Santa Cesarea Terme

A charming seaside resort town of Salento with rocky coastline with stunning views over the sea. Within the famous spa with sulphurous thermal waters, pools and mud treatment.
Santa Cesarea Terme, Cliffs, rocky Coastline, hot Springs and Villas

Santa Cesarea Terme is a natural paradise with a rocky coast that plunges into a bright blue sea with clear, cold water. You will be immediately captivated by the clear emerald sea and the cliffs, overlooking the sea, full of stacks and prehistoric caves, embellished by the beach of Porto Miggiano, where, in a blaze of light and color, transparent sea kisses the golden sand. The sea has such idyllic stretches with rocky cliffs that is was even attended by the high bourgeoisie of Salento; the town center is characterised by Moorish palaces (first of all the picturesque Sticchi Palace), stately villas and simple modern buildings painted in white watching the sunrise. Located at south of the Strait of Otranto and adjacent to Castro, it has several points loved by swimmers, such as the terraces and the beach of Porto Miggiano, over a wide range of rocky landing points, often chosen by fishermen. There are numerous restaurants serving seafood.

The sulphurous thermal waters (known in antiquity and mentioned by Strabone) are developed in Marine-Karst caves unique in their kind. In four natural caves sources: Gattulla, Fetida, Sulfurea and Zolfatara. The salty-bromo-iodic waters gush out at a temperature of 27-30 ° C. Particularly suitable for those suffering from chronic rheumatic pain, neuralgia, metabolism disorders, and respiratory diseases. The spa will make you spend moments of complete relaxation. Various nightclubs: the famous discos “Guendalina”and “Malè,” “Blue Bay,” in the nearby Castro. The town of Santa Cesarea Terme, includes villages of Cerfignano and Vitigliano and Porto Miggiano, Villaggio Paradiso and La Fraulo resorts. A poem of light and color, imprinted in the minds of visitors.


Santa Cesarea Terme has as patron the ‘Virgin Cesaria’. Many places contends her origin and place of birth. The absence of any historical evidence and biographical documentation prevents any final decision and one might suggest that the source of the saint derives from the Eastern Church then imported into this area of Salento with greek rite. The contention on the place of origin shows that the worship of Cesarea was widespread in Salento in many places, as we understand from various names of places related with the name of the saint.

This strip of land stretching to the east was in a remote time full of lush gardens and forests, as narrated by Dionysius of Halicarnassus and it was inhabited by happy people already seventeen generations before the fire that destroyed Troy. For the wealth that nature had lavished generously and the ease with which it could be reached, this land was in the past, a popular destination for people from Crete and the Aegean Islands, for refugees from burning Troy and surrounding lands invaded by hordes of barbarians. Herodotus tells us that crews of Cretans returning from Sicily where they had gone to avenge the death of King Minos, and his son Daedalus were beaten by the storm and were shipwrecked on the coast of Salento.

Here they settled and, uniting with the inhabitants, founded Messapian colonies. The geographer Strabone describes as the Pelasgians, who emigrated from Thessaly, Crete and the Aegean Islands, formed the Magna Grecia, in that part of Italy, then known as Calabria, which included the Salentum or Salentia (Salento). Other sources tell of raids by Arcadian crews and as Idomeneo, landed near Lecce, conquered it and replaced Messapian language with Greek. Those who approached the coast of Salento could not fail to note that sea, yellow and nauseous, where Santa Cesarea would rise. The myth of Hercules explains this wonderful, scary, inexplicable phenomenon. It is said that Hercules, on the advice of Pallas, rushed to the aid of Jupiter and its gods, challenged by the Lestrigons Giants or Titans or Leuterni, invincible because hardened in iron and fire. Hercules after performing the ritual propitiatory sacrifice on the Saturn hill in Rome, went to the Phlegrean Fields, where the titanic clash of the giants happened, and most were killed.

Hercules chased the surviving fugitives along the coast of Japigia, inaccessible and impractical since it is made up of rocks, caves, caverns and gorges. Here he overtook them and slew them. The immense bodies of monsters dissolved and the corruption that ensued penetrated into the soil making sulphurous groundwater that cropped up in the springs. On the pagan legend, waned with the decline of paganism, a Christian one has been constructed, which has in common the use of supernatural factors to explain the natural phenomenon and the invention that sulfur dissolved in the source comes from the decay of the body of a bad man. Just the mythological giants are replaced with man: the pagan, or lecherous father of the religious virgin Cesaria, or Saracen pirate. And more than that the Christian legend is moving away from the pagan character of the introduction of Cesaria and her miraculous fortune of being saved and sanctified by divine intervention, after which she takes up his abode in a cave near the spring.



by car

Coming from north, drive up the motorway A14 to Bari continuing southward along the motorway Bari – Lecce. Once reached Lecce, go along the s.s. 16 ‘Adriatic’ in the direction of Santa Maria di Leuca. Once past Maglie, at about 3 km you will see the exit for Santa Cesarea Terme 

by train

By train (Trenitalia) Salento is reached along the Adriatic(Milan – Bologna – Pescara) or through the Rome – Caserta. Once in Lecce FSE bus can be used that will take you to Santa Cesarea Terme. Otherwise you can use the local FSE trains up to Otranto from here you can take a bus to your destination. (For more information 

by plane

By plane you can reach Salento with a stopover in Brindisi, where you will choose to wait for the terminal that connects the airport to the center of Lecce or rent a car. If you choose the first option you can go to Santa Cesarea Terme using the FSE bus. Otherwise you can use the local FSE trains that will take you up to Otranto from here you can take a bus to your destination.