Discover the fabulous towns and Baroque-style cities of southern Italy
Explore the best of Southern Italy's Basilicata and Puglia regions, walking the ancient paths of d'Otranto and Terra di Bari as they were once historically known. Setting out from the City of Rocks (Matera), this spectacular 8-day walking tour will take you through the enchanting towns of Italy's heel, leading you to the most beautiful city of Puglia, Lecce.
Walking at your own pace, you'll spend your days discovering cities and natural landscapes that will take your breath away. Walk through the fairytale-like UNESCO town of Alberobello, where you'll be pleasantly charmed by its one of a kind historic "Trulli" buildings with their whitewashed walls and corbelled roofs. Revel in the captivating beauty of the Baroque cities of Lecce and Martina Franca, taking in grand churches and noble palaces. Spend an evening delighting in Locorotondo's famous wines, getting lost in the tiny streets of the old town perched upon a hill. Welcome the magical presence of the Adriatic Sea as your final days on the walk will lead you to the easternmost point of Italy, where the "first dawn" rises.
Soak up the best of these regions, experiencing them on foot and immersing yourself fully in the beauty of the land.
Highlights of the Basilicata and Puglia Walking Tour
Basilicata and Puglia Walking Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Welcome to Basilicata
Arrive in Matera, also known as the City of Rocks, welcomed by the charm of this unique and spectacular city. After settling in, perhaps set out on a mini-adventure to acquaint yourself with this magical town, exploring its historical center and enjoying a dinner at one of its many inviting restaurants.
Matera is known for having some of the best bread in Italy, so make sure your dinner plans include trying some!
Back at your accommodations, enjoy a good night's rest in preparation for your first day of walking tomorrow.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Matera
Day 2 Matera and the Park of Rock Churches
Following breakfast, your adventure begins with a short warm-up walk through a pleasant ravine, bringing you to Murgia Timone inside the Natural Park Chiese Rupestri of Matera.
Today's route will take you along a beautiful trail, boasting stunning views over the Sassi district's frescoes and magical cave churches. Walking through the Sassi district is an experience you won't soon forget, as it's known as one of Europe's most unique landscapes. The caves dating back to the Paleolithic period were once home to peasants and artisans of this area.
After exploring the Sassi at your leisure, a visit to the Casa Noha is an excellent way to finish off your first day of walking! The multimedia exhibit offers short videos that illustrate the Sassi's evolution over time, inviting you into a 16th-century family home, providing you with a fascinating taste of how the early inhabitants lived here.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Matera
Distance: 3 hours, 10 km
Day 3 Walk the Itria Valley
After breakfast, a short transfer will take you to the beautiful Itria Valley.
Walking from Matera to Otranto, you'll be invited into the heart of Puglia, exploring the towns of Martina Franca, Locorotondo, and Citernino. These towns comprise the last eastern edge of the Murgia Plateau, bordering the Messapian plain of Salenta.
Walking the longest aqueduct in Europe (Greenway of Puglia Aqueduct), you'll want to visit the historic center of Locorotondo, making sure to sample some of its DOC wines.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Alberobello
Distance: 3 hours, 14 km
Day 4 Bosco Selva and Martina Franca
Proceeding southwards from Alberobello along country roads and short stretches of gentle slopes, you'll encounter the Bosco Selva (green heart). The vast oak forest once covered the entire surrounding area, and what remains provides a perfect backdrop for your walk today as you continue towards Martina Franca.
Taking in the high dry stone walls and vast pastures of ancient Trulli, you'll climb to Monta San Martino, an elegant old town where the magic of Puglia Baroque art is still very much alive.
Return to Alberobello by local train or bus to enjoy your evening at your leisure.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Alberobello
Distance: 4.5 hours, 17 km
Day 5 Walk to beautiful Ostuni
From this region's capital of Trulli, you will take a private transfer to the Natural Park Dune Costiere.
Hike through fields of rich soil and abundant crops depending on the season, perhaps sampling some fruit along the way.
After enjoying a short break at a charming family-run farm, you'll continue up the hills through a rich forest, climbing as the anticipation builds for your arrival in the old hilltop town of beautiful Ostuni.
An add-on option for today's hike is a detour to the Sanctuary of San Biagio, a rock settlement dating back to the middle ages and a yearly pilgrimage destination in honour of the patron saint of the city of Ostuni. You'll also have the opportunity to see the Archeological Park of Santa Maria di Agnano on this detour.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Ostuni
Distance: 3 hours, 12 km
Meals: Breakfast, local produce tasting
Day 6 Underground Oil Mills, Ancient Olive Groves and Masseria Farms
A short but enjoyable day of walking lies ahead as you take mainly gravel roads downhill towards the sea, bringing you to the edge of the Regional National Park Dune Costiere. The protected area tucked between Ostuni and Fasano is home to underground oil mills, ancient olive groves, and historic Masseria farms.
Welcomed into a homey farmhouse, you'll sample the most delicious extra virgin olive oil as you learn about the history of this fascinating location. You'll have a chance to visit the underground oil mill as well as the private museum located here.
