When people think of vacationing in Italy, they often imagine elaborate churches, fine dining, ancient history and rich culture. One of the last things that people think about is beautiful, sandy beaches. If a hot and sunny beach vacation is what you’re looking for, then Italy has just the escape for you.
Salento is located in the southern “heel” region of this boot shaped country and is loaded with beaches to suit any sun worshiper’s wildest dream. It sits within the Adriatic and Ionian seas. This region is specifically known for its warm climate, crystal clear, clean waters and for its miles of sandy beaches.
Some of the most sought after beaches in the Salento region are:
1. Porto Cesareo: This popular beach is a busy tourist attraction during the summer months and is perfect for those with young children. The waters here are calm and clear and the beaches are well kept. Not far from Lecce, and easily reachable by rail or public transit, Porto Cesareo beach is a haven for those seeking relaxation under the sun. Its beach is made up of white, sandy dunes and it borders the Natural Reserve of Earl Marsh which is rich in aquatic life.
2. Torre Lapillo: This busy tourist beach is popular among both locals and foreigners and contains many beachfront resorts and vacation rentals. It also has a diverse underwater reef system that makes it the perfect destination for those who love to snorkel or scuba dive.
3. Natural Reserve of Torre Guaceto - If combining sun bathing with a love of nature and the great outdoors is more your style than this location is the perfect one for you. Bordering on a nature reserve, the Torre Guaceto beach is an excellent location for biking, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving and boating. Although the beach is rocky in areas, it is still well kept and offers lounge chairs and umbrellas for those looking to relax under the Mediterranean sun.
4. San Pietro in Bevagna - Do you dream of miles of white sandy beaches that you can stroll on for hours? The San Pietro beach provides just that and although it is a busy tourist destination during the hotter summer months, it still provides a sandy paradise for those seeking to relax by the water’s edge. There are also ancient Roman ruins here, out in the water, that can be seen from shore as the tide goes in and out.
When coming to Salento by rail, you will arrive at the Lecce railway station. Because this area contains so many beaches in such a small geographic region, making your way to a nearby beach will be an easy task. Most public transportation routes will make their way to one of the most popular beaches or renting a car may make your travels easier and more convenient.
Many people don’t think of Italy as being a popular destination for those seeking sand and sun, but all it will take is one visit to the Salento beaches and you will quickly change your mind. With so many sandy shores to explore and Mediterranean waters to swim in, you are guaranteed to return home, after your vacation, feeling completely relaxed and rejuvenated, and you will have an amazing tan to show off as well!