Salento’s mediterranean’s climate is mild during the winter and hot in the summer. A peninsular within the peninusla: Salento, the hill of Italy, with two seas lapsing its shores, the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. It is the ideal land to enjoy those relaxing moments after an intense year of work and stress, sheltering over its wonderful beaches, enjoying the clear sea, beautiful sunsets and the variety of its coasts: The cliffs on the Adriatic Sea, rich with grottos and ravines, and a shallow and sandy seashore, alternated by little coves on the Ionian side.
Gallipoli, the pearl of the Ionian Sea, how could we better describe a town immersed in the water, known and highly valued in the world for its history, arts, port, beaches. We are lost for words in front of its beauty and hospitality. Gallipoli is, no doubt, one of the most sought-after destinations by people looking for a place offering from a relaxing day at the beach to a cultural trip simply by walking around the narrow alleys of the old town, besides monuments witnessing its rich history. Gallipoli offers a very long and wonderful promenade with stunning beaches and a crystal clear sea, characterized by a low coastline, mainly sandy.
Porto Cesareo’s beach, situated by the the seaside resort having the same name, ancient fishers’ village, is a wonderful, uncontaminated and pearly white beach, with its long promenade bordered by a long stretch of sand dunes and thick shrubby vegetation, all dominated at one end by the attracting coastal tower. The sea in this area is wonderful, turquoise, crystal-clear, of an extraordinary transparency, with sandy shallow waters, ideal for families with children.
The south coast of Otranto as far as the cove of Porto Badisco is characterized by high rocky cliffs and fascinating inlets, with stunning landscapes, ideal for adventure lovers, while the north coast of Otranto leads from the Haethei Riviera to the Alimini Lakes. In this area, aside the characteristic grottos, ravines and inlets, you can also find particular flora species like the maritimae pine, standing between dunes and lakes, together with the typical mediterranean scrub.
Lakes Alimini are certainly the most characteristic element of Otranto. It consists of two different styles basins: the first one is called Fontanelle (drinking fountains), located in the southern part, flows from an underground fresh water spring, while the other called Alimini Grande (Great Alimini), fed by Fontanelle through a canal, surrounded by sand dunes. The southern coast of Otranto introduces the port, divided by two different categories of coasts: the white rock, which with its evergreen bushes, characterizes the small gulf of Orte, defying winds and centuries. The old Torre del Serpe (snake tower) also known as Torre dell’Idro, used as the town coat of arms. This side of the coast is high and rocky, in a picturesque and fascinating scenery among creeks and promontories.
Santa Maria di Leuca
The coast is spectacular and very high, imposing and rocky. Throughout the centuries the sea has formed enchanting shapes: the coast facing the Ionian Sea is difficult to access, although there are staircase paths, allowing access almost directly to the deep water sea. Alongside the “Tre Porte“(three doors), the group of grottos visible also from the coast, it is possible to park your car in the overlooking area and find your own corner to take the plunge or the lowest stair to the sea. The coast becomes lower and lower as you proceed towards south, but still rocky, within the inland facing the promenade of Santa Maria di Leuca. Here there’s a stretch of beach that is sandy and very popular. The rest of the seashore along the promenade and the coast is rocky and hazardous. That is the reason why there are so many wooden bathing establishments and solariums which enable the development of these beaches. Between Punta Meliso and Ponte Ciolo (Ciolo Bridge) is very high and the sea is very deep; here it is possible to go diving and to visit the grottos only from the sea.
Torre San Giovanni
The well preserved Watch Tower in Torre San Giovanni today hosts a characteristic lighthouse and on the area which was in the past a roman port, today there is a well equipped port for tourist and fishing boats.
Torre San Giovanni, Marina di Ugento, will be a fantastic summer holiday for lovers of Puglia and Salento sea and beaches: shallow and sandy seashores, with numerous little islands easily reachable by smimming. The whole environment is particularly beautiful with pinewoods and the mediterranean scrub mixing with sand dunes, making the area a seaside resort reknowed troughout Salento.
The summer night life is also very active and dynamic among the most popular in the area with lidos offering aperitifs, music, dj set.
Santa Cesarea Terme
Santa Cesarea Terme is among the preferred destinations by tourists visiting Puglia, and it is situated on the eastern side of the salentine coast on the Ionian coast. Its beaches are very rocky and some parts are difficult to access. Sandy spots are quite rare in this side of the coast. This stretch of rocky coast is rich with sea stacks and prehistorical grottos, treasuring precious information from the Paleolithic to the metal age. The sea colors ranges from beautiful graduations of turquoise to emerald, the water is incredibly crystal clear, always calm and rather shallow.
San Cataldo is a small seaside resort. The coast has many beaches one after another and low coasts facing a shallow and very clean sea. The several beaches are surrounded by a thick pinewood, the sand stretching within the inlands of eucalyptus and pines is white and fine. This site is particularly popular among families with children because of its features: secure shallow sea for the little ones. It is also possible to find numerous bathing establishments offering all possible comforts.
It is made up of one cove and creek after another and beautiful sea cliffs from where you can take a plunge in the extraordinarily beautiful seabed, a real paradise for scuba divers who, along the rock face sinking into the sea for dozens meters, can admire a multicolored and picturesque fauna. It is possible to take boat trips in its splendid grottos, the most well known one is the Grotta Zinzulusa, with its wonderful cave decorated with stalactites hanging from the vaulted ceiling which look like thousands of strips.