Gargano Peninsula on your own - accommodation, attractions and food
n the previous post (you can find it HERE) I gathered a lot of information about the organization of holidays in the Gargano Peninsula and presented step by step how I've planned the trip. Finding cheap flights to Italy is not a problem, but you have to rent a car and book accommodation, and with the latter in the season it can be hard.
1. Where to book accommodation?
Finding accommodation in Italy during the high season is not an easy task. As a rule, the best places are already booked, and the owners of those that have been seeing interest, increase prices. The cheapest offers can be found on AirBnb, especially if you travel with more people.
Not having much choice, I booked accommodation a few days after buying tickets. It was the cheapest accommodation I could find. The hostess turned out to be kind and helpful, she quickly answered all the questions. My friend and I lived in a small room with a kitchenette and bathroom.
The biggest downsides were the lack of air conditioning or a fan, lack of Wi-fi and the location, because you had to get everywhere by car. The terrace turned out to be a plus, located in an olive grove, where we could have nice breakfasts. The advantage was also decent cleanliness, an equipped kitchen and a safe parking place. So if you don't really care about luxuries, because you spend most of the day away from home anyway, I can certainly recommend this place to you. You can book it HERE.
For 4 nights for two people I paid 151 euro.
2. What to see?
Vieste is considered the informal capital of Gargano. In the season it can be noisy here, but not crowded enough to feel like in a typical holiday resort. No need to look for metropolitan attractions here, and the best way to explore the town is to walk through the narrow streets surrounded by white houses on both sides. It's worth giving in to the magic of this place and just wander where legs will carry you. The old part of Vieste is located on a small headland rising from the sea. The whole creates a charming picture, so make sure to visit this place, when being on the peninsula.
This former fishing village, built on a cliff, resembles Vieste. However, it is much smaller and in my opinion, even better located. Although walking around Peschici requires more effort, because the streets stretch mainly uphill or downhill, it will be compensated by a beautiful view, from virtually every corner of this town. It's worth visiting the ruins of Castello Normanno from the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries.
Prices are also decent here. We drank coffee and ate delicious ice cream here.
This dense, species-rich forest is located in the Gargano National Park, one of the largest in Italy. It is divided into four parts, one of which is not publicly available. You can see 700-year-old pine trees and 40-meter beeches here.
Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to visit it, but I hope that I will have the opportunity again in the future. Fingers crossed!
MONTE SANT' ANGELO
One of the most spiral roads I've ever seen leads to Monte Sant 'Angelo. It often turns up to 180 degrees, and at the same time it climbs sharply upwards, adjacent on one side to a steep cliff, and on the other to a rocky wall. Although it is only 15 kilometers from Mattinata, you have to reckon with a minimum half hour of travel. When you get there, the excitement don't diminish, because the city looks as if time has stopped in it.
3. Where to eat?
LA LOCANDA DEL MANISCALCO it's probably the busiest restaurant in Mattinata! Fortunately, we were able to get the last table, and this is only because we arrived quite early. Our 3 course vegetarian outdoor dinner was great! For starters, we ordered vegetables in tempura and a traditional potato salad. The main course was of course pasta: tagliatelle and cannelloni, and for dessert fig sorbet and pistachio mousse. Delicious!
TRATTORIA DA TONINO VIGNANOTICA hosted us wonderfully, not only with delicious food, but also with friendly service. We ordered a starter and main course of fresh pasta with tomatoes and arugula. Everything was very tasty and inexpensive. The place is out of the main road, so to get there, you'll need to use the navigation. But it's really worth it!
The Gargano Peninsula surprised me positively with the charm of small coastal towns and food! What I liked less was accommodation, which definitely came out the most expensive. This part of Italy is fantastic to explore by car, which is why in my opinion it is an ideal place for a 2-day stop, e.g. during a tour trip through Italian coast. The beaches are beautiful here, but difficult to access. The easiest way to reach them is from the sea, but renting a motorboat is associated with a greater cost and additional skills. The biggest disappointment was the impossibility to rent kayaks or do other water sports. Still, I'd love to come back to Gargano to get to know this area a little bit better.