Expanses of centuries-old olive trees, golden sand, crystal clear sea and a sea breeze that caresses your face. These are just some of the suggestions that come to mind when I think about my five days in Salento, a wonderful land with an authentic soul and a visceral connection with its traditions. Having Apulian origins from my mother it was time that I wanted to explore Apulia and, to begin, I chose to visit the extreme point of Italy’s heel.
-with this post I will suggest you the itinerary that I have chosen to fully enjoy my five days in Salento trying to visit the most famous places and the unmissable beaches of this area.-
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: GENERAL INFORMATIONS
Before getting to the heart of the guide dedicated to the five days in Salento, I want to give you some informations that will be useful to plan your trip.
-The best choice to spend five days in Salento is to rent a car (I got there directly from Naples by car) so as not to depend on the public transport;
-visiting all the most beautiful beaches of the Salento in just five days is impossible, so you have to select the most imporant ones considering that almost everywhere you will be fascinated by the beauty of the sea;
-the Salento overlooks the Ionian Sea on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other, for this reason it is very much affected by the wind. Check everyday the wind forecasts and choose the Ionian coast or the Adriatic coast depending on whether the Tramontana wind or the Scirocco wind.
-by clicking HERE you can finds more detailed informations on how the winds influence the sea of the Salento coast-
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: WHERE TO STAY
To visit the Salento I suggest you to stay in a typical Masseria: they are ancient farmhouses immersed in the hinterland and reconverted in amazing bed and breakfast or hotels. During my five days in Salento I stayed at the Masseria Don Agostino (in Martano, province of Lecce) where I was welcomed by the owner Milena who made me feel at home. I stayed in the lovely suite ricamo with a view above the pool and every night I watched the breathtaking sunsets directly from the bed.
-the rustic design typical of the apulian masserie perfectly matches the more chic and refined details such as the poolside canopies and the outdoor patio where you can have breakfast choosing between homemade sweet and savory delicacies: rustic pizzas, burrata, tarts and the amazing pasticciotti.-
The kindness of the hosts and the staff helped me to fully enjoy my vacation. Ask them for any information about places to visit, unmissable beaches and the best restaurants, they will be happy to help you.
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: DAY 1
I was arrived in Salento by car directly from Naples and, to make the journey less stressful, I left early in the morning with the intention of making two stops along the way, stopping first in the iconic Alberobello and then in the wonderful Ostuni.
–Alberobello: the capital of the trulli, the typical and historic Apulian buildings that are part of the UNESCO world heritage. Park your car at the entrance of the city, arrive in the main square and from there dive into the streets populated by hundreds of trulli: many of these are small shops where you can buy characteristic souvenirs or olive oil and Apulian taralli;
-you can explore Alberobello just an hour and before keeping the journey to Ostuni make a stop at the bakery "La Lira" where you can taste the typical focaccia from Bari and other local specialties.-
– Ostuni: this is one of the first cities of Salento, famous for its historic center called “Ostuni Bianca” with white alleys dotted with colorful flower vases, delightful little shops and amazing stone churches that will catch your attention. Stop to take a picture in front of the famous house “La casa con la porta azzurra” and move, then, to Piazza della Libertà to enjoy an excellent homemade ice cream.
-after the first two stops of my Salento tour, i was arrived in Martano (province of Lecce) where I checked in Masseria Don Agostino ready to properly start my Apulian trip.-
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: DAY 2
My five days in Salento have fully started with the second day. The main stops were Grotta della Poesia, Punta Prosciutto and Lecce.
–Grotta della Poesia: I was literally speechless for the beauty of the cliff overlooking the blue sea and the water color of one of the most photographed caves in the world. However, due to the strong wind and the cold water of the sea, I decided to go further south to discover the famous Punta Prosciutto beach in Porto Cesareo;
–Punta Prosciutto: it is one of the most famous beaches of Salento where golden sand and an amazing sea coexist with an uncontaminated landscape dominated by the colors of green and blue. If you want to spend your day at an equipped beach I recommend Samaná Beach;
–Lecce: the capital of the Apulian Baroque. Visiting Lecce in the evening has made everything even more magical. The contrast of the white Lecce stone with the dark sky and the suffused lights have made the impact with the Piazza del Duomo very strong. It is not possible to explain in words the feeling that I felt when I came in one of the most beautiful italian squares. You must also visit the Roman amphitheater, the triumphal arch and all the narrow streets where you will see ancient palaces and majestic churches that will remain imprinted in your memory forever.
