The heel to Italy’s boot is decorated with atmospheric castles, sun-baked beaches and postcard-perfect villages. While it’s often overshadowed by the fame of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, Italy’s Puglia region offers all the magic ingredients the country is known for and so much more. A slow-living vibe blends with scenic olive groves, rolling fields blanketed with wildflowers and all the local cheese, pasta and wine your waistband can handle.
In terms of where to stay in Puglia, take your pick from whitewashed villages perched high above the sea, old quarters lined with cobblestones and palaces, and countryside havens amid lush vineyards. Settle in and explore via day trips or hop around for a taste of each area. From swimming in astonishing natural pools to exploring underground cave systems and taking selfies with medieval castles, get set to fall in love with Puglia.
Where to Stay in Puglia for Beaches
Nicknamed the ‘Maldives of Salento’, Pescoluse is surrounded by some of the best beaches in Puglia. Kissed by the clear, aquamarine Ionian Sea, the seaside hamlet is an idyllic base for long strolls across fine, buttery sand and lazy days ending in lively tavernas.
Beach-hop to the nearby resorts of Torre Pali and Torre Vado to throw down your towel on a different golden stretch each day.
Best Places to Stay in Pescoluse:
– Antica Masseria del Fano offers a rural retreat near the seaside in Torre Pali. Authentic surroundings mix with modern comforts for a memorable stay.
– This traditional 2 bedroom stone cottage with rustic garden and swimming pool. Stay surrounded by olive groves, yet within walking distance of the beach.
Best Places to Stay in Puglia for Families
Just a short drive from the fun at Zoosafari Fasanolandia in Fasano, Torre Canne is a beach resort that’s an ideal base for exploring Puglia with kids. A picturesque lighthouse overlooks swaths of white sand and crystal clear, calm water for safe splashing with the little ones.
You’ll be on the doorstep of the Dune Costiere Natural Park, water sports bring the thrills and casual seaside restaurants cater to fussy taste buds.
Where to Stay with Kids in Torre Canne:
– Via del Faro apartments offer a range of accommodation options for families. Just 80m from the beach, and with conveniences like a full kitchen, children’s playground, and private balconies, it’s an easy choice for a fuss-free getaway.
– This clean and modern 2 bedroom seaside apartment in Torre Canne benefits from a gorgeous outdoor terrace and lovely views. Absolutely every detail has been thought of in this bright penthouse.
Where to Stay in Puglia for Couples
One of the most photographed towns in Italy, Polignano a Mare rests high on a limestone cliff overlooking the sparkling Adriatic. Though it attracts plenty of day-trippers, it tends to empty out by night in time for romantic dining and enjoying views from some of the most romantic hotels in Puglia.
Stroll hand-in-hand through the cobbled streets of the atmospheric Old Town and take boat trips to explore stunning sea caves.
Romantic Places to Stay in Polignano a Mare:
– Dimora Talenti is a modern guesthouse offering an unbelievable seafront view at every turn. Enjoy being in the heart of the action, while having a quiet sanctuary to return to at the end of the day.
– Sogno Blu is a renovated fisherman’s house in the historical heart of Polignano a Mare. Ideally suited for a couple, you’ll enjoy the intimate space and one of the best views in town!
Best Places to Stay in Puglia without a Car
For a large dose of beach fun combined with seafood restaurants, history and nightlife all within easy walking distance, Gallipoli is among the best places to visit in Puglia.
The port town features a historic quarter reached via a bridge, along with spectacular churches, boutiques and buzzing nightclubs. Rail and bus lines ensure that it’s a breeze to hop around the region on day trips.
Best Places to Stay in Gallipoli:
– Il Giardino Della Regina is set within the old town walls and offers an authentic stay in Gallipoli. Choose from a number of different rooms – including family accommodation options – and spend your days immersed in this vibrant seaside town.
– This centrally located 1 bedroom apartment is set within a 19th-century palace. Enjoy being within walking distance of everything, including the Gallipoli train station.
Best Areas to Stay in Puglia
The best places in Puglia are framed by sweeping coastal panoramas and impossibly pretty towns with everything you need for an unforgettable Italian escape. Whether you’re looking for a slice of serenity or a buzzing vibe, la dolce vita is yours for the taking around every scenic corner.
The Ionian and Adriatic seas join on the Salento Peninsula, so it’s not surprising that the region is home to some of the best Puglia beaches. Combined with ancient history, enchanting towns, nature reserves and rustic charm, it presents a cocktail of all things good for every type of traveller.
