Puglia Seaside Holidays

Puglia, which has the longest coast in Italy, is lapped by the Adriatic Sea on one side and the Ionian Sea on the other. It has golden beaches and jagged coastlines, where the colours of nature and the flavors of tradition intertwine, creating a balance of great charm.


There are beautiful seaside resorts and villages all over the territory, from the Gargano's rocky promontories to Salento's hidden corners, and including the white villages in the Bari area and the bays in the Tarantino area.


Puglia has something for everyone--red earth, emerald sea, yellow stone, markets, exquisite food, baroque palaces and fishermen's houses, historic sites and paradisiacal coves--for an unforgettable holiday.

Monopoli: a great Apulian village for any time of year

Monopoli, a seaside resort less than fifty kilometres from Bari, is known for its beautiful sea.


But it's not just the turquoise waters and beautiful beaches that make it attractive. The historic centre is also worth a visit. It's a bunch of narrow streets and alleyways, from the seafront where you can see the castle from afar, and from the small port. It's a magical place with a postcard landscape.


The suggestive touch comes from the surrounding walls that are still standing, with the towers that can be visited, and some cannons.


Not many people know this, but Monopoli has one of the biggest squares in Italy - the eighteenth-century Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. The locals call it the Borgo.

There's another attraction near Monopoli that's definitely worth checking out--the Grotte di Castellana, a fascinating karst complex of underground cavities. It's one of the most beautiful and spectacular in Italy, located about 1.5 kilometres from the town of Castellana-Grotte, and includes caves that develop for 3.5km meters and reach a depth of 122 meters from the surface.


The visit is a 3 kilometre route at a depth of around 70 meters. It includes canyons, abysses, fossils, stalactites, stalactites and concretions of amazing shapes and colours.


Just a 5-minute train ride away is Polignano a Mare, with a historic center full of evidence of Arabs, Byzantines, Spaniards, Romans, and Normans, and the sea-view terraces of white houses adorned with flowered balconies.

Trani: 18th century coastal design

What's great about Trani is that a lot of its historical landmarks have a view of the sea.


The Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino is one of the most beautiful sights in Trani. It is known as "the Queen of the Cathedrals of Puglia". There is Giovinazzo, with its small but characteristic historical centre, which overlooks the port dominated by the Cathedral.


The harbour, full of fishing boats and yachts, is a beautiful setting for spectators. The evening nightlife is concentrated here. This area has a ton of restaurants with both local and international dishes, and they're all surrounded by historic 1800s Palazzos and little houses--it's like a fairytale.

Going inland, you'll hit the Murge plateau, a limestone plateau that extends into Puglia and Basilicata.


Altamura, near the Basilicata border, is worth a visit, with its cathedral and famous bread, and Gravina in Puglia, home to the Alta Murgia National Park, with its ravines and canyons.


Gravina gets its name from Frederick II of Swabia, who hunted around here before retiring to his octagonal manor: Castel del Monte, now a Unesco world heritage site.

Otranto between sea and culture

Otranto, on the easternmost tip of the heel of Italy, looks like a fortress on the sea. The city walls and honey-coloured houses, gleaming in the sun, stand out among the olive trees, and the wild coast with its long beaches and coves stretches out before you.


In 20 kilometres of coast, there are bays, long strips of clear sand, coves hidden in rocky ravines where you can discover yourself even in high season. And then in Otranto, the sea always offers unpredictable colours.

You wander the streets of Otranto in the evening, taking in the poetic sights and narrow streets that offer glimpses of the waves in the distance. The main artery is Corso Garibaldi, with small shops and clubs, up to Piazza del Popolo, with the eighteenth-century Clock Tower.


There are lots of excursions to check out beyond the town and beaches - like other gems on the coast and inland. For example, there's the bauxite quarry a few kilometres from the sea: a small lake in the middle of the fiery red earth that looks like it's from Mars or something. Then there are the Alimini Lakes and the Zinzulusa cave, which are spectacular.

Gallipoli - Is the party here?

Gallipoli is famous not only for the beaches and the sea, but also for its white alleys, a real building masterpiece. The sun's rays shining through the narrow alleys and illuminating the facades of the historic courtyards make the small centre look like a work of art.


The balconies in bloom with their scent accompany the panoramic points from which the Ionian sea can be seen.


The Gallipoli market's animated fish auction is a big draw for local restaurateurs and retailers, because the catch is always high quality.

The port market is a small path not to miss, where you can hear the fishermen of the various stalls and breathe the true essence of this beautiful Salento city. The fishermen, armed with a small knife, open cockles, razor clams, and oysters, to offer them as an aperitif to market patrons... a delight!


Then, if you keep walking around the historic center of Gallipoli, you'll come across one of the most beautiful beaches in the Ionian: the city literally dives into the blue waters of the Spiaggia della Purità, which takes its name from the Church of Santa Maria della Purità that's nearby.

Personalise your holiday

Like what you see? Tell us your wishes and we'll create the perfect holiday for you and your loved ones, at the time of year you prefer, and make you live the experiences you've always dreamed of.