Puglia - The enchanting heel of Italy

Enchanting landscapes, historic villages and dreamy beaches: the "heel" of the Italian boot has something to offer for everyone. Puglia, Italy's easternmost region, stretches 800 kilo-meters of high coastline towards the Adriatic Sea. Here, nature begins its transformation from the gentle hilly landscapes of northern Italy to a typically Mediterranean scenery that resembles Greece more than Tuscany or Lombardy.

Bizarre cliffs, grottos and sinkholes alternate with golden sandy beaches. Travelers will not only find varied landscapes in Puglia, but also a cultural heritage that is no less impressive. Bari, the capital of the region, and also many smaller towns such as Lecce, Brindisi or Ostuni have many exciting attractions to offer. Puglia is a real treasure trove for anyone who enjoys nature and culture in equal measure.

Puglia offers a unique experience that combines relaxation, romance, and the charm of Italian coastal life, making it an appealing destination for those seeking an escape. Puglia has so much to explore.

Our favorite places to stay, towns, and villages:

  • Where to stay in Puglia
  • What to do in Puglia: lesser-known attractions, activities, and memorable experiences
  • The culinary scene in Puglia

Explore our carefully curated selection of exceptional accommodations throughout the captivating region of Puglia. From the best boutique hotels in Puglia that blend contemporary design with timeless charm, to small B&Bs and charming holiday apartments in the region, to unique and authentic trulli hotels in Puglia our guide showcases stylish holiday rentals. For those in pursuit of elegance and comfort, delve into our collection of elegant luxury hotels in Puglia, with stunning sea views or within the hinterlands of the beautiful region. And, if you rather self-cater, we recommend to check out our selection of the most beautiful holiday villas in Puglia, for a more independent stay. Make sure to check out our collections to discover the best holiday accommodations in Puglia, that the Secretplaces team has carefully handpicked for your perfect vacation.

Where to stay in Puglia

Choose from our romantic and boutique Puglia hotels by clicking on the map or list on the right. These will highlight a wide selection of Puglia hotels, including charming Ostuni hotels, trullis in Fasano, bed & breakfasts, romantic Brindisi hotels amongst others. Whatever your taste, we’ll help you find that perfect getaway.

What to do in Puglia

Apulia has so much to offer that you can easily spend two weeks here and enjoy it thoroughly. The capital, Bari, is known as the city of a thousand facets. Here, you can marvel at the interesting blend of Western and Eastern influences, visit the San Nicola Basilica and the University Palace, or take a stroll along the beautiful waterfront.

In Lecce, the "Florence of the South," you'll be drawn to the spectacular cathedral and numerous museums with sculptures and archaeological remains from Roman times. Did you know that the architectural style in Lecce has its own name, "Leccese Baroque," due to its unique development? Here, you can find a selection of charming bed and breakfasts in Lecce.

You definitely shouldn't miss Otranto, the "Gateway to the East." The easternmost city in Italy captivates with a blend of Oriental and Occidental architecture. Stay in one of our handpicked boutique hotels in Otranto.

Don't miss out on Grotta della Poesia, a magnificent sea cave located close to the city of Lecce. Inside, sunlight illuminates greenish-blue waterways and beautiful rock formations.

While in Puglia, visit Porto Selvaggio, a beautiful natural reserve near Gallipoli. Beautiful cliffs, sparkling lakes, and gorgeous hiking trails across lush countryside await you here.

Hike along the Trulli Trail to properly enjoy the splendor of this location. Put on your walking shoes and enjoy this well-known path, which provides spectacular views of the countryside, antique trulli houses, and attractive villages. Here, you'll encounter the authentic world of trulli, cone-shaped stone huts that have stood for centuries and tell a story of the region's rich history and culture. These authentic accommodations have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and are simply part of the Apulian landscape, especially in the unofficial trulli capital, Alberobello, and in the Itria Valley.

Lastly, Puglia has some fantastic beaches to relax on. Enjoy the sun and unwind on the beautiful shores, such as Baia dei Turchi near Otranto, Punta Prosciutto near Porto Cesareo, and the peaceful sands of Torre Lapillo.

Puglia welcomes you to embrace its unique traditions and create amazing memories in this corner of Italy, whether you're drawn to its historic wonders’ culinary delicacies, or coastline splendors.

Authentic Culinary Delights of Puglia

In general, Apulian cuisine can be described as hearty, home-cooked food. Like in many coastal regions around the world, fish takes the forefront in many traditional dishes here, along with pasta and vegetables. This can be attributed to the region's history of poverty. Meat was a very expensive ingredient until recent times and was rarely found on people's plates.

Apulia is also known for its delicious cheeses – Burrata and Stracciatella di bufala are must-try options. A famous dish from Apulia is Orecchiette with cime di rapa, a pasta dish that is very popular in the region. Focaccia is also a typical Apulian dish, prepared in various variations with onions, olives, tomatoes, or potatoes.

The vast olive groves in the region are also remarkable. Approximately a quarter of Apulia's land is covered with olive trees, which accounts for about 45% of all olive trees in Italy. So, you can look forward to tasting the green gold.

Apulia also has something to satisfy your sweet tooth – Pasticciotto, a pastry filled with vanilla pudding, is often eaten for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack. They originally come from Lecce but can be found all over Apulia.

Apulia is also an ideal destination for wine lovers. The region cultivates wine on nearly 90,000 hectares of land, producing the largest quantity of wine in Italy, especially the typical Primitivo variety.

To delve deeper into the exquisite culinary treasures that grace the beautiful region of Puglia, we invite you to explore our blog, thoughtfully crafted by an Italian connoisseur, offering a journey to uncover the authentic gastronomic wonders of this remarkable place.