The 11 BEST beaches in Salento on the Ionian sea


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Spiagge Salento Adriatico - Baia dei Turchi - Salento beaches

Salento is one of the most popular areas of Puglia for tourists due to the unique beauty of its beaches!

Here are what are the 9 best Salento beaches on the Ionian Coast that you absolutely cannot miss!

The 11 best Salento Beaches on the Ionian Coast

Salento is the part of the southern peninsula of Puglia that borders the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the west. Both coasts of these seas offer wonderful beaches that attract many local tourists and from all over the world every year.

In general, the beaches along the east coast of Salento, facing the Adriatic Sea, are characterized by rocks and wild landscapes, while along the west coast, on the Ionian Sea, wide expanses of clear sand and crystal clear waters predominate. Choosing between the two coasts can be difficult as both offer extraordinary sights. If you have the opportunity to devote at least a week to discovering Salento, we recommend exploring both the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea areas.

In the article we post below, you can find an excellent 8-day itinerary that will take you on a discovery of Salento, from east to west.

However, if you prefer to focus on the Salento coast overlooking the Ionian Sea, here are the best beaches in Puglia on the Ionian coast of Salento!

Punta Prosciutto Beach

The beach of Punta Prosciutto is one of the most popular destinations in the Ionian Salento and is therefore often crowded.

This long tongue of pale sand offers a clean, crystal-clear sea, although, lacking a sheltered bay, it is a little more exposed to the wind than other beaches further south. To the north of the beach is Punta Prosciutto, from which the place takes its name, one of the best beaches in Salento on the Ionian coast.

Along the coast there are bathing establishments and free beaches.

Parking is available along the roads leading to the bathing establishments, but we recommend arriving early in the morning, especially during busy periods and weekends, to guarantee a spot.

Campomarino di Maruggio beach

The beach of Campomarino di Maruggio looks like a long tongue of golden sand, exposed to the wind and less crowded than other more famous beaches in the area. Divided into two sections by the port, the most striking stretch is in the southern part, characterized by dunes and an almost total absence of structures. In the northern part, however, there are more facilities and bathing establishments.

Although not as famous as other beaches in the area, we guarantee that this place is very charming and definitely belongs to the list of the most beautiful beaches in the Ionian Salento.

We highly recommend visiting this beach in the afternoon and stopping in the evening for dinner in the charming village of Maruggio.

Spiagge del Salento Ionico - Spiaggia di Campomarino di Maruggio - best beaches in Salento

Campomarino di Maruggio beach

Porto Cesareo Dunes Beach

The Dunes Beach of Porto Cesareo is located in a breathtaking bay characterized by white sand and deep blue crystalline waters. On calm days, the sea is so transparent that it almost looks like glass, offering an incomparable visual spectacle that makes this place one of the most visited beaches in the Ionian Salento.

The bay is surrounded by clubs and bathing establishments, but also offers a beach area.

Parking is available in the immediate vicinity along Via dei Bacini, which runs along the coast. However, to ensure a place, we recommend arriving early in the morning, especially during the busiest periods.

Torre Lapillo Beach

The beach of Torre Lapillo, located in a wider bay to the north of Torre Chianca, has similar characteristics to those of Porto Cesareo, with its white sand and blue sea.

However, thanks to the numerous bathing establishments that surround it, this beach is always very popular with tourists. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you arrive early in the morning to find a place to spread out your towel or a free umbrella.

Parking is limited, so you will have to look for free spaces along the narrow streets that lead to the beach.

Torre Chianca Beach

The beach of Torre Chianca is located north of the dunes of Porto Cesareo, accessible on foot without the need to move your car. This beach, also located in a bay, is smaller and less crowded than the previous one, but just as picturesque and fascinating and certainly one of the most beautiful Salento beaches in the Ionian coast.

The beach is characterized by white sand and crystal clear sea. Since it is less crowded than Porto Cesareo, services are limited and the beach is mainly free, with few places to have lunch.

Gallipoli beach Baia Verde

Gallipoli beach Baia Verde, located south of Gallipoli and about half an hour’s walk from the historic center of the town, is very popular, especially with those who want to enjoy the nightlife from the early hours of the afternoon. Numerous bathing establishments and beach clubs overlook this beach, which organizes events almost every day during the high summer season, making it definitely one of the most “lively” beaches in the Ionian Salento.

So, if you are looking for a bit of liveliness and music, this is the beach for you. However, if you prefer a quieter and more relaxing environment, it may not be the right choice.

