Gargano National Park

Curiosity:

  • Monte Sant’Angelo, in the heart of the Gargano National Park, is the highest inhabited center in all of Apulia
  • In the Gargano there are 2 UNESCO sites of the 4 in Puglia (Basilica of San Michele in Monte Sant’Angelo and Umbra Forest)
  • The Lesina and Varano lakes are the largest lakes in southern Italy, famous for the production of oysters and other types of mussels
  • The Gargano can count a quantity of beaches of an incredible variety between sand, pebbles, chianche and can satisfy every type of tourist
  • Vieste is the capital of Apulian tourism with over 2 million tourists a year
  • The Gargano has an impressive variety of fauna and flora (just think of the 87 varieties of Spontaneous Orchids that bloom from March to April)
  • In the Gargano National Park there are more than 500 km of paths that can be traveled on foot, by mtb and e-bike, on horseback
  • We have selected the most beautiful beaches in the Gargano National Park (click here)

What to see and what to do in the Gargano National Park

Find out what to do and what to see on the Gargano, don’t miss the best for your holiday in Puglia.

Here is the list of the 10 attractions that you must see and visit in the Gargano National Park, between sea, mountains, lakes and forests, in all seasons, with sun and rain.

–  Panoramic tour of the Gargano

One of the most fascinating activities to do on the Gargano is to organize a day tour of the Gargano, between sea, mountains, lakes and forest.
From any point of the Gargano you start, you can take this incredible tour by following these simple rules.

Be early, the Gargano is long, full of attractions on winding roads and breathtaking panoramic views.
Take it easy, it takes a whole day!

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 The Arco of San Felice

Start your visit to the Gargano in the morning on the MattinataVieste coast, being able to enjoy the sun that illuminates the coast and makes the colors wonderful.
You can spend the hottest hours in the cool, protected by the shade of the Umbra Forest.
Choose to spend the afternoon on the PeschiciViesteRodi Garganico coast and enjoy a fantastic sunset over the sea.

One of the most fascinating ways to visit the Gargano coast is to organize multi-day itineraries by MTB or E-Bike.

Gargano Coast in EBIKE

The service is offered MooveNG, noleggio e tour green.
MooveNG has an agreement with Tourist Structures specialized in welcoming and assisting cyclists.
It will be possible to request the shuttle service from the airport and from the Foggia and Bari stations for small groups.
Discover the MTB and E-Bike itineraries in the Gargano National Park (click here).

–  Umbra Forest, the green heart of the Gargano National Park

In 2017 the Umbra Forest was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its ancient beech woods.
In 2022 La Foresta was included in the list of the 10 most beautiful forests in the world (unique in Italy).

Visit this green lung of Puglia, of course.
In the forest there are 15 marked paths, some of which are suitable for beginners, others for trekking and mountain bike experts.
For the less trained there is the option of Ebikes, pedal assisted bikes.

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The Umbra Forest on Ebike

The karstic nature of the subsoil does not allow the formation of large natural lakes.
In the center of the Umbra Forest, you can visit the Deer Reserve and the Umbra lake, certainly among the most scenic spots and appreciated by children.

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The Fallow Deer Reserve

The forest is an uncontaminated ecosystem and protects endangered animal species, among which the Italian roe deer stands out
Discover the Umbra Forest (click here) and set off on an adventure!

–  The Wild Coast between Mattinata and Vieste

The coast that goes from Mattinata to Vieste is one of the wildest and most beautiful coasts in the world.
You decide to visit it by land so as to reach among all the Bay of Mattinatella (find out here), the Bay of Vignanotica (find out here), the Baia of Porto Greco, Baia San Felice with its famous Arch and many others.

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Panoramic Trails of the Gargano

Definitely not to be missed is a boat tour to discover this magnificent coast, full of sea caves, paradisiacal coves and stacks.
Boat tours depart from May to September.
Discover the boat tours we have selected for you.

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Boat tour of the Gargano

The greenest, most innovative and fascinating way to visit this wild coast is by using a transparent canoe, so as to immerse yourself completely in uncontaminated nature.
The experience is possible from May to September.

–  The Transparent Canoe in Mattinatella

How about a trip in a transparent canoe on the Gargano?
We love nature and this is the best way to discover the wonderful and wild Gargano coast.

