We dreamed of exploring the region of Puglia that had been so recommended to us. It is a region much less visited than its neighbors, such as Tuscany, the Amalfi coast, the region of Naples and Venice… Obviously we were very attracted by this side of the world!
Wewere not disappointed, we are looking forward to going back. In order to help you, as always, to organize your trip in the best and quickest way possible, we reveal you our must-see places in Puglia, on our personalized map. As well as our tips,tricks and best accommodations to fully enjoy your stay.
On the program, small baroque villages full of charm, traditional and unique houses in the world (Trulli and Sassi), sublime beaches with clear waters and an incredible gastronomy, our palates still remember it!
In short the PARADISE, we love Italy as you know, Puglia enters directly in our top 3.
- What to do in Puglia: our 5 must-dos
- The best accommodations of our stay
- Our itineraries to visit Puglia, from one week to 10 days
- When to go (the best weather) and what period to avoid
- The different tours to visit Puglia
- Practical information (flight and travel)
What to do in Puglia: our 5 must-dos
1. Visit the trulli of Alberobello
To reach the famous village of Alberobello, you will cross the Itria valley, with its fields of olive trees dotted with trulli. These small primitive stone dwellings with conical roofs.
We loved our exploration by car in the Itria countryside, around the main towns, we were able to see these unique dwellings in a beautiful countryside.
Concerning the city of Alberobello, classified as a Unesco heritage site, during the day the city is invaded by hordes of tourists. The alleys are narrow, with the world it loses some of its charm.
We recommend exploring the area by car or on foot and then exploring the city in the early morning or late evening to enjoy the beauty of the place calmly.
Second advice, don’t miss the viewpoints, it is especially the whole that gives this incredible charm and these postcard landscapes.
We stayed at the Masseria San Francesco, the place is just sublime. It is an old farmhouse beautifully renovated in the middle of olive trees, with a large swimming pool dug directly into the stone, a change of scenery guaranteed!
2. Beaches and coastal towns: Monopoli, Polignano a Mar and Otranto
We were pleasantly surprised because the region of Puglia, very isolated geographically from the rest of Italy, is still very wild. You will find beautiful white sandy beaches with turquoise waters lost in the pine forest.
In the north of Puglia, don’t miss the two beautiful coastal towns of Polignano a mare, a magnificent village perched on the sea, and Monopoli, with its pretty white houses and its adorable little port. Good news, these two towns are located only 30 minutes from Bari.
In the south of Puglia, don’t miss the fortified city of Otranto, the medieval town has kept all its charm and enter its imposing cathedral famous for its mosaic floor.
– In Monopoli: B&B e Case Vacanza Carpe Diem is in the heart of the old town. We slept very well, the bedding is comfortable and the rooms are spotlessly clean. The big plus is the terrace with a view of the sea, where breakfast is served, paradise!
– In Polignano a Mare: we spotted the hotel D’aprile Dimore during our exploration of the city which is very well placed with a nice big roof terrace, the pictures and the comments clearly make you want to book here if you want to sleep in Polignano.
3. Explore the incredible city of Matera
Matera is an extraordinary city , unique in the world, and a must see. The configuration and history are very different from other cities we have already visited.
It is also one of the oldest cities in the world, imagine that people lived 7000 years in these caves, and that they stayed there until 1952.
The incredible city of Matera, is often forgotten because it is not located in the region of Puglia, it is the capital of the province, Basilicata. Yet it is located only one hour from Bari, we guarantee that you will not regret your visit.
If you only have a few days in Puglia, our advice is to choose the incredible city of Matera over the lesser-known city of Bari.
Without hesitation we recommend Il belvedere Matera, the value for money is unbeatable in the city, located in the heart of the sasso Caveoso, you can do everything on foot.
We had a huge crush on this hotel. It is ideally located. The room is completely atypical as it is dug into the rock, a real troglodyte dwelling. And the big plus, the view is impressive from the terrace where breakfast is served. In short, we had an excellent stay.
4. Lecce: the “baroque Florence”.
Lecce is another unmissable place when exploring Puglia. Located in the south of the Puglia region, its elaborate architecture has earned it the nickname “Florence Baroque“, which is no mean feat! You will immediately fall in love with this beautiful city full of history.
Beautiful beaches and rock formations are located near the city, another reason to go there!
Vittoria Luxury House is a beautiful hotel, so well renovated, with a big favourite being the huge bathroom. The welcome is great and we had lots of great tips for visiting Lecce.
5. Test the local food
Italy is according to us the second European country, in terms of gastronomic quality, after France 😉 In the restaurants, in the agriturismos and on the steps you will enjoy yourself, your taste buds will remember it for a long time. The primi, the pasta dish with sauce, is more than enough to satisfy our stomachs. The secondi, is usually a meat dish to accompany the primi. Below we detail the specialties of Puglia.
It is a delicious cheese, originating from Puglia, made from spun mozzarella, filled with fresh cream (stracciatella). You can also find it on pizza, a real delight!
