Head for the gorgeous Promontorio del Gargano with its shimmering sea, limestone cliffs, chalky grottoes, fragrant maquis and primeval forests and its charming seaside resorts of Vieste and Peschici. Within the Parco Nazionale del Gargano, take guided walks or Jeep, quad-bike or mountain-bike tours. You can take a ferry to the Tremiti Islands: also in the National Park and named for the many earthquakes in the area, they're surrounded by amazing clear Adriatic waters. Back on the mainland, don't miss the Baia delle Zagare, a stunning beach named for its scented orange blossoms, with impressive sea stacks just offshore.
Make a beeline for the white-sand beaches of the Salentina peninsula, the actual heel of Italy, strewn with olive trees and vineyards. Top beauty spots here are the Alimini lakes (Adriatic Coast), Porto Selvaggio (Ionian Coast) and Otranto harbour. South of Otranto, the Punta Palascìa lighthouse stands on Italy's easternmost point.
Don’t miss Alberobello with its famous UNESCO World Heritage listed trulli – dry stone huts with conical roofs. Some are rented out as self-catering cottages or opened up as B&B accommodation.
Explore the regional capital Bari, especially its medieval quarter, Bari Vecchia, where you can stroll along the waterfront on the old city walls. In Bari province, don’t miss the spectacular Castellana Grotte calcite caves.
Check out Lecce, dubbed the ‘Florence of the south’, with lots of baroque architecture to ogle and some great places to sample rustic local cuisine.