Situated in the vibrant region of southern Italy, Puglia is beautiful and eclectic, with attractions ranging from idyllic beaches to historic buildings. Puglia is the proud owner of the longest stretch of coastline in the country, with the farming region occupying the area between the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Thanks to year round sunshine and fertile soils, Puglia is renowned for its high quality grapes and wine, as well as authentic Italian architecture that reflects the country’s long, proud heritage. Whether you’re planning a romantic couple’s getaway, family summer holiday or a trip with your friends, Puglia is a wonderful choice of Italy destination for your 2019 / 2020 holiday.
There’s something for everybody with a Puglia holiday, whether you’re travelling with a group of friends, your significant other or the whole family. If you’re a history enthusiast looking for places of historic interest, visit the site of Alberobello, located between a pair of hills. This attraction has an abundance of picturesque architecture from both the ancient and modern world. Alternatively, you can explore the Trulli of Alberobello to take in the beehive-like buildings and cobbled streets. This magical town has a selection of souvenir shops selling little gems that you’ll cherish. In San Giovanniani Rotondo you’ll find the majestic Shrine of Padre Pio, the second most visited Catholic shrine in the world. Visitors here focus their worship at the tomb of Saint Padre Pio, amidst majestic marble and bronze sculptures in a well preserved church. If you’re keen to see more enchanting architecture, the scenic city of Lecce has a range of ornate square and baroque churches that you spend a day exploring. Finally, Puglia hosts a number of popular music festivals in the summer months, including the Festival della Valle d’Itria and the Centrico Artistico Musicale Paolo Grassi, a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of this dynamic and vibrant area.
A holiday in Puglia is a prime opportunity to enjoy the famous cuisine of the region and enjoy fresh local produce including artichokes, mushrooms and high quality olive oil. Puglia boasts a wide selection of differently styled eateries and restaurants, catering to everyone from expert foodies to those new to Pugliese cuisine. If you enjoy a tipple, you’ll be pleased to hear that Puglia is famous for its full bodied red wine, which is enjoyed with most meals here. Puglia’s grapes are renowned for their flavoursome taste and high quality, contributing to around 17% of Italy’s wine production. If you consider yourself an experienced gastronomic connoisseur, Puglia is just the place for experiencing the crème de la crème of Italy’s cuisine. The area is brimming with Michelin starred restaurants serving authentic, rustic dishes and innovatively designed Italian flavours. If you’re splashing out on a fine dining experience, make sure you book a table with views of the stunning Conversano Castle for a romantic experience, or reserve a table at the Porto Ghiacciolo, close to Santo Stefano beach, for a more hip and trendy dining scene. The intimate restaurant of Lido Bosco Verde offers alfresco outdoor dining amidst scenic olives trees, perfect for an evening meal with your family.
Aside from the sun, sea and sand activities on Puglia’s beaches, there are plenty of amusements for the whole family to enjoy. At Zoo Safari Fasanolandia amusement park at Fasano, in the Valle d’Itria, you can catch a glimpse of some of your favourite animals including penguins, lions and hippos. Indiana Park gives children the opportunity to explore an adventure playground in Castellana Grotte, close to Monopoli. Your kids can whizz down cable slides, climb trees and scale rope ladders to burn off excess energy while you relax and watch them play. If you’re all eager to cool off from the Puglia heat, go for a dip in the pools at the Carrisiland Resort water park in Cellino San Marco. With a wide range of exciting water tubes and slides, you can either join the kids on the slides, or relax with a drink in hand at the bar as they enjoy the attractions. The themed Red Indian village is another great attraction for kids, with a jungle play area, small zoo and dinosaur park as well as a wooded area to explore.