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The Transparent Canoe on the Gargano

The departure is from the Mattinatella beach.
In a few minutes you can reach pristine bays, sea caves, stacks.

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Paradise in the Gargano

The peace of the places and the sound of nature will frame an unforgettable experience.
It will be possible to reach and stop at Baia delle Zagare, Cala della Pipa, Cala della Cattedrale and many other wild beaches.

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The Caves of the Gargano

The canoe rental is daily, with departure in the morning, in order to start the tour with optimal temperatures and have the sea with favorable waves.
We recommend bringing a packed lunch, a good amount of water and a great desire to have fun.

Discover the transparent canoe (click here) to visit the beauties of the Gargano. Marvelous!

–  Vieste, Peschici and Rodi Garganico

Vieste and Peschici are the queens of tourism in the Gargano, famous for their huge sandy beaches suitable for children.

Vieste is commonly referred to as the pearl of the Gargano and is the favorite Apulian destination with over 2 million visitors a year.
The symbol of Vieste is the Pizzomunno, a 25-metre-high monolith to which Max Gazzè dedicated a song participating in the Sanremo festival.
Find out more about Vieste, the romantic city par excellence.

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Vieste, the Pearl of the Gargano

Between Vieste and Peschici is “La Salata“, one of the most important necropolises in the Mediterranean.

Traveling along the coast between Vieste and Peschici you will notice the numerous Saracen towers and the Trabucchi del Gargano, very ancient fishing machines still functioning on the Gargano.

We are in Peschici, a town overlooking the sea, looking east.

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Among the alleys of Peschici

The most evocative part of Peschici is certainly the historic centre, a labyrinth of alleys to be discovered.
White houses, craft shops, spectacular sea views, shops where you can try typical local products: this is Peschici!
Do not miss a visit to the Castle and the Torture Museum.

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Sunset from the Trabucco

Peschici is famous for having both sunrise and sunset over the sea.
If you are a little lazy for sunrises, you can enjoy the sunset over the sea, perhaps seen from one of the trabucchi of Peschici.
In recent years the trabucchi of Peschici have been transformed into special locations where you can have an aperitif or dine.
Please book well in advance!

Not too far from Peschici is Rodi Garganico (click here), a town perched on the sea with miles of sandy beach and expanses of citrus groves, including oranges and lemons recognized as PGI.

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Rodi Garganico and its port

Rodi Garganico is one of the best equipped and strategic ports for reaching the Tremiti Islands.

–  Fishing on the Trabucco

One of the unique experiences, suitable for young and old, is certainly to go up and participate in a fishing trip on a trabucco of the Gargano.

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The Trabucco of Molinella

The Trabucco is a wooden fishing machine, built by hand and used in antiquity.
There are more than thirty Trabucchi in the Gargano, some of which are in operation.

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Fishing on the Trabucco

We recommend that you find out more about the art of trabucco fishing, accompanied by the guides of the association “La Rinascita dei Trabucchi storico”.
The proceeds of this experience go to this association which invests the funds to take care of these sea museums.
Info and reservations on the official website of the trabucchi (click here).
Unforgettable experience.

–  Monte Sant’Angelo and the Pulsano Abbey

Don’t forget to discover the secrets of Monte Sant’Angelo and its Basilica of San Michele, a UNESCO site.

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The Basilica of San Michele

Monte Sant’Angelo is one of the oldest towns in Puglia and owes its fame to the Basilica of San Michele, located in a cave.
Visiting the Grotta is an experience not to be missed!

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The Cave of San Michele

More and more people appreciate Monte Sant’Angelo as a tourist destination, cool in summer but close to the sea, an ideal starting point for discovering the beauties of the Gargano.
Do not miss a visit to the historic center of Monte Sant’Angelo, the Rione Junno, with its historic shops, alleys full of history and tradition.
It is possible to spend your vacation in one of the Rione Junno houses, historic center of Monte Sant’Angelo (click here).

In the evening you can stop in one of the many cafes, where you can taste typical products at km0.
Discover Monte Sant’Angelo and its many secrets.

