Vieste is a beautiful seaside town located in the eastern part of the Gargano Promontory, in the Italian region of Puglia (Apulia). Its amazing position just above the sea, its cozy historic center and its long coastline make anyone who visits it for the first time fall in love with it.
Discover with us all you need to know about Vieste: must-see attractions, local gastronomy, fun activities and info about ferries to the fascinating Tremiti Islands. Take a look at our travel tips and book online your ferry tickets to Italy on Ferryhopper, with no hidden costs!
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The Old Town of Vieste and its rocky promontory overlooking the sea
Vacation in Vieste
If you are planning your summer holiday to the Tremiti Islands, you might want to consider taking your ferry from Vieste and add this gorgeous seaside town to your trip!
You can simply organize a 1 day trip to Vieste or plan a 2-3 stay to explore the Gargano area. Whatever you decide, Vieste will welcome you warmly with its art, traditions and sea scent.
This small town is a great choice for everyone, as it manages to combine history, nature, beaches and fun. Keep reading to learn how to get to Vieste and what to do during your stay.
How to get to Vieste
You can reach Vieste by car, bus, train or ferry depending on your starting point.
Vieste is about 100 km from Foggia (its provincial capital), and the road to the town is filled up with twists and turns. Arriving by car through the coast road will offer you a scenic spectacle of Vieste, standing on its rocky ridge.
Alternatively, you can get to Vieste by bus from some major Southern Italian cities such as Rome or Naples (changing in Foggia).
To reach the town by train, you can travel to San Severo or to Foggia and then continue your trip by bus. Keep in mind that during spring and summer there is also the Vieste link, a combined train + bus service that connects Foggia train station with the towns of the Gargano.
If you’re traveling by plane, the closest airports to Vieste are the one in Foggia (domestic flights) and Bari (international flights).
As for ferries to Vieste, if you are already on the Tremiti Islands in the summer, you can hop on a hydrofoil to Vieste from the ports of San Domino and San Nicola. Scroll down the page to know more about ferries to/from Vieste.
A beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Vieste and the Gargano peninsula
What to do in Vieste
Vieste is one of the most beautiful towns in the Italian region of Puglia (Apulia in English) and is often called "The Pearl of the Gargano". Once in Vieste, you should start your visit with a stroll in the Old Town. Get lost among its small white houses and catch a glimpse of the sea from its narrow alleys. Here you’ll find old churches, museums and, of course, beautiful beaches.
Admiring the illuminated lighthouse during sunset is one of Vieste’s more fascinating spectacles. The lighthouse stands on the uninhabited islet of St. Euphemia, known by the name "Noah's Island". According to local legend, Noah and his wife Vesta settled in this area after the universal flood and stayed until the death of the woman, who was allegedly buried here, giving the city its name.
Vieste is located in the Gargano National Parc and offers numerous natural attractions! You can to set off on a jeep excursion, go hiking or cycling and discover the wildest parts of the area.
The coastline of Vieste is one of the most popular among windsurfers and kitesurfers and attracts many water sports lovers every year. Vieste is also famous for its sea caves, which can be visited through organized boat tours.
Beaches in Vieste
From north to south, Vieste has a plethora of Blue Flag beaches, suitable for any need. If you don’t want to stray far from the town you can enjoy the beautiful beaches nearby, but you can (and should) also explore the wilder ones a bit further.
Here are our favorite 7 beaches in and around Vieste:
- San Lorenzo Beach: located very close to the city center, it is among the most popular beaches of Vieste. Its coastline is about 2 km long and has several bathing establishments. It is accessible from the Lungomare Europa. Given its shallow waters and the numerous amenities, it is ideal for families with kids.
- Punta Lunga Beach: about 4 km from Vieste, this beach is popular among camping enthusiasts. Indeed, there are tent, caravan, and RV sites within walking distance of the beach, but the area is accessible only through the Punta Lunga Village. It is small and well conserved, giving exotic paradise vibes.
