Holidays in Puglia: areas and places to visit, where to stay and go to the beach

In this guide we will go to see and analyze which are the best areas and places to visit in Puglia, but also what are the best places to stay to spend a pleasant holiday. Will find useful information for planning your trip among splendid monuments, characteristic villages, fantastic beaches where to go to the sea, and interesting and fun attractions.

Also known as "Le Puglie" in the plural, or as the "Heel of the boot of Italy", Puglia is a wonderful region that it can be visited all year round, although spring and summer are the best times. Suspended between nature and history, art and tradition, taste and spirituality, Puglia, with that magical atmosphere, is a fascinating region that conquers any type of tourist or traveler.

Puglia is a large region, divided into six provinces: Bari (the regional capital), Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce, Taranto and Barletta-Andria-Trani, the last and new Apulian province. Each area is interesting and has a lot to offer, however, certainly the most interesting areas to visit are the Gargano in the province of Foggia, the Salento in the province of Lecce and the Valle d'Itria in short, between the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto there is so much to see and do.

What a holiday in Puglia offers

Puglia, the spur of the Italian boot, is one enchanting region which extends longitudinally along the Adriatic and Ionian seas, with wonderful beaches that delight every type of tourist or traveler, from the sandy beaches of Torre dell'Orso and Porto Cesario, to the rocky ones of the Riviera di Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca.

In Santa Maria di Leuca the calm and crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea mix with those of an intense blue of the Adriatic. The lovers of the sea have a wide and varied choice in Puglia, from Gallipoli, the "Gemma del Salento", to the Gargano promontory that protrudes into the clear Adriatic Sea, where the splendid Tremiti Islands are located.

La nature is again the protagonist in Murgia National Park, in the wild Umbra Forest of the Gargano and in the salt lakes of Lesina and Varano. The marine reserve of Torre Guaceto, the deep gorges of Laterza and the large sinkholes (depressions in the ground) of Altamura characterize the hinterland of the region with some of the most evocative landscapes Italy.

Map of the best areas to stay in Puglia

For those who want travel through history, Puglia offers a unique and engaging experience, with a wide choice of places that testify the ancient origins of this glorious land: from prehistory to Magna Graecia, from the Federician lands of the imperial age to the Renaissance and the baroque splendor of Lecce and the Salento.

I trulli, like those of the Valle d'Itria, offer an evocative testimony of the region's rural past. One of the constants of a trip to Puglia are the many wonderful ones castles scattered throughout the territory, the majestic ones cathedrals that rise on the promenades and the many watchtowers along the coastal areas.

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The only thing that Puglia is missing are highs montagne, in fact, it is the only Italian region without its own ski resort. The Gargano and Daunio sub-Apennines they are the highest rises in the region, just over 1.000 meters above sea level. For ski the nearest localities are Campitello Matese in Molise or Roccaraso in Abruzzo.

For those interested in tradition and popular music, should definitely participate in the numerous events, festivals, village fairs and patronal feasts, which take place especially during the summer. One of the most famous and folkloric events is the Taranta night, a popular music festival.

Main tourist areas in Puglia


The Gargano is a mountainous promontory located in the northernmost part of Puglia. Also nicknamed the spur of Italy, its coasts offer some of the most beautiful beaches Apulian.

Vieste, Peschici, Rhodes Garganico e Morning are the main seaside resorts, while San Giovanni Rotondo e Monte Sant'Angelo are two important destinations of religious and pilgrimage.

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Valle d'Itria

Trulli of Alberobello in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Valle d'Itria is one of the most touristic areas in Puglia. AND the valley of the trulli par excellence, an enchanting and fairytale scenario, where unique landscapes and panoramas they alternate perfectly.

The main tourist resorts are: Martina Franca, Alberobello, Ostuni, Ceglie, locorotondo, Fasano e Cisternino.

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Otranto in Salento - Photo from Istock

Salento is the southernmost area of Puglia and the most fascinating. The peninsula is surrounded by beautiful beaches bathed by a clear sea, comparable to that of the Maldives.

