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Weekend in Puglia: things to see in the Ionian Salento in two days

26 Dic

You have chosen Salento for a weekend getaway, but the 150 km of coast put you in crisis on the choice of places to see in just two days. Here are some tips that will help you spend a relaxing weekend in Puglia. A guide to know what to see in the Ionian Salento in two days.

If you can’t do without golden sandy beaches and the sea, choose the Ionian side of Salento. On our tour we will spend two days in two of the most famous locations in Salento: Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli.


Have breakfast with pasticciotto and coffee on ice and go stright, “armed” with sunscreen and beach towel, to the beach. Porto Cesareo offers white beaches protected by majestic dunes. Take a long swim to the Isola Grande or the “Dei Conigli”, or alternatively, if you are not too athletic, reach it by boat. The entire area of ​​Porto Cesareo has been a Protected Marine Area since 1997, one of the largest in Italy (16,654 hectares), with over 40 diving spots and various “Blue Paths”.

In the late afternoon, we recommend a stop at the Parenzan Museum of Marine Biology, with 900 exhibits, the malacological collection and an area dedicated to deep-sea fish and sea monsters.

In the evening, you cannot fail to taste a tasty dinner based on local fish. You can stop in Porto Cesareo, in one of the numerous fishmongers that become delicious restaurants in the evening, or move to the nearby Sant’Isidoro. You will be spoiled for choice!


For the second and last day of your weekend in Puglia we cannot fail to visit Gallipoli, the “Pearl of the Ionian”. The “Città Bella”, in fact, offers a mix of beaches, culture, architecture that satisfies all tastes. Then spend the morning by the sea, choosing from numerous beaches: the beach of Gallipolini is the beach of “Purità”, but the beaches from Baia Verde to Punta della Suina, connected by a cycle / pedestrian road, are also worth a stop. Here tongues of sand and coves are protected by dunes and gradually alternate with the Aleppo pine forest, where nature becomes wild.

In the late afternoon we recommend a visit to the city, gathered on an island connected to the mainland by a stone bridge. The imposing Angevin Castle, which hosts large exhibitions, marks the entrance to the ancient village: a labyrinth of alleys where small characteristic shops alternate with churches of the Confraternities, up to the magnificent Cathedral Basilica of S. Agata, a triumph of the Baroque.

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.itMobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

Things to see in Lecce for your holidays

1 Mar

Lecce is the easternmost city of Italy, famous for its art and for its Baroque style.

If you come in Salento for your holiday, you cannot miss a visit to the town, that is just 11 km far away from the Adriatic coast and just over 20 from the Ionian one. Continua a leggere

Salento, things to see in 3 days in Salento on the Ionian coast

12 Gen

If you are looking for an oasis of peace to escape from your everyday life, Salento is a perfect destination, halfway between a cultural holiday, the food and wine experience and the relaxation at the sea. If you can get away from work, friends and relatives for only 3 days, here it is a useful guide to discover the places you must see on the Ionian coast. Continua a leggere

Salento, things to see in 3 days on the Adriatic coast

5 Gen

You have the weekend off to escape from the routine and you choose the Salento to enjoy the sun and the wonderful beaches. Yes, we all agree that three days of vacation are not so many, but they can still be enough to appreciate the beauties of this land.

We prepared for you a mini-guide of things to see in the Salento in 3 days, if you travel along the Adriatic coast. If you have planned a longer vacation, read here. Continua a leggere

A visit through art and sea, things to see in 5 days in Salento

29 Dic

You can’t decide between a cultural holiday and a vacation to the seaside? Salento is the place you are looking for with its 150 km of coastline and a cultural heritage that you can find in every small village. If you have a few days off, you can choose to come here and you won’t regret it! To help you, we developed a 5-day mini guide with the most beautiful places to see. Continua a leggere

Salento, things to do in 7 days on the Adriatic coast

22 Dic

With about 150 km of coastline, Salento offers a unique variety of landscapes, sea and beaches. So we’d better plan our journey in order to be sure of visiting the most important places.

That is why, in this guide, you will find some advice and above all a valid itinerary to keep in mind when you visit the Adriatic coast, if you are here for 7 days. (For the things to see in 7 days on the Ionian, click here). Continua a leggere

Salento, things to do in 7 days on the Ionian coast

15 Dic

You chose Salento to enjoy a week of relaxation, sun, sea and beaches, but you haven’t planned the things to do yet. Here it is a useful guide to enjoy 7 days of vacation, without forgetting any place worth seeing!

