Apulia (Puglia) - attractions, sightseeing by car, routes, map, monuments, beaches. Guide.

Puglia or Apulia - fitting

We have been trying to explore Apulia for a long time. The postponed trip (for various reasons) finally came to fruition. But this time, bad luck was also close. One "hair" would not succeed again. One and a half weeks after our return to Poland, coronavirus infections suddenly exploded in Italy. The ministry issued a message discouraging travel to Italy. If our trip were to take place two weeks later than it took place, it would probably be postponed again. We made it at the last minute. We went, visited and came back, healthy and happy.
It was one of the better prepared trip plans. Probably because we approached its implementation several times and each time we changed something else, added and glued it. Ultimately, the quantity and quality of attractions that make up the plan is such that it is fuming. It's just that your head is bursting with impressions, it's hard to comprehend.
And I will present such a plan to you below!
When going to Apulia expect all the best.

Date of departure, weather and climate in Apulia

We were visiting Apulia in February. We chose the date of departure not by accident. We cared about a few things:

1. Let it not be too hot

The south of Italy can be visited all year round, but in winter and spring the weather is probably the best. We were in the middle of winter (February 10-17). There were 6 sunny days and one rainy day. On sunny days, the air temperature remained in the range of 17-22 degrees Celsius (a wonderful temperature, it made you want to live). On a rainy day, the air temperature dropped to about 15-16 degrees.
During a rainy day, rainfall was periodically heavy, but for a large part of the day it did not rain at all and we managed to complete the entire sightseeing plan without getting wet. The photos from that day are said to be the most atmospheric.
On a sunny day, it is pleasant to sit on the beach (we had an hour for it, for example in Vieste and sometimes we sat in different places for a while), but lying on a deckchair in a swimsuit is not an option.
In summer, temperatures here can reach 40 degrees, and in early autumn, they often exceed 30 degrees Celsius. Of course, I can't talk about sightseeing in such temperatures!
So if you want to visit Apulia, choose winter or spring.

2. Let there be no crowds

Two birds with one stone: not only is the weather perfect for sightseeing, but also the absolute lack of crowds. It can't be better 🙂
Someone will say that Apulia is not as popular with tourists as Rome or Venice and even in high season it is hard to expect crowds here. I will not agree. In the most interesting tourist places, which we usually care about the most, the summer season is crowded. Big enough to disturb the rest and sightseeing. The villages are tiny and a few tour coaches make them overloaded quickly. I choose silence, peace and the possibility of taking photos freely, beautiful streets not covered with crowds of tourists.

3. Prices, prices… it's cheap!

So the third roast with one stone. There is a huge gap between summer and winter prices. A huge gulf. Example?
- car for a week with full insurance for PLN 479 (in the season PLN 1000 would be a great bargain)
- Plane ticket to Bari (price for a return ticket): 150 PLN. Out of range during the season.
- hotele, e.g. for three nights in Bari for 2 people: PLN 450, or PLN 75 per person per night !!!
As if that was not enough, the price of the hotel also included a fee for leaving the car in a guarded car park, near the hotel. It was a shock to me. When I asked how much I was paying for the parking and found out nothing: I was speechless ...
I was leaving the parking lot very, very slowly, so that the staff (in case they were wrong) had time to stop me to pay the fee. Nothing like that happened. I came to the conclusion that maybe the hotel will settle it on my own credit card for which the reservation was made, but nothing like that happened either. All I got from the hotel was thanks for a nice stay with them and that's it… It's impossible in high season!
- parking at tourist attractions and on the streets of towns, they are free off-season (even those marked with blue lines on the asphalt). We did not spend even 1 EUR on parking lots throughout the trip. Thread. Absolutely nothing. Tourist car parks were open, public and free. In the season, for each parking you would have to pay from a few (parking lots at attractions) to a dozen or so EUR (parking for the night).
There are road signs with information about the parking fee at the parking lots in the streets of the towns. For example, in Vieste, these characters look like the photo below.