From Santa Maria di Leuca to Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo, the region’s seaside towns offer unique personalities framed by spellbinding backdrops. Discover Lecce’s church-lined alleyways and archaeology museums. Otranto’s cathedral contains the eerie Chapel of the Dead and majestic mosaics. Are you a wine lover? Salento’s wine country is dotted with lush estates to sample the renowned local drops complete with beguiling landscapes.
It’s hard to put your camera down in Lecce, a town adorned with the gargoyles and imposing columns of 17th-century baroque architecture. As a university town, a lively vibe joins a huge range of boutiques, restaurants and Lecce nightlife.
Delve into the area’s papier-mache tradition, discover hidden piazzas and explore the ancient Roman amphitheatre. There’s plenty to do, but sipping coffee in charming cafes and simply soaking up the atmosphere is at the top of the list.
Best Places to Stay in Lecce:
– Palazzo De Noha is a boutique hotel that’s perfectly located for exploring. The clean and bright interior is accentuated with traditional details to create a luxurious space.
– Central Suites Lecce offer double, twin and family rooms so everyone can stay central when visiting Lecce. A very affordable choice for those on a budget, without compromising on comfort.
– This 1 bedroom penthouse in the centre of Lecce offers a romantic setting for a couple wanting their own space. It’s modern, bright, and features your very own leafy terrace with rooftop views.
– This 3 bedroom house offers onsite parking and is close to the plethora of attractions on offer in Lecce. Ideal for a family vacation, you’ll find everything you need for a comfortable break in this beautifully decorated home.
Stretch out across around 17 kilometres of soft sand in one of the most beautiful places to stay in Puglia for beach lovers. Sitting pretty on the Ionian coast, Porto Cesareo fronts a sparkling, protected bay and a marine conservation area that’s a diver’s paradise.
Admire colourful fishing boats bobbing in the marina and tuck into the abundant offerings from the sea at friendly restaurants.
Where to Stay in Porto Cesareo:
– Hotel Vespucci is a modern hotel located nearby some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. You’ll enjoy the outdoor pool, free parking and on-site restaurant.
– Agri Hotel Conte Salentino is set among the olive groves, just a short drive from Porto Cesareo. Featuring traditional architecture and park-like grounds, this is an affordable place to stay in Puglia.
– This simple 3 bedroom apartment right on the waterfront is ideal for families. With two bathrooms and 5 beds, you can configure sleeping arrangements however suits you best.
– This 3 bedroom villa is equipped with a private pool, large garden and multiple outdoor dining options. The perfect summer house, you’re just a quick walk from the beach and nearby attractions.
Expect a warm welcome, plenty of gourmet feasts and space to enjoy baroque churches and decorative balconies in Nardò. Somewhat off the tourist trail, Nardo’s Piazza Salandra and historic palaces are a history buff’s delight.
If you love cycling, hiking and peaceful picnics, pack a basket to enjoy with views of olive groves, pine forests and the nearby coast.
Best Places to Stay in Nardò:
– B&B Liberty offers a home away from home, with daily Italian breakfast, kitchen facilities, and a garden to enjoy. Perfectly located to enjoy all the town has to offer, you’ll also appreciate the traditional design and authentic features.
– Relais Palazzo Vaglio offers spacious rooms and a friendly atmosphere. Enjoy the outdoor terrace and a la carte breakfast. Larger rooms are available for families.
– This historical 4 bedroom house in the centre of Nardo has space for up to 10 guests to spread out. You’ll love the private terrace and courtyard, and being within walking distance of everything.
– This stunning 1 bedroom apartment is full of original features, while still having modern comforts. Ideal for a couple, it offers a tranquil stay in a central location.
SANTA MARIA AL BAGNO
If your Puglia itinerary features long walks in stunning national parks, base your holiday in the seaside stunner of Santa Maria al Bagno.
Porto Selvaggio, otherwise known as Wild Port, rests on the town’s doorstep. You’ll explore rocky coves backed by olive groves and pine trees. Back in town, dine along the picturesque promenade, dive into the turquoise Ionian at the town beach and enjoy long, lazy lunches with the sea breeze.
Where to Stay in Santa Maria al Bagno:
– B&B Happy Days Golfo di Gallipoli is just 500m from the beach and features fun & colourful rooms that are simply decorated. You’ll love the warm hospitality and private garden.
– Senia_rooms_vista offers sea view rooms that accommodate up to 4 guests. The Italian breakfast gets rave reviews, and the rooftop jacuzzi is the icing on the cake.
– This 4 bedroom country house offers the perfect environment for laid-back family holidays. You’ll appreciate the light & bright interior, private location and 3 separate bathrooms.
