Best Beaches in Otranto

Best Beaches in Otranto featured photo

Puglia is an Italian region known for its seaside towns with stunning beaches. Otranto is a small charming seaside town located in the province of Lecce and it is home to some of the best beaches in Puglia. If you are a beach lover, you definitely don’t want to pass up the opportunity to go to the “heel of the boot” of Italy and visit some of its beaches.

There are several beaches in and near Otranto. Some of the best ones are Spiaggia dei Gradoni, Baia dei Turchi, Porto Badisco, and Torre dell’Orso. These beaches offer sandy and rocky shores with crystal clear waters and amazing views of the sea.

In this article, we will talk about 7 of the best beaches you can find in Otranto. You’ll be surprised at some of these spots as they are not your typical beach. Ready your sunscreen and read on!

How To Get To Otranto

How To Get To Otranto

Otranto is a coastal town in the province of Lecce and is located on the east coast of the Salento peninsula in the Puglia region of Italy. There are several ways to get to Otranto from different parts of mainland Italy and other European countries.

Otranto can be reached via plane, car, bus, and train.

There are three airports in the Puglia region – Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport (BRI), Brindisi-Salento Airport (BDS), and Foggia Gino Lisa Airport (FOG). You can fly to any of these airports from cities in Italy. But, if you are coming from outside of Italy, you can only fly into Bari or Brindisi. 

The closest airport to Otranto is Brindisi and from there, the best way to get to the city is by car or taxi. You can also take the bus or train but, there are no direct buses and trains from Brindisi Airport to Otranto. You will have to go to Lecce and take a bus or train to Otranto.

Brindisi Airport is about 100 km away from Otranto and the travel time by car will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you are taking the bus to train, the travel time can take anywhere between 1.5 to 2 hours.

If you are already in Italy and are planning on visiting Otranto, you can also take high-speed trains from several cities going to Lecce and then take a regional train to Otranto. The travel time by train will take longer as there will be several stops along the way. Alternatively, you can also reach Otranto by bus. But, be sure to check bus schedules as several bus companies only have seasonal routes to Otranto.

Best Beaches In Otranto

Best Beaches In Otranto

Otranto is one of the seaside towns and is known for its beautiful beaches and its old town which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Since 2010. This small town of Otranto faces the ocean where the Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea meet. There are several Otranto beaches that you can visit you will definitely enjoy your stay if you are a beach lover. The quickest way to get to the beaches in and nearby Otranto is by car or taxi. But, there are also buses that have routes to some of these beaches.

Spiaggia dei Gradoni

Spiaggia dei Gradoni

Let’s start off with a beach close to the old town of Otranto.

Spiaggia dei Gradoni is just 5 minutes away from the historic center of Otranto. It is a public beach with several sun beds and umbrellas for rent. There are also several cafés and restaurants nearby being so close to the town’s city center.

Spiaggia dei Gradoni is the ideal beach for families with kids as the waters are calm and shallow. This sandy beach has crystal clear waters which is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Since Spiaggia dei Gradoni is near the town’s historic center, it is easily accessible by residents and tourists alike so expect the beach to be crowded.

Cala di Grotta Monaca

2 km away from Otranto is Cala di Grotta Monaca. This cove is a coastal gem in Otranto with its crystal-clear waters and rugged shorelines.

It is an unspoiled area with no facilities such as sun beds and umbrellas for rent. Cala di Grotta Monaca is all rocks and cliffs that offer amazing sea views. While there are no sunbeds, you can bring your beach towel to sunbathe on some of the cliffs.

There are few people visiting Cala di Grotta Monaca since it is not your typical beach. But, it is definitely an ideal place for snorkeling and swimming.

If you are with small children, it may be best to go to a different beach as it is mostly rocks. It can be dangerous if children are left unsupervised. If you don’t mind a rocky shore, Cala di Grotta Monaca is definitely worth a visit.

Baia dei Turchi

Baia dei Turchi

Baia dei Turchi, also called the Turkish Bay, is one of the most famous beaches located just a few kilometers north of Otranto. Baia dei Turchi is part of the protected oasis of the Alimini Lakes and has several beaches nestled between cliffs and is about 1.6 km of white sands and rocky shores. This beach also has crystal clear waters making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. 

Baia dei Turchi is a free beach but you can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas for your convenience. There are also several bars and kiosks that sell food, drinks, and ice cream, especially during the summer months. Being one of the most famous beaches in Otranto, expect the beach to be crowded, especially during the high season.

Car parking can also get very difficult so you might want to come early if you want to secure a parking space. The only parking area is quite far from the beach and you need to walk quite a bit to reach the beach.

Alimini Beach

Further north of Otranto and 5 km away from Baia dei Turchi is Alimini Lakes. This beach is one of the best beaches in Otranto with its white sands and crystal clear waters.

There are several lidos on the beach where you can rent umbrellas and lounge chairs for a couple of hours. The beach can get very packed, especially during the summer months. If you want to reserve a spot on one of the beach clubs, you will have to come to the beach early.

Several hotels may also have partnerships with some of the lidos in Alimini Beach. You can ask the hotel staff if it is possible to make an advanced reservation through the hotel.

There are bars and restaurants nearby and on the beach clubs so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own food and drinks. Paid parking is also available and is just a 15-minute walk from the beach.

Porto Badisco

Traveling down south of Otranto takes you to Porto Badisco, a rocky cove with turquoise waters. The shore is just small and with lounge chairs and umbrellas in place, it can get a little bit tight to move around the beach. These loungers and parasols are for rent but, you can always bring your own beach towel. If the beach is too crowded, you might find it hard to look for a spot to lay your towel down. While crowded, the view makes up for it.

There is also a parking area near the beach and a café if you get hungry. Since it is a rocky cove, you may want to bring swimming shoes for your comfort.

You can also do some cliff jumping at your own risk if you are feeling adventurous. As we said earlier, the beach does get crowded, especially during the summer season so be prepared to go to a different beach if a crowded beach is not your thing.

Torre dell’Orso

Torre dell’Orso

About 25 minutes away from Otranto is Torre dell’Orso, also known as the town of two sisters. Torre dell’Orso Beach is known for its white sandy beach and crystal clear waters making it one of the best beaches in Puglia.

There are several lidos where you can rent umbrellas and lounge chairs for a couple of hours but, there are also public areas available on the beach. Cafés and restaurants are also available in these beach clubs.

If you are one for watersports activities, you will enjoy spending a day on this beach. There are several equipment rentals in Torre dell’Orso. You can enjoy surfing, standup paddle boarding (SUP), and even kayaking.

The beach can get a little windy at times but swimming is generally safe. There is a paid parking area near the beach which can get crowded so make sure to come early if you plan on bringing a car.

Grotta della Poesia

Grotta della Poesia, also known as The Cave of Poetry, is a natural swimming pool 25 minutes away from Otranto. While technically not a beach, Grotta della Poesia deserves to be on this list as it is one of the best spots near Otranto.

The natural pool is surrounded by limestone cliffs and swimming and cliff jumping is done at your own risk. Since the area is mostly cliffs, it is not the most ideal place for families. You also might want to bring swimming shoes as these can protect your feet and keep them from getting burnt. Do note that there is an entrance fee in Grotta della Poesia.

Conclusion

There are a lot of diverse swimming spots in Otranto. From your typical sandy beaches to rocky coves and even natural swimming pools, you’ll find the best spot for you. We have included 7 of the best beaches in and nearby Otranto so you will have an idea of where to go for your trip. If you have any other questions, let us know via the contact form on our website!

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