Around Matera
Matera Crypt of the Original Sin Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport Altamura Castelsaraceno Gravina in Puglia Metaponto Craco Montalbano Jonico Pietragalla, Potenza & surroundings Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano Accettura Laterza Mugia Materana Regional Park San Giuliano Lake and Nature Reserve

Matera

Matera achieved an almost legendary status ever since Mel Gibson chose this ancient city as the location for filming The Passion of the Christ in 2003, but it is really its inscription on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993 that cemented its importance in human history. Stay in one of the converted cave dwellings and experience it for yourself with a half- or full-day guided walk of the city.

Duration: 3-7 hours
Overnight in Matera

From S$130/person (group of 4 persons)

Half-day guided visit

Half-day guided visit

Lunch in a typical trattoria

90-min excursion across the ravine for panoramic view of the city

Crypt of the Original Sin

Only open to the public in 2005, this cave has been in use since the Paleolithic times. Nicknamed “The Sistine Chapel of Rupestrian Art”, it was transformed into a place of worship in the second half of the 8th century into what we see today. Visits are for up to maximum of 20 persons and strictly limited to 30 minutes each time due to its extremely fragile state, and also require a walk of 700m from the ticket office. Good walking shoes recommended. Combine this with visit to other nearby monuments or nature reserve. Picture ©Fondazione Zétema Matera

Duration: 2 hours
Overnight in Matera

From S$180/person (group of 4 persons)

2-hour guided visit incl. of entry fee

Return transfer by car/minivan from Matera

Altamura

Altamura is best known in southern Italy for its bread, for which its fame began some 2 thousand years ago, but that's not the only attraction that that makes a visit worthwhile. The city itself is older than Rome, and you find things to see from the Renaissance going all the way back to some 150,000 years ago at the town's archaeological museum.

Duration: 3-5 hours
Overnight in Matera

From S$150/person (group of 4 persons)

half-day guided visit with lunch featuring Altamura bread

Return transfer by car/minivan from Matera

Castelsaraceno

This tiny mountain village located between two immense national parks is not only a welcome rest stop for a day's hike, but boasts something that no other village has: the world's longest suspension footbridge spanning nearly 600m over the gorge below. But there are plenty of other things you can do here, all to do with country life. Picture Corriere dell Sera

Duration: 3-7 hours
Overnight in Matera

From S$130/person (group of 4 persons)

2-hour guided visit

Half-day experience with cheesemakers and tasting of cheeses.

Half-day mushroom and chestnut picking experience

Spend a day with a shepherd

Access to suspension footbridge

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Return transfer by car/minivan from Matera

Gravina in Puglia

Like Matera, Gravina di Puglia is also perched on the edge of a ravine, in an area with dotted caves, and has a history going back to the paleolithic. Yet the two are very different from each other. Gravina is undoubtedly the more intimate of the two, and it's well worth your while to visit and experience.  Combine this with your visit to Altamura. Picture ©Wikimedia Commons

Duration 3 hours
Overnight in Matera

From S$130 per person (group of 4 persons)

half-day guided visit

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Return transfer by car/minivan from Matera

Metaponto

A seaside resort with a major difference: this is the only one that comes with ancient Greek ruins! See these 2600 year old ruins with a visit archaeological museum and a quick stopover at the small castle of Bernauda nearby. Picture by Σπάρτακος for Wikimedia Commons

Duration: 2 hours
Overnight in Matera

From S$140/person (group of 4 persons)

half-day guided visit incliding archaeological museum

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Return transfer by car/minivan from Matera

Craco

A  series of landslides in the 1960s caused residents to abandon this little village, leaving it as a host town so evocative that many have made this a set location for their films, include Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ in 2004. Picture by Giuseppe Milo for Wikimedia Commons

Duration: 3 hours
Overnight in Matera

From S$140/person (group of 4 persons)

half-day guided visit

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Return transfer by car/minivan from Matera

Montalbano Jonico

The heavily eroded clay ravines below this town lend an almost otherworldly feel. If you happen to be visiting Craco this is one little stopover you might like to take in this most surreal landscape. Picture Wikimedia Commons.

Duration: 1 hour
Overnight in Matera

Excursion by car/minivan from Matera

Pietragalla, Potenza & surroundings

This village has the unique park consisting of 200 caves once used for storing grapes and wine-making, part of an ancient tradition found throughout the Mediterranean of which remain only these. Combine this with a visit to Potenza just a few kilometres away and the surrounding countryside. Picture by Roberto Pellechia

Duration: 3-6 hours
Overnight in Matera or Potenza

From S$180/person (group of 4 persons)

half-day guided visit

Full-day guided visit including surrounding countryside

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Half-day transport by car/minivan from Matera

Full-day transport by car/minivan from Matera

Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano

These two villages, considered to be among the most beautiful in Italy for their dramatic setting among the rugged mountains of the Lucanian Dolomites, have to be seen to be believed. Often visited together, these village are also connected via an ancient shepherd's trail called the "Path of the Seven Stones" or, for the more adventurous, a thrilling 1.5km high-speed cable zipline that takes you over the spectacular scenery at 120km/h (May-November only). Definitely worth staying a night or more.

Duration: 3-7 hours
Overnight in Matera, Castelmezzano or Pietraapertosa

From S$150 per person (4 persons per group)

half-day guided visit

Full-day guided visit incl. walking the Path of the Seven Stones

Zip-line Flight of the Angels (May-Nov only)

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Accettura

1000 year-old Accettura is a classic mountain village of southern Italy, located right in the heart of the Gallipoli Cognato Forest Reserve, offers both the anbience of an ancient settlement along with the excitement of outdoor activities in nature, ranging from wildlife-watching to bouldering, to to hunting for ancient prehistoric structures hidden in the woods.

Duration: 3-7 hours
Overnight in Pietrapertosa, Castelmezzano or Accettura.

From S$130/person (4 persons per group)

Half-day guided visit by car/minivan

Full-day guided visit by car/minivan

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Bouldering experience (appropriate clothing required)

Half-day experience with cheesemakers and tasting of cheeses.

Laterza

Laterza is a classic southern Italian town which happens to sit just above one of the largest ravines in Europe, providing visitors with both architectural and natural wonders to enjoy. visit the town to savour its ancient history and the panoramic vista of the ravine, or explore the ravine itself on foot or by donkey.

Duration: 3-7 hours
Overnight in Matera or Laterza

From S$130/person (group of 4 persons)

Half-day guided visit

Half-day nature and cave exploring in the ravine

Lunch in a typical trattoria

Mugia Materana Regional Park

Rugged regional park next to the gorge of the Torrente Gravina, with churches carved out of the cliffs, some with 8th-c. frescoes. Quite a unique hiking experience that combines wild nature with ancient history. Appropriate clothing and good walking/hiking shoes recommended.

Duration: 3-7 hours.
Overnight in Matera

From S$150/person (4 persons per group)

Half-day guided hike

Full-day guided hike

Lunch in a typical trattoria

San Giuliano Lake and Nature Reserve

A nature reserve centred around one of te few lakes in Basilicata that is a haven for many aquatic bird species. Combine a walk here with a visit to the Crypt of the Original Sin nearby.
Picture by Pietro Paolo Palumbo for Wikimedia Commons

Duration: 2-5 hours depending on activity
Overnight in Matera

From S$130/person (4 persons per group)

Half-day guided visit

Full-day guided visit

Lunch in a typical trattoria