Snorkeling in SalentoSalento - PugliaDifficulty path:
A week dedicated to snorkeling immersions in the most beautiful waters of southern Puglia and walks on the mainland through the Salento hills, olive trees and dry stone walls.
Porto Selvaggio with its coastal towers, the sea-urchins of Porto Badisco, the Roman columns of Porto Cesareo: just some small beads to discover with a trained and engaging guide.
The Baroque Centre of Lecce
Amazing stretches of Adriatic and Jonic Coast
The beautiful Cliff of Old Roca and the natural pool
The Underwater Archaeological Site of Porto Cesareo
Nights in Masserias and Historic Buildings
The Bay of Porto Badisco and its Sea Urchins
Welcome to Lecce
Individual arrival and accommodation at the hotel, Welcome meeting with the tour leader for a short description of the weekly program. Then there will be the first walk through the historic centre.
Old Roca and the Cave of Poetry
Departure with private transfer to reach the remains of Roca, Roca Vecchia, one of the most important archaeological site of the Salento Adriatic coast. The first snorkeling excursion of the week will be at the Cave of Poetry, a kind of natural pool connected to the sea by an intense blue cave that will leave you breathless. Swimming through this cave we will arrive just under a vertical cliff. Following the coast we can meet the cute “sea tomatoes”, winkles, limpets and if we will be lucky also the sea anemone! It will be plenty of fish since this is a coveted destination for local amateur fishermen. After the swim and a deserved refreshing break, we will reach Uggiano la Chiesa, a small village of Otranto hinterland. In the afternoon, there will be the chance to take part of a funny cooking class in a manor farm, to discover some recipes of Salento. Night at the Masseria in Uggiano la Chiesa.
After breakfast we will do a short bracing walk to the mythical Porto Badisco. It is popular with fishermen, divers and bathers, because right opposite to the touristic locality there is an ideal inlet for those who want to venture among the jewels of the sea. In this corner of rocks and sand, it often happens to see small fishes that are repairing themselves from the currents. The white sand degrades into small staircases toward the bay to leave space to a cliff rich of several marine forms. Looking at the bottom we may see several mullets and seaweeds of the most extravagant forms, as the strangest “dime of sea”. At the end of the excursion, we will eat in the local places of the harbour, where we can taste delicious sea urchins freshly caught. In the afternoon we will move toward Otranto to discover the beauty of this city, crossroads between East and West. Back to Uggiano la Chiesa for the night.
Today’s destination will be an inlet at the north of Otranto. It will seem impossible to reach the sea from the high cliff, but once found the right way and reached the destination, we won’t go back. Small waterfalls and a brilliant green vegetation are on the sides of the cliff, while inside the cove there are some structures that remind us the name of the place. Putting the head through the celestial reflections of the water we will discover thick wads of seaweeds of all colors and forms. An exceptional but not rare event, could be the meeting, among the rocks of the seabed, with the fantastic sea slug. Then, at the end of the excursion, we will have a transfer to the western slope of Salento. Along the way we will stop to visit the eastern heart of Salento: the Grecìa Salentina. In the late afternoon, accommodation at manor farm near Nardò for the night.
A holiday in Salento must have a visit at Porto Selvaggio. Following the trail in the beautiful pinewood, we will arrive in front of a small white beach which opens the fantastic bay of Porto Selvaggio characterized by a crystalline sea permeated by streams of freshwater coming from underground. The rest of the coast is characterized by a cliff dotted with puddles, caves, inlets and an enormous variety of marine organisms. Diving we can meet an incredibly variety of fishes like the damselfishes and, in the middle of the large variety of seaweeds, find beautiful echinoderms, from the sea urchins to the fascinating starfishes. After such an interesting marine adventure, we can go to Nardò to visit the city and its wineries, since that in the hinterland it is known for its excellent wine production. Night at manor farm near Nardò.
The last excursion of the week will bring us to dive in the crystalline waters of Porto Cesareo. The Marine Protected Area of Porto Cesareo, established since 1997, will offer us several itineraries with well conserved habitats, thanks to this decennial protection. The most fascinating of these will be the Roman columns. After a short swim of 80m you can admire, under 4.5m of profundity, 5 monolithic columns of 2nd century AD. We will be in an underwater archaeological site which is in the area C of the Marine Protected Area. There is nothing left of the wooden wreck that carried them except these columns lying on the sandy bottom. This route will connect the attractiveness of these underwater environments to the historical interest, even adding the extreme accessibility and facility of this itinerary. This will be an opportunity to know the animals who live the sandy seabed like cerianti, sandy anemones and so much more. In the afternoon, after this dive in the history, we will make another one, but in the mainland, in Lecce, where we will spend the night. For those of you who want to, there will be the possibility to do a guided visit of the city; otherwise free afternoon to live in full the Salento atmosphere.
After breakfast, end of services. You can spend the rest of the day doing the last “baroque swim” in the centre streets of Lecce.
Departures and prices
Easy. Everyone can attend the excursions.
A kit of snorkeling equipment, composed of fins, mask and snorkel, will be available for you. We suggest you to use shorty diving suit or thermal shirts to enjoy the pleasure of the sea in the more complete comfort. It is possible to take part of it even for people who can’t swim, asking us for a life vest.
2 nights in Lecce
1 night in Uggiano la Chiesa
1 night in Otranto
2 nights in Nardò
We offer accommodation in suitable structures for any of your needs, preferring the authentic ones and the family conduction ones, as close to town centres, paying attention to the cleaning rooms, to the personal curtesy and to breakfast.
For this tour you can ask for the accommodation in: B&B or 3/4/5* hotel in Lecce; Masseria near Nardò and Otranto. On your request we can include lunches and dinners. We suggest packed lunches, to better live and dive in the environmental context; we propose dinners of local and authentic savours.
You will be guided for the all duration of the trip by one of our expert guide, knower of the itinerary, coordinator of the group and lover of travel, of nature and the territory visited. He will be always beside you, becoming your mate and trying to meet the needs of the group, paying attention anyway to every single request. He will be your mediator, facilitating and encouraging an authentic trip, relaxing and funny.
Lecce is easily reachable by train, bus, car and by air.
BY TRAIN. Trenitalia links the major cities of Italy with the Salento’s chief town. To know abolitions or additions of stops, cancellations, delays, detours and more informations consult www.viaggiatreno.it.
BY AIR. The closest airports are Bari and Brindisi, both connected with the most important Italian and foreign cities.
The Salento airport of Brindisi is about 40 km from Lecce, and the airport of Bari-Palese is about 160 km from Lecce. From Bari and Brindisi there are several public transport solutions to reach Lecce. More info on the website Aeroporti di Puglia.
If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer with us.
BY BUS. Lecce is also accessible by bus. Here some of the major operating companies: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Busmiccolis, Sais autolinee, Buscenter.
BY CAR. The main highways are the A14 Bologna-Taranto and the A16 Napoli-Canosa. We recommend you exit the motorway in Bari and continue along the highway to Brindisi, then take the SS613 towards Lecce. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.