Villas in Puglia
Why choose Puglia for a Villa Holiday?
When you choose a villa in Puglia for a holiday, you are in for a treat. Also known as 'Apulia', this sunny, southern region of Italy has a host of alluring features which makes it stand out as an idyllic villa holiday destination.
From its unbeatable climate, gorgeous scenery, delicious cuisine, historic charm, amazing architecture and family-friendly appeal, Puglia has plenty of style and southern charm.
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Holidays in Puglia - Puglia Villas Holiday Guide
Our Top 7 Reasons why you should choose Puglia for a Villa Holiday
1 – Puglia is sunny and warm
Firstly, the climate is fantastic most of the time, so you can enjoy the great outdoors to the full. There is no doubt that for those of us from colder climates, Puglia’s Mediterranean heat is a big part of Puglia’s appeal for a villa with a private swimming pool. From May until October, the weather is usually sunny and warm. Temperatures soar in the 30’s in July and August. In May, June, September and October, it is still mild and can be hot during the day too, although the evenings are usually cooler than the height of the summer.
2 – Beaches galore in Puglia
Secondly, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches and the sea. Puglia is fringed with a wonderful coastline brimming with long sandy and rocky stretches, as well as sheltered coves, with the azure seas of the Ionian and Adriatic on either side.
Wherever your villa is located, inviting beaches and boat trips are always within easy reach. They are relatively untouched too. Some parts of the coast are nature reserves whereas others are well set up for holidaymakers, with beach bars, seafood restaurants and facilities for water sports.
You will not find built-up resorts in Puglia, but you will find plenty of authentic historic towns and villages along the coast. It is a huge draw for anyone who prefers a scenic holiday destination away from mass tourism.
3 – Unspoiled rural bliss in Puglia
Thirdly, the scenery in Puglia is gorgeous. In the hills of the Valle d’Itria where many of our luxury villas are located, you have glorious uninterrupted views over picturesque landscapes. Characteristic, conical ‘trullo’ houses are scattered through endless olive groves stretching into the distance. Further south in Salento, huge ancient olive trees and attractive vineyards surround our luxury Puglia villas. The natural, unspoiled beauty makes it an exceptional location for a villa holiday.
4 – Delicious food in Puglia
The fourth reason for choosing Puglia is for the cuisine. This is where Puglia excels and it is very much central to the regional culture. From delicious fruit and vegetables, seafood, bread, olive oil and wine, it is all fresh, seasonal and plucked from the surrounding land or sea.
In trattorias and restaurants on the coast or nestled in villages, the menu always sticks to traditional dishes. All are prepared with pride, using recipes perfected through the generations.
Even younger members of the family will find something to enjoy and children are welcomed with open arms. Italian classics such as pizza, pasta and gelato are plentiful.
5 – Historic architecture in Puglia
The fifth reason why you should choose Puglia for a villa holiday is for the outstanding architecture. Discover pretty whitewashed hilltop towns and ancient conical shaped ‘trulli’ or ‘trullo’ houses in the Valle d’Itria, a traditional design which is unique to the region.
Explore one-off feats of architecture and design through the ages here too, including the magnificent Castel del Monte, Otranto Castle and Cathedral of Otranto with its ornate mosaic floor.
Handsome historic centres in cities such as Martina Franca and Lecce brim over with ornate, baroque architecture, facades and balconies. Alongside Roman ruins, it is a heady mix of beautiful historic structures to admire, a reflection of the region’s rich history.
6 – Modern design villas in Puglia
Our sixth reason for choosing the region of Puglia is for well-designed holiday villas. In the last 10 years, Puglia has established itself as part of an elite group of Italian regions with an exceptional choice of supremely comfortable holiday rentals in scenic countryside locations. From ancient structures with thick, exposed stone walls and vaulted ceilings to cutting-edge modern villas, there is now a fantastic range of luxury holiday rentals to choose from.
Some of the best properties are converted trullo houses in the rolling hills or ‘masserias’ with walled gardens and a sea view surrounded by flatter landscapes of the south. With the addition of modern extensions and contemporary furnishings, many of these holiday homes in Puglia have been transformed into stylish and luxury villas with a pool, air conditioning, wi fi and concierge services.
Read more about the architects and designs of some of our villa favourites on Apulia Property Design.
