Puglia and Basilicata walking holiday in Italy
Optional single supplement from £285 - £295.
Minimum age 16.
Description of Puglia and Basilicata walking holiday in Italy
This leisurely week long walking holiday in Italy takes you to its unknown heel, otherwise known as the regions of Puglia and Basilicata, often upstaged by other regions of Italy but stunningly beautiful. There are three main stops on this walking holiday, travelling in a circuit starting in Bari and heading inland, first of all, to Matera. As with all the hotels on this trip, we stay in a traditional 3* accommodation, but this one boasts beautifully restored cave like rooms in the heart of the Sassi district of the town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the extraordinary Park of the Rupestrian Churches is a site to behold. The nearby canyon on which Matera is built is also magnificent and we have a day of hiking this dramatic limestone terrain as well.
This is a leisurely walking holiday, however, with another urban walking tour at our second main stop just 8kms from the coast at Ostuni, famous for its gleaming array of hilltop whitewashed houses, and another stroll gives us a chance to take in views from its surrounding hilltop vineyards and olive groves. It is fitting, therefore, that we stay in an elegant farmhouse accommodation here, surrounded by such fine local produce.
After some free time to enjoy the coast and Apulian beaches, we head back up north again, spending two nights in another UNESCO wonder, the town of Alberobello and indeed it is bello with its 1500 bizarre ancient stone houses, known as trulli and well known for their conical roofs, the origin of which is still a bit of a mystery. The beauty, cultural and natural heritage and delicious local cuisine in this region are still a mystery to many tourists as well, although it is hard to imagine why. But make the most of the relatively people free surroundings by walking through them with our expert guide for a week to discover some of Italys finest offerings.
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8 Reviews of Puglia and Basilicata walking holiday in Italy
Reviewed on 01 Apr 2019 by Keith RumseyVery enjoyable - interesting places and nice walks. Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Oct 2019 by Stephen TurnerIt was made special by a very good guide who new answers to any question you fired at her whether flora and fauna , archaeology or history and she was great fun, we also had a great bunch of fellow travellers. Read full review
Reviewed on 29 Apr 2018 by Helen McNaughtIt was truly wonderful seeing the countryside of Puglia with a local guide. The town's and villages in between were delightful and so far relatively low on tourists. It was really fantastic. I think it's a wonderful way to discover Puglia. Read full review
Reviewed on 27 May 2017 by Sue RiceIt was excellent. Varied, lovely countryside, interesting towns and villages, excellent food, friendly group and truly outstanding guide!!! Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Sep 2017 by Chandra Kant SharmaExtremely enjoyable. Most memorable was the small township of trullis in Alberobella; and the ancient olive trees in the groves we walked through. Read full review
Reviewed on 07 May 2017 by Rhian JohnsThe walks were all fantastic - great pace with loads to see and learn along the way. Great fun, really enjoyed it. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Oct 2016 by Patricia HoltThe choice of small, locally run hotels and restaurants and our improvised picnics meant that our money was spent locally. Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Jun 2014 by Checkie WoodI really enjoyed it - nice way to get to absorb the vibe of a country and quite nicely low key....It was great having a leader to look after us as we couldn't speak a word of the local language and knew nothing. We went to one beautiful, wild beach where a pine forest fringed the sand - it went on for miles and no one else was there - and the swimming was glorious! And the gorge was awe-inspiring ..... Read full review
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, and use shops to purchase traditional gifts and crafts.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We spend the week in 3 small hotels with renovated traditional buildings that give a real taste of typical Apullian architecture. In Ostuni we stay in a Masseria (traditional farmhouse) and in Matera we are based in cave-like rooms in the heart of the historic Sassi district. All of the accommodation we have selected is run by local people, which is good for the community. Where meals are provided, local and organic ingredients are used wherever possible. There will be a range of delicious Italian food on offer over the trip and guides encourage clients to use the large range of local restaurants and cafes at dinner. Regional specialties include Orecchiette served with a sauce of turnip-tops or fresh tomato and sheep's ricotta-cheese, aubergine and parmesan bake, roasted peppers, fresh seafood, burrata (soft mozzarella and cream cheese), mozzarella and Caciocavallo sheep's cheese.
Local Craft and Culture:
There are many opportunities for culture integrated into this trip and clients are encouraged to engage with locals as much as possible in order to get a true impression of their customs and history. In Alberobello and Matera we organise a regional wine and cheese tasting- which is exceptional in this area and goes towards supporting local production. We also visit a number of religious and historical sites along our route like the archaeological park of S. M. Agnano, Materas Rock Churches Park and the optional excursion to the Baroque city of Lecce, which is home to over 40 churches, palaces and a Roman amphitheatre. By making donations and using businesses which surround these sites, we are ensuring that the community benefits from our tourism.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.