– This 2 bedroom apartment with a large terrace is just 100m from the sea and features a private parking space.
Meander through the warren of narrow streets in Gallipoli’s Old Town until you reach the sweeping seafront promenade. Along the way, you’ll see the baroque Sant’ Agata Cathedral and views from walls and bastions. Then, pop over the 17th-century bridge to the more modern centre.
When hunger strikes, try Gallipoli’s speciality of sea urchins and watch fishermen reeling in the catch of the day from the port. Once summer hits, this is one of the best places to stay in Puglia for sizzling nightlife.
Best Places to Stay in Gallipoli:
– Il Giardino Della Regina is located in the old town and is teeming with authentic features. With a number of different sized rooms, it’s one of the few B&B’s that caters well to families too.
– I Bastioni San Domenico is an upmarket hotel with 5-star sea views. Ideal for a romantic getaway or stylish sojourn, you’ll appreciate the attention to detail and central location.
– This 2 bedroom waterfront apartment features uninterrupted sea views from every room. Enjoy breakfast on the private balcony before heading out on foot to explore!
– This 2 bedroom apartment is set within a stunning historical building with many original features. The large apartment sleeps 6 comfortably, making it suitable for families, and you’re within steps of restaurants, shops and museums.
A great choice for Puglia family holidays, Pescoluse is famously known as the ‘Maldives of Puglia’ for its spectacularly clear, aqua water backed by dunes. If you can drag yourself out of the sea, you’ll enjoy the marina and all the perks of a seaside resort, like water sports, pizzerias and ice cream shops. Explore the surrounding area to see karst caves and archaeological sites.
Where to Stay in Pescoluse:
– B&B Monterossi offers simple accommodation at a very affordable price point. Located just steps away from the beach in Torre Vado, they have rooms big enough for the whole family.
– Antica Masseria del Fano is centrally located, yet a peaceful distance from the seaside. An authentic environment mixes with modern amenities for a comfortable stay.
– This 2 bedroom cottage offers the perfect hideaway for those seeking an authentic stay in Puglia. Complete with a relaxing garden and swimming pool, you’ll stay surrounded by olive groves, yet within walking distance of the beach.
– This 1 bedroom apartment overlooks the beaches of Pescoluse, but offers a rural retreat in the countryside. With 4 beds, there’s enough space for up to 5 guests.
SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA
The southernmost point of Salento, Santa Maria di Leuca rests on the promontory where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet. Ancient origins are still seen via inscriptions in caves and grottoes. A striking lighthouse and the basilica dominate the coastline, so there’s plenty of history to delve into.
Take a boat cruise around mysterious grottoes, then admire the historic summer villas of the Pugliese aristocracy that rest along the seafront.
Best Places to Stay in Santa Maria di Leuca:
– B&B Villa Ines offers nautical style rooms and the best of Italian hospitality. You’ll enjoy the proximity to beaches, on-site bike rental, garden and continental breakfast.
– Montiro’ Hotel offers luxury accommodation in Puglia, while maintaining an authentic flair. Take advantage of the private and exclusive setting, swim in the beautiful outdoor pool, and fill up on the delicious breakfast.
– This 2 bedroom apartment overlooking the sea is the perfect place to come home to after a day of exploring. Light, bright, and with a large outdoor terrace, you’ll never want to leave.
– This 4 bedroom villa comes equipped with a private pool, outdoor kitchen, and everything you need to enjoy a holiday by the sea. The modern interior has all conveniences, and the onsite olive grove is the icing on the cake.
Brimming with old-world charm, Castro perches high atop a cliff with incredible panoramas of the Adriatic. Explore the labyrinth of lanes in the medieval Old Town, complete with a 12th-century cathedral and a clifftop piazza.
Down below, a bustling marina is a hub of seafood restaurants and rocks perfect for soaking up the sun before diving in for refreshing dips. Don’t miss a boat trip for snorkelling around the fascinating caves that dot the limestone cliffs.
Where to Stay in Castro:
– Le Grotte offers simply furnished rooms in a well-located guest house in the centre of Castro. Start the day off right with the homemade Italian breakfast, and step out to discover all the town has to offer.
– Panoramico Hotel is named for its panoramic terrace with views of the sea. Enjoy the outdoor saltwater pool, on-site restaurant and proximity to all key attractions.
– This 1 bedroom house near the marina benefits from stellar sea views which can be enjoyed from the private balcony. Inside, the house is simply furnished in Italian countryside style. Perfect for a couple.
