With 784 km of coastline, Puglia is the perfect place for a beach holiday. Here are a few of the best beaches in Puglia.
San Pietro in Bevagna Beach, Maruggio
This protected beach in the Maruggio region is usually deserted. Bask in the luxury and peace of just you, azure sea and white sand dunes. If you prefer a bit of civilisation on your holiday in Italy, there are parts of the beach that are serviced too, so you can enjoy the peace from a comfy lounger and have cool drinks within easy reach.
Punta prosciutto, Lecce
On the border between the provinces of Lecce and Taranto, Punta Prosciutto is a wonderful stretch of Salento coast, part of the Municipality of Porto Cesareo, awarded 3 Sails (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association).The long wild and unspoiled beach, mostly public, with some beach resorts, is perfect to enjoy relaxing days and to swim in the crystal clear water.
Porto Selvaggio, Nardò
Porto Selvaggio, a locality in the municipality of Nardò, awarded the 4 Sails (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association), overlooks the Ionian Sea.
The wonderful small pebble beach, nestled in the heart of the Regional Park “Porto Selvaggio e Palude del Capitano”, can be reached from Torre dell’Alto, walking along a steep mule track almost 900 metres above sea level or from the coastal road (entrance Villa Tafuri) or also, for those who love hiking, taking the road from Torre Uluzzo, the wonderful trail in the middle of the coast.
Even if the hiking is difficult, you are rewarded by the view of the wild and unspoiled landscape which discloses in front of you, surrounded by Aleppo pines. There are no private beaches, just a small cafè. From the small bay, one can easily enter the water, which has a sandy sea bed, slowly going down and easy for children to enter, too.
On the left, instead, since there are water springs, the sea is cold and clear.
If you prefer a more discreet place along the coast, you have to walk northwards, where, amid the cliffs, there is a series of coves, some with terraces by the sea. In the bay of Torre Uluzzo, well-known for the archaeological finds discovered here, it is possible to arrive also from the coastal road and, crossing a quite difficult trail more or less one hundred metres long, reach the rugged and wild cliff and then dive in a wild and unspoiled sea, whose sea beds are rich with vegetation, sea urchins and fishes of several species.
Torre Dell’Orso, Melendugno
This thin 1.5km stretch of pristine sand is in the Melendugno region of Puglia. It’s most striking feature is the ‘two sisters’ – twin rock stacks that stand side-by-side close to the beach. It is also surrounded by rock cliffs full of interesting caves and is backed by a lush pine forest.
Roca and Grotta della Poesia
Roca, located between San Foca and Torre dell’Orso, boasts the Blue Flag and 5 Sails (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association), as all the marinas of Melendugno.
A series of coves, with some private beaches, come in succession along the rocky coast in the north and in the south of the town centre, while nearby the archaeological site, towards Torre dell’Orso, stands out the cave Grotta della Poesia. Here it is possible to swim in the wonderful crystal clear water, which brightens the large natural circular-shaped cove of karst origin. The cave can be entered thanks to a rock-hewn staircase, which allows to go down for some metres, as far as the sea. The edge of the cove, almost 4 metres high, challenges the bravest divers to jump in the turquoise water.
A small underground canal connects this cave to the one of Poesia Piccola, in the past a temple dedicated to the Messapic God Thator Andirahas, as testified by several inscriptions which cover the walls.
Roca, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, is watched by the sixteenth century tower which stands over the medieval village by the sea, abandoned because of pirates invasions, nowadays archaeological site.
Castro Marina, Otranto
On the nice cliffs of Castro Marina, which boasts the Blue Flag and 5 Sails (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association), bathers are ready to swim in a colorful sea, with nuances from green to intense blue.
From the cliffs nearby the private beach which covers most of the bay, it is possible to go to the tourist port behind it and, with its concrete platform, is the perfect place from which one can dive.
The port of Castro, small but welcoming, opens inside the large bay, protected by the northern and western winds and by the sea, thanks to a man-made dock. On the side of the tourist port, instead, at the bottom of the small central square of the marina, there is an old tourist port, where small fishing boats, canoes and peddle boats are docked.
It is possible to discover by boat the most beautiful caves in Salento, such as Grotta Palombara, Grotta Azzurra and, nearby, Zinzulusa, a natural cave which is full of stalactites and can be also reached from the land. For more information about renting a boat, click here.
Torre Mozza, Leuca
A few kilometres away from the southernmost point of Santa Maria di Leuca, along the coast of Ugento, Torre Mozza boasts 3 Sails (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association). The name of this place refers to the shape of the ancient ruined tower by the sea, which is cut off.
The long white beach stretches for kilometres, with its coastline of fine sand which slowly dive in the crystal clear water, perfect for children to play safely.
There are private and public beaches and holiday resorts, while behind them, there is a series of sandy dunes, covered with the scented plants typical of the Mediterranean scrub, dividing the coastline from the coats road and from the building on the seafront.
Torre Lapillo Bay, Porto Cesareo
This huge bay provides a sandy pathway between the Torre Lapillo and Torre Chianca lighthouse towers. It has rolling sand dunes, pretty seaside houses to admire and crystalline shallow water – perfect to while away an afternoon on a family holiday in Italy.
A long beach with fine sand overlooks a crystal clear sea, with shallow water, which is proud of 3 Sails (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association).
