Independent arrival to Matera (FAL train or bus from Bari or shuttle service from airport). Get settled in at the B&B or the Old Residence. Afternoon: guided tour of the Sassi (UNESCO world heritage site), and in the historic centre: the Baroque town, the Romanesque Churches and the rock civilization (duration: 2 hours). Dinner at a typical restaurant in the Sassi.
The Park of the Rock Churches – 4 hrs – Length: 6 km – Grade: easy
A walk from the Murgia plateau in search of the archaeological treasures of the Rock Church Park. This is a walk all around the canyon of Matera, with wonderful views and trails. Pack-lunch in the caves. Free afternoon in Matera.
Cave Villages and Montescaglioso – 5 hrs – Length: 8 km – Grade: easy/medium
Here you’ll take a short trip on the Matera Moors to discover the treasures of rock civilization and its unique flora and fauna. Route: the Grotta dei Pipistrelli (cave of bats), the Jazzo di Lamaquacchiola and the Saraceno village. Pack-lunch in the caves and afternoon transfer by local bus to visit the town of Montescaglioso with its ancient Abbey of S. Michele Arcangelo. Back to Matera by bus, dinner and overnight stay.
The Lucanian Dolomites – 3/4 hrs – Length: 4 km – Grade: easy – Height difference: 195 mt ascent / 260 mt descent
Transfer to Pietrapertosa (90 min.), in the Gallipoli Cognato and Dolomiti Lucane Park. Get settled in at the B&B and the excursion begins. Move on to the Saracen fortress of Pietrapertosa, almost entirely carved out of rock and offering a great panoramic view of the Basento valley. Then on foot from the castle we take a trail that descends to the Caperrino river, passes over an ancient bridge and ascends up to Castelmezzano, all the while being towered over by the spectacular Pietrapertosa Dolomites. Visit the village and picnic at the castle. Back to Pietrapertosa following the same path. Dinner at a typical local restaurant and over-night stay.
The heart of the Park – 7 hrs – Length: 18 km – Grade: moderate
Moving from Pietrapertosa (1052 m.) you’ll enter a forest, cross a river and reach the Costa La Rossa (1026 m.) with a panoramic view in the Park. All around is green up to the peasant village of Accettura, southern limit of the Park. Typical dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast and end of services.
You can extend this tour walking 5 more days in the Pollino National Park and the Maratea Coast (see this tour).