Otranto: the easternmost town in Italy

Otranto located on the Adriatic coast, is the easternmost municipality in Italy, where it is said there is the separation point between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, almost a bridge between East and West. On the clearest days it is possible to glimpse the mountains of Albania from the coast, only 70 nautical miles away.

Otranto ©EunikaSopotnicka via Canva

The historic center of Otranto

The city has its roots in very ancient times, which have left important historical and artistic testimonies in its streets, an object of admiration for the curious and tourists.

Otranto develops around the imposing Aragonese Castle and the Norman Cathedral completed and opened for worship in 1088, with its notable size it is considered the largest church in Puglia.

Walking through the streets, the alleys, the evocative monuments and the magic of the historic center give it an unparalleled charm.

The city is able to offer numerous places of interest both day and night. In fact, it is possible to spend the daytime hours on the wonderful beaches that run along the eastern coast of Salento for about 20km.

Aragonese castle, Otranto
Aragonese castle, Otranto ©Jacek_Sopotnicki via Canva

The most beautiful bays

There are numerous bays that follow one another in Otranto:

  • Torre Sant’Andrea, formed by a sandy inlet, after which follows a coast characterized by high cliffs immersed in the Mediterranean scrub.
  • Conca Specchiolla the coast is high and rocky, with small sandy coves. After a short while it is possible to reach Frassanito, a town with a campsite with a long sandy beach known for being a meeting place for many surfers.
  • Baia dei Turchi is the place where, according to legend, the Turkish warriors landed during the 15th century siege. The bay belongs to the precious protected oasis of the Alimini Lakes, one of the most important ecosystems of Salento and Puglia.
  • Santo Stefano Bay is rocky with a small beach and lots of vegetation.
  • On Baia dell’Orte with a view of Capo d’Otranto, or Punta Palascia, the easternmost point of Italy, there is a cliff overlooking the sea. Here, there is a lighthouse which constitutes the access point to the “Grotta dei Cervi“, a natural coastal inlet. Furthermore, on New Year’s Eve you can witness the first sunrise of the year on the Italian peninsula.

A place not to be missed near Punta Palascia are the Bauxite Caves, a now abandoned mining deposit in which an emerald green lake has formed. The color of the water creates a very fascinating contrast with the surrounding rock walls, which shine with a beautiful intense red.

Otranto bauxite quarry
Otranto bauxite quarry ©staraldo via Canva
  • Porto Badisco is a well-known seaside resort, a tourist destination of notable historical and landscape interest, 35 km from Lecce, 8 km from Santa Cesarea Terme and 15 km from Castro.

In the space of a few years, Otranto has become one of the most sought after destinations in Puglia, where it is possible to find everything you need for a perfect holiday.

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Santa Cesarea Terme ©pilat666 via Canva
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Faro di Santa Maria di Leuca ©diegofiore via Canva
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