– This stunning 4 bedroom waterfront villa boasts direct sea access, a jacuzzi, and uninterrupted views. There are 6 beds to accommodate up to 12 guests, making it ideal for a large, or multi-family getaway.
SANTA CESAREA TERME
Spend a week in Puglia immersed in thermal hot springs for complete rejuvenation. Santa Cesarea Terme is an upmarket spa town that’s been attracting local aristocracy since the 1700s.
Majestic palazzos rise from the cliff face and the seafront promenade buzzes with cafe terraces and shops. Adventure around the caves and coves of the cliffs to find rock arches within a protected nature park.
Where to Stay in Santa Cesarea Terme:
– Villa Cesarea Dimora di Charme is an affordable place to stay in Puglia. Great hospitality meets traditional furnishings in this stunning setting, with views over the rooftops to the sea beyond.
– Est Hotel provides luxurious accommodation at everyday prices. Set in a modern building with traditional features, you’ll love the views, Italian breakfast, and jacuzzi. This Puglia hotel also offers family rooms.
– This large 2 bedroom apartment is situated directly on the waterfront and benefits from private and direct access to the sea. The expansive outdoor terrace is the ideal place to enjoy meals with a sunset view.
– This simple 2 bedroom apartment represents great value for money in a popular holiday spot. Relax knowing you’re close to everything while enjoying the privacy of your own space.
In terms of Puglia destinations for romantics, Otranto’s enchanting old quarter sets the scene you’re looking for. Get a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous coastline from cafes lining the ramparts and see the stunning mosaic floor of the Romanesque cathedral.
Shop among whitewashed buildings for handcrafted gifts by local artisans and pop inside the Castle of Otranto. A string of dreamy beaches includes the stunning cove of Porto Badisco.
Where to Stay in Otranto:
– Palazzo De Mori is located in the historical centre of Otranto, with all the shops, boutiques and restaurants right on your doorstep. You’ll love the beautifully furnished rooms and sea views.
– Masseria dei Monaci is set within a countryside location, just a few minutes drive from the centre of Otranto. Ideal for those seeking a peaceful and beautiful setting in nature. Take advantage of the on-site restaurant and swimming pool, or book a suite with a private pool!
– This 2 bedroom house in the centre of Otranto features a rooftop terrace with a jacuzzi where you can take in the sights of the city. Newly refurbished, it’s a comfortable home base for up to 4 guests.
– This 4 bedroom seafront villa has an expansive garden and direct access to a private beach. With beds to accommodate up to 8 guests, it’s the ideal spot to enjoy a family vacation in Puglia.
TORRE DELL’ORSO & SAN FOCA
For beach holidays in Puglia, stay between the astounding stretches of Torre dell’Orso and San Foca. Framed by a pine grove, Two Sisters Beach is famous for its photogenic twin sea stacks and the 16th-century Bear Tower.
Sip local wine at beach bars after lazing on sunbeds, then head over to the Blue Flag stretch fronting the fishing village of San Foca. Hang around for sunset strolls on the promenade and join the locals at fun pubs in town.
Where to Stay in San Foca and Torre dell’Orso:
– Posia Luxury Retreat & Spa offers a range of luxury accommodation in the centre of San Foca. Featuring 3 swimming pools and a spa, you’ll be hard-pressed to pull yourself away from the idyllic surroundings.
– Hotel Belvedere is located on the coast at Torre dell’Orso and offers sea view rooms. Enjoy the understated elegance and simple but delicious buffet breakfast.
– This 2 bedroom apartment in San Foca is located on the seafront, with stunning views from the private balcony. It’s an affordable, light & comfortable place to stay in Puglia.
– This modern 3 bedroom villa has been built in the traditional Pulian style and features a sublime outdoor entertainment area. Set within 7000m of olive groves, it offers a private and luxurious place to enjoy your stay.
Imagine driving in Puglia on country lanes sliced by lush hills, vineyards, olive groves, farmhouses and achingly pretty villages. The valley rests in the limestone plateau of the Murgia, a natural wonderland of streams and ravines. Visit the caves of Castellana Grotta for a guided tour of stalactites and stalagmites.
Itria Valley is a foodie paradise, especially for fans of olive oil and wine. Make a beeline to whitewashed Locorotondo for sparkling white wine and cheese. Unique homes with coned roofs straight from fairy tales, trulli dot the countryside and fill the UNESCO-listed town of Alberobello. Martina Franca is the commercial area with a historic centre characterised by baroque architecture.
Whitewashed buildings tumble down the hill in Ostuni, nicknamed the White City. The town’s 15th-century gothic cathedral tops the majestic scene and defensive walls still stand today.
