Matera are areas that are not well known in Canada. We booked the trip based on the interesting walks amongst olive orchards and vineyards that were advertised. What we didn't realize is all the history in the area. From the cave dwellings of the Sassi to the Trulli houses of Alberobello it is a different world. The hiking routes were quite quiet with few other walkers encountered. It was a nice break from some of the busier areas of Italy. The food and drink in the area is fantastic. Marinella took us to some amazing restaurants (and created fantastic picnics) that only a local would know. All in all it was a fantastic trip. My only regret was that it was only a week. We could have stayed longer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the most inspirational moment was the first time you see the Sassi. You are walking through the new town of Matera and all of a sudden you look into this ravine which is filled with buildings stacked on top of each other in a seemingly haphazard way. You then find out that caves are behind these buildings and that people live in them. The flocks of swallows and kestrels flying at all times of the day made the scene all the more impressive.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marinella was amazing. She knows the region and the people well. She (and Exodus) was very concerned about all of the walkers welfare since the temperatures were very high during the trip.She knew all the best places in town to eat and put together some fantastic picnic lunches. Her knowledge of the history of the region was also excellent. She went above and beyond by touring us on the free day around Lecce.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Watch the temperature. Our trip was mid-June and the temperatures were in the mid 30's. Any hotter and the hiking may not have been enjoyable. Otherwise, come with a good appetite and enjoy the region.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Hulda Gunnarsdottir

    Great walk in Puglia and Matera

    We were a group of 7 ladies from Iceland and went on the hiking trip to Puglia and Matera from june 3 to june 10. It was an excellent trip with beautiful landscape and the fantastic towns of Matera, Alberobello and Locorotondo. Excellent guide Giuseppe told us all there is about the region and was really nice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Coming to Matera and visiting the Sassi was something we will never forget. Alberobello and Trulli was fantastic and seeing the caves and hearing the history of the region was great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Giuseppe was really great and we give him our best recommendation!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is no need for trekking boots better to have light shoes like good sport shoes.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Susan Cameron

    sunshine, culture, scenery, food, wine - what more could you want?

    I had been wanting to visit Puglia for some time and this trip did not disappoint. Very well balanced between culture, history, nature, exploration and of course, food and wine - it offered everything that I look for in both a trip to Italy and an Exodus trip. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and early May was an ideal time to visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Matera for the first time from my hotel terrace Drinking Primitivo wine and eating tarallini with Italian friends overlooking Matera at sunset Picnics in the countryside with fresh local produce - and learning how to make friselli from Giuseppe! Wildflowers, nature and sunlight as we wandered through the countryside Final meal at Terra Madre in Alberobello - extraordinary food and wine

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Giuseppe was an exceptionally dedicated and passionate group leader and thinking back, his attention to detail in regards to both group and individual needs and what we did throughout the week made a good trip into an amazing one. I would go on another trip with Giuseppe without hesitation - in fact, would prioritise a trip with him as a group leader just on the basis I know it would be well organised and would offer activities and surprises that I would not get with another group leader. Giuseppe's local knowledge of the area and its history, and his ability to navigate its intricacies and occasional difficulties) also made a huge difference. and his restaurant recommendations were always spot on!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    be prepared for the walks to feel longer than they really are due to the heat - the temperatures and lack of shade make a difference. Definitely bring appropriate footwear and a sunhat. Also be prepared for long walks in the country without infrastructure or towns regularly interspersed. Also be aware that meals are not included on this trip, on the whole, aside from breakfast. this wasn't an issue for me but a few people in my group were surprised as meals are often included on other Exodus holidays.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on this trip - it's wonderful. I'm still smiling thinking about it.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Susan Rice

    Walking in Pulia and Matera

    This took us first to Matera- the most amazing town to visit!!! and then on to Alberobello. Beautiful scenery, wonderful flora and fauna, interesting historic towns and villages, wonderful local food and wine...... We were lucky in being with a friendly group AND we had an outstanding guide- Giuseppe!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many! The views over Matera. The passion and enthusiasm of our guide. The wild flowers. The lovely local produce

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding! Friendly, helpful, informative, thoughtful, passionate for his homeland

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the walks are designated 'leisurely' one or two demand a reasonable fitness level. A stick/ s might be handyZXOMG
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Paul Davies

    Walking in Puglia/Basilicata

    First class planning and organisation

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meal at farm house

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A1

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be reasonably fit to walk 8 miles in heat.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Christopher Ing

    Walking in Puglia & Matera, May 13 to 20 2017

    This was an especially interesting and enjoyable trip, thanks to a well-balanced itinerary, accommodation and transport that was well above average, and superb management on the part of our Tour Leader, Giuseppe. It proved also to be an excellent time of year to visit, with the countryside at its most attractive (green & productive) and the climate relatively fresh.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most spectacular part of the trip involved learning about the history of the city of Matera, and appreciating its geological setting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We have completed many trips with Exodus and other companies operating on similar lines. We have learned that the qualities of the Group Leader influence the success or failure of a trip to an enormous extent. Giuseppe proved to be one of the very best Leaders we have known. His concern to explain & illustrate the culture of his native province was quite exceptional, as were the lengths to which he was prepared to go to ensure that we experienced the full breadth of the local cuisine and wines - notably in the middle of the day when he regularly prepared a wonderful lunch for our party of 16 - complete with coffee, mint tea, or - most memorably - a polystyrene cup of Primitivo.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for climbing a lot of steps in Matera (as it's a very hilly city), and don't imagine that a 10km walk is too short for a good walker (the heat of the sun makes even a short walk quite taxing - even in mid-May).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a joint review from Christopher and Joan Ing
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Bob Schafer

    Wonderful Holiday

    Our 7th walking trip in the past 3 years with Headwater/Exodus and it was one of the best! We felt like we had the chance to experience the "Real Italy". While Aberobello had some foreign tourists, the rest of the places we visited/stayed we were among locals. A real treat. The walks were relatively easy. The scenery was beautiful. Picnic lunches and dinners were wonderful. Hotel Stassi in Matera was close to everything, provided unique and comfortable lodging, and a wonderful breakfast. Hotel Ramapendula was about a 5-10 min walk to the main Trulli area, was comfortable but breakfast was mediocre at best.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip was full of highlights but one of our favorite experiences was being in Matera on the May Day holiday. After completing our walk for the day we spent the rest of the afternoon in town and loved watching the streets full of couples of all ages, families and friends, strolling the streets, eating gelato, watching bands parade by, and just enjoying life the way it should be!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader , Giuseppe was excellent!!!! He was outgoing, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and wanted to ensure that this was one of our best trips ever. He had prepared handouts on restaurants in Matera and a list of options for things to do on our free day. His picnic lunches were wonderful. He interacted with the locals on many occasions giving us a chance to see the area through their eyes. We would jump at the opportunity to travel with him again

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go before this part of Italy becomes too popular

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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