Dear foreign guest, I warmly suggest Salento non just for a long relaxing holiday week, but also for a long weekend. To me, the best period to visit is June, when beaches and restaurants are not crowded yet. You can land in Brindisi airport, rent your car and just enjoy 3-4 days of gorgeous beaches, great food and italian hospitality.
We rent the car at Brindisi airport and head to Santa Maria di Leuca, ça va sans dire. The first stop is Faraglioni di Sant’Andrea, here you can enjoy their beauty and start forgetting about your daily life. A few hundred meters ahead, we stop at the beach of Torre di Sant’Andrea for: lunch with a view, post lunch nap and afternoon swim in front of the Tafaluro rock.
Another destination to make your eyes dream and help your skin turn brown? The Maldives of Salento, which is a super famous spot, but has to be mentioned and visited. Beauty tip for all ladies out there: here I discovered a gourmet snack to hydratate and counteract free radicals. Cucumber (raw and local, it seems obvious to me) is eaten rinsed and salted with sea water. The greengrocers can be found all along the coast, trust me and try.
Shall we go for a walk?
Here the reason to bring sneakers: from Gagliano del Capo there is a beautiful path that goes downhill between the rocks and vegetation and that will take you in around 40 minutes to the famous Ciolo beach. It is the beach under the famous bridge where the local young people dive into the sea from a height of about 30 meters.
The beach is very small and we choose to rest on an area under the bridge, artificial but very comfortable. Here we camp and sunbathe, we enjoy the sun and take a few dives from the rocks to then swim until the arms get tired.
A couple of hours later we leave the Ciolo, go up to the bridge to take the “Sentiero delle Cipolliane” which takes you to Marina di Novaglie. The path is well kept, you walk for about 1 hour above the sea and along the dry stone walls. This path, also known as the “trutturi”, was once used to transport goods, even less permitted, with donkeys.
We arrive at the exclusive restaurant Lo Scalo for lunch. Refreshing bath first (watch out for the sea urchins, bring the rock shoes and the mask) and then cold white wine and fish. Isn’t it bellavita to eat with such a view?
We return by foot towards Gagliano del Capo along country lanes, olive groves, dry stone walls and red earth. Is the sun going down? Where do we eat tonight?
Some tips for your nightlife
One of the pros of going to Salento in June is that the days are very long and allow you to stay on the beach until late. A warm advice is to get cold beers and just enjoy the view, I suggest the Ionian coast to enjoy the sunset over the sea.
If you want a more crowded place, there is one place for an aperitif: the Bar del Moro in Marina San Gregorio. I recommend arriving mid-afternoon, taking a refreshing swim and then forgetting the clock.
Another great destination to enjoy the night is Gallipoli with its bars and small streets full of young people. You don’t want to miss a thing? Go for some good music at the Riobò disco, near Gallipoli.
- I warmly recommend to rent your car
- in Leuca area, I recommend the Loquita Restaurant, located right under the bridge leading to the center of Leuca, and the Trattoria Tatanka on the Leuca-Gallipoli coast road. Book in advance and you won’t be disappointed
- the “Sentiero del Ciolo” starts from via Ciolo, a few hundred meters from the square of Gagliano del Capo. Both the beginning of this path and that of the “Sentiero delle Cipolliane ” are reported by Gmaps
- Choose a weekend and just leave. The only difficulty will be returning home