Puglia : itinerary for campers among small villages, sea and nature

Looking for quick tips to plan your next trip to Apulia? Check out our Itinerary and some practical info that can be useful to inspire you in organize your travel!


 

our itinerary


🔹DAY 1: Matera


night in free Parking for camper in Via Castello, Matera, just 10min on foot from the old town of Matera


🔹DAY 2 – 70km - Giovinazzo - 5km Molfetta - 40km - night in Giovinazzo


night in free Parking in Giovinazzo in Lungomare Marina Italiana


🔹DAY 3 - 100km -Cisternino -10km - Locorotondo (by night) - 9km - Alberobello by night


Night in Camping dei Trulli in Alberobello


🔹DAY 4 - Alberobello - 30km - Ceglie Messapica - 15km - Ostuni


Night in toll Parking for cars and camper in Via Salvatore Pastore, at 5min walking from the historical center of Ostuni


🔹DAY 5 - 45 km - Monopoli - 9km - Polignano a Mare


Night in free Parking overlooking the cliffs in Via San Vito


🔹DAY 6 - 20km - Grotte di Castellana -50 km - Gravina di Laterza - 50 km night in Dolcecanto


Night in Agricampeggio Agri Biologica le Murge in Dolcecanto


🔹DAY 7 - Big Bench n.126 in Dolcecanto- 10km - Gravina in Puglia - 50km night in Castel del Monte


Night in camper area in Agriturismo Montegusto in Castel del Monte just 1km from the castle


🔹DAY 8 - Castel del Monte - 60km -Riserva Naturale Saline di Margherita di Savoia (pinkflamingos) -110 km - Monte Sant’Angelo


Night in Parking for camper in Via Carlo d’Angió in Monte Sant’Angelo


🔹DAY 9 - 40km - Baia di Vignanotica - 7km - Baia dei Faraglioni delle Zagare - 75km - sunset in Riserva Naturale Saline di Margherita di Savoia (pinkflamingos)


Night in Camping Lido Salpi in Manfredonia


🔹DAY 10 - 150 km Costa dei Trabucchi


This itinerary is not always think to reduce kilometers, but it is optimized for trying to find the best light for photos in each spot or adapted for weather exigencies to try to see especially the places on the coast with the sun.


However, the distances between all these places are relatively short and you can be flexible and change the itinerary to see the various places in a different order.


We have done this travel in winter (for the New Year End) , but you can do it in every seasons!


 

Place by Place


MATERA

Matera is located in Basilicata, on the border with Apulia: an unmissable stop in your itinerary! You will be enchanted by this village where time seems to have stopped


Matera’s Hightlights:

1) getting lost in the narrow alleys of the ancient village the so-called Sassi di Matera

2) Cave house in the Sasso-Caveoso

3) a walk in the MurgiaMaterana National Park. The access to the National Park is from Matera center and with a quite easy trek (a couple of hour with return) you will reach the viewpoint over the whole Murgia and Matera.


Practical info: -our base (also for the night): free Parking for camper in Via Castello, Matera, just 10min on foot from the old town of Matera

-to taste the traditional Matera’s bread, we suggest you “PanificioCifarelli dal 1947” in the historical center


GIOVINAZZO


The white houses overlooking the crystal clear sea, the contrasting colored boats ... especially on clear sunny days is the best time to enjoy this small village and the sense of relaxation and peace that only the winter sea offers. Practical info: - free parking in Giovinazzo in Lungomare Marina Italiana (also for the night), just 5 min from the center - to taste a delicious pizza or calzone take away: “Pomodoro e Mozzarella” in Via Porto in Giovinazzo

MOLFETTA


The best moment to see Molfetta is at sunset when the warm light colors of pink the buildings that create suggestive reflections in the sea…like a postcard!

Our base: free Parking for cars and campers on Lungomare Marcantonio Colonna in


CISTERNINO


getting lost in the narrow alleys of the tiny historical center where the white houses create picturesque view at every corner!


-Our base: payment parking along the street in Via Cirillo, 2 minutes walking from the city center or not far there is also a Camper Area (also for the night) in Via Clarizia (it is advisable to access from Via Sebastiano Caboto as the entrance is less steep)


LOCOROTONDO


certainly one of the most lovely villages in Apulia in all seasons, but during the Christmas Holydays you can breathe a truly magical atmosphere here…. We advise you to arrive there in the late afternoon to see it also illuminated.


Do you know why it is called Locorotondo? Due to the shape of the historic center, a set of small white houses arranged in concentric rings!


