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27/03/2020

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PUGLIA | APULIA ITALY

If you are looking for the best places to stay in Puglia, for a summer holiday, you can choose among these villages:
  • Polignano a mare
  • Monopoli
  • Marina di Ostuni
  • Otranto
  • Marina di Marittima
  • Gallipoli
  • Porto Cesareo
  • Marina di Pulsano
If you are interested in a seaside resort in southern part of Italy, where sunbathing and relaxing, Puglia, with its 865 km of coasts, is a perfect destination for people looking for beautiful beaches and crystal sea.
This article is written by my friend Lucia, who lives in Puglia.
best places to stay in Puglia
Best places to stay in Puglia

Holiday guide to Puglia, southern Italy: the best towns. What is the best town to stay in Puglia?  Where should I base in Puglia? Is Puglia worth visiting? Is Puglia a good place to holiday? Where to stay in Puglia as a base? Puglia destinations: is better Salento or Gargano?

BEST AREA TO STAY IN PUGLIA

The seaside resorts where I recommend to stay in Puglia are:
  • Gallipoli | perfect place to stay in Puglia for people interested in a lively and fun area. 
  • Lecce is recommended for families with children.
  • Porto Cesareo chosen by those who love for the beautiful white sandy beaches.
  • Otranto is favored to people who prefer the Adriatic coast and it is also a lively seaside resort: the downtown and the clubs are stormed by tourists.
I'd recommend staying in each places at least 3 nights. 

Italians' habits
Good to know: In August many hotels offer weekly stays only, especially in seaside resorts where a lot of Italians spend a week on the beach.
Usually, Italians book their summer holidays by Easter (except this year under Covid-19 pandemic) so if you want to be sure of finding the best, or cheapest, accommodation, it is better to reserve in advance.

Best time to visit Puglia


Best time to visit Puglia: in May, June, September and October while in July and August the beaches and resorts are very crowded and accommodations more expensive. An ideal solution when deciding where to stay in Puglia is to choose a base and visit the nearby villages.

The Apulian coast is very varied. They range from the high cliffs of the Gargano and Mattinata to the small beaches nestled in the rocks of Monopoli, Ostuni, Otranto and Marina di Marittima until to Salento coast with the long and Caribbean Ionian beaches of Gallipoli, Porto Cesareo and Pulsano.

best area to stay in Puglia

Most beautiful seaside resorts in Puglia

  • Mattinata

The city of Mattinata has some of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia, protected from the north-west winds thanks to the high cliffs of Gargano.
best town to stay in Puglia
This photo of Mattinatella Bay is offered by Tripadvisor

Baia delle Zagare is the most famous beach in the Gargano coast and can be reached only by a pass from the Municipality of Mattinata or by staying in one of the hotels located in this village.

Hotel Baia Delle Zagare | This hotel is immersed in the Gargano National Park, set on a cliff overlooking Zagare Bay.

Mattinatela Bay is another fabulous area to relax and its long pebble beach, surrounded by the white cliff, is ideal for lovers of underwater activities.

Where to stay in Mattinata, best view?
Hotel Residence Il Porto | is perched on a hill overlooking the Mattinata Bay.

  • Polignano a Mare

Polignano is a famous city on the Adriatic sea, its views of the historical center overlooking the sea are among the most photographed and beautiful landscapes in Puglia. Here the singer Domenico Modugno was born.

where to stay polignano a mare
Polignano a Mare by Tripadvisor


If you are looking for something of familiar and characteristic, I suggest you to stay in one of the houses with a terrace overlooking the sea in the center of old Polignano.

Where to stay in Polignano best view?
 Dimora Talenti Guesthouse with an amazing view of the ocean. 

base in Puglia
Lungomare Di San Vito by Tripadvisor

During the summer the nightlife in the center of Polignano is very active, so it is recommended for people looking for a lively place: there are many pubs, restaurants and discos frequented by VIPs and influencers.