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The Rione Junno of Monte Sant’Angelo

A few km from Monte Sant’Angelo is the Pulsano Abbey, one of the most incredible sites in the Gargano.
Don’t miss a visit to this mystical place.
In the valley you can find 24 caves, used in the past by hermit friars.

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Pulsano Abbey

There are numerous departing tours of tourist level or suitable for expert walkers.
Discover the abbey of Pulsano (click here). Not to be missed!

–  Manfredonia and the Two Basilicas of Siponto

Manfredonia is one of the liveliest cities of the Gargano, famous for its bars, many restaurants and nightlife.

Manfredonia is defined as the gateway to the Gargano
The name comes from King Manfredi, who had founded it a few steps from the now abandoned Siponto, the ancient Roman city.
Manfredonia is the most populous municipality of the Gargano
The singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla, originally from this city, has written numerous songs dedicating them to this town in the Gargano.

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Manfredonia, top view

Do not miss a visit to nearby Siponto and its two basilicas.
The city of Siponto was very important in Roman times for its port.
A violent earthquake razed the town to the ground in 1223.
Before the recent restoration, the archaeological site of Siponto consisted of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Apulian Romanesque style) and the remains of the flooring of the early Christian church.

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The Basilicas of Siponto

In 2015, an artistic installation by the young Edoardo Tresoldi brought attention back to a little-known site.
The remains of the church were highlighted by the work of the young artist.

A three-dimensional church was built on the remains of the early Christian church.
The technique used involves the use of intertwined metal meshes.
Visit the church at sunset to enjoy the changing effects that this work offers with the arrival of night and the play of lights.

Discover the beauties of Manfredonia (click here).

–  The lakes of Lesina and Varano

The Gargano is famous for its coastal lakes, in Lesina and Varano.
These are salt lakes famous for the cultivation of mussels, including the oysters of San Michele, unique delicacies in the world.

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Farms on Lake Varano

You can visit the lakes in many ways.
We point out the Green mobility project proposed by ILake (clicca qui), which offers canoe tours at sunset to discover the beauty of Lake Varano.

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Canoe excursions on Lake Varano

Visiting the lakes of Lesina and Varano can allow you to “steal unexpected shots”, including a breathtaking view of the Tremiti Islands.

–  The Tremiti Islands

Among the things to do and see in the Gargano you cannot miss a visit to the paradise of the Tremiti Islands.

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The Tremiti Islands

You can visit the Tremiti Islands by boat or helicopter!

–  Experiences not to be missed on the Gargano

We have selected the best experiences to do on the Gargano.
Canoe, mtb and ebike, yoga, sup, cultural and food and wine tours, trekking and much more…
Discover the wonderful experiences on the Gargano that we have prepared for you!

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Yoga SUP in Gargano National Park

You can request the Gargano Green Card in order to have discounts on many of the proposals affiliated with the project.
If you love green experiences you cannot miss it.
Click here to find out more about the Gargano Green Card.

–  Trekking on the Gargano

The Gargano is famous for its over 500 km of wonderful marked paths
It is a true paradise for nature lovers.
Many of these paths are crossed by the Via Micaelica, a branch of the Via Francigena del Sud.

Sentiero Scannamugliera

The Path of Scannamugliera on the Via Francegina

Discover also the many panoramic paths, immersed in a wonderful and uncontaminated nature.
Start your journey!

– Gargano beaches, discover the most beautiful bays

The Gargano is famous for the variety and beauty of its beaches, there is something for all tastes.
The coast that goes from Rodi Garganico to Vieste, passing through Peschici, is characterized by shallow waters with sand, suitable for families with children.

Una Spiaggia del Gargano

A beach in the Gargano National Park

The coast that goes from Vieste to Macchia, passing through Mattinata, is characterized by having beaches with rocky seabeds, very white cliffs and colored pebbles.
These beaches often have slightly more “complicated” access, often reachable via paths or stairways, but you are rewarded with incredible shows.

The most beautiful beaches of the Gargano

We have listed the beaches in “geographical order” starting from the Macchia coast up to the Rodi Garganico coast.
Discover the selection of the most beautiful beaches in the Gargano (click here).

