Puglia Travel Guide

No matter what you consider the perfect holiday experience, there are wonderful and exciting things to do in Puglia. Ocean-goers can find white sandy beaches reminiscent of the Caribbean or secret swimming coves beneath jagged cliffs that plunge hundreds of feet into the sea. There is excellent sailing and snorkeling. Many of the beach towns have white limestone promenades for evening drinks and watching the sunset. Early risers can catch a glimpse of fishermen cleaning their nets and visit the seafood markets to survey the pesce del giorno.

Even though most people think of the beach first when considering what to do in Puglia, the beautiful hills and valleys of the upcountry deserve a visit as well. Rent bicycles for an unforgettable ride through vineyards, olive groves and fragrant fields of lavender. Take a hike in Gargano National Park, one of the most breathtaking natural sites in Italy. Dense forest gives way to limestone cliffs above the glittering sea. Grottos and caverns dot the coastline.

Italy is a foodie’s paradise, so there are plenty of culinary things to do in Puglia. Food festivals, gourmet tours, cooking classes and well-stocked farmers markets await travelers. There are bike tours that take you between wine-tastings and olive oil-tastings at the many beautiful vineyards in the hills. Travel + Leisure shows you the best of what to do in Puglia so that your time in this mezzogiorno region will be unforgettable.

A swimming beach run by the same proprietors as A Casa tu Martinu.

Boat tours of the caves near Santa Maria di Leuca.

Visit the "Florence of the Baroque," the lovely city of Lecce; its unique buildings—many with wild sculptures—are filled with workshops crafting the town’s renowned painted papier-mâché saints destined for church altars around the world.

Traditional dried pasta.

Well-chosen Salentine crafts.