Get lost in the web of laneways and stumble across colourful doors, flower-strewn windowsills and decorative arches. Boutiques, souvenir shops and restaurants fill your bags and your hunger pangs with local treats.
Best Places to Stay in Ostuni:
– La Sommità Relais & Chateaux is a beautiful property located in the heart of the old town. You’ll fall in love with the garden, outdoor pool and Michelin-starred restaurant.
– Hotel La Terra is also located in the old town and offers a more understated comfort. Relax in the traditionally decorated rooms, treat yourself to a hearty homemade breakfast, and enjoy the panoramic views over Ostuni.
– Couples will adore this 1 bedroom stone house in the White City. Renovated, but full of character, it features a rooftop terrace to enjoy al fresco dining, and a central location for exploring.
– This 3 bedroom villa with pool will steal your heart as soon as you arrive. Set within an olive grove, this property expertly mixes old and new to create a welcoming environment. Each bedroom has its own bathroom, so it’s ideal for a group of friends/couples travelling together.
Window boxes spilling with red geraniums decorate the whitewashed buildings of Locorotondo. The church of Santa Maria sits in the centre of town and tiny streets branch towards charming restaurants, imposing churches and baroque archways.
Its highest point offers sweeping countryside views for epic photos. After hours of slow exploration, order u tridde, a local pasta speciality made with pecorino cheese, parsley and turkey broth.
Best Places to Stay in Locorotondo:
– Fancy staying in a Trulli in Puglia? At Trulli Petra Chiara you can do just that, while still experiencing the best of Puglian hospitality. Located a short drive from Locorotondo, in the agrarian countryside, you can explore by bike or car.
– Dimora Graziana is a beautiful property located on the edge of the old town. Tradition meets luxury in the sumptuous rooms, and the pool will seduce you into staying a while…
– Live like a local in this gorgeous 1 bedroom apartment in the historic centre of Locorotondo. Whitewashed both outside and in, it perfectly blends into the surroundings. A comfortable base for up to 4 guests, it’s excellent value in the heart of Puglia.
– Those needing a little more space will adore this luxuriously renovated 2 bedroom Trulli house. Complete with an indoor pool, kids playground, large garden and fully equipped kitchen, it’s the perfect recipe for a happy holiday in Puglia.
Although traditional Trulli can be found all over the Itria Valley, the best town to stay in Puglia to experience the full effect of these conical houses is the incredibly enchanting Alberobello. Around 1,500 of the magical huts can be found here, housing private residences, hotels, restaurants and bars.
This is also a souvenir-lovers paradise, with artisan-created scarves, homewares and lace goods being sold in the boutiques lining the main avenue. The 20th-century Trullo-style Church of Saint Anthony overlooks the town with its cone-shaped domes.
Best Places to Stay in Alberobello:
– Trulli Holiday Deluxe & Wellness is located near the church, in the quieter area of Alberobello. The perfect place to retreat from the crowds, and enjoy your very own authentic Trullo experience.
– Trulli Holiday Albergo Diffuso offers rustic, beautiful accommodation in different Trulli around the village. Choose from small intimate Trulli, or book the family suite for a magical holiday with kids in Puglia.
– This 2 bedroom Trullo is just outside of the bustle of the main town, yet within walking distance of all the main sites. You’ll love the pool and garden where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables!
– This 1 bedroom Trullo is full of authentic and charming features that make it perfect for a romantic getaway. Sleep under the stone dome, and spend your days wandering in the pretty streets.
THE ADRIATIC COAST
You’re spoilt for choice if you’re wondering where to stay in Puglia for beaches along the Adriatic Coast. It’s home to the region’s biggest seaside city, Bari, with a medieval centre and port. North of here is the dramatic Gargano Peninsula, which juts into the ocean with stunning coves and cliffs.
Sample local life in small fishing towns like Giovinazzo and discover the sophisticated marina of Trani. Towering limestone cliffs create a striking backdrop for the breathtaking beach at Polignano a Mare. Perhaps best known as the ferry gateway to Greece, Brindisi’s palm-lined Corso Garibaldi stretches along the seafront with boutiques to please die-hard shopaholics.
A city awash with history, Brindisi has long played a significant role in sea trade and as a bridging point for pilgrims and crusading knights. The natural port still thrives as a gateway to Greece, a cruise-ship stop and centre of trade.
Eat and drink along the bustling seafront and stroll around the old town. You’ll see the 13th-century Swabian Castle of Brindisi and the 15th-century Alfonsino Castle.
