Bari (or Brindisi) airport - Giurdignano - Otranto
We rendezvous at 14.00 at Bari airport and travel to Otranto. Time permitting we stop at the megalithic gardens of Giurdignano, an ancient sacred area with Menhirs (stone monuments), Dolmen (tombs) and pre-Christian crypts, the highest concentration of prehistoric stone monuments in Italy. We stay in Otranto, the most eastern town in Italy and a prosperous trading port on the narrowest straight between Mediterranean Europe and Asia Minor.
Porto Badisco walk
We walk from Porto Badisco, a beautiful cove with aqua marine reflections along a dramatic coastline of cliffs with watch towers. According to Homer Aeneas landed here. See an emerald green lake formed in an abandoned Bauxite quarry. Free afternoon in Otranto. In 1481 the Turks attacked and slaughtered the population. The bones are kept in the Duomo. Visit its amazing Byzantine mosaic floor portraying the tree of life. (walk 4hrs/8miles)
Porto Selvaggio walk - Lecce
From the Uluzzo tower, built in 1563 to defend against Turkish invasions, we follow another coastal trail in the Porto Selvaggio park, an area inhabited by the Messapi people in the 5th century BC. After lunch we continue to the baroque city of Lecce. See the Roman amphitheatre, theatre and a column taken from the Appian Way. Free time to sample gelato before checking into our first charming Masseria farmhouse. (walk 3hrs/7miles)
Skeletons, Olives & Hermits walk - Ostuni
We visit a museum cave to see the 24000 year old skeleton of a prehistoric pregnant woman. Then following mule trails and dry stone walls we head out into century old olives groves, past abandoned farmhouses and enjoy extensive views of the Adriatic sea as we climb gently to reach the hermitage of San Biagio. After lunch an excursion to historic Ostuni, la citta bianca, a beautiful little town full of narrow alleyways and whitewashed houses. The day ends in our second Masseria near Egnazia. (walk 4hrs/8miles)
Grotte Castellane walk - Alberobello
Visit underground world of stalagmites, stalactites, natural sculptures and caverns at the Grotte Castellane. The total underground walk is 2 miles and the White Cave is reputed to be the most beautiful in the world. After a relaxing picnic lunch we make our way through the Murge dei Trulli a landscape of olive groves, orchards, vines and trulli. The highest concentration of these buildings is in Alberobello where in the oldest neighbourhood we can visit the only trulli church dedicated to St. Antonio. (walk 2hrs/3miles)
Trani - Castel del Monte
We drive north to Trani to visit the beautiful 12thC Norman cathedral and enjoy its unique setting by the sea. Time to explore this very interesting port town before continuing to lunch and then to visit Castel del Monte, 13thC Swabian castle of Frederick II (UNESCO) and one of the most sophisticated secular buildings of the middle ages. We end the day in the town of Matera just inside the region of Basilicata.
Matera cave dwellings walk
A fascinating walk among Matera's Sassi, the best surviving and most complete examples of rock-cut settlements in the Mediterranean basin. Developed in close harmony with the natural environments the caves here have been used since prehistoric times. At first bare cave dwellings, they were used as early christian churches or to house flocks of sheep and later they were developed into house-like structures. This setting has inspired film directors for decades and was used for the film 'The Passion'. (walk 3hrs/5miles)
Departure from Bari airport
Scheduled departure from our hotel at 9.00am. If you wish, we can help you to extend your stay or make other independent departure arrangements.
Dates for 2013 :- 13-20th May
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Europe Italy Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Archeology/History