Via Appia and Cammino Materano Tour

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Via Appia and Cammino Materano Tour

Days / Nights
8 / 7
Type
Self-guided
Difficulty

Level 3: Intermediate

Ideal for physically fit and healthy people who can walk 2-5 hours per day. Walking on a variety of paths, with light gravel, some stony segments. Ascents or descents of 1 to 2 hours.

from
1170,00

The tour starts from Taranto, the ancient capital of Magna Grecia, which is known as “La città dei due mari”, due to its particular location by the Ionian Sea between Mare Piccolo and Mare Grande. The most precious  historical evidence is preserved by MARTA “Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Taranto” (National Archaeological Museum of Taranto) where you can’t  miss the incredible “Ori di Taranto” (Golden Treasure of Taranto), a stunning collection of Hellenic-era gold artwork from the Ionic province.

Also Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the Via Appia is the first road in the West. In fact, this tour takes its cue from history, but it will surprise you with its landscape and excellent craftsmanship and food and wine. The landscape is characterized by the ravines, which are long deep canyons (in Laterza, there is one of the largest in Europe) where you can find charming towns on the top.

You are going to walk through the ravines from the bottom and from above, and you are also going to pass over them as you walk over ancient stone bridges of decommissioned railways. You are going to discover the incredible shapes and colors of the ceramics of Grottaglie, Laterza and Gravina. You are going yto taste unique bread made from ancient grains, extra virgin olive oil that smells of the Mediterranean, and Puglia’s signature wine, the primitivo.





Itinerary

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1

DAY 1: TARANTO

Arrival and check in in Taranto. Welcome briefing with an operator from Puglia Hiking Tours follow.

2

DAY 2: GROTTAGLIE LOOP

+/- 5.7 km

After a visit to the beautiful MArTA museum (ticket included in the tour) to introduce you to the history and beauty of the area, mid-morning a short transfer takes you from Taranto to Grottaglie, where you begin a loop walking route that immediately familiarizes you with the ‘gravine’. These are cuts in the rock caused by complex karst erosion phenomena. The rural landscape is dominated by olive trees, and it is not difficult to come across shepherds with flocks of grazing sheep. When you come back to Grottaglie, enjoy one of the Italian capitals of ceramics. Don’t miss a walk through the historic centre dominated by the castle and especially along the ‘Ceramics Quarter’ where you find dozens of ancient rock caves that are now amazing ateliers of artistic craftsmanship.

3

DAY 3: PALAGIANELLO - CASTELLANETA

+/- 13.8 km

From Grottaglie a transfer takes you to Palagianello, a small town overlooking the ravine of Palagianello, dominated by the imposing Caracciolo castle. This time you walk neither beside the ravine nor on the bottom. You may feel as if you are flying over it and you do it twice because the route runs along an old disused railway. Here, imposing stone bridges cross first the Gravina of Palagianello and then the Gravina of Castellaneta, giving you unparalleled views that then open onto the Gulf of Taranto. When you arrive in Castellaneta more than one clue remind you that you are in the town that gave birth to the first star in the history of Cinema: Rodolfo Valentino.

4

DAY 4: PINETA CASTELLUCCIO - LATERZA

+/- 16.6 km

From Castellaneta a transfer takes you to the starting point of the new stage. You walk for a few kilometers through a beautiful forest and then, the last part, is a sensational scenic walk along the edge of the Laterza Gravina, until you arrive in town. Much of the entire tour is within the Regional Natural Park ‘Terra delle Gravine’. In particular the area of the Gravina of Laterza is an extraordinary location for birdwatching (‘capovaccaio’ vulture and ‘grillaio’ hawk are the symbolic species of the area). Once in Laterza there is the beautiful historic center to visit, with the Palazzo Marchesale, which also houses the MUMA, a majolica museum. Do not miss the ancient ovens to discover a unique bread, exported all over Italy and beyond.

5

DAY 5: LATERZA - GINOSA

+/- 13.8 km

Today you set off from Laterza, and once you leave the historic center and the ravine, you do a few kilometers among quiet country roads. The last part of the stage is instead entirely on the bottom of the Gravina of Ginosa. This ravine has a unique feature: it is the only one where the village and houses reach to the bottom. Through winding little streets you climb up to the imposing Norman Castle, passing the beautiful and scenic church of Madonna del Rosario. Once you arrive, you can stop at ‘La Cavallerizza’ café, an old medieval building used for stopping horses that has now become an elegant bar in the center of town. Here you can enjoy an aperitif (included in the tour) and then in the afternoon a transfer is going to pick you up to take you to Matera.