Where to Stay in Brindisi:
– Palazzo Pinto B&B is in the heart of Brindisi and offers clean & stylish rooms with individual balconies. You’ll love the Italian breakfast (vegan options available), and friendly hospitality.
– Santo Stefano Luxury B&B offers hotel-style amenities and bright modern rooms. The apartments are ideal for those wanting to self-cater, and the rooftop pool is a delightful bonus.
– This 1 bedroom apartment in central Brindisi is ideal for those wanting to be close to transport links and the city centre. Simply furnished, it comes with your own little garden to enjoy the Italian sun.
– This 2 bedroom villa with pool is located just outside of the city among olive groves and vineyards. The perfect base for doing day trips in the area, you’ll appreciate the feeling of being at home away from home.
TORRE CANNE / SAVELLETRI
One of the best beach towns in Puglia for families, Torre Canne features natural hot springs, pristine waters and a chilled-out atmosphere. Go horseback riding in the countryside and dine at breezy seafront restaurants.
Just up the coast, Savelletri is a picturesque port town with a fishing village vibe. If you’re craving seafood, you’ll basically eat it straight from the boat here.
Best Places to Stay in Torre Canne & Savelletri:
– Aurelia Sea View is a beachfront property offering double and family rooms. Take advantage of the idyllic location to go swimming and exploring. Every detail has been thought about so you can enjoy a relaxing stay.
– Masseria Brigantino is an absolutely stunning and unique farm stay property just outside of Torre Canne. With both an outdoor pool and indoor ancient spa to enjoy, you’ll have a hard time leaving.
– This 1 bedroom house in Savelletri offers an authentic stay near the waterfront. Bright and spacious, it sleeps 4 comfortably, and is ideal for those looking for a quieter location.
– This 2 bedroom apartment in Torre Canne benefits from a top floor balcony with views over the seaside town. Equipped with modern amenities, it’s a comfortable place to stay in Puglia for a family.
Whitewashed facades and ancient churches are the backdrops to the active fishing industry in delightful Monopoli. Fortified walls line the seafront and the sandy cove invites you to jump right into crystalline waters.
Wander around the old town centre for pics of the cathedral, the Church of Santa Maria della Zaffira and Charles V Castle. Spend some time watching fishermen mending their nets around the port’s lovely harbours. Other beaches to visit near Monopoli include Polignano a Mare and Spiaggia di Porto Ghiacciolo.
Where to Stay in Monopoli:
– Hotel Don Ferrante offers stunning luxury accommodation in Monopoli. Located very near the waterfront, you can enjoy the view from a number of terraces, or your own sea view suite.
– Dimora Pirrelli is a welcoming B&B in the centre of Monopoli with modern decor and thoughtful touches. Take advantage of the on-site spa to treat yourself during your stay.
– This 2 bedroom apartment is located right on the waterfront for unbelievable sea views! The large private balcony is a show-stealer, but the interior offers many more delightful features.
– This 3 bedroom house is ideal for families and offers a comfortable, homely base from which to explore. That is if you can pull yourself away from the dreamy views and private terraces.
POLIGNANO A MARE
With origins tracing back to the 4th century BC, Polignano a Mare is one of Puglia’s oldest towns. Dramatically perched atop limestone cliffs, the petite old town is a jumble of winding streets that lead to panoramic terraces overlooking the Adriatic.
Cliff jumping into transparent water is a popular activity by the Blue Flag beach. Watch the world go by at a cafe terrace in charming Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.
Best Places to Stay in Polignano a Mare:
– Dimora Talenti is one of the most romantic places to stay in Puglia. Enjoy being in the centre of the old town, while having a quiet retreat to call your own.
– D’aprile Dimore is a guesthouse located in the heart of the historical town. The beautifully decorated and cosy rooms each come with their own balcony.
– Sogno Blu offers an intimate stay for a couple, with some of the best views in Polignano a Mare! The traditional property is located right on the water’s edge, so you also get front row seats to the cliff diving action.
– This 2 bedroom house is set in a quieter part of Polignano a Mare but is just steps away from the action in the old town. Ideal for families, kids will love their mezzanine bedroom!
The vibrant capital offers some of the top things to do in Puglia. Grand boulevards, scrumptious street food and a dynamic nightlife scene ensure there’s always something happening in this university town. Shop at modern stores along Corso Cavour, then step back in time with a stroll around Bari Vecchia.
The Church of Saint Nicholas allegedly holds the remains of Santa himself. And pop down to Pane e Pomodoro beach to cool off after a big day of pavement pounding.
Best Places to Stay in Bari:
– Bozzi 1910 offers self-catering apartments that are oh so stylish. Decorated with high attention to detail, you’ll love the plush furnishings and nod to tradition. They are equipped with all the mod-cons and located near the waterfront.
