Puglia Coastal Adventures
Our Puglia Coastal Adventures have taken us from partying with Puglian locals in Polignano, to finding the most secluded swimming spots in Ostuni. Witnessing epic sunrises and devouring the best Panzerotti (a Puglian favourite) in Monopoli. All within a hop and a skip, our slower travels allowed us to take it all in like locals.
We have just arrived to Bari Centrale Station from our time in Sicily, ready for our Puglia Coastal Adventures. Our mid-September travel plan outside peak season, we are reminded to beware of pickpockets. We grab our must have tickets which cost us only €2,70 one way. As we wait for the Trenitalia train for our 30 minute journey to Polignano, the station bustles with platforms.
Polignano A Mare
The train ride takes us from Puglia’s capital to Puglia’s coastal gem, the very popular Polignano A Mare. Walking through the white washed streets of Polignano I see so much colour as well as the Giant Cacti. Despite heading into shoulder season we are rubbing shoulders with so many tourists. Once we arrive to our B&B, we make our way to the rooftop terrace to take in the magnificent coastal views. To my surprise, we hear cheering of spectators and see people diving off a huge platform into the waters below. What is happening? The Red Bull Cliff Diving is in town!
What a perfect location to watch professional cliff divers from around the world perform their magic. We head straight back out to enjoy the vibe of the town and take in this unique unplanned Polignano experience. Even though my camera is with me there are few opportunities to photograph this charming coastal town, due to thousands of people walking the streets. Let’s just say that crowds are a travel photographers pet peeve!
No point crying over spilt milk, we’ll just wake up early for a Polignano Sunrise whilst everyone is asleep. It’s time to party with Italian DJ’s and rap artists at the Red Bull After Party!
How do we go from thousands of tourists to not a single soul in sight? Wake up early! I can imagine everyone is a little tired from all the dancing, us included. Nothing was going to stop us catching this sunrise. We walk the 60 seconds to the Polignano Coast cliff side to meet the golden pink morning sunlight hitting the seacaves and cliffs. A magnificent view, creating some of our favourite Coastal Photography Prints of Polignano.
After an awesome 24 hours in Polignano, we grab our Trenitalia tickets online for €1,10. We are ready for our 6 minute train ride to Monopoli for our next stop of our Puglia Coastal Adventures. We pick up our backpacks and hop on the next train. After meeting our airbnb host, we are hungry for a Panzerrotti – for those of you who have not had this Puglian experience, it is a delicious streetfood pizza pocket. We came across The King Street Food, which is hands down, the best panzerotti and will set you back a mere €4,50.
Walking through this Puglia coastal town we are surrounded by white washed buildings and colourful shutters. Monopoli has a completely different feel to Polignano. It is a very charming fishing village with its old port fishing boats. Getting lost in the streets of Monopoli was a favourite pastime.
Beautiful mornings begin with an espresso as we stroll to the beautifully serene Spiaggia Cala Porta Vecchia where the locals take a morning dip and sunbath on the rocks. This is what they call “Dolce Far Niente“. A port side lunch of Kontadino (Fried octopus burger) and Calamari, followed by a day in the sunshine where siesta takes place on the beach. Monopoli Evenings take us to the pink skies enveloping the old port and marina, with music that flows through the streets. Keep in mind, this early Autumn in Puglia is a beautiful time to wander without the extreme heat of summer.
It’s time for us to move south, Ostuni here we come!
We decided on Ostuni as a home base for 30 days for us to continue to explore Puglia at a slower pace. This is the whitest washed town in all of Puglia, know as the White City. Our travels continued without a car, and I must say it was quite a challenge in Puglia without many direct bus options. Considering the Puglia weather was consistent with a cool summer day, our intention was to take day trips to a nearby beach to relax. That being said, one of our favourite places was a short bus ride from Ostuni Centro Storico. We catch the reoccurring bus to the quiet beach of Villanova. This is the spot.
Budget Travel Tip: You can purchase your STP local bus ticket from a cafe/bar/tabacchi near the bus stop for €1,00 compared to €2,00 on the bus.
As we take in the warm Autumn sun, we head around to walk south from the main beach. We walk the rocks taking in the ocean views, only to come across a gem. Where is everyone? This spot should be flooded with tourists, it’s beautiful! Never-ending ocean caves and coral. I spot a ladder leading into the turquoise waters, and I consider this an invitation for a Puglia Swim. FYI this spot is not on google maps! Definitely one of my favourite swimming spots in Italy.
We have many more adventures to share in Ostuni and surrounding towns.
Want to bring some Coastal wanderlust to your home? Browse our latest additions of Coastal Photography Prints featuring our Puglia Coastal Adventures including: Polignano Coast, Monopoli Morning Swim, Capitana II, Dolce Far Niente, Puglia Swim and so much more!