Guided Walking at Altamura, Italy
Puglia - Undiscovered Gem
Code: PULCLPrint page
Food & drink
Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Visit the region of Puglia which is relatively undiscovered, located in the “heel” of Italy. The terrain is pre-historic with caves, sink holes and narrow ravines. Alta Murgia National Park is rich in many varieties of bird and flora. The gentle rolling countryside offers view across the plains to snow capped mountains of del Polino. This area was once seen as the bridge to the East and resulted in a diverse mix of cultures, arts and history. This area boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of them being the town of Alberobello, famous for its unusual Trulli houses.
- Discover an area of Italy that is still relatively undiscovered and fringed by mountains and turquoise seas
- Enjoy walking through the rolling landscapes of the Alta Murgia National Park, dotted with ancient towns steeped in history
- Year-round sunshine - ideal for a spring or autumn break
- Uncover rural charm and rich culinary heritage by its quaint trattorias and great food
- This area has three UNESCO World Heritage sites
- A full programme of guided walks with two options every walking day
- All transport to and from walks
- The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
- "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
- 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half Board – continental breakfast and evening meal
Altamura celebrates the Fredericus Festival in April (29th/30th April & 1st May); celebrating the visit of Frederick II who stayed in the region on the way back from the sixth Crusade in 1232. The medieval festival includes processions, flag wavers, jugglers and street performers during these three days of frivolity.
Sharing our customer’s experiences, listening to feedback and adding those extra little details you ask for is very important to us. Which is why Sarah Davis our New Business and Partnerships Manager was lucky enough to be able to join our guests on a Guided Walking & Sightseeing holiday in Puglia.
“Puglia totally exceeded my expectations! It was great to meet our guests and really embrace the experience. Altamura is a charming town, in the day it’s really quiet – at night it comes alive with locals and has a charming bustle and atmosphere. Puglia is immersed in ancient history, I discovered a UNESCO world heritage site when walking on the third day! “
The 4-star Hotel San Nicola dates back to 1741, it has been beautifully restored and is located in the centre of the picturesque old town of Altamura.
Altamura is on the doorstep with easy access to its shops, picturesque streets and attractions. Sample some of Altamura is breads and its well known Focaccia de Altamura (topped with tomatoes and herbs).
HF Holidays Europe Partner Hotel Awards 2016
Gold Award for Dining
There are 27 modern en-suite bedrooms.
All bedrooms are equipped with a:
|The hotel has a:
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 Cavaggio dining room on the 1st floor. 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.
One of the highlights of this holiday is that our guests dine out in Altamura at two restaurants that serve local dishes and specialities. A 3-course dinner will be served at the Tre Archi Restaurant every evening and experience the warm Italian hospitality and local dishes.
On Wednesdays our groups dine at the Restaurant Del Corso.
Both these establishments are 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.
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.
- Our experienced leaders offer the choice of two different walks each day
- Choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness
- We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort
- Our leaders are friendly and welcoming, making your holiday fun and sociable
Easier Walks: 5 to 7 miles (8-11km) on a mixture of good paths and tracks. Up to 1,200ft (360m) of ascent in a day.
Harder Walks: 6 to 11 miles (9.5-17.5km) on a mixture of paths and tracks with some rocky sections. Up to 1,400ft (420m) of ascent in a day.
Day 1: Arrival day
For those arriving on the group flight into Bari, the onward journey to Altamura is by coach. You should arrive at the hotel with time to settle into your room, and perhaps explore the town. On the first evening your leaders will explain more about the walks and there will be plenty of time to meet your fellow guests.
Day 2: Altamura and the Pulo
Today both groups will visit the nearby national park of Alta Murgia to see one of its most spectacular features. A short ride will take us to the ‘Pulo’ of Altamura, one of the largest dolines in Italy. The caves in this cliff-lined depression were once home to prehistoric man and we may have a chance to descend into one of these caves to view the doline from the cliffs. The area is a haven for wildlife and flowers, and you may see many species of butterfly, orchid, crocus and cyclamen.
Easier Walk: We'll start close to the Pulo and, after exploring the northern rim of the depression, will visit a cave dwelling. We will then descend out of the National Park, first more steeply across the limestone, then on gravel paths, through fields of grain, almond and olive groves, towards the town of Altamura. 7 miles (11km) with 150ft (50m) of ascent and 400ft (120m) of descent.
Harder Walk: The harder walk starts a little further north of the Pulo. We’ll take a longer walk among typical Murgia scenery towards the Pulo, visiting the depression and the caves. We return to our hotel by the same route as the easier walk. 9 miles (14.5km) with 200ft (60m) of ascent and 500ft (150m) of descent.
Day 3: Sightseeing day - Matera and the Sassi
Both groups will travel to the World Heritage Site of Matera, about 18km from our hotel. We start from the Jazzo Gattini Visitor Centre outside the town and walk through the limestone scenery on the north of the
deep Matera Gorge. We visit a number of ancient rock churches and other antiquities and enjoy spectacular views across the gorge to the city. Both groups will then go to the south side of the gorge, where there is an opportunity to visit more troglodyte houses and churches in Matera. Alternatively you could sit and have a drink in one of the many bars in this popular destination. Matera has been selected as European City of Culture for 2019. The whole group will follow the same route accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable local guide. Approx 5 miles (8km).
