Skip to Content

12 BEST Matera Guided Tours (selected by an Italian)

Read on to find the most epic Matera guided tours available, so you get to discover Italy’s oldest city with an expert in its history and archaeology.

Located in the Basilicata region in Southern Italy, Matera is the country’s oldest city and the third oldest city in the world (!) It’s also an absolute dream destination for history and archaeology buffs and a highly recommended place to visit when in Italy. 

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Matera dates back to the 3rd century BC, and it boasts magnificent remains of ancient life, including caves, primitive settlements, rock churches, and a charming landscape. 

I was born and raised in Bologna, in Northern Italy, but for some reason, I didn’t make it to Matera until last year. Big mistake – I was absolutely blown away by it! Matera quickly became one of my very favorite places in Italy, and I can’t wait to go back and spend another long weekend there. It’s such a unique place, unlike any other in the country.

The best way to explore the town is, in my opinion, with a Matera guided tour. While it’s a fascinating destination even if you’re aimlessly wandering around its streets, its history, importance, and the mesmerizing stories tied to Matera can only be discovered if you visit with an expert. 

For this reason, I’ve compiled the very best Matera guided tours to help you choose the one that best suits your interests and budget. Check them out!

I generally use Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours around the world. I especially recommend them for their great cancellation policy, which allows you to cancel most activities up to 24 hours in advance and get a full refund. 

The BEST Matera Walking Tours

▶️ Discover the Ancient City – Matera Tour in English or Italian is a very comprehensive experience that allows you to get much more than a glimpse of this ancient city. Along with a small group of people, you’ll follow your English-speaking guide to the districts of Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, and explore the ancient dwellings and rock churches of Sassi. 

Enjoy stunning views of the valley and stroll along the narrow alleys as you learn about Matera’s millennia of history, a town that used to be called the Shame of Italy and ended up being recognized as an important World Heritage. 

Discover Matera, the ancient city - Tour in Italian or English

📝 This Matera walking tour includes: A guided tour around Matera. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Sassi di Matera Guided Tour is a half-day experience that introduces you to Matera’s oldest districts: Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano, which comprise Sassi di Matera. Inhabited continuously for over 7 thousand years, the Sassi feature astounding rock churches, cave houses, piazzas, and a striking Apulian-Romanesque Cathedral overlooking the city. 

Your expert guide will provide interesting insights about the city’s history and how it’s changed throughout the centuries, allowing you to truly delve into this fascinating location.  

📝 This tour includes: A guide, and entry tickets to the caves. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ A Matera Private Walking Tour is ideal if you’re traveling with your partner, family, or a group of friends. You’ll benefit from your guide’s undivided attention and get to ask all your questions as you stroll around the historical center of Matera. 

The tour will take you to a spectacular cave-house that was inhabited until the 20th century, rupestrian churches, rocks, and the cathedral which sits atop one of the town’s highest points. 

📝 This tour includes: A private guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

The Best Ape Tours in Matera (Tuk Tuk)

▶️ Ape Tour Matera – Panoramic Tour in Ape Calessino is an incredibly fun way of exploring this ancient city. An ape is essentially a tuk-tuk that will zip you through the steep lanes of Matera as you explore its historical districts without getting tired. 

You’ll visit the town’s main attractions accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, which enables you to understand the importance of the landmarks you’re passing by. You’ll stop to admire the views from a viewpoint and visit incredible caves that are thousands of years old.  

Ape Matera Guided Tour - Panoramic tour in ape calessino

📝 This Matera tuk tuk tour includes: A driver/guide, and transportation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Ape Tour Matera – Guided Tour in Ape Calessino is another fantastic tuk-tuk guided experience. You’ll explore three districts in the Sassi of Matera, hearing curiosities and interesting facts about the town’s history and stopping to enjoy panoramic views, and visiting a cave and rock church. 

The tuk tuk tour of Matera takes only an hour, so you’ll have the rest of the day free to wander at your leisure, seeing the town with new (and more informed) eyes. 

Ape Tour Matera - Guided tour in ape calessino

📝 This tour includes: Transportation and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Murgia Park Rocky Curches Tours (Unmissable!)

