How to spend one week in Puglia

It was a grey day in London when we decided to book a flight to Puglia. A very last minute plan, which turned in one of the most incredible adventures so far. We planned 1 week in Puglia in such a short time, just a couple of days to understand where to go in Puglia and what to visit. A tour started from Brindisi and ended in Bari after days across dirt roads and incredible landscapes.

If you are thinking that one week in Puglia is not enough, you might be wrong. In this post, we will share with you how to spend a week in Puglia and be able to see the most beautiful cities.

Pack your bags, book your flight, take your camera, your sunglasses and enjoy the beautiful southern region called Puglia.

It might seem a clichè about Italy, but our country is so gorgeous, and some parts like Puglia are truly hidden gems, which are often out of the tourists’ radar. Puglia in one week was possible, even without renting a car. The public transport across the country wasn’t the best but did its job. But we will talk about our Puglia Road Trip Itinerary another time.

Ostuni view | One week in Puglia

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Is one week in Puglia enough?

Yes! Depending on what kind of itinerary you are looking for, you can manage your Puglia 7 days itinerary very easily. 

We wanted to answer this question before going further in the details of the itinerary. Puglia is the “heel of the boot”, looking at the shape of Italy. The Region itself is long and one week might be not enough to explore all, but just a section of it. Depending on what you want to prioritize, the cultural and traditional sites of Puglia or the amazing and unique beaches of the Region.

You can arrive in Bari and take a transfer to Matera and then go to Gallipoli. Or, if you are looking to relax only during your trip, you can plan to visit all the beaches of Salento’s coast. This will be easy if you land in Brindisi, which sees many flights from Jet2 and Ryanair. 

You can easily organise 1 week in Puglia and explore more about this Southern part of Italy. As you can see there are many options to visit Puglia, which you can change depending on the weather condition and period of the year.

How to spend a week in Puglia

Places to visit in 1 week in Puglia

Every place in Puglia is gorgeous and there is no city more beautiful than another. Known for its famous Trulli and the production of olive oil, during your week in Puglia you will discover amazing places.

We will take you with us on an incredible trip, a journey through enchanting villages and breathtaking landscapes.

This is our 1 week in Puglia itinerary and if you follow it step by step you won’t miss anything.

  • Day 1 | Brindisi
  • Day 2 | San Vito dei Normanni, Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca
  • Day 3 | Alberobello and Locorotondo
  • Day 4 | Martina Franca to Bari 
  • Day 5 | Monopoli
  • Day 6 | Polignano a Mare
  • Day 7 | Bari 

Puglia itinerary 7 days

Cathedral of the Visitation and Saint John Baptist - Brindisi Things to do
Brindisi is not a big city, but the architecture is really stunning. It will be a nice retreat to recharge your batteries before starting a one week in Puglia itnerary.

Day One: Arrival in Brindisi

Located in the middle of the region, Brindisi is the airport of Salento (the beachside of Puglia). Brindisi Airport it’s the main destination where all tourists arrive to travel South. From the arrival, you can also take a fast bus connection to Lecce, one of the most incredible cities in Puglia.

Planning your Puglia one week itinerary, you should spend at least one day in Brindisi. Start to admire the stunning Salento’s coastline and enjoy the architecture around the city. The city itself is not that big, with the seaport taking all the scenery. From the main city centre, you can reach the seaside in about 5 minutes walking. This part is often close to vehicles, which make Brindisi even more enjoyable. The city is calm and quiet, with all the beaches a few minutes away from the city centre, reachable also by public transport.

See Punta Penne as a location for your first swim in the beautiful Puglia Coastline. Check also Sciaia Beaches, a rock formation shoreline in the area known as “White houses” for the picturesque typical houses.

Places to visit in Brindisi

Are you curious to know more about Brindisi? Those are the things to do in Brindisi in one day:

MONUMENT TO ITALIAN SAILORS | While walking along Brindisi’s lungomare you will see from far away, a particular huge monument looking at the city at the entrance to the seaport.