7 – Puglia is Family-friendly
Lastly, Southern Italian culture is famous for its family-friendly appeal. Multi-generational households and extended families living next to each other are the norm here. Children of all ages are adored so rest assured, you will all feel at home in Puglia too when you stay there in your holiday villa.
Little ones will love paddling and making sandcastles as well as interesting activities such as exploring nature reserves and cycling. Older kids may fancy cliff jumping, snorkeling, diving, kite surfing and boat trips. If you are planning a days of culture and history, then there is always the incentive of delicious gelato, pizza or creamy cakes to keep up the momentum! Your villa pool will also provide hours of fun together of course.
Where is best for villas in Puglia?
Now that you have a flavour of why you should choose Puglia, the next step is to decide which property exactly in Puglia is best for your villa holiday. Your choice will be driven by the availability and the price of course, but if you book early, you should have a good choice. Each area of Puglia has a distinctive style, so find out more about your nearest town, village, beaches and attractions before you book to make your decision easier.
Villas in the Valle d’Itria
If you choose to stay in a Puglia villa in the Valle d’Itria, you will no doubt be in a picturesque, rural setting, perhaps in one of the many trullo houses with a private pool, so typical of the area.
Depending on where you stay, you can usually reach a beach within 30 minutes of your villa. A series of coves and sandy beaches along the coast will give you a good choice of idyllic spots for a sea swim or paddle.
Historic hill towns in the region, such as Cisternino, Locorotondo, Ceglie Messapica, Martina Franca and Ostuni, are all well worth a visit. Alberobello is the best known of these, a town of trulli houses and dedicated Unesco World Heritage site. Along the coast, head to the beautiful towns of Polignano a mare and Monopoli for old-world charm, beaches and sea views.
Each town has its own unique character, history and traditions, woven through its architecture, food and festivals. Stroll through their narrow streets and piazzas. Take time to visit beautiful historic churches. Savour a coffee or cooling drink at a pavement cafe from where you can watch the world go by.
Puglia Villas near Cisternino
A gorgeous, hilltop town with baroque churches to admire, Cisternino has bags of authentic, southern Italian appeal. If you are there in August, you may even catch a local food festival or ‘sagra’, such as the festival of orecchiette pasta. Be sure to check out Cisternino’s butchers who also barbecue your purchase on the spot, a unique, local tradition. Eat your chosen cut and enjoy an informal feast with a glass of local vino in Cisternino style!
Puglia Villas near Ostuni
Ostuni is a stunning, white hilltop town with an impressive 15th-century cathedral at its heart and winding medieval streets and piazzas to explore. Loved by artists and holidaymakers, discover little galleries, boutiques and places to eat here. The nearest beaches are just 8km away so easily reached for a dip in the sea followed by a delicious lunch overlooking the water.
Puglia Villas near Martina Franca
The largest hilltop town in the area, Martina Franca bursts with style, from its attractive historic centre to its elegant palaces, piazzas, churches and parks. Take time to stroll through its winding streets for eye-catching baroque facades and balconies.
Villas in Puglia near Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare is an incredibly picturesque coastal town set on limestone cliffs overlooking the sea. Closely packed together, the little white houses of the old town overlook a gorgeous sandy cove beach at its heart. It is picture-postcard gorgeous and perfect for a day out strolling through its winding streets with a gelato in hand.
Puglia Villas in Salento
Head south of Brindisi and you arrive in Salento, the most southerly region of Puglia. The land here is flatter and carpeted with ancient olive groves and vineyards fringed with prickly pear cactus. Sleepy white villages and elegant towns are dotted through the countryside and along the coast.
At the heart of Salento is the handsome city of Lecce with its elegant baroque palazzos, Roman amphitheatre, piazzas and winding streets. On the coast, you find the beautiful towns of Otranto on the Adriatic sea, Gallipoli on the Ionian sea and Santa Maria di Leuca at the tip.
The beaches in Salento are gorgeous and varied, a mix of rocky and sandy stretches. Some are nature reserves with sand dunes and not a building in sight and others are more set up for holidaymakers with beach bars and restaurants overlooking the sea.
