Puglia is the southernmost edge of Italy and with its atmospheric, tiny villages, it takes you to a completely different world. It’s a famous destination throughout Europe that awaits sailors with new adventures alongside the coastline and a bit further in on land alike. If the wind blows you to Puglia and you’d like to know about the best spots, keep on reading. Our article will provide you with information about numerous hidden gems, towns and other opportunities.
The article includes the followings:
- Best places to stay in Puglia: towns not to be missed
- What to see in Puglia: natural wonders
- What to see in Puglia if you travel with children
The tiny towns of Puglia welcome visitors with open arms. Most people visit here to experience the true Italian lifestyle, to breath in the fresh sea breeze and to sample some local delicacies such as focaccia. Italy is famed for its wines and cheese, so we highly recommend that you order some quality local wine with your dinner. It’s one of the core elements of a trip to Italy. Let’s see where to visit in Puglia in order not to miss the most splendid spots once you’re there.
The town of Otranto is the easternmost point of Italy. Here stretches the Strait of Otranto. It’s the narrowest stretch between Italy and Albania, with only 71 km separating the two countries. The little town has a population of approximately 5,800; however, in the summer it fills with life when visitors from abroad and from other parts of the country arrive to make Otranto their holiday base. In addition, this gorgeous place is also famed for its beach where you can take a dip in the pristine, azure-tinted sea. It also takes pride in its stronghold, Castello Aragonese, in its cathedral that dates back to 1088 and in the catacombs of Torre Pinta. If you wish to visit the best places in Puglia, don’t miss Otranto. Not to mention the fact that with Otranto being a port town, you can even rent a boat for yourself.
If you fancy a coastline that hasn’t been flooded with tourists yet, visit San Foca village. Originally it was a fishing village and only become tourists’ port of call in recent years. With its splendid sandy beach, it’s also an excellent swimming spot. The Torre di San Foca watchtower has played a significant role in the village’s life a few decades ago: it was there where the locals watched out for the Turkish approaching their village.
Gallipoli lies on the coast of the Ionian Sea. It’s divided into two parts: the new town (Borgo) and the historical old town. The latter is located on an island and is accessible via a gorgeous little bridge. As compared to the previously mentioned towns, Gallipoli is remarkably bigger with a population of almost 21,000 and is, therefore, a better choice for those who enjoy the hustle and bustle and are after some lively nightlife. If you seek real experience and you wonder what to see in Puglia, don’t miss this town. In addition to its beaches lined with blue waters, there’re other famous attractions to visit as well. Such attractions are for instance the churches of San Francesco di Paola and St. Francis of Assisi, a fortress that was built by the Byzantines in the 16th century, the city walls of the old town and the Fontana Greca– the Greek Fountain.
Would you like to relax in a peaceful environment, far away from the hustle and bustle of cities? Moor at one of the coastal towns, hop on a moped and explore the following natural wonders near to the coast. You definitely won’t be disappointed in these spots if you’d like to see the best of Puglia.
Laghetto Cave di Bauxite
This small quarry is located not too far from Otranto. As opposed to its small size, it’s a huge sight for visitors. Bauxite mining has been going on here between 1940 and 1976. After the works have stopped, Nature has decided to take back what was rightfully hers, thus creating an ecosystem with thriving flora and fauna within and around the lake. The rusty-brown tinting of the rocks-that is a result of the minerals and chemicals-also add to the uniqueness of this place. The exertion of the bauxite tinges the water a vivid green, resulting in a perfect contrast between the water and the surrounding rocks.
Grotte di Castellana in Bari province is the longest cavern complex of Italy. It’s approximately 3 km long and is brimming over with amusing dripstone formations. The cave complex is Puglia’s most visited natural wonder that represents inestimable value for Italy. It’s only a few kilometres from Alberobello and Polignano a Mare. It began to form about 90 million years ago. The attraction has allured 15 million visitors since it’s opened. The wide range of formations, stalactites and stalagmites of all different colours solicit the imagination of children and adults alike. Grotte di Castellana is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of Puglia’s best attractions.
Grotta della Poesia
This naturally formed pool is in the close vicinity of the coast. A few years ago it took a prestigious place on National Geographic’s list, naming some of the most awe-inspiring natural pools around the world. It’s surrounded by huge rocks, offering a very unique sight to those who are looking for something special in Puglia. Due to the fact that this spot has already been explored and featured, you have to hurry up in the morning to beat the crowds.
Travelling with children, especially by boat, has never been an easy task. However, we try to make your life easier with the following tips:
Activities for children
Puglia is a popular choice amongst families, thanks to the child-friendly beaches, hotels and tours. Alberobello, where children can admire the so-called Trulli, is definitely worth a visit. Trulli are traditional huts, built of special stones; a real Italian attraction. If you’re travelling with children, make sure to visit the didactic farm (masseria didattica). There you can become a real Italian farmer for the day. You’ll have the chance to encounter with the animals and to get to know different plants. It’s an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
The medieval castles often hold historical games where they perform some of the significant historical events and battles. Your children will definitely enjoy seeing the weapons on display, the kings and queens walking around in authentic clothing and of course to meet the knights.
In addition, there’re different outdoor workshops in Puglia, where there’re various DIY techniques to improve children’s creativity.
Beaches are gently sloping with shallow waters. It’s safe even several steps from the coast, so you don’t have to worry about spending some beach time with the little ones.
As we previously mentioned, the pristine, azure-green tinted sea is quite a view. We are sure that these views will give your children so much joy that the memories of them will linger on for years. This holiday will surely be a topic of conversations in the future.
All in all, if you are looking for the best attractions in Puglia, this article has listed numerous towns that you should visit. There’s also plenty to see if you’re a nature lover as the area is full of natural wonders. You don’t need to worry if you travel with children either as this part of Italy is especially child-friendly, so the little ones will undoubtedly have a splendid time too. HELP ME TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT BOAT