Baia Verde beach has light-colored sand and is more exposed to the wind than other beaches.

Nearby is the Praja parking lot, for which you have to pay, or you may be lucky enough to find a parking space in the surrounding narrow streets.

Spiagge del Salento Ionico - Spiaggia di Baia Verde - best beaches in Salento

Sunset in Gallipoli beach Baia Verde

Punta della Suina beach

The beach of Punta della Suina is located south of Gallipoli and Baia Verde, in an area where the coasts take on a wilder character than the previous ones.

Here, small coves of sand and rocks alternate, creating striking natural pools of shallow, crystal clear water.

Punta della Suina is located inside a protected natural park, which means that services are limited (there is only a bathing establishment and a bar), but at the same time it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Salento along the Ionian coast.

As far as parking is concerned, there are two paid parking areas nearby, from which you can reach the beach in about ten minutes on foot.

The beach of Marina di Pescoluse, the “Maldive del Salento”, the most famous of the best beaches in Salento

The beach of Marina di Pescoluse is known with the nickname “Maldive del Salento”, a title it fully deserves considering the extraordinary beauty of this place and is certainly the most famous of the Salento beaches of the Ionian coast.

Characterized by a crystal-clear sea and a shallow seabed that extends for a long distance, this beach offers a paradisiacal setting with transparent waters that alternate between shades of blue.

The only drawback is the large number of visitors and the constant presence of street vendors, which can be annoying to some.

There are several bathing establishments and services along the coast. If you want to visit this beautiful beach, we recommend arriving very early in the morning to enjoy a few hours of tranquility and have a chance of finding a parking space nearby.

Spiagge del Salento Ionico - Spiaggia di Porto Selvaggio - best beaches in Salento

Porto Selvaggio in Puglia

Spiagge del Salento ionico - Punta della suina - best beaches in Salento

Punta della Suina beach

Spiagge del Salento Ionico - Maldive del Salento - best beaches in Salento

Marina di Pescoluse beach, the "Maldive del Salento"

The beach of Porto Selvaggio in Puglia

This beautiful beach is tucked away in a picturesque cove that can be reached by a 20-30 minute walk from the main parking lots (be prepared for a steep climb on the way back!).

With the exception of a small area, the cove is surrounded by rocks and immersed in a pine forest, making it an ideal place to spread out your towel and enjoy some shade.

As the name suggests, Porto Selvaggio in Puglia is undoubtedly the most unspoiled beach we discovered in Salento (it is located within a protected natural park) and was certainly one of our favorites.

There are no beach clubs on the beach, so it is not equipped, but there are two bars.

The main parking lots are along the coastal road, from which you have to walk about half an hour on a rocky and unpaved path, so we recommend wearing tennis shoes.

The sea in the cove is beautiful and offers excellent snorkeling opportunities, including a visit to the cave on the southern shore of the cove. An equally suggestive alternative is to follow the path that starts from Torre dell’Alto and winds along the cliff, offering breathtaking views until reaching the bay of Porto Selvaggio.

Porto Selvaggio is the wildest beach we have visited along the Ionian coast of Salento and, in our opinion, one of the best beaches in Salento.

Torre Mozza beach

Torre Mozza beach takes its name from the partially ruined tower that stands on its shores. Here you can find some bathing establishments together with stretches of free beach.

Compared to the crowded Maldives of Salento, this beach offers a quieter environment, with fine, light sand.

As for parking, there is a small paid parking lot nearby, but it is also possible to look for spaces along the streets of the town center adjacent to the Torre Mozza beach.

Torre San Giovanni beach

Torre San Giovanni beach, located to the north of Torre Mozza, has similar characteristics, but is larger and offers a wider range of services, including beach clubs and parking lots. The sand is clear and the sea is transparent and crystalline.

Thanks to its wider exposure, this beach is ideal for lovers of water sports, who can take advantage of the windy days to go kitesurfing or windsurfing.

Spiagge del Salento Ionico - Spiaggia di Baia Verde - best beaches in Salento

Tramonto sulla spiaggia di Torre San Giovanni

We hope to have provided you with a comprehensive list of the best beaches in Ionian Salento! As you have read, there are various beaches where relaxation on white sand is guaranteed, such as the Maldives of Salento or Punta Prosciutto, while others have a wilder character, such as Punta della Suina and Porto Selvaggio. This is our list of the 11 most beautiful beaches in the Ionian Salento.

If you want to know more about the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic coast, we recommend you to read the following article! We wish you a good reading and, as always…trip to try!

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