Crystal clear waters, white sand, heavenly bays … in Salento to be amazed you do not need to go very far. We want to share with you, however, the beaches that we prefer the most.
A Roca Vecchia, Lecce,at 15 minutes from Masseria del Gigante you will find Grotta della Poesia, actually formed by two distinct caves: Grotta della Poesia Grande “the biggest” and Grotta della Poesia Piccola “the smallest”.
Grotta della Poesia Grande looks like a painter’s color palette, into which you can dive to explore what was once a sanctuary dedicated to a Messapian divinity linked to the healing of diseases. It communicates with Grotta della Poesia Piccola – today an archaeological site where are still visible the signs and symbols that navigators engraved on its walls before the sea voyages to the Albanian and Greek coasts in the second millennium BC.
A few kilometers from Masseria del Gigante, in the province of Lecce, there is this family friendly earthly paradise. Torre dell’Orso, dominated by the sixteenth-century watchtower that gives it its name, is a bay almost 1 km long, shaped like a half moon and surrounded by a lush green pine forest. What makes the beautiful beach even more special, besides its fine sand and its crystal clear sea, are the famous “Due Sorelle” cliffs, known for their legend and their timeless and unmistakable beauty.
A few kilometers south of Torre dell’Orso there’s Sant’Andrea, a small seaside village inhabited only in summer. Its white cliffs overlooking the sea and the fragrant pine forest, will make you feel an incredible sensation of being in an exotic destination, far from any civilization.
Between Ugento and Santa Maria di Leuca, there is a beach bearing the name of Maldives of Salento. It’s a tropical dream of four kilometers of white sand, crystal clear and shallow waters where both kids and adults can enjoy their time: take long walks along the seafront, relax with a yoga session in front of the sunset or go wild practicing various water sports.
On the northern border of the Salento region – about ten kilometers from Porto Cesareo – we find the beach Punta Prosciutto, a stretch of fine white sand that ends with dunes eight meters high, covered with vegetation typical of the Mediterranean. The clear water – and the rocky seabed a few strokes away – attracts every year diving and snorkeling enthusiasts to discover the Protected Marine Area of Porto Cesareo, which borders the beach of Punta Prosciutto and hosts 15 different habitats on its seabed, with a very high degree of representation of the submerged populations of the Mediterranean.
Between Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo, surrounded by a vast natural park to be discovered by foot, lies Porto Selvaggio, hides a beach that can be reached with a wonderful 20-minute walk. The pebble beach is enriched by an imposing cliff, from which you can admire the view or dive into the turquoise waters of the small bay. At about 300 meters from the coast and at a depth of 23 meters, stands the ship of Santa Caterina, a hull crashed around the second century BC, inside which you can see ancient greek-roman amphorae.
Punta della Suina, immortalised in the movie Loose Cannons by Ferzan Ozpetek, looks like a mirage at the end of a walk in one of the largest pine forests of Salento. Here, you can choose between two inlets side by side, characterised by shallow waters of white sand that create natural pools, with some stretches equipped with sun loungers and parasols and others free. The rocks that plunge into the turquoise sea are the perfect spot from which you can enjoy breathtaking sunsets.
Punta Pizzo is a beach set along the Ionic coast and immersed in the 700 hectares of the uncontaminated landscape of the Sant’Andrea Island’s Regional Natural Park. The coast is mainly rocky and gives the water enchanting and crystal clear reflections.
With its sandy coves alternating with cliffs of tuff, Punta Pizzo represents the true Mediterranean identity of Salento and has been recognized by the International Scientific Community as a protected area and nature reserve.
For the families who want to discover this beautiful area without renouncing comfort, there’s also Lido Pizzo, a beach equipped with a playground for children and many other services.