Our Puglia walking tour explores lush forests and pristine coastal pathways, with time to wander delightful whitewashed towns, such as Ostuni and Locorotondo, as well as the lively Baroque city of Lecce. Meet our pugliesi friends and learn to eat like a local with a jolly group of avid walkers who share their passion for Puglia during our walks, and at the lunch table – this is a culinary vacation as much as a walking holiday! We'll also cross the border into Basilicata for a walk through the fascinating town of Matera, known for its cave dwellings and dramatic rocky cliffs. Visit the trullo town of Alberobello, the Roman ruins of Egnazia, and stroke the gnarled trunks of 2000-year old olive trees, while staying in three distinctive lodgings- a welcoming farmhouse inn, a stylish seaside resort, and a luxurious city hideaway.
Sink your hands into warm curds as you learn to shape fresh primosale cheese, then feast on a rustic lunch in a stone farmhouse. Walk through the rocky hills to the town of Matera and peek into the eery cave dwellings
Follow the delightful “Path of the Cyclamens” through a forest of holm oaks once notorious for brigands, and emerge from the dappled light to visit a trullo house, Puglia’s curious cone shaped dwelling
Explore the ancient Roman site of Egnazia and its fascinating museum, then wander through a grove of monumental olive trees whose gnarled trunks have been standing sentinel for 2000 years
Wander through the circular town of Locorotondo, a hilltop jewel with gleaming white buildings and polished stone streets, then follow a coastal path in search of the brilliant green ramarro lizard
Shape orecchiette alongside a jolly chef, and get lost in the Baroque wonderland of the city of Lecce while shopping for locally made papier-mâché
|Making Primosale Cheese|
Meet at a central hotel in Bari, and travel southwest to a rustic farm, and meet the resident donkeys. Scrub up before tackling the task of forming warm milk curds into fresh primosale cheese, then feast on a lunch of local specialties, including oven-warm focaccia lovingly baked by our pal Gennaro. Take a 4-5 mile walk (6-8 km) along a path that follows the old aqueduct through the countryside, before transferring to our first hotel, a welcoming farm inn noted for its comfortable rooms and warm hospitality. This evening we’ll explore the elegant town of Martina Franca, and dine on tiella, a local dish that will surprise you with its unusual flavors.
After a freshly made breakfast, meet our local guides who will outfit us with “gym sticks, “ lightweight walking sticks that can also be used for exercise, tricks, and acrobatic stunts, none of which we master. Walk 8-10 miles (12-15 km) through woodlands once notorious as a hideout for brigands, then learn to shape orecchiette before settling down to a sumptuous lunch. Visit the town of Alberobello, the trullo capital of Puglia and therefore the world, and peek into a trullo dwelling decorated with icons of saints.
We're off to an early start to head to the town of Matera, built on a rockly outcrop and dotted with cave dwellings and rock-cut churches with faded frescoes. Local guides will amuse us with tales of bloodthirsty brigands while we imagine fending them off with our gym sticks, as they lead us along a 8-9 mile (12-15 km) walk. After visiting the gleaming whitewashed town of Locorotondo where townspeople vie to have the prettiest balconies, there’s time to relax by the pool before dinner. Our farm hosts will prepare a pugliese style barbecue over a huge wood fire, as we toast to the pleasures of country life with a glass of heady primitivo wine.
|Wild cyclamen along our path|
Our last walk with our pugliesi friends traces the “Cyclamen Path”, where our 9 mile (15 km) route is lined with these delicate pink flowers. Sample a myriad of antipasti for lunch before setting off for our next hotel. Bordering the sea with a pool and spa, our seaside hotel offers time to relax before dinner.
Visit the archeological site of Egnazia with an enthusiastic guide, and trace this ancient site's history with splendid finds in the attached museum. Visit an olive oil producer with a grove of astonishing monumental olive trees that appear to be planted by the Romans some 2000 years ago! Enjoy a delicious ala carte lunch in a grotto tucked away in the town of Ostuni. Explore this “città bianca” – white city- on foot, enjoying its glowing white facades and curious shops selling whimsical ceramic whistles. Free evening to stroll to town for dinner.
A morning walk with a marine biologist takes us through the pristine coastal reserve of Torre Guaceto, where we walk 5 miles (8 km) along deserted beaches to the headland with its imposing 16th century watchtower, always on the lookout for the brilliant green ramarro lizard. Relax over a seaside lunch before we head southwards to the Baroque city of Lecce. Meet our guide for a private walking tours of the city, before you check in to a luxury hideaway tucked in a quiet corner of the city. Join the lively passeggiata as you choose a place for dinner.
Clamber over the ruins of the imposing castle of Otranto and visit the cathedral with its lavish mosaic floor and eerie chapel dedicated to the town’s martyrs with their skulls on display. Head to the Ionian sea and hang out with the friendly vendors at the fish market, lunching on the freshest seafood in a waterfront shack. Return to Lecce for last minute shopping and exploring, before a final festive dinner.
Transfer to the Brindisi airport in time for noon flights or later. Arrivederci!