This is an important column as it’s dedicated to the Italian sailors and is today the symbol of the city.

You can take a traghetto water bus and reach the other side of the cost and visit this beautiful monument. The ticket to the traghetto is costing just 1€ and you can purchase it onboard.

ARAGONESE CASTLE | Considered a symbol of the Christian west’s defence against the Muslim world, Aragonese Castle stands on the Sant’Andrea Island. Known as Red Castle for the colour of its stones, the building was built as a defensive outpost for the city.

REGINA MARGHERITA PROMENADE | One of the best ways to enjoy the Puglian lifestyle is to stroll around the historic centre and walk along Regina Margherita promenade. If you are planning a Puglia retreat in summer, you will find many locals in the evening walking around, sitting at the bars enjoying an aperitif. Eat an ice-cream and enjoy the walk close to the seaside!

BRINDISI CATHEDRAL | The architecture in Southern Italy is stunning and will leave you speechless. Brindisi Cathedral is known as the Cathedral of the Visitation and Saint John Baptist and it was built between 1098 and 1132. 

If you think that the outside area is amazing you still have to see the inside. The outside piazza (Square) is gorgeous, as it’s just in the middle of a beautiful square, the moment you will go inside, you see why we say that it’s worth visiting.

Day Two of Puglia One Week Itinerary

Discover San Vito dei Normanni, Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca

Ostuni white town in Puglia | How to spend a week in Puglia
We have included Ostuni on our second day through this beautiful part of Italy. Make sure your itinerary of one week in Puglia give you some time to explore Ostuni, even if it wil be for a few hours.

After staying in Brindisi for one day, you are now ready to discover the white villages of Puglia. In your one week in Puglia itinerary, those are the ones that you can’t miss: San Vito dei Normanni, Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca. All of them are very easy to reach with public transport. If you are willing to drive, you can also add a few spots on the itinerary and see the beautiful hills of the Itria Valley.

Arriving in Puglia the day before, you are recovered by the trip and full of energy for your amazing activities. This day has been planned to be one of the most incredible. You will discover the hidden part of Puglia, behind the paths of regular guides. Valle d’Itria is the internal part of Puglia, all related to hills, olives, trees and vineyards. Stop by the fields and discover the fruitful local production.

What you will see in the Itria Valley | Day Two of Puglia Itinerary

Martina Franca city centre | A week in Puglia
Ostuni view  | 1 week in Puglia itinerary

SAN VITO DEI NORMANNI | Before planning our week in Puglia, we never heard about San Vito dei Normanni. This cute and small town is located half an hour away from Brindisi and it’s worth a visit. If you are looking for hidden gems in Puglia, San Vito dei Normanni is the perfect place. Stroll around the city centre and discover the cute and narrow streets with iconic buildings.

OSTUNI | If you haven’t heard about Ostuni before, go and check on our Instagram all the famous spots in town. Considered one of the most beautiful white villages in Puglia, Ostuni is today a very touristic place worth visiting too. Easy to reach by bus, Ostuni will surprise you by its beauty and characteristic small streets. Ostuni will be the first step in the beautiful Valle d’Itria. 

Cisternino Old Town - Puglia One week itinerary

CISTERNINO | Less known compared to Ostuni, but more traditional. Visit Cisternino seems to step back in time. Visiting this little town was a pleasant surprise for us. Make sure you explore the historical old town and admire the stunning views over the Valley. From the top of the Terrazza of Cisternino, you can see on one side Alberobello and Locorotondo and from the other side Ostuni and Martina Franca.

MARTINA FRANCA | Not happy enough, we added another small town to our Puglia one week itinerary. From all the places we’ve been, Martina Franca was one of our favourites. It’s the typical off the beaten path place to include in your itinerary. You will be surprised to don’t spot many tourists around. Cheaper than Alberobello or Ostuni, Martina Franca is the perfect town to stay a couple of nights before moving to your next destination. Don’t miss the stunning Sa Martino Basilica and the particular narrow streets of the city centre.