- La Chianca Beach: surrounded by dense vegetation, this beautiful beach is located 8 km north of Vieste. Its name comes from the rock of the same name in the center of the bay, which is also an ideal spot for taking many photos. Near the beach you will also find a partially open sea cave, that was once a refuge for some monk seal specimens.
- Sfinalicchio Beach: accessible from the internal Vieste - Peschici road, this is the northernmost beach in Vieste. There are a few bathing establishments, but the surrounding vegetation and its dunes give it a wild charm. The entire bay is also a popular destination for windsurfers and kitesurfers, thanks to its favorable currents.
- Portogreco Beach: if you are looking for a romantic and secluded place, this is probably the beach for you. There are no services, the surroundings are unspoiled and the waters are simply amazing! You can reach the beach with a 15-minutes car drive from Vieste, but keep in mind that you will have to park on the road and walk down a dirt path.
- San Felice Bay: among the most beautiful on the coast, this bay consists of 2 small beaches divided by a cliff with a 16th-century watchtower on top. People usually come here to capture the view or to venture among the beautiful sea caves. You can access the path that leads to the beach from the Vieste - Mattinata coast road and go through the accommodation facility of the same name. Alternatively, you can discover the area by boat.
- Scialara Beach: about 4 km long, it is the closest beach to Vieste and is known for its famous Pizzomunno cliff. Here you will find several equipped bathing establishments, but as you move south, the area becomes freer and wilder. You can walk to it from the center of Vieste or from the many entrances from the Lungomare Mattei.
Fun fact: according to a local superstition, anyone who completes a full circle around the Pizzomunno cliff will return to Vieste will have their wish come true.
Scialara beach and its Pizzomunno (which stands for "piece of the world")
Sightseeing in Vieste
Vieste is one of the oldest towns in Daunia, and its area has so much to offer! In addition to the amazing beaches, you will have the opportunity to visit old churches, archaeological sites and learn more about fascinating maritime traditions.
Some of the most beautiful attractions in Vieste are:
- The Old Town, called "Vecchia Vieste"
- The Piazzetta Petrone, a stunning terrace overlooking the sea
- The Swabian castle, now a military zone and open only for certain events
- The cathedral of Vieste, dating back to the 11th cent.
- The staircase of love (“scala dell’amore”), located on the city's main street
- The Civic Archaeological Museum "Michele Petrone", developed inside a former convent
- The Malacological Museum, with about 12,500 specimens of shells
- The necropolis of La Salata, the most important archaeological site in the Gargano
- The Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Merino, an ancient rural church that holds great value for locals
- The trabucchi, traditional fishing machines, most of them now converted into restaurants
Vieste's imposing Swabian castle rising above the sea
Nightlife in Vieste
Vieste and the entire Gargano area offer various nighttime entertainment, especially during summer.
For a quiet evening, you can stay in the Old Town, stroll through the narrow streets, along the waterfront, or enjoy typical meals in a local restaurant. Among the most popular venues for young people, we can find Bar Garibaldi and Flora Cafe.
In summer, the nightlife moves to the lidos, which stay open until late at night. If you’re looking for a more energetic night at a nightclub or with live music, do not miss Oasi Beach or Quasenada Beach Club, the favorite among locals.
Food in Vieste
Gargano cuisine is based on simple and genuine ingredients, offering a mix of sea and land products.
Vieste is all about fresh fish, tomatoes, fragrant citrus, cacioricotta cheese and Puglia's delicious extra-virgin olive oil, standing on every table of every restaurant. You should also try local confectionary excellences and fine wines.
