It was a grey day in London when we decided to book a flight to Puglia. A very last-minute plan, which turned into one of the most incredible adventures so far. We planned one 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 think 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 and sunglasses, and enjoy Puglia’s beautiful southern region.
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.
Is one week in Puglia enough?
Yes! Depending on what kind of itinerary you are looking for, you can easily manage your Puglia 7 days itinerary.
We wanted to answer this question before going further into 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 not be enough to explore all, but just a section of it. Depending on what you want to prioritise, the cultural and traditional sites of Puglia or the fantastic 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 one 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.
What to see in Puglia in one week
Every place in Puglia is gorgeous, and no city is more beautiful than another. Known for its famous Trulli and the production of olive oil, during your week in Puglia, you will discover unique places.
We will take you with us on an incredible trip, a journey through enchanting villages and breathtaking landscapes.
This is our one 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
- Day One | Arrival in Brindisi
- Places to visit in Brindisi
- Discover San Vito dei Normanni, Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca
- What you will see in the Itria Valley | Day Two of Puglia Itinerary
- SAN VITO DEI NORMANNI
- MARTINA FRANCA
- Travel from Martina Franca to Bari
- Discover the beautiful beach town of Monopoli
- Things you can’t miss in one day in Monopoli
- Discover the wonderful Polignano a Mare
- What to visit in Polignano
- Day Seven: Departure from Bari Airport
- How to travel from Bari Airport
- Brindisi Airport Transport Guide
Unmissable places on the Puglia itinerary 7 days
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 leading 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 coastline and enjoy the architecture around the city. The city itself is not that big, with the seaport taking all the scenery. You can reach the seaside in about 5 minutes of walking from the main city centre. This part is often close to vehicles, making Brindisi even more enjoyable. The city is calm and quiet, with all the beaches a few minutes away from the city centre, also reachable 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 typical picturesque 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, reach the other side of the coast, and visit this beautiful monument. The ticket to the traghetto costs 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 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 the 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 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 fantastic, you still have to see the inside. The outdoor piazza (Square) is gorgeous, as it’s just in the middle of a beautiful square; the moment you 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
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, Locorotondo 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 from the trip and full of energy for your unique 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.
READ ALSO | Things to eat in Puglia, Italy
What you will see in the Itria Valley | Day Two of Puglia Itinerary
SAN VITO DEI NORMANNI
Before planning our week in Puglia, we had 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 narrow streets with iconic buildings.
If you haven’t heard about Ostuni before, check our Instagram for 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, the white village will surprise you with its beauty and characteristic small streets. Ostuni will be the first step in the beautiful Valle d’Itria.
READ MORE | Discover all the top 10 things to do in Ostuni, Puglia
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.
Not happy enough, we added another small town to our Puglia one week itinerary. Of all the places we’ve been to, 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 San Martino Basilica and the particularly narrow streets of the city centre. If you want to discover all the top places where to stay in Puglia, Italy, read our ultimate guide here.
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 this is that Locorotondo becomes awesome at sunset, with the amazing lights that envelop the entire village.
Are you looking for things to do in Alberobello? Check out the latest itinerary!
What to visit in Alberobello and Locorotondo
One week in Puglia itinerary
Alberobello is famous for its Trulli, which is the particular cone shape of the house’s roof in 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 trullos 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 the best photo spots in Alberobello are? Check our Puglia photography itinerary.
LOCOROTONDO | Less touristy than Alberobello, Locorotondo is known for its circular city centre and its 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 the circular path.
Did you know that Alberobello e Locorotondo is considered the best places to visit in Puglia? if you want to discover more places around this gorgeous region, read our ultimate guide here.
READ ALSO | A short guide to Locorotondo Italy
What to do on Day Four of Puglia Itinerary
Travel from Martina Franca to Bari
Now it’s time to move close to the seaside of Puglia. From Martina Franca, you can reach Bari within two hours by train and 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 not be enough. If you are departing from Bari, try to see if any flights are 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
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 allowed us to explore one sea town at a time. On the first day, we decided to head to Monopoli.
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 of 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 (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.
To know more, read our ultimate guide to Monopoli!
Day six in Puglia chasing the sun
Discover the wonderful Polignano a Mare
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 its 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.
READ ALSO | Amazing day trips from Bari Italy
What to visit in Polignano
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 admire 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!
READ ALSO | Ultimate guide of all the things to do in Polignano
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 representing 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 the blue of the sea.
It’s one of the best spots where you can see the sea on one side and the old town on 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.
READ ALSO | Top things to do in Bari
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 for your trip and play with the two airports. One is closer 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 travel to Puglia on a budget, the cheapest way to reach the airport is by 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 it 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 costs €1,00 per adult. You can purchase your tickets at the bar just in front of the arrival exit, or you can purchase them onboard for €1,50.
It’s the cheapest way to travel in Puglia, especially if you are looking for a budget itinerary. Remember to take with you some cash as they do not always 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 costs about 2,50 euros.
BY TAXI | Do you want an easy way to travel to Brindisi city centre from the Airport without thinking about public transport? Check the availability here and book your private transfer.
One Week in Puglia Car Rental
Planning a Road trip in Puglia, the first common question is coming regarding the car rental. If you want 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 the 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 Airport – Brindisi Airport
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR PUGLIA, ITALY
Don’t travel anywhere without travel insurance, no matter your journey. We have learned that at our expense while travelling from Dubrovnik to Hvar, our ferry was cancelled because of rough sea weather.
Even though Puglia is safe, the pandemic taught many people that things might go wrong everywhere in the world, and insurance is frequently the only option to mitigate any problems with the least cost or stress to you.
Hey Mondo | COVID-19 coverage, medical expenses and total travel costs. A fantastic app with 24-hour medical care and no extra charges. You can save 5% on your insurance by booking through our link.
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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 not be 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 into more internal paths, like this itinerary and a second stage which will involve more of 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 staying 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 on 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 problems or felt unsafe.
6 thoughts on “One week in Puglia itinerary | Best places to see in Puglia in 7 days”
I really enjoyed your post. I like the idea of starting in Bríndisi and ending in Bari. I’m just a little confused about how to do this trip without a car. Can you please explain a little further? Grazie
Hello Maurita, we used mainly trains (using trenitalia website) and local buses to move around. If you’re unsure, when boarding the train/bus you can always ask the conductor which one is the best stop to get off. In Ostuni, we took the bus from San Vito Dei Normanni and the driver kindly dropped us to the closest street to reach the city centre. You can check our videos as well, maybe it will help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUC6Ry6L_yg&t=78s (this is the first part, there is a second one as well).
Where did you actually spend the night? I was a little Confused reading the blog.
Hi Bri, thank you for reading our suggestions for your next trip to Puglia. Please check this post with all the recommendations on where to stay in Puglia! 🙂
Thanks so much for such a helpful guide. We are visiting in May and have hired a car, does a visit to Taranto need more than a day, we have 8 nights in Puglia area and wondered if we should include it/ Any advice?
Hi Sue, thank you very much for the comment. May is the perfect time to explore Puglia. Taranto is possible in a day, cities in Puglia are not big, and the old town and significant sightseeing are close each other. Honestly, If you are doing Valle d’Itria, Polignano and the East Coast, I would not include Taranto as it is on the opposite side. Instead, if you are travelling to South, exploring Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca, is worth to plan a trip to Taranto on your way back to Bari. Let us know if you need more advice! Just to let you know on our instagram and Youtube there are many videos of our trip, just to have more visual of it.