Its medieval historic centre, made up of narrow streets, Madonnas and white houses is amazingly charming. It overlooks the sea surrounded by high walls. Within the walls, it is possible to admire churches, noble palaces, squares and ancient alleys; it is a true explosion of rare splendor.
It is also full of shops, which lacks nothing. In short, Monopoli is the perfect place for those who love well-equipped and historically rich holiday places, so special that they are instantly recognizable.
With some of the most evocative beaches in Puglia, Monopoli is certainly the most beautiful stretch of sea in the Bari province. The coast here is unique in its kind, with beaches hidden in the greenery, cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea and heavenly coves, all to be discovered. The water is crystal clear, transparent and irresistible. The cliffs are gentle and harmonious, suggestive, full of ravines, gorges and escarpments.
There are stretches of free beach and numerous bathing establishments fully equipped with kiosks, bars and refreshment points, cabins, umbrellas and sunbeds, skate and pedal boat rental, areas dedicated to sports such as basketball, beach volleyball, bowls, football, swimming, motor boating and windsurfing, and entertainment even for the little ones.
Moreover, due to its position, Monopoli is an excellent strategic point between the Bari coast (to the north), Salento (to the south) and the Itria Valley (inland). Known and very popular tourist areas, such as Ostuni, Polignano or Alberobello, are located just a few kilometers away, making Monopoli a fun seaside base to visit some of Puglia’s most attractive locations.
How to get there: About an hour from Bari airport. It is easy to get transfer and car hire is not essential altough useful.
When: July and August are best for the beaches, Spring and Autumn are perfect for exploration and the beaches are less crowded.
Best for: a late summer break combining the coast with some of Puglia’s artistic treasures.
Beyond Monopoli: Within a 40-minute drive you can explore the UNESCO Trulli towns of Alberobello, Locorotondo, Putignano and Cisternino. If you fancy going underground, the Castellana Caves offer a wonderful respite from the summer heat.
What to visit? Matera itself is a museum, or rather a “Cultural Landscape” of hypogea, caves, neighborhoods, rock churches and peasant houses, so much so that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
Whether you are with your partner or with your family, Matera is the perfect place to spend a 2-3 day stay. What’s more, you can easily visit it on foot and reach almost all the more distant attractions with the excellent city bus service.
And if you feel a little more adventurous then you should know that there is an entire park to explore. This is the Murgia Materana Park: a place dotted with fascinating Neolithic sites and rock churches.
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