Where to swim on the Salento Coast

Puglia, the heel of Italy, is renowned for its beautiful beaches - and the region of the Salento, in the heart of Puglia, has the best beaches, surrounded as it is on three sides by sea. Here are our favourites, with distances from Palazzo Giustiniani, our elegant and recently restored palazzo in the town of Sogliano Cavour.

Lido Marini

35 minutes from Palazzo Giustiniani

We're starting with a rather 'easy' beach - easy to reach and easy to enjoy, particularly for families. Lido Marini is particularly easy to reach - head for Ugento, even if the beach is located in the Municipality of Salve. It's a great spot for enjoying the sea with children and their toys, as the water is always just a little warmer than than on the Adriatic side.

Access is directly from the coast road - just use this Google Maps link to find Lido Marini

The beach of Lido Marini in the Salento, Puglia

Just to the north of the Lido you will find the equally beautiful beach of Torre Mozza, and between the two, the dog-friendly beach of the Paduli: dogs and owners can reach it by continuing south from Torre Mozza.

Santa Maria al Bagno

20 minutes from Palazzo Giustiniani

This is a village on the sea, located on the Salento coast of the Ionian Sea, that offers beaches that alternate in rocky points and stretches of sand, as well as a lively atmosphere of good restaurants and cafes. A fantastic place to spend some time, not only during the summer, but also in the spring and autumn seasons.

Find Santa Maria al Bagno

Santa Maria al Bagno, a beach and a lively village in the Salento

Punta della Suina

25 minutes from Palazzo Giustiniani

You will need strong footwear to visit this beach, but the reward is well worth it. A sun drenched landscape of rock and scented scrub invites you to let yourself go and enjoy long relaxing baths in the crystal clear sea.

Punta Suina is about 10 km south of Gallipoli and the coast is accessible from various points along the coastal road. Map of Punta della Suina

Salento beach of Punta della Suina

Nearby you'll also find Lido Pizzo, a little further south; while further north, closer to Gallipoli, the beaches become longer and more crowded.

Baia di Porto Selvaggio

25 minutes from Palazzo Giustiniani

Porto Selvaggio makes all the lists of 'best beaches in Puglia' and deservedly so: a verdant pine forest edges a rocky promontory overlooking a small cove beach mainly of gravel. The shape of this section of the Puglian coast gives the sea magical crystalline reflections in this regional natural park, one of the most intact stretches of coast in the entire Salento. Well worth a visit.

Map of Porto Selvaggio

Closest Car Park for Porto Selvaggio

Bay of Porto Selvaggio, one of the most famous beaches in the Salento

Porto Badisco

35 minutes from Palazzo Giustiniani

This is a magical spot, a small fjord surrounded by prickly pears and patches of fragrant myrtle, and a place where legend has it that Aeneas and his companions landed on their epic journey to Italy. Even further back in history, you will find human testimony in the cave paintings of the "cave of the deer".

Coming back to the present day, this is a place to relax on the rocks of the cove, abandon your body and let your thoughts wander free, with only the sound of the sea in the background - just pay attention to the rocks, very sharp as in various points of the Adriatic coast of Salento.

Access is well signposted from the coastal road, about 10 km south of Otranto; with parking at various points along the detour.

Map of Porto Badisco

Landing place for Aeneas? the beach of Porto Badisco in Puglia

Where to stay in Puglia?

We can't think of anywhere better placed for exploring Salento than this beautiful walled home, a Palazzo in the town of Sogliano Cavour. With space for 10 guests and a private pool - as well as fantastic local chef should you choose - Palazzo Giustiniani is the perfect base for getting to know Puglia.

Palazzo Giustiniani
The courtyard swimming pool of Palazzo Giustiniani