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Why you should visit Polignano a Mare in Puglia

Polignano a Mare in Puglia

If I said ‘Polignano a Mare’ I’m sure your response would be ‘Polig a what now’? I’d not heard of it either but luckily I’m married to an Italian and well, he just knows these things. And you need to learn this town’s name fast because JUST LOOK AT THIS BEACH.

Lama Monachile beach in Polignano a Mare

Where is Polignano a Mare?

Located in Puglia (the heel of Italy), around 50 km from Bari airport and around 8 km from Monopoli lies the beautiful seaside town of Polignano a Mare. Puglia is one of Italy’s most affordable holiday regions with an average two to three course meal with wine costing around €60 for two. You can buy a bottle of Prosecco in a restaurant for €13! And with a Mediterranean coastline spanning hundreds of kilometres, it has beautiful beaches.

How to get to Polignano a Mare

You can fly direct to Bari, the capital of Puglia from various airports in London with Easyjet, British Airways and Ryanair in just under three hours. Then either take the train, a bus, taxi or hire a car to drive to Polignano a Mare. If taking a taxi, expect to pay around €60 but the bus and train are obviously your cheapest options and the train will get you there in around 30 mins for around €3 each way.

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Where to stay

To be honest, you’re spoilt for choice as there are plenty of hotels, B&Bs and Airbnbs so choose depending on your budget and go for ones that are located in the centre so that you are close to shops, restaurants and the beach – especially if you’re not planning on having your own transport. We stayed in Nico and Giuseppe’s Airbnb and it was perfect. They even had a jacuzzi on the roof terrace.

Rooftop jacuzzi in our Airbnb

At the moment there are no five star hotels but Grotta Palazzese is opening one soon. The Airbnb we stayed in was pretty luxurious and reasonably priced at around £120 per night.

The second time we visited Polignano a Mare, we stayed in a gorgeous AirBnB owned by Vittoria. It was beautifully decorated and had a bath tub in the bedroom!

Bathtub in our AirBnB

What to do in Polignano a Mare

You mean apart from enjoying the beaches? There is a cute historic centre with some shops and a contemporary art gallery but apart from that, there’s not that much. Of course, if you like looking at old churches there are plenty of those! I would really recommend hiring a car or scooter to explore nearby towns such as Monopoli, Ostuni (known as The White City because all the buildings are whitewashed) and the amazing Alberobello, where you will find the unique trulli.

Trulli in Alberobello Puglia

Seriously, Polignano a Mare is the kind of town you go to to relax, eat good food, drink good wine, soak up some sun and just get away from it all.

Try a local delicacy

Panzerotti is a typical street food from Southern Italy and at La Rotellina, which is very close to Lama Monachile beach, they make them to order. They are filled, deep fried pastry and are delicious! We ordered one with Mortadella and mozzarella – yum.

Mortadella panzerotti from La Rotellina in Polignano a Mare

Another local delicacy to try is focaccia Barese, which is focaccia bread topped with cherry tomatoes and olives. So delicious and cheap!

Where to eat in Polignano a Mare

You’re in Italy so I’m sure you can’t go too wrong wherever you choose to eat but it you want something truly spectacular then book a table at Grotta Palazzese. The food wasn’t the best we had whilst we were there but really, you don’t just go for the food, if you know what I mean….  We had the tasting menu with wine and it was close to €300.

Grotta Palazzese in Polignano a Mare

Other restaurants in the town we enjoyed were Ristorante Il Bastione, Il Cavo and La Locanda Porta Picc. About 2 kms from the town centre in a place called San Vito is a lovely restaurant called La Colonna where we enjoyed a lunch and which has a gorgeous view of the old residence of the Marchese di Greco.

San Vito Polignano a Mare

Close to La Colonna, in a place called San Giovanni, is Ai 2 Ghiottoni. This was recommended to us by our Airbnb hosts and was definitely the best food we ate. Plus the setting was also pretty spectacular. By the way, ‘ghiottoni’ means someone who is always hungry and can’t stop eating!

Ai 2 Ghiottoni in Polignano a Mare

Most of the beaches are either pebbled or are basically just rocks so make sure you come prepared – read the top three of these 10 essentials things for visiting the South of Italy.

Enjoy aperitivo at sunset

Don’t forget to enjoy the Italian tradition of aperitivo. There are some really beautiful spots in Polignano a Mare to watch the sun go down, enjoy a drink and some snacks pre-dinner. I highly recommend booking the one balcony table at Serafini.

Enjoying aperitivo at Serafini

Puglia is one of Italy’s most affordable and rustic regions with beautiful beaches. Gallipoli is also really lovely so if you make a real holiday of it, you can travel around Puglia and see lots of the different towns – and they really do vary – from the hillside towns of Ostuni and Alberobello to the seaside towns of Polignano a Mare, Monopoli and Gallipoli.

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Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Maggie

    Kirsty what a beautiful post! You had me at Polig a what now 🙂 . I can’t believe you’re married to Italian?!! That means endless visits to my favourite country in the world! Do you speak Italian? Totally pinning this to the bucket list!! xx

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Ha! Thanks Maggie 🙂 Yup, married to an Italian – hence why our summers are always spent in ‘the most beautiful country in the world’ (my husband’s words! I do speak a bit, yes but understand more. I used to take lessons ….should start them again!

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