– Atipico B&B is a sweet little stay in the old town. Simply decorated, it makes the ideal base for those who want to fill up on Italian goodies before heading out on adventures every day.
– This large 1 bedroom penthouse apartment sleeps up to 4 guests in the centre of Bari. Ideally placed to take advantage of public transport links, it also features a stand-out rooftop terrace.
– This adorable 1 bedroom studio in the historical centre has been tastefully decorated with an earthy vibe. The raised terrace is going to be the highlight of your stay in Puglia!
TRANI & COASTAL SURROUNDS
With an upmarket marina and medieval old town, Trani makes for a beautiful base for exploring the Adriatic Coast. Rather than tourists, you’ll likely see chic Italians lunching by the water and strolling along the yacht-filled harbour. Backing the iconic seafront cathedral, the historic centre enchants with the faded charm of palazzi, squares and churches, along with a Jewish quarter.
From here, hop around the lovely coastal towns nearby. Giovinazzo is a medieval fishing village with a fortified seafront and lashings of local charm. Wind through the historic centre of Molfetta from the bustling port and see the artwork of the Basilica of Our Lady of Martyrs. Visit Bisceglie with an ancient old town surrounded by gorgeous beaches and a farmhouse-dotted countryside.
Where to Stay in Trani & Surrounds:
– Palazzo Filisio is located right by the waterfront in Trani, on the edge of the historical centre. You’ll love the stylish and comfortable rooms and the up-market onsite restaurant.
– Dogana Resort in Molfetta features stunning modern rooms and knockout views from the private balconies. Here, you’re ideally located for exploring the coastal towns and beaches.
– This rustic 2 bedroom Trullo house is set within a 5000sqm garden of olive trees and native plants. But perhaps the best part of this unique property is that it’s located just steps from a beautiful quiet beach.
– This expansive 4 bedroom villa is the ideal location for large family gatherings. Located in the countryside, a short drive from Trani & the coast, it’s the perfect place to relax and get back to nature.
The spur in the heel of Italy’s boot, the Gargano Peninsula is one of the best places to see in Puglia. This unspoilt wonderland is framed by white limestone cliffs, magical grottoes and lush forests, and much of it is protected as part of the Parco Nazionale del Gargano. If you visit during the off-season, you’re likely to find plenty of remote nature scenes to yourself.
Dozens of beaches feature hidden coves and striking cliff backdrops. To really get a sense of the awe-inspiring landscapes, take a boat trip around the coastline and pack your hiking boots for a stroll in the Forest of Shadows. Visit the mountain town of Monte Sant’Angelo to explore the cobbled, whitewashed alleyways. You can settle in at a range of seaside towns, including atmospheric Vieste.
Whitewashed houses face the sea in peaceful Mattinata, which is built on top of hills and surrounded by olive groves. The area is renowned for wild orchids and chalky cliffs hide magnificent sea grottoes.
Inhabited since ancient times, you’ll see Roman ruins and treasures in the Archaeological Civic Museum. Otherwise, expect to spend your time lazing on beautiful beaches backed by olive plantations and soaring cliffs.
Where to Stay in Mattinata:
– Hotel Torre Santamaria Resort is located between the beach and the old town of Mattinata, making it ideal for exploring both worlds. You’ll enjoy the countryside setting, and the idyllic garden and pool.
– Dimora Mediterranea is a nautically inspired B&B with sea view rooms near the coast. Indulge in a buffet breakfast on the stunning terrace before setting out for your day on the Gargano Peninsula.
– This 2 bedroom villa is located directly on the beach at Mattinata, giving you easy access to all the water sports on offer. Simply furnished, it’s ideal for easy family holidays in Puglia.
– This 1 bedroom house is set in the old town, where you can walk to stores and restaurants through the charming streets. Featuring a private outdoor terrace and mezzanine bedroom, it’s ideal for a couple.
Located between two dazzling beaches on top of the sheer Pizzomunno cliffs, Vieste offers a little bit of everything on the doorstep of the national park.
Wander up and down a maze of staircases in an old town that juts into the sea on a promontory, and discover the 11th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. On Pizzomunno Beach, you’ll swim with views of a soaring rock formation and relax on colourful sunbeds.
Best Places to Stay in Vieste:
– Hotel Falcone is steps from one of the most beautiful beaches in the area and features a large sea-view terrace. There’s also a pool to enjoy, and an on-site restaurant.