Practical info:

-Our base (also for the night): payment Parking for car and camper in Via Giulio Pastore, just 5 minutes walking from the city center (camper unique fees (for few hours or for the entire day/night) 8 euro)

- The only way to see Locorotondo without crowd in pic season is to get there after 8pm


ALBEROBELLO


The famous Trulli, one of the iconic images of Apulia and an unmissable stop in a travel in this region in every season ... but really special the atmosphere during the Christmas period! Practical info: -Our base: Night in “Camping deiTrulli”nAlberobello at 3km from Trulli + Payment parking for camper in Via Resistenza (3euro per 1 h) There is also another Camper Service Area and Parking per called “Area di Sosta Nel Verde”: this is in a very good position as it just 2 minutes walking from Trulli but it is often full, they do not accept reservations and the owners frankly speaking are quite rude ! It is not even possible to leave once you have entered (not even paying for the whole day / night) as once you have gone out, they do not guarantee to keep the pitch already paid for ... unbelievable! -The only way to see Alberobello without crowd in pic season is to get there after 8pm or in the morning before 9am!

CEGLIE MESSAPICA


A very small village and perhaps less known than the nearby Locorotondo and Ostuni, but which deserves a stop if you are around.


Our base: Payment Parking along the street in Via Palermo, just 2 min on foot from the historical center


OSTUNI


Ostuni… the white city!


Getting lost in the tiny alleys with the white houses and the colorful doors…it goes without saying, arrive to the viewpoint (near the famous blue door!) and enjoy the view on the centennial olive trees valley and the sea


Our base: Night in toll Parking for cars and camper in Via Salvatore Pastore, at 5min walking from the historical center of Ostuni


MONOPOLI


…. Another lovely seaside village ... the Apulian villages are each one more beautiful than the other! Dedicated at least half day to this small village, with its picturesque alleys, the sea, the Castle and the colorful boats in the ancient harbour …what else?


Practical info:

-Free Parking in Via Cala Curatori corner Via Giuseppe Ungaretti in Monopoli, just 5 min walking from the Center

- for lunch or for a break, try the traditional warm Panzerotti to Madia- Morsi di Felicità in the historical city Center of Monopoli (take a way)

- Monopoli is plenty of local shops where to purchase the typical Taralli and Orecchiette …the symbols of Apulia at table


POLIGNANO A MARE


…. One of the most scenic villages in all of Puglia perched on a cliff overlooking the sea ...


In winter the sun remains low practically all day, so it is advisable to arrive in Polignano a Mare in the late morning-early afternoon to find the best light for photos. Then stop until it gets dark, to see the village and the cliff illuminated ... very suggestive!


Practical info

-our base (even for the night): free parking for campers in Via San Vito on the cliff in Polignano a Mare, just 10 minutes walk from the center

- for an aperitif or a break, try the delicious Puccia al Polpo (a warm sandwich with octopus, rucola, burrata and sun-dried tomato cream) ... an explosion of flavor! The best place to eat it is in "PucceriaBontà sotto l'Arco" near the ancient arch to enter in the historic center of Polignano


GRAVINA IN PUGLIA


An unmissable stop in the Alta Murgia National Parc: Gravina in Puglia, a lovely village built on a canyon (so called Gravina) reachable via a long and suggestive ancient bridge!


Did you know that this is the bridge that appear on the famous film 007 : No time to die” with David Craig?


Dedicate to Gravina in Puglia at least half day: if you have time take part to a guided tour to see Gravina underground and wait for the sunset on the canyon when the warm light colors of pink the small village crating a wonderful panorama


Practical info

-To visit Gravina in Puglia:Parking in Via Bari along the street, just 10 min walking from the old town

-night in Agricampeggio Agri Biologica Le Murge in Dolcecanto (approx 10km from Gravina in Puglia) in the heart of the Murge National Park and near the Big Bench 126 overlooking the Murge


GRAVINA DI LATERZA


The so called Italian Grand Canyon …Laterza is famous for this majestic canyon (Gravina), one of the longest and deepest in Europe!


The best way to see the canyon is walking on one of the various paths that run along the top of the canyon with various panoramic views, starting from the Lipu Oasis in Laterza where you can also leave your car or camper.


GROTTE DI CASTELLANA


A complex of underground caves discovered in 1938 and characterized by eclectic Stalactites and Stalagmites …the most beautiful and majestic is the White Grotto that can be visited in the full tour!


Practical info:

- Caves Full tour (3km/100min – cost 19.50euro per person) or partial tour (1km/50min cost 16.50euro per person) approx. every hour from 10 to 5pm. The White Grotto that can be visited in the full tour, only

Some of the tour are in english

-Especially in pic season, It is advisable to purchase the ticket online at least 1-2 days in advance (https://shop.grottedicastellana.it/webshop/webticket/timeslot)

-temperature constant all year between 14 and 18 degrees

-Payment Parking for car and camper at 500m from the entrance of the caves (camper unique fees (for few hours or for the entire day/night) 7 euro). if you need services (no electricity) there is a free Area camper a couple of kms near the caves.