Let’s start from Lecce, and then we travel along the entire Ionian coast. You can choose to travel by car (the roads easily connect all the towns), or you can rely on public transport (if you come in summer, there is the excellent “Salento in Bus” service that connects all the marinas of the Salento). If you need to understand which transport means is right for you, read here. Continua a leggere

How to get around in Salento on vacation, the guide to choose the best vehicle

21 Apr

You have organized your holiday in Salento thinking of everything: you have chosen the destination, you have booked the place to stay and, finally, you have also made a short list of things to see. In fact, you don’t want to stay in one place for the entire stay, but you want to take the opportunity to explore the wonders that this land has to offer.

Ok, Salento is not a boundless area, but knowing how to choose the means to move around can save you time and stress! Here is a brief guide on how to move around in Salento, depending on your needs.


If you have decided to travel by car, you will reach Salento via the A14 if you come from the North, or along the A1 from Central Italy. Once in place, move between one location and the other will be fairly easy.

The hinterland, in fact, is well connected to both coasts (Ionian and Adriatic) and you can choose whether to take the coastal road to be enchanted by the surrounding landscape or to take the state road for a smoother course.

There are two main arteries: the highway 101-274 that connects Lecce to Gallipoli, up to Santa Maria di Leuca, and the state road 16 which will take you to Maglie and Otranto and then the 275 to Leuca.


If you choose to come to Salento by train you will stop in Lecce. From there you can decide whether to explore the Salento by bus or continue with the train, using the lines of the South-East Railway (Ferrovia Sud-Est).


If you travel by train or plane, an excellent solution to move around in Salento is definitely the bus.

The summer lines of the “Salento in Bus” service, conceived by the province of Lecce, are now a solid certainty of every summer. Throughout the season, in fact, you can move easily and in a low cost way from the hinterland to the marinas, thanks to the 9 lines that branch out all over the Salento region.

You can reach easily the most famous towns such as Otranto, Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca and the coastal resorts such as Porto Cesareo, Torre Dell’Orso, Castro, etc.

STP‘s services are also active, namely the Public Transportation Company of Terra d’Otranto.


The most comfortable way to explore the Salento is undoubtedly with your own vehicle. If you arrived by plane or train and you don’t have a car to move, the best solution is to rent one.

Not just a car, but also a bike. The Salento is, in fact, a land to be discovered and mostly uncontaminated. What better choice to opt for a cycle touring itinerary, moving around, staying in contact with nature?


One of the last options you have for exploring the Salento is to rely on a transfer to move from one or more areas of the Salento peninsula or simply to get from the airport to your destination in the Lecce province and vice versa.

For car/bike rental or transfer service, you can find all the info and contacts you need by writing to:


Now that you’ve chosen the right vehicle to move, all you have to do is book your stay, pack your suitcase and start exploring the magnificent Salento!

What places must you visit in Salento on holidays? Here a little guide

3 Gen

Are you planning your holidays and want to know what you must see in Salento? Have you always dreamed of spending your vacation on a beach that looks like one in a postcard? Or have you been enchanted by the small villages of the hinterland and would you love to come back?

Even if you are a first-time tourist or a passionate visitor of Salento, here is the guide for you! Here you will find the most famous destinations and the less known places to visit in a practical and fast guide.


If you are on holiday for the first time in Salento, you can not miss visiting some enchanting places, among the best known and visited of the area. We have listed the most important ones.



Known as the capital of the Baroque for its many churches, Lecce is undoubtedly the most important centre from which you can start your tour in Salento. With its 95,000 inhabitants, Lecce is the capital of Salento.

The historic center is characterized by elegant churches in Baroque style and buildings built in Pietra Leccese, the typical stone of this area. Among the monuments to visit, do not miss Piazza Sant’Oronzo with its “Sedile” and the column with the statue of the Patron which gives the name to the square, the Roman amphitheater, the church of Santa Croce and the Duomo.



Getting lost in the alleyways, adorned with craft shops, is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do in Otranto, a small jewel that rises on the easternmost place of Italy.

Quarry of Bauxite

In addition to visit the numerous bars, restaurants and shops, do not miss: the Aragonese Castle, where very important art exhibitions take place every year; the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, with its mosaic on the floor, dating back to the mid-twelfth century; the chapel dedicated to the martyrs of Otranto, with the bones of those who died in the massacre by the Turks in 1480.


This site is an ex-quarry of bauxite extraction, abandoned in the ’70s. Located near Otranto, the place is one of the most famous in Salento thanks to the lunar-like landscape with the greenish pond that offers a striking contrast with the red of the hills of bauxite.


The old town of the “beautiful city”, as the Greeks used to call it, is one of those things worth visiting: surrounded by the sea, the heart of the city is enclosed within fortified walls. With an all-oriental charm, Gallipoli is influenced by the Byzantines, Norman Swabians and Angevins.


Their traces have remained above all in architecture. The port area, one of the most important in Europe in the 16th century, is also worth seeing.


It is the extreme heel of Italy, a characteristic to which it owes part of its charm.

