The Ultimate Guide to Mysterious Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

When I started planning my trip to Margherita Di Savoia in Southern Italy’s Puglia region, I really struggled to find any information about the destination online. I wanted to do some research before I arrived in Italy, but it turned out there’s nothing out there telling people how amazing Margherita Di Savoia is! This is probably because the town is very much a destination in progress – aside from Italians, very few tourists go to Margherita Di Savoia and it doesn’t have a fully developed set of tourist attractions – yet. If you’re anything like me, that knowledge will make it all the more appealing.

I loved my time there and figured I’d do my bit to inspire other people to visit, so here’s my guide to things to do in Margherita Di Savoia, the small town that sits on Italy’s achilles tendon. The town has one surreal natural hidden gem and some truly charming streets, just begging to be explored.

The Ultimate (And Only!) Travel Guide For Margherita Di Savoia in Puglia, Italy

I spent four days exploring Margherita Di Savoia with a bunch of travel bloggers and we had a super packed itinerary. If you want to really enjoy all of Margherita Di Savoia’s highlights, I suggest taking it a bit slower and spending some more time there so you aren’t rushing anything. Like seriously, I was wrecked after the trip – but that might have something to do with staying up until 5am making friends with the local Salento wine…

Anyway, this guide to Margherita Di Savoia tells you the best things to do, where to stay and – perhaps most importantly – everything you have to eat!

 

Visit the Margherita Di Savoia salt flats

Did you know that Puglia is home to Europe’s largest salt flats? Margherita Di Savoia produces 5-6 million cubic metres of salt per year and the town itself was actually built because of the land’s natural richness.

Girl on Salt flats Margherita Di Savoia

The water in the shallow basins is a magnificent shade of pink.

Pink Girl on Salt flats Margherita Di Savoia

Girl on Salt flats Margherita Di Savoia

You can explore the wetlands or clamber up on to huge mountains of harvested salt!

Margherita Di Savoia salt mountain

Margherita Di Savoia salt

Bird watching

Ok, I’m not exactly a bird watching enthusiast, but when the birds to be seen are flamingos, I’ll have a peek. There are huge flocks of pink flamingos living on Margherita Di Savoia’s salt flats, but they’re a bit camera shy so unfortunately I didn’t get any good photos.

The flamingos’ pink colour comes from the shrimp they eat – bet you never knew that!

Flamingo feathers on Salt flats Margherita Di Savoia

We went back to the wetlands at sunset for a spot of yoga. Definitely the most unique setting I’ve ever practiced in, and oh so tranquil.

Yoga class on Salt flats Margherita Di Savoia

Yoga class on Salt flats Margherita Di Savoia

Talk a local fisherman into taking you for a ride

Margherita Di Savoia is a coastal town with a small industrial marina. There are no ‘tourist’ boats in operation (yet!), but brush up on your Italian and you might just be able to sweet talk a local into taking you to sea.

Fishing boat in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

 

Go to the beach

When the sun is shining, the sandy stretch in front of the town is the perfect place to catch some rays. We went sailing on a catamaran from Cococabana Beach Club, which was super relaxing.

Margherita Di Savoia beach from the water

Margherita Di Savoia beach at sunset

Margherita Di Savoia beach huts

Margherita Di Savoia at sunset

Take a walk around the city

One of the things I loved most about Margherita Di Savoia was that at golden hour, the town’s population drags chairs outside their front doors in preparation to spend their evening alfresco. Walk around the streets at this time through alleys lined with multicoloured houses and you’ll see every generation come together outside.

Margherita Di Savoia promenade at sunset

Margherita Di Savoia streets

Margherita Di Savoia buildings

Margherita Di Savoia old ladies on balconies

Margherita Di Savoia pink building

Margherita Di Savoia houses

Margherita Di Savoia pastel streets

Margherita Di Savoia plaza from above at sunset

Margherita Di Savoia town plaza

Visit the thermal spa

We paid a short visit to the thermal spa, where they use therapeutic water from the salt flats for health and healing. If all those delicious carbs in Italy are making you feel anything less than excellent, this is a great place to spend an afternoon recovering.

 

See onion fields

If you drive through the countryside surrounding Margherita Di Savoia, you’ll detect the unmistakeable scent of fresh onions. Look further and you’ll spot the men toiling on the fields. We paid them a visit one morning and they were more than happy to pose for photos.

Onion farmers at work in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

Onion farming in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

 

Eat!

You can’t go to Italy and not eat pizza, but there’s much more on the table in Margherita Di Savoia. We lived off pasta, fresh cherries, antipasti and plenty of locally grown onions, plus all of the seafood.

Some of my favourite restaurants included Bagni Haiti, which is on the beachfront and serves excellent Orecchiette (a local type of pasta) and seafood, and Ristorante Oasi Beach for chic decor and more delicious seafood. For that all-important pizza, we ate at Canneto Beach 2.

