WHERE ARE WE GOING NEXT?
“A walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells.”
― Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
Puglia, Italy Walking & Yoga Retreat
Salamina Masseria in Puglia
Puglia delights with its Mediterranean culture, whitewashed villages, picturesque Trulli and wonderful farms immersed in a sea of olive trees. This is a land bathed by two seas and in the center of the Mediterranean that will enchant and captivate you.
Food is an integral aspect of the lifestyle in Puglia. Enjoy long, relaxed dining experiences that showcase the Italian way of living and being. Awaken your senses with authentic flavors, fresh local produce, extra virgin olive oil, freshly baked focaccia bread and locally made wines, like minutolo and susumaniello.
Start your day with yoga. Then spend time walking, exploring and tasting. Be transported back in time and learn the history of this area through visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites, Alberobello and Matera. Follow the route of the ancient Roman road called Trajan’s Way and explore the narrow streets of Ostuni, la città bianca (the white town) dating back to an evocative and ancient time.
Puglia is a region renowned for its delicious food, warm, inviting people, history and temperate climates. Come walk with us and see for yourself!
Pasta Class at the Masseria
What to expect on this retreat:
Puglia is the Italian region that produces the most olive oil. Tour a farm that still produces organic extra virgin olive oil from trees that are many centuries old. This farm estate called a ‘masseria’, is a type that dates back to the 1500s. Some of these estates are still agricultural enterprises, while others have been converted into boutique hotels like the one where we will be staying.
Each morning we will start with a yoga practice (optional) and breakfast. Then a private coach will whisk us away to begin the day’s exploration.
Walking through the rural areas of Puglia, will reveal the depth of its history. Stroll through open plains, and notice abandoned dwellings, evidence of habitation since Neolithic times. The valley that you walk through has its own microclimate, and contains a wide range of plants that thrive in the cooler, shaded setting.
Ostuni, known as “la città bianca” (the white town) is a cluster of whitewashed buildings perched on a hilltop overlooking the coast. Walking through the narrow streets of Ostuni is like being in a forgotten time, looking out over an expanse of olive trees.
Visit Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with streets lined with iconic structures called ‘trulli’. Your guide will explain why and how these unique dwellings were built, and about the cryptic symbols painted on the roof-cones.
Visit a family run winery focused on making quality wines from the traditional varieties that are grown in this area. The winemaker will show you the vineyard, and then invite you to taste a range of wines.
Visit Matera, another UNESCO World Heritage site, that is like a step back in time. One of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world, Matera features cave dwellings that go back to the Bronze Age. The guided tour which includes a visit to the ‘sassi’ cave area, showcases cave houses and cave churches carved out of the rock face along the side of a steep ravine. The historic houses reflect the difficult existence in these conditions, and the cave churches feature Byzantine style frescoes. Our guide, whose grandparents actually lived in these caves, will share an interesting insight into life in Matera, both now and in the past.
Walk on the paths along the river valley known as the ‘gravina’. There are over 150 “chiese rupestre” (cave churches) in the Matera area, and the majority of them are actually strung out along this valley. You will see where the monks lived, and the precious frescoes in many of these churches.
Walk along a scenic route in an area called the Valle d’Itria, a high plateau with an interesting mix of olive and almond trees, artichokes and capers. Passing through areas of oak forest, the walk opens out to an area that has many working farms and vineyards. Here you will notice the farmers follow the seasonal cycles of planting and harvest, as they have done for many generations.
Visit the town of Locorotondo, voted as one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (most beautiful villages of Italy). The town is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Valle d’Itria, a broad fertile valley. Locorotondo is renowned for its wine production. The historic part of town – the centro storico – is circular with little lanes lined with historic buildings, including some impressive baroque archways.
The cuisine of Puglia features fresh, local produce, so it is different from the food of other Italian regions. Seasonal vegetables, as well as focaccia and other breads, along with extra virgin olive oil dominate this simple and effective cuisine. Recipes have been handed down through the generations and are truly expressive of the Mediterranean diet. The food here is nothing short of spectacular.
What’s included in the Puglia Walking and Yoga Retreat
- Transport from Bari airport, train station or hotel to retreat hotel (Masserina Salamina) on May 11, 2024 and return on May 17, 2024.
- Six night stay in a historic boutique hotel, Masseria Salamina in the Italian countryside. Their restaurant boasts a garden-to-table philosophy that features organic, traditional menus that enhance the taste of authentic flavors. In addition to being a hotel, they are an eco-sustainable family farm so much of the food comes from their own gardens. https://www.masseriasalamina.com/en/home/
- Double Occupancy rooms include a private bathroom, sitting area, independent entrance, outdoor space, air conditioning and heat, an in-room safe, WIFI, television, and mini fridge
- Breakfast is provided every day.
- Five dinners and 2 lunches are included. One non-hosted dinner during our visit to Monopoli.
- Walking tours of three different areas of Puglia with specialist walking guides
- Visits to Alberobello, Matera, Ostuni, Locorotondo and Monopoli, unique and historic villages in Puglia
- Visit an olive oil producer and a winery with tastings at both locations
- Italian Cooking Class
- Private Musical Performance by a traditional Italian folk group. This will include a Tarantella folk dance performed by a professional dancer.
- Daily morning yoga and three Restorative Yoga practices with Jeni Martinez and Clara Pelica, her co-teacher
- Yoga mats, blocks, straps and blankets are provided– no need to bring your own!
- Swim in the hotel pool or wander the gardens during free time.
- On-site massage is available although not included in cost of the retreat.
- Daily room cleaning and change of towels.
Airfare, travel & cancellation Insurance (recommended), tips for guides, driver and wait staff, alcohol, 3 non-hosted lunches and 1 non-hosted dinner, optional massage
DATE OF RETREAT:
Double Occupancy: $3850
Single Occupancy: $4350 (Very limited)
$500 deposit to confirm your place
Final payment is due: February 5, 2024 No refunds after this date.