Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

PUGLIA

Planning a trip to Puglia? Then, consider hiring a car to travel around! There is so many pretty places to see, so many restaurants to dine in and so many cliffs to jump off to the ocean.

For those who don't know, Puglia is the boot of Italy, it is the southern region and best known for Trulli houses with stone huts and distinctive colonical roofs, burrata or Puglian olive oil. It is also stretched hundreds of kilometers on the Mediterranean coastline, attracting visitors to not only spend their days in cute hill towns, but also on the rocky coastline. Bari, is the capital town of this region, and also considered to be the second important economic city of the south of Italy, after Naples.  Lecce, on the other hand, is a city located at the south and is often referred to as Florence of the South for its baroque architecture.

Whatever your reason would be to be travelling to Puglia, you will enjoy your time here. Whether you are after pretty Pugliese towns, enjoying Italian food and wine or soaking up the sunshine on the sea, you'll have it all, and even better, you'll have it all in one road trip.

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Where to hire a car?

We have booked our car through Avis website prior arriving to Puglia. There are plenty of other car rental options that you can refer to. Whether it will be through your airline, directly or even on the day at the airport. However, I would recommend you booking a car prior, to avoid any higher costs and to make sure that they will have the car you want on the day and on the time of your arrival.

Once booked online, it is super easy and smooth to get a car on the day. Just make sure that you won't forget a driving license. Pick up and drop off is at the same place, making it super convenience and easy for you to get around!

I would suggest getting a small car in Puglia, as the streets in the cities are very narrow and tiny. Moreover, you will have easier parking options with smaller cars. In Puglia we have rented a 4 seated Smart car and it was perfect! 

Cost of a road trip?

Car rentals can range depending on the length of your stay and the car choice. There is no average or the best deal. It is already useful by hiring a car that you will spend less money by commuting around through trains and buses. Additionally, if you are travelling in a larger group, you can split the costs for a car rental and gas, so at the end it will cost almost nothing for all of you. 

Other costs to consider is maybe a car insurance with the provider or if you have your one. Alternatively, you can take the risk of not having one, but you will have to be extremely carefully while driving. But you never know what can happen. Accidents or car scratches counts.

Lastly, carry some cash and coins with you for parking. You may find a lot of free parking spaces around, but majority of them close to the attractions and the city will be paid. Usually the cost of one hour of parking is anywhere between 1 to 2 Euros. So be aware of where you are parking to avoid any penalties!

At the end of the trip, you will have to return the car with full gas, so make sure to top up the gas on the way to the airport or at the airport they would usually have gas stations. Depending on how much you have drove, other costs will go to the gas. 

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

What do you need to know about driving in Puglia?

In Italy and like anywhere else in Europe, you will be driving on the right side of the road. I have to also say that Italians are driving crazy, so be extra careful. In Puglia, you will come across many turning points, so drive cautiously. 

You will get easily around with a car. However, the historic centers of each towns are not accessible by cars, rarely they are. So make sure to park somewhere close by so you can walk around later. 

Download Waze or other driving applications which will help you to navigate your way and also will remind you about speed limits, which is also useful when you are driving abroad.

Lastly, pay attention to blue or yellow lines in the car parks. These means that they are either restricted by residents or that you will have to pay a ticket for parking. Moreover, lookout for ZTL zones (restricted traffic areas) that are not only applicable in Puglia but all over Italy. They are mainly applicable in the city centers and are clearly marked with a sign. Parking and driving through these restricted zones may cause you high fines. Therefore, always check parking spaces nearby the city center on Waze or Google Maps before getting there.

Where to travel?

Bari is where you would probably lend on the arrival. Definitely stay in Bari for a night or day to explore the port and university city before heading off to smaller towns in Puglia. 

I have personally travelled around just for 3 days and manage to visit many beautiful Puglian towns. Check your travel and plan your way accordingly, in order to avoid going back and forth the same place. With a car, it is easy to stop pretty much anywhere you want for a short city stroll and break, so take an advantage of it and explore many towns and sights you can. 

During 3 days in Puglia, we have traveled from Bari to Matera (not in Puglia region though),  the next following day we have went to Alberobello, Martina Franca and Locorotondo. On the last day we have visited Cisterno, Ostuni, Monopoli and Polignano a Mare. Haven't unfortunately managed to travel further south, but there are plenty of other places that I would suggest you to check, such as Castellana Grotte, Lecce, Otranto, Mulino d'Acqua beach or Cave of Poetry.

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

Hiring a car for road trip in Puglia, Italy

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