Pizza in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

Best chef in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

Where to eat in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

Best restaurants in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

Best places to eat in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

Best fish in Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

 

Places to see near Margherita Di Savoia

Castel del Monte

This XIII Century castle was built by Emperor Frederick II in Puglia, near Santa Maria del Monte (18 km from the city). It sits on a hill in the western chain of the Murge mountains 540 meters above sea level and is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s worth spending a few hours there, learning about the area’s intriguing past.

Castel del monte, Puglia

Spend a day in Barletta

Walking around this coastal city was probably one of my favourite things to do in Puglia. Aside from all of the historical monuments Barletta has, the quiet, colourful streets are an Instagrammer’s dream and it’s a wonderful place to get lost in. Read my guide to seeing the best of Barletta in one day for more inspiration.

Main streets of Barletta

Where to stay in Margherita Di Savoia

I stayed at Hotel Belvedere, a pink-painted hotel that sits between those gorgeous salt flats and the beach. The free breakfast really set us up for the day and the owners are lovely.

Some of the other bloggers on my trip stayed at Cococabana Hotel Design which is the ultra-modern pick for those who want to be near the beach. It had a fabulous little rooftop for sundowners with a view.

You can find more hotels for every budget on booking.com.

 

How to get to Margherita Di Savoia, Puglia

I flew to Bari from London. From Bari Airport, it’s about a forty minute drive to Margherita Di Savoia.

 

Check out Lonely Planet’s regional guide for more information about Margherita Di Savoia and its surrounds.

All photographs were taken on my Olympus Pen E-PL7.

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Italy's hidden gems: Margherita Di Savoia travel guide.

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18 Comments

  1. June 22, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    I love the colors from the pristine salt flats to the multicolored houses and what you called the “golden hour” sun yimt. This is lovely I want to go.

  2. Tami
    June 22, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Oh my gosh! I would absolutely love strolling Puglia in the evenings during golden hour when everyone comes outside. It sounds magical!

  3. June 23, 2017 / 6:34 am

    Wow, this is a picture perfect place. I am a bigtime bird enthusiast. I find flamingoes interesting.I travel to Mumbai, India every winter to spot migratory flamingoes. I can imagine what it must have felt like practicing yoga in such a scenic location.

  4. June 23, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    There is something about Italy! I just love going there, never been to Puglia, needs to be on the list though.

  5. June 25, 2017 / 4:00 am

    Puglia is amazing! I had no idea. Such a beautiful destination and those food pictures are incredible. I did not know they had so many salt flats.

  6. June 25, 2017 / 10:10 am

    Wow I’ve never heard of the salt flats. The pink tint is mind blowing! I’m heading to southern Italy this summer, I’ll have to make my way especially since it’s a short drive from Bari Airport.

  7. June 25, 2017 / 11:02 am

    I didn’t know about the salt flats! How cool! Your photos are just stunning, thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. June 25, 2017 / 5:48 pm

    I had never heard about Margherita Di Savoia and it seems like a quite interesting place. The colorful houses, salt lakes, mountains, flamingos and food looks perfect. Surely going to add this to my bucket list.

  9. June 27, 2017 / 5:05 am

    Had never heard of this destination, but I guess if you are a foreigner you hear more of the popular places like Venice and Rome. I have realised that it is these smaller towns that have more unique and cultural experiences to offer than the more popular destinations.

  10. June 27, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    It’s always nice to get off the beaten track. I think you’ve the right approach to Italy, simply follow your nose! 😉

  11. siddharthandshruti
    June 27, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Had never heard this! Love your photo of the salt flats. And of course the food! Now we know what to try when we go to Puglia!

  12. June 27, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    What a coincidence that I came across your post (Via Emily Luxton’s blog). Yesterday I was deciding on where I might travel (in Italy) later in the year. Puglia was one of my choices along with Basilicata or maybe in even a two centre. Your post has shown me how lovely Puglia is. Thank you 🙂

  13. June 28, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Wow..just back from Italy but didn’t explore this part. Now I am wondering why. The beaches, streets, food are all lovely and inviting. And I particularly like the harvested salt mountain. Now I need to plan another trip

  14. June 28, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    I must admit i’ve never heard of this place before but your pictures make me want to go. I’d love to visit those beautiful pink waters. Plus anywhere with delicious food is always a major bonus for me and your pics are making me hungry

  15. June 29, 2017 / 9:59 am

    Stunning pictures. The pink basins are so cute. They add so much vibrancy to the place. Must look up more on this place.

  16. June 30, 2017 / 5:06 am

    Margherita Di Savoia comes across stunningly beautiful in your pictures. The salt flats look simp;y out of the world. I loved the town too, has such an old world charm which is so endearing. Had not heard about this place, definitely a place to visit when next in Italy.

  17. June 30, 2017 / 11:03 pm

    Can I go right now? That pink water is in incredible, and so does the kind of salt mountain! And don’t even get me started with that yoga session you did. Where do I sign?

  18. July 2, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    Amazing pictures! It looks like you really were pretty busy there. I’ve never heard about onion field. It’s something interesting indeed. I hope you enjoyed it besides the smell of course 🙂