Alberobello view | How to visit Puglia in one week
Make sure to include Alberobello in your Puglia itinerary one week – The unique white town is unmissable for every traveller discovering Apulia, in Southern Italy

Day Three: Alberobello and Locorotondo

You can’t leave Puglia without paying a visit to Alberobello and Locorotondo. Both of them are easy to reach by train and are located very close to each other. You can plan to spend the morning in Alberobello and the afternoon in Locorotondo or vice versa. The most important thing is that you don’t leave Puglia without seeing those two cities. We suggest you plan the early morning in Alberobello, a little stop on the way for lunch and then Locorotondo in the afternoon. The reason behind is that Locorotondo becomes awesome at sunset, with the amazing lights that envelop the entire village.

Puglia itinerary 7 days | Locorotondo views
Alberobello photos | Puglia 7 day itinerary

What to visit in Alberobello and Locorotondo

ALBEROBELLO | Alberobello is famous for its Trulli, which are the particular cone shape of the house’s roof of this white town. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Alberobello is a must-see in your one week in Puglia.

Stroll around the old town, over more than just a souvenir place, many little trullo’s let you get inside and discover how those are built. There are many incredible constructions in Alberobello worth visiting. There is the Church with a cone-shaped roof, the Twin Trullo and the mayor Trullo (Trullo Sovrano).

Do you want to know where are the best photo spots in Alberobello? Check our Puglia photography itinerary.

LOCOROTONDO | Less touristy than Alberobello, Locorotondo is known for its circular city centre and the delicious wines. Do you want to know why it is called Locorotondo? Its circular structure was made up with the name “Round Place” so it means that while around the city centre, you will feel even more the circular path.

What to do on Day Four of Puglia Itinerary

Travel from Martina Franca to Bari

Martina Franca city centre | A week in Puglia

Now it’s time to move close to the seaside of Puglia. From Martina Franca, you can reach Bari within two hours with the train and the bus. Check here your journey in advance as you might be lucky to have the direct train to Bari from Martina Franca. 

Once you arrive in Bari and you settle in your accommodation, you are now ready to explore the big capital. Bari is huge and one day might be not enough. If you are departing from Bari, try to see if there are any flights available in the evening. In this way, you have the entire morning and afternoon before your departure to explore more about Bari. Check our itinerary of things to do in Bari.

Day five in Puglia diving in the blue water

Discover the beautiful beach town of Monopoli

Best beaches in Puglia | Puglia one week itinerary

If the Amalfi Coast left you speechless, wait to see the Salento’s coastline. From Bari, there is a direct train to Monopoli which will take less than an hour. Don’t waste your time and plan in advance every single destination of your 1 week in Puglia! We found Monopoli even better than Polignano a Mare as it’s less touristic and more photogenic. 

See our Puglia photography Itinerary and discover all the beautiful spots around Monopoli. Being based in Bari has given us the chance to explore one sea town at the time. The first day we decided to head to Monopoli.

Monopoli port |  1 week in Puglia

Things you can’t miss in one day in Monopoli

CARLO V CASTLE | This 16th-century castle has become a popular spot where to host weddings and events. You can find the exact location of the castle here. If you are lucky enough, you can access the roof and have a spectacular view of the old town and the sea.

CALA PORTA VECCHIA | There is no better way than enjoying Monopoli on a sandy beach while admiring the infinite and crystal blue of the Adriatic Sea. Find your spot, place your swim towel and enjoy the sun!

CATTEDRALE MARIA SANTISSIMA DELLA MEDIA | All the churches in Italy are pretty but this one in particular. The construction began in 1107 but it was stopped for the lack of roof beams. In 1117 a miracle happened when a raft, carrying an icon of Madonna, drifted into the harbour and the raft beams were used to finish the roof. Make sure you reserve some time to visit this beautiful church in Monopoli.

PALMIERI PALACE | This gorgeous palace is an amazing example of Lecce-inspired architecture (or known as Salentino Baroque). Built for the local Palmieri family, this Baroque palace is today a must-see in Monopoli!

