Walk the Countryside and Explore Ancient Cultures in Italy

Experience the ancient history and modern charm of southern Italy on a series of guided walks. 2 days off work.

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REF: 08535

Walk the Countryside and Explore Ancient Cultures in Italy

Experience the ancient history and modern charm of southern Italy on a series of guided walks. 2 days off work.

  • Italy
  • March—June, September, October
  • Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport, Bari (BRI)

The Basilicata region of southern Italy is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Sassi (“stones”) of Matera and the unique trulli houses of Alberobello. You’ll explore charming towns with architecture dating back to 7000 BC, walk across scenic plateaus with incredible views, and visit several historical sites. Nights will be spent in traditional stone dwellings that have been converted into modern and comfortable hotels. Your hassle-free trip includes:

  • 4 days of guided walking tours
  • 2 nights of accommodation in a converted cave hotel
  • 1 night of accommodation in a converted trulli house
  • Guided tours of the Sassi di Matera, Alberbello and Ostuni
  • 3 breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • Airport transfers
  • Luggage transfers

Perfect for:
This is the ideal getaway for history buffs seeking a pleasant walking tour through the Italian countryside mixed with fascinating sightseeing opportunities.

What to Expect

Thursday: Arrival and Matera tour

Your host will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the town of Matera (1 hour).

Check into your one-of-a-kind accommodation: an ancient cave dwelling that’s been converted into a modern hotel.

Head out in the afternoon for a guided tour of the Sassi di Matera, the “Stones of Matera”. These stone buildings were carved out of the native limestone bedrock as long ago as 7000 BC.

The stone city is no longer inhabited, but is instead preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing the stone dwellings as well as Baroque architecture and Romanesque churches.

In the evening enjoy a delicious dinner in a stone restaurant, then return to your hotel for the night.

Friday: Walk the Murgia Timone plateau

After breakfast you’ll start your walk right from town. Head downhill, cross a canyon, then ascend to the Murgia Timone plateau for awesome views of Matera and the Sassi.

Continue past a variety of caves, quarries and rock churches. You’ll eventually arrive back in Matera with time enough to explore the town on your own.

6 hours walking, 8km, easy to moderate

Saturday: Walk the Valle d’Itria to Alberobello

Today’s walk takes you to the lush Valle d’Itria in central Puglia. Covered with vineyards and olive groves, the valley is dotted with hundreds of centuries-old trulli.

Trulli are small buildings with circular stone bases and conical roofs intricately shingled with limestone. They were once used as storage, outbuildings and even homes by farmers and their families.

You’ll visit the 16th Century church of San Pietro, then continue through green pastures, woodland and country lanes lined with low stone walls. Your walk will end in the village of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with trulli.

Explore on your own for dinner, then spend the night in one of these unique trulli houses where your luggage is waiting for you.

4 hours walking, 8.5km, easy

Sunday: Walk Ostuni village and departure

After breakfast you’ll walk to the nearby village of Ostuni. Known as the “White City” for its whitewashed walls, the town positively shines in the sunlight. It overlooks the Adriatic Sea and boasts a captivating Medieval town centre with a 15th Century cathedral.

In the afternoon you’ll transfer back to the airport (1 hour 15 minutes) for your flight home.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

Your first 2 nights will be spent in a converted cave hotel in the Sassi di Matera old town area. You’ll spend the third night in your own trulli house in the village of Alberbello.

Dates & Prices

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Trip Photos

Location

View map

The Basilicata region is among southern Italy’s most fascinating destinations. The area features rolling hills and far-reaching plateaus that provide excellent views over the countryside and Adriatic Sea. The karst landscape forced historical inhabitants to be creative, leading to an abundance of unique stone architecture like the cave dwellings in Matera and the trulli in Alberobello.

Matera is a small city (population: 60,000) with many fascinating historical sites. It’s located right on the edge of the Sassi di Matera, an ancient collection of cave dwellings. Human habitation in the Sassi dates back to 7000 BC, but modern inhabitants were removed in the 1950s. Now the Sassi are preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Matera and the Sassi provide excellent opportunities for exploring on foot.

Alberobello means “beautiful tree”. It’s a small town (population: 12,000) that has earned a UNESCO listing for its 1,500 trulli dwellings. These structures are typically seen in rural settings, and their abundance in an urban setting is very unique.

Start point
Your host will meet you at the Bari Airport. Please book your flight to arrive no later than 14:00. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point
Your host will drop you off at the Bari Airport on the last day. Please arrange your flight home to depart in the late afternoon or later. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI) is served by regular, inexpensive flights, including well-timed flights from London on Alitalia. You can get any flights that suit you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the tour price:

  • Flights to/from Bari
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches and 2 dinners
  • Snacks, drinks and personal expenses
  • Entrance fees to historical sites
  • Tips for your guides (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 5 people, and a maximum of 8. Please note, if there are not 5 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Our Epic Weekends are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

The walks take between 2 and 6 hours per day. They are mostly flat hikes with some gentle hills and are considered easy to moderate. No technical skill required.

The Basilicata region is home to some delicious Mediterranean food. You can expect seasonal vegetables and fruits, fresh mozzarella cheese, durum wheat bread, hand-made pasta, and locally produced meats and seafood.

Absolutely! Just let us know once you have booked.

Temperatures average 15°C in spring and autumn. The hottest and driest months are June-August, with temperatures reaching 24°C. In winter temperatures drop to around 10°C.

  • Light-weight, breathable hiking shirts and trousers
  • Hiking shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Light jacket for evenings
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunblock)
  • Small rucksack for carrying personal belongings
  • Walking sticks (available on request)

Start point
Your host will meet you at the Bari Airport. Please book your flight to arrive no later than 14:00. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point
Your host will drop you off at the Bari Airport on the last day. Please arrange your flight home to depart in the late afternoon or later. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI) is served by regular, inexpensive flights, including well-timed flights from London on Alitalia. You can get any flights that suit you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.


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