Information on dates and fees for parking in Vieste, Italy.

According to the information on the sign, the parking fee is from May 15 to October 15, from 8.00 to 24.00. Charges are EUR 2 per hour or EUR 10 per night. The photo shows that the information on the sign has been changed (stuck) several times, so during the visit, you need to check the current rules and fees on the signs.

Apulia - how to get here? Cheap flights to Apulia!

We have cheap and convenient air connections from Poland to Bari and Brindisi. Both directions are good. You can go ahead and choose the one that fits your plan better or is simply more convenient for you (you can rent a car just as easily in both cities).
I once described the way how to cleverly and quickly search for really cheap air tickets in the post: Cheap flights. How to search for cheap flights and cheap flights? [GUIDE]
Below I present the flight offers I have found. As you can see, tickets for a plane to Italy are probably even cheaper than the tolls at the gates, for the highway from Warsaw to Poznań.
For people who live in the west of Poland, a good option may be to fly from the airport in Berlin. The inhabitants of Szczecin, Gorzów Wielkopolski or Zielona Góra are much closer to the airport in Berlin than to Katowice, Kraków or Warsaw, from where the cheapest flights from Poland take place. The prices of flights from Berlin do not differ from those from Polish airports. For us, the most convenient option was departure from Berlin.

Cheap flights to Bari

Below are screenshots of the search results for cheap flights from Poland to Bari. As you can see, the cheapest ones are from Kraków and Wrocław.

At the moment, the cheapest date is April. You can find flights for a week's stay from April 11 to April 18, for a total price of PLN 195 (PLN 98 to Bari + PLN 97 return).

Cheap flights to Brindisi

We managed to find even cheaper connections to Brindisi. At present, it would be the cheapest to fly from Katowice and Krakow, while the price from Katowice is probably the bottom price. We will pay PLN 79 (!!!) for a return ticket. Honestly, when I see such prices, it is extremely difficult for me to control myself before buying 🙂
It's good that we just got back from there, because the tickets would already be in the basket.

As for the specific date of such a cheap flight, the option I found would include a trip for 11 days, from 6 to 17 April. According to the calendar from the search engine below, a flight to Brindisi on April 6 would cost PLN 40, and a return flight on April 17 would cost PLN 39. The total return flight is PLN 79.

Read: How to search for cheap flights? Search engine for the cheapest air connections.

What is the most convenient way to explore Apulia

Definitely a car. It is most convenient by car, despite the fact that Apulia is really well connected by other means of transport (train, buses).
However, if you do not want to visit or travel, but only want to get to one specific town, then from the airport it should be easy to get wherever you want. The entrance to the train station is located right next to the airport terminal, and buses depart from the terminal in various directions.
You can check railway connections and buy tickets at the same price as in the window at the station via the Internet, on the website trainline. The website works in Polish.
However, if you intend to explore and travel a lot in Puglia, a car will be a more comfortable, better, faster and cheaper solution.
I decided to rent a car from one of the local Italian rental companies.

Car rental in Italy

Renting a car seems simple on the surface, but anyone who has tried to do it at least once knows how the welding becomes complicated when you start getting into the booking details. Collaterals, deposits, insurance coverage, accepted credit and debit payments, etc. ...
The amount of information related to the description of safe and cheap car rental is so large that including it in this post does not make sense. A separate entry was made for this circumstance: Bari - Italy: Rent a car without a credit card and no deposit?. This is probably the most detailed and specific guide you can find on the web. Step by step, with copies of documents: from booking, through rental, and finally return and settlement of the rental. Everything you need to know about safe car rental.