The largest and most important cities are Lecce e Toast, but perhaps the most authentic beauty of Salento are his characteristic villages and rural areas.

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Places to visit in Puglia


Ostuni in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Ostuni is one of the most characteristic and most beautiful Apulian cities to visit. The city is commonly called "the White City”Due to the fact that the vast majority of its houses, as well as the medieval walls, are painted white.

Near Ostuni, along the coast, there are some of the most beautiful beaches Apulian, where to sunbathe or take a swim in the sea. The beach of Torre Canne, with the Coastal Dunes Regional Natural Park from Torre Canne to Torre San Leonardo, is a favorite with locals and tourists alike.

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San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo is one of the main pilgrimage sites in Italy. Located on the Gargano promontory, almost 600 meters above sea level, it owes its fame to San Pio of Pietrelcina, the friar who became a saint.

The most important places are there Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Convent of Padre Pio and the new Sanctuary of San Pio, which houses his remains.

Of considerable importance is also theHospital for the Relief of Suffering, a highly specialized "classified religious hospital". The historic center is an almost exclusively residential area, so we recommend that you staying in the area near the famous sanctuary, where there are many hotels and restaurants.

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Trulli of Alberobello in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Located in the splendid area of ​​the Itria Valley, Alberobello it is internationally famous for its trulli, of the typical residential buildings of this Apulian area.

The visit of this characteristic Apulian area is one of the things not to be missed in this region. The city was named UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Otranto in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Otranto, located on the Adriatic coast of the Salento peninsula, is the easternmost city in Italy. Surely the best way to discover this Apulian port city is to walk along the seafront or between the medieval walls of Old Town. Various shops, bars and restaurants are available to tourists among characteristic colored alleys.

This small town has become one of the main tourist destinations in Puglia, representing a real jewel to be discovered, from the medieval walls of its historic center to the beautiful sands of the Adriatic coast. It is recommended to stay at least one night to enjoy the beautiful and pleasant evening atmosphere.

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Monte Sant'Angelo

Monte Sant'Angelo on the Gargano in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Monte Sant'Angelo is a characteristic village located on the Gargano promontory. It was one of the main Apulian tourist destinations, for pilgrimages to the famous Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, which occurred as early as the century AD

Another very interesting place to visit is the castle, built in the XNUMXth century. The castle, of a very suggestive aspect, today hosts an exhibition of archaeological finds. From the city you can enjoy a beautiful landscape on the blue Adriatic Sea and the Apulian plain.

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Places to visit in Puglia

ZooSafari and Fasanolandia

ZooSafari and Fasanolandia

One of the best known and most visited attractions in Puglia is certainly the ZooSafari wildlife park and Fasanolandia amusement park, located next to the historic park. Both parks are located near the city of Fasano, in the splendid and touristic area of Valle d'Itria.

The visit of the two parks is a great experience for the whole family, both for children and adults. AND an obligatory stop during a holiday in Puglia, especially during the round trip to Salento.

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Castel del Monte 

Castel del Monte rises on a hill in the western part of the reliefs of Murgia, 540 meters above sea level and is one of the most famous Apulian monuments.

Located 18 km from the city of Andria, represents an incredible masterpiece of medieval military architecture. The castle is a XNUMXth century building built by Frederick II and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Tremiti Islands

The Tremiti Islands are a archipelago located north of the Gargano ed one of the most important tourist destinations of the entire region. The archipelago consists of the islands of:

  • San Domino - the largest and most touristic, and also the only one with a sandy beach
  • San Nicola - where most of the population lives, a historical and artistic jewel of the archipelago
  • Capraia - uninhabited, it is the second largest island
  • Pianosa - a rocky and uninhabited plateau, about twenty kilometers from the rest of the archipelago
  • The Cretaccio - is the smallest island of the archipelago. Less than 100 meters from the eastern end is the islet of La Vecchia
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reach the Tremit Islandsthere are ferries from Termoli, Vieste, Rodi Garganico and Capoiale, while Alidaunia offers helicopter flights from Foggia and Vieste. Beyond 100.000 tourists they land on the islands during the summer season to visit and enjoy this wonderful archipelago, surrounded by beautiful clear waters.