Day 4: Alta Murgia and Castel del Monte
A ride of about an hour across the Alta Murgia Park will take us towards our second World Heritage Site of the week. Castel del Monte stands as a beacon to beckon us forwards and provides a fitting climax for today’s walks.
Easier Walk: The easier walk will start to the east of the castle and wanders on good tracks through olive groves and past many whitewashed ‘Trulli’ houses before ascending to the castle itself, where there will be plenty of time to have a drink in the café before visiting the building to speculate on the many oddities of its construction. 5 miles (8km) with 500ft (150m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The harder group will start their walk near the small hamlet of San Magno, southeast of the castle and take a longer route on good tracks throughout to reach the World Heritage Site. This route crosses the heart of the park and offers a chance to see the characteristic vegetation and agriculture of the limestone soils, before joining the route of the easier group. 9 miles (14.5km) with 600ft (180m) of ascent.
Day 5: Free day
Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest.
Day 6: Gravina in Puglia
Today both groups will enjoy a circular walk from the town of Gravina in Puglia. We walk through archaeological areas occupied from the 5th century BC, amongst olive groves and pastures used by grazing goats. We can also enjoy far-reaching views across the town and beyond. On our return we visit archaeological complexes
accompanied by a guide.
Easier Walk: From the centre of Gravina we make our way across an ancient aqueduct to the far side of the ravine. We ascend Botromagno Hill, site of an Iron Age hill fort, to a plateau where we can explore a number
of archaeological sites. Our walk takes us along tracks and paths with lovely views. On our return to Gravina, we visit the Sotteranea archaeological complex before exploring the town and perhaps enjoying refreshments
while awaiting our return transport. 6 miles (9.5km) with 800ft (250m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The harder walk starts just to the south of Gravina and follows tracks and quiet lanes, firstly traversing the flanks of the Serra Pendino and then going more gently uphill to reach the plateau of Botromagno, where it joins the route of the easier walk. There are opportunities to visit some of the archaeological remains on the plateau before descending to Gravina and joining the easier party to visit the Sottoranea complex and maybe have refreshments before boarding the coach to return to Altamura. 8 miles (13km) with 1,400ft (420m) of ascent.
Day 7: Mercadante Forest
Today’s walks in the Mercadante Forest provide a contrast to the open landscape of the limestone plateau.
Easier Walk: Our route starts from a taverna in the forest taking us through the northern edge of this woodland and out to open heathland. We continue to a deserted ‘jazzo’ before our route heads back into the woods and returns us to the taverna. 6 miles (9.5km) with 400ft (120m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: We follow the same route as the easier walk to the deserted ‘jazzo’. From here we will continue on the open land south of the forest before heading back into the woodland on good paths to join the easier party for refreshments. 9 miles (14.5km) with 400ft (120m) of ascent.
Day 8: Departure day
Please note that the itinerary outlined is provisional and could be subject to change. A finalised itinerary will be available at the resort and your leader will brief you every evening about following day's walks.
Make the most of your European holiday by visiting two resorts. Why not visit our popular resort of Sorrento?
Altamura & Sorrento - 14nts
Combine a week at Altamura with a week at Sorrento. It's easy to see why this resort is a firm favourite with our guests. Enjoy world-class sightseeing at Pompeii and Herculaneum, and stunning coastal walks lined with lemon groves. Our friendly family-run hotel has wonderful views over the Bay of Naples.
With flight & transfers: £2,099
Without flights & transfers: £1,899
To book any of our Two-Centre holidays call our Reservations Team on 0345 470 7558
Explore the narrow streets of this historic town and you will find the interesting Romanesque-Gothic cathedral which has the most intricately carved portal in Puglia, and 14th/15th century miniature sculptures. The alleyways or “claustri”, distinctive to Altamura usually end in small courtyards. This area has prehistoric sites where you can see dinosaurs’ footprints and “Man of Alamura”, a Paleolithic skeleton.
Shops and facilities: Altamura is famous for its bread, made since the time when the town supplied ancient Rome. There is a famous bakery where they make the Pane di Dlamura and Focaccia de Altamura (topped with tomatoes and herbs). Other local specialities include cheeses, fried artichokes, braised chicory, fava beans and fresh ravioli and an array of homemade sweets.
There are many other interesting small shops and cafés.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ from Gatwick to Bari airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 1 hour to the Hotel San Nicola.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
Read more reviews from feefo
Dates & Prices
|9 Sep 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura - Without Flights||7||£799.00||Book Now|
|16 Sep 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura & Sorrento - Without Flights||14||£1,899.00||Book Now|
|16 Sep 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura - Without Flights||7||£799.00||Book Now|
|16 Sep 2017||
PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|23 Sep 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura & Sorrento - Without Flights||14||£1,899.00||Book Now|
|23 Sep 2017||
PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|23 Sep 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura - Without Flights||7||£799.00||Book Now|
|30 Sep 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura - Without Flights||7||£799.00||Book Now|
|30 Sep 2017||
PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|30 Sep 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura & Sorrento - Without Flights||14||£1,899.00||Book Now|
|7 Oct 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura - Without Flights||7||£799.00||Book Now|
|7 Oct 2017||PULCL - Guided Walking Altamura & Sorrento - Without Flights||14||£1,899.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £8 per night
- All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person