Walking in Puglia

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Walking in Puglia

Trip Highlights

  • View the red earth of Salento and olive groves by the sea
  • Discover Lecce and its historic centre, and the seaside town of Otranto
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage trulli of Alberobello and the Sassi of Matera
  • Stay in atmospheric hand picked hotels and guesthouses

Trip Summary

Puglia is a land forged in history by a mixture of civilisations and cultures. This enriching walking trip combines archaeological and architectural treasures, with hiking through valleys and along coastal paths surrounded by landscapes of red earth, olive groves and vineyards. See the unique dry stone cottages known as Trulli in intriguing Alberobello and the cave houses known as Sassi in Matera. Explore the enchanting maze of narrow streets in the 'white city' Ostuni, the seaside village of Otranto facing the Adriatic and visit the elegant Baroque city of Lecce.


The walking is introductory to moderate (2) grade with daily walks between 3 and 4 hours. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. We recommend that you have some previous experience of trekking.

Waymarking - there are no official walking trails maintained by the government in Puglia nor waymarking. We have carefully constructed walking routes on mainly dirt paths and along rural trails but from time to time the farmers who also use these tracks may asphalt them. The maps are not of the same standard you would find in other walking destinations. However the countryside is wonderfully suited for walking and carefully reviewing the notes and visualising the route before you set out will optimise your walking and navigational experience.


Make your own way to Lecce. From the train station you can walk to your accommodation (800m/0.5mi) or take a taxi (allow EUR15). A charming B&B located in the historical centre of the city will be your home for 2 days. This afternoon you are free to discover the main monuments of the capital of the Salento region, which are Baroque style.

Meals:  Nil

The focus today is Otranto, a little seaside village facing the Adriatic sea. Take the bus or train this morning. Make sure you visit the Norman Cathedral to see the unique 'Tree of Life' mosaic floor. Hike along the coastline, discovering flowers and Mediterranean vegetation and the Saracen watchtowers. Bus or train back to Lecce to your B&B. Distance 11km/6.8mi, ascent +100m/328ft, descent -100m/328ft Note: there are no public transport connections between Lecce and Otranto on Sundays and public holidays so private transfers are required and the Saturday arrival supplement applies.

Meals:  B

Private transfer to the station, then take a train to Ostuni. This striking hilltop village, a short distance from the seashore, is known as the "white city" due to its fortress of whitewashed buildings clustered together on the hillside. Private transfer from the station into town, with free time to discover the enchanting maze of Greek-style narrow streets and fine Mediterranean architecture. Dinner in a typical restaurant and overnight in hotel in Ostuni.

Meals:  B,D

Hike to discover the unique countryside of Ostuni. Enjoy a nice walk through millenary olive groves on red clay-like soil with wonderful views of the Adriatic. At 4pm, private transfer to UNESCO World Heritage listed Alberobello, with its intriguing dry-stone dwellings known as trulli, in the beautifully exotic Itria valley. Your accommodation is in the historical centre. Wine and typical product tasting, overnight in Alberobello in a trullo (subject to availability) Distance 9km/5.6mi, ascent +100m/328ft, descent -100m/328ft

Meals:  B

Today you discover the Itria Valley, walking along an old aqueduct to Locorotondo. Pass between olive trees, vineyards and trulli through this enchanting landscape. Return by train to Alberobello. Distance 13km/8mi, ascent +475m/1560ft, descent -410m/1345ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast, transfer to World Heritage listed Matera. Its fascinating 'Sassi', ancient cave dwellings that have been inhabited since Paleolithic times, have been excavated in the rocks facing a deep canyon. Upon arrival, after you check into your accommodation, enjoy a guided visit of the 'Sassi' area (approx. 2 hours). Overnight in Matera.

Meals:  B

Morning transfer to the Park of the Rupestrian churches, where you can enjoy a wonderful hike to discover the Murgia plateau facing Matera, with its rock churches painted with Byzantine frescoes. The landscape here is of pastures and stone farmhouses, and there is the chance to watch the flight of different types of falcons. Dinner in a typical trattoria to experience the flavour of the region and overnight in Matera. Distance 7km/4.3mi, ascent +150m/492ft, descent -150m/492ft

Meals:  B,D

The trip concludes after breakfast with your transfer to the bus or train station. We can arrange a private transfer from Matera to Bari, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • 5 nights in charming B&Bs or 3 star hotels and 2 nights in a typical Trullo (subject to availability) on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €10-15)
  • Private transfers as noted (Public transportation not included)
  • Wine and product tasting at Alberobello
  • Sassi Matera guided visit & typical products tasting
  • Emergency hotline
  • Mobile App with GPX tracks for navigating
  • Information pack including route notes and maps per room booked
  • Luggage transfer (max 20 kg pp)

