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One of the strengths of Salento is that it can boast two beautiful and very long coastal stretches, the Adriatic and the Ionian ones. In this page, we will focus on the latter.
The Ionian coast of Salento is rich in magnificent places and in very popular seaside resorts in term of tourism. Let us go on a "virtual tour" of the western coast, starting from the southernmost point, that is Leuca.
Santa Maria di Leuca and the Cape of Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca is the extreme point of Apulia and separates the Ionian Sea from the Adriatic Sea. Its coasts are mainly composed of rocks, but there are also sandy stretches. The picturesque harbour, with its countless boats looming on the horizon, offers a typical postcard-like landscape. Leuca is particularly renowned for its splendid caves, which dot the two sides, the Ionian and the Adriatic ones.
Among the most popular seaside resorts near Leuca there is Marina di San Gregorio, a small and picturesque rocky bay which attracts many visitors for its wild charm and for the trendy clubs that animate the marina.
Marina di Pescoluse and Torre Vado
Continuing northwards, the cliffs gradually give way to the sandy beaches and you will come across beautiful places such as Torre Vado and Marina di Pescoluse. Torre Vado is a small marina of the municipality of Morciano di Leuca and is a stretch of coast that offers both sandy beaches and low cliffs.
The ancient watchtower dating back to the 16th century, which dominates the horizon, is an undisputed symbol of Torre Vado. The clarity of the sea is another flagship of this resort.
The nearby Marina di Pescoluse, a seaside resort of the municipality of Salve, is the ideal place for those who love sandy beaches: the resort can boast very large beaches with the finest sand all over Salento. The soft dunes and unspoilt nature of these places, together with the crystal-clear sea, make these landscapes truly heavenly.
The beach of Posto Vecchio is very popular as well. It is really perfect for those who want to combine relaxation and fun.
The surroundings of Gallipoli
Following the tour towards north from Pescoluse, you will find other popular beaches, which have made Salento very famous thanks to their natural beauty. It is enough to mention the beaches near Ugento, such as Lido Marini and Torre San Giovanni, characterized by a fine beach and sloping seabed. Here, bathing establishments and stretches of free beach alternate.
Continuing northwards, passing through equally beautiful places such as Torre Suda, Marina di Mancaversa and Lido Pizzo, you will reach Gallipoli, which is called the Pearl of the Ionian.
GALLIPOLI, THE PEARL OF THE IONIAN SEA AND CENTRE OF NIGHTLIFE
Gallipoli is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Salento. It is a beautiful town rich in history, which deserves to be discovered in all its faces.
The Pearl of the Ionian Sea is characterized by a long central street, Corso Roma, which crosses it entirely, offering shops, bars, restaurants and much more. Gallipoli old town is also particularly fascinating. It is a sort of peninsula that seems to belong to distant ages and that encloses many beauties, such as the ancient port, the military castle, several churches and much more.
Gallipoli boasts large bathing areas consisting of sandy beaches such as Baia Verde, Rivabella and Lido Conchiglie. This resort is also very popular with young people for its nightclubs and entertainment.
Marina of Nardò
Moving just a few kilometres north, you will reach Santa Maria al Bagno, belonging to the territory of Nardò. It is a very attractive resort as it offers a small sandy beach "embraced" by cliffs. Moreover, the area is very rich in artistic attractions and ancient buildings, such as the famous Four Columns.
Those who prefer large beaches can find beautiful ones nearby.
Porto Cesareo and its splendid beaches
Porto Cesareo is a small coastal town that boasts large beach areas full of charm, especially in the area of the "lagoon", where the stretches of beach alternate with the bathing establishments.
The hamlets of Porto Cesareo are certainly not far behind. They are Torre Lapillo and Punta Prosciutto, which represents the "official" border of the Ionian coast of Salento, being the last locality belonging to the province of Lecce.
Torre Lapillo and Punta Prosciutto are both characterised by a soft and white sand, as well as a crystal-clear sea with shallow sea bed. Perfect places, therefore, to spend regenerating days in the name of the sea, the sun and relaxation.