Santa Maria di Leuca stands on a promontory (where there are the Basilica and the lighthouse). Its seaside resort, located further down, includes Punta Mèliso, which, according to a nautical convention, is the point of separation between the Adriatic coast ( to the east) and the Ionian coast (to the west).

Santa Maria di Leuca

We recommand a visit to the numerous caves, divided into Caves of the Rada, Grotte di Ponente and Grotte di Levante.


The most famous cave of Salento is located in Roca Vecchia, on the Adriatic coast, between San Foca and Torre Dell’Orso.

In the archaeological excavations, you can admire the ruins of the castle, the sanctuary of the Madonna of Roca of the seventeenth century and the “Grotta della Poesia”, a natural pool with crystal clear water.

Grotta della Poesia

The name derives from the Greek name “Posìa”, that is source of fresh water.


Located at about 25km south from Lecce, on the Adriatic coast, Torre Dell’Orso, is known for its fine white sand beach and its crystal clear sea.

Torre Dell’Orso

Several times it received the Blue Flag of Europe. All over the years the resort has become one of the most popular place of the Salento’s coast, thanks to the many night clubs. Among the most famous symbols of Torre Dell’Orso there are the sea stacks called “Le due Sorelle”.


Located between Castro and Santa Cesarea Terme, the cave owes its name to the “zinzuli“, ie the karst formations, especially stalactites, similar to “rags” hanging from the ceiling.

Grotta della Zinzulusa

The cave is invaded by both sea and spring waters and it is divided into three parts: entrance, crypt (inhabited by a large number of bats) and bottom.


They are among the most unspoiled places of Salento, with an ecosystem that hosts various animal and plant species. The two lakes are located at north of Otranto and take their name from the ancient Greek and Byzantine.

The beach of the Alimini

Alimini seaside

In the oasis of the Alimini lakes, it is worth visiting, on the coast, “La baia dei Turchi”, a wild and uncontaminated beach, a place where – according to the legend – the Turkish warriors would have landed in the battle of Otranto in the XVth century.


Paradise for lovers of trekking, the Ciolo canal is one of the deepest ravines of Salento.


The place, which takes its name from the ravens that often fly over the ridges, called “ciolas” in the local dialect, is one of the favorite destinations for the bravest divers. The panorama is enchanting.


Sant’Andrea is a small bay, near Torre Dell’Orso, characterized by cliffs overlooking the sea.


An old fishing village, the village is still known for fishing and it is ideal for scuba diving. Swimming around the famous faraglioni is a unique experience.


If you want to discover the Salento through “less beaten” routes, we suggest you to continue reading this guide and to write down the names of the locations that we will name below.


Located on the provincial road that connects Squinzano to Casalabate, about 15 km north of Lecce, the Abbey is one of the most significant examples of Romanesque otrantino.

Santa Maria a Cerrate

The site was founded, according to legend, at the end of the twelfth century by Tancredi d’Altavilla, count of Lecce, following the apparition of the Madonna, between the horns of a deer, from which the toponym (Cerrate or Cervate). The town was an important religious and cultural center until the sixteenth century.


It is one of the most famous monuments of the Apulian and Gothic Romanesque art in Puglia and is located in the old town of Galatina (about 24 km south of Lecce).

Santa Caterina D’Alessandria in Galatina

The Basilica, built by the Orsini Del Balzo family, is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles and is among the most characteristic examples of southern Italy, for its architecture and its frescoes.


Small village located between the sea and the hill, the village of Specchia rises 130 meters above sea level. The old town, full of narrow streets and dry stone walls, has a clear medieval imprint.


The most elegant buildings of the town overlook Piazza del Popolo and they are: Palazzo Risolo, the mother church and the Baronial Palace Ripa. In 2013 Specchia received the award as “Jewel of Italy“.


The inlet of the Acquaviva di Marittima, Marina di Diso, is a small fjord, some ten meters long that rises between the rocks.

Cala dell’Acquaviva

The bay owes its name to the cold water springs. With its 4 sails of Legambiente, the cove dell’Acquaviva has an initially shallow backdrop that gradually becomes deeper.


Located in the protected area of ​​the “Porto Selvaggio Regional Nature Park and the Captain’s Marsh”, in the territory of Nardò, the beach of Porto Selvaggio is characterized by the rocky coastline and by the pines.

Ideal place, not only for bathing but also for trekking, in the park you can visit the Torre dell’Alto and the Grotta del Cavallo, a natural cave, part of a larger system of natural caves.

Porto Selvaggio


The natural pools of Marina Serra, near Tricase, in the very South of Salento, are bounded by cliff rocks and have a depth varying from 20 to 70 cm. Its crystalline waters and the shallow depth of the sea make it an ideal place and also suitable for children.

Marina Serra

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