Lama Monachile is the closest beach to the city, small and very popular both for tourists and locals.

Another area that I recommend where to find more privacy is San Vito beach, just 2 km from Polignano, where you can swim in front of a beautiful abbey founded in the 10th century.

Where to stay for the summer holidays in San Vito area?
Casale Porto Contessa is situated in a strategic area, in the hamlet of San Vito, distant almost 2.5 km from the town of Polignano a Mare

Monopoli

Bari beaches

Less known than Polignano, but equally romantic and characteristic is Monopoli.
Its historical center is one of the jewels of Puglia with a view of the port and the liveliness of the city. It is very frequented by local people, ideal for enjoying your holiday like a true Apulian.

To enjoy the city, I recommend staying in one of the B&B or guesthouses located in the historical center.

Which hotels in Monopoli have nice views?

Palazzo Indelli, got great room view-related reviews from travelers in Monopoli.

If you choose Monopoli as a destination for your summer holidays, do not miss the Capitolo beach: a resort with many beach clubs ideal for families with children. In the evening is good for the night life lovers.

To stay near the beach of Capitolo: Torre Cintola Natural Sea Emotions.

Some tourist residences offer also luxury and exclusive experiences in a beautiful Caribbean sea with maximum comfort and relax.

Ostuni

Ostuni, the famous white city of Puglia is 7 km away from the coast, so if you want to stay near the sea it is better to book an accommodation in Marina di Ostuni, Villanova and Costa Merlata.

Puglia Southern Italy
Ostuni

Where to stay in Ostuni?
La Piana Degli Ulivi located 2 km from Ostuni, with an amazing view.

This part of the coast is formed by many rocks and there are sandy coves called "the beaches of Costa Merlata".
You can choose from several coves, often uncrowded.

Puglia best beach
Costa Merlata beach is credited by Tripadvisor

For people who love unspoiled nature, they will enjoy to stay in the natural reserves of Torre Guaceto or the park of the coastal dunes: crystal clear sea and white beaches chosen by the Caretta Caretta turtles as nesting places.

You will spend magnificent days in absolute symbiosis with nature, lulled by the sound of the waves.

Where should I base in Puglia?

Otranto

Arriving in Salento, you will leave your heart among its beautiful medieval alleys and its towers of this fascinating city.

holiday guide to Puglia
Otranto, Salento | Puglia


Otranto overlooks the sea and it is possible to participate in one of the many cultural and naturalistic activities organized to discover its suggestive landscapes and surrounings.
Don't miss the Bauxite quarry, trust me! ;)

Where to stay in Otranto best accommodation?
The Hotel Miramare is set in an unbeatable location right in the heart of Otranto just a few metres from the golden sandy beach

Baia dei Turchi, 7 km from Otranto, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia. A corner of paradise with white sand and crystal sea.
A wide range of resorts are located near the beach and in the Alimini Lakes area: a brackish lakes ideal for spending a relax day with the family.

My tip to stay Baia dei Turchi:Aparthotel Agriturismo Vigna Corallo. The sandy beach could be reached after a short walk through a wood. 

Marina di Marittima / Castro Marina

We conclude the overview of the places on the Adriatic coast with Marina di Marittima and Castro Marina.
You can choose Marina di Marittima, if you want to stay far away from the tourist circuits where you can breathe the atmosphere of the most authentic Puglia, without artifice and frills.

There are not many accommodations here.

Relax and peace are assured and the location of the town is excellent for visiting the whole Salento peninsula. Suitable for travelling holidays.

Where to stay in Castro Marina?
 Hotel Degli Ulivi overlooking the Gulf. Ideal as a base to make a tour to the southern area of Puglia.
Things to see: Cala dell'Acquaviva (photo below), a wonderful inlet inserted in the wild nature with cold springs ideal for cooling off during the hot summer days.


Palombara cave:  small suggestive cave located in a rocky coast. If you like a Caribbean sea with its amazing colours, I recommend this boat trip.

