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Unique beaches you find in Puglia

Salento Peninsula occupies the lower half of Apulia or Puglia region, forming the high heel on Italy’s map. Knowing the coastline is over 400km long, I was expecting to find beautiful beaches but the diversity of the sea side landscape went beyond my imagination!

Check here all the other places we visited in our car trip in Puglia.

1. The beach in the town

All the coastal towns in Puglia are privileged to have a beautiful beach, but one that I really liked was in Gallipoli. In the past centuries, this place developed as a fisherman’s village, but today is becoming a popular sea resort. Setting aside all the charms of the historic town, entirely located on an island, there is also a beautiful and easily accessible beach, Spiaggia della Purita, right at the feet of the old town’s defense walls. Free entrance, fine yellow sand, shallow green water!

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 2. The fancy beach: Baia Verde 

The perfect beach is Baia Verde, located only 3-4 km to the South of Gallippoli.  The long stretch of fine white sand is divided between the private and the public access. On the paid side there are cozy gazebos or beach-chairs and colored umbrellas, music, bars and food. But the public side is just as good, just bring your own beach equipment, chose your favorite spot and enjoy your lovely day.

To arrive here, there’s a bus from Galipolli and there are also sufficient private parking places if you bring your own car.

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3. Pescoluse beach, named The Maldives of the Salento

This one was quite a disappointment to be completely honest, but I think it’s still worth mentioning. It was disappointing not because the water was not clear, or because the sand was not fine, but because of the people who transformed the beach into their trash can. Plastic and paper bags were everywhere, some hidden in the clumps of grass of tossed in the sand or laying there, in plain sight, why bother to even hide them!?

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4. Baia del Ciolo, a rugged beach inside a Fjord

Leaving behind us the west coast of the Salento Peninsula and the Ionian sea, we welcomed the Adriatic sea on the east coast. But we also started to experience a completely different landscape here, because the fine sand beaches were entirely replaced by the rocky landscape.

Baia del Ciolo was the first stop on this side and what a delightful spot! The water carved its way through the cliffs, forming a fjord. A road bridge was built over this crease, and there is enough room on the sides of this bridge to park your car and go down and swim in the multi toned blue and green water. But be careful where you place your feet, because the rocks do not have a soft surface here:)

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5. Towers raising from the sea, Torre Sant’Andrea

One of the most eye catching sights from this journey was at Torre Sant’Andrea. The sea and the movement of the earth crust detached small sections from the ridge. They then shifted slowly, forming rock towers and arches and caves. The white cliffs and emerald water make such a beautiful contrast, I love it!

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6. Grota della Poesia, a natural pool carved in the volcanic rocks

Enlisted as one of the most beautiful natural pools in the world, Grota della Poesia (Cave of Poetry) is no doubt a place to inspire writers. But don’t expect it to be a quiet spot for meditation nowadays. Everybody will want to swim here, plunge from the margins of the sinkhole, be noisy and cheerful! And who could blame that?

But I’m not over with this area! Oh no, no, no! This place is really interesting and it actually belongs to an Archaeological site called Rocca Vecchia.

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You’ll notice the plateau surface is different in texture from everything else. It’s because this is actually Tuff stone, made from the volcanic ash of an ancient volcano. Then there are caves everywhere, where inscriptions and traces of men were discovered, dating back as far as the Bronze Age. And there’s another natural pool here, but we did not had time to explore this one. It’s called the Poesia Piccola, or Little Poetry and it’s connected to the big one by an underwater tunnel. Both these sinkholes were used for cult practices and symbols and paintings can apparently still be seen on the inner walls of the Little Poetry.

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The caves from the Tuff (the volcanic rocks)

7. A marine reserve: Torre Guaceto

Being a protected marine area, there are some conditions that you’ll have to follow in order to arrive at the beach and enjoy your day. You cannot get too close with your car but there is a huge parking lot outside the entrance where you leave the car and embark in shuttle buses that take you close to the beach. The ticket costed 5EUR per person for the round trip. All this being said, remember to take all your necessities because it’s not a quick job to get back to your car in case you forget something. Also, this area is meant to be kept as pristine and unaltered as possible, so don’t expect to find any beach chairs and umbrellas or bars to get some soda…nope, you’re here to appreciate the nature and to relax. You don’t need any distractions:)DSC07575 (2)

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Check here all the other places we visited in our car trip in Puglia.

Visited June 2017

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