Apulia hotels

We mostly made hotel reservations several months in advance. It was the cheapest, with one exception: Matera. We noticed that in low season, the closer to the day of arrival in Matera, the lower the prices. So we booked the hotel in Materze at the last minute, being away in Italy, about 3 days before the planned accommodation. And it was actually the cheapest.
When booking, we followed the rules, which I described in detail in the post on: how to look for cheap accommodation?. Of course, we booked hotels on Booking.com.
The accommodation base in Puglia is large, so the choice of accommodation outside the summer season is quite large. In the case of the summer season, theoretically, a large accommodation base is not so large, because there are several times more people willing. So if you are planning a trip around summer and want to have a choice, book a few months in advance. There will be nothing to choose from later. The most expensive and not necessarily the best offers will remain, which will eventually sell out.

Hotels we stayed in

Below I will provide a list of the nights we slept in at the time of departure, along with links to their booking sites, so that you can check the current room rate yourself. I will write more about the facilities themselves when creating separate entries about the towns where the hotels were located. I only post short comments here.

Overnight in Bari: Interno2 Bari Centrale (guesthouse) - the price at which we were able to get this accommodation knocks you out. We paid PLN 75 per person per night. For this price (!!!), we even had an underground guarded parking lot for our car, a few steps from the guesthouse. Price shock, in this positive sense. Conditions in the rooms exactly as in the photos in Booking - [click].

Overnight in Vieste: Dream & Relax (guesthouse) - nicely located, close to the city center, which of course results in parking problems. It took a while to find a place. Room perfectly clean. Someone really works to make it shine. Breakfast is served in a café in a neighboring tenement house. More information about this hotel along with actual photos of the stay can be found in a separate entry about Vieste - [click].

Overnight in Lecce: B&B Corte Dei Romiti (guesthouse) - huge (we got a five-room apartment), comfortable and clean. Located in the historic center, 100 meters from the cathedral, in the heart of Lecce. Access by car is possible only with navigation with current maps (preferably on Google navigation), because the layout of one-way streets has changed significantly recently. It can't be done on old maps. Breakfast service brings you straight to your room in the morning. You don't have to go anywhere.

Overnight in Matera: Fra I Sassi Residence (guesthouse) - located in the historic city center. Rooms arranged in an extravagant way, in historical, original, caves carved in the rock. All rooms have access to a terrace overlooking the city skyline, which is especially blown away after dark. In the morning, it is a pity to leave, so until the last moment we were immersed in the armchairs on the terrace, admiring the view of Matera. Impressions are priceless.

Apulia - itinerary by car

We decided to plan a trip for 7 days. This is statistically the most frequently chosen length of a holiday trip by Poles ... so we behaved quite statistically (in practice, it was a bit longer: 8 days).
Eight days. So much? After all, this is only one small region of Italy. Or maybe: just that? After covering the entire route, I can say with full conviction: that's all. The number and quality of attractions Apulia has to offer is so amazing that eight days pass in the blink of an eye. Like a snap of your fingers. Every day there was something to do and every day we were able to hold our breath with delight ... Every evening at dinner there were so many reasons to share emotions and impressions that there was not enough time to talk about everything. We looked through the photos every day and nodded in disbelief that we had the chance to see it all live. A fantastic journey from which we have an unimaginable amount of beautiful memories. By presenting the following plan, I want to invite you on this journey. Unique, colorful, sunny and unforgettable!
Leaving emotions aside, I must add that the plan does not include everything worth seeing in Puglia. It just can't be crammed into 8 days. When creating the plan, we were forced to consciously give up several places. We wanted the plan to include a variety of places to make the trip interesting and engaging. The plan therefore includes small and larger towns, beaches, viewpoints, nature reserves, landscape parks… in other words, what is unique, created by man and by nature.
We have implemented the plan below exactly as you can see it. Nothing more and nothing less. We set off every day around 10 am, and we checked in around 18.00 p.m. at the place of accommodation. The pace of sightseeing was rather moderate. We were in no rush and we didn't have to chase the time. There was enough of it to sit for an hour in the sun on the beach, or for a quiet coffee or a meal in a restaurant. Despite the moderate pace, we were satisfactorily tired every day. Looking back, I think that this time we managed to choose the intensity of the visit.

Apulia - map

Location of Apulia on the map of Italy (marked in red).

