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Jutting out into the Adriatic Sea in an area referred to as the spur above Italy’s heel is the Gargano Peninsula. This is a vast national park with long sandy beaches, whitewashed villages that cling to hillsides and tracts of forest.
With a diverse environment, the Gargano Peninsula is an ideal place to visit for opportunities to get outdoors. Hike along the trails of Foresta Umbra, through thickets of maple, ash and cedar trees. Unwind on the beaches of Vieste and take a boat tour from its harbor to nearby sea caves. Embark on long coastal walks across steep ridges and marvel at the views of the Adriatic Sea. Enjoy a range of water sports on Lake Lesina and Lake Varano, two saltwater lakes.
Devote some time to visiting the area’s old towns and villages. Tour the hilltop village of Cagnano Varano where there is a 17th-century cathedral and the Baronial Palace, which dates back to Norman times. Close to the town is a cave-church that was consecrated in the 5th century.
In Manfredonia, find ancient churches, a castle from the 13th century and a harbor. Go to the cliff-top town of Peschici and stop by the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto. According to legend it was built as an act of devotion by a group of fishermen who had survived a storm. Stroll through the old narrow streets of Mattinata and see the ruins of a Roman villa.
One of the most popular destinations in the peninsula is the Padre Pio Sanctuary in San Giovanni Rotondo. Every year, millions of Catholic pilgrims come here to visit the tomb of Saint Padre Pio, a revered mystic monk.
The easiest way to get around Gargano Peninsula is with a rental car, but there are also bus services between some of the towns.
This family-friendly Rodi Garganico hotel is located near the beach, within 1 mi (2 km) of Gargano National Park and Gargano Promontory. Foce Varano and Isola di Varano are also within 2 miles (3 km). Ischitella Station is 26 minutes by foot.
Situated near the beach, this historic villa is steps away from Gargano National Park and Gargano Promontory. Lake Varano is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) away.
Situated in Carpino, this apartment building is steps away from Gargano National Park and Gargano Promontory. Lake Varano and Foce Varano are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in Carpino, this hotel is steps away from Gargano National Park and Gargano Promontory. Lake Varano and Foce Varano are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in Cagnano Varano, this bed & breakfast is steps away from Gargano National Park and Gargano Promontory. Isola di Varano and Lake Varano are also within 5 minutes.
This family-friendly Cagnano Varano campsite is located on a lake, just steps away from Gargano National Park and Gargano Promontory. Isola di Varano and Lake Varano are also within 5 minutes.
Situated in Carpino, this agritourism property is steps away from Gargano Promontory and Gargano National Park. Lake Varano and Rodi Garganico Marina are also within 12 mi (20 km).
Situated on the beach, this campsite is steps away from Gargano Promontory, Gargano National Park and Lake Varano. Isola di Varano and Foce Varano are also within 9 mi (15 km).