Headwater - Self-Guided Walking in Puglia and Matera

Exodus Travels Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 999 $ 125 / day
Checking price



  • Visit the UNESCO sites of Matera and Alberobello
  • Discover mouth-watering local food and wine
  • Charming hotels in great locations
  • Walks are optional with plenty of time to discover each destination

Short Description

Puglia is a land forged in history by an incredible mixture of civilisations and cultures. From the unique 'trulli' style houses of Alberobello, the cave houses (Sassi) in Matera, to the beautiful White City of Ostuni. This independent walking trip allows you to discover the beauty of the region at your own relaxed pace. There is plenty of time to appreciate the magnificent coastline and spend lingering afternoons savouring the traditional cuisine.Discover the beauty of Puglia and Matera at your own relaxed pace.

A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Trip Type Self-guided / Independent Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Travel Theme

Hiking & Walking



Cities & Attractions

Alberobello Matera

Age Requirement


No Single Supplement
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Land Only

Day 1 Start Matera

Make your way to Matera from Bari or Brindisi airport. 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; afternoon tasting of wine and typical regional products

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. Enjoy a wine and local product tasting, and, subject to availability, 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. **


Checking price
Price From $ 999
Price Per Day: $ 125 per day
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Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Aug-24-2019Aug-31-2019$ 1,099No6 spots left Reserve
Aug-27-2019Sep-03-2019$ 1,099No6 spots left Reserve
Aug-28-2019Sep-04-2019$ 1,099No6 spots left Reserve
Aug-30-2019Sep-06-2019$ 1,099No6 spots left Reserve
Aug-31-2019Sep-07-2019$ 1,099No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-03-2019Sep-10-2019$ 999Yes4 spots left Reserve
Sep-04-2019Sep-11-2019$ 999Yes4 spots left Reserve
Sep-06-2019Sep-13-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-07-2019Sep-14-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-10-2019Sep-17-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-11-2019Sep-18-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2019Sep-20-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-14-2019Sep-21-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-17-2019Sep-24-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-18-2019Sep-25-2019$ 999Yes4 spots left Reserve
Sep-20-2019Sep-27-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-21-2019Sep-28-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-24-2019Oct-01-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-25-2019Oct-02-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2019Oct-04-2019$ 999No6 spots left Reserve
Sep-28-2019Oct-05-2019$ 999Yes2 spots left Reserve
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13,103 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9,220
Great 3,189
Average 531
Disappointing 113
Terrible 50

Headwater - Self-Guided Walking in Puglia and Matera

Write a Review

Enjoyable tour in Puglia and Matera

We liked Puglia and Matera a lot - the fascinating history and culture,
interesting regional foods (orechiette pasta, taralli/tarallini snacks,
pasticiotti pastry) and wines, pleasant scenery, and not overly crowded or
too hot/cold in May.
Accommodations in the Trullo in Alberobello and Palazzo in Lecce far exceeded
expectations. The day 2 guided tour of the Sassi districts was excellent - I
recommend the extra visit to the (cave) house which includes furnishings. We
liked the day 3 wine tasting (food included) at Paco Wines so much that we
returned the following night for a meal and bought another bottle of
Primitivo to go that didn’t last nearly long enough.

This was a self-guided walk. I had the hotel confirm each taxi arrangement
for the next day. I believe that was a worthwhile precaution. All transport
was on-time. “Voucher” was a word well-understood.

I recommend using the different walk for the Park of the Rock Churches in
Matera as suggested by the local Mandala tour agent, but note that the both
Mandala linear walk start and end locations differ from the circular Exodus

The first two-thirds of the day 4 walk to Locorotondo is pleasant, but the
last third is not. The route notes phrase “(pay attention to cars)” does
not do justice to the inherent danger walking unprotected on the blind
corners on the busy main road. Request Exodus rethink the last part of this

The day 7 trip to Otranto involved a 20 minute walk to the Lecce train
station, some hours and train changes, and another 20 minute (somewhat
unpleasant) walk from the Otranto train station to the historic centre of
Otranto - from which the real part of the walk starts and returns. The
Palazzo in Lecce has small rental cars. If you are comfortable driving in
Italy, perhaps Exodus could promote that as an option, or Exodus suggest a
transport alternative.

Read more

Great Walking Tour for those seeking easy walking

This is a very good tour for those who don't wish to walk a long way
everyday. Very well organised, different experiences daily in a most
interesting part of Italy.
Matera, Alberobello. Ostuni and Lecce are all marvellous places to visit. We
loved the wine and food tasting at Paco Wines in Alberobello and the
wonderful dinner in Ostuni.

This was a self guided trip. Due to the distances we were picked up and taken
to various towns. All the drivers were on time or early and the cars were
good quality and very clean.

Don't go in summer it would be too hot. Spring and autumn are the best times.