▶️ Murgia Park Rocky Curches Tour takes you to an absolutely gorgeous attraction that you can’t miss when in Matera. The tour of the park grants you access to the striking rock churches where you can admire their centuries-old Byzantine frescoes, check out the scenic views from Golgota, and delight in the panorama of Matera as the sun sets. 

Be prepared to explore a millennium of history, tracing the steps of countless generations of citizens and being in awe of the fabulous sights. You’ll even get to see the spot where Mel Gibson filmed his movie The Passion of the Christ!

📝 This tour includes: Transfers to the park, entry fees, and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Join this Sassi and Murgia Tour by Electric Bike to cross through the neighborhoods of Matera effortlessly, relying on your e-bike to ascend the steep alleys. 

After exploring the districts of Sassi you’ll head to the Murgia Materana National Park, with stops at an ancient tuff quarry, a rock church, and the viewpoint of Murgia Timone, from which the views over Matera are unparalleled.  

Sassi and Murgia Matera Guided Tour by electric bike

📝 This tour includes: E-bike and helmet rental, and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Matera Food Tours & Dining Experiences

▶️ Who can say no to a Food and Wine Tour between the Patriarchs Olives and the Oil Temples? Better yet if it takes place in Italy’s most historical city, Matera. You’ll start the day having breakfast under a Patriarch olive tree and then head into the Materan rocky countryside known as Murgia

You’ll pass through ancient caves on your way to an old farmhouse, where you’ll be introduced to the traditional bread of Matera and get to prepare one of its most traditional dishes, the cialledda. Indulge in a meal completed with baked olives, salami, and Primitivo wine, and delight in the sounds of Matera’s traditional music and songs.   

Food and Wine Tour between the Patriarchs Olives and the Oil Temples

📝 This tour includes: Meal and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Dining Experience at a Local’s Home ought to be one of the most authentic tours in Matera, Italy. You’ll join a local in their house to learn delicious Italian recipes that have been passed down through generations and relish a 4-course meal. 

Start by witnessing a cooking demonstration, an ideal excuse to ask all your culinary questions and write down some secret tips, and then join your host for a homemade lunch or dinner paired with wine and coffee, and surely interesting conversation. 

📝 This tour includes: A 4-course lunch or dinner with drinks at a local’s home. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Join a Six Course Truffle Tasting Tour for the ultimate foodie experience. You’ll head to the center of Matera and visit a shop that specializes in Basilicata’s star product: the truffle. You’ll get to learn everything about it and sample traditional dishes that include this precious ingredient. 

A six-course meal consisting of truffle sauces with bread, cheese, and other dairy products, truffle salami, and panna cotta with truffle honey should most definitely make up for lunch, so be sure to have an empty stomach before starting the activity! It’s arguably one of the most interesting (and delicious!) Matera tours!

📝 This tour includes: Tastings of six truffle specialties, and a truffle expert to guide the experience. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Night Walking Tour of Matera

A Walking Tour of Matera at Sunset allows you to see the city during the day and witness how it gets transformed as the sun sets. You’ll visit centuries-old cave dwellings, walk through the Sassi districts, and enjoy the views at Murgia National Park as you learn about the history of Matera from your guide. 

You’ll finish the tour by visiting a Rupestrian church that overlooks the city, seeing as it lights up for the evening.    

📝 This tour includes: A tour guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

James Bond 007 Guided Tour in Matera

Ready to live a cinematic experience in Matera? Book the James Bond 007 Guided Tour to follow the steps of the world’s most famous secret agent. You’ll meet a Matera tour guide and follow them around town as they show you the spots where several of the James Bond movies were shot. 

You’ll hear anecdotes and interesting information about the shooting in Matera, and get to snap pictures in the places where Bond, James Bond carried out many of his heroic actions. 

📝 This Matera James Bond tour includes: A tour guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Matera Guided Tours FAQ

Is Matera worth going to?

As the oldest city in Italy, and holding incredible information about the history and customs of ancient civilizations, Matera is 100% worth visiting in my opinion. 

Is Matera walkable?

Yes, you can certainly walk around Matera, although you have to take into consideration that its narrow lanes and alleys are sometimes quite steep. If you have mobility issues, walking in town might be difficult.

What is special about Matera Italy?

The most special aspect of Matera is its incredible history and architecture: it’s the country’s oldest city after all, and it’s been continuously inhabited for thousands of years! 

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.