Vacation in this seaside town built on cliffs and appreciate its scenic rocky coastline, cliff-diving opportunities, popular beach and old churches.
Polignano a Mare benefits from a spectacular setting on top of a limestone cliff above the Adriatic Sea. It is a place where you can explore sea caves, relax on attractive beaches and see ancient architecture.
Start your visit in the town’s old quarter to get some insight into Polignano a Mare's history that stretches back more than 2,000 years. To reach the old quarter, walk through the Arco Marchesale, a 16th-century archway. Wander through the warren of narrow streets and alleys. Browse the stores and take in some refreshments at a bar or restaurant with a sidewalk terrace.
Visit the town's old churches, such as the Mother Church of Santa Maria Assunta, a 13th-century place of worship that was built on the ruins of a pagan temple. Inside are religious works of art that are hundreds of years old as well as the remains of San Vito, the patron saint of Polignano a Mare. During your old town tour stop at one of the panoramic terraces to marvel at the fabulous sea views.
Head down to the beach, just a few minutes’ walk from the old town. The beach is sandwiched between two cliffs and features calm, clear water. Look up from here at houses that seem to be perched precariously on the rocks.
Cliff diving is a popular activity in Polignano a Mare, particularly among teens who leap off the rocks into the sea. Occasionally, the town hosts an international cliff-diving competition in the summer.
Rent a paddle boat or schedule a boat tour to explore the inlets, caves and grottos that dot the rocky coastline, some of which are under the old town. Grotta Palazzese is the largest of the town's grottos. It is a huge cavernous space that is also the setting of a restaurant.
To get to Polignano a Mare, drive along the coastal road from the international airports at Bari or Brindisi, approximately 22 miles (35 kilometers) and 52 miles (83 kilometers) away respectively. Stay for the history, coastal scenery and hours of beach fun.