Villas in Puglia near Muro Leccese
Stay in a villa near the town of Muro Leccese for a real taste of living like a local in Salento. Small but beautiful, Muro Leccese oozes authentic charm with its historic buildings, central piazza and church. Here you find good local shops for stocking up on supplies and a collection of pavement cafes for watching the world go by.
The location is perfect for beaches and sightseeing too. Try the long sandy stretch at Alimini Lakes on the Adriatic or Gallipoli on the Ionian side. Day trips to take in the historic sights and boutiques of the nearby cities of Lecce and Otranto are not to be missed.
Villas in Puglia near Porto Cesareo
If a beach holiday is the main reason for a stay in Puglia, then choosing one of our villas near Porto Cesareo is a good choice. Porto Cesareo is an elegant coastal town with a bustling marina and an inviting, long, golden beach that stretches down the coast for 17 km, as well as rocky coves that are great for snorkelling. Part of it is a protected bay where you can see coral and marine life such as sea horses and turtles. With its Italian beach town vibe, you’ll find plenty of laid-back restaurants and bars here too.
How to get to your villa in Puglia
Puglia has become well connected for travel and transport in recent years, so your journey there should be straightforward if planned in advance.
Choose flights into two airports in Puglia – Bari and Brindisi. For our villas in the Valle d’Itria, fly into either airport as the drive time to your villa is similar, roughly one hour at the most.
For our villas in Salento, Brindisi airport is more convenient. There is usually a good number of flights to Puglia from May until October, many of which are direct from international airports.
Head for the car hire at Bari or Brindisi airport and drive to your villa rather than take a taxi. By choosing car hire, you will find it easier to explore the region during your stay.
For many, the best part of a villa holiday in Puglia is discovering all the tasty food and wine there. Those who love preparing meals will adore picking out fresh produce in local food shops, from street stalls or supermarkets.
Eating al fresco on the villa terrace is such a treat and you find that the food, however simple, is incredible. Even a simple salad with grilled fish or a pasta dish will taste better than you expected. It is all to do with the high quality of the produce (and the holiday spirit too no doubt!).
Rooted firmly in tradition, Puglia’s regional specialties are typically uncomplicated and ingredients are all sourced locally. Here are some of the highlights:
Made from scratch with just flour and water, orecchiette is the favourite pasta in Puglia, meaning “little ears” because of its shape. Other regional pasta shapes are gruessi, troccoli and cavatelli, to name but a few. Try it with a ‘cime di rape’, a vegetable similar to broccoli, a Puglia classic. Other sauces to try with your pasta in Puglia are ‘cozze’ (mussels), ragu (a meat sauce), fennel, chicory and courgette flowers.
Meat and barbecues
Sheep farming is a way of life in Puglia so it is no surprise that lamb is one of most popular meats here, although pork and beef often feature on the menu too. Cisternino is the place to go for the best cuts. Famous for its barbecue butchers, purchase your meat then have it barbecued while you wait.
Local cheese is a big part of the cuisine in Puglia. Burrata di Andria is the star of the show, a mouth-watering, creamy cheese served fresh with a drizzle of olive oil. Sweet ricotta fills Puglia’s favourite pastries while pecorino should be tried freshly grated on pasta dishes. It is all delicious.
A highlight of Puglia cuisine has to be seafood. Puglia’s coastline is bustling with fishing villages and towns such as Otranto or Gallipoli, so head there to try a selection of freshly caught fish. It is typically grilled and served with olive oil and lemon. Regional specialties vary from sea bream to red mullet, anchovies and mussels.
‘Ricci di mare’ or sea urchins, make a favourite light meal. After a day on the beach on a hot, summer day, there is nothing better than a plate of ‘ricci’ served in a small coastal restaurant. While watching the sun setting, with a carafe of local vino and a chunk of bread, it one of life’s simple pleasures in Puglia.
From tasty long lunches on your villa terrace by your private pool to a special meal in a restaurant, it is all best accompanied by the local vino. Puglia produces both white and red wine. The best known are fruity reds made from local grapes like Primitivo, Negroamaro and Bombino Nero.
Breakfast pastries in Puglia
Pastries in Puglia are out of this world and best eaten with a shot of velvety coffee or cappuccino at your local bar. The Italian classic breakfast pastry is a ‘cornetto’ which is like a sweet croissant filled with custard cream, jam or chocolate. A ‘pasticciotto’ is a more traditional cake from Puglia, a short crust pastry with custard cream inside, also eaten as a treat.
