Situated strategically on the spur and heel of Italy's boot, Puglia has been crossroads of cultures for millennia, creating a unique blend of Eastern and Western art, architecture, food, and lifestyle. On this magical eight-day hiking adventure, explore the Salentina Peninsula's ancient port cities and breathtaking nature, from otherworldly grottos and canyons to sun-kissed meadows and sandy beaches. Hike to Alberobello, known for its UNESCO-listed limestone dwellings (trulli), and visit the spectaular cities of Brindisi, Ostuni, and Lecce. With fresh, local farm-to-table fare wherever you go, you can savor truly everything Puglia has to offer on this fascinating new adventure.
Discover Puglia's Salentina Peninsula through the backdrop of Brindisi, Ostuni, Lecce, Otranto, and Gallipoli
Explore ancient port cities and hike hidden trails through olive groves, canyons, and grottos
Savor the flavors of Puglia with an olive oil tasting and local farm-to-table fare
Meet your guides at the Brindisi airport in the early afternoon and transfer to your nearby hotel. Take time to check in and enjoy the grounds before a very short transfer to Messagne, the starting point of our warm-up hike. Messagne lies directly on the ancient Appian Way, in a region inhabited by the 3rd century BC Messapians, an Iapygian tribe. After our hike, we'll return to the hotel for our first taste of the region's fresh cuisine.
After breakfast at the hotel, start your adventure sipping coffee with the locals in the town of Cisternino. From Cisternino, hike onto the Ostunnesi Plateau towards Ostuni. In the woods, on hidden trails, walk past centennial olive trees, one of the most genetically diverse species in the olive family. In the afternoon, explore the three-hilled city of Ostuni, with its whitewashed houses and verdant surrounding countryside. Return to Brindisi in the afternoon with some time to relax before a gourmet fish dinner.
After another memorable breakfast at our hotel, transfer west to the farming town of Noci, located in the middle of the wooded Itria Valley, past scattered fortified farmhouses. Stop to visit the historic Barsento Farm and its 6th century church, founded by Sant' Equizio. Continue hiking through fields of almond trees, wildflowers and playful donkeys. After picnic on the trail, hike to Alberobello, known for its trulli, the region's charming stone huts, and taste olive oils at a local farm. Tonight is on your own to explore Brindisi.
Say arrivederci to Brindisi as our group heads towards Lecce, the main town of Salento, known as one of the capitals of the Baroque style in Europe for its unique churches and elegant buildings. Enjoy a private, guided tour of historic Lecce. Then, take some free time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own. This afternoon, transfer to Otranto to experience its Greek and Byzantine influences from the seaside Masseria dei Monaci, your home for the next two nights. Dine on the Masseria's delicious local farm-to-table fare.
Enjoy a relaxing day hiking the idyllic coastal trail from the Masseria Orte to the lighthouse in Palascia. The region's bauxite soils paint the landscape red, creating a spectacular scene of contrasts between the emerald green lake and the abandoned bauxite quarries. Learn to identify rare trailside plants such as the yellow salvione, thyme and the Adriatic vincetossico. End the hike on a high note at the Palascia Lighthouse with unforgettable views of the Adriatic Sea. Return to Otranto late afternoon to enjoy a glass of Negroamaro before dinner.
Leaving Ottranto, drive along beautiful coastline towards Santa Maria di Leuca, Puglia's southern tip, the Finibus Terrae. Hike to the mystical Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca, the merging point of the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas. Descend 500 steps at the Christian via Petrina, and explore the Canale delle Menghe. Visit the Saracen tower of "Omo Morto" and Grotta Porcinara, and hear legends of its ancient pirates and fishermen. End your hike with a refreshing swim in Gallipoli's Green Bay. Enjoy a free night on your own in Gallipoli.
Start the day exploring Gallipoli, a fortified city whose high walls have protected it from Eastern invaders for centuries. After a morning transfer, start at a trailhead northwest of Gallipoli to hike through the Riggio Ravine, along a deep canyon, rich in olive trees, shrubs, grottos and 10th century frescoes, stopping for lunch along the way. This afternoon, discover Grottaglie, a town rich in clay and known for its ceramics. Enjoy an unforgettable farewell dinner cooked by Zia Marcella, a local legend celebrated for her hearty family fare — the perfect ending to this magical week!
After breakfast, board your van for a transfer back to the Brindisi airport, and bid arrivederci to Puglia.
This weeklong adventure perfectly blends active hiking with cultural immersion in stunning Puglia - the new Tuscany!
MT Sobek has been operating hiking in adventures in Italy for over 40 years and works with the best local guides in the business.
Savor local delicacies and farm-to-table fare and relax in style elegant hotels by the sea.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderate hiking between 4 to 7 miles miles per day with marginal elevation gain and loss, and cultural walking tours.
A classic 19th-century hotel in Brindisi is followed by boutique retreats including the luxurious Palazzo del Corso in Gallipoli.
Puglia boasts a warm, coastal Mediterranean climate, with dry summers. There is often a sea-breeze that helps to keep the summer months bearable.
Arrive at the Brindisi Salento Airport (BDS) on Day 1. Your trip leader will meet you in the arrivals hall and transfer the group to our hotel in Brindisi.
No. The best footwear for this trip would be cross-training shoes or lightweight hiking or walking shoes.
No. There is a swimming pool at our hotel on Days 6 and 7. But, for the first 3 days we are staying at a beautiful hotel that is on the beach. Bring your swimsuit!
Yes. Italy and Puglia have plenty of options for gluten free, delicious food.
You will want to wear comfortable shoes for walking, and bring a layer for the afternoon. In the evenings, you might prefer to dress smart casual for dinners.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."
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