Castellana Caves – Experience the underground

Apulia is not just crystal clear seas, white beaches and picturesque seaside towns set amidst olive groves and vineyards.
There is a hidden aspect of Apulia that has the same charm as other better known areas. There’s also a secret Apulia located underground that conceals a treasure, barely 40 km from Bari: the Castellana caves, an Apulian wonder, an Italian marvel!

This wonderful masterpiece of nature, extends its lenghts for 3300 meters inside the Murgian hills. Result of an action of water of 90 million years, the caves are a triumph of beautiful stalactites and stalagmites the concretions follow all the way up on the path to the beautiful white cave.

the most important Speleological complex in Italy and in Europe, the Castellana Caves are much appreciated for their vast crystalline concretions, their striking dimensions, and the spectacular scale of their natural tunnels.

The beauty of the Castellana Caves attracts tourists from all over the world with over 15 million visitors since their opening to the public.
You can choose two possible guided tours: the first one is 1 km long and lasts 50 minutes; the second one is 3 km long and lasts almost two hours, after which you will reach the charming White Cave, so named because of the whiteness of alabaster.

The beauty of the Castellana Caves attracts tourists from all over the world with over 15 million visitors since their opening to the public.

The only cave of this Speleological complex connecting with the outside is the massive La Grave, which is 330 feet long, 170 feet wide, and 200 feet deep.

La Grave creates a huge natural pantheon with its opening that lets the sunlight pass through, creating a magical effect where the light moves differently according to the time of the day and the season.

The humidity in the caves is around 90% and the temperature is around 17 ° C and is stable throughout the year, so if you are on holiday in Puglia in the summer and you feel the need to escape for a few hours from the scorching heat, this could be a good option.

The full tour ticket is € 16, while the shorter route is € 12. Children under 5 years old can enter for free and visitors up to 14 years old can access at reduced prices.

From April to September, short tours in English are available at 9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m., while long tours are scheduled at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

How to dress to visit the Castellana Caves

It’s cold down there: the temperature fluctuates around 16°-18°C, and moisture makes the ground very slippery, so it’s best to wear a sweater or a jacket, and rubber non-slip footwear to make the most of the trip.

A curiosity: Since 2008 the Castellana Caves have hosted Hell in the Cave, a dance, sound and theatre show on the verses of Dante’s Inferno. This has been defined by many as the largest underground air show in the world.

For information and reservations, visit the Hell in the Cave website.

Castellana Grotte Hotels – Where to Stay

Best luxury hotel: Villa Palmirotta Trulli Relais

A true oasis of relax surrounded by the green of the Apulian olive groves

Only who has the chance of falling asleep and waking up under a trulloconical roof, can perceive the charm of this place and the positive energies that come out from it.All rooms are within a single trullo of stonewalls. The trulli are equipped with all comforts, there are 2 bedrooms (4 beds) and one kitchen.

Best mid-range hotel: Relais Masseria Serritella 4*

A great base for trips

Relais Masseria Serritella is set in Castellana Grotte, a 5-minute drive from the famous caves. The hotel is well connected by state roads, making it ideal for exploring the region of Puglia. The popular seaside resort of Monopoli is a 30-minute drive away. All air-conditioned rooms at the Relais Masseria Serritella have traditional rustic furnishings from Puglia. They offer satellite TV, a digital safe and a spa bath.

Best budget hotel: Fontana Vecchia B&B

Great breakfasts with a mix of local produce and homemade fare

These traditional stone Trulli houses are set in the Puglian countryside, 9 km from Castellana Grotte. All rustic rooms and apartments offer views of the surrounding olive groves and fruit trees. A continental breakfast is served daily, with croissants, cakes and cheeses and you can enjoy it in the garden, which is full of organic fig, cherry and almond trees.

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