–  What to do on the Gargano with children

Are you on the Gargano and want to entertain your little ones?
Here’s what to do on the Gargano with children:

  • A day at the farm, spend a day in nature on the Sitizzo farm.
    You will be able to watch the production of Caciocavallo Podolico del Gargano and get your hands dirty!
    Take part in this fantastic farm experience (click here).

    La lavorazione del Caciocavallo Gargano

    A Day on the Farm

  • Ebike in the Umbra Forest to discover the Daini and the Umbra Lake.
    Discover the uncontaminated nature of the Gargano.
    You will have the opportunity to bring your children and choose between Bike and Trekking.
    Find out more about ebikes in the Umbra Forest (click here)

    Noleggio e Tour BICI E-BIKE E MTB in Foresta Umbra

    E-Bike in Umbra Forest

  • Fishing on the Trabucco is a magical experience suitable for young and old.
    Enjoy being a fisherman for a day.
    Book the Trabucchi experience (click here).

    Fishing on Trabucco

  • The Dinosaur Park in the village lies between San Giovanni Rotondo and San Marco in Lamis.
    Fun experience for adults and children, to discover an ancient Gargano, inhabited since prehistoric times.
    Book your day in nature in the dinosaur park (find out more).

    The Dinosaur Park

 

–  What to do on the Gargano when it rains

It’s raining and you don’t know what to do in the Gargano National Park?

Don’t miss a visit to the Basilica of San Michele (UNESCO site), the Devotional and Lapidary Museum in the Basilica of San Michele.

You can decide to complete your trip with a visit to San Giovanni Rotondo to discover the history of San Pio da Pietralcina (click here).

The Basilica of Monte Sant’Angelo

– Gargano, What to see and do in Spring and Autumn

The Gargano is wonderful all year round, in spring and autumn.
We advise you not to miss the best of the Gargano in Spring, in search of spontaneous Orchids and many other attractions.
Furthermore, don’t miss Easter on the Gargano, with the many centuries-old historical re-enactments.
Find out what to do on the Gargano in Spring (info here).

The Orchids on the Gargano

Discover the wonders of the Gargano in September and Autumn.
You will be able to enjoy a mild climate, discovering the uncontaminated nature of the Gargano.
In September there are numerous events, in the patronal festivals of Monte Sant’Angelo, San Giovanni Rotondo and Mattinata.
Find out what to do on the Gargano in September and Autumn (info here).

La Basilica di San Michele a Monte Sant'Angelo

La Basilica di San Michele a Monte Sant’Angelo

– Gargano, What to see and do at Easter

Easter on the Gargano is a deeply felt moment and can become a special and unusual time to visit the Gargano.

Among the municipalities of Gargano. where Easter is experienced in an overwhelming way we mention Vico del Gargano with its ancient procession on Good Friday, Monte Sant’Angelo with the rite of the office of darkness and San Marco in Lamis, with the procession of the fracchie, giant bonfires that travel around the town, dragged by groups in typical masks.

Le Fracchie di San Marco in Lamis

The Fracchie of San Marco in Lamis

–  Patronal celebrations, ancient traditional rites on the Gargano and themed festivals

We would like to point out all the events not to be missed on the Gargano:

– Valentine’s Day, February 14th in Vico del Gargano

This is the festival dedicated to Valentine’s Day and the oranges of Vico del Gargano.
Ready to discover the land of lovers on Valentine’s Day?
Discover Vico del Gargano (info here).

– Le Fanoje di San Giuseppe, 18 March in Monte Sant’Angelo

After the long winter, on March 18th, the evening of San Giuseppe, the fanoje are lit in Monte Sant’Angelo, large fires that enliven the evening, with music, food and good wine.
In this festival all old wooden things are burned, wishing the end of winter and the beginning of the summer.

– San Michele di Maggio, 8 May in Monte Sant’Angelo and Cagnano Varano

The first apparition of San Michele on the Gargano is celebrated in Monte Sant’Angelo.
Even today, thousands of caravans of pilgrims reach Monte Sant’Angelo wearing traditional clothes, walking for days, in honor of San Michele.
Both in Cagnano Varano and Monte Sant’Angelo there is a procession and important civil events, including festivals, concerts and shows.
The Michael festival is held in Monte Sant’Angelo, with excursions, guided tours, theatre, music, food and wine.

