Also known as Apulia, Puglia is the heel of the boot region in southern Italy. Although rich in history and beauty, it’s still relatively undiscovered by the masses of tourists that visit Italy each year. I’ve been to Puglia a few times by now, for a few days to two weeks at a time and I made a list of my personal favorites in my 7 days to explore Puglia itinerary. The weather is pretty good in this southern region all year round, but I prefer September or October when the summer crowds have left and there are still many sunny days, even good days for a swim.
7 days itinerary to explore Puglia:
- Polignano a Mare
Day one – Bari
Getting to Bari is pretty simple as there are several international flights and good train connections to northern Italy. From the airport, take the train-it takes only 17 minutes from the airport to Bari Centrale and it costs 5 Euro/one way. Check the timetables here: ferrovienordbarese.
There are also bus connections with the ticket price ranging from 1 to 4 euro/ticket and it takes 30-60 minutes to get to the Central Station depending on the company. You can find the schedules here: bus schedule.
You don’t need a car for this part of the trip because regional trains are pretty reliable and not too expensive. Find accommodation to suit your travel style and budget close to The Old Bari-Bari Vecchia for a couple of nights. I am not a CouchSurfing type so I always use booking.com or airbnb.com.
Things to do in Bari
Check out the best things to do in Bari in my detailed post.
Day Two – Alberobello
I made this a day trip mostly because I prefer staying in a city where a lot of things happen. You might prefer to spend the night in the city of Trulli – Alberobello.
Back in Bari you should have a laid-back evening, admire the Adriatic Sea, and have a gelato. Choose flavors that use local ingredients like ricotta and figs or whatever else may strike your fancy.
Bari is a pretty lively city so you might want to follow a local events site like BariToday to see what is happening in the city.
Don’t make it a late night, in the morning you should visit the fish market in Porto Vecchio, where local fishermen prepare and sell their fresh catch. You can try shrimps, octopus, oysters, or sea urchins fresh out of the sea or just observe and take in the atmosphere.
After the fish market, we leave for Monopoli for the next few days.
Day Three – Leaving Bari-Going to Monopoli
Monopoli is a small white town on the blue coast of the Adriatic Sea. Before you know it, you will feel the time slowing down to the rhythm of the sunny south.
Click on Monopoli for my detailed post on how to get there, where to stay, and things to see in my detailed post.
Day Four – Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare is a spectacular city built on a high cliff with some impressive caves below it.
Click on Polignano a mare to read all about the day trip in my dedicated post.
Day Five – Ostuni
While Polignano was an easy ride, getting to Ostuni can be a little tricky.
You’ll find out how to get to Ostuni and about the things to do there in my detailed post.
At this point, you may be happy just visiting the city for a day or you might want to stay in a Masseria for a couple of nights and explore the countryside. If so, a rental car might come in handy.
A Masseria is a restored farmhouse, usually surrounded by olive groves. In this region, many of the Masserie offer Trulli accommodation and spoil guests with local goodies from their farm.
With a car, it will be easier to explore the surrounding villages and the beaches. You might also find bikes at the Masseria, and ride along the olive groves to see the most twisted trees.
If country life is not your thing, go back to Monopoli for the last night before leaving for Lecce.
Day Six – Lecce
Today, we step into Salento, a stretch of land between the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea, a peninsula in itself. The train ride from Monopoli takes about an hour and 15 minutes and the prices range from 7.90 to 22.50 euros. Check the timetables here and choose the most convenient for you.
Click the link to read the detailed post of my 3 reasons to love Lecce.
Day seven – Gallipoli – Final day of the itinerary in Puglia
Find out the details for a day trip to Gallipoli from Lecce.
Now, that was my fast-forward itinerary to explore Puglia in only 7 days. Of course, there are many other places to discover in the region on an extended stay.
Also, find out about volunteering for an olive farm in Puglia and get to know the country life there.
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