Best time to visit Puglia

The best time to visit Puglia is during the spring, early summer and autumn.
High summer, July and August, is hot, reaching the mid 30°Cs inland, and it’s busy, too, with inflated prices to match demand. May, June and September are lovely, with temperatures in the 20°Cs, and good for walking and cycling. April and October are also good months to visit Puglia, but expect some rain and chilly days. November, December, January, February and March see temperatures in the teens. Most rain falls Dec-Feb, but come now and you’ll catch the world’s longest festival, Carnevale di Putignano, which runs roughly from Boxing Day to Shrove Tuesday.

Puglia Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)

Things to do in Puglia…

Cycling in Puglia is a treat, with easy routes connecting olive groves and ancient towns, trulli and churches, the Adriatic and the Ionian, beaches and beautiful valleys. Go self guided or in a small group; pedal in a loop around the heel or hug the coast – whatever you do, allow time out of the saddle to swim and explore. Walking breaks reveal the landscapes of Puglia. Walk along the lush Valle d’Itria, amble through ancient olive groves and vineyards overlooking the Adriatic or explore the Murgia Plateau on foot, a vast protected area home to over 150 churches dating back to the 8th century. Stay somewhere with character. Forget boring, identikit hotel rooms – there is no shortage of interesting accommodation in Puglia. Spend a night in a trullo house, or a traditional Apulian farmhouse known as a masseria, where you can try the farm’s organic produce – it will bring you closer to the culture and cuisine of this region. Soak up some culture. Puglia is home to amazing architecture, from the trulli of Alberobello to its Baroque cathedrals adorned with extraordinary frescoes. Guided walks included on an organised tour reveal each town’s history, and you can dig deeper into Puglian culture with a pasta making lesson, a visit to a papier-mâché workshop in Lecce, or some wine or olive oil tasting.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Puglia or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Things not  to do in Puglia…

This is Italy, and Italy means eating, so a Puglia holiday is a bad time to be on a diet. Tuck into tasty regional treats, which include orecchiette (‘small ears’) pasta, creamy burrata cheese, fresh seafood and delicious olive oil. Some towns have their own speciality, too. Try capocollo ham in Martina Franca and the DOC white wine of Locorotondo. On an organised tour, guides can introduce you to local restaurants and farms that you would not find independently. Come just for the beach. Yes, Puglia can deliver a superb, stylish beach break, but don’t stick to the coast. Explore its ancient towns, home to Baroque architecture, hilltop cathedrals and kooky trulli houses and walk or cycle in its landscapes of olive trees and wildflowers. Miss Matera. Although technically in Basilicata, fascinating Matera is just over the border from Puglia and a must-see. Its jumble of buildings stands atop ancient sassi, stone houses carved out of the caves and cliffs and once denounced as ‘the Shame of Italy’ for their appalling living conditions. Although Puglia is a favourite summer destination, don’t assume you have to visit in peak season. The coast will be busy in July and August; June and September are quieter and more affordable. Walkers and cyclists will love the spring, when many species of butterfly, orchid and cyclamen are out, or the autumn, when temperatures are comfy and the sea still warm.

Puglia travel advice

Marta Marinelli is an expert in all things Italy with our top partner Exodus Travels:

Best time to go

“Spring (Mar-May) is great for mild temperatures and spring flowers in full bloom – the countryside is picturesque and colourful at this time of year. Between June and September temperatures start rising to 30°C or above but there is always the opportunity to find some shade and rest during the activities or freshen up with a dip in the sea! Towns tend to be more lively at this time of year and there are a lot more events and local fests taking place. Thanks to the dry climate Puglia is a great region to visit in low season (Nov) although a few restaurants and shops may be closed then. Italians generally go on holiday in August so this is when the beaches will most crowded. The other popular tourist towns such as Alberobello and Matera are likely to be busy from Easter to October but staying overnight in these places will allow you to explore the streets by night when most day trippers have left. Puglia is a year-round destination, it just depends what one’s looking for.”

Must-see towns

“Matera is one of my favourite towns ever visited [just over the border from Puglia], it is enchanting and unique and was capital of culture in 2019. The views at night make it look like a nativity scene! Must visit are also Alberobello, famous for the conical roofed houses called trulli, the hilltop town of Ostuni, the coastal town of Poilignano a Mare and further south Otranto and Lecce.”

Eating tips

“Puglia is one of the best gastronomic regions in Italy and heaven for vegetarians. The cuisine relies on seasonal produce which is delicious and fresh. Specialities include: burrata cheese, taralli (savoury biscuits), capocollo (cured ham), orecchiette with cime di rapa (pasta with turnip tops sauce) and the outstanding Negroamaro and Primitivo wines!”

Puglia tips from our travellers

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Puglia tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
Be careful ordering your meal on your nights out – you only need ONE dish – not three!
– Checkie Wood
Be prepared for very hot days. While an easy walk each day the sun was hot and made it more difficult. Helen McNaught

“We went in early October – be prepared for all weathers it can be wet and chilly.” – Patricia Holt

“Be careful ordering your meal on your nights out – you only need ONE dish – not three! Make sure you have walking boots or shoes with a good grip, a light, breathable rain coat and a good back-pack. If you are single, the rooms are too small to share – take the single supplement – well worth your while. If you are vegetarian, be prepared for no vegetables! The markets are full of them but the restaurants don’t serve them!” – Checkie Wood
Written by Joanna Simmons
Photo credits: [Page banner: Sabino Parente] [Top box: Giuseppe Milo] [Things to do – cycling: Explore] [Must-see towns – Matera: Francesca Cappa] [Food: Lee Coursey]