As you can see in the picture above, Apulia is long and skinny. Therefore, it is worth planning a few nights, so as not to drive unnecessarily back and forth along the same roads, driving unnecessary kilometers. It is worth planning an overnight stay in the very north (Gargano peninsula), more or less in the middle (Bari or Brindisi) and in the lower part (Lecce area). Such a distribution of accommodation allows you to minimize the amount of time you spend in the car in favor of the time you can spend on sightseeing and leisure.
This is exactly how we organized our trip. The approximate course of the entire route is shown in the picture below.
In the following, I will present more detailed maps of journeys for each day separately.

Apulia, approximate route on Google map.

Apulia - detailed sightseeing plan, maps and tours

I have divided the sightseeing plan description into separate days. I will try to very briefly describe each day in terms of intensity, important sightseeing points, time and length of trips. If necessary, I will provide additional information that may be useful during the tour. Over time, separate, detailed entries will appear for all places included in this plan, thanks to which you will learn more about each place.
Next to each of the listed destinations, you will find the GPS coordinates of the car parks where you can park your car best and conveniently.

day 1 - arrival in Bari

On the first day, I usually do not plan any sightseeing. You will most likely arrive here by plane in the afternoon. Afterwards, you will be picked up by the rental car, then driven from the airport to the city center and checked into your hotel. You will probably not have enough time or energy for sightseeing. If, however, you have some desire, a short exploration of the city and a little grocery shopping in the local store will be very advisable. Breakfasts in Italy are modest and very light. You will get hungry one hundred percent quickly after them. A few groceries like bread and bakery items, or bananas, wafers or whatever you like, will surely come in handy when exploring the next day. It is worth remembering that in Puglia, restaurants usually open in the afternoon only from 20.00. Before that, they are open between 12.00 and 15.00. It is practically impossible to eat anything between 15.00pm and 20.00pm in an Italian restaurant. Only fast food remains, which is very rare in Apulia. A bun, a sandwich, a wafer or a banana in a moment of hunger that will catch you sooner or later are priceless.

day 2 - Barletta - Monte Sant'Angelo - Umbra Forest - Peschici - Vieste

trip length: 224 km
time of travel: 4 hours 1 min. (does not include time to visit attractions)
accommodation: Vieste
route map: open on Google map - [click]

Sightseeing route - day two, Apulia

comments:
It is the most difficult day for the driver during the entire trip. Although it does not look dangerous in numbers, there will be a lot of work. The difficult route begins when you get to Monte Sant'Angelo. It leads steeply uphill and meanders in serpentine. You will travel along narrow, winding and steep roads from now until the end of the day. You have to be very careful at every turn, because drivers coming from the opposite direction often cut corners. Despite the low traffic, in winter we had a few dangerous situations on this route related to cutting corners by the drivers. Therefore, the following kilometers are very slow and you have to be very patient. Guaranteed to be very tired at the end of the day.

Barletta

Nice town with two beaches, a promenade and monuments ... and a shocking entrance to the city.
Detailed information about Barletta can be found in a separate entry: Barletta - city attractions, map, sightseeing, accommodation. A quick guide.

Parking lot near the castle, GPS coordinates:
41°19’13.8″N 16°17’25.2″E
41.320499, 16.290328 - click and route

Barletta castle. Italy.
Monte Sant'Angelo

Picturesque cascade development of the city and a steep access road of exceptional beauty, with beautiful outcrops. A vital place of worship for the Catholic Church, a unique chapel and much more ...
Detailed information about Monte Sant'Angelo can be found in a separate entry: Monte Sant'Angelo - sightseeing, attractions, map, accommodation for holidays

Public parking at the Torre dei Giganti tower and the Castello di Monte Sant'Angelo castle, GPS coordinates:
41°42’26.3″N 15°57’04.8″E
41.707302, 15.951329 - click and route

attention: this car park is the most convenient place to start exploring the town.

Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo
Umbra Forest

A unique forest area and nature reserve for Italy, located in the central part of the peninsula and the Gargano National Park.
Detailed information about Foresta Umbra can be found in a separate entry: Foresta Umbra - Dark Woods in the heart of the Gargano National Park. Map of trails and walking paths

One of the car parks in the forest, close to the lake where animals come to drink, GPS coordinates:
41°49’07.4″N 15°59’54.4″E
41.818722, 15.998441 - click and route

attention: The forest covers a large area, so you will pass a lot of forest parking lots (it takes several dozen minutes to cross it). The above parking lot is just one of many places to stay.

Peschici

You must not miss this town. A fantastically atmospheric, tiny town!
Detailed information about Peschici can be found in a separate entry: Peschici - sightseeing, attractions, map, recommended accommodation for a vacation.

Parking in the upper part of the town, GPS coordinates:
41°56’42.1″N 16°00’50.3″E
41.945034, 16.013961 - click and route

attention: The car park I chose is located right in front of the historic part of the town. Of course you can try to go a bit further where there are parking spaces on the street, but it's quite tight. Then begins the restricted access zone, where only authorized vehicles can enter. A walk from the place proposed by me towards the historic center and the Castello Medioevale castle, situated on a steep cliff, allows you to see the most beautiful parts of the town.

Peschici - that's what the atmosphere has
Vieste

It is a tourist paradise. Huge sandy beaches, low-rise buildings devoid of hotel behemoths, a beautiful old town and countless restaurants and bars.
Detailed information on what to see, where to stay and how to spend time in Vieste can be found in a separate entry: Vieste - sightseeing, attractions, map, accommodation for holidays

Parking at Pizzomunno - a characteristic rock spire, GPS coordinates:
41°52’43.0″N 16°10’35.2″E
41.878616, 16.176451 - click and route

Rock spire in Vieste

day 3 - Vieste - Torre di San Felice - Castel Del Monte - Bari

trip length: 202 km
time of travel: 3 hours 7 min. (does not include time to visit attractions)
accommodation: Bari
route map: open on Google map - [click]

comments: the second half of the day and evening are dedicated to exploring Bari. Allow sufficient time for this. It is worth going out to see Bari so that you can see it on the border of day and dusk, when the street lamps in the old part of the city start to light up. These are magical moments. The city is changing in the eyes, every now and then it changes colors, it surprises us.
This day is planned in such a way that being here in winter, when the day is the shortest (dusk is around 18:00 pm), we had no rush with everything. Even in the morning in Vieste we sat for an hour in the sun on the beach.

Torre di San Felice

Coastal Tower of the Kingdom of Naples and a viewpoint over the Arco do San Felice rock formation. The best place to observe the arch and souvenir photos. More information about the tower and the rock arch can be found in a separate entry: Torre San Felice - tower and vantage point overlooking the rock arch of Arco San Felice.

Parking lot at the defensive tower overlooking the famous rock arch of Arco San Felice, GPS coordinates:
41°49’39.0″N 16°11’38.9″E
41.827488, 16.194135 - click and route

The rock arch of Arco San Felice seen from the vantage point at the tower of Torre di San Felice
Castel del Monte

A castle with an unknown purpose until today. Widely recognized as a masterpiece of military construction art (included in the list UNESCO international convention against doping in the sport), delightful with functionality until today. Learn its secrets collected in a separate entry: Castel del Monte - a medieval fortress of secrets, symbols and questions that are still unanswered

Tourist parking, GPS coordinates:
41°04’36.2″N 16°16’29.6″E
41.076726, 16.274878 - click and route

attention: from the tourist car park to the castle you have to walk about 1500m slightly uphill. The walk is very enjoyable and does a good job of getting off the beaten track after the car journey.

Castel del Monte
Bari

The city where the relics of St. Nicholas. Yes! The one we associate with gifts during Christmas. The city of Królowej Bona. From here she came to Poland and died here prematurely (she was poisoned). The city is beautiful, unique and (yet) free from the tourist crowd. A city to which we are happy to come back many times. Get to know Bari better in the post: Bari - sightseeing, map, attractions, hotels, accommodation. Guide.