A private transfer will then take you to tonight's accommodations in Lecce. Following check-in at the hotel, you'll get your first exciting taste of the Baroque-inspired splendour of this magical city. A walk around the town this evening is sure to delight your senses. Admire the famous Lecce stone, used to create works of art comparable to gold chiselling.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Lecce
Distance: 2 hours, 7 km
Meals: Breakfast, olive oil tasting
Day 7 Discover Otranto
Following breakfast, you'll reach Otranto by train or public bus. Spend your day exploring the easternmost city of Italy.
Walking down the coast, you'll uncover unspoiled landscapes pathing the way to the charming Cape of Otranto, Italy's most easterly point.
Take in the beauty of the Adriatic and Ionian seas as their currents come together and separate before your eyes.
A visit to the abandoned bauxite quarry tops the day off perfectly with breathtaking views of the blue lake. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon in Otranto at your leisure, perhaps visiting its famous cathedral, home to the impressive mosaic of Pantaleone.
Return to Lecce by local bus or train to enjoy your final evening in this beautiful city.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Lecce
Distance: 2.5 hours, 8 km
Day 8 Depart Lecce
Your walking tour of Basilicata and Puglia comes to an end this morning, but not before enjoying one last delicious local breakfast—and of course, a cappuccino!
Make your way to the airport where you'll depart and say Addio to beautiful Italy!
Overnight Location: None
Basilicata and Puglia Walking Tour Price and Dates
This self-guided walking tour of Italy is always run as a private tour for your group and the price depends on the time of year you visit and whether you choose a standard or superior package.
Prices below are per person.
Low Season (January 5th - March 26th and October 26th - December 16th):
- Price per person solo traveller: $1,075 USD
- Price per person staying in a single room (group of 2+): $895 USD
- Self-guided groups of 2+: $725 USD per person
- Price per person solo traveller: $1,450 USD
- Price per person staying in a single room (group of 2+): $1,275 USD
- Self-guided groups of 2+: $975 USD per person
Med Season (March 27th - April 7th, April 18th - June 24th, and September 5st - October 25th):
- Price per person solo traveller: $1,195 USD
- Price per person staying in a single room (group of 2+): $1,025 USD
- Self-guided groups of 2+: $825 USD per person
- Price per person solo traveller: $1,650 USD
- Price per person staying in a single room (group of 2+): $1,475 USD
- Self-guided groups of 2+: $1,150 USD per person
High Season (April 8th - April 17th, June 25th - September 4th, and December 17th - January 5th):
- Price per person solo traveller: $1,275 USD
- Price per person staying in a single room (group of 2+): $1,225 USD
- Self-guided groups of 2+: $995 USD per person
- Price per person solo traveller: $1,675 USD
- Price per person staying in a single room (group of 2+): $1,825 USD
- Self-guided groups of 2+: $1,425 USD per person
Accommodation on Basilicata and Puglia Walking Tour
This tour is based in either 3-star or 4-star hotels and B&Bs depending on whether you choose the standard or superior package. All the hotels offer basic amenities, comfortable rooms with ensuite bathrooms and great locations.
Rooms are double occupancy and single travellers will pay a supplement.
In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.
Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $195 USD (standard) or $325 USD (superior) to have a private room in a hotel.
Accommodadion in Matera, Alberobello, Ostuni and Lecce ★★★
Stay in simple, but convenient and and cozy B&B’s and one 3-star hotel.
Accommodadion in Matera, Alberobello, Ostuni and Lecce ★★★★
Spend 7 nights in charming B&B and 4-star hotels while trekking through the beautiful Basilicata and Puglia.
What's Included in the Basilicata and Puglia Walking Tour?
7 breakfasts are included on this tour, as well as 2 tastings.
Accommodations for 7 nights are included on this tour.
Transportation during the Tour
Transfers mentioned in the itinerary, both public and private, are included on this tour. Luggage transportation from accommodations to accommodations is included on this tour.
- Maps and route directions
- Phone assistance between 8 am and 9 pm
- Olive oil tasting and guided visit on Day 6
- Tasting of local produce on Day 5
- Flights to and from Italy
- Airport transfers
- Visas if required
- Travel insurance
- Tourist taxes if applicable
- Meals or drinks and snacks not previously mentioned
- Fees not mentioned as 'included'
- Activities and excursions unless otherwise mentioned as included
- Single room supplements
- Solo traveller supplements
- Any additional nights before or after the tour
Frequently Asked Questions about Basilicata and Puglia Walking Tour
Slow Active Tours is a tour operator specializing in "slow pace" outdoor activities, which mainly concern cycling, trekking and snorkeling in beautiful Italy. Based in Puglia, the wonderful heel of Italy, Slow Active Tours was born from a long experience in responsible and sustainable tourism, combined with a love for culture and a strong passion for traditions, history and respect for nature.
Dynamic holidays "at a slow pace", because in this way it is possible to savor every moment of a great journey, full of adventure, hearty breakfasts, moments of peaceful well-being, food and wine tastings, fresh dips in the most beautiful seas of Italy, smiles and chat with the locals.
Each trip includes everything you need to make the experience comfortable and to be free to travel safely.
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