It is the creamy part of the famous burrata, it is inevitably a delight.
This region has a handful of wines recognized as the white Locorotondo, undoubtedly among the best regional wines. We did a tasting of very good organic wines at the Tenuta Santoro, next to the town of Martina Franca.
The Italian drink par excellence, as we are sympathetic with our readers here is the very simple recipe:
- 3 doses of sparkling white wine like prosecco (6cl)
- 2 doses of Aperol or Campari (4cl)
- 1 shot of sparkling water (2cl)
Then mix it all together directly in your glass and add ice cubes to serve chilled!
6. Agriturismo and Masseria, to stay in an authentic setting
The agriturismo and masseria are the equivalent of our bed and breakfast, it is an alternative to hotels, less expensive. It is usually a farmhouse where some rooms or the whole building are reserved for travelers.
The addresses are generally nestled in the middle of nature and have all the modern comforts, very often a beautiful swimming pool. A must to rest and regain strength between two visits!
The best accommodations of our stay
Our itineraries to visit Puglia, from one week to 10 days
In order to explore this incredible region, we recommend renting a car to get to every corner. Thus we propose you two itineraries to realize ideally by car.
Our recommended one-week itinerary
- Day 1 – Bari -> day dedicated to the visit of Matera – accommodation at Il belvedere Matera
- Day 2 – Matera -> day dedicated to the visit of the city ofAlberobello – accommodation at Masseria San Francesco between Alberobello and Monopoli
- Day 3 and 4 – Alberobello –>D3 Poligano a mare and D4 Monopoli + beaches – stay at B&B e Case Vacanza Carpe Diem in Monopoli
- Day 5 and 6 – Monopoli –> D5 Lecce and D6 rock formations + beaches – stay at Victoria Luxury House in Lecce
- Day 7 – Lecce -> Bari
Our recommended 10-day itinerary
- Day 1 – Bari -> day dedicated to the visit of Matera – accommodation at Il belvedere Matera
- Day 2 – Matera -> day dedicated to the visit of the city of Alberobello – accommodation at Masseria San Francesco
- Days 3 and 4 – Alberobello –>J3 Poligano a mare and J4 Monopoli + beaches – stay at B&B e Case Vacanza Carpe Diem in Monopoli
- Days 5, 6 and 7 – Monopoli –> D5 Ostuni – D6 Lecce and D7 rock formations + beaches – stay at Victoria Luxury House in Lecce
- Day 8 – Lecce –> day dedicated to the visit of Otranto – stay at Hotel Bellavista – Boutique Hotel Otranto
- Day 9 – Otranto –> day dedicated to the visit of Gallipoli – accommodation in Gallipoli – accommodation at Palazzo Presta in Gallipoli
- Day 10 – Gallipoli – Bari (2h30 drive)
When to go (the best weather) and what period to avoid
In this region of Italy the temperatures are mild and pleasant all year round during the day (minimum 7 degrees in January). You can therefore explore this region all year round. Nevertheless, we do not recommend the month of August, as the population of most of the coastal cities is multiplied by 10.
If you want to enjoy the beaches, we advise you to go there in June or September, the temperatures oscillate between 19 and 27 degrees. The months of May and October are also good options, the temperatures are still mild, minimum 15 degrees and maximum 25 degrees.
The different tours to visit Puglia
To visit the different points of interest of the incredible region of Puglia(boat tours, bike tours, Segway tours, ice cream tasting…) you can book your tour in advance via internet. We advise you to take a look at the getyourguide website which offers various activities at unbeatable prices. It can also give you plenty of ideas for original activities to organize your stay.
We have selected 3 of the most interesting activities below. Don’t forget to read the description carefully to know what is really included in order to fully enjoy your excursion.
Practical information (flight and travel)
How to get to Puglia?
From Paris, without a stopover, it takes about 2h30 to fly to Bari, the capital of the region.
Depuis la France, vous pouvez trouver des vols à partir de 40€.
Nous vous conseillons le site Skyscanner, que nous utilisons généralement, pour comparer les prix des différentes compagnies aériennes et trouver votre vol au meilleur prix.
How to get around?
The best option for getting around Puglia is to rent a car. You will be free to move around and you can stop to take photo breaks whenever you want. We have, as always, done our research on RentalCars in order to find a car at the best price.
We advise you to be careful because the Italians have a sporty driving style. Second point of attention, in all the cities of Puglia, there is a ZTL in the historical center and on the coast.
This limited traffic zone is reserved for local residents, if you enter it without authorization you will be fined. Overall in this region we recommend parking outside of the historic centers to avoid being in a ZTL and to avoid having to maneuver in the tight little streets.
Car hire: To compare car hire prices we recommend the RentalCars website which compares the prices of hundreds of car hire companies to find the best price. To give you an idea of prices, we found a car for 60€ per day, at Bari airport.
We wish you a great trip! Feel free to leave us a note below to let us know if you are planning this trip, or to ask any questions you may have, we will answer you with great pleasure. It is always a real pleasure to read you!