Snorkeling in PugliaSalento - PugliaDifficulty path:
A week full of activities and surprises: snorkeling immersions in the most beautiful waters of southern Italy and inland walks to learn about the traditions, culture and art of the fascinating Italian heel. Surrounded by olive trees, vineyards and dry stone walls on the mainland and by wrecks, golden groupers and colorful anemones in the beautiful southern Puglia sea.
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.
choose your date and travel with your own group, always accompanied by one expert local tour leader.
The Baroque Centre of Lecce
Amazing stretches of Puglia Adriatic and Jonic Coast
The beautiful Cliff of Old Roca and the natural pool
The Underwater Archaeological Site of Porto Cesareo
The Bay of Porto Badisco and its Sea Urchins
Welcome to Lecce
Individual arrival and check-in at your hotel in Lecce.
In the late afternoon welcome meeting with the tour leader for a brief description of the weekly program of this snorkeling in Puglia. To follow, first stroll through the city and dinner together.
Overnight in Lecce.
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 Puglia Adriatic coast.
The first snorkeling excursion in Puglia will be in the Cave of Poetry, Grotta della Poesia, a sort of natural swimming pool connected to the open 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 going out to sea we will reach Torre dell’Orso with a short walk, for a well-deserved lunch break. Then continue along the coast in the direction of the beautiful sea stacks of Sant’Andrea. And after a last marine patrol in the water, we will arrive by private transfer in Otranto, the beautiful final destination of this day.
Overnight in Otranto.
Otranto | free day
Free day in Otranto, to bask in the sun on the small beach of the village, to visit churches and castles, to discover the easternmost town in Italy.
If you still want to use your snorkeling gear today, we recommend that you make your way to Orte Bay, just south of Otranto.
Another excursion that can be done if possible - access is not allowed at the moment - is the one to the Mulino d'Acqua bay: small waterfalls and bright green vegetation adorn the sides of the cliff, while inside the cove ruins and collapsed walls indicate the presence of an old mill. With the head immersed in the reflections and blue shades of the water, we will discover dense wads of algae of all colors and shapes. An exceptional but not rare event, it could be the encounter, among the rocks of the seabed, with the fantastic sea snail.
Overnight in Otranto.
Snorkeling in Porto Badisco and Santa Cesarea Terme
After breakfast we will reach the mythical Torre Sant'Emiliano with a private transfer; from here following the rugged coast we will reach Porto Badisco.
It is a popular destination for fishermen, divers and swimmers, because hidden from the eyes of most there is an ideal cove 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 fish sheltering from the currents. Observing the seabed we will be able to see numerous mullets and algae with the most extravagant shapes, such as the strange "dime of sea". At the end of the excursion, we will find refreshment in the local small places of the bay, where we can taste delicious sea urchins just caught.
In the afternoon transfer for another aquatic excursion to Santa Cesare Terme. We will go out by boat to closely observe the karst phenomenon of this stretch of coast: here numerous caves and sea cavities from which healthy and curative springs of sulphurous water emerge. The sulfur present in this strip of sea makes these waters particularly suitable for the proliferation of tuna, groupers and turtles.
Overnight in Santa Cesarea Terme.
Snorkeling in Porto Selvaggio reserve
After breakfast we will move to the western side of Puglia.
Along the way we will cross the linguistic island of Grecìa Salentina, the "Greek heart" of Puglia.
In a holiday among the most beautiful seas of Salento, a visit to the Porto Selvaggio Reserve cannot be missed. Following the path in the beautiful pine forest, we will arrive in front of a small white cove from which opens the fantastic inlet of Porto Selvaggio characterized by a crystalline sea permeated by flows of fresh water coming from the subsoil. The rest of the coast has cliffs dotted with pools, caves, inlets and a huge variety of marine organisms. Diving we will be able to meet an incredible variety of small fish such as damselfish and, in the midst of the great variety of algae, see the numerous echinoderms: sea urchins of various colors and fascinating starfishes.
Down from the suggestive promontory of Torre dell’Alto we can then reach Santa Caterina in perfect time for an aperitif.
Then transfer to Gallipoli, where we will stay overnight for the next two nights.
Snorkeling in Porto Cesareo
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 in 1997, will offer us numerous itineraries with well-preserved habitats, thanks to the protection implemented in the area for more than 10 years. The most fascinating of these will be that of the Roman Columns: after a short swim you can admire 5 monolithic columns from the 2nd century AD at a depth of only 4.5 meters. Nothing remains of the wooden wreck that carried them now, except these columns lying on the sandy bottom. This route will combine the charm of submerged environments with historical interest, and it is also extremely accessible and simple. It will be an opportunity to get to know the animals that populate the sandy bottoms such as cerianthus, sand anemones and many others.
In the afternoon, return to Gallipoli to spend the last hours in the "Beautiful City" and look at the photographs taken during this week of snorkeling in Puglia.
Overnight in Gallipoli.
After breakfast, end of services.
If you don't know which time of year to choose to snorkel in Salento, take a look at our blog.
Tour programme variations
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Our offer includes
- 6 nights with breakfast in shared double/twin room
- Welcome Dinner day 1
- Local English speaking tour leader/snorkeling guide during excursions
- Scheduled private transports
- Snorkeling equipment
- Luggage transportation
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Other meals and drinks
- Entrance fees and tips
- Hotel tourist taxes
- Insurance and what's not listed as Included
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
Easy. Snorkeling holiday suitable for anyone who is comfortable with being in calm waters.
There are also mostly coastal walks to reach the sea access points.
Snorkeling equipment kits consisting of fins, mask, snorkel and inflatable buoy will be available for you.
It is also advisable to use a shorty wetsuit or thermal t-shirts to enjoy the pleasure of the sea in total comfort. Those who cannot swim can also participate by asking us in advance for the appropriate life jacket.
- 1 night in Lecce → Palazzo dei Dondoli
- 2 nights in Otranto → Hotel San Giuseppe
- 1 night in Santa Cesarea → Est Hotel
- 2 nights in Gallipoli → B&B Palazzo Balsamo
All rooms are ensuite.
In case of limited availability we choose an alternative position with similar characteristics. Alternative details will be noted in the updated service list.
6 breakfasts and 1 dinner included. All other meals are not included.
Holiday designed for small private groups (5-12 people) or mini private groups (2-4 people, with supplement) of friends, families and colleagues.
→ Departures every day on request.
Just choose the date and your own group and ask for a customised quote.
You will be accompanied during the excursions and dinners by one of our expert tour leader / snorkeling guide, coordinator of the group and passionate about travel, nature and the territory visited. He/she will support you, becoming a travel companion and trying to meet the needs of the group, while being attentive to individual requests.
He/she will help make your vacation authentic, relaxing and fun.
A few days before departure you will receive by email the documentation containing the latest information relating to your holiday.
Getting to Lecce
Lecce is easily reachable by car, train, bus and by air.
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.
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.
Back to Lecce
From Gallipoli it’s possible to reach Lecce using the train. NB: The train rides are reduced during Sunday.
→ If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.