Puglia Cooking and Walking

Italy - Bakery - Making Bread.jpg
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Cooking & Walking
from £1,659pp without flights FLIGHTS AVAILABLE

Based in the historic Puglian town of Altamura we'll learn to cook delicious, authentic local dishes using hand-picked and locally sourced ingredients. We’ll cover a range of courses from antipasti and main courses to desserts and also visit a bakery and cheese farm to see how these regional specialities are made. We will also have the opportunity to explore the labyrinthine underground tunnels of Gravina and spend a full day in UNESCO-listed Matera. Here you’ll explore its network of alleyways and staircases which wind past ‘Sassi’ cave dwellings, hewn from the cliffs. Easy walks give the opportunity to see more of the local area.

Holiday Highlights

  • Learn to cook authentic local dishes at a cookery school using locally-sourced produce
  • Explore Gravina's underground world of tunnels, cellars, granaries and 17th century ovens
  • Learn about Apulian Cheese production and enjoy a typical farmer’s lunch
  • Discover Matera's cave-dwelling district and its fascinating history

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation
  • 7 Breakfasts 5 evening meals and 3 lunches
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays Walking Leader
  • Four Cooking lessons
  • Guided tours of Matera and Gravina with Local Guide
  • All essential transport and entrance fees
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

Upon arrival at Bari Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel where there will be time to settle in and meet your Tour Manager and fellow guests before dinner.

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent and descent: 600 feet (180m)

In summary: Today is a day of bread and pizza! in the Morning, we shall walk to the Altamura Archaeological Museum before enjoying some free time for Lunch. We’ll visit the local bakery where we can see how the area’s unique Altamura bread is produced, followed by a hands-on cooking lesson. Our cookery session will be followed by a tasty pizza dinner at Tre Archi.

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)

Total descent: 500 feet (150m)

In summary: This morning, we shall pay a visit to Mina’s Vegetable Garden to gather produce to create vegetable antipasti and side dishes during our cookery lesson today. We’ll follow this up with lunch and an afternoon walk into the town of Gravina, taking the route over the aqueduct for dramatic views of the town and valley. In Gravina, we’ll explore its hidden world of tunnels, cellars, stone churches and granaries before taking the train back to Altamura.

Distance, ascent and descent: Negligible

In summary: A walking tour of Matera awaits us today. Our local guide will explain the history of this fascinating town, most famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts. In the afternoon, there will be some free time to explore more at your own pace and soak up the atmosphere.

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. Some options for your free day may include:

Altamura: You may like to explore the historic town of Altamura, with its spectacular cathedral, archaeological museum (which includes an exhibition about Altamura Man - a Neanderthal whose remains were found embedded in stalagmites in a nearby cave), market, shops and ancient walls.

Bari: Easily reached by public transport, this old town and port contains many buildings of historical interest. Puglia’s capital contains many churches but the most well known is the 11th century Romanesque Basilica de San Nicola, dedicated to St Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus. There are also many art galleries and, more recently, the futuristic football stadium was a venue for the 1990 World Cup.

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent and descent: 500 feet (150m)

In summary: Today’s cookery lesson tackles desserts – good news for anyone with a sweet tooth! Afterwards, we’ll enjoy lunch together at Tre Archi before heading out on our afternoon walk to explore the local area.

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 200 feet (60m)

Total descent: 300 feet (90m)

In summary: On our final day together begins with an 8km walk to the cheese farm at Masseria Scalera, where we’ll learn about Apulian cheese production and enjoy a typical farmers’ lunch together before getting ready for our last cookery lesson. Today we’ll get hands-on with Italian main courses and then settle in for a farewell dinner to celebrate our week.

Depart after a leisurely breakfast.

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

Suitable, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain

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
08 Oct - 15 Oct 2022
7 Cooking & Walking £1,849 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
15 Oct - 22 Oct 2022
7 Cooking & Walking £1,849 Trip Notes Book Now
Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
08 Oct - 15 Oct 2022
7 Cooking & Walking £1,659 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
15 Oct - 22 Oct 2022
7 Cooking & Walking £1,659 Trip Notes Book Now
7 nights
Cooking & Walking

7 nights from £1,659pp
without flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

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