Self-guided walking Puglia and Matera
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
There were several highlights to this trip. Starting with staying in a converted cave in the Sassi area of Matera and finishing up in a historic baroque family-owned palazzo in Lecce. Another highlight was the trullo in Alberobello and the food tasting that the local owner does - a great opportunity to try local cheeses, meats and wine. The church in Otranto was another highlight with the extensive mosaics - make sure that you go downstairs to the crypt.
What did you think of your group leader?
n/a - self-guided holiday.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Don't worry about the connecting trains to Otranto - they wait for each other, and it's well worth a visit. Rail tickets are sold at the local newsagent. Request the hotel to confirm the reservation and any transfers for the next day. A lot of places are closed from midday to 4 pm including tourist offices, so best to make the most of exploring in the towns in the morning. There are limited options for public transport on Sundays.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Puglia and Matera are fantastic places to explore. The walk in Matera took in several rock hewn churches with ancient frescos still visible in some of them. They can be a little difficult to find, but stick with the notes and you should be able to find them. The church in Otranto was beautiful with an amazing mosaic of the tree of life inside - be careful on opening hours so that you don't miss it. Lecce was a lovely city and full of baroque architecture to finish the trip. All in all a great mix of local culture, walking and enjoying the local food and wine.