This tour explores the undiscovered region of Basilicata in the instep of the foot of Italy. Much of the region is completely untouched by the modern world and time seemingly stands still. We start in the pretty town of Maratea on the west coast before heading inland to the pristine Pollino National Park. Here we stay in a mountain refuge at 1350m for three nights, surrounded by magnificent scenery and nothing but the sights and sounds of the natural world. The final stop of the tour is the unique Unesco World Heritage city of Matera. We stay in an Albergo Diffuso, or “scattered hotel”, with rooms carefully converted from the town's original cave dwellings, each with its own individual features and characteristics. Our final walk explores the compelling history of this matchless city and the surrounding countryside. This tour is run by one of our trusted localpartners
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
Meet at the Renaissance Hotel Naples at 09.30am. We head south, stopping in Campania at a mozzarella farm for a visit and tasting of genuine Mozzarella di Bufala DOP. After lunch we continue to Maratea, a pretty town which clings to a hillside overlooking the Tyrrhenian coast below a dramatic statue of Christ the Redeemer. We stay for three nights in a delightful hotel in the old town.
Welcome drink before dinner in a local restaurant.
Our hike this morning follows an old medieval trail which climbs up through lovely chestnut and oak woods and passes through remote grazing areas. Picnic at a low mountain pass with views to the coast. In the afternoon the trail follows an old mule track, descending to the coastal hamlet of Aquafredda. Dinner at a restaurant overlooking the port of Maratea.
(8km + 8km/4.9 +4.9 miles)
Today we hike from the vibrant mountain village of Trecchina, following an important pilgrim trail which climbs up to the Madonna del Soccorso. After a picnic lunch we head off across open country, following shepherds’ trails which descend through remote pastures to join a pretty mule track clinging to the mountainside overlooking the coast. Enjoy wonderful coastal views as we approach Maratea with the imposing 21m high statue of Christ which overlooks the town. Dinner in the hotel restaurant this evening.
Today we depart Maratea and drive along the coast into Calabria before heading inland to the village of Papasidero. Our hike today is in a very different landscape. We begin by walking through the village, crossing the river on a lovely stone bridge before joining an attractive trail above the river gorge. After a delicious lunch of local antipasti we visit a Paleolithic cave first excavated in 1961. In the afternoon we continue our journey by road to arrive at Rifugio Fasanelli, a cosy refuge hotel nestled in the Pollino National Park at 1350m. This is our base for the next three nights as we explore the delights of the Pollino.
Each evening we enjoy delicious Lucanian cuisine in the hotel restaurant.
(10.5 km/6.5 miles)
Today we start from the Rifugio Fasanelli on a wellgraded track through the woods, with a gradual short climb before we begin our descent on trails which bring us to an open clearing. We continue our descent on a ravine track until we reach a little hamlet where we have our picnic. After lunch we begin our ascent back up to the refuge, gradually climbing beyond the tree line on gravel tracks and through woods and open countryside.
Dinner tonight in the refuge.
A short drive takes us to the Colle di Impiso where we start our walk. This spectacular hike takes us to the gem of the Pollino National Park, the Piani del Pollino and the magical world of the Loricato Pine forests. As there is no van access at lunch today, your guides will hike the picnic in for you.
We return to the refuge for our final dinner there.
We leave our mountain refuge this morning, stopping in the tiny town of Rotonda to view a remarkable collection of prehistoric remains in the local museum. Time for a cappuccino before we continue by road to the Ionian coast where we visit the important ancient Greek site at Policoro. Leisurely lunch of local seafood before continuing to the Unesco World Heritage city of Matera. Time to settle into your cave in the Albergo Diffuso, Le Grotte della Civita. This is the sister hotel to the Sextantio where we stay on our Abruzzo tour. At dusk we join a local guide for a tour of the Sassi (cave-dwellings) of the old town before a few drinks and local specialities at a wine bar.
Today our walk takes us out of the city as we explore local history in the gorge below the city, passing rock churches and abandoned houses to a lovely view point and a picnic lunch. After lunch time is free to enjoy the amazing sights and to take in some of the wonderful museums in town. Tonight is our final dinner in a welcoming family run restaurant.
Return Naples for 12.30pm.
|Start Date||End Date||Spaces Available||Cost|
|22nd Jun 2018||30th Jun 2018||10||€2995|
Walking Shortest day: 8km/4.9 miles
Longest day: 16.5km/10.2 miles
There are 6 days of walking on this trip. We walk on a selection of mule tracks, forest paths, rugged mountain trails and open pastures. There are some significant ascents and descents, some up to 700 metres in a day. Sturdy walking boots, with good ankle support, are essential. Walking poles are also recommended, especially on steeper sections