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-metres 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. Travellers 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.

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Where to stay in Puglia: Boutique hotels, B&Bs and Trulli

Our Secretplaces team loves to travel to Puglia so much that we have found a truly exceptional and varied selection of beautiful hotels and accommodations in Puglia for you, all with that certain something. How about a manor house in Savelletri di Fasano or a boutique hotel in Otranto? Whether a holiday home for a family holiday or a romantic hotel for a short break for two - you will find it here. Probably the most exciting experience is a stay in a Trullo, a traditional roundhouse with a pointed roof. The Trulli have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and are simply part of the Apulian landscape, especially in the “Trulli capital” of Alberobello and in the Itria Valley.

What to see in Puglia: Culture and Nature

Puglia has so much to offer that you can easily spend two weeks here. The capital Bari is called the city of a thousand facets. Marvel at the interesting mixture of western and eastern influences, visit the San Nicola Basilica and the University Palace or take a walk along the beautiful waterfront.

In Lecce, the "Florence of the South", the spectacular cathedral and numerous museums with sculptures and archaeological remains from Roman times will entice you. Did you know that Lecce's architectural development has given rise to its very own architectural style, the "Lecce Baroque"?

You should not miss Otranto either, the "Gateway to the Orient". Italy's easternmost city en-chants with a mixture of oriental and occidental architecture.

But apart from cultural sights, you can use your holiday in Apulia just as well for sporty as for relaxing days. For example, enjoy the fantastic view of the sea on the Salento cycle loop and refresh yourself at one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, the Spiaggia di Pizzomunno. You can also go hiking in the Gargano National Park.

What to eat in Puglia: Olives and Wine

Generally speaking, Puglia's cuisine can be described as down-to-earth home cooking. As in almost all coastal regions of the world, fish is at the forefront of many traditional dishes, as are pasta and vegetables. This can probably be attributed to the region's history of poverty. Meat was a very expensive ingredient until the recent past and therefore hardly ever appeared on the plates.

The huge olive groves in the region are remarkable as well. About a quarter of Puglia's surface is covered with them, which corresponds to about 45% of all olive trees in Italy! So, you can look forward to tasting the green gold.

Puglia is also an ideal destination for wine lovers. Wine is grown on almost 90,000 hectares in the region. This means that the largest amount of wine in Italy is produced here, especially of course the typical Primitivo.

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