The Ionian coast and its magnificent beaches: the best places to go in Salento!
The overhanging cliffs, the bays and the caves of the Adriatic coast give way to the fine-sand beaches of the Ionian coast, from Pescoluse – whose beaches are defined the “Maldives” of Salento – to Porto Cesareo. Dunes, Mediterranean vegetation and extended beaches with shallow water (ideal for bathing) alternate from Lido Marini to Torre San Giovanni. No doubt, this area includes some of the best places to go in Salento!
The bay of Gallipoli starts in Punta Pizzo: a place that is ideal when the Sirocco blows and the sea is calm.
A few kilometres away, towards the North, you can see thick pine woods that achieve excellence with the Nature Park and the Marine Reserve of Porto Selvaggio. The cliffs give way to the golden beaches of Porto Cesareo and Punta Prosciutto. Have a bath at sunset and enjoy the spectacular sight of the blood-red sun that dives into the crystal-clear sea.
Gallipoli, the “Pearl” of the Ionian Sea. A must-see, one of the beauties of Salento!
Take a stroll in the old town, which looks like an anchored ship or a large, bright balcony overlooking the sea. Visit the Angevin Castle (where important exhibitions take place in summertime) the Diocesan Museum and the underground olive mills. Admire the fortress palaces, the churches of the confraternities, the town walls and the towers.
The Cathedral of Sant’Agata (St. Agatha), whose façade is richly decorated in Baroque style, is really beautiful and hosts some canvases dating back to the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. The seventeenth-century Chiesa della Puritate (Church of Purity), totally covered with wooden decorations, is worth a visit too. Before you leave, spend some moments to go see the third-century Greek Fountain and take a look at the fish market.