Staying home but imagining future trips? Consider Puglia, which offers some of the most stunning beaches on the Italian peninsula.
30 Apr 2020
Sandy, rocky, overhanging the sea or made from sea current-smoothed white pebbles... A popular destination for tourists from all over the world, Puglia is known more than anything else for its beaches. Every year, its beaches win awards and accolades from environmental associations for being among the cleanest and best-kept in Italy. The Salento area in particular hides little strips of seaside and coves that seem to leap out of a postcard, with nothing to envy even the most distant tropical destinations, making them perfect for people who want a holiday dedicated to lu sule, lu mare, lu ientu (sun, sea and wind).
And so, without further ado, here is our list of the five most beautiful, not-to-be-missed beaches in this part of Puglia.
The Salento Maldives.
OK, the place’s name may actually be Marina di Pescoluse, but it was renamed the Salento Maldives for its expanse of light, fine sand and its turquoise sea reminiscent of the famous islands in the Indian Ocean. This beach is located on the Ionian coast in the south of Salento, a stone’s throw from Santa Maria di Leuca. One of the most popular beaches with bathers, it is a corner of paradise ideal either for a holiday with children, who can play on the beach in peace and quiet, or for holidaymakers who prefer a peaceful place to relax.
Along the coast road that connects Porto Cesareo and Torre Lapillo, this is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches not just in Puglia but in the whole Italian peninsula. Why? Because of its white sand, clear shallow seabed, and of course crystal-clear seas.
Because a large part of the beach is free, it is literally besieged in the summer months, so as well as deckchairs and a towel, make sure you take along plenty of patience. The beauty of the place is well worth it.
A little under a kilometre long, this bay is blessed with very fine sand and surrounded by a dense Mediterranean pine forest. On the horizon you can make out the Scoglio delle Due Sorelle (Two Sisters’ Rock), two suggestive sea stacks whose name, legend has it, refers to two sisters who lost their lives in these very waters, while a fisherman looked on.
At the southern end of the bay is the Grotta di San Cristoforo, an artificial hollow overlooking the sea. Latin and Greek inscriptions in this cave suggest that in ancient times it was used as a place of worship.
This beach is located within the Porto Selvaggio natural park, which covers 432 hectares of coastline, of which 268 are pine forest. This uncontaminated oasis lies far from the crowds of Salento’s most famous beaches, without being too distant from important towns like Gallipoli, Lido di Punta Suina and Porto Cesareo. Porto Selvaggio is an ideal place to relax and enjoy its crystal clear waters, light-coloured pebble beach and the charming green forest that surrounds it.
Baia dei Turchi.
According to tradition, Turkish raiders landed here during the 15th-century siege of the nearby town of Otranto, during the famous battle of Otranto. Today, tourists are attracted by its fine white sand and crystal clear seas, for a swim in a corner of paradise. Italy’s FAI environmental organization selected this beach among the first hundred places in Italy worthy of protection.
Where to stay in Puglia.
UNAHOTELS Regina Bari is a perfect launchpad for exploring the region, as well as an ideal place to relax and enjoy Puglia’s many attractions. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities, including the famous Noha restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools, and comfortable, luxurious rooms.