This 10-day trip takes us across the ancient region of Lucania, which spans Italy’s instep with slivers of coastline touching the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Taranto, and is encircled by the neighbouring regions of Calabria, Campania and Apulia. This region of less than 600,000 inhabitants is raw and unspoilt, remote and untamed and unlike any other region in Italy in terms of landscape, history and culture.   

We start the trip in Matera which claims to be one of the third oldest and continuously inhabited towns on earth. It is most famous for its sassi, (stone houses carved out of the caves and cliffs), evocative and beautiful as they sprawl below the rim of a vast ravine like an immense nativity scene. Its ancient cave dwellings tell a tale of poverty, hardship and struggle, its history best immortalized in writer Carlo Levi’s extraordinary book, Christ Stopped at Eboli. 

After two days exploring Matera and its surroundings on foot, we drive through Basilicata’s badlands, an otherworldly landscape that is unique in all of Europe, to the dramatically positioned town of Aliano, where we walk in the footsteps of Carlo Levi, who was confined here from 1935-1936 as a political exile.

From here we continue on to Italy’s largest national park, the Pollino National Park, which straddles Basilicata and Calabria and covers 1960 sq km. It acts like a rocky curtain separating the region from the rest of Italy and has the richest repository of flora and fauna in the south, as well as being listed as a UNESCO global geopark. Our approach to one of the park’s main towns is on foot and provides us with a superb and panoramic introduction to the area. The next three days are dedicated to walking amongst some of the most beautiful corners of the park’s main massif, which features 5 peaks rising over 2000m/6561ft that are blanketed by forests of oak, alder, maple, pine, fir and beech. The park is most famous, however, for its ancient and contorted pino loricato trees, giant pines that can reach over 2m/6.5ft in diameter and grow to 35m/114ft tall. 

We pop over the border into Calabria for one final walk in the Pollino National Park (this time beyond the massif) and stay in the picturesque town of Morano Calabro before continuing on to the west coast of Basilicata, which is a mere 20 miles long and consists mostly of rugged calcareous terrain and is dotted with around twenty small beaches.  Here we walk amongst a variety of landscapes, including secluded pastures and valleys, open ridges with breath-taking sea views, wooded hillsides and imposing mountains that sweep down to the sea in the form of cliffs and steep slopes. Throughout our time here we stay in the charming town of Maratea, nestled in the corner of a sloping green valley at the base of a forested mountain from which rises a monumental statue of Christ the Redeemer.

For a detailed itinerary and/or further information, please contact us at [email protected]


Fitness Level3/4
DatesSeptember 05 -14, 2023
Days 10
Cost pp
Single S.
€ 3.825,00
€ 560,00
AirportBari / Naples

The fitness level for all trips is classified according to the average distance and elevation gain of the walks offered, with fitness levels ranging from 1-5, see here for more details.