Puglia / Italy / Europe. Sometimes we spend hours and hours on air planes or in cars to see one of the most beautiful destinations in our world and sometimes we just need to take our car and drive to Italy to see amazing places. I haven’t been before in Puglia since last year and I have really missed to see such a stunning landscape like this. I have to say beforehand that I not just visited Puglia, my honey and I, we did a road trip starting in venice to the south to the booty of Italy and this was such a cool trip. We saw so so many different places and landscapes, Italy simply offers such a large variety of country sides, that it’s never boring to visit this land. So different but in heart the mentality, the delicious food and the good wine unobtrusive in all of Italy ♡
Apulia is located in the southern peninsular section of the country, bordering the adriatic sea to the east, the ionian sea to the southeast and the strait of otranto and gulf of taranto to the south. The regions population is about four million and it’s bordered by the other italian regions of molise to the north, campania to the west and basilicata to the southwest and the capital city is bari. Bari is also a port, university city and the second most important economic centre of mainland southern italy after naples. Apulia’s coastline is longerthan that of any other mainland italian region. In the north, the gargano promontory extends out into the adriatic like a sperone while in the south, the salento peninsula forms the heel of the italy’s boot. The highest peak in the region is Mount Cornacchia within the Daunian Mountains in the north along the Apennines. It’s also home for two national parks, the Alta Murgia National Park and Gargano National Park. Outside the parks most of Apulia is geographically flat with only moderate hills. The climate is typically mediterranean with hot, dry and sunny summers and mild, rainy winters. So you can visit this area from march/april until october, it’s also perfect for a late summer vacation at the end of september, close to october.
Places you must see in Apulia
Now you can find my absolutely top five must see in puglia, yeah a few of them are truly mainstream tourist sightseeing places but they are so cute and definitely worth to see them. Better to make sure, that you discover these places before or after the main season in july/august otherwise the cities could be overwhelmed with people from all over the world.
So let’s start our little travel tour in the north, this area is called Gargano with so so beautiful coasts, bays and beaches, take time and enjoy the route from Vieste to Manfredonia, also plan time for beach hunting and a few breaks at one of these awesome beaches around this route. This cute corner in Italy is also a great place for a longer stay, which I can totally recommend to you. Before I planned our road trip, I roughly planned our route and I had also to decide, where we’d spent four days. I decided between Gargano and Salento and took Salento but in retrospect, it would have been a better decision to took Gargano. Just the area with the beaches and also the beautiful city Vieste were hard to leave. You absolutely have to spent a walk in Vieste, it’s such a nice city and similar to Ostuni – the white city.
Definitely a touri hotspot is the lovely city Polignano a Mare with his famous bay Cala Porto, btw this is also one of the most photographed photo opportunities in Italy. Especially at sunset/sunrise numerous visitors and also locals cavort around the bay and marvel not only at the turquoise shimmering sea, but also at the steep limestone cliffs that are lined with whitewashed houses. In regularly attracts passionate divers who have discovered the caves for themselves, but also cliff divers get their adrenaline rush here. But the real highlight in Polignano a Mare is probably the famous Grotta Palazzese. It’s an impressive cave that houses a luxury restaurant, but it’s really expensive and you have to reserve a table a few weeks before. If your travel plan offers you some free space, visit also the city Monopoli, it’s close to Polignano a Mare.
Further from Polignano to the south, our little tour takes us to Alberobello – the village of trullo. A Trullo is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conicall roof. Their style of construction is specific to the Itria Valley in the Murge area of the italian region of Apulia. Trulli were generally constructed as temporary field shelters and storehouses or as permanent dwellings by small proprietors or agricultural labourers. Since the city of trulli which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996, is located halfway between Bari and Brindisi, so you can easily plan your visit there. If you wanna stay there for a night, pls make sure, that you stay in a right Trulli, because part of them are more than 300 years old.
The next station is Lecce – Florence of the south also called and rightly so too! The capital of Salento, the Italia boot heel, offers a great atmosphere and is even reminiscent of Florence. Similar to the tuscan capital, you’ll also find many baroque buildings with lush facades and large squares with impressive monuments. In contrast to Florence, the old town of Lecce is quite manageable and easy to discover on foot – you can cover the most important sights in just one day. Let yourself drift through the alleys and enjoy the lovely atmosphere. If you also want to shop, you should take a break in Via Giuseppe Libertini. There you can find cute restaurants, cafes and as well as many small shops.
My last station for this trip is Salento, also called Salentino by the locals and it’s the geographic and historical region at the southern end of the administrative region of Apulia in southern italy. So when you’re in Lecce, you’re also in Salento too, because it includes the provinces Lecce and part of Tarent and Brindisi. Take two or three days time to discover this landscape, best of it is to take the coast road from Bari via Santa Maria di Leuca until Tarent, so you can visit a lot of awesome places, beaches, bays and cities too. Make sure to plan some time at the cute city Gallipolli in the southwest of Salento. Also the most turquoise beaches can be found between Gallipolii and Santa Maria di Leuca. Beaches at the east side are rockier. An inside tipp is also the city Santa Cesarea Terme and watching a sunset at the southernmost point is also a must.
10 Tips for your unforgettable vacay in Puglia
#1 Bari is a port city, so you have good connections with a ferry and there’s also a great airport with flights in a lot of european cities
#2 Don’t visit this area in July/August or to main season, because a lot of hot spots are there located with a lot of touris
#3 Take a rent car and discover Apulia by your own with car. Drive a few time along the beautiful coast streets and also discover the midland, both landscapes are awesome
#4 In Apulia you can also spend a night in agritourism or for b&b, the locals are super friendly and also short term bookings are no problem
#5 Don’t eat in normal restaurants, eat in osterias, pasticceria or tratoriars. There you can taste the real local kitchen, naturally without pizza but with yummy orecchiette 🙂
#6 When you’re in Lecce, don’t miss to visit the lovely heart stairway – it’s so cute and also a nice photo spot
#7 Make sure to be in Alberobello as early as possible, because from 9 o’clock touris with busses will come there and the city isn’t as photographable as before
#8 Take also breaks in one of the lovely cafes and enjoy an espresso with something sweet and a beautiful view over the sea
#9 Speaking of view, also a must see is to take place in santa maria di leuca at the fruit bar and enjoy there the beautiful sunset – definitely worth
#10 Last, but not least, life follows there a lower beat, with long siestas and also longer opening hours. So just go with the flow, do your sightseeing’s in the morning and spend your time in the afternoon at the beach with a gelato ♡
“a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
You can find more information about the region, arrival, accomodation, etc. at tourist information puglia
Hoteltip for Salento
Hotel Terra D’Acqua Resort ***
Via Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 6
73059 Torre Mozza