Gallipoli

We arrived on the Ionian Sea, on the other side of the "heel of Italy", where Gallipoli is its most popular area.

Puglia where to stay
Lido Punta della Suina credit by Tripadvisor


The city is famous not only for its ancient historical center (of Greek origin), but also for the nightlife on the beach especially in the high season such as Samsara beach.

Best accommodation Gallipoli
Costa Brada hotel with private beach 4 km from Gallipoli.

Gallipoli has two souls: in the daytime is ideal for families and relax in the beaches and the nighttime is perfect for who want to enjoy the music and dance on the beach under the starry sky of Salento.

Gallipoli offers a wide range of accommodation and I would advise you to choose a structure in Baia Verde (Hotel Risberg), an area along ​​the "Gallipoli promenade" with has many services and ideal for families with children.

Do not miss the Punta della Suina beach, fine sand, crystal and calm water, pine forest ... what else?

Porto Cesareo Bay



Porto Cesareo is a small town in Salento area, not far from Gallipoli, in the center of a splendid protected marine and bordered by wonderful beaches like Punta Prosciutto, Spiaggia delle Dune and Torre Inserraglio.

Where to stay in Porto Cesareo beach front?
Hotel Blu next to private beach.

As well as Gallipoli, also this stretch of coast is very popular for the nightlife during the summer months, while the peace and relax is guaranteed in the low season. There is no shortage of beautiful beaches, for expample Torre Chianca beach (image below).



The beaches of Punta Prosciutto and Torre Lapillo are the most beautiful in the area, with services suitable for families with children.
The beach and the seabed have a beautiful white sand ideal for relax and play, but also for more lively activities such as snorkeling or diving to discover the hidden treasures on the bottom of the Mediterranean (I warn you that there are wrecks!).

Marina di Pulsano

is puglia worth a visit
Spiaggia di Lido Silvana credit by Tripadvisor

The last place where I recommend you to stay is Pulsano: a small village in the Gulf of Taranto with its 8 km of low and sandy coast, suitable for young and enderly people.
The sea is about 5 km from the city center and it is an ideal place for family holiday.

Lido Silvana is certainly the best beach suitable for families who need a wide range of beach services, clear water, fine sand and a total immersion in the nature of Salento.

Where to stay in Marina di Pulsano near Lido Silvana beach?
 Recidence The Garden

For the wild nature lovers and unspoiled places Luogovivo and Le Canne are two other places to consider. Crystal clear sea and absolute privacy, you can anjoy an holiday experience like a real local.


Tips to travel in Apulia

- useful info to avoid surprises -

☑️ Public transport is not very organized, so if you plan to take a holiday in Puglia it is better to arrive by car or rent a car in the airport.
☑️ The tourist centers have maps and useful information about events, activities...
☑️ July and August are very popular and intensive months, so lots of beaches are crowded and the temperatures are usually very high.
☑️ If you choose Puglia for your holiday you must consider the wind. Puglia is a windy region, especially subject to the cold winds of Tramontana, coming from Balkans, and the hot Scirocco from Africa. The wind affect expecially the Adriatic coast and less the Ionian sea.
Now you are able to choose the right location to fully enjoy your holiday as a real Apulian.
Booking.com

What to do in Puglia?


- Total relaxation lying on the beach to sunbathe
- Exploring and tasting the local cuisine,
- Diving, snorkeling and outdoor activities.
- Visit the region to discover coves, ancient villages and the countless marine and natural protected areas.
- Trip to the Alimini lakes in Otranto.

Apulia what to see
Laghi Alimini credit by Tripadvisor

- Boat ride between Polignano a mare and Monopoli to swim in the blue waters of natural caves.
- Visit the Bauxite quarry in Otranto.
Puglia best countries
Cava di Bauxite by Tripadvisor


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We will update you on the next travel guide. Thanks  😉
Updated March 2020
Moira Tips
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