Puglia attracts thousands of tourists every year. Most of the visitors are attracted by the beaches and the cuisine and end up discovering a varied territory, made up of ancient villages and natural beauties. The region offers explorers many lesser-known places to enjoy not only in summer but all year round.
We propose here a list of hidden places to visit in Puglia:
1 – Terra delle Gravine natural park
It is a nature reserve between Brindisi and Taranto, famous for its ravines, very deep canyons of karst origin, which open up between the mountains, and create a breathtaking landscape.
In addition to the scenic beauty, they also have historical significance, with ancient signs of human presence.
2 – Massafra
It is a charming center with old streets and perched palaces.
From Massafra you can admire the spectacular ravines, where you can go and discover rock villages and churches carved into the rock. These ancient places of worship also date back to the 4th century AD and show traces of the frescoes of the time.
3 – Gargano Park
The Gargano offers numerous paths, with walks in panoramic points or horseback excursions. The promontory is full of greenery, with pines, holm oaks, olive and almond trees. The landscape varies from the vast beaches in the northern part to the southernmost rocky area, where you descend towards splendid sandy coves facing a crystalline sea.
4 – Locorotondo
Locorotondo surprises for the relaxed atmosphere that reigns among its orderly streets, for the flower-filled balconies and the typical limestone slabs that cover the roofs. The dominant color is white.
The village is located on a hill surrounded by vineyards. All the surrounding hills are terraced and cultivated, and famous local wines, both white and red, come from here.
5 – Itinerary of the Giants
A path among the millenary olive trees of Puglia, not far from Ostuni. A walk of a couple of hours among majestic and ancient plants. These plants which over the centuries have taken on different forms and are always fascinating to the eye. The visit joins the tastings of the oil and other farm products.
6 – Castellana Caves
The caves extend beneath the Itria valley, with impressive rock formations and underground lakes to explore with local guides. The route reaches a depth of 70 meters and extends over 3 kilometres, which makes them the largest karst caves in the world. The visit is possible both during the day and at night.
7 – San Vito Abbey, in Polignano
It is a place that is not well known and is located in the province of Bari, a few kilometers from the wonderful Polignano. It is a Benedictine abbey overlooking the sea and abandoned for some time. The abbey cannot be visited but its charm is unique even if admired from the outside. A tip is to reach it by sea, seeing it among the rocks and admiring it from a particular point of view.
8 – Santa Maria di Pulsano del Gargano
A place surrounded by nature, where peace reigns. It was chosen by many monks for their first settlements, the remains of many hermitages are still found. Today you can visit the abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano, where the Pulsano hermits had their mother house. The abbey has a guesthouse for pilgrims who want to enjoy short periods of retreat.
9 – Margherita di Savoia salt pans
Among the oldest and largest in our country. In addition to the production of salt, the place is also exploited by the structures linked to the spas.
For nature and animal lovers, the salt marshes are an area rich in biodiversity and birdwatchers mainly gather here for the sighting of the various species of migratory birds.
10 – Pulo of Altamura
It is a unique place of its kind, a chasm 550 meters wide in the countryside of Altamura. An unusual and astonishing scenario, given its size and depth. The pulo is an 80m deep basin of karst origin. Here the waters flowed, which created creeks and small caves all around.