Which are the most beautiful beaches to visit in Puglia?
One of the most frequently asked questions by tourists visiting Puglia is which are the most beautiful beaches to visit. Our region has recently become a very popular destination thanks to its natural beauty and its varied food and wine heritage.
Its crystal clear sea and its clean beaches are very attractive for those who would like to spend a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
Puglia is located in the south-eastern part of the Italian peninsula and its coasts extend for over 800 km (its coastal extension is one of the largest compared to other Italian regions excluding Sicily and Sardinia, obviously).
The main characteristic of its coasts is their variety: in the northern part of the region, known as Gargano, towering cliffs and rocky coastlines overlook the sea or seem to rise from it to catch some sea wind.
On the other hand, in the central part of the region, along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts, is characterised by mostly sandy coasts with dunes and luxuriant Mediterranean scrub.
In the fascinating strip of land situated in the extreme South of Italy, called Salento, a great variety of coasts is to be found: some of them are sandy and with Caribbean colours, others with impervious rocky features characterized by rich vegetation and colour contrasts, like those used by impressionists.
The 11 most beautiful beaches in Puglia
Before guiding you in this journey between soft sand, towering cliffs, lush Mediterranean scrub and crystal clear sea, we would like to stress an important aspect, in order to be honest with our readers.
This is not a ranking in which the number one position is given to the most beautiful beach in Puglia. It is a list of 11 beaches with very different morphological and naturalistic characteristics but equally associated by their fascinating charm.
When you will see the colourful coasts, your feet will touch the water or sand, it will be impossible not to think about how wonderful Puglia is. And if you think that right after reading this post, well, we will be pleased too, dear readers!
To make the identification of the various beaches easier we will indicate, next to their name, the geographical area of reference:
- Gargano: area located in the northern part of Puglia;
- Salento: area located in the southern part of Puglia;
- Litorale Tarantino: coastal stretch in the northern and southern part of Taranto;
- Litorale Barese: coastal stretch in the northern and southern part of the regional capital Bari.
We wish you a very good trip. See you in 11 beaches!
Local is better than social
It is well know that beauty is a subjective perception, therefore every tourist who has spent some of his holidays in Puglia could have his own very personal opinion on which are Apulian most fascinating beaches. Terrachevive.com respects every opinion and is very pleased when the places visited by tourists live up to their expectations. There is a risk though. It is very likely that the most beautiful beaches are the most posted, shared, photographed or, simply, reviewed.
It is happening more and more often, that the most enjoyed and appreciated experiences and places are exactly the most authentic, less commercial and the most difficult to recognise.
What is known, shared and socially appreciated seems to give us a sort of “reliability” guarantee, but quality, in our opinion, is to be found in the advices that only locals can give. Locals are the “experts” of the territory and this goes beyond the commercial logic and the button “share” on social media.
Our secret to choose the “right” beach
After this long trip among what we think are the most beautiful beaches of Puglia, we want to tell you a little secret that we are sure, you will find very useful during your stay. A secret which is the result of years of experience in the field!
The enchanting beaches we have just described can, in certain weather conditions, lose their heavenly charm. What nobody tells you, and that only locals know, is that wind is the element that affects the most the quality, pleasantness and beauty of a seaside destination in Puglia.
Our beloved land is, in fact, very subject to the influence of the winds: its Adriatic and Ionian coasts, its cultivated lands and plateaus are constantly lashed by winds.
For the reader’s convenience and to easily determine how to behave according to the type of wind blowing, we will divide them into two categories:
- cold winds from the North: Mistral and Tramontane;
- warm winds from the South: Scirocco, Libeccio and Levanter.
Cold winds from the North blow from the Adriatic Sea, while those from the South blow from the Ionian Sea.
So what every tourist visiting Apulia should know is summarised in the short (almost mathematical) formula below:
- when northern winds are blowing: choose beaches located on the Ionian coast;
- when southern winds are blowing: choose beaches located on the Adriatic coast.
Now you just have to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach!
The best Apulian beaches suitable for families with children
The ranking of the 11 best beaches in Puglia in our opinion would be fairly pointless if we do not help our readers to understand whether or not they are suitable for their families and, in particular, for the needs of those with children.
In order to meet this criterion, we have taken the following parameters into account:
- availability of free or paid parking nearby;
- services available in the beach club;
- sandy beach.
After having verified these requirements, 6 of the 11 beaches mentioned above have been found to be suitable for families with children:
- Pescoluse bay (Salento): the coast is about 4 km long and studded with beaches equipped with services and large parking areas.
- Lido Silvana bay (Litorale Tarantino): the shallow and sandy seabed makes this coastal stretch ideal for walking in shallow waters and swimming safely. The coastal stretch also offers the possibility to choose between numerous beach clubs.
- Lido di Santo Stefano (Litorale Barese): the ideal place for those looking for an equipped beach from which to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape. In addition, the lido is located few kilometres away from the beautiful village of Monopoli, which we always recommend to visit during a stay in Puglia.