Underground garage in the center, close to the historic center, GPS coordinates:
41°07’11.4″N 16°52’04.2″E
41.119835, 16.867819 - click and route

Bari gets new colors at dusk.

day 4 - Polignano a Mare - Monopoli - Monumental Olive Trees - Ostuni - Lecce

trip length: 164 km
time of travel: 2 hours 12 min. (does not include time to visit attractions)
accommodation: Lecce
route map: open on Google map - [click]

comments: the route looks quite innocent, few kilometers and a short total travel time, but I suggest not to add anything else here. In Polignano a Mare and Ostuni it is worth spending as much time as possible. These are unique places and it is not worth rushing. Time to visit Lecce during the day will be on the next day, so you may arrive late in Lecce. If you have enough strength, you can go for a night walk around the city. However, Monopoli disappointed us. If it had fallen out of the plan, we would not lose much (but in the pictures it is quite good 🙂)

Polignano a Mare

The insane scenery of this city, located on a rocky gorge and the seashore, warms the photographers' Instagram accounts to red. Photos from the beach in Polignano draw people from all over the world to Apulia. Everyone wants to see it with their own eyes and they leave satisfied. Read about visiting the town in a separate entry: Polignano a Mare - map, sightseeing, attractions, hotels, accommodation. Guide.

Parking at the viewpoint on the cliff, GPS coordinates:
40°59’49.2″N 17°13’03.1″E
40.997011, 17.217519 - click and route

Polignano a Mare
Monopoli

I had read a lot of good things about Monopoli before I left. Perhaps too much… Euphoric opinions about this city whetted my appetite and raised the bar high. Perhaps this is where the disappointment arose? Regardless of my subjective impressions, of course, I present a complete set of information along with maps, useful when visiting the city. I recommend that you read the details in a special entry: Monopoli - map, sightseeing, attractions, hotels, accommodation. Guide.

Parking near the port and the old town, GPS coordinates:
40°57’06.9″N 17°17’58.0″E
40.951916, 17.299432 - click and route

Monopoli - live impressions much weaker than in the pictures ... interesting fact.
Area of ​​monumental olive trees

Fantastic groves of olive trees that date back to 3000 years. Amazing impression. It is worth taking a ride among them, especially as they are on the way from Monopoli to Ostuni.
You can find more about this in the entry: Area of ​​monumental olive trees - Apulia

One of the places where the photo below was taken, GPS coordinates:
40°46’34.0″N 17°32’57.8″E
40.776103, 17.549393 - click and route

Monumental olive trees have beautiful shapes.
Ostuni

Flagship of Italy's "white city". Located on a hill, it creates a fanciful tangle of alleys, narrow streets, squares and stairs wrapped around the houses, partly carved directly into the rock. You have to see it!
Read more in a separate post: Ostuni - sightseeing, attractions, map, parking lots, hotels, accommodation. Guide.

Parking at the historic center of the town, GPS coordinates:
40°43’57.9″N 17°34’51.2″E
40.732760, 17.580891 - click and route

in Ostuni it is white in winter and summer 🙂
Lecce

A surprisingly beautiful city. Unique, richly ornamented, baroque facades fill the entire old town. You can't miss it!
Details of visiting Lecce can be found in a separate entry: Lecce - attractions, sightseeing, map, restaurants, hotels, accommodation, parking lots. Guide.

City parking near the historic center, GPS coordinates:
40°21’19.3″N 18°10’00.3″E
40.355351, 18.166752 - click and route

Lecce has a pleasant climate.

day 5 - Cave of Poetry - Sant'Andrea - Otranto - Santa Cesarea Terme - Cala dell'Acquaviva - Lecce

trip length: 123 km
time of travel: 2 hours 21 min. (does not include time to visit attractions)
accommodation: Lecce
route map: open on Google map - [click]

comments: most of the day's attractions do not involve long walking and walking (except Otranto), and the journey is short and not tiring. This is a very favorable circumstance, because the second half of the day is dedicated to visiting Lecce.

