Otranto, Castro and Salve, the “Blue Flag” beaches of Salento

You chose Salento for your vacation and you have in mind so many places to visit that you are not able to choose which one first. To organize your priorities, the “Blue Flag” award can help you saving you precious time for your holiday, to spend lying in the sun rather than reading the maps!

Otranto, Salve and Castro are the municipalities of Salento awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that gives the “Blue Flag” to the best European coastal towns for water quality, services and cleanliness of the beach. The award lives since 1987 and goes to the best coastal towns in 48 countries around the world in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean.

Let’s find out why these three wonderful villages have earned the award.

OTRANTO – The little jewel, leaning towards East, is set on a rocky spur overlooking the sea on the Adriatic coast. The village, enclosed by the Aragonese walls, with the characteristic white houses that wind through a maze of alleys, will enchant you. From the “Lungomare degli Eroi”, crossing Porta Alfonsina, you enter the old city, with a necessary stop at the Aragonese Castle (today a lively cultural center with art exhibitions) and the Romanesque Cathedral with the 12th century mosaic floor, depicting the tree of life and the relics of the 800 martyrs, massacred by the Turks in 1480.

Just outside Otranto, the “Blue Flag” waves on some of the most enchanting beaches in all of Salento. To the north are the localities of Conca Specchiulla, the Alimini Lakes, the Baia dei Turchi. To the south you can visit the Baia delle Orte, Torre Sant’Emiliano and the inlet of Porto Badisco, famous for being the landing place of Aeneas.


Outside the inhabited center, the emerald green lake surrounded by the red mountains of the former Cava di Bauxite and the Punta Palascìa lighthouse, one of the few that can still be visited in Italy and the easternmost point of the boot, are worth a visit.

We leave the description of these timeless places to images rather than words.

SALVE – A very small town 75 km south of Lecce which has become famous above all for its beaches, even renamed as the “Maldives of Salento”. Fine sand, shallow and transparent bottoms, framed by soft dunes covered with “Macchia mediterranea” (the typical vegetation of these places) are the characteristics of the beaches of Pescoluse, Posto Vecchio and Torre Pali. It will take little to feel like being into a tropical scenario, while you’re still in Europe.

The old town of Salve is dotted with stately towers and noble palaces, where the Mother Church dedicated to St. Nicholas the Great stands out, where the oldest organ in Puglia is kept, the seventeenth-century Olgiati Mauro. On the way to the sea, the “treasure” of Salve was found, the silver coins of Magna Graecia, now kept in the Museum of Taranto.

CASTRO – One of the most indented stretches of the coast of Salento, but for this very reason one of the most evocative, Castro develops on the ashes of an ancient fishing village. With its numerous caves, the town offers the opportunity to make memorable boat trips to discover these beautiful caves.

Grotta Romanelli is one of the most important Italian prehistoric sites with red graffiti, while the Zinzulusa cave, which can also be visited from the ground, takes its name from the dialectal term “zinzuli” (rags, patches), for the stalactites inside.

Perched on the cliff overlooking the Adriatic, about 48 km from Lecce, the Roman Castrum Minervae has always been the nerve center of Salento. Today it is a pretty village with characteristic narrow streets and embellished with monuments such as the former 12th century Cathedral with a Romanesque façade, the remains of a small 10th century Byzantine church and the Aragonese Castle, where the statue of Athena Phrygia was found, proof of the existence of the temple of the goddess Minerva.

If you want to visit Salento and spend your holiday in wonderful houses or villas, click below:

Holiday houses –> www.casesalento.com   

Holiday villas –> www.villesalento.it       

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

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