Self-Guided Walking in Puglia and Matera

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Headwater

Independent walking trip allowing you to discover the beauty of Puglia and Matera. Starting in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Matera, you'll make your way south east, through gently rolling countryside filled with olive groves and vineyards, stopping at Alberobello with its 'trulli' houses and the White City of Ostuni before finishing at the heel of Italy in Otranto with a walk along the coastline.

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. Eating and Drinking All breakfasts are included. 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 sheeps 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 sheeps cheese... plus excellent wines. This region is a food lovers paradise!

Hotel Sassi ()


Trulli Residence ()


Archi Hotel ()


Palazzo Rollo ()


Travel
Out: Alitalia Heathrow to Bari via Rome Fiumicino 07:25/14:40 then transfer to hotel 1 hour Return: Transfer to airport 1 hour 50 minutes then Alitalia Brindisi to Heathrow via Rome Fiumicino 11:15/16:00
Single Supplement
Add 234 single supplement. Please note that a single traveller supplement will also apply if you are the only traveller on a departure date
Meals
All breakfasts
Destinations
  • Italy
  • PUGLIA
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • Self Guided
  • Walking
Departure Points
  • London Airport
Day 1: Arrive in Matera
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 private 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 then take a private transfer back to Matera. Overnight in Matera.

Day 3: Morning transfer to Alberobello
Take a morning private 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. Spend the night in a typical 'Trullo' in the historical centre of Alberobello.

Day 4: Follow an old aqueduct through the Itria Valley, amongst ancient olive trees, vineyards and Trulli
Today you take a short private transfer to the trailhead, then 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 (train ticket not included).

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.

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.

Day 7: Train to Otranto and hike along the coastline
Take a morning train or bus to Otrano (train or bus ticket not included), 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 (train or bus ticket not included) and spend the night there.

Day 8: End Lecce
End in Lecce after breakfast.

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

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Touring with Headwater

In 1985, Richard and Christine Bass made the life-changing decision to turn a passion into a business and thus Headwater was born at their kitchen table.

The first Headwater tours were launched in summer 1986 and modestly comprised three holidays in the Upper Loire Valley in France: a canoeing holiday and two self-guided walking holidays.

Their vision for Headwater was clear, right from the start. Richard and Christine wanted to offer their customers exactly what they loved in a holiday – family-run, friendly hotels, an authentic experience of a region, including culture, cuisine and fine wines, and above all a fantastic level of personal service, with staff on hand in resort to help and guide as required.

After a successful 10 years specialising in France, Headwater launched a new Great Walks in Europe brochure in 1995, offering a selection of hand-picked guided walking holidays in eight countries. As a result of the phenomenal success of this, a year later the first self-guided walking and cycling holidays in Italy were launched.

In 1999, Richard and Christine decided to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labour, and sold Headwater – but not before ensuring it was in the safest of hands to continue their legacy.

Today, they enjoy taking customers (new and loyal) on journeys on foot or by bike throughout 18 countries worldwide. Whilst they have embraced modern technology and changing times since 1985, Richard and Christine’s ethos remains key to all of their holidays and they consider it their mission to ensure that the same detail, knowledge and passion goes into delivering each and every trip.

With more than 32 years’ experience, their collection now includes 59 self-guided and 12 guided walking holidays and 62 cycling holidays. Their canoeing holiday in the Dordogne remains as popular as ever, as well as their choice of winter snow holidays (cross-country skiing and winter walking) that run between December and April in Austria and Norway.

They are particularly proud of their Headwater-employed representatives (reps) who are on-hand in 15 regions in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Bavaria. Burgundy is their longest-standing “repped region” – Richard and Christine researched the holidays and they have been running them since 1992. Their reps provide 24-hour support in resort including: briefing you on arrival, transporting your luggage from hotel to hotel, offering a ‘Wine Service’ where they collect any bottles you’ve purchased en route and transport them to your final hotel for you, and giving you tips and advice and sharing their knowledge of the local area, the routes, the best views and generally helping you to make the most of your trip. Each year, before the season starts, the reps have an in-depth training session at Headwater HQ to make sure they’re ready for the summer ahead.

Their newest addition to the Headwater portfolio is a selection of single-centre activity holidays in Brittany and the Dordogne, France and Catalunya, Spain. These are ideal for multi-generational families and groups – take a look below for some Headwater inspiration.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Headwater