CASTEL DEL MONTE


A fortress built in the XIII century on a rocky hill and famous for its octagonal shape and the eight octagonal towers inserted on each of the eight corners that create a very particular symmetrical geometry!


Did you recognize it? This is the castle also depicted on the 1 euro cent coins!


Practical info:

-you cannot arrive to the castle with your car but you need to park in one of the payment parking nearby and reach the castle on foot (20min) or by the shuttle bus (available only in pic season). Another option is AgriturismoMontegusto just 1.2km from the Castle (you can use it for the night (B&B or camper area) or just as a parking

- the castle is open from 9 to 17.45 pm from Oct 1 to March 31 (from 10am to 18.45 from Apr 1 to Sept 3o)

- entrance ticket 7 euro per person (tickets in the ticket office in the castle or online on https://www.coopculture.it/it/prodotti/biglietto-castel-del-monte/)



SALINE E RISERVA NATURALE MARGHERITA DI SAVOIA


They are the largest salt flats in Europe and the second in the world… they create a breathtaking panorama especially when the water in the humid zone is calm and the reflections are visible.


If you can, get there at sunrise or sunset when the warm light makes the atmosphere even more surprising!


Moreover in the natural reserve it is easy to see the pink flamingos.

In winter unfortunately the natural reserve is closed, but the pink flamingos are visible also from the street.


BAIA DI VIGNANOTICA E BAIA DEI FARAGLIONI DELLE ZAGARE


A wonderful white cliff overlooking the crystal clear sea, perhaps the most beautiful one of all the Gargano area ... in winter, if you are lucky, you can enjoy it almost alone. Truly a wonderful experience.


We recommend to arrive there in the morning, otherwise it goes into the shade and you lose the colors


The road to reach it is narrow (mostly single lane) and therefore with the camper to be avoided in pic season. At the end of the road, there are car parks and even a campsite (Camping Vignanotica), but in summer the area is quite crowded so for us the winter version is undoubtedly better.


In front of Camping Vignanotica, there is also the access point to a coastal path from Baia di Vignanotica to BaiadalleZagare (approx 4km / 3h roundtrip/ medium difficulty). We weren't able to do it this time, because the day before it had rained, and it was slippery so we had to move the camper again to reach BaiadelleZagare.


In fact, a few kms away from Baia di Vignanotica, there is the suggestive BaiadelleZagare with its imposing 2 stacks … another unmissable place in Gargano.


To reach Baia delle Zagare, you have to walk for 30-40 minutes (downhill but return all uphill), leaving the car or camper along the road (I leave you the position 41,7512520 - 16.1477220 because it is not easy to find the access point being it not indicated by signboard) .... the view, however, repays the effort of the walking and you will not regret it!


Practical info:

Our Base: due to itinerary requirements we did not sleep in this area, but if useful on the coastal road from Mattinata to Baia di Vignanotica there are various campsites and camper parking areas (e.g. Da Francesco Sosta Camper at number 5 of the Strada ProvincialeMattinata -Vieste, open also in winter) or in Mattinata city center, campers can park for free in the Church Square (Viale Don San Prencipe)


MONTE SANT’ ANGELO


Monte Sant’Angelo is a charming medieval village perched on a hill in the Gargano National Park where history and religion are perfectly mixed up.


Highlights:

1) Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo (UNESCO)

2) Norman Castle of Monte Sant’Angelo

3) the Junno district in the historic center, a labyrinth of white houses connected by narrow streets and stairways.

4) The viewpoint at the end of Via Carlo D'Angiò: the village on one side and the Gargano coast on the other

About fifty km from the town, there is the cave of the Archangel Michael: in a legend it is said that the Archangel Michael appeared in this cave which thus became a pilgrimage destination and consequently the town of Monte Sant’Angelo developed nearby


Practical info:

Our base (also for the night): Parking at payment for car and camper in Via Carlo D'Angiò (7euro for the day and additional 10 euro for the night), just 2 minutes from the city center


Other stops in Puglia


Puglia is a wonderful region, to be visited several times and in different seasons.

For example, in summer (perhaps avoiding July / August when it is really too crowded) Salento area is awesome. We have been there in a camper at the end of June 2015 and in particular for us are unmissable: Faraglioni di Sant'Andrea, Torre dell 'Orso, Otranto and the nearby Cava di Bauxite and Punta Palascia, Santa Maria di Leuca, Gallipoli and the beaches of Torre San Giovanni, Punta della Suina and Punta Prosciutto (the so-called Maldives of Salento)!

Bari, Trani and Lecce are also very beautiful: we have visited them on other occasions. We will certainly return in Puglia sooner or later to visit more in deep the Gargano area and the Tremiti Islands


For more info on these places have a look on the posts in January 2022 on our IG page @2intour


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