Nature & Sea

Nature & Sea

Nature and Sea in Puglia

Are you longing for a slow holiday by the beach somewhere far from the crowds? Or an adrenaline-packed tour of the steep ravines and gorges of the Murge karst plateau? How about an energising mix of beach time and hiking in the macchia shrublands?

With an expansive countryside and 860 kilometres of coastline touched by the blue waves of the Mediterranean, Puglia is the perfect destination for adventure travellers, suntan enthusiasts, and sailors at heart. The genuine and rough beauty of its features testifies to the past and present of the region, where man and nature have coexisted in perfect harmony since the early days of human civilization.

Browse our insider selection of Apulian natural landmarks and points of interest – and get ready to venture on the holiday of a lifetime.


Nature & Sea in Puglia, Beach Puglia, Gravine

Gravine (ravines) are a signature of the Murge karst plateau, which stretches across the Puglia and Basilicata regions. These steep gorges are home to distinctive flora and fauna and have been home to human settlements since the Old Stone Age.

The canyons and gorges of the gravine bear mementos of the ancient inhabitants of Puglia. Bird watching enthusiasts on the lookout for buzzards, kestrels, and other indigenous birds of prey might easily come across a prehistoric cave, relics of the Roman empire, or the ruins of a medieval village.

Nature lovers will certainly enjoy a weekend (or week-long tour) around the Alta Murgia National Park: over 670,000 square kilometres (259,000 square miles) of awe-inspiring landscapes embracing open steppe, narrow canyons, pine forests, and ancient bauxite mines as well as a proto-historic necropolis, primitive settlements, and the imposing Castel del Monte, one of southern Italy’s most famous castles and a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Torre Sant’Andrea Marina di Melendugno i Faraglioni Sea & Nature Salento Puglia

Faraglioni is the Italian word for sea stacks: column-like coastal stone formations shaped by wave erosion over thousands of centuries. The unique, rough-yet-polished look of faraglioni adds to the look and feel of the Apulian coastline, especially around the Gargano Promontory.

The endless motion of the Mediterranean winds and waves has created awe-inspiring natural wonders, such as Le Due Sorelle in the Torre dell’Orso bay and the imposing 25-metre Pizzomunno limestone monolith.

The unique appeal of Apulian sea stacks attracts nature enthusiasts from all over the world. Combine the dramatic outlooks of these rocky formations with the timeless fascination of the deep blue sea, the mysterious coastal marine caves, and blissful weather all year round and you’re ready for an adventure holiday you’ll never forget.
Watch the video: i Faraglioni


Secular Olive Tree Nature Puglia

The Valle d’Itria is not your typical valley: it’s actually a vast depression in the lowest part of the Murge plateau formed by karstic phenomena (processes that create caves, sinkholes, and lapiés, or “limestone pavement”). This natural area, characterised by centuries-old olive groves and vineyards, is known both for the charm of the rural landscape and for its historic significance. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, the Itria Valley was home to the mysterious Messapian tribe and the stage of the Battle of Cannae (216 BC) during the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage.

The Valle d’Itria features a peculiar mix of woodland and macchia shrubland. The area is dotted with trulli, the world-famous domed dry stone huts traditionally built by field labourers and pastoral communities for temporary shelter and storage.

While Valle d’Itria might not be a top-of-mind destination for a Puglia holiday, its broad expanse and quintessential rural landscape are guaranteed to cast a spell on you.


Grotte di Catellana Nature & Sea Catellana Caves Puglia

The Castellana Caves are yet another natural wonder created by karstic phenomena in the Murge plateau. The underground complex stretches over 3 kilometres, with a maximum depth of 122 metres.

Visitors who experience the majesty and fascination of the Castellana Caves for the first time cannot help but stand in awe at the mesmerising crystalline and coral concretions that adorn the wide underground chambers. Amongst the cave’s most notable features are the Grave – a large pantheon with stunning natural dark and light contrasts – and the White Cave, with its imposing alabaster walls and glistening stalactites.

One of Mother Nature’s most astonishing creations, the Castellana Caves attract hundreds of thousands of admirers every year. In the depths of their karst system, dating back 66 million years, the force and resilience of nature is revealed in all its glory.


Marina di Pescoluse Apulian Maldives Nature & Sea Salento Puglia

Known as the Apulian Maldives, the area surrounding Pescoluse is praised for its sandy beaches and pristine atmosphere. Locals and tourists love this captivating bit of paradise by the Ionian Sea, and it’s just a few kilometres away from another Puglia favourite – Santa Maria di Leuca.

With its strategic location and dramatic views of the Ionian Sea, Pescoluse is a perfect destination for nature lovers looking for a quiet beach holiday topped with genuine Mediterranean cuisine, a touch of exploration around exquisite medieval towns and Baroque landmarks, and plenty of time to unwind and recharge.

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Selected package holidays in Puglia for Nature & Sea enthusiasts

At Puglia Exploration, we’re proud of our homeland and passionate about sharing its treasures. We partner with local tour operators to create bespoke tours and package holidays for adventure travellers on the hunt for Mother Nature’s most enthralling creations.

Want to explore enchanting marine caves, stand tall on the edge of a breathtaking gorge, or indulge in a lazy afternoon by the beach? Get inspired by our selection of tours.

Join our local tour leaders on a unique scooter tour of the Salento region in Puglia.  Prepare to be mesmerised by ever-changing landscapes and ancient towns frozen in time.  Add a touch of indulgence  with  exclusive wine tastings  and  genuine Mediterranean flavours.  Are you ready to hit the  road? Puglia is waiting for you!

With our Ancient Puglia tour, you can follow in the footsteps of Mycenaean Greeks as they expanded beyond the Aegean Sea to create what we now call Magna Graecia. Discover stunning mementos of the past, see how Apulian craftsmen still use ancient methods to create unique art, and make your Italian holiday wish come true. 

With our 7-day Puglia coach tour you can explore the heritage, traditions, and wonders of the region with maximum comfort. See mesmerising World Heritage sites and marine caves. Visit medieval towns and castles. Taste exquisite Mediterranean cuisine, try local delicacies, and relax under the shade of centuries-old olive groves. Mix and repeat. 

Medieval castles. Superb Baroque architecture. Iconic landmarks. Exquisite foods and wines. Add to that perfect weather all year round and Italian hospitality at its best. With all this and so much more, Puglia is any traveller’s delight. Join our exclusive 8-day coach tour for a holiday you’ll never forget.

Let us plan Puglia holiday

Want to complement your perfect nature holiday with captivating views of ancient castles, a gourmet experience by centuries-old olive groves, or a bit of sailing? Our bespoke made-for-you tours are just what you need.

Gravina in Puglia
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