Lido Marini beach, almost sandy and embellished with low cliffs, easy to reach, stretches for more than two kilometres, in the area of the municipalities of Salve and Ugento.
There are five private beaches which offer several services, on which one can lie down on the warm golden sand or take part in a fishing trip underwater or admire the plants and animals of the clear sea beds.
Along the rocky coast south of the marina, water becomes suddenly cold and calm, thanks to the water springs which come out of the earth.
Northwards, instead, the stretch of coast between Lido Marini and Torre Mozza boasts a large sandy area, behind which there are wetlands, flanked by the drainage basin of Sponderati sud.
Punta della suina, Gallipoli
Between Baia Verde and Punta Pizzo, in the area of Gallipoli, Punta della suina overlooks the Ionian Sea and has been awarded 3 Sails (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association).
The locality, in the heart of the Regional Nature Park “Isola di sant’Andrea – Litorale di Punta Pizzo” and away from the town centre, boasts low dunes, behind which there is the lush Mediterranean scrub and the pine forest.
Punta della Suina consists of two small sandy bays, among the most famous and popular ones in Salento, right in front of a small island called Scoglio tondo, which is almost separated by the coast and caressed by the clear water.
Walk just a hundred metres inside the pine forest and you will be in front of a small Caribbean-style café, which has been built on a small rocky hilltop by the sea, at whose feet there is a private beach.
Continue to walk on the left, passing by the cliffs, and after a few metres you will arrive at the long public beach, which goes as far as Lido Pizzo.
Punta delle Suina is also an exclusive location for parties, happy hours and music events in the evening for those who love nightlife.
At Punta Pizzo, as along the coast of the Regional Nature Park “Isola di Sant’Andrea – Litorale di Punta Pizzo”, the Mediterranean scrub is enhanced by strawberry tree, myrtle and pistacia lentiscus. The Mediterranean scrub flanks the large pine forest behind the beach and, in summer, is a cool refuge for bathers. Nearby instead, on the Island of Sant’Andrea in front of Gallipoli, nest the rare species of Audouin’s gull.
Cala dell’Acquaviva, Otranto
The cold water springs give the name to the small cove of Acquaviva which opens up at the feet of the greenhouse of Marittima, marina of the municipality of Diso.
The fjord, almost ten metres long, stretches along the rocks and the lush vegetation, boasting 4 Sails of (a flag awarded to the most beautiful beaches) of Legambiente (Italian environment protection association).
The small pebbles bay, easy to reach by car, is public and lapped by water, slowly becoming deeper and incredibly clear, thanks to several cold water springs.
Along the edges of the channel there is the cliff, where one can relax and sunbathe or dive in the crystal clear water of the sea, which is usually calm since it is protected by winds and currents.
Baia dei Turchi, Otranto
Literally meaning the bay of the Turks, this bay is where the Turkish soldiers landed during the Otranto battle in the fifteenth century. Nowadays, it’s a peaceful haven of white sand and turquoise water in a sheltered cove, reached on foot through a pine forest.
Porto Badisco, Otranto
According to myth, this is a magical beach. It is said that Aeneas, son of the goddess Venus, landed here, as told by Virgil, the ancient Roman poet. This pebble beach provides beautiful views and shady spots perfect for picnics.
Named so because of the small sand banks that resemble a collection of islands at sunset offshore sand banks that look like small islands at sunset, this beach is fondly known as Italy’s answer to the Maldives. That being said, Pescoluse’s glittering Ionian waters and silky white sands are a beach-lover’s dream. Shallow waters make it ideal for family beach holidays, or those would rather avoid aquatic challenges. The general slew of English and American tourists haven’t cottoned on to this area yet, so the majority of the beach-crowd are Italian.
Torre Guaceto, Brindisi
Torre Guaceto is a protected marine area and nature reserve. This several kilometre stretch in Brindisi, near Alberobello is wonderfully beautiful and its sheer size of this beach in Puglia means that you can always find a patch of sand to call your own. Vivid coral reefs and sea grass provide hours of easily accessible snorkelling fun. There is also a 16th century tower and visitor centre with a museum if the afternoon heat gets too intense.
The Tremiti Islands, Gargano
Only two of the three Tremiti Islands are inhabited, but you can reach all of them by boat from the mainland at Termoli, or at several other smaller towns in the Gargano region. San Domino and San Nicola are the largest islands, so offer more in the way of facilities. There is stunning snorkelling and diving to be had, and the beaches and coves are beautiful, sandy and wild.
Dune di Campomarino beach, Maruggio
For total seclusion, look to the sand dune beach of Campomarino. There are certainly no beach bars or umbrellas in sight, but lush shrubbery and vegetation in the form of fragrant juniper, lavender and thyme. If you’re looking for peace to connect with nature and enjoy the crystal water – this is the place.
Baia delle Zagare, Gargano
Baia delle Zagare is in the Gargano subregion between Vieste and Mattinata. It is named after a local flower, indigenous to the area. The soft white beach is 1km long and surrounded by a national park. There are two distinctive white rock formations near the shore, which are one of the most recognizable sights of the region.
Activities on or at the sea
Inspired by all these wonderful beaches and ready to book an activity on the sea? Have a look here for all our activities on or at the sea. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.