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Basilicata: Matera, Pollino National park and Maratea coast


A 8 day group walking holiday



This lovely tour starts in Matera, a UNESCO site famous for its ancient town, the "Sassi of Matera. Leaving from Matera 'Sassi' with its rock caves and stone we head to the Pollino Park. This national park is the biggest in Italy, spreading over more than 200.000 hectares in areas of absolute wilderness and cultural landscapes in Southern Italy. Founded to preserve the last individuals worldwide of “Loricato” Pine (Bosnian Pine-Pinus Leucodermis) resistant to freezing cold, snow and hard wind, the park is still its last refuge against the human destruction, where the so-called civilization didn’t protect the Earth most endangered and precious natural environments. Unlike other holiday destinations where tourism dominates, this park is the ideal location for a break, whether you’re looking for a brisk walk on the highest tops of South Italy, where the view extends to two seas (Ionian and Tyrrhenian Sea) and until Sicily, a demanding trekking, a daredevil ride in canyons down the mountains or just a relaxing break in a natural unspoilt scenery. The last days we are in Maratea, called the 'pearl of the Tyrrhenian' because of its beautiful scenery and coastline.






Day 1 Individual arrival in Matera

Arrival at Bari airport and transfer to Matera. Matera, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, is built in a small canyon. The town is on the World Heritage list of UNESCO because of its Sassi, habitations dug into the rock itself. Today there are many restaurants, pubs and hotels. In the afternoon we have a guided tour through the Sassi with its small alleys, squares, cave dwellings and rock churches. In the evening we will have dinner in a typical 'Sassi' restaurant. 

Walking time: 3 hrs; distance 4 km / 2,5 miles; difficulty: easy  


Day 2

The Park of the Rupestrian churches

Today we make a walk on the Murgia plateau in search of the rupestrian churches. We walk along walking trails with beautiful views of the surroundings. We have lunch in one of the caves. In the afternoon free time to visit Matera.

Walking time: 4-5 hrs; distance 9 km / 5,6 miles; difficulty: easy to medium


Day 3

The Pollino National Park 

After breakfast we leave for the Pollino Park. After about 1 hour we reach the territory of the Calanchi, a landscape of south-eastern Lucania. Here it is possible to notice grooves arranged in a parallel or fan-like manner, created by the erosion of surface waters on clayey slopes, called Calanchi and perfectly described in the work of Carlo Levi "Christ stopped at Eboli". After about 5 km you reach Aliano where we visit the Museum and the house of Carlo Levi. In the afternoon we continue to Viggianello, located in a beautiful position in the Valle del Mercure at the foot of Mount Pollino. The village is famous for it eno-gastronomic traditions. The dishes have exciting names like i “Rasckatìeddi” (pasta), i “Kavatìeddi” (gnocchi), “frascàtula” (polenta), la “Minestra ‘mbastata” (soup with vegetables and potatoes), “Rafajùoli” (ravioli), “Brasciòla” (porc meat) Overnight stay and dinner.Pollino National Park
The village has a long tradition of food and wine with dishes related different seasons such as "Rasckatìeddi", "Kavatìeddi", "frascàtula", "mbastata" soup, "Rafajùoli", "Brasciòla" Overnight stay with breakfast and dinner

Walking time: 3 hrs; distance 8 km / 4,7 miles; difficulty: easy  


Day 4

Serra di Crispo

Today a nice walk in the “heart” of the Pollino Park. The trail through the forest follows the  abandoned “Rueping.”, a nineteenth century railway line used for the transportation of tree trunks. We pass alongside a tiny lake called "Lago Fondo" and further climbing you will reach Pietra Castello (1750 m.) where you will meet the first Loricato (Bosnian) Pines. We continue with our uphill walk till Grande Porta del Pollino (the big gate) at 1958 m. and to the Serra di Crispo summit (mt. 2056) known as the “Garden of the Gods”. A deserved downhill walk will bring us back our hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

Flora: Bosnian pine, turkey oak, chestnut trees, beach trees, aromatic herbs, blackberry bushes, hollies, wild pear, mushrooms, musk, peonies, orchids, wild violets, thistles, brooms, gentians, hawthorns, mistletoe and red lilies

Fauna:roe deer, golden eagle, Apennine wolf, raven, eagle owl, peregrine, black woodpecker and the Orsomarso  

Walking time 6 ½ hrs; distance 12 km; differences in altitude 678m / difficulty: medium to difficult


Day 5


I Patriarchi del Pollino

Today we will reach the peak of Monte Pollino, the second highest summit in the National Park. We cross a beech tree forest with a spectacular views of the rocky shore with the characteristic Bosnian Pines. Maybe we are lucky today and will have a glimpse of an Eagle or the Pilgrim Hawke. Back to the Hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

Walking time 6 ½ hrs; distance 14 km; differences in altitude 771m/ difficulty: medium to difficult


Day 6

The Tyrrhenian coast: Maratea

Transfer to Maratea and get settled in at your Hotel. We make an excursion to the San Biagio Mount and the Redeemer statue, with a breathtaking panorama of the cliffs and coves along the coast. We descend on foot into the countryside along a paved path to visit the historic centre. Free time to enjoy the beautiful centre of Maratea. Overnight stay at Maratea.

Walking Time: 3 hours / difficulty: easy


Day 7

La Spiaggia Nera (The Black beach)

After breakfast we start an easy excursion passing through the alleyways of the old centre. We will walk on the west side of the San Biagio Mountain and will have a nice panorama with the contrasting landscape of green fields and woods and the blue of the sea. We are always accompanied by a nice view from the Policastro gulf to the Cirella Island in Calabria. The route follows an old path linking different little churches and chapels among which the famous Madonna della Pietà. Your final destinations of today’s route are the Maratea Caves and the famous “Spiaggia Nera” (the Black Beach) where the volcanic black sand fades into the dark blue of the sea. Overnight stay at Maratea 

Walking time: 3 hours / difficulty: easy


Day 8

Departure after breakfast







Included in this walking tour:

  • 7 overnight stays in a double/twin room with breakfast 

  • 6 dinners

  • Maps 

  • A tour guide during the whole tour

  • Transfer from and to the airport of Bari

  • Information material


Not included:

  • Lunches, 1 dinner and drinks during dinner  

  • Entrance fees   

  • Everything else which does not come under the heading “ included services”  



Every Saturday from May to October with minimum 6 people.

Level 2/3

Walking in a hilly landscape. Walking experience is needed and a good physical condition. Walks of 4-6 hours per day /12-20 km (with an average of  3/4 km an hour)


Tour is confirmed with minimum 6 people from May to October.

Prices p.p. 2020

6 to 14 participants

In a double/twin room     € 980,00 
In single room     € 1.135,00 

15 to 25 participants

In a double/twin room     € 670,00 
In single room     € 825,00