Are you planning a trip to the beautiful south coast of Italy? After spending a week exploring the idyllic Puglia region of Italy I’ve come up with the best places to stay in Puglia on your holiday.
With plenty of sunshine (and a bit of wind), gorgeous sandy beaches and a wealth of history the Puglia region is a great place to stay on your holiday to Italy. Soak up the Italian way of life, which mainly involves lots of food, relaxing and wine. If that’s your ideal week away then keep reading for the best places to stay on your trip.
After spending a week in Puglia I’ve picked my favourite locations for where to stay in Puglia. On the beautifully created Google map, I’ve added all the spots including Brindisi International Airport. This is the closest airport to all these locations and places to stay in Puglia.
Maybe base yourself at one location for the ultimate chill out or maybe hire a car and travel around this beautiful part of Italy staying at different places along the way.
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Staying in historic Lecce
Lecce is the capital of the Lecce Province and would make a perfect place to stay on your trip to Puglia. The closest city to the International airport. It is also the largest in the Puglia area, with a population of c. 100,000.
Arriving in Lecce, you’re met with a mix of old and new, outside the old town, there are new buildings and shops. But once you walk through the majestic city gates you’ll see an abundance of history around every corner. Plus lots of cute bars, cafes and restaurants.
Walking through the streets of Lecce you can admire the buildings made out of the famous Lecce stone (a soft stone also used to make sculptures which you’ll see on sale in the shops). Then as the evening draws closer the streets will start getting busier with locals making their regular stroll before dinner, of course, you have to try the pasta!
Check out some gorgeous options for places to stay in Puglia with villas and apartments from Clickstay
The cute town of Nardo
Nardo although smaller than Lecce is still steeped with wonderful Italian history and gorgeous buildings and streets to explore. Slightly closer to the coast on the west side of the Puglia region, Nardo gives you the option to explore both the historic town and coastal walks.
Nardo also has its own Castle with surrounding gardens to walk in the shade on a hot day, a cute square where you can eat gelato by day and drink wine by night, where the whole area becomes a buzz of people talking and laughing.
Stay by the coast in Gallipoli
Staying in Gallipoli is a popular place to stay in Puglia and you can see why with gorgeous sunsets in the sea it’s hard not to love. Gallipoli is a maze of cafes, restaurants and shops. The tiny streets twist and turn, with an array of everything from fruit and veg to tacky souvenirs. The best thing is you can spend each evening trying different places to enjoy the sunset with a glass of wine.
- If you decide to stay in Gallipoli then Lecce town isn’t too far away, about 40 km/ 25 miles drive. So you can enjoy the best of both places.
Try the small town of Roca on the coast
Roca is a small coastal town on the east side, close to nearby Otranto, which I will tell you about next. The main highlights for staying here are the interesting historic sites along the coast the Area Archeological di Roca Vecchia and the Torre di Roca.
But if that’s not enough to tempt you then maybe the beautiful natural Grotte della Poesia will! You can enjoy the swimming in the cool ocean, without the sandy beaches in this completely natural swimming hole. Again it’s popular with the locals too so time your visit so it’s not on the busy weekends.
If rocks aren’t you thing then don’t worry, there are some wonderful beaches close by too. Again, you get the best of both options staying here.
Stay at another historic town Otranto
Lastly, another historic town that you can easily fall in love with, the town itself only has one small sandy beach but a short drive away and there are some gorgeous beaches where you can really relax and unwind on your holiday.
The town itself has a similar vibe to Gallipoli, a coastal town with plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops and bars for everyone to enjoy. Again thrown in is the beautiful history of the town.
A popular tourist attraction only a short drive (about 3 km) is the Lake of Bauxite della Cava, in the Lecce Province. An old quarry which is a real tourist magnet, so don’t go at the weekend if you can help it! A mix of the turquoise lake and bright red sandy around the quarry make for some stunning photos (time your visit when the sun is at it’s highest for better photos of the quarry colours.
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I hope that gives you some ideas and inspiration for the best places to stay in Puglia. Feel free to ask me anyone questions about the Puglia region in the comments below.
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