Cave of Poetry

The cave (grotto) of poetry. A beautiful creation of nature, amazing colors.
More information about the Cave of Poetry can be found in the post: Cave of Poetry - one of the 10 most beautiful natural pools in the world

Parking a few steps from the entrance to the area where the cave is located, GPS coordinates:
40°17’05.0″N 18°25’34.6″E
40.284717, 18.426279 - click and route

Another five minutes more on Cave of Poetry and I'd write a poem 5 percent.
Sant'Andrea

Probably the most beautiful part of this part of the coast. A jagged, rocky shore, insanely situated beaches pressed into the rocks, walking paths and a convenient, free parking lot at the viewpoint. You have to see it.
More about Sant'Andrea can be found in the post: Sant'Andrea - beaches, white cliffs and sun. How to get, where to park, what to see?

Coastal viewpoint.
Parking at the viewpoint, GPS coordinates:
40°15’20.3″N 18°26’39.8″E
40.255636, 18.444377 - click and route

Sant'Andrea - the views in every direction are amazing
Otranto

A small, beautiful and popular summer resort with a dramatic history from over 500 years ago. Read more in a separate post: Otranto - attractions, sightseeing, map, beaches, hotels, accommodation. Guide.

Parking 200 from the castle, GPS coordinates:
40°08’34.1″N 18°29’42.8″E
40.142816, 18.495229 - click and route

Castle of Otranto
Santa Cesarea Terme

Popular spa with pools with thermal water. You will learn more details in a separate entry: Santa Cesarea Terme - spa, thermal waters and laziness in the SPA

Parking lot overlooking the Palazzo Sticchi, GPS coordinates:
40°02’14.4″N 18°27’47.2″E
40.037339, 18.463103 - click and route

It's hard not to pay attention to the Palazzo Sticchi that towers over Santa Cesarea Terme
Cala dell'Acquaviva

One of the most picturesque bays and beaches in Apulia.
More information about Cala dell'Acquaviva can be found in the post: Cala dell'Acquaviva - a bay and a beach hidden in a small Ford in the south of Italy

Parking at the descent to the beach, GPS coordinates:
39°59’29.4″N 18°24’47.7″E
39.991500, 18.413254 - click and route

If Cala dell'Acquaviva beach looks like this on a cloudy day, what does it look like on a sunny day?
Lecce

More about Lecce: Lecce - attractions, sightseeing, map, restaurants, hotels, accommodation, parking lots. Guide.

City parking near the historic center, GPS coordinates:
40°21’19.3″N 18°10’00.3″E
40.355351, 18.166752 - click and route

The afternoon and evening of that day were dedicated to visiting Lecce.

day 6 - Canale del Ciolo - Leuca - Gallipoli - Lecce

trip length: 166 km
time of travel: 2 hours 39 min. (does not include time to visit attractions)
accommodation: Lecce
route map: open on Google map - [click]

Canale del Ciolo

Beautiful gorge for a short walk, or two trekking routes with amazing views for a slightly longer walk. More information on exploring the canyon and a description of the shawls with photos can be found in a separate entry: Canale del Ciolo and the trail to the Cipolliane grotto

Parking at the descent to the gorge, GPS coordinates:
39°50’36.5″N 18°23’09.8″E
39.843479, 18.386058 - click and route

Worth finding a few minutes for the short walk up the gorge.
Leuca

Leuca lies at the very end of the heel of an Italian shoe. Here something ends but also something begins ... and certainly something has started that has been influencing all of us for two thousand years.
Read more about Leuca in a separate post: Leuca - attractions, sightseeing, map, hotels, accommodation. Guide.

