Where to stay in Puglia for beach lovers: an amazing beach resort in Gargano
I’m not very familiar with Italy’s southern Puglia region. But I know someone who is: my good friend Claudia. So when I called her up to ask if she knew of any nice beach hotels in Puglia, either in the Salento or Gargano areas, she immediately told me of a place called Hotel Baia delle Zagare in the Gargano. She told me it was more of a beach resort with restaurants, two private beaches, a pool, tennis courts and stunning views of the sea. As soon as I hung up I hurried onto their website and completely fell in love. I called up my sister and my mom and rushed into booking our women-only staycation in Puglia. Time flew by and just like that it was June 7th and our much-awaited vacation to Puglia had finally arrived. Once we set foot inside Hotel Baia delle Zagare, we were swept off our feet.
A relaxing vacation in Italy
After spending four days at Hotel Baia delle Zagare, I can tell you it’s the perfect beach hotel in Puglia for a relaxing stay. Completely immersed in nature and surrounded by the National Park of Gargano in between Vieste and Mattinata, this hotel is truly the place that will allow you to recharge. We drove to the hotel from Rome (a 4-hour drive) and as we passed Mattinata, the views of the coastline were terrific. With each turn we were immersed more and more into nature and could smell the perfume of the “zagare”, the fragrant flowers from which the Hotel and the beach get their name from. But it isn’t just the amazing scent of nature, flowers and the sea that’s worth getting yourself a reservation at Hotel Baia delle Zagare. Its stunning beach with two large white faraglioni rising from the crystalline waters will truly do the trick.
Baia delle Zagare – one of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia
As soon as we checked in, we changed into our bikinis and hit the beach. The hotel actually has two beaches – the North and South beaches – but only the North beach was accessible while we were there. To reach the spiaggia, you take a panoramic elevator with floor-to-ceiling windows offering jaw-dropping views of the beach and sea. I can’t explain how beautiful this was. And as the elevator doors open, crystalline waters with different shades of turquoise and a pebbly beach await you.
Go to the lifeguard and give him the ticket you were given at check in and he’ll find you a beach umbrella and sunbeds. Lie down on your lettino and soak under the sun. Or better yet, take a swim in the sensational water. And if you like kayaking, you can rent the kayak for up to one hour free of charge. Swim up to the faraglioni, snorkel, or just lie down on the shore.
For lunch, they have the beautiful beach restaurant Baia Beach Grill where they serve Apulian cuisine. From fresh seafood salads and the catch of the day to vegetarian options or delish meat dishes, they have a small but great selection of food. And what kind of beach lunch would it be without a glass of chilled vino? We sat at our table, with views of the beach and with the trees offering a fantastic shade, as Italian and international music floated in the background. Does it get any better than this? I think not…
The rooms, the restaurants & the staff
We booked the Classic Room which was a charming room boasting a furnished balcony, air conditioning, a private bathroom, a double bed and a separate bed (where Giulia slept)! Simple and charming, just like a beach hotel room should be. One of the staff members accompanied us to our room with a golf cart and unloaded our bags.
After our beach day, it was time to get ready and grab aperitivo and dinner! You can indulge in a perfectly-made spritz or a glass of chilled wine at the reception bar, where along with your drink you’re served some complimentary snacks.
And when it’s time for dinner, head to I Faraglioni restaurant, which has been recently renovated. The most beautiful place to dine? The terrace. Oh my, don’t even get me started on how beautiful this small terrace is. And the view? Simply jaw-dropping. Right below you, the Baia delle Zagare beach with the sound of the waves hitting the shore, and the sight of the illuminated faraglioni. It’s just heavenly. And getting to enjoy this view with my mom and sister was just the perfect treat.
For dinner there are two ways you can go – an a la carte menu or a daily menu with a fixed price per person. If you order a la carte, definitely go for the red tuna cubes with a caramelized yellow peppers sauce as an appetizer- unbelievably good. If you’re a carb lover, go for the troccoli with seafood (an Apulian type of pasta), or the orecchiette with ragu sauce (yum)! The wine selection is also good, we asked the sommelier for some recommendations and we were extremely happy with the local wines he suggested us.
And the staff? They were lovely, from the lovely lady at the reception to the lifeguards at the beach and the staff at the restaurants.
Getting to Hotel Baia delle Zagare
Coming from Rome, we had two options to reach the hotel: grabbing a train from Roma Termini to Foggia and then getting a private transfer to the hotel (the hotel can organize this for you), or go by car. Just know that if you don’t have a car, you’ll surely have to organize a private transfer as there are no public transportation that reach the hotel.
What to see near Hotel Baia delle Zagare
Ok, ok, I’ll be honest…we didn’t really go anywhere else during our four days at Hotel Baia delle Zagare. We just wanted to realx and recharge. But if you’re staying a few more days, there are some beautiful places you can explore. From the National Park of Gargano to catching the sunset in Peschici at Il Trabucco. But that’s a whole other story to tell!