One of the most visited places in Puglia is definitely Polignano a Mare. As the name already tells you (mare=sea), it lies on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Probably the first image that you picture when someone says Polignano a Mare is the iconic cliff beach in the centre of the town. Even though there are not so many monuments and landmarks to visit, it definitely deserves a full day on your Puglia itinerary.
Most of the points of interest are located in the historical centre – Centro Storico. The old defensive walls that used to protect the old town are still standing to this day. To enter the “Centro Storico” you will pass through the “Porta Vecchia” (Machesale Arch) gate.
As soon as you cross the gate, you fill find yourself at a tiny little square called “Piazzetta F. Miani Perotti”. From here you can start your “let’s get lost tour” across the town. Because, to be honest, there is nothing better to do than get lost and discover all the beautiful hidden corners that this town has to offer.
The old town’s whitewashed narrow streets and colourful doors are very beautiful. What is very unique about this town are the poetries written/painted on almost every wall, street or a staircase. Most of them (if not all) are poetries by the local artist “Guido Il Flâneur”. It feels like walking through a poem 🙂 .
Visit the “Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II”, which is the main square of the town. It is surrounded by many gift shops, bars and restaurants where you can have a drink or grab something delicious to eat.
On your way to the Centro Storico, you will pass across the “Ponte Borbonico” which is the main and most famous bridge here. It is located right over the “Lama Monachile” beach. This famous iconic beach is a MUST when in Polignano.
Even though it has a very nice sandy shore, it is also very small and crowded therefore we decided to approach the beach from the cliff side. We love cliff jumping and that’s also another thing that Polignano a Mare is famous for. Every year in summer they host the “Red Bull cliff diving competition”.
To get to the cliffs of this beach find the statue of the famous singer Domenico Modugno, who is known worldwide for his famous song “Nel blu dipinto di blu” or simply called “Volare”.
Next to the statue you will find the stairway that goes onto the rocks and the left cliff side of “Lama Monachile“ beach. We preferred to go there and enjoy some cliff jumping ourselves rather than going to the overcrowded shore of this beach.
On the other side of the statue there is the restaurant “Il Bastione” with the beautiful terrace over the beach. Prices are normal however they have a rule of ordering minimum 3 courses per person which makes you spend in the end more.
As we talk about the restaurants on the cliffs with the view, we can’t help but mention the worldwide famous restaurant “Grotta Palazzese”. Its terrace is built into a natural sea cave which offers a unique view. I am sure you have already seen a picture from this place on the internet. It is not only a restaurant but a hotel too. It is a very luxury place and the prices for both the restaurant and the hotel are very high, but if you are looking for something fancy and special then it definitely can be the right choice.
If you prefer to eat something traditional and cheap we recommend to eat in “Pescaria”. In Puglia it is very typical and common to eat raw fish and “Pescaria” is a concept restaurant offering a wide variety of raw fish and seafood sandwiches.
After lunch or dinner don’t forget to get an ice cream at “Gusto Caruso” gelateria as many people consider it as the best ice cream in the world 🙂
For the best view of the beach, go to “Terrazza Santo Stefano” and you will have a view of the beach from the sea/cliff side.
If you just want to have a view of an endless beautiful turquoise sea and not the beach, head to “Balconata sul Mare”. There is also a restaurant where you can have lunch and enjoy this charming view.
If you are on a road trip across Puglia, we recommend to visit Polignano only for one day and not to spend the night there as it can get quite expensive especially if you are travelling on a budget. Even though everything else in the town is cheap, we found hotels to be pretty expensive.
Polignano A Mare is a small town and can be easily visited in one day. It is a perfect stop on your Puglia itinerary. If you are coming by plane, the closest airport is Bari (40min car drive away). Rent a car in Bari airport and do the road trip across the entire Puglia, you won’t regret it 🙂 .
If you decide for the Puglia road trip, make sure you check out our
Alberobello travel guide :http://borntotraveldiaries.com/alberobello-travel-guide/
Ostuni travel guide:http://borntotraveldiaries.com/ostuni-travel-guide/
We hope this blog post was helpful to you and you are gonna have a great time while visiting Polignano a Mare. For more pictures and videos check our story highlight (Polignano). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment bellow or contact us via email or even better via Instagram @borntotraveldiaries Thank you for your time and stay tuned for our next diary page 🙂.