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Five Unmissable Outdoor Adventures in Puglia

Occupying the sun-drenched heel of southern Italy and basking in consistently warm temperatures, Puglia has much to offer outdoorsy visitors. From exploring atmospheric underground caves to cantering on horseback across olive tree-studded landscapes, heading out into the open sea and hiking up mountains steeped in history, here are five unforgettable outdoor adventures to have in Puglia.

Head Underground into the Grotte di Castellana
33km from Masseria Torre Maizza
Puglia is astonishingly beautiful, both above the ground and below it. Beneath many of the region’s bijou white towns you’ll find one of Italy’s most stunning natural wonders. The Grotte di Castellana is an underground labyrinth that sprawls across almost two miles of tunnels and atmospheric galleries that began forming 90 million years ago. Descending to depths of 60m, discover cathedrals of stalagmites and immense subterranean fossil-studded canyons.

Cool off on a Dolphin Safari
56km from Masseria Torre Maizza
Lauded for its work with the Gulf of Taranto’s dolphins, Jonian Dolphin Conservation arranges seafaring expeditions with plenty of opportunity to meet their friendly wards. Breeze out across the water to marvel at the natural beauty of the Puglian coastline, keeping an eye out for the marine creatures that have called it home for over 4,000 years. Learn to decode the distinct whistles and clicks by which dolphins communicate and snap a few photos of them frolicking around the boat. Lunch is served on board—an ideal opportunity to enjoy some classic local cuisine served alongside spectacular views.

Explore the Region on Horseback
16km from Masseria Torre Maizza
Take the scenic route around Puglia on a horse ride. With so much to discover, there are all manner of riding routes on offer, from coastal canters along the cliffs and across the region’s beautiful beaches, to lesser-travelled trails that wend their way through ancient olive groves and fragrant citrus trees in the Italian countryside. For beginners or families with less confident young jockeys, Centro Ippico Parco di Mare offers lessons as well as excursions.

Go Deep Sea Fishing
If you thought Puglia was pretty close up, try it from a distance. Take to the blistering blue waters on a chartered group fishing trip. There are plenty of tour operators offering boat trips out into the Adriatic. The waters off Puglia’s coast teem with swordfish, grouper, red snapper, tuna, sardines and bonito. It’s a refreshing way to take in the coastal scenery and engage with a regional fishing tradition that’s been around for generations.

Hike through History
With so much beautiful countryside to explore, the simplest adventure is often the best. Just pull on your walking boots and follow your feet. Areas such as Gargano, home to some of Puglia’s stunning national parks and woodlands, and the wild beaches of the Salento are a great place to start. The hike up to Monte Saraceno in Gargano takes you to the necropolis of Daunia, founded between the 6th–5th century BCE, and offers incredible views out over the coast. Or enjoy the best of Puglia’s land and sea at Torre Guaceto, which has a protected marine area and nature reserve, gorgeous beaches, and coral reefs for spectacular snorkelling.

To experience these unmissable Puglian activities while staying at Masseria Torre Maizza, call us on +39 06 32 888 890 or email

Image credit
Castellana Grotte Viaggiareinpugliait Giorgia Esposito
Dolphin Safari Borchee iStock
Fishing Diana Meister iStock
Gargano Viaggiareinpugliait Vanda Biffani
Gargano Aldra iStock
Horse riding GAPS iStock