What's Not Included

  • Travel to Lecce and from Matera
  • Beverages, lunches and 5 dinners
  • Public transportation, allow €30
  • Travel insurance
  • Hotel taxes (allow EUR10-15)
  • Note: Prices indicated above are subject to change

Upcoming Travel Dates


This is a great trip for walkers on holiday, rather than a walking holiday. The walks were not demanding, and there was a lot of time between to look around the fantastic towns and villages where we stayed. Accommodation was always in comfortable, interesting rooms full of character. It ranged from a refurbished palace in Lecce, to a room within the actual town wall in Ostuni, a trullo in Alberobello to a cave dwelling in Matera. The walks were enjoyable, and covered different aspects of the fabulous southern regions of the Italian peninsula. The organisation of the trip was seamless, and support was there when needed.

T. Farrell, Terrigal, NSW, 20 Oct 2019

The cities visited were amazing and staying in Ostuni, the White city a Trulli in Alberobello and a cave room in Matera were all wonderful experiences. The walking was very gentle and scenic.

A. Sewell, East Hawthorn, VIC, 15 Oct 2019

We were blown away by the towns on this trip. The historic quarters, fabulous restaurants and views were much better than expected - and without the crowds!

R. Baker., Mosman, NSW. Australia

Our trip worked out very well many thanks. The accommodation was always very interesting and pleasant and in central locations that allowed us easy access to wandering around the towns we stayed in, Lecce, Ostuni, Alberobello and Matera. The four walks allowed us to view many birds and flowers. The walk you gave from Alberobello to Locorotondo gave us a hint of the orchids we might see and they were in abundance pretty much along the whole of the Aqueduct. But we were immediately charmed by the sound of Wood warblers and Golden Oriole as we entered the woodland at the start. The walk on the coast at Otranto provided many of the smaller migrating birds feeding on the coastal meadows and flying over. None of these walks took the estimated time as we were too busy looking at the wildlife, which we had hoped to see, marvellous for us. The food & wines delicious and accommodation and towns interesting and fun.

J. Williams, UK, 11 May 2018

Self-guided Walking in Puglia makes for a wonderful trip. Beautiful towns and landscapes, pleasant walks, excellent accommodation and food. And all organised so efficiently and pleasantly by UTracks (thanks Dana and Jaclyn) and UTracks' Italian partners.

J. Norberry, Australian Capital Territory, 12 Jun 2018

Puglia is a very interesting area and shows a completely different view from other areas of Italy. The towns included in the walk were all delightful and the accommodation great, ranging from a former palace to stone houses and a part cave. It was a great experience.

R. Vial, Hampton, VIC, 05 Oct 2018

We have just completed the self guided walk thru Puglia. It has been a great experience. Accommodation in Lecce, Ostuni, Alberobello and Matera were great. The guided Matera walk was amazing, and all walks and dinners were too. And transfers happened when you said they would. This is a very good tour. Thank you.

W. Beadman, Caloundra West, QLD, 11 Oct 2018

Effective model. Excellent organisation. Varied topography for walks - coastal, olive groves, farming and truillo and rocks and caves. Comfy, clean and central accommodation. Efficient and punctual transfers. The wine tasting in Alberobello was a real treat. The 3 wines (2 white, 1 red) were generous in serving and absolutely delicious AND.... don't bother about dinner. There was a very generous supply of cheese, bread, olives and meat. The whole ambiance of the occasion was memorable indeed. Staying in a trulli was the icing on the cake!! And, in the middle of a religious festival to boot!!! How lucky were we? We have already checked out some options for another self-guided trip.

L. Knight, Australia, 11 Oct 2018

Our room in Matera was pretty basic but others had good rooms so that is just the luck of the draw. The breakfasts at each accommodation were fabulous. Really appreciated having local food.

D. Sulway, Deakin, Australian Capital Territory, 18 Oct 2018

Great trip with excellent slightly quirky hotels in great locations. Excellent local planning and transfers. Lovely food and wine. Wine tasting a highlight!

Peter T., Durham, UK, 13 Oct 2018

We liked that optional hikes were provided. We arrived a few days early and went on all of the options. The hiking in Puglia was not as challenging as we'd imagined (flat and distance limited) but the places we stayed made up for that.

