Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
This departure: Grade 4/SS
We fly to Bari Airport and transfer approximately one hour to Matera by private coach.
Today we will spend the day exploring Matera. We have a morning with a local professional guide to explain what we are seeing. The town is famed for its 'Sassi' caves, inhabited by the poorest of the 'Materani' up until the 1960's and now slowly being renovated. The town is spectacularly situated above the Gravina River gorge. There are many viewpoints from which to enjoy the views. In the afternoon we walk to Madonna delle Virgini. The church dates back
to the eighteenth century, is carved into the rock and is the only rock church
still open for worship. 6km;
We will walk on the plateau above the Gravina Valley to enjoy ever changing views of the river valley and wonderful wild flowers in season. Our walk will take us by churches carved from the rock. These will probably be locked so bring a torch to get an idea of the interiors. Expect to cover about 8km over the ground with ascent/descent of 150m.
Today we transfer to Alberobello. The transfer should be about 1hr 30mins by coach. On arriving in Alberobello we will be shown to our accommodation staying in individual trulli buildings. These must surely be some of the most characterful accommodations in the Ramblers Walking Holidays brochure. After lunch we will explore the town with a local guide. We will have dinner in a local restaurant.
The local area being predominantly limestone has always had issues with water supply. To combat this a network of irrigation canals were built in the early 20th century to bring water from Basilicata, the neighbouring province. As well as irrigating the fertile farmland these canals, which are covered, also make for excellent walking. Our walk along the Canale de Pirro provides a generally flat walk through undisturbed nature and offers excellent opportunities to view birdlife, flowers and butterflies. We can walk along the flat for 13km. The walk takes about 3hrs. Later it is possible to arrange a visit to the very impressive Castellana caves. The beauty of the caves is well renowned. The tour winds along a distance of 3 km, a unique guided tour of the caves to more than 60 meters deep in an amazing scenario made of stalactites, stalagmites, concretions, incredible shapes, fossils, canyons and caves with fantastic names.
We will spend the day walking in the local countryside or exploring Martina Franca and Lococrotondo. Martina Franca is a historic baroque city to the south of Alberobello. It takes its name from San Martino, the patron saint, and the tax exemptions granted to its inhabitants by Philip as Prince of Taranto. ('franca' meaning free). Locorotondo is known for its wines and for its circular structure which is now the historical centre, from which derives its name, which means 'Round place'. It is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. There is a pleasant stroll between the two towns of about 7km taking 2 hrs with minimal gradients. Or for anyone that prefers the train runs between both.
We will continue our exploration of the local walks and villages. An excellent choice of walk is out from Alberobello to Barsento Abbey. The walk takes us passed fields of olives, fruit trees and vineyards to the 6th century Barsento Abbey. It is gentle terrain with minimal ascent and descent. The total distance covered will be about 13km.
Depending on flight times we may have some free time to spend in Alberobello before we transfer back to Bari Airport for our flight back to the UK.
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