MONOPOLI PORT | There is nothing more photogenic than the colourful boats and blue water of Monopoli’s port. Make sure you got your camera ready as you will be inspired by the beauty surrounding this side of the city.

Day six in Puglia chasing the sun

Discover the wonderful Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare | Best beaches in Puglia | Weekend Puglia Low cost

Last but not least of one week in Puglia itinerary is the famous Polignano a Mare. Made famous by the Domenico Modugno song famous all around the world “Volare”. Recently, this town in Puglia has become famous thanks to the Instagram spots. This is not the only reason. We bet that you’ve heard about the song “Volare”.

Polignano a Mare is becoming popular among tourists nowadays for the cliffs dropdown. The images of the houses hanging on the cliffs are popping all over your Instagram feed, especially in summer, when the little cobblestone beach of Polignano becomes packed.

The shore is insane and hit by the sea with immense power. The best time to visit the famous cliffs is in the afternoon when the lights hit the houses on the opposite side.

What to visit in Polignano

Polignano a Mare landscape | A week in Puglia itinenrary

POLIGNANO OLD TOWN | The cute narrow streets of the city centre are a must in Polignano. Even if you don’t know where you are going, follow the streets and get lost around Polignano’s beautiful buildings and architecture.

DOMENICO MODUGNO STATUE | One of the top things to do in Polignano a Mare is admiring the statue of Domenico Modugno facing the town centre. This is the place where he was born and inspired him for the song “Volare” which had amazing success during Sanremo in 1959.

SWIM IN THE PICTURESQUE CALA PORTO | Did you know that Cala Porto is considered one of the best beaches in Puglia? The crystal blue water is visible from far away and a swim inside the paradise is a must!

The main shore of Polignano a Mare - Puglia one week itinerary

STROLL AROUND VICOLO DELLA POESIA | One of the most famous spots in Polignano is Vicolo della Poesia. If you are looking on Google Maps you won’t find the exact location so two are the options: Ask someone or get lost! Either way, you will love this “Vicolo” as it’s a tiny space which represents the town’s most famous poetry steps.

ENJOY THE VIEW FROM BALCONATA SUL MARE | If you put on your Instagram Polignano a Mare, you will see the famous picture from the top of Balconata Sul Mare. You have in front of you only the infinite horizon and blue of the sea.

It’s one of the best spots where you can see the sea on one side and the old town from the other so make sure you put this location in your Polignano itinerary.

Day Seven: Departure from Bari Airport

It’s time to say bye-bye to a beautiful week in Puglia. If you have the chance, book your return ticket in the evening so you’ll be able to enjoy a bit more the gorgeous city of Bari. You can start the day with a typical Italian breakfast with a croissant and a Cappuccino and then move around the old town. If you don’t want to stay with your backpacks or luggage, you can book your locker close to the Bari train station.

How to get to Puglia 

As you understood from our one-week itinerary in Puglia, there are two main airports in the Region. If you are looking to discover all the beautiful places in Puglia, we suggest you plan ahead your trip and play with the two airports. One is more close to the northern part of the Region the other is the gateway to the southern beaches.

How to travel from Bari Airport

BARI AIRPORT BY BUS | If you are travelling to Puglia on a budget, the cheapest way to reach the airport is with bus 16. With only €1.00 (the regular ticket fee) you can make it to the airport. The travel time is about 50 minutes depending on traffic but at least is one of the best low-cost options to travel to Bari airport.

BY TRAIN | Another way to reach the airport is by train. There are two ways: the normal train or the tube. The train (Ferrovia Regionale FR2, grey) will take less than the bus, but sometimes you have to change trains before reaching Bari train station. The same is for the tube (Ferrovia Metropolitana FM2, yellow) and the price is the same for both, €5,00.

BY TAXI | This is the best way to reach Bari Airport, but also the most expensive one.  If you want to travel with all the comforts, we suggest you book a private transfer from the airport to the city centre.