-if you are looking for a bit of nightlife and you wish to have a drink immersed in the maze of streets of the historic center of Lecce you absolutely have to walk through the Santa Chiara area.-
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: DAY 3
The five-days tour in Salento continues, then, with the third day where i discovered the Maldives of Salento and the town of Otranto:
–Maldives of Salento: this is the evocative name of the beach of Pescoluse (Santa Maria di Leuca) where you can enjoy an amazing sea as far as the eye can see. Here too I suggest you an equipped beach where you can spend your day: Le Cinque Vele;
–Otranto: one of the most famous towns of Salento. You can park your car at the entrance of the city and walk towards the ancient town where, after exploring its narrow streets and the big cathedral, you can relax and enjoy an aperitif at sunset.
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: DAY 4
The fourth day came, then, the time of Gallipoli and Punta della Suina:
–Punta della Suina: one of the most suggestive beaches of Gallipoli. Here the cliff takes the place of the sand and the contrast with the blue sea makes the landscape even more suggestive. The sea looks like a natural pool where you can immerse yourself and be amazed at the sight of wild nature;
–Gallipoli: famous for its nightlife, it is a real gem. The entrance of the modern city is full of shops of any kind and, after a couple of kilometers, you will find the port and the historic center where you can admire the sunset overlooking the sea and discover the beauty of the Angevin Castle, the cathedral and the streets populated by small shops and restaurants.
- make a stop at "La Casa del Tarallino" to taste and buy salty or sweet taralli and many other typical specialties from Salento.-
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: DAY 5
My five days in Salento end with a day at the beach in Torre dell’Orso:
– Torre dell’Orso: this is actually not a wild beach because of the bunch of equipped beach and resorts. But, despite this, the crystal-clear and clean sea won’t make you notice the crowd that populates the beach.
- by moving about 3 km you can reach Sant’Andrea and have an unforgettable bath at the sight of the stacks nicknamed “Le due sorelle” -
FIVE DAYS IN SALENTO: THE UNMISSABLE RESTAURANTS
During my five days in Salento tested many restaurants and my favorite ones are the following:
–Antica Masseria Scagnito: a masseria where you can taste typical Salento dishes immersed in an atmosphere that is frozen in time. The patio dominated by white curtains, the kindness of the staff, the professionalism of the young owner Chiara, the excellent price quality and the delicacy of the dishes will leave you an unforgettable memory;
–Mieró: a vinery immersed in the heart of Corigliano d’Otranto overlooking the ancient medieval castle. The restaurant is run by Toto, an eccentric lawyer who at night turns into the nicest host to be there. The restaurant does not have a menu, so you will have to rely totally on the owner who will amaze you with Salento specialties accompanied by excellent local wines;
-if you are looking for a typical restaurant and a sui generis experience then you can't miss this place!-
–La Drogheria: a restaurant in the heart of Lecce with an amazing industrial design and a menu that ranges from salami and cheese platter, sandwiches and excellent pasta. Apparently it doesn’t look like a traditional restaurant, but its dishes perfectly mix the Salento tradition with innovation. Their homemade desserts, like the pistachio soufflé, are unmissable;
–Da Fabio a Zollino: a very typical restaurant where eggplant balls, pumpkin flowers stuffed with ricotta and salty quiches were just some of the dishes served to me in this place steeped in Salento tradition.
Here is the guide to spend five days in Salento. I hope to have been helpful to you and to have contributed to your vacation in Puglia. If you need more informations do not hesitate to contact me by commenting this post and, please, do not miss the featured stories of my five days in Salento on my Instagram page by clicking HERE!