Ionian coast of Salento

After having visited the Adriatic coast, and having arrived in Santa Maria di Leuca where “the Ionian Sea embraces the Adriatic one“, we now continue to discover the enchanting Ionian coast of Salento, between paradisiacal beaches of white sand and crystal clear sea, natural parks and pristine reserves, unlike the Adriatic one, mainly of rock formation. Over 100 km of sandy coast, with clear and crystalline waters, awaits us on this tour from Leuca to Punta Prosciutto.

Porto Cesareo
Porto Cesareo ©

The most beautiful beaches along the Ionian coast of Salento

Among the most beautiful beaches on the Ionian coast of Salento are undoubtedly those at Torre dell’Omomorto and Torre Marchiello (Castrignano del Capo), Torre Vado (Morciano di Leuca), Torre Pali (Salve), Torre Mozza and Torre San Giovanni (Ugento), Torre Suda (Racale).

  • Torre San Giovanni, a suggestive coastal tower, with its alternating black and white checkered colour, ideally delimits a long beach with emerald reflections, among the most loved by both tourists and local people, which also includes the stretch of coastline that embraces the marina of Torre Mozza. From here you can come across the so-called “Ugento shoals“, basins which represent another extraordinary natural reserve.

Almond trees, prickly pears and centuries-old olive trees accompany streets delimited by dry stone walls that dot the coast and lead up to Gallipoli also called the “pearl of the Ionian“, with the ancient part of the city perched on an island, which exudes the smell of the sea from every stone of which it is made and whose churches all overlook the sea, as if to monitor the fate of the fishermen.

Gallipoli ©Ladiras via Canva
  • Here we find the Mancaversa marina, a coastal stretch that runs for over four kilometers embracing the Li Foggi area up to Punta del Pizzo, including Punta della Suina in the meantime. A paradise for lovers of wild nature, to discover and enjoy especially in the low season. Divided by an islet into two small bays, Punta della Suina is truly a dream setting for perfect holidays.
  • Baia Verde is considered one of the paradises for swimmers, as well as being the beating heart of the intense Gallipoli nightlife. The beaches open onto a white sandy shore bordered by water with emerald reflections, which give the bay its name and flank the Punta Pizzo regional natural park.
  • There is still a stretch of coast that seems to change with the speed with which the wind changes. We are talking about the one that embraces places such as Rivabella, Padula Bianca and Lido Conchiglie. They are considered among the most beautiful beaches on the Ionian coast.
Santa Maria al Bagno
Santa Maria al Bagno ©diegofiore via Canva

In the Nardò area we mention Santa Maria al Bagno. Famous for its spa and Roman port, it is a marina with a vintage aftertaste, dominated by ancient villas from the late nineteenth century. This offers visitors a delightful little beach set in a predominantly rocky coast, accessible from the steps that open into the village square. The little beach is the undisputed kingdom of families with even small children, who can play in complete tranquility and without too much chaos.

There is another beach, mainly dominated by rock, Santa Caterina, where a small bathing establishment and a portion of free beach coexist. It is protected by the “Torre dell’Alto” which dominates it from the “cliff of the Damned” and the 17th century tower of the same name.

The Porto Selvaggio natural park is notable in this area.

The municipality of Nardò also offers a fine sandy beach, called Sant’Isidoro beach. Furthermore there is another bay near Torre Squillace, one of the many watchtowers that dot the Salento coast.

Among the favorite destinations for tourists, going up towards the northern part of the Ionian coast, there is Porto Cesareo. Is is considered on par in beauty with various Caribbean destinations, with its very long coastline equipped beaches overlooked by an archipelago of islets. The best known of them is the “Rabbit Island” (Isola dei Conigli).

The Ionian coast of Salento is among the most beautiful summer destinations for those who want a holiday dedicated to the sea, fun and good food.

Torre San Giovanni ©diegofiore via Canva
Adriatic coast of Salento

The Adriatic coast, and in particular that of Salento, represents an authentic treasure chest of inestimable value; therefore a unique opportunity to be discovered, especially in summer when you travel by car, in the name of freedom and carefreeness.

Spiagge di Porto Cesareo ©
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Locorotondo ©dionisiolemma via Canva
When to go to Salento

What is the best time to go to Salento? Whether you are a lover of the sea, history, cuisine, you will not be disappointed. The Salento area boasts a very broad tourist offer that manages to satisfy all types of tourism.