- Campomarino beach (Litorale Tarantino): this marvellous stretch of coast is served by many equipped beach facilities which guarantee beach services and the possibility to park in the immediate vicinity.
- Torre Lapillo beach (Salento): a natural wonder easily accessible and equipped with all the comforts required by families with children. A paradise on earth where your children will be happy to spend their day.
- San Pietro in Bevagna beach (Salento): this coastal stretch offers all the comforts for those who prefer to enjoy a their stay on the beach. The particularly wide sandy shoreline allows you to have a lot of space at your disposal (which is not guaranteed during the most crowded days, though).
Whether you travel solo or with your partner and are willing to sacrifice comfort to fully enjoy the wilder charm of a place, or simply its tranquillity because it may not be easily accessible, you will find here our recommended of beaches for you:
- Zagare Bay or Mergoli Bay (Gargano): many people call it “a true paradise on earth.” You can reach it either by accessing the private beach of a hotel located nearby or by a path of about 1 km that leads to a stretch of free beach.
- Torre Pozzelle beach (Litorale Barese): a long stretch of coastline where sandy beaches alternate with rocky coves. You have to choose the place if you love tranquillity and nature.
- Porto Selvaggio bay (Salento): to access this enchanting place, you have to go through a large pine forest with a steep and stony ground. Therefore we suggest you to wear appropriate shoes. We guarantee that your effort will be widely rewarded by the beauty of this place!
- Torre Guaceto (Salento): it is a protected land reserve and therefore it is not allowed to access it by private means of transport. During the summer months, it is possible to use transfer services; the only other way to access the reserve is on foot.
- Zaiana bay (Gargano): this Apulian wonder is located in a natural park. The access is possible through a stretch with a stairway that leads directly to the beach.
As locals we feel obliged to advise you against some days of the year when beaches become particularly crowded. This happens because Apulians like the sea very much; we have an innate connection with the crystal clear water of our coasts. So, when we have time, we enjoy a few hours of sun and relax.
In addition, many beaches are located a few kilometres away from urban centres so they can be reached in few minutes. This is why so many locals flock to the coast during summer.
Here you can find an easy memo to keep in mind if you want to avoid going to the Apulian beaches during the most crowded days:
- Sundays from mid-July until the end of August: besides being a non-working day, this is the time window during which the majority of Apulians (and Italians in general) enjoy their time off. One of the favourite places to have fun and relax is the beach. Beaches are literally rushed, especially on Sundays in August;
- the day of Ferragosto (15th of August): : this is the holiday par excellence for all Italians, particularly appreciated because it represents a day of rest during the summer heat. Therefore there’s nothing better than going to the beach.
During the rest of the summer, i.e. during the months of June and during the working days of July, the Apulian coasts are frequented but without any particular crowding. Our advice is therefore to avoid the days mentioned above and, if possible, to enjoy Apulian beaches during the weekdays when most of the locals are busy at work. So, enjoy it for us!
Puglia is the perfect travel destination thanks to its naturalistic (where beaches play a leading role), historical and artistic heritage. There is something else that has recently become an irresistible attraction for many tourists (but even for local people): the food and wine culture.
As Apulians, we try and recommend you something that can tip the scales in favour of a coastal stretches or another: go where you can find the typical food and wine delicacies you would like to taste.
For example, you can choose Salento and its beaches if you would like to taste a Pasticciotto (prepared with shortcrust pastry and filled with custard and baked) or a Rustico Leccese (a delicious puff pastry dumpling filled with tomato, béchamel and mozzarella). If you are a wine-lover, then you can go to the beaches of our Litorale Tarantino, where you can taste some good red wine, the Primitivo from Manduria. If your heart beats for fresh dairy products, such as mozzarella and burrata, then you can choose the coastal stretch of the Litorale Barese. And if you want to taste a very high quality extravirgin olive oil, you can reach Gargano, where you can find the Ogliarola Garganica, a particularly fine variety of olive.
Dear readers, we have reached the final stages of our journey through crystal clear waters, majestic cliffs overlooking the sea, luxuriant Mediterranean scrub and gold sand. It is certainly not easy to choose the most beautiful beach of a region, which has over 800 km of coastline and is bathed by two seas.
Much depends on where you stay, therefore the geographical division of our region between Gargano (in the North), Litorale Tarantino (coastal stretch in the northern and southern part of Taranto), Litorale Barese (coastal stretch in the northern and southern part of the regional capital Bari) and Salento (south) could be useful.
Another criterion may be whether you like sandy or rocky stretches, or if you prefer “wilder” or fully equipped areas.
Finally, you can make use of the infallible secret previously revealed: choose your beach according to the wind, so you can enjoy the beauty of the Apulian landscape without the atmospheric elements disturbing it.
Contact us if you are looking for advice or useful information. We will answer to all your questions!
Come and enjoy our beloved Puglia! We are waiting for you!