– Estlevante B&B offers double and family rooms, each with its own private balcony, in the old town of Vieste. You’ll love filling up on the Italian breakfast spread in the mornings and exploring the nearby towns and beaches.
– This 1 bedroom apartment features a stunning rooftop terrace and views from every room. You’re just a short walk from the Gargano Promontory and all the attractions of the old town.
– This 2 bedroom apartment makes an easy choice for families, as it sleeps up to 6 guests, and comes complete with baby gear. It’s also just a 5-minute walk from the sea, so you can nip home for naps.
High above the sparkling sea, Peschici features the Norman Castle and Bridge Tower at the heart of stone alleyways and steep staircases. Whitewashed houses cascade down the slopes to the sea, where swaths of golden sand beckon.
Unpack your bags at some of the best beach resorts in Puglia and hop between the beach and historic gems.
Where to Stay in Peschici:
– Pensione Biscotti offers an affordable beachfront stay near Peschici. Simple rooms feature private balconies with sea views, and an Italian breakfast is offered daily.
– Baia Scirocco Bed and Breakfast is located on the water’s edge and offers an incredible sea view terrace to enjoy your a la carte breakfast each morning. You’ll be perfectly located to enjoy all the town and region has to offer.
– This 1 bedroom apartment is set back from the coast, offering easy access to all the Gargano Peninsula has to offer. There’s a large shared garden to enjoy, and you can save your money for excursions, as this is one of the cheapest places to stay in Puglia.
– Fancy staying in a castle instead? This 2 bedroom accommodation is set within a castle vault, but has been completely renovated to offer a comfortable stay. Featuring unforgettable views, and a private balcony, you’ll be rushing to re-book this place before you’ve even left!
VICO DEL GARGANO
One of Italy’s least-known beautiful towns, Vico del Gargano is wedged between the lush hills of the national park and the sea cave-studded coast. The tightly-packed jumble of historic buildings is a photographic marvel from a distance.
Up close, you’ll explore twisting laneways speckled with bell towers, chimneys and archways. On a couple’s escape? Saint Valentine is the patron here, so head to Kiss Alley (Vicolo del Bacio), for a memorable moment.
Where to Stay in Vico del Gargano:
– Aria di Vico Aparthotel offers the best of both worlds.. Rooms with a kitchenette for self-catering, and hotel-style service with an Italian breakfast provided. The rooms and simply and tastefully decorated and some offer private balconies.
– A Casa Di Gaia Bed and Breakfast is a charming place to stay in the old town. The large bright rooms can accommodate families, and you’ll love the rustic features on display.
– Case Vacanza Al Borgo Antico offers a number of holiday homes in Vico del Gargano, each with an authentic style. The houses are located on the edge of the old town for easy access on foot and by car.
– This 3 bedroom country house offers the ultimate peaceful escape in Puglia. Accommodating up to 8 guests, there’s ample room for everyone to find their spot in the sun.
Now an idyllic archipelago just off Puglia’s coast, the Tremiti Islands once served as a penal colony. Fast ferries get you over there in about two hours from towns including Vieste, Rodi Garganico and Peschici. Or, take a helicopter ride from Foggia for a bird’s eye view on the way.
Of the five islands, San Domino is the largest and home to most of the hotels and restaurants. Ringed with beaches and coves, the island is easily explored via paths that weave through shady pine forests. Hire a kayak from Cala delle Arene to find your own secluded cove. San Nicola offers a historical centre and the clifftop Church of Santa Maria a Mare.
Uninhabited Caprara is a bird-watchers paradise and Cretaccio and Pianosa are tiny islets visited by boat. If you’re a scuba diving fan, you’re in for a treat with rock archways, underwater caves and sunken plane wrecks housing an abundance of magical marine life.
Where to Stay in the Tremiti Islands:
– Villaggio Internazionale Punta del Diamante is a fabulous holiday park located near some of the most beautiful beaches on San Domino. Hire canoes to explore the area further, or follow your feet along the coastal trails.
– La Casa di Gino is located on San Nicola, in the historic centre of the tiny island. A truly unique place to stay, you’ll love the comfortable rooms and idyllic surroundings.
– Le stelle dalla finestra is a 2 bedroom apartment on San Domino that’s ideal for a family. Spend your days immersed in nature and walk to hidden coves along the coast.
Though it’s a fixture on the tourist radar now, Puglia still retains astonishing, peaceful pockets of tradition and nature that are otherwise hard to find across one of the world’s most visited countries. From historic, cliff-hugging towns to ancient forests and character-filled fishing ports, the best of Puglia hits you at every turn and ensures you’ll never forget your holiday on the heel of Italy’s boot.
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