Puglia Walking Tour - 2020

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Tour Details

Puglia Walking Tour – 2020

See the key sights of the Puglia countryside, whilst walking amongst olive groves and trulli houses, through vineyards, alongside dry-stone walls and more.

Bari • Polignano a Mare • Monopoli or Alberobello • Ostuni • Lecce • Matera • Locorotondo • Martina Franca • Bari


  • A series of walks that take you through areas where you are immersed in the untouched and traditional areas of Puglia, with many centuries of history that reveal itself to you as we pass through at a pace allowing you to appreciate the smaller details
  • The UNESCO World Heritage sites of Alberobello (with its conical trulli houses) and Matera (with its cave houses)
  • Key locations such as Ostuni, Polignano A Mare, Lecce, Monopoli, Locorotondo
  • Enjoy a range of local food along the way, each day we stop in for lunch at good restaurants where we have 3-4 courses of the wonderful Pugliese cuisine

Puglia Walking Tour

  • This walking tour is a balance between the more active side – the walks – along with enjoying the cuisine, and visits to a range of interesting places. Generally we walk in the morning, stop for lunch in a restaurant, then visit other places in the afternoon
  • The walks are fully guided (no need to spend frustrating hours looking for the path!)
  • We stay for the week in one place, the town of Monopoli. Here people have the time to share a smile or a chat in the piazza – and by the end of a week here you’ll be greeting the locals too!
  • Small groups, maximum 14 people
  • This is the trip that you’d design for yourself.
  • This 7 day tour starts and finishes in Bari


You stay in what is known as a ‘scattered hotel’, this is a new concept that is becoming very popular in some Italian historical centres.

With a central reception (& free wifi, rooms serviced, etc.), you stay in rooms in the old town in building from centuries past. The rooms are tastefully presented and updated, and by staying here you can really get a sense of history (along with all the modern conveniences that you require of course).

For this week, you are immersed in history. By staying centrally you can feel immersed in the local lifestyle, and it is easy to wander out in the evening for dinner and gelati.

Staying in the historic centre of town also aligns with our responsible tourism charter, being supportive of local and historic initiatives.

By the end of the week, you’ll be greeting your neighbours with a ‘buongiorno’ every morning!

During the May tour you stay in the town of Alberobello, famous for its unique trulli houses. Your accommodation for the week is a trullo, so you have a chance to experience for yourself living in one of these fascinating structures.

During the September tour you stay in the town of Monopoli, a vibrant town on the coast, with layers of history and a seaside position. There’s even a swimming beach right in town.


10 – 16 May
13 – 19 September


AUD$3000 per person
* Prices listed are based on twin share


* All accommodation is included
* Meals as listed in the itinerary: breakfast every morning, plus a main meal each day of 3-4 courses including wine
* All costs/entry fees for activities listed in the itinerary are included
* All walks are guided
* All transport during the tour is included
* Travel is in our van/minibus with a professional driver
* A tour manager is provided for the duration of the trip

We meet in Bari, the main city of Puglia, and from here we start our discovery of the region.

Our first stop is Polignano a Mare on the coast nearby, an impressive town clinging to a promontory suspended above the Adriatic’s turquoise waters. With a history spanning back to the 4th century BC as a Greek settlement, Polignano a Mare is a charming town centred around the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Polignano a Mare encircles a pebble beach, nestled in a cove between rocky cliffs. We advise keeping your camera at the ready!

Towards evening we reach the towns that we stay in for the next six nights, either Monopoli or Alberobello. We stay in the historic centre of town, where the piazzas have the traditional ‘passeggiata’ in full swing each evening. Over the next few days you’ll have plenty of time to explore the town at your own pace.

Tonight we dine together, having our first introduction to the cuisine of Puglia.


In the morning on our first walk we start to explore the fascinating area that you are based in. Starting out in an area of oak forest, the walk opens out to an area that has many working agricultural enterprises, vineyards, and the numerous small-holdings of the local community.

We start to see the trulli, unique to this area and a taste for what is to come this afternoon in Alberobello. We see evidence of how people lived here in times past, such as ‘cisterna’ underground tanks for water collection, and ‘aia’ raised platforms for the drying of grain.

As we walk through the countryside you will have the history of the area explained to you, while seeing first hand the combination of age-old practices along with more modern technology used to work this land today.

In the afternoon we visit the picturesque Alberobello. First we have lunch in what used to be an olive oil mill, from back when this town was a simple agricultural centre.

After lunch we explore Alberobello. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a unique town with streets lined with ‘trulli’. In fact it is known in Italy as the “Capital of trulli”. Trulli are small stone houses with a distinctive conical roof, built 300-400 years ago.

By walking along its narrow streets, you will be fascinated by the magical and fairytale atmosphere of this place.

We explore this town together, and learn about why and how these dwellings were built, and about the cryptic symbols painted on the roof-cones.

You’ll also have some free time to browse the shops of Alberobello and to wander around.

Walking Details

The walk is fully guided
Total Distance: 5 miles / 8 km
Duration of walking: 3 hrs
Terrain: Well formed track, slight inclines


After a short drive toward the coast, we begin today’s walks and start to really get an understanding of the depth of history that we are surrounded by. Walking first through open plains, we come across abandoned dwellings – in this area evidence has been found of inhabitation since Neolithic times.