R. Kasparek, Texas, USA, 19 Dec 2018

Accommodation for the self guided walk was very good and the maps and apps guided us well.

S. Griessel, Nanoose Bay, BC Canada, 18 May 2019

This was our 5th time to Italy and I have to say it was without a doubt the most enjoyable. Puglia is extraordinary and I'm so glad we chose to walk it. I must admit that I was a little nervous about my ability to 'self guide' but the directions were spot on and the local hosts at the accommodations were so very helpful that I needn't had worried at all. Fabulous trip - highly recommend it.

C. Jahnz., Sydney, NSW. Australia

Our self guided walking tour of Puglia was amazing. We were so impressed with the hotels booked, historical buildings, cave hotels and our romantic trullo. The trip notes were easy to follow, even if we did lose our way occasionally, steps were easily retraced. All part of the adventure. The restaurants booked were impressive. All the bookings and transfers occurred as planned, no hitches at all. Puglia is so interesting and this tour was the best way to see so much of this area.

T Reinhardt, VIC Australia

This was our 47th self guided trip and I wanted to say that this was a superbly memorable holiday for us. We felt we were treated royally in the delightful hotels we stayed in and that their positions in the centre of the historic towns were absolutely brilliant. We saw, in the day, 'snakes' of tour people being led up to a major site then back to the coach to spend the night in the middle of nowhere. Whereas we were there, passegiata-ing with the masses of Italians, seeing the streets and piazzas with the evening lights and, I must say that I could hardly sleep the first night there because of the sheer fun of actually living in a Trullo. We really felt that we had a good sense of actually having experienced these iconic places.

J. Watson., UK

Walking in Puglia was a very well planned trip, visiting the most interesting historic towns in the region - Lecce, Ostuni, Alberobello and Matera. The walks in the surrounding area were varied, interesting and easy, as the region is predominantly flat or undulating. We visited in October when temperatures were perfect for walking, although spring might be even better for wildflowers. The route maps and instructions were good, and clear arrangements for transfers made for a very hassle-free holiday. And of course the food and wine were great!

L. Stewart., Tarland, UK

Our holiday was a perfect mix of adventure and organisation. We felt to be travelling independently but most of the problems this might involve were already sorted. We were taken to new areas we would not have easily visited on our own. The holiday exceeded our expectations.

D. Davie,, UK

The towns visited and the walks on this trip are incredible. The accommodation and food were very, very good. The trip is well balanced with longish but not hard walks through exceptionally beautiful scenery, interspersed with exploring amazing towns. I would do it again with no hesitation! Puglia is so interesting and beautiful.

K Hallam, NSW, Australia

I recently went on an 8 day self guided Walking tour of Puglia with UTracks. I was with my daughter. We started in Lecce, a beautiful town in the southern part of Italy. Then went to Ostuni, Otranto, Alberobello(the town of Trulli) Finally in the amazing Matera. It was a wonderful trip, the walks were not difficult, except for the final walk in the ravine in Matera, it was very steep and quite slippery , even in the dry weather. Matera was wonderful to finish our trip. We made lots of interesting discoveries. The accommodation was very comfortable and most of the staff in the hotels and bnb's were very helpful. We enjoyed the food and the tasting of the local produce in Alberobello was delicious , also stayed in a Trulli in Alberobello. Transfers were great, trains were a bit of an adventure, not always on time and often replaced by buses. Overall a wonderful trip, highly recommend it.

J. Elion., Mosman, NSW. Australia.

Wonderful trip, great accommodation and food. Interesting walks. Lovely extras like a wine tasting in Albarellio. Highly recommend the company and the trip.

J. White, Auckland, New Zealand, 17 Sep 2016

The walking takes part in a beautiful part of Italy. It is diverse, sometimes walking along a coastline, other days walking through vineyards, fields, seriously old towns. The included wine tasting and tasting of local products in Alberobello is well worth the visit. The couple who own it are absolutely delightful and extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about the local wines & produce. We visited their wine bar twice more. Matera just blew my mind, such a beautiful old city. The organised transfers were excellent and timely and we had no trouble with the local transport. Everything does happen in Italy time though! It is a beautiful part of the world made better by walking it.

M. Mc Neil, Cheltenham, VIC, 19 Jun 2017

Great value for money. Excellent and varied accommodation. Easy walking.

C. Chudley, Echuca, VIC Australia, 14 Jun 2017


Duration:8 Days
Starting Point:Lecce
Finishing Point:Matera
Grade:introductory to moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:WIP
Prices From:GBP£1020 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£260  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge:GBP£540  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.