Action & Adventure
If you’re keen to stay on top of your fitness regime on holiday in Puglia, you can simply head outdoors for almost endless options for exciting activities. Puglia’s pleasantly warm weather provides the perfect setting for exercising outdoors, so you can always head outside for a bracing morning jog or a relaxing stroll in the evening. The area is rich in natural beauty and places of interest, such as the iconic salt pans of the Margherita di Saviola Nature Reserve, where you can hike from the Mediterranean scrubland right down to the clear blue waters of the sea. With 800 kilometres of pretty coastline, water sports naturally take centre stage when it comes to outdoor pursuits in Puglia. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, you can enjoy everything from windsurfing and paddleboarding to boat tours and scuba diving in the beautiful glistening waters off Puglia’s coast. Surfers flock here from across the globe to enjoy the sun-drenched weather and blustery winds, with more experienced surfers taking on the rougher waves at some of the area’s more unspoilt bays. If you’re looking for a moderate level of activity, you can go horse riding through the scenic hills of the Murge plateau, while you can chase the ultimate thrill with free-climbing at the ravines of Gravina.
Puglia is surrounded by two Mediterranean seas and boasts more than 800 kilometres of stunning shoreline, making it a paradise for beach lovers. From the glistening waters of the Ionian to the radiant sands of the Adriatic, you’re sure to find a beach to suit your tastes. The Pugliese coastline boasts a multitude of unforgettable seaside views and experiences. You’ll feel totally relaxed and rejuvenated amidst the golden sandy beaches, tall white cliffs, jagged coves and magical grottos. If you’re holidaying with your family, take a day trip to the Punta Prosciutto to enjoy crystal-clear waters and long expanses of golden sand. Puglia’s most popular beaches have great facilities for sunbathers including parasols and sun loungers, making it easy to stay safe in the sun. At Pescoluse beach in Leuca, there are small neat banks of soft white sand and glimmering waters, ideal for a romantic picnic with your significant other. The beach crowd here is mostly Italian and family centred thanks to the beach’s safe, calm waters and shallow, gently-shelving coastline.
As you’d expect from an area with such an impressive coastline, Puglia’s nightlife is centred around the beach. To mix up partying with the scenic sun, sea and sand, head to Samsara Beach in Gallipoli, a trendy venue that delights guests with delicious cocktails and a buzzing atmosphere. Another popular nightlife venue is the White Beach in Torre Canne, Fasano. Located on the seafront, this club has a laid-back, intimate vibe during the evening and really comes alive as the sun sets. If you’re looking for the place to be seen in Puglia, try the Riccardo Caffe, located right in the centre of the hill town of Ostuni. By night, this restaurant inside a system of caves transforms into a quaint and quirky bar, and has a distinctly exclusive crowd. For a spot of clifftop clubbing, head to Gibo, a trendy luxury bar in Santa Maria di Leuca that is only open during the summer.
Puglia’s diverse range of attractions and romantic spots are the ideal setting for a romantic couple’s getaway. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone anniversary as a couple, or are looking forward to a few days of uninterrupted quality time with your significant other, Puglia’s top class attractions and striking natural beauty are perfect for romantic days out together. Puglia’s capital, Bari, simply oozes tradition and heritage with picturesque Romanesque art at the Basilica of St Nicholas. On a large plateau there are wheat fields, olive groves and vineyards, providing a pretty landscape that’s just waiting to be explored. If you’re much in need of some rest and relaxation on your Puglia holiday from burning the candle at both ends with work and a hectic social life, the fairytale-like landscape of the Iria Valley is the ideal place to get away from it all. You can spice up your Puglia holiday by joining a festival while you’re staying in Puglia, such as the Otranto Jazz Festival and La Notte della Taranta during summer, and get up close and personal with your loved one with a traditional pizzica dance.
Each and every town and village in Puglia is brimming with culture and heritage, so it’s an ideal holiday destination for those that are looking to learn more about Puglia’s long and rich history. Leece has soft, white limestone architecture hailing from the iconic Baroque era, while Alberobello is home to picturesque whitewashed buildings with quaint conical roofs and winding narrow streets. Carovigno is home to a captivating historic centre with a medieval castle nestled amidst scenic olive groves that reach out to the sea, while you can wander the old Roman town of Fasano Egnazia for even more historical sites including a museum with ancient mosaic exhibits, an ancient Roman settlement, pottery and a historic Egyptian marble head.