Consider a honeymoon or romantic getaway in Apulia and the Tremiti Islands, where you can experience secluded beaches and some of the best scuba diving in Italy.
This less-travelled region in ‘the heel’ of Italy (that is more often used as a gateway to Greece, through the port of Brindisi) offers a stunning 800km-long coastline – overlooking the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the south.
The rugged region of Apulia (or Puglia in Italy) offers an engaging side trip while on a combined Italian–Greek honeymoon.
North of Brindisi sits the picture-perfect Tremeti Islands, famous for underwater grottos and excellent diving.
While to the south, lie the secluded beaches of the Salentine Peninsula – a region indented with dramatic inlets and secluded pine-fringed coves framed by sheer cliffs and the stunning blues of the Adriatic Sea.
Inland, a flat fertile plain is dotted with whitewashed trulli houses, characterised by unique cone-shaped roofs and surrounded by lush olive groves and vineyards.
The region is easily explored by hire car and the drive south from Otranto to Porto Badisco and beyond to the cape at Santa Maria di Leuca, returning via the west coast to Gallipoli, offers some of the region’s finest coastal views.
On the drive you will enjoy a rugged shoreline scattered with ruined towers and indented with picture-perfect coves framed by steep bush-covered cliffs pounded by a deep blue sea.
Top attractions in Apulia, include the following…
Discover this unique hilltop town comprising nearly 1500 ‘trulli,’ beehive-shaped stone houses made from local limestone, some dating back five centuries. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is not to be missed.
Explore this graceful university town crammed with stunning baroque architecture. Among the town’s many churches, visit the celebrated and ornate Basilica di Santa Croce, which took more than 100 years to create, and the Chiesa di Sant’Irene, with its lavishly gilded alter.
See the well-preserved Teatro Roman, with seats and orchestra floor still intact. And don’t miss the 12th century hybrid Byzantine–Romanesque-style church, Chiesa dei Santi Nicolo e Cataldo, with its octagonal rounded dome, tall nave, narrow aisles and arabesque arches.
Explore on foot, mountain bike or four-wheel drive one of Italy’s most beautiful regions and home to the Parco Nazionale del Gargano.
Walk through ancient forests and colourful fragrant maquis that sweep down to limestone cliffs and grottos overlooking a shimmering deep blue sea.
Visit the Santuario di San Michele at Monte Sant’Angelo, one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage sites. Unwind at the whitewashed seaside town of Peschici, surrounded by wooded hillsides and facing a string of coves fringed by gorgeous white-sand beaches.
Or try nearby Vieste, a picturesque hillside town surrounded by a string of spectacular beaches, with facilities including umbrellas, sun beds and peddle boats for hire. Both Peschici and Vieste offer a range of accommodation options.
This scenic region boasts hundreds of tiny coves framed by rocky promontories and fragrant pine forests.
The best beaches in the region, include…
Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this 8km-long white-sand beach that nestles between sand dunes and clear and shallow turquoise waters perfectly suited to children and inexperienced swimmers.
After the tide recedes, a wide sandbar is revealed that appears as if to be tiny islands, hence giving the beach its nickname – Le Maldive del Salento.
Facilities include umbrellas, sun beds and sections for beach volleyball, tennis and football.
Marina di Pescoluse is located on the southwest coast of the Salentine Peninsula, around 114km south of Brindisi.
Arrive here early to snag your spot on this pocket of golden sand that shelves into an idyllic cove of shimmering turquoise water.
Swim in the sheltered inlet, snorkel beneath the surrounding low cliff face and picnic in the shade of pine trees on the northern headland.
When you tire of lazing around, head over to nearby Grotta dei Cervi (Cave of the Deer), which is home to cave paintings of deer in guano (excrement from birds, seals or bats) and red ochre that date back 4000 years to the Neolithic era.
Facilities include sun umbrellas and little else, so you’ll need to take along your own food and drinks.
Porto Badisco is located on the southeast coast of the Salentine Peninsula, around 95km south of Brindisi.
With more than 20km of beach to choose from, you can pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim in crystal clear water at this popular beach resort.
Facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers and a range of cafes, restaurants and discos in summer.
Inland at the small town of Ostuni, walk through winding stone-paved streets lined with picturesque whitewashed Greek-style houses. The town is a short distance from the beach and is surrounded by olive groves.
Marina di Ostuni offers a variety of accommodation including the 4-star Grand Hotel Santa Lucia, a tastefully refurbished ancient fortified farm with its own private beach, just 25km north of Brindisi.
Experience the natural beauty of this unspoiled region, located in the north of Apulia, which is renowned for clear waters, outstanding scuba diving and the pristine Gargano National Park.
Read more about the Tremiti Islands …
There is a variety of honeymoon accommodation options available including the 5-star Masseria Torre Coccaro and its private beach club, a restored 16th century watchtower in Savelletri De Fasano.
Any time. Apulia enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate year round.
Temperatures in the summer holiday months of July and August average 30°C while the shoulder months average 28°C. The nearby Tremiti Islands are very popular during the months of July and August.
Apulia is a region of Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south.
The most convenient route to the Apulia region is by air to Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI), also known as Palese Airport, located 8km (5mi) northwest of Apulia's capital city, Bari.
An alternative route to the Apulia region is by air to Brindisi Airport (BDS), also known as Brindisi Papola Casale Airport and Salento Airport, located about 6km (3.7mi) from Brindisi.
Latest update: Where to honeymoon in Apulia: 17 January, 2023