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The Castellana Caves (Grotte di Castellana) are a must-see attraction in the province of Bari.
Situated in the Itria valley near the town of Alberobello, this stunning complex of underground caves of Karst origin is one of the largest of its kind anywhere on the planet.
This 3 km-long system of caves features a series of passageways and chambers located 70 metres underground and dominated by rows of stalactites hanging like giant needles, with glittering walls of crystal, underground lakes and huge stalagmites towering up from the rock floor. This site was first discovered in the 18th century, but it was not before 1938 that cavers Franco Anelli and Vito Matarrese dug their way to Grotta Bianca (White Cave), a never-before-seen chamber. The caves were opened to the public shortly afterwards and have since become a major attraction, drawing each year millions of visitors from around the world.
The guided tour explores a stunning underworld, where caverns, canyons, fossils, stalactites and stalagmites in astonishing colours and shapes capture the imagination of children and adults alike. The Caves are also home to characteristic fauna, bats in particular – harmless to visitors – as well as rare species of small crustaceans and a special cave-dwelling grasshopper.
To visit the Castellana Caves, which are open all year round except for Christmas Day, a choice of two itineraries is available: the full tour runs for about 3 km and takes almost 2 hours; the shorter version is about 1 km long and lasts 50 minutes. For both itineraries, the entrance is through an enormous, sixty-metre vertical tunnel known as the Abyss. One of the most impressive sections of the Castellana Caves is the White Cave (Grotta Bianca), which takes its name from the rich, white alabaster that lines it. The more original formations include the "eccentric stalactites", which defy the laws of gravity: they grow sideways, in some cases then turning upwards, creating spectacular shapes.
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.
A visit to the Castellana Caves is certainly an opportunity not to be missed, to experience one of the most natural and surprising places in Puglia and anywhere in the world. Book your flight to Bari with our special offers and enjoy your visit to Castellana.