Cakes in Puglia
One of the most tempting shops you will see in Puglia’s towns and villages is the ‘pasticceria’, a bakery dedicated to freshly made pastries and cakes.
Choose a selection of the cakes you like the look of on a little tray which is then weighed and wrapped up with a ribbon for you to take home (or more typically to the house of a friend or family who have invited you over).
Each cake is unique and part of cultural tradition. Try as many as you can for a delicious way to ‘live like a local’! Typically the cakes in Puglia are filled with tasty fillings such as almonds, honey, sweet ricotta, chocolate and figs.
Summer Festivals in Puglia
Catch a local festival or two during your holiday in Puglia and you will find it is a truly memorable and fun part of your stay. Held throughout the year in various villages and along the coast, they often celebrate a local saint day, a particular food or harvest. It’s a great excuse for fireworks, lights, food, dancing and music!
Although dates are still to be confirmed for this summer, here are a few of our summer favourites to look out for near our Puglia Villas:
La Notte di San Giovanni
Ostuni at the end of June.
A wonderful festival of music, art and local traditions in the timeless hill town of Ostuni, so be sure to go if your villa is nearby.
San Pietro e Paolo
Otranto at the end of June.
For anyone staying in one of our villas in Salento at the end of June, this one is wonderful if only for the gorgeous seaside setting. It is a festival of folklore, local traditions and tasty street food.
The Locomotive Jazz Festival
All over Salento from mid-June until mid-August.
Be sure to see at least one of these fabulous jazz concerts, held in different venues in Salento, including Lecce, Ceglie Messapica and Castro.
La Festa di Santa Domenica
Scorrano near Otranto at the beginning of July.
This one is worth going to for the magnificent illuminations and fireworks. It is held in Scorrano near Otranto to celebrate its Patron Saint, Santa Domenica.
Festival della Valle d’Itria
Martina Franca in mid-July for 2 weeks.
If you love classical music and opera, then this festival is for you. It is a series of concerts and operas featuring both international and local artists in the beautiful setting of Martina Franca’s Palazzo Ducale.
Alberobello Light Festival
Alberobello at the end of July
The trulli houses in the historic centre of Alberobello are lit up with colourful lights for a magical effect. It is usually a hit with children of all ages.
Mercatino del Gusto
Maglie in Salento at the beginning of August.
This one is for foodies! It’s an open-air food market with traditional produce and cookery lessons.
Sagra Pirotecnica della Valle d’Itria
Locorotondo in mid-August
If you love fireworks then this one is for you. It is a firework competition held over 5 evenings at one of the Valle D’Itria’s most beautiful historic towns, Locorotondo.
La Notte della Taranta
Grecia Salentino and Melpignano near Lecce in August
A festival of traditional dancing, specifically the ‘Pizzica Pizzica’, Salento’s tarantella accompanied by its distinctive rhythmic music and haunting song.
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Inspiration for your Italy Villa Holiday
Explore our romantic villas in Puglia
Whitewashed hill towns, ancient forests and a sun-baked coastline with beaches resembling paradise. These are the reasons why so many people find romance in the rustic region of Puglia. Forming a thin sliver of land at the heel of Italy’s boot, this is one of the lesser-travelled spots of the country for discerning couples and those who are really in the know. If you enjoy discovering destinations off the beaten path, our romantic villas in Puglia are the ultimate way to escape the main tourist route.
Explore our beach villas in Puglia
White sand beaches, charming coves, and boat-lined fishing villages. These are some of the features that make Puglia’s coastline such a special place for so many people. Located at the heel of Italy’s boot, this thin sliver of land facing out onto the Adriatic Sea forms one of the country’s less-travelled regions. For those in the know who want a relaxing and authentic holiday experience with beautiful beaches for swimming and sunbathing, Puglia is a popular destination.
Explore our family-friendly villas in Puglia
Our stylish and spacious villas in Puglia are perfect for families looking for luxurious comfort on holiday in this spectacular southern Italian region. One of the country’s less-travelled gems and forming the heel of Italy’s boot, this is a destination that captures the hearts of travellers who want to immerse themselves into authentic Italian culture