6

DAY 6: MATERA LOOP

+/- 5 km

Matera needs no introduction. It is a UNESCO site and was the European Capital of Culture in 2019. It is among the oldest cities in the world and above all, like very few other places, it offers perfect harmony between man and nature. On this day a guide  accompanies you, because Matera truly deserves to be told like a novel over 10,000 years long. You walk through the town among the ‘Sassi’ and then pass on the opposite side of the canyon, visiting rock caves and encountering a breathtaking scenery. Two overnight stays are planned in Matera, so that you can also fully experience the atmosphere and charm, even at night, of the city.

And so, today your loop is guided! After a short transfer from your hotel, the hiking trail takes place in the natural park of the rock churches of the Murgia of Matera. The walk follows dirt paths that slowly lead toward the back of the ravine, where the extraordinary scenery of the Sassi di Matera opens up in the background. Following the path halfway up the hillside it will be possible to visit numerous examples of caves, pastoral structures dug into the rock, which in ancient times housed activities related to sheep farming; it will also be possible to visit some medieval frescoed rock churches such as ‘Madonna delle tre porte’ and ‘San Falcione’. During the guided tour, the many aspects of the natural world, flora and fauna typical of the Matera Murgia will also be explored.

7

DAY 7: BOSCO DIFESA GRANDE - GRAVINA

+/- 14.1 km

Today you have the last transfer to arrive in a few minutes at the starting point of the last stage. You walk for the first few kilometres along wide forest paths. Then you follow a stretch through a very pleasant rural landscape that also offers wide views of the Apennine mountains and Vulture, an ancient extinct volcano. The highlight of the stage, however, is the last part with the arrival in town along the Via Appia and the aqueduct bridge across the ravine. These settings were also the set of the latest episode of the 007 saga ‘No time to die’. Incredibly, the name of the city, Gravina, is not related to the canyons, but to wheat and wine, of which the city has been a rich producer since Roman times. With such a name, the final dinner of the tour cannot disappoint!

8

DAY 8: GRAVINA

Breakfast, check-out and end of services.

Low Season (March and November): from € 1.170 per person
Mid Season (April and October): from € 1.280 per person
Peak Season (May, June and September): from € 1.320 per person

*January, February, December, July and August on request

This tour is available in March, April, May, June, September, October, November.
If you prefer to walk in Puglia in other periods of the year, contact us and we will find a suitable solution for you.

  • 7 nights in typical guest houses/ original farmhouse/ 3-4* hotel, with breakfast
  • Daily private transfers
  • Ticket for Marta Museum on day 2
  • Ticket for La Cavallerizza in Ginosa on day 5
  • Luggage transport
  • GPS device or outdoor smartphone with uploaded tracks
  • Extra Garmin eTrex Touch 35 with uploaded tracks
  • Power Bank
  • Water bottle
  • Medical and luggage insurance
  • FULL Assistance
  • Cultural and gastronomic advice along the way
  • Welcome Briefing in English with PHT staff
  • Tourist taxes to be paid locally, where applicable
  • Tips

These are some extra services you can add to your trip. If you are interested please contact us.

  • Hiking chopsticks: 20,00 €
  • Emergency kit: 15,00 €
  • Extra power bank: 15,00 €
  • Extra water bottle: 8,00 €
  • Single room supplement: from € 30,00 per night
  • Private Transfers: on request
  • Extra-nights: on request

We have selected for you the best typical guesthouses, local farmhouses in the countryside or 3/4-star hotels (depending on availability), equipped with all the comforts a traveller may need.

On request and upon availability we can offer 5-star accommodations, too.

This is a self-guided tour, i.e. you are free to explore at your own pace. We book your hotels, we provide assistance and the navigation devices with uploaded tracks, which you will use to follow the path that we have planned for you. During the tour, you will probably meet other guests lodging in the same accommodations for the same tour or similar. Aside from the pleasure of getting to know other wandering lovers, you will always be free in departure and arrival times.

This tour will allow you to explore the extraordinary landscape of the ravines, canyons that have seen man and nature living in very close contact for millennia.
You will almost always move on scenic routes in the upper part of the ravines, sometimes you will also walk on the bottom.
The elevations are undemanding because the stages often run from the hill to the sea. Occasionally you will face some challenging short climbs (a few hundred meters) and sometimes the bottom may be uneven.
However, the tour is suitable for anyone who is relatively used to hiking, regardless of age.
In any case, it is always a pleasure for us to listen to your needs and customize the tour to give you the best experience ever!
The average daily route is about 15 kilometers.

Taranto can be reached from Bari by train and bus (with Trenitalia or Flixbus).

In any case, a private transfer service with driver is also available upon request from all airports, stations and ports in Puglia and beyond.

FULL assistance
Customers have one of our assistants at their disposal 24 hours a day, in case of any problem or need. On the day of arrival, the guests meet our assistant for a welcome briefing, during which he/she provide them with the equipment (maps, GPS device, etc.) and with useful information about the route and GPS/smartphone use. In the event of unexpected issues, our assistant will sort the problem out or suggest how to find a solution.
He/She is available to help you during the daily stage and give any advice.

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