La Naca della Taranta

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Itinerari per visitare il basso Salento

Itinerari per visitare il basso Salento

The best way to enjoy a holiday in Salento is to get on a motorbike or car and travel the roads that cross the huge red earth fields dotted with prickly pears and dry stone walls. Even the most holiday-makers in search of relaxation will not be able to give up these Three Itineraries to visit the lower Salento to better explore the Salento coast, basing themselves in Otranto for the Adriatic coast and in Santa Maria al Bagno for the ionic. As they say, the beauty of the journey is the journey, not the destination. But after taking a look at these, you might not be so sure anymore.

From Otranto to the north

Based in Otranto, you can travel along the Adriatic coast and head north towards the Baia dei Turchi, the large inlet of crystalline water preceded by a thick pine forest, which owes its name to the landing of the Ottoman soldiers who besieged the city of Otranto in 1480. Not far away, you will find the “stacks” of Torre Sant’Andrea, the large rocky outcrops opposite the coast.
Torre dell’Orso, a little further on, has a long coast where you will find private lidos (renowned “L’Orsetta”) and vast, but crowded, free beaches. An obligatory stop also deserves the famous Grotta della Poesia, rightfully included among the most beautiful natural pools in the world. A few kilometers further on, in San Foca, you can stroll along the seafront and enjoy wide (although often windy) beaches. Finally, Roca Vecchia is known above all for its historical and cultural heritage, with its archaeological sites from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.

From Otranto to the south

Always starting from Otranto, you can still follow the Adriatic coast heading south, to the extreme tip of the heel of Italy. Veering slightly inland, it is worth visiting the suggestive bauxit e quarry, whose bright colors give life to a surreal and almost “Martian” landscape. Returning to the coast, you will encounter a series of stupendous caves, of which we point out in particular those of Porto Badisco and Zinzulusa. Between these two stages, do not miss the town of Santa Cesarea Terme, strong> with its Arabic architecture and high cliffs overlooking the sea. In addition, you can unwind in the Baths, due to the presence of four sulphurous caves. In the immediate vicinity of Santa Cesarea Terme is Castro, which offers in the upper part (Castro Superiore) architectural works of great value such as the sixteenth-century castle and the twelfth-century cathedral; while in the lower one (Castro Marina), a beautiful tourist port. Here too, there are few beaches and many cliffs, so the destination is not suitable for children. Finally, reach the southernmost point of Capo Santa Maria di Leuca, also known as De finibus terrae, the extreme edge of our peninsula.

Santa Maria al Bagno and surroundings

Santa Maria al Bagno, together with the nearby Santa Caterina, are the marinas of the city of Nardò. These are two pretty fishing villages which today host a constant influx of tourists for the nightlife and beautiful rocky coast. Especially known are “Le Quattro Colonne”, an ancient watchtower that is now a reception hall, and Kilometer 0, nothing more than a van on the cliff that explodes with people of all ages drinking a beer watching the sun sink into the horizon . Santa Caterina is also home to the Porto Selvaggio nature reserve, the incredible stretch of coast accessible through a dense wooded area. The effort of the walk in the pine forest will be amply rewarded by the glimpses of a crystalline sea like never before. In the vast pine forest that you have crossed, you can find shelter from the sun during the hottest hours, relax playing cards or have a picnic. Mandatory recommendation: always take everything away and don’t dirty this corner of paradise! Not far from the marinas of Nardò, you will find two other well-known beaches, Porto Cesareo and Torre Lapillo, one the natural continuation of the other. Also worth a visit is Isola dei Conigli, a small island not far from the coast of Porto Cesareo which can be reached quite easily even by swimming, or via a shuttle service boat. Finally, you cannot miss a visit to the very popular Gallipoli, which in addition to offering one of the most intense nightlife in Salento, fascinates for its historic center with narrow streets, for the port where they will try to sell you “the best fish of the Ionian” and the wonderful Martinucci ice cream

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