The heel of Italy's boot, Puglia boasts mile upon mile of shoreline dotted with fantastic beaches, along with a good sprinkling of dramatic rocky coves and traditional fishing villages. Head inland and discover rolling countryside including vast olive forests, orchards and vineyards, punctuated by medieval hill towns. All this and more bathed in a wonderful Mediterranean climate. Over the centuries, just about every super-power has stamped their mark here, including the Greeks and the Romans and there are many ruined sites to discover. Most of the region is flat and the fertile land produces more wine than anywhere else in Italy and is also one of the main olive oil producers. Enticing towns to explore include the buzzing Baroque city of Lecce; Martina Franca with its Moorish ambience and the ancient city of Bari. Do make sure you visit Alberobello (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to see Puglia's signature buildings – the trulli. A ‘trullo’ is a simple dry-stone-wall, circular, white-washed building with a conical roof that dates back to earlier than the 16th century.
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Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. We highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your Doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
GCC nationals travelling to Europe will require a Schengen Visa, which allows you to visit any one of 26 countries. UAE nationals are Schengen exempt for some European countries. For further information, please go to www.theschengenvisa.co.uk
Some of the best places to visit include the attractive Baroque city of Lecce with its beautiful Old Town, gold-coloured stone architecture, churches adorned with carved cherubs, palazzi and piazzas. Highlights here include a Roman Amphitheatre, Piazza del Duomo with its striking seventy-metre bell tower, The Basilica di Santa Croce which has a fantastic intricate Baroque facade, The Church of Saints Niccolò and Cataldo, and Il Castello di Carlo V. Meanwhile, the pretty town of Ostuni, with typical white-washed Mediterranean architecture spread over a hillside – all overlooked by a Gothic cathedral – features quaint narrow streets and stairways where you can easily lose your bearings, but find gorgeous views. It also has a good helping of specialist food shops selling goodies including olive oils and sun-dried tomatoes. If you’re staying at Borgo Egnazia, you could also hire a bike and cycle to the ruined Roman city of Egnazia and the small museum dedicated to it where artefacts including pots from the site are displayed.
The Valle d’Itria is a beautiful area of countryside with fields, vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see; a landscape punctuated by the farms and the regions’s famous trulli houses. Three lovely towns – Cisternino, Locorotondo and Alberobello – lie in this valley, all with beautiful Old Town areas. Cisternino’s narrow streets give way to piazzas with views over the surrounding hills, churches including the 14th century Church of San Nicola and a great selection of places to eat. Visit in August and you are likely to catch some fantastic local festivals including the feast of Saint Quiric or a food festival. Locorotondo is also a very pretty town, known for its wine production and its white-washed lanes where you’ll find the unusual 'cummerse' buildings that have a pointed gable roof more typical of the Baltic region. Alberobello is perhaps the most famous, for it is at the centre of this town that clusters of historic trullo houses can be found. Unique to the area, these conical-roofed houses are still inhabited today.
Puglia produces the most of Italy’s olive oil and plenty of pasta too, and in Bari local women can be seen making homemade orecchiette (the pasta specific to the region) every Sunday. Savour the local fish and seafood dishes, including oysters roasted in olive oil, lemon and garlic, as well as spit-roasted lamb with rosemary, pasta dishes made from wheat and sun-dried tomatoes from Puglia’s fields, with wines including Castel del Monte Rosso and Terra d'Otranto and Bianco di Train. In the town of Cisternino, meat-eaters must visit the butchers who offer a selection of tasty meat options, including parcels filled with mince, ham and cheese called 'bombette', which are barbecued to your liking – it’s a local delicacy, perfect savoured al fresco with a glass of wine.
Beaches & Coastline
Ostuni has some protected coastal parks and about eight kilometres away from the town are some of Puglia’s best beaches. Other places of interest by the sea include the resort of Oranto with its Old Town area and Polignano a Mare with its cliffs and sea caves.
Via Rome with Emirates from Dubai to Bari.
Via Rome with Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Bari.
Via Rome with Qatar Airways from Doha to Bari.
From Dubai to Bari: 8 hours, 25 minutes.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
Borgo Egnazia’s piazza − the beating heart of the resort − frequently hosts a variety of events that celebrate local festivals, products and fare.