Otranto – Torre dell’Orso
Tour Duration: 6 hours
(subject to change)
- 10:00 am
Tour includes 3 swimming stops
Complimentary generous appetizer offered onboard
Toilet and shower
Tours require a minimum of 20 passengers
Advice on what to bring and how to dress
- Beach attire (swimsuit and towel)
- Snorkeling masks and fins (available onboard, but in limited quantities)
- Prepare for windy days by packing a change of clothes (in September especially, it is advisable to bring a sweater or waterproof vest)
Join us for a beautiful 6-hours excursion onboard the comfortable and well-equipped “Hydra” boat. We depart from the port of Otranto and head north along the Adriatic coast. Salento’s spectacular coastline will surprise visitors with its turquoise waters, lush vegetation, white cliffs and hidden beaches.
The first place we will admire from the sea is “Otranto”. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Puglia, Otranto is home to roughly 5,600 inhabitants and is the location of Greek-Messapic and Roman ancient center, then Byzantine and later on Aragonese, which developed around the city’s imposing castle and Norman cathedral. The archbishop’s seat as well as a vibrant tourist center, inspired the names of “Canale d’Otranto” and “Terra d’Otranto”, located in an ancient district of the Kingdom of Naples. Given its historical value, it should come as no surprise that Otranto was officially recognized as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site in 2010. The city is a proud member of the “I borghi più belli d’Italia”, “The most beautiful villages in Italy” club.
Outside the town of Otranto, is our first stop: “La Staffa”, a quiet and untouched beach nestled between rocks and near a deep inlet known as “Il Canalone”, we continue on to the “Canale San Pietro” and the “Grotta Monaca” which received its name from the “monk seals” that used to frequent its waters in abundance. The color of the sea invites visitors to dive in!
The boat tour proceeds first to “Remito”, a sheltered cove with sheer cliffs where one can observe the erosive effects of the sea; then, on to the bay of “Mulino d’Acqua”, so named for the large water mill that was once used to generate energy from the sea. Here you will enjoy the sandy beaches located in between a series of historic caves. Visitors are welcome to stop and swim in the warm water before venturing forward to explore the various caves.
A little further north, we will visit “Baia Imperia”, a unique outcrop of circular rocks that emerge straight out of the sea, and “Baia Morrone”, a bay famous for its low sandy bottom which gives off a unique florescent coloring similar to the Caribbean Sea. This area is known for its natural spring waterfalls and special clay rocks used for mud massages on the skin. Both sites are accessible only by sea.
As the boat tour continues, we will travel to an area known as “Santo Stefano”, where visitors may observe the ancient ruins of the famous “Torre Santo Stefano” watchtower. We then proceed to the “Baia dei Turchi” (Bay of the Turks) named so because of the Turkish troops which landed in Otranto in 1480 during an important battle. In modern times, this area is known for its rich Mediterranean vegetation, beautiful beaches of fine sand and most importantly, its pristine turquoise and emerald green waters.
Continuing on this 6-hours boat tour is the beach of “Alimini”, one of the most frequented destinations in all of Salento. The beach is situated near two lakes, one freshwater and one saltwater, the latter is connected to the sea via a channel. “Alimini” is known for its white sands, lush vegetation and warm waters, perfect for taking a dip in the sea! Before turning back, visitors can observe “il Relitto” (meaning shipwreck), the remains of an old merchant ship “Dimitrios” which crashed into the beach of “Alimini” in 1978.
We leave Alimini and head to “Frassanito”, located in the extreme northern part of the Idruntina city. The beach in Frassanito is famous for its surfistic regattas which take place even in the winter when waves and winds make for difficult courses. We then proceed to the first of two seaside resorts in the city of Melendugno: First we will visit “Sant’Andrea”, famous for its white cliffs and ‘faraglioni’ rocks that jut straight out of the sea, adding to the wild and rugged coastline.
Our second stop in Melendugno is “Torre dell’Orso”, another beautiful and sought after holiday destination in Salento. “Torre dell’Orso” covers 800 meters of fine, sandy beaches and is set between high cliffs of white rock and low sand dunes. Here, the sea is crystal clear and shimmers with lush vegetation. Tourists are invited to visit a popular rock formation known as “Le Due Sorelle” (The Two Sisters), one of the most photographed sites in Puglia.
Along the way, we will visit several caves, bays, and clear stretches of pristine water for swimming and snorkeling. During one of our stops a generous appetizer will be served featuring cuisine typical of the region. At the end of the tour, we return to the port of Otranto.