Puglia is one of Italy’s largest region, with hundreds of kilometers of coastline and bordered by both the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea. This makes for a great variety of scenery, with the calmer and more “Caribbean-like” Eastern, the windier and sometimes rougher Western side and the rockier Southern bit. Bottomline is you are spoilt for choice, so to help you navigate here are our picks. We have concentrated on the central and Southern part of Puglia and all these beaches can easily be reached for a day trip.
Torre Guaceto near Brindisi
This is set in the nature reserve and protected marine area Torre Guaceto, located between Ostuni and Brindisi, about 45 minutes by car from us. It stretches for various kilometers and is breathtakingly beautiful. If you are lucky you might even spot a giant sea turtle. To protect and grow this endangered species is one of the many projects of the reserve. Punta Penna Grossa is a small beach club with sunbeds and parasols to rent, but they do run out quickly in high summer, so it is best to bring your parasol, just in case.
This is the position on Google Maps of the parking area in Torre Guaceto.
Capitolo near Monopoli
We are on the Adriatic coast here and this side of Puglia is more exposed to Northern winds than the Ionian stretch which makes for more days with somewhat rougher sea. But the dunes are spectacular and there are plenty of well organized serviced beaches here to make this a great destination for families with young kids who might prefer the extra bit of assistance.
Baia dei Turchi near Otranto
The “bay of the turks” is where Turkish soldiers landed in the fifteenth century during the Otranto battle. Today it is all peace and quiet and makes for a wonderful day by the seaside, surrounded by woodland. Don’t forget to stop by Otranto for the evening to explore this amazing port town with its many bars, restaurants and a famous castle.
We are near Manduria, on the Ionian side of Puglia. San Pietro is a typical sleepy village with its just as typical laid-back charme like many around here. It is best known for its beach though. Beautiful long stretches of sandy shores and shallow waters with the backdrops of dunes and “macchia mediterranea”, the typical wildly growing vegetation of the area make this a great destination for beach lovers.
Campomarino near Maruggio
This is just a few kilometers North of San Pietro in Bevagna and has a very similar scenery. At both beaches you will also find several serviced beaches where you can rent sunbeds and parasols.
This is just a bit further South from San Pietro in Bevagna and just as beautiful. We are not too far from Lecce here, “capital of baroque”, making this a good option for the evening.
Pescoluse in Leuca
Nicknamed the “Maledives of Salento”. Looking at the glittering turquoise-colored waters and long stretch of white sandy beaches you will see why. Ideal for families with kids of all ages due as the sea is shallow here for quite a bit before getting deeper. You are near the most Southern point of Puglia here so this is a bit of a trip if you are staying further North. We would recommend spending a few nights in the area, for example in or around Lecce to explore this part of Puglia.
These are our current favorite beaches in central and Southern Puglia, but there are so many more great ones by any means. Do you have favourite you’d like to share with us?