Amazing places to see in Puglia (with map)
Puglia is an incredible destination. Its mix of art, nature, history and adventure ensures there’s something for everyone to love.
With so much to see and do you can choose to explore the beautiful countryside, visit historic landmarks, go to the beach or discover vibrant towns.
Consider this our introduction to this fantastic destination, a region we both love so much that we welcome people from all over the world who want to discover it on our road trip holidays.
Puglia is a peninsula in Southern Italy. To the east and south, it borders two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. To the west and southwest, it instead borders the Italian regions of Molise, Basilicata and Campania. It’s mainly flat, with a large valley called Tavoliere delle Puglie that spans over 4000 sqm. There are few noteworthy mountains (Monte Cornacchia is the tallest, just shy of 1152 metres), aside from the Gargano promontory and the tip of the Salento peninsula. There are six provinces, the Italian equivalent of counties, and these are:
The best of Puglia
To make it easier for you, we’ve rounded up the top sights you should include in your itinerary, along with the best fit based on personality types.
The history buff
Many think that Puglia is just a beach destination, but that’s far from the truth. Here you can find history at every turn. We bet you didn’t know that here you can find 11 monumental castles (and even smaller ones). There’s one in Bari, the Castello normanno-svevo, and one in Barletta, but it’s probably the octagonal Castel del Monte that’s on people’s radar. Surrounded by an aura of mystery, this is a unique building and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The turquoise waters of the Mediterranean present an open invitation to aquatic adventures, from the hi-octane rush of wakeboarding to kayaking, sailing as well as snorkeling. On land, adventures abound. You can hike to the beach in the Porto Selvaggio nature reserve (as included in our tours), a refreshing walk that includes the beautiful spectacle of bauxite caves. Or head to the natural canyons of the Gravine di Puglia, the perfect setting for nature walks that end with a refreshing swim at the bottom of waterfalls. Puglia is also home to numerous caves, both along the coast and in Castellana, an important speleological site.
The chill traveler
Looking for a laid-back, seaside escape? If unwinding is what you’re after, Puglia is a perfect choice. Some of the best beaches in Puglia include one called ‘the Maldives of Salento’, so be prepared to be amazed! You can spend the day relaxing and the evening exploring seaside towns full of ancient wonders – doesn’t that sound like a great plan?
From sinuous cliffs to Baroque towns, shape, form, colour and context have come together over centuries to create places that please both the eye and the soul. Indulge your passion as you wander around beautiful Lecce, where the over 100 churches embody the town’s heritage and masterful arts. Here you can also visit the papier-mâché museum as well as MUST, a museum dedicated to contemporary art. Or try your hand at pottery-making in Grottaglie, a town renowned for its stunning hand-painted ceramics (as included in our tours).
Everyone who goes to Italy knows enough to gorge on pasta, gelato, wine, coffee and pizza. But Puglia food is so much more than that. The local delicacies and ingredients translate into delicious and one-of-kind dishes you can only find here. Pair them with the excellent Puglia wines, now world-famous and for a reason: they’re often cheaper of more illustrious counterparts but equally delectable.
We could have written so much more about the things to do and see in Puglia, but instead, we did something better: we created a free digital map! There’s so much more to discover in this beautiful region that we rounded all our best tips in one handy format.
Drop us an email to receive a FREE digital map of Puglia’s top sights!