DAY 1 - Otranto
After meeting in Brindisi APT we will drive down the coast to the beginning of our first walk, a flat warm-up route south through along Bay of the Turks, and then into the coastal town of Otranto. Here, we will stop for a fabulous seaside lunch just inside the fortified walls of the city.
After lunch, we will stroll through the magnificent port town, stopping to admire the unparalleled mosaic floor in the cathedral as well as the city's castle that once protected the natives from the invading Turks. After our visit, we'll retreat back to the safety of our quaint hotel on foot taking in the views of the Adriatic Sea and then the Idra River Valley. Tonight, we will stay local, trying one of our favorite restaurants: celebrate the Puglia with a spectacular traditional dinner!
Distance: 8.8 km
The next morning we head out on foot first to the quaint town of Uggiano La Chiesa and then to the coast for some serious coastal walking. If it's a clear day, we will be taking in gorgeous views of Albania across the Adriatic as we walk along this stunning undeveloped coast. We will pass by the Aragon tower of St. Emiliano, and the Grotte Cervi, the ''Deer Caves'' before stopping for a well-deserved swim in the azure waters in Porto Badisco. Here, we'll continue down the coast for a terrific seafood lunch, and then return on foot to the hotel in time for a massage, or a nap.
Tonight, we settle in at the hotel where Elisabetta, the owner, welcome us to her masseria. We will partake in a cooking school learning how to make orecchiette and macaroni the traditional way before relaxing to an amazing dinner casareccia, home-cooking style.
Distance: 7.9 km or 14.8 km
DAY 3 - Baroque Lecce
Departing from Otranto, we head north to the start of our walk by heading into the WWF Le Cesine and enjoying the quiet and solitude of this nature preserve with our local guide before being transferred into lunch at our favorite masseria for some curry chicken - Pugliese style! After lunch, we will continue into to the town and catle of Acaya and begin our afternoon walk that passes through the open wheat fields and olive groves outside of Lecce. From here, we will transfer into the thriving city of Lecce, the jewel in the crown of Spanish baroque in Italy, and a city cultured enough to be nicknamed the ''Florence of the South''.
After setting comfortably into our hotel located just steps from the main square, we reconvene for a historical walking tour of the city centre.
Later, we meet for cocktails in the Piazza del Duomo before heading to our favorite trattoria to taste some of Cristina's famous porcini lasagna. Afterwards, do what locals do: dine, take a gelato at a traditional local hot spot, and then take a stroll to the baroque duomo (cathedral) to see the stunning illumination of its façade, followed by a nightcap of espresso or grappa.
Distance: Guided 6 km AM and 4.6 km PM
Today, we'll head out to Torre Rinalda and enjoy a lovely walk through this pristine land in the outskirts of Lecce. Our walk takes us from the coast through a turtle preserve, into our first secular olive groves and finishes at the historic Masseria Monacelli, famous not only for its relationship to the historic Abbey Santa Maria Cerrate, but also because King Vittorio Emanuele spent his last three days in Italy here before he was exilied in 1947. Before our lunch, we have an olive oil tasting, and then proceed into a wonderful à la carte lunch at Masseria.
After lunch, there is a short transfer back to the city for some shopping and relaxation.
Later, we all rendezvous at a rooftop for a winetasting and a chance to swap stories about the day's adventures. The evening is yours to explore the wealth of fantastic restaurants found in the cobbled streets near our hotel.
Distance: 11.2 km
DAY 5 - Ostuni
After a quick morning drive north, we stop for a visit of the town of Ostuni, the ''white city'' that almost blinds us with its whitewashed winding alleys adorned with lush plants and flowers hanging from brightly painted windows. We'll enjoy a fine lunch here before transferring back downhill to the hotel where we will check in, and enjoy a swim and a nap poolside in the heated pool.
Dinner tonight is on your own.
Distance: light AM city walking
DAY 6 - The Murgian Ridge
After breakfast, we'll head up the Murgian Ridge for a short walk through the lovely private estate of Villa Massari with our local friend Paola who will host us for a simple lunch at her historic estate.
After lunch, we will transfer back downhill to the hotel where we will check in, and enjoy a swim and a nap poolside. Later this evening, we will start our loop walk to the ancient Messapian town and archeological ruin of Egnazia, heading through ancient olive trees and lush farmland taking in the magic of the evening light.
Dinner tonight is on your own: we suggest you set to get down at the hotel's beach club where you will enjoy the freshest seafood in Puglia's hippest beachside restaurants.
Distance: 3 km AM and 7.4 km PM
DAY 7 - Alberobello
Today, we start our day with a transfer up to a local caseificio where we will meet our mozzarellaio, Pasquale, who will make us the freshest mozzarella ever! From here, we will embark on an amazing walk through the picturesque countryside and into the town of Alberobello where we will meet our local guide for a tour of this UNESCO town. Alberobello, the ''city of trulli''. These idiosyncratic buildings are undoubtedly the most distinctive features of Puglia. Their exact origin is still a bit of mystery; similar structures are found in many parts of the Mediterranean, from Cappadocia in Turkey to Provence, Greece, Egypt, Sicily and Sardinia. Alberobello's centre is lined with trulli that now house gift and specialty food shops, and the town has recently been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After our tour, we'll enjoy lunch at our favorite trullo restaurant and then return to the port of Monopoli to enjoy the rest of your afternoon on our luxury boat swimming and relaxing in the azure clear waters of the Adriatic. This evening it is for you to enjoy the sun set from the hotel's rooftop bar followed by dinner at hotel's table.
Distance: 9.5 km
DAY 8 – Matera
After breakfast, we'll head out for an amazing walk in the canyon below the city of Matera. We'll finish our walk, and return to town for lunch. After lunch, we will then meet up our local guide Paolo who will take us on a guided tour of the UNESCO town where until only recently the locals inhabited the caves that make Matera famous and unique today. This evening is for you to explore on your own Matera's restaurants.
Distance: 6.5 km
DAY 9 - Murgia Materana
Today for our last day we will explore the rugged terrain of Parco della Murgia Materana with over 150 rock churches scattered throughout the park. We will have lunch in an agriturismo, a very informal place with wonderful dishes from the Basilicata traditional cuisine.
Back to hotel in the afternoon. Tonight we will enjoy a fantastic farewell meal at one of Matera's best restaurants, and say good-bye to this unforgettable region.
Distance: 9 km
DAY 10 - Homeward Bound
After breakfast together, we drive to Bari airport according with your flight schedule.