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The wild coast of the Gargano peninsula hides breathtaking caves and ravines. Discover Gargano and its caves in this article!

Discover Gargano Italy: 9 caves to explore

The National Park Gargano coast is a true paradise for lovers of nature and tranquility. The beaches are often surrounded by high cliffs and lush vegetation, creating a magical and evocative atmosphere.

Along the coast there are several accessible caves, an added value of the Gargano National Park: let’s see what they are and how to get there!

The caves of the Gargano are a true paradise for lovers of nature and discovery. It is a unique experience that allows you to admire the beauty of this extraordinary territory.

The most popular solution among tourists is to rent a rubber dinghy or take one of the many boats that depart daily from the ports of Vieste and Mattinata. However, most of the caves are only accessible by sea with small means such as kayaks or sup.

We decided to use our new sup, which gave us a fantastic experience. We paddled along the coast, admiring the high cliffs and lush vegetation. Then we explored the caves and discovered their secrets with amazement.

For an entire day we felt like pirates searching for hidden treasure. It was an unforgettable experience that made us fall even more in love with the Gargano.

The Broken Cave: the most famous cave of the Gargano National Park

The Broken Cave is one of the most famous sea caves of the Gargano National Park, located north of the Bay of Campi. It is the destination of various boat tours that leave daily from Vieste or Mattinata and is easily accessible by boat, having a length of about 20 m, but it is even more impressive when visited by kayak or sup.

The peculiarity of this cave is the huge hole in the ceiling that lets in the sunlight, creating a magical atmosphere with the crystal clear water reflected by the mountain pines. This hole was created over many, many years by sea and wind erosion.

Inside the cave there is a small beach of sand and pebbles where you can rest or admire the view in silence.

The Cave of Tomatoes

The Cave of Tomatoes is a sea cave located near Portogreco, just a few meters south of the famous Cala della Sanguinara cove. It is so called because of the small molluscs, called sea tomatoes, that live on the walls of the cave.

These bright red mollusks create a unique and captivating atmosphere. The water inside the cave is crystal clear, allowing for a clear view of the seabed, which is home to a diverse marine fauna.

The cave can be accessed by kayak or SUP. However, like Red Cave, caution must be exercised due to the narrow passages.

The Cave of the Two Eyes

The Cave of the Two Eyes is located a few kilometers from the Broken Cave. It is named after the two openings in the ceiling that resemble eyes when viewed from a distance.

Although not easily visible from the sea, these openings are obvious once inside the cave and provide illumination. The water inside the cave is crystal clear, and the sunlight coming in through the openings creates a magical atmosphere.

The cave is approximately 20 meters long and 10 meters wide. It can be visited by kayak or sup, as the entrance is quite narrow.

The Red Cave: the hottest Gargano cave

The Red Cave is situated a few meters north of the Broken Cave. Its name comes from the red color of its rocks, which are formed by the oxidation of iron.

The cave is completely enclosed, making it darker than the previous two. However, the red hue of the rocks creates a striking and unique atmosphere. The water inside the cave is crystal clear, and the heat that builds up inside gives the impression of being in a thermal bath.

The cave can be accessed by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, but some familiarity is required as the entrance is not easy and the interior space is limited.

Grotte del Gargano - Grotta dei due occhi nel Gargano - Discover Gargano

The Cave of the Two Eyes

Grotte del Gargano - Grotta calda nel Gargano - Discover Gargano

The Red Cave

Grotte del Gargano - Grotta sfondata nel Gargano - Discover Gargano

The ceiling of the Broken Cave

The Marble Cave

The Marble Cave is situated south of Portogreco and derives its name from the majestic marble mountain on which it is located.

The cave is entirely devoid of light and is particularly striking for the eerie atmosphere it creates.

The Cave of the Mermaids

The Cave of the Mermaids is located after the Cave of the Marbles, further south, just above the Portopiatto beach, and can only be reached by stand up paddle board or kayaks.

According to legend, this cave was inhabited by mermaids, mythological creatures that were half-woman and half-fish, who lured sailors to their deaths with their enchanting song.

The Small Broken Cave

The Small Broken Cave is a stunning sea cave located south of the Cave of Tomatoes in Portogreco, Gargano. It is the younger sister of the Borken Cave, but lacks the small beach inside.

The cave is only accessible by kayak or sup, making it a more intimate and private location.

The hole in the ceiling allows sunlight to enter, creating a magical and atmospheric atmosphere.
We preferred the Small Broken Cave over the Broken Cave because it allowed for a more exclusive visit.

Grotte del Gargano - Grotta sfondata piccola nel Gargano - Discover Gargano

The Cave of the Big Bell: the most impressive in the Gargano National Park

The Cave of the Big Bell is the largest closed cave we have seen and is located south of Vignanotica Bay. It is a true wonder of nature, with its impressive size and striking shape.

The cave is about 70 meters long and about 30 meters wide. It is topped by a huge natural dome, which reaches a height of about 30 meters. The dome is so high that you cannot even see its apex.
The interior of the cave is completely dark, making it a mysterious and fascinating place.

The cave is accessible only by kayak or sup, making it a more intimate and private experience.
The mysterious atmosphere and imposing size of the cave made us feel as if we had been catapulted into another world.

The Purgatory Cave

The Purgatory Cave is situated to the north of Mergoli Bay and can only be accessed by sup or kayak. It is a small cave with three entrances, one larger and two smaller, but still passable.
Due to the multiple entrances and the cave’s small size, the interior is well-lit, creating an atmospheric ambiance.
The cave’s rocks are layered, alternating between red and white, which contrasts beautifully with the blue of the sea, resulting in a stunning visual effect.

Grotte del Gargano - La Grotta della Campana Grande nel Gargano - Discover Gargano

The Cave of the Big Bell

Grotte del Gargano - La Grotta del Purgatorio nel Gargano - Discover Gargano

The Purgatory Cave

If you are planning to spend a vacation in the beautiful Gargano area, we recommend that you do not miss the experience of exploring these beautiful caves. It is an experience that will surely give an extra quid to your vacation and can be tackled by everyone, especially if you rent a kayak or a sup.

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