The guided walking tour in Gargano, the northernmost part of Puglia, is an extraordinary experience that encompasses several souls in a single territory. It is a peninsula with the conformation of a veritable promontory where sea and mountains blend harmoniously and where different microclimates and plant and animal habitats coexist. Taking a walking holiday in the Gargano means walking along white cliffs overlooking the sea, crossing pine forests and Mediterranean maquis, meeting wild orchids and Podolica cows, and retracing some of the most fascinating stages of the ancient Via Micaelica dedicated to the archangel together with an expert local guide who will tell you every secret of these places.
Sacredness, mysticism and wild nature make this place a corner of Puglia to be discovered at a slow pace. Your guided walking tour in the Gargano will also lead you to the discovery of ancient abbeys and hermitages, such as the Sanctuary of San Michele, a medieval pilgrimage centre that gave the Gargano its name of Sacred Mountain. The Gargano’s natural heritage is also enriched by the Foresta Umbra, declared a UNESCO site in 2017, where kestrels, deer and Podolica cattle live in the midst of a fascinating beech forest. During your slow-paced journey, accompanied by the suggestions of our expert guide, we will discover the most important historical aspects of this area due to the presence of the Dauni, an ancient tribe of conquerors from the other side of the Adriatic who arrived here in the 7th century B.C., leaving a heritage of funerary stelae and geometric ceramics.
A guided journey (7 days and 6 walking) in the lesser-known south of Italy that combines the desire for deep immersion in nature along relaxing paths with the knowledge of unique historical and artistic beauties, without neglecting the gastronomic richness that the Gargano offers to the palate: bread, meat, oil, wine, pasta and cheeses, among which the Caciocavallo podolico, made with the milk of cows raised in the wild, a Slow Food Presidium. Ready to hit the road?
Discover the complete itinerary and let us take you on a discovery of this breathtaking territory.
Guided tour available for a minimum of 4 people.
DAY 1: MONTE SANT'ANGELO
Arrival at Monte Sant’Angelo and check-in. Welcome briefing with the whole group and the guide from Puglia Hiking Tours.
The guided walking tour in Puglia begins in a magical place. Discover the medieval castle, the Sanctuary – now a UNESCO site and one of the most beautiful natural caves in the world! -, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its frescoes, the historic district of ‘Junno’ with its low whitewashed houses and historic bakeries.
DAY 2: MONTE SANT'ANGELO - MATTINATA
The first real day of hiking in Puglia begins today, from Monte Sant’Angelo, which lies around 800 metres above sea level. After a visit to the sanctuary (with a site-specific audio guide in English), we descend gently towards Mattinata and the coast, walking on hidden ‘tratturi’ – ancient shepherds’ paths – between terraces and dry stone walls. Crossing a shady pine forest, we will reach the Carbonara Valley together. After a few kilometres, between country lanes and olive groves by the sea, we will finally reach the small town of Mattinata for a visit.
Height difference: +84/-874 metres
DAY 3: MATTINATA LOOP (MONTE SARACENO)
+/- 10 km
The guided walking tour along the Gargano continues with a gastro-archaeological walk (included in the package) to Monte Saraceno to discover the ancient necropolis of the Dauni, the place where this fierce population buried the most important members of the community. From here, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a breathtaking view of the white Gargano coastline, along with the landscape of the Mattinata plain, rich in olive groves and fields, accompanied by our guide’s tales and tidbits. A path through the Mediterranean maquis will take us back to the renowned pebble beach of Mattinata. Afterwards, a quiet path will lead us back to our accommodation.
Altitude difference: +266/-288 metres
DAY 4: MATTINATA - MONTE SACRO
+/- 15 km
Departing from Mattinata, prepare to continue your walking holiday with a beautiful walk through the hidden greenery of the ‘mulattiere’, ancient country paths originally used by pack animals such as mules. You will pass Ripe Rosse, a red limestone cliff overlooking the bay, until you reach the Tagliata valley. This is a perfect example of an ‘inland’ Gargano. It is easy to come across the area’s typical natural rainwater pools, called ‘cutini’, in a scenery dotted with rolling hills, wild orchids, kestrels and grazing podolica cattle. The last ascent of the day will repay all your efforts: once at the top, all that remains is to enjoy the silent ruins of Monte Sacro Abbey, a jewel set in the deep forest of the so-called Montagna Sacra of which our guide will tell you secrets, stories and legends. The day ends with a typical dinner at the hotel (included in the package).
Height difference: +1023/-425 mt
DAY 5: MATTINATA – FORESTA UMBRA – MASSERIA SGARRAZZA
+/- 16 km
Starting from Monte Sacro and following the ancient pilgrims’ route of San Michele, we arrive at the extreme south-eastern edge of the Foresta Umbra. Thanks to the peninsula’s isolation over the centuries, we will have the opportunity to pass through extraordinary maple forests, monumental oaks of different species and magnificent beech forests, now a UNESCO heritage site. Once out of the green forest, a path through pastures and Mediterranean maquis will lead us to the Masseria Sgarrazza, a real agritourism farm still in operation, where a tasty dinner awaits us to sample local specialities (included in the package).
Height difference: +256/-536 mt
DAY 6: MASSERIA SGARRAZZA - VIESTE
+/- 12,5 km
Leaving Masseria Sgarrazza, you set off towards the coast, amidst olive groves, pine trees and scents of rosemary and thyme. You will notice Vieste from afar: perched on a white cliff, overlooking a surprising turquoise sea, its magical atmosphere makes it the city of lovers.
Once there, we will enjoy a stroll through the alleys of the old town, a visit to the imposing medieval basilica or an unforgettable trebuchet experience.
DAY 7: VIESTE
After breakfast, check out and end of the guided tour.