Brindisi Airport Transport Guide

BY BUS | Our journey by bus from Brindisi Airport to the city centre was the quickest and cheapest one ever. The AP bus will take no more than 20 minutes and it costs just €1,00 per adult. You can purchase your tickets at the bar just in front of the arrival exit or you can purchase it on board for €1,50. 

It’s the cheapest way to travel in Puglia especially if you are looking for an on a budget itinerary. Remember to take with you some cash as not always they accept Debit or Credit Cards especially when you need to pay only €1,00.

From Brindisi Airport, you can also take the couch to Lecce, to enjoy the beaches of Salento. The ride will take about two hours and the fee is about 2,50 euro.

BY TAXI | Do you want an easy way to travel to Brindisi city centre from the Airport without thinking about public transports? Check here the availability and book your private transfer.

One Week in Puglia Car Rental

Road Trip Horizon in the car

Planning a Road trip in Puglia, the first common question is coming regarding the car rental. If you are looking to drive in Italy, you can check some suggestions below. There are many Car Hire Stands at the main airports. If you are willing to explore the Valle d’Itria, the hills and internal side of Puglia, at the Bari Airport you can find the major companies at the arrival. If you are landing in Brindisi, heading to the south, also at the arrival you can find the stands of well-known companies.

Compare the best price to hire a car in Bari AirportBrindisi Airport

Q&A One week in Puglia Itinerary

Why you should visit Puglia

Puglia is a must-see in Italy and not many know the existence of this beautiful Region. If after this post we made you want to go to Puglia, you should read here all our reasons why Puglia is worth visiting. A week in Puglia is something that you have to do at least once in your life. The stunning scenarios, delicious food and friendly people, will make your Puglia itinerary 7 days the best one of your life!

How many days do you need in Puglia?

Even planning a week in Puglia will be not enough. Puglia is really big, and we think visiting this part of Italy just one time will not give you a full idea of the entire country. To answer this question, we will say that it is good if you plan your Puglia holidays per stage. It is good to divide it for more internal paths, like this itinerary and a second stage which will involve more the beaches of the South. Depending on when you are visiting Puglia, we can say that the second part is perfect for summer. Instead, you can consider the first as spring break or a later summer retreat.

What is the best town to stay in Puglia?

We love to give this kind of advice. Puglia is beautiful everywhere but, there are worth to stay and others that you can skip. The best town to stay in Puglia are: 
Alberobello – Can be pricey almost all year
Polignano a Mare – Crazy busy in summer
Ostuni – It’s incredible for landscapes and activities
Otranto – Close to the sea and beaches
Lecce – City vibes with architecture and nightlife
Monopoli – The best alternative to Polignano a Mare
Vieste – Off the beaten path alternative to the south
Trani – Hidden gem of Puglia, worth to visit
Martina Franca – Loved the vibes and good alternative to Locorotondo and Alberobello
Brindisi – A night stay is enough after landing in Puglia

What is the best time to visit Puglia?

The incredible Mediterranean climate of Puglia will make you want to move there. Puglia has got super hot dry summers and mild winters. The best time to visit Puglia is in June. July and August are extremely hot with temperatures over 30°C. Bear in mind that even if extremely hot in summer, the temperatures at night can drop a bit and it requires a lightweight jacket.

Is driving in Puglia difficult?

We are Italian and can say that it is not. Unfortunately, the impact with the Italian drivers can be traumatic a bit. If you don’t take the chance to drive in Italy you will miss a lot. Puglia is well known for its incredible landscapes. Driving a car means more flexibility. You can spot many hidden towns and incredible places, pull over and discover amazing new places. Some towns are built in remote places inaccessible for public transport or extremely hard to reach if you rent a car you will have more chances to do that.

Is Puglia safe for tourists?

Yes! Puglia is safe for tourists. This country in Southern Italy is one of the safest ones we have travelled to. We have been discovering the Region through public transport and it was extremely safe. We didn’t have any problem or felt unsafe.

One week itinerary in Puglia
7 days itinerary in Puglia, Italy
Onw week in Puglia, Italy
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