Street parking at the end of the land, GPS coordinates:
39°47’28.8″N 18°20’41.7″E
39.791328, 18.344903 - click and route

Leuca - land ends here. It can't be any further. We turn back.
Gallipoli

Gallipoli is a tiny town, but its importance in world history is surprisingly great. In a separate section, you will learn why Gallipoli was once as important as London or Paris and what has to do with the London stock exchange, shaping prices around the world. Read the Gallipoli guide: Gallipoli - attractions, sightseeing, map, hotels, accommodation, parking. Guide.

Parking just in front of the headland and restricted area, GPS coordinates:
40°03’17.8″N 17°58’55.0″E
40.054940, 17.981953 - click and route

Gallipoli turned out to be a very nice place.

day 7 - locorotondo - Alberobello - Matera

trip length: 187 km
time of travel: 2 hours 38 min. (does not include time to visit attractions)
accommodation: Matera
route map: open on Google map - [click]

comments: If, after a week of traveling in Apulia, you think that nothing will surprise you anymore, then that day you will find out several times that you are wrong. The plan is to visit three absolutely cosmic places. Prepare a jaw holder, because you will fall out a few times during the day 🙂 It would be best to spend not one but two days on these three towns, spending the night in Locorotondo or Alberobello. We visited Matera twice: on the day of arrival in the evening and the next day from morning to afternoon, because we had a flight only in the evening (from Matera to the airport in Bari it is close: about 50 minutes drive).

locorotondo

Locorotondo is definitely an underrated town… and that's good! Because in an absolutely cool place there is no crowd, crowds and noise of crowds. It's quiet, nice and incredibly beautiful. Don't miss this place for any reason! Maybe you can make it before numerous tours appear, which will probably happen sooner or later. Read more about this place and see more photos in a separate entry - [click].

Parking lot close to the historic center, GPS coordinates:
40°45’11.1″N 17°19’52.7″
40.753089, 17.331303 - click and route

Locorotondo is a complete getaway. It is very sorry to leave town.
Alberobello

Alerobello is a different, separate world. Suddenly, funny little houses spring up everywhere and you feel like someone has teleported you into the world of fairy tales.
A detailed guide to Alberobello can be found in the post: Alberobello - the land of trulli houses in sun-warmed Puglia. Sightseeing, hotels, accommodation.

Parking in the immediate vicinity of the trulli cluster, GPS coordinates:
40°46’56.8″N 17°14’21.0″E lub
40.782440, 17.239156 - click and route

In Alberobello, you move into a different world.
Matera

Let me say briefly: Matera is knocking you off your feet! This is a real knockout blow at the end of the tour. Read more about Mate in the post: Matera - attractions, sightseeing, map, hotels, restaurants, accommodation, parking lots. Guide.

Parking on the street in a parking zone allowed, GPS coordinates:
40°40’13.1″N 16°36’30.4″E
40.670309, 16.608430 - click and route

Matera is another place that is difficult to describe ...

day 8 - Matera - departure from Bari

As I wrote above, we used this day from the morning to visit Matera. The late hour of our return flight to Berlin allowed us to do so. So we had almost the entire additional day at our disposal. It was very useful. Without it, we wouldn't have had time to see even half of the city.
Transfer from Matera to the airport in Bari took less than an hour. The car's return to the rental company went very smoothly and it was done in a few minutes.

Apulia - package tours and travel agencies' offer

I searched the databases of travel agencies' offers to find out what their proposition was. I must say it is miserable. Travel agents have few offers and they are not necessarily attractive. It is clear that so far they are not doing a great job to propose and sell this destination. They are mainly limited to proposing accommodation and hotel offer without meals and with own transport.
Links to the offer of dozens of travel agencies collected in one place, in the price comparison engine, I place here: list of Apulia offers - [click]


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One thought on "Apulia (Puglia) - attractions, sightseeing by car, routes, map, monuments, beaches. Guide."

  • 11 June 2020 about 12: 18
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    great reportage-guide and nice photos. Thanks a lot 🙂

    Reply

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