Further on we see a ‘dolmen’, Bronze Age remains thought to have been used for burial rites. Dolmen are a type of ‘standing stone’ structure and there is some debate as to their exact function.

Part of the route we walk today is the ancient Roman road called Trajan’s Way. This was built to connect Rome with the port of Brindisi further south in Puglia, and the trade routes that extended out from there.

For lunch we visit Ostuni, known as “la città bianca” (the white town). Ostuni is a cluster of whitewashed buildings perched on a hilltop overlooking the coast. Walking through the narrow streets of Ostuni is like being in a forgotten time, evocative and ancient, looking out over an expanse of olive trees. We arrive at our lunch venue, enjoying the time to recharge and relax.

After lunch we visit a ‘masseria’. A masseria is a historic farm centre, originally with all the estate’s workers living in the fortified buildings. Nowadays some of these estates are still agricultural enterprises, while others have been converted into boutique lodges. The masseria that we visit still produces organic extra virgin olive oil from trees that are many centuries old.

This land has been worked for thousands of years – we are shown the remnants of the ancient Roman agricultural production here, along with items of habitation from the middle ages through until modern times.

After seeing the ancient trees, we enjoy a degustation of a range of olive oils. This allows us to compare the different tastes from the olive varieties grown here.

Walking Details:

The walk is fully guided
Total Distance: 7.5 miles / 12 km
Duration of walking: 4 hrs
Terrain: Well formed track, some country roads, flat.


Today we travel to Lecce, a city that flourished in the 17th century when elegant baroque buildings were built by the ruling classes. The baroque style features ornate decorations on the facades of churches and palaces.

This day is not a hiking day – we do a walking tour of central Lecce but actually this day gives your legs a bit of a rest.

We take a private walking tour around Lecce with a local expert guide to have the key sights explained to us. The baroque style here is distinct from that in other parts of Italy, both stylistically and in the use of beige local stone.

As well as the architectural and historical features, Lecce is an elegant town in which to indulge in more modern pleasures.

There are many interesting boutiques and cafes, and the piazzas are full of life in this important southern Italian centre.

After some free time in central Lecce we have lunch in a local restaurant, where we experience the food specific to this part of Puglia, called ‘the Salento’. We dine on foods such as ‘ceci e tria’ (a type of pasta dish only made in Lecce), and of course we finish with the delicious ‘caffe leccese’ (espresso on ice with sweet almond syrup).

Walking Details:

The walk is fully guided
Total Distance: 3.7 miles / 6 km
Duration of walking: 2 hrs
Terrain: Paved and flat (city walk – gives your legs a break!)


This morning we travel to the town of Matera in the neighbouring Basilicata region. Visiting Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is like a step back in time. In fact this is one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world. The oldest cave dwellings go back to the Bronze Age.

We spend the morning visiting the town of Matera – the ‘sassi’ cave area. This consists of houses carved out of the rock face along the side of a steep ravine. We visit, and enter one of the typical houses built into the rock, showing the difficult existence in these conditions. Our local guide here gives us an interesting insight into life in Matera, both now and in the past. In fact his grandparents lived in these caves.

We also visit a cave church hewn out of the rock, featuring Byzantine frescoes with interesting histories as their usage has evolved and adapted to the conditions over the years. Matera was used for the filming of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” – you’ll see why it is so easy to imagine Matera as being completely removed from the modern age.

Since we are in the Basilicata region, our lunch here focuses on the specialties from this inland area.

We spend the afternoon walking on the paths along the river valley known as the ‘gravina’. These walks will give you an even better insight into the lifestyle of times past. There are over 150 “chiese rupestre” (cave churches) in the Matera area, and the majority of them are actually strung out along this valley. You will see where the monks lived, and there are precious Byzantine frecoes in many of these churches. Historically a large proportion of the men from Matera spent most of their time living here in the valley tending their animals, and returning periodically to their families in the town of Matera.

Walking Details:

The walks are fully guided
Distance (morning): 3 miles / 5 km
Distance (afternoon): 3 miles / 5 km
Duration of walking sections:
2 hrs before lunch, 3 hours after lunch
Morning – paved, some steps and inclines
Afternoon – unsealed trails, some inclines


Today you walk along a scenic route through an area called the Valle d’Itria, a high plateau with an interesting mix of olive and almond trees, artichokes and capers. Your trail is an old water supply route now converted into a walking and cycling path.

Walking through this countryside you can see how some aspects of life here follow the seasonal cycles of planting and harvest, as they have done for many generations.

Locorotondo is a hilltop town in the Valle d’Itria overlooking the rich horticultural landscape. Locorotondo, has been voted as one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (most beautiful villages of Italy). The town is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Valle d’Itria, a broad fertile valley. Locorotondo is renowned for wine production, with a DOC classification for the local white wine.

The town is a great place to explore on foot as its compact centre spans a central piazza. The historic part of town – the centro storico – is circular with little lanes lined with historic buildings, including some impressive baroque archways.

Mid-afternoon your driver will pick you up from Locorotondo and drive to your accommodation in Martina Franca.

Walking Details:

The walk is fully guided
Total Distance: 7 miles / 11 km
Duration of walking: 3 hours
Terrain: Well formed walking track, level


Today is our last day in Puglia. We organise transport for you to your departure point in Bari and bid you “buon viaggio”.

The tour finishes in Bari at 11 a.m.


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