More about southern Puglia
The southern part of this region is particularly popular among holidaymakers. This is a fairly flat area and forms a peninsula that sits out in the sea. If you imagine the map of Italy and you visualise where the heel of the boot begins, this area – the heel itself – is called Salento. The area is known for its often striking visual appearance, and it offers many delights to the eager holidaymaker.
If you are thinking of basing your Italian holiday in this part of Puglia, it is certainly worth finding out more about it before you go. The good news is you will find it relatively easy to reach this area since there is an international airport based at Brindisi. We’ll focus on this area in more detail in just a moment.
One of the attractions Salento has to offer is miles of coastline. Not all beaches offer sand, but even the rockier ones have lots to offer and provide the perfect place to stretch out and relax for the day. There are many locations to consider for the perfect summer holiday in Puglia, but if you are considering booking a villa via our website, we’ve got some wonderful suggestions for you coming up in a moment.
Salento also offers a lovely mix of the past and present. There is much in the way of classic architecture here, not to mention the beauty of the natural world. Perhaps this is why the region draws those who love beach holidays, as well as those who wish to do a little more in the way of exploring. Certainly, there are many treats for those with a love of history to enjoy.
Some make the town of Otranto their base during their Italian holiday, and when you pay it a visit you will see why. You’ll find it on the east coast of Puglia, and it has a charming castle that borders with the sea. This is known as the Castello Aragonese. It is hundreds of years old and provides a dramatic view onto Otranto itself if you head up to the highest reaches of the castle.
As with many other locations in Puglia, Otranto offers that heady mix of history and the present all mixed in together. The seafront itself is quite beautiful and provides you with a place to wander the hours away. See if you can find the small but perfectly formed harbour there. With promenades, shops and plenty of restaurants serving the most mouth-watering fish you have ever tasted, it’s worth paying a visit. A nice lazy day here provides a lovely contrast to relaxing on a nearby beach.
Visiting Santa Maria di Leuca
It’s not surprising this town is often referred to simply as Leuca, for ease of reference. If you visit the town – and you should, as it looks simply stunning – don’t miss your chance to see the lighthouse. It is one of the most important lighthouses in the entire country and stands at more than one hundred metres above sea level.
The harbour in the town is beautiful and it is worth walking up to a higher vantage point to look down at the boats firmly anchored in the dark blue waters. The surprising amount of greenery dotted in between all the surrounding properties makes the colourful view of Leuca just irresistible.
Again the sense of history is never far away here. In fact, the town has been in existence since the 1st century AD, so you are treading in the footsteps of ancient peoples when you visit Leuca. That’s quite a thought to bear in mind as you explore it in the 21st century.
As we have already mentioned, even if you don’t stay in Brindisi during your time in Puglia you may well arrive here. Brindisi has an international airport called Papola Casale Airport. Brindisi is situated around halfway along the Puglia coastline on the ‘back of the heel’, so you won’t have too far to travel to reach your luxury villa wherever it may be in this region. If you are departing from the UK, flights to the airport leave from London Stansted. If you don’t live near here you can get a transfer to London Stansted from your local airport.
As with many other seaside areas in Puglia, there is a castle in Brindisi. This is the Hohenstaufen Castle, which literally means a large castle. When you see it for yourself you’ll see what an accurate name this is. Look out for the Duomo as well – the cathedral that originally dates from the 11th century. The original was felled by a massive earthquake in the mid-1700s, but it was reconstructed to replicate the original as quickly as possible after that.
As you might expect, there are some wonderful beaches here if you want to make your Puglia based holiday on a beach holiday. Perhaps the best of all is Torre Guaceto. It is a direct contrast to the other beaches offered in this region since it is located in a nature reserve. This means it has not become too ‘touristy’ so it can offer the best views and lovely sands, while not being overcrowded or much the same as any other beach. Of course, this means you will have to go prepared – but you won’t have to be a shoulder to shoulder with everyone else either.