Every Italian knows that Italy’s most beautiful beaches are found in Puglia. But do you? Do you know which are the most beautiful beaches in Puglia and in all the south of Italy? In this post I have already listed the prettiest beaches in Gallipoli, the capital of the Italian summer beach scene. Here I’m going to tell you about three beaches that you simply can’t miss if you’re on holiday in Puglia: the beach at Porto Cesareo, the one at Baia di Torre Lapillo and the one at Punta Prosciutto. They are all located in the Porto Cesareo area, so go there you’ll be able to take in all three in a short time. Let’s get started!
Porto Cesareo beach
The beach at Porto Cesareo is just north of Porto Cesareo and is about a kilometre long. In a little cove and flanked by dunes and typical mediterranean wild scrub, both the water and the beach are simply heavenly. There are other little beaches all around, too, which make the area great for taking a walk along the sea as well as for sunbathing! Then, to make the location absolutely perfect there’s the little scattering of neighbouring islands, too. For walkers, these beaches can easily be reached on foot from Porto Cesareo, otherwise it takes just a few minutes by car. There are swimming facilities in the area and several restaurants that look out over the sea. There’s plenty of holiday accommodation if you fancy spending the night before taking to the beach – including hotels and holiday homes. To help you get your bearings, the beach is located a little before you reach the impressive ancient sea defence fort, Torre Chianca.
Torre Lapillo beach
This stretch of fine white sand extends for around four kilometres – there are no rocks in the sea and shallows extend well out from the shore. Some people call it the Salento Caribbean. The beach is located north of Porto Cesareo and is hemmed in by two sea defence towers: Torre Chianca and Torre Lapillo. Half of the bay is taken up by the little town that is named after the tower, Torre Lapillo, and the other half is dunes and vegetation. However, in the northern part you’ll actually find houses on the beach (I, too, have one here …) while in the more southern part you’ll find the most stylish swimming and beach facilities in the whole area. In certain spots, Torre Lapillo has the most breathtaking translucent water and glorious sand – an absolute must-see!
Punta Prosciutto Beach
The last of the three beaches is the one at Punta Prosciutto, not because it’s in any way less beautiful, but just because we’re moving from south to north. This is the wildest of the three, with really high sand dunes up to 8 metres high. It’s really fabulous. It, too, has crystal-clear water, kilometres of white sand and dunes. In comparison with the other two beaches, this one has fewer amenities, but it’s truly a taste of paradise. Walking along you’ll find several sections with umbrellas and facilities, and some little bars. The only built-up part is actually on Punta Prosciutto itself, a promontory that stretches out towards the sea. Yes, it’s really called ham (prosciutto is the italian word for ham). Don’t ask me why, though. Even the locals can’t say. We only know that in the local dialect you say Li Prisuddi or Li Prisutti, so maybe it only got translated into Italian as prosciutto because the words sounds similar.
Before I go, I’ll just leave you with a few more thoughts and FAQs.
- Are there beaches at Porto Cesareo town itself? No, they start a bit further north. At Porto Cesareo itself the beach is small and very crowded. In Porto Cesareo town you’ll find everthing you need in the way of bars, restaurants and the best ice cream parlours in the area and, of course, the seaside promenade.
- Where can I find crystal-clear water? Wherever you find sand. But I think the highest marks for the clearest water must go to Torre Lapillo beach.
- Where can I find the finest sand? Firstly, Torre Lapillo and Porto Cesareo and then Punta Proscuitto.
- Is it quiet in August? In August all the beaches of the Salento area are always very crowded. If you want peace and quiet and the whole beach to yourself, better to come in June and September. If anything, the beach that is a little less crowded is the one at Punta Prosciutto. Of course, the beaches seem even more crowded because they are narrow. This is a common feature of beaches throughout the region.
- Where can I stay? Aside from the numerous hotels in Porto Cesareo, there are lots of holiday homes and villas less than 500 metres from the beach – both in Torre Lapillo and Punta Prosciutto.
- Which is the best location for small children? The water in some stretched of Torre Lapillo Bay is very shallow for a good distance from the shore. Go there. But some places in Punta Prosciutto are great for kids, too.
Should you need any more information about the area, do ask in the Comments section or send me a private email. I can tell you everything you need to know!