Are you looking for golden sand, crystal clear waters, divine weather and stunning natural beauty? Located in the southern region of Italy, Puglia is a fabulous choice for a relaxing seaside getaway. Read on for the top 5 Puglia beaches.
Land of sun and sea, Puglia is the “heel” of the Italian boot that looks out over the Mediterranean Sea, meeting the Adriatic Sea on the east side and the Ionian Sea on the west side.
Puglia is with no doubt one of the most beautiful regions of Italy and maybe the only one with such an abundance of amazing beaches with crystal clear blue seas that are voted amongst the best in the world!
It offers approximately 800 km of coastline of unique natural beauty: for beach lovers, it’s a treasure trove of stunning strands, intimate rocky coves and wild, sandy shores, from the Gargano peninsula in the north to the stiletto heel of Salento in the south.
The part of the coast that faces the Ionian Sea is primarily defined by long beaches with vast pine forests inland, although some long rocky stretches can still be seen.
Below we’ve listed the Top 5 Puglia beaches on the Ionian Sea, so that you can experience the very best during your summer stay.
Punta Prosciutto beach
Punta Prosciutto for its blue-green colour and shallow, reminds of tropical locations; a true hidden paradise for tourists seeking peace and tranquility, where nature, the sun and the sea reign.
The beach is located in the Province of Lecce, near the southern area of the “boot” of Italy. This beach is one of the most beautiful on the Ionian Salento beach rankings, being situated in a still uncontaminated and wild environment, with the presence of dunes up to 8 meters high, covered with fragrant Mediterranean scrub.
The long wild and unspoiled beach, mostly public, with some beach resorts, is perfect to enjoy relaxing days and to swim in the crystal clear water.
The soft and white sand, surrounded by the thick centuries-old Mediterranean scrub, is lapped by the shallow and crystal clear water, perfect for children to play.
On this beach, small stretches of free beach alternate with the many stretches of equipped beaches and bathing establishments, so there are plenty of facilities available for bathers, such as sunbeds and umbrellas, bars, restaurants, pedalos and canoes for hire.Punta Prosciutto is also a popular destination for those who love windsurfing, sailing and diving!
A curiosity: The bizarre name of Punta Prosciutto (“ham” in English) comes from the local dialect “Li Prisuti”, expression with which locals used to call the beach.
San Pietro in Bevagna beach
Bask in the luxury and peace of just you, azure sea and white sand dunes!This protected beach in Maruggio is a hidden gem and it is usually deserted. The beach of San Pietro in Bevagna is a natural oasis in front of the blue Ionian sea with soft sand and crystal clear water.
Located in the north of the most famous Porto Cesareo, the wonderful white beach of San Pietro in Bevagna is almost 4 kilometres long, has soft and fine sand, gently sloping down to the crystal clear and clean blue Ionian sea.
If you prefer a bit of civilisation, there are parts of the beach that are serviced too, so you can enjoy the peace from a comfy lounger and have cool drinks within easy reach.
A must-see is also the beach of Chidro, where flows the freshwater river, which creates three small lakes and then reaches the sea. According to the legend, the sea shells of this area are the tears of San Peter turned into stone.
Porto Cesareo beach
Soft and fine sand, Caribbean sea and a small island to discover: the beaches of Porto Cesareo overlook the crystal clear Ionian Sea. Porto Cesareo, with its long white and soft beach, surrounded by dunes of Mediterranean scrub, offers picture-postcard views and it’s on the top list of Puglia beaches!
The resort of Porto Cesareo is made up of about 18 km of coastline and off the coast there are a series of small islands, the largest of which is called Isola dei Conigli (Rabbit Island).
The beach of Porto Cesareo has a very shallow sea bed, and allows you to walk to the island of rabbits overlooked. This marine protected area, is reachable within walking distance along the 200 meters that separate it from the beach; the water is about 1,5 meters deep.
Since the sea beds are sandy and water is not deep, with Caribbean shades, children can safely play.
Did you know? The friendly Caretta Caretta are the guest stars of Porto Cesareo! Among the waves and sandy coastlines of Porto Cesareo, it is frequent to pleasantly come across the Caretta Caretta, huge sea turtles protected, between the famous Punta Prosciutto and the beautiful Torre Inserraglio.
Don’t miss to dive near Torre Chianca: you will admire five beautiful Roman columns of chivalrous marble and other areas and you will fantasize a past that is no longer there looking at beautiful wrecks ancient and modern.
A curiosity: Every year Porto Cesareo puts on a Palio event that is unique – a water-based boating competition of skill that celebrates their fishing and seafaring traditions in a colourful splash of athletic skill.
Torre San Giovanni beach
The beach of Torre San Giovanni, with its six kilometres of coast of fine sand, is one of the longest and most appealing among those in the South part of Salento.
Located where once stood the ancient Roman port, Torre San Giovanni is a small harbour; going north from town you’ll find rocks and reefs interspersed with sandy tracts, part of a marine nature preserve, undeveloped with less crowds while to the south, past the harbour area, you’ll find the famous shores with fine white sand.
Here, as often occurs along the coasts of Salento near the sea, the landscape is dominated by trees and shrubs typical for the Mediterranean vegetation, with the unmistakable aroma of pine, thyme and rosemary.
For history lovers: Torre San Giovanni has also a small port for yachts, dominated by a sixteenth century tower, which stands out from the sea. The tower is the oldest site of the entire village and is located on a small promontory jutting into the sea that ideally divides the coast in half.
Marina di Pescoluse is a pearl of Salento, and one of the most popular tourist resorts in the whole of Puglia: beaches of fine white sand, crystal clear sea water, beaches surrounded by greenery, free beaches, well-equipped bathing establishments and well-organized, equipped with entertainment.
The natural beauty of the place is so beautiful that a stretch of the coast has been dubbed “The Maldives of Salento“: the beach clearly justifies its name, since it brings to mind the Maldives and it makes it hard to believe that you are still in Europe.
With shallow, clear water and 4 km of fine bright sand, the area offers a lot of sport activities and beach bars .The beach is characterized by a long series of dunes, on which during summer, bloom white wild lilies and ferns.
A curiosity: The coast faces south and its position allows Pescoluse to enjoy until sunset crystal clear water. When the wind blows from the north, the sea is calm and invites you to swim, amid crystal clear reflections.