A long weekend in Gallipoli, Puglia

Gallipoli is a small seaside town in Puglia and I highly recommend it for a weekend break or as part of a wider tour of Puglia. We’ve visited twice so here are some tips to make the most of your time in this beautiful town.

How to get there

To get to Gallipoli you need to fly to Brindisi (from London, only Easyjet and Ryanair fly directly) and then either hire a car and drive, get a taxi, bus or train. We chose to get a taxi as it’s much quicker than a bus and we didn’t want to drive but a top tip is to do your research and book it in advance, otherwise it can be really expensive. And if you book a return trip with the same company, you will get a better deal.

Where to stay

There are two options really – to stay in the new town or to stay in the old town. The old town is essentially like a little island and it’s full of locals so if you like to live amongst the locals, choose to stay in the old town.

We have stayed in both the old and new town and they both have their benefits. The new town was quieter, however the old town has such charm and you’re only a stone’s throw away from all the restaurants. You are very close to a beach, wherever you stay. As we always like to explore, we rented a scooter for the weekend so we could head out a little further afield but having transport in Gallipoli is not essential at all. The hotels we stayed at were Palazzo del Corso and their sister hotel in the old town, Relais Corte Palmieri.

The Angevine-Aragonese Castle in Gallipoli

Angevine-Aragonese Castle in Gallipoli

The beaches

Gallipoli has lots of public beaches as well as some beaches where you have to pay an entry fee, many of these are a bit like a club with DJs and can be really fun if you’re with a group of friends. There is only one beach in the old town, which is public.

Gallipoli old town beach

There are many public beaches along the coastline in the new town so you will be spoilt for choice. Wherever you decide to lay your towel, you’ll find cafes and restaurants nearby or even just food trucks selling drinks and paninis.

Gallipoli beaches

Hire a boat

We always hire a little boat when we are Puglia. There is a boat rental company right by the Angevine-Aragonese Castle that’s not too expensive. There’s a small island that you can sail to, throw your anchor down and then swim to, get out and explore.

Where to eat

You’re in the south of Italy and right by the sea so expect lots of fresh seafood. One of my favourite dishes is spaghetti alle vongole (clams) – absolutely delicious! Be sure to have an aperitivo before dinner too as it’s an Italian tradition. In Gallipoli, our favourite place to go is La Spingula Wine & Lounge Bar where we always order their tuna tartar with a couple of glasses of prosecco. It’s outside and the tables are actually wine barrels. If you go just before sunset, you will have the most stunning view of the sun setting. If you’re in luck, you may even see the prosecco opened with a sword!

Other places we like to eat are Il Bastione (be sure to book a table on the rooftop terrace), Dolce Vita on the rooftop of hotel Palazzo del Corso (also great for an apperitivo), L’Angolo Blu (which has both indoor and outdoor tables) and Grotta Marinara.

Fish from Gallipoli

Explore

Gallipoli is quite small – there are only around 30,000 people who live in the town. The main attractions really are the old town and the beaches. Explore the old town and take a look inside some of the old churches, particularly the 17th century Basilica Cattedrale di Sant’Agata. There is also an old olive oil mill in the old town called Frantoio Ipogeo di Palazzo Granafei, which you can visit for a few Euros.

Gallipoli, whilst small, is a gorgeous Italian seaside town which is definitely worth a visit. It’s perfect for a weekend break but if you’re visiting Puglia for longer, put it on your list.

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Where to stay, eat and what to do in Gallipoli, Puglia