Castellana Grotte

One of the most important attractions in Puglia are the caves of Castellana Grotte, a system of caves of karst origin. Stalagmites, stalactites, small lakes, canyons and fantastic caves characterize this route 3 km long at over 60 meters deep.

Un three-hour journey allows you to admire the Black Grotto, the Cavernone of monuments, the Cavernone of the owl, the Cavernetta of the nativity scene and the White Grotto, considered the most beautiful cave in the world. The locality is located 40 km south of Bari and represents a beautiful experience you can do during a trip or a holiday in Puglia.

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Places to stay in Puglia


Bari in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Bari is the capital of Puglia and the city with the most tourist arrivals of the region. In recent years it has been the one that has also seen the most strong tourist growth, also due to various initiatives.

The most interesting area is the historic center and the waterfront. Among the main events that take place throughout the year in the city, the most famous is the Fiera del Levante.

THEBari airport it is one of the busiest in Italy, with numerous daily flights to many airports, many of which are operated by low cost airlines. Bari also has a large and important port, both tourist and commercial. In marina both cruise ships and ferries to Greece and Albania dock.

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Panoramic view of Brindisi in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Toast as well as being a characteristic and pleasant city to visit, but also where to stay, is the main gateway to Salento.

The most interesting area is the Old Town, which preserves interesting monumental testimonies from antiquity to the modern age, and the port area.

THEBrindisi airport it is the second Apulian airport for importance and traffic. The city also boasts an important marina and commercial. Cruise ships and ferries to Albania and Greece dock there.

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Vieste, Gargano - Puglia - Photo from Istock

Vieste is the lmost famous accommodation option del Gargano and the one that has the most tourist presences in Puglia.

It is certainly a wonderful destination to spend pleasant beach holidays, also thanks to the nlarge hotel and accommodation facilities, To good offer of tourist services, without forgetting the beautiful and wide beaches.

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Lecce in Salento - Puglia - Photo from Istock

Lecce is the largest and most important city in Salento. For its architectural beauty, the city is also known as the "Florence of the South", the "Athens of Puglia" and the "Capital of the Baroque".

Staying in the city allows not only to visit the many arctic and historical beauties of Lecce, but also to carry out day visits to the various areas, localities and beaches of Salento.

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Gallipoli in Salento - Puglia - Photo from Istock

Gallipoli is there most famous seaside tourist resort of Salento and of the whole Puglia. It is the one that offers the most wide beaches, the most wide and varied tourist hotel offer, but also an iinteresting nightlife with many clubs and discos in the area.

The city is very characteristic, having the Old Town located on an islet a few meters from the coast and connected to the mainland by a bridge. It's a holiday destination suitable for everyone, to young people and couples looking for fun both day and night, but also families with children looking for pleasant beach holidays.

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Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Polignano a Mare, located halfway between Bari and Brindisi, is one wonderful and excellent choice where to stay for different reasons. The Old Town it is of immense beauty, with its characteristic white houses, small shops and artistic testimonies dating back to the period between the Middle Ages and the Baroque.

Awarded several times with the Blue Flag for the quality of its bathing waters and tourist services, Polignano a Mare offers some of the most beautiful beaches of Puglia, like the beautiful beach of Cala Paura just 200 meters from the city.

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Porto Cesareo

Porto Cesareo in Puglia - Photo from Istock

Porto Cesareo, just over The property is 25 km from Lecce, is one of the main tourist resorts of Salento. Located on the Ionian coast, is home to the Porto Cesareo Marine Protected Area and the Palude del Conte and Duna Costiera Regional Oriented Nature Reserve.

The locality offers some of the most beautiful beaches of the region, bathed by a crystal clear sea and with a gently rising water level, perfect for beach holidays with children. L'tourist accommodation offer is good and wide, like the tourist services and various events which take place during the summer.

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Port of Tricase in Puglia - Photo from Istock

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