The last day of the tour we were to make a trip from Lecce to Otranto by
public transport. This is not a good idea for a day trip. The train times
there and back were not convenient and there was a requirement to change
trains. In the end we decided not to do this.

Read more

An authentic taste of Italy

An interesting trip through the heel of Italy, with fascinating places,
brilliant accommodation and warm, friendly people. The walks were easy, but
sometimes the self-guided notes didn't quite match with the track, which made
it a little frustrating at times. But all-in-all, an enjoyable experience
Chatting with school kids on the regional trains - they love to practice
their English, and were thrilled to meet people from Australia.


Puglia is very slow-paced. People are very happy to help with directions etc,
but often speak little English.

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Bountiful mix of History, Culture & Wildlife

A busy holiday exploring lots of different towns and landscapes. Plenty of colour both plant wise and insect wise, ancient gnarly olive trees, deep ravines, calm and rough Adriatic. Complex cave houses, conical rooved buildings, hilltop towns and Roman remnants. We went in mid- June and had sun and thunderstorm's at the beginning of the week moving to very hot days at the end. On some days it would have been better to start the walks earlier but was restricted by the time of the transfers between accommodation. The walking routes were easy although on hard ground. Very easy to find places to buy food from and eat in the evenings, just need to remember shops close between 1 and 5 most places and we didn't need to reserve tables. All arrangements for transfers, tours & tastings worked smoothly and plenty of support if needed. Accommodation very good.
Finding 2 baby kestrels in an alcove below our balcony. Watching ballerinas perform in the Roman amphitheatre. Eating delicious Pucca. Matera at night.

It was a self guided holiday.

Stick to the advice given in your packs, especially to wear walking trousers with good walking shoes or boots. Watch out for snakes, we saw 3 on the Alberobello - Locorontondo walk. Take an umbrella. Use the town maps provided by the accommodation providers, they are very good. It's fine to drink the tap water and make sure you have at least 1.5 litres per person on every walk.

Use the maps and walk directions together as the lefts and rights were occasionally muddled.

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Self-guided walking Puglia and Matera

A fantastic blend of local accommodation throughout Puglia and Matera with a good cross section of walks through ancient olive groves and into small medieval villages. The local food and wine was a revelation.
There were several highlights to this trip. Starting with staying in a converted cave in the Sassi area of Matera and finishing up in a historic baroque family-owned palazzo in Lecce. Another highlight was the trullo in Alberobello and the food tasting that the local owner does - a great opportunity to try local cheeses, meats and wine. The church in Otranto was another highlight with the extensive mosaics - make sure that you go downstairs to the crypt.

n/a - self-guided holiday.

Don't worry about the connecting trains to Otranto - they wait for each other, and it's well worth a visit. Rail tickets are sold at the local newsagent. Request the hotel to confirm the reservation and any transfers for the next day. A lot of places are closed from midday to 4 pm including tourist offices, so best to make the most of exploring in the towns in the morning. There are limited options for public transport on Sundays.

Puglia and Matera are fantastic places to explore. The walk in Matera took in several rock hewn churches with ancient frescos still visible in some of them. They can be a little difficult to find, but stick with the notes and you should be able to find them. The church in Otranto was beautiful with an amazing mosaic of the tree of life inside - be careful on opening hours so that you don't miss it. Lecce was a lovely city and full of baroque architecture to finish the trip. All in all a great mix of local culture, walking and enjoying the local food and wine.

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Company Reviews


I was introduced to Antarctica in the most amazing way. When we arrived there
was a blanket of heavy fog the team got us on the zodiac and navigated on
compass bearings. Suddenly like the curtain of a stage being pulled back we
sat in sky of blue surrounded by a wild and pristine environment.
See above. Watching whales breech. Smelling penguins before you could see
them. Filming Leopard seals with my gopro. You truely need to be awake 24hrs
a day and have eyes in the back of your head for this trip.

Shelly and the team were amazing. Their passion and commitment and tirless
effort to show what they love and care about the most was amazing

Do take European travel plugs for Ushuaia as well as American.

Enjoy everything this trip has to offer. Remember this is an expedition and
not a five star hotel as some travellers on my trip thought. Things can go
wrong and weather is unpredictable. A real once in a lifetime trip.

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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max


2 nights in 3-star hotels, 3 nights in charming B & Bs and 2 nights in a typical Trullo
3 days point-to-point walking; 3 free days, 2 with optional walks.
Low altitude throughout
Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

Age Notes

Min. Age: 12

Additional Information:

Trip ID#:


Trip Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Transfers to the start/end point

Meals Included:

Breakfast: * All breakfasts, 1 dinner & 1 typical product tasting * All accommodation (see below) * Route notes * All baggage transport * All the private transfers from day 2 to day 6 as mentioned in the program

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