Puglia Discovery Tour

Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours
from £1,399pp without flights FLIGHTS AVAILABLE

Uncover the rural charm and rich heritage of Puglia during a week of guided sightseeing. The holiday includes visits to the area’s most popular places of interest including a full day in UNESCO-listed Matera. Here you’ll explore its labyrinth of alleyways and staircases which wind past ‘Sassi’ cave dwellings, hewn from the cliffs. Alborobello is a charming town with a high concentration of attractive ‘Trulli’ buildings with cone-shaped roofs while the 13th century Castel del Monte is memorable for its octagonal design. There’s also time to explore Altamura – our base for the week and home to the prehistoric ‘Altamura Man’ skeleton – and visit Alta Murgia National Park. This holiday offers an authentic Italian experience in a still relatively undiscovered area of Italy.

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover the conical-roofed trulli buildings in Alberobello.
  • Explore the alleyways and staircases of Matera and its ‘sassi’ cave dwellings.
  • Uncover the atmospheric old town of Bari with our Local Guide.
  • Visit the 13th century, UNESCO listed, octagonal-shaped Castel del Monte.

What’s included

  • Good quality en-suite accommodation in one of our European partner hotels
  • Half Board – continental breakfast and evening meal
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ leader
  • Full day excursions with all essential transport in resort
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Welcome to Hotel San Nicola. Unpack and settle in.

Our base for the week is the historic town of Altamura so on our first day out we’ll be exploring the best of what it has to offer us. We shall visit the town centre, including the Porta Bari – the only surviving gate to the old town. There will be time to explore the town’s museums; in the Archaeological Museum, we can see the only complete skeleton of a prehistoric man, a.k.a. the Altamura Man. In the afternoon, we’ll take a short coach journey to Pulo, the famous karst formation formed by the collapse of an underground network of caves and tunnels.

Matera is said to be one of the world’s oldest towns, dating back to the Palaeolithic Age. The simple natural grottos, or sassi, that dotted the gorge were adapted to become homes, further developed in the 8th Century by Benedictine and Basilian monks. By the 1950s more than half of Matera’s population lived in the sassi. In 1993 the sassi were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will spend a full day here exploring the alleyways and staircases that make up this memorable place.

Today we travel into the Alta Murgia National Park, passing the ruined fortress at Garagnone on our way. Built on one of the highest points above the National Park, the fortress is thought to be of Norman origin and was one of many that were located along the border areas of the region. After our picnic lunch, we’ll continue through the National Park to San Magno to view a necropolis dating back to the 5th and 7th Centuries BC. Our day also includes a visit to Castel del Monte, another UNESCO Heritage Site occupying a spectacular location on a low hill with commanding views over the National Park and towards the coast.

On our 7-night holidays we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore the area independently.

Alberobello’s monumental Trulli village is another site on this holiday protected by UNESCO World Heritage. Dating from the 1400s, these huts are made with dry overlapping stones and a whitewashed base with a cone-shaped roof and pinnacles of various shapes and symbols. We’ll also explore the old town quarter of Rione Monti as well as the quieter neighbourhood of Rione Aia Piccola.

Today we take a trip to the coast starting in Bari, Puglia’s capital, for a tour of the Bari Vecchia, or old town; an interesting and atmospheric warren of streets. Highlights will include Castello Svevo, Basilica di San Nicola and the beautiful Piazza Mercantile. In the afternoon we continue to Trani, known as the Pearl of Puglia, for a stroll through the yachts and fishing boats in the harbour. 

Depart after a leisurely breakfast.

Puglia Itinerary Map

Hotel San Nicola - Puglia

The 4-star Hotel San Nicola is located in the heart of the old town of Altamura just 150 metres from Federico's Cathedral. A former palace built in 1741 as the residence of the Cagnazzi family, the hotel has 24 comfortable bedrooms, 24 hour reception, bar and restaurant and free Wi-Fi throughout. Take the opportunity to sample the local Foccacia de Altamura from a nearby bakery which has been producing bread since 1421. 


There are 24 modern en-suite bedrooms.

All bedrooms are equipped with a:

  • Phone
  • Air conditioning
  • Flat screen
  • TV
  • Minibar
  • Complimentary toiletries
  • Hairdryer


The hotel has:

  • 24-hour reception
  • Room service
  • Laundry
  • Ironing and dry cleaning service (extra charge)

Food & Drink

Holidays at Altamura are Half Board with continental breakfast and evening meals at two of Altamura's restaurants.


Continental buffet breakfast: this is served from 7am in the courtyard dining room. This will include cereals, fruit juices, yoghurt, fresh fruit, cheeses/meats, selection of breads and croissants, jams, tea and coffee.

Lunch (payable locally)

Packed lunches can be bought from the local shops a few minutes from the hotel and can also be purchased from the hotel.

Evening meal

One of the highlights of this holiday is that our guests dine out in Altamura at a local restaurant that serves local dishes and specialities. A 3-course dinner will be served at the Tre Archi Restaurant every evening except on Saturdays and Wednesdays when we will be dining at the newly refurbished restaurant at Hotel San Nicola. 

This restaurant is within easy walking distance of our hotel and guests can experience the "passiagata", an Italian tradition where the locals with their families and friends walk out in the evening socialising, and take in this unique atmosphere.

Your Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our holidays continues into the evening.

Most of our socialising at Altamura is over a relaxed meal, opportunity to talk about your day with your fellow guests and sample some local wines and dishes. See the town came alive in the evening with all the local families walking out, treating their children to ice creams and just sitting over a coffee.


Getting to Hotel San Nicola - Puglia

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery Tours involve active sightseeing and you should therefore be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing.
You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, camera, sun protection, drinks (at least 2 litres) etc during the day. A money belt is always a good idea.

You’ll also need to bring your:

  • Booking confirmation
  • Travel insurance cover note and contact details
  • European Health Insurance Card (if applicable)
  • Completed guest registration form
  • Photocopy of photo page of passport
  • Sunhat, sun cream and sunglasses
  • Medication: If you require any medication, please take adequate supplies for the duration of your holiday. It’s advisable to carry your medication in your hand luggage instead of packing it in your suitcase

Alastair Clark



Alastair  lives in the Peak District and has been leading for HF since 2011, including Worldwide, Walking and Cycling holidays and latterly the Special Interest holidays that he has a passion for. Alastair has a wide range of interests, ranging from teaching French to leading expeditions in Ghana. He loves sharing his knowledge with others and introducing them to a “sense of place” in the numerous locations where he leads for HF Holidays.

Alastair provides an exceptional experience for all guests:

"Recognised and responded to individual needs, full of information, adaptable in bad weather.  Took care of everyone, nothing too much trouble."


Leader to Be Announced

We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
28 May - 04 Jun 2022
7 Discovery Tour £1,599 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
28 May - 04 Jun 2022
7 Discovery Tour £1,399 Available Trip Notes Book Now

Important Information

  • Single room: From £140 (complete holiday)
  • With flight holidays: Flights from London Gatwick to Bari included
  • Regional flight available from Manchester from £60pp. Other UK regional connecting flights available on request
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort – price per taxi: £110 one way.
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Bari Airport: £20pp one way.
7 nights
Discovery Tours

7 nights from £1,399pp
without flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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