Here are some dishes and delicacies to try while in Vieste:
- Fish soup
- Orecchiette with tomato sauce and ricotta
- Cavatelli with squid
- The caciocavallo podolico cheese
- Fava bean and pumpkin soup
- Scaldatelli of Monte Sant'Angelo (Gargano's most famous taralli)
- Apulian focaccia
- Paposcia (a tasty stuffed panfocaccia)
- Cartellate (also known as kulùstr, a typical Christmas sweet)
Vieste's delicious cartellate with almonds, honey and vin cotto
What to visit around Vieste
Should you stay a few more days in Vieste, don't miss the opportunity to visit its hinterland and other beautiful places in the Gargano. Our favorite are:
- The Arch of San Felice, a picture postcard place located just outside Vieste
- Peschici, a charming village by the sea, located at the northernmost point of Puglia
- The Foresta Umbra (Umbrian forest), a protected nature reserve and UNESCO site
- The Lake of Varano, the largest coastal lake in Italy
Tips for Vieste
Here some useful tips to better plan your visit to Vieste:
- The streets of Vieste's historic center are filled with charming little stores and boutiques. Don’t hesitate to browse inside and admire the artisans working with wood, limestone, or beautiful jewelry.
- At the beginning of June, Vieste hosts the Regata dei Parchi (parks regatta), a beautiful sailing event organized by the Gargano National Park, in collaboration with the Lastovo National Park, in Croatia.
- Vieste is an ideal destination for water sports lovers! Kitesurfing and windsurfing are among the favorite activities during summer.
- If you travel with kids, you should participate in a fishing demonstration at the trabucco of San Lorenzo, one of the few that still preserves the tradition.
Fishing with a traditional trabucco
Useful information for Vieste
Vieste has many visitor amenities and excellent facilities, well-equipped beaches and entertainment options. You may decide to visit Vieste in the day before taking the ferry to the Tremiti, or spend a few days in the Gargano area.
You will find a wide range of accommodations in Vieste, including hotels, resorts, B&Bs and campsites. You should opt for the city center or the lungomare (waterfront) if you intend to get around by foot, but you could also go for the hilly area around Vieste.
Gargano resorts are usually also well equipped to welcome people with disabilities. In fact, there are several bathing establishments with accessible facilities and hotels with all kinds of amenities. Check our blog to learn more about barrier-free holidays in Italy.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Vieste
Here are some useful contacts to keep on hand for your trip to Vieste:
- Port Authority: 0884708791
- Carabinieri: 0884705100
- Traffic Police: 0884702911
- Medical guard: 0884705645
- ER: 0884706530
- Veterinary clinic: 0884355007
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Vieste
You can easily get around in Vieste by foot. The Old Town is a pedestrian zone, so you may have to leave your car a bit outside the city center. The 2 city beaches are also easily accessible, but if you are planning to travel further away, having a vehicle is a must.
Thanks to city and suburban bus lines, you can travel to other places outside of Vieste. In summer, there is usually an overnight service connecting Vieste with Baia di Campi.
The northern hinterland of Vieste, on the other hand, is perfect for those who enjoy biking, thanks to its flat and wonderful nature trails.
Beautiful panoramic terrace in the Old Town of Vieste
Vieste ferry port
The port of Vieste is located in the eastern part of the Gargano promontory and is very close to the historic center.
The port area is divided between the Marina of Vieste, with boats and fishing boats, and the tourist pier where you’ll be able to catch a ferry to the Tremiti Islands. The port area has many bars, restaurants, shops and accommodation facilities.
If you arrive in Vieste by car, you can look for free parking somewhere along the Lungomare Promenade, or use a paid parking closer to the port. Keep in mind that the Limited Traffic Zone (LTZ) in Vieste affects the entire city center.
Ferries from Vieste port: schedules and tickets
From Vieste you can take the ferry to the Tremiti Islands, but only during high season.
Ferries from Vieste to Tremiti Islands operate daily from late April to September, with more frequency during summer.
The crossing from Vieste to the Tremiti Islands can take between 50 min. and 2 hr 10 min, depending on the company and the type of vessel.
NLG ferries from Vieste arrive at the port of San Nicola, while Gruppo Armatori Garganici ferries connect Vieste to San Nicola only until mid-June, and to San Domino for the remaining months. Keep in mind that ferry routes are subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Good to know: if you want to reach the Tremiti Islands the rest of the year, you can take the ferry from Termoli.
The Tremiti Islands, a natural paradise just a few km from Vieste
Book your ferry tickets from Vieste online
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Vieste ferry timetable
View the complete ferry schedule from and to Vieste for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.