It's not a mystery that Apulian sea is a wonder and many tourists take advantage of their holidays to enjoy this beauty. But it's also true that not all the sea that skims Apulia is alike: there are those who prefer Adriatic seaboard and those who love the Ionian one, which is even more crystal blue. Since I was a child, I've dived into this sea, Mar Ionio, moving along the coast to experience the differences that other areas offer. I'm one of those who prefer free beaches and suggest here some of those I consider the most beautiful, providing in this way a low cost alternative for holidays to the seaside in Apulia.
I must say a thing: even though quite close to each other, these beaches are quite different one from another for type of beach, sand and water. Of the series "each beach to their own".
#1 CASTELLANETA MARINA
I start not far from home. The beach of my childhood. Actually, it's an excellent destination for children: the sand is white and thin, a nice soft touch (a bit less nice during hot hours, when the sun make it too hot).
The colour of the water changes according to the wind: crystal blue with Tramountane; a bit turbid with sirocco, but it's just moving sand. Always for those who have little children, this beach is perfect because water level is low from the shore until several meters. But this aspect is really appreciated from those who love walking in the water too, while their legs are gently massaged from water. A panacea for blood circulation!
I love this beach, beside for those beautiful memories of my childhood, for the freedom of movement that it allows, thank to the wideness of the sand area: you can run, play, obviously respecting your beach umbrella neighbour, and enjoy yourself with sand. I admit to have "rolled" my friends and produced odd works of engineering as grown up, too.
#2 PORTO PIRRONE
Changing side and moving beyond Taranto, you meet different hidden coves. To be clear, you've to know about their existence to know where to stop. You can access with little staircases that get down until the beach. Once out of the path, to be walked down on foot, there is the vision of a paradise: a frame of rocks draws a pool of clear water, which lazily reflects the warm sunshine; on a tiny plot of sand colourful beach umbrellas make the landscape multi-coloured.
Yes, it's wonderful! Also this is one of my favourite beaches and I couldn't even make a comparison with Castellaneta Marina, because they're completely different, sand included. In effect, here it's rougher and instead of a soft caress here you could think to make a scrub on your feet. It's worthy to bear it a bit to reach the water, with a lever already high enough little far from the shore. I'd suggest this beach to those who love diving and swimming .
#3 MARINA DI LIZZANO
We're always on the seaboard of Taranto. This beach is indicated for those who prefer thinner sand than the scrub of Porto Pirrone, but not so much as that of Castellaneta Marina, and it's easier to plant beach umbrella.
I might define this beach as middle way between the two above.
#4 PORTO CESAREO - ISOLA DEI CONIGLI
Let's venture into Salento, in the district of Lecce. Porto Cesareo is rich in beautiful beaches, but I suggest to spend a day like Robinson Crusoe on the island of rabbits. It's about an island little far from the harbour, reachable by boat. To find a means of transport that could ferry you on the island, you just must go around among the boats in the harbour, where the owners offer to act as your personal Charon, both on the way there and back, for few euros.
On the island there's no equipment: it's really wild and that makes it unique.
My advice is to come here with a diver’s mask at least to admire sea bottom, which is part of the marine protected area. For those who see it for the first time it's a real discovery!
#5 PORTO SELVAGGIO
Once it was really wild, now the whole pine grove around the beach has been structured as a park where you can make picnics and spend whole days in contact with the nature.
Ok, and the sea?
Also here there's a cove framed by rocks with dream water. The particular thing of this place is that there are water springs, so it's freezing. Everyone who has been here at least once in his life has experienced the freezing stream that caresses your legs and makes you freeze instantly. Without any doubt it's an experience that regenerates you.
I suggest to come here with rock-shoes, because there's no sand, but peddles and reaching the water may be a bit uncomfortable.
Besides, in the park there's a Norman tower that you can reach through a path in the pine grove and a panoramic point from which you can see the whole cliff. Here you can't get bored.
I've proposed these places because I know that it’s necessary a minimum of budget to spend a period in a lido and maybe you'd prefer to save it. I'm the first to think like that. But it's not a good reason to give up with the sea and its benefits. For these places you must just consider the cost of fuel to reach them and nothing else.
If then you want an ice-cream or a drink, you must know that these beaches are quite near to lidos and you can benefit from their coffee bars.