– San Giovanni, 24 June in San Giovanni Rotondo

The patronal feast of San Giovanni Rotondo is celebrated on 24 June.
These days there is a procession and various secular events, including concerts and festivals.

– Madonna of Siponto, 31 August in Manfredonia

On August 31st the patronal feast of Manfredonia dedicated to the Madonna of Siponto of Manfredonia is celebrated.
In addition to a beautiful city procession, the festival is characterized by numerous events which end with the spectacular fireworks over the sea of the Gulf of Manfredonia.

– Madonna della luce, September 15 Mattinata

On September 15th the patronal feast of Mattinata dedicated to the Madonna della Luce di Mattinata is celebrated.
The festival is characterized by numerous religious and secular events.

– San Michele, 29 September in Monte Sant’Angelo

It is a thousand-year-old celebration, dedicated to San Michele, who appeared on Monte Gargano and Monte Sant’Angelo 3 times.
The festival lasts several days, in which religious events take place, including the procession of the sword of Saint Michael with which the Saint defeated the devil, according to Catholic worship.
These days there are numerous festivals, traditional markets and evening events.

–  Gargano, What to see and do at Christmas

The Gargano is full of “natural nativity scenes” where you can breathe a magical Christmas atmosphere.
Monte Sant’Angelo, Vieste, Manfredonia.
Lots of events, Christmas lights, live nativity scenes… you’re spoiled for choice.

We are waiting for you on the Gargano in Puglia, every occasion is a good one to come and visit us!

–  Events on the Gargano, themed festivals

Gargano is increasingly distinguishing itself for its themed festivals.
In this list we have selected the 6 festivals not to be missed on the Gargano.

  • Orchidays, Orchid Festival;
  • Il Raduno dei Suonatori di Tarantella, popular music from the Gargano with incursions from all over Southern Italy
  • FestambienteSud, art and music with attention to sustainability;
  • Vieste in Love, an event dedicated to lovers;
  • Mònde Fest, Film Festival on Cammini;
  • Fextra, festival dedicated to extra virgin olive oil;

Around 90 species of spontaneous orchids grow in the morning area, which can be discovered in spring, from April to the beginning of May.

Orchidee del Gargano

The Orchids of the Gargano

An entire festival dedicated to Orchids called “Orchidays” will be organized over the long weekend of April 25th.
During the Festival there are numerous themed guided tours and evening events, not to be missed (info here).

Il Raduno dei suonatori di Tarantella has been held for years in Monte Sant’Angelo.
The Festival is held at the beginning of August in the Rione Junno, the historic center of Monte Sant’Angelo.

The Tarantella Players reunion

It will be possible to take part in dance and traditional music courses and then find yourself dancing at the evening popular music concerts in the square.
Discover the program of the Tarantella players reunion (Il Raduno dei Sunonatori di Tarantella) on the event’s official FB page (info here)

Among the events not to be missed on the Gargano we point out FestambienteSud, a traveling music and art festival that enlivens the August nights on the Gargano (info here).
Every year FestambienteSud deals with a current theme, translating it into music, poetry, tastings and much more.

The Gargano is dressed in “passion red” with Vieste in Love, an event dedicated to lovers.
The historic center of Vieste is transformed, becoming the perfect setting to host all lovers.
The event takes place at the beginning of September (info here)

The Gargano is a land of green tourism and has been the location of numerous films.
The first week of October Mònde Fest – Film Festival on Cammini is organized in Monte Sant’Angelo.

Mònde Fest – Film Festival on Cammini

It is a Festival where in the morning you take part in trekking and e-bike excursions for free, while in the evening there is space for the cinema, dedicated to walking and more.
There is no shortage of participation of numerous actors and directors.
Each evening ends with musical events and tastings, not to be missed.
Discover Mònde Fest – Festa del Cinema su Cammini (discover more).

Gargano is famous for its fine EVO oil.
In Mattinata there is a Fextra, an entire festival dedicated to extra virgin olive oil, in mid-October.

Fextra, the olive oil festival in Mattinata

Fextra is a festival that will allow you to participate in numerous experiences.
You will be able to immerse yourself among the olive trees and participate in the harvest, visit the oil mills, participate in tastings and themed events (find out more).