Categories: Points of interest

Gargano: What to see and what to do in the “Spur” on the Italian “boot”

The Gargano is a mountainous promontory in the northern part of Puglia. For its geographical location, surrounded on 3 sides by the Adriatic Sea, it is also called “the spur of Italy”.
While maintaining many of the characteristics of the Apulian landscapes, the Gargano area is very different from the Valle d’Itria and Salento: you will find wooded areas with lush pine forests, mountainous landscapes, forests, a spectacular coast full of white limestone cliffs, sea caves, long beaches sandy and villages overlooking the sea.
The variety of the landscape is one of the salient features of this area.

Il Gargano è il monte più vario che si possa immaginare

Gargano is the most varied mountain imaginable

The territory of the Gargano, rich in important prehistoric settlements such as the Paglicci Cave and the mine of the Defensola, falls almost entirely in the Gargano National Park.

In the area there are also 2 Unesco sites: Monte Sant’Angelo, which is part of the serial site “The Lombards in Italy” and that of the Umbra Forest falling within the site of the beech woods.

Gargano Historical and religious

Vieste, Old Town

The villages of the Gargano preserve for many traits the ancient medieval characteristics, of the agricultural villages in the innermost areas and of the seaside villages along the coast.
They are all fascinating in a different way: you go from the coastal villages of Vieste, Peschici and Rodi Garganico to the mountain villages of Vico del Gargano, Monte Sant’Angelo and San Giovanni Rotondo.
The coastal villages are overlooking the sea and the intricate maze of white alleys often leads to lookout squares with a magnificent view of the Mediterranean.
Equally suggestive are those of Vico del Gargano, to be visited especially on the occasion of San Valentino, protector of the city, Monte Sant’Angelo with its mystical sanctuary dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo and that of San Giovanni Rotondo, whose link to the cult of Father Pio is now indissoluble.

Church of San Michele, Monte Sant’Angelo

The dualism between land and sea is also reflected at the table: products related to agriculture and pastoralism “compete” for the place on the table for fish. However, the extra virgin olive oil is omnipresent, which is particularly good on the Gargano.

The beaches and the coast of the Gargano

Baia delle Zagare, Mattinata
If the Gargano has become one of the areas most loved by Italian tourists and not only is it above all for its coast. From Mattinata to Vieste there are many cliffs overlooking the sea, fjords and paradisiacal beaches: Baia delle Zagare, Vignanotica, Cala della Pergola, Pugnochiuso and Baia di Campi are just some of the countless bays and coves that you can visit during a holiday on the Gargano. Arco San Felice

Pizzomunno, Vieste

The geological characteristics of the Gargano coast are able to offer us unique shows, such as the sea caves, the natural arch of San Felice and the stacks of Pizzomunno and Baia delle Zagare.
From Vieste onwards, the coast becomes gentler, with long sandy beaches interspersed with rocky ridges covered with Mediterranean scrub, with the inevitable coastal towers and trebuchets to witness the special relationship that this land has with the sea.
people bathing in tremors
The Tremiti islands deserve a separate discussion, a paradisiacal archipelago 12 nautical miles from the coast of the Gargano. A visit is a must.

The nature of the Gargano

Foresta Umbra

Among the symbolic places of the Gargano there is certainly the Umbra Forest, the green lung of southern Italy, about 10,000 hectares of beech, oak and unspoiled nature. The forest extends between the municipalities of Vieste, Peschici, Vico del Gargano, Carpino and Monte Sant’Angelo, it is also rich in fauna: here we can find indigenous roe deer, foxes, dormice, badgers, wild boars, owls (including the Royal one) ), tawny owl, barn owl and an infinity of other species.
This vast nature reserve is in the innermost part of the Gargano, just 30 minutes by car from Vieste, but since it has an altitude of about 800 meters you will find an ideal temperature for trekking even in summer.
Umbrian forest
We recommend arriving by car in the central area, near the artificial lake where there is also the bar / refuge and the area reserved for fallow deer.
Another peculiarity of the territory are the Gargano lagoons: for Bird Watching lovers in the north part instead we find the lakes of Lesina and Varano, in the south the Salso lake, near Manfredonia.

Due to its variety of landscape, the Gargano is to be considered a small paradise of biodiversity: many plant and animal species in the area have unique characteristics, such as the spontaneous orchids of the Gargano.

You just have to leave to discover this wonderful land, between sea, nature and culture


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