In this period many of you are asking me: Fabio, which are the best beaches in Salento, Puglia? Which are the most beautiful, famous, dreamy beaches with fine, white sand? I have decided to compile my personal top 10 list, divided almost equally between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. They are all sandy beaches except some that are a bit more pebbly, but of such beauty that I would still advise you to visit them. From northern Salento, on the Ionian coast, we can find Porto Cesareo with its beaches of Punta Prosciutto and Torre Lapillo, we descend towards the south to the beach of Pescoluse (the Maldives of Salento), passing through Porto Selvaggio, Baia Verde of Gallipoli and Torre San Giovanni. Then we go to the north on the Adriatic side touching Acquaviva di Marittima, Porto Badisco, the beach of the Baia dei Turchi in Otranto and we stop at Torre dell’Orso. Choosing my top 10 favourite beaches, I had to leave out others which are just as beautiful: I guess that is part of the game. I’ll explain them in more detail, where they can be found and how they are. You can add others in the comments.
1. Punta Prosciutto (Porto Cesareo)
It is one of my absolute favourite beaches, one of the wildest ones of all Salento. Up to 8 metres high dunes covered with Mediterranean vegetation, wetlands behind them, the wood of Arneo, a few homes can be found nestled in the summer vegetation. Kilometres of seaside with a few beach resorts, some old-style supermarkets and a few bars. For the rest, sand and sea.
2. Torre Lapillo Bay (Porto Cesareo)
It’s the beach where I was born and which allowed me to learn to love the sea, one of the finest white sands ever. A 4 kilometre long bay delimited by two coastal towers: Torre Lapillo and Torre Chianca. A bay with houses on the beach and small dunes. In some places the water is so low that you have to walk for many metres before you can get wet above your knees. Paradise! Click here for more information
3. Porto Selvaggio (Nardò)
We are in the Natural Park of Porto Selvaggio, Nardò. A park with woods and rocky coves. Just before you reach Santa Caterina, there is only one convenient access to the sea which can be reached after a walk in the pine forest. As you descend, you will find one of the most beautiful unspoilt coves around on the Ionian coast, which offers a pebbled beach.
4. Baia Verde (Gallipoli)
It is one of the beaches of Gallipoli along with Lido Conchiglie and Rivabella. A bay which is a few kilometers long, it starts from Gallipoli and ends with Torre del Pizzo. Here too you can find fine sand, small dunes, a pine forest in the south and some of the most famous beach clubs around Salento in terms of nightlife and happy hour. A young beach for those who love fun just steps from Gallipoli fantastic nightlife. Click here for more information
5. Torre San Giovanni (Ugento)
It is an area where you will find the Mediterranean scrub, you can walk along the trails arriving in the low dune area and then on the sand. A marvel, believe me, one of the most beautiful between Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca. Along this beach, a lively summer nightlife of one the most famous of the area has developed thanks to the establishment CocoLoco which takes the lion’s share.
6. Pescoluse, Maldive del Salento (Salve)
It is the beach in the Maldives of Salento, fine white sand, shallow waters and small islands emerging from the sea, dunes covered with acacia trees and white lily. About 4 kilometres of seaside between Torre Pali and Torre Vado. A highly developed area in terms of tourist facilities and certainly a place to bathe at least once in your lifetime. In a few minutes Finis Terrae can be reached, Santa Maria di Leuca. Click here for more information
7. Acquaviva di Marittima (Diso)
I don’t know if it can be called a beach, the fact is that it is one of the few places where you can swim along the rocky coast road between Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca. It is a fantastic inlet with cold water which comes from a spring water source that flows directly into the sea. The perfect place to cool down. The access to the sea is simple only in the initial part, otherwise, you can dive in. Click here for more information
8. Porto Badisco (Otranto)
A small inlet, the second that I recommend between Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca, a magical place because they say that, here, Enea disembarked, according to Virgil (also known as the Landing of Aeneas). Little sand, but several alternative points from which to dip in the water. You can do some diving, relax in the sun or a picnic under the trees.
9. Baia dei Turchi (Otranto)
It is the most beautiful beach in Otranto. To reach it, you have to walk along tall pine trees, a dense Mediterranean vegetation, where you can smell the unmistakable fragrance of the pine forest. The increasingly distinct swish of the sea will accompany this pleasant walk. A strip of fine, white sand along the Mediterranean vegetation, a paradise.
10. Torre dell’Orso (Melendugno)
It’s the beach of the Two Sisters, two beautiful sea stacks off the coast. A cove of just under a kilometre with fine beaches, low dunes and a pine forest which can be found behind the dunes. A bay dominated by Torre dell’orso, a sixteenth-century coastal tower which has been partly demolished. The area is famous for its historic places of reggae Salento.
If you want to add your beautiful beaches of Salento to the list, write them in the comments!
The opening picture is by Yellow.Cat