We absolutely love to visit Puglia for the culture, tradition, and amazing beaches. The Salento peninsula is filled with some great picks and if you’ve never been to Puglia you might feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry, we are here to help. We’ve selected our favorite beach towns in Puglia for a perfect holiday.
We’ve tried to include real beach towns only. There are tons of beautiful seaside towns and villages in Puglia but most of them are not actually great beach towns. Our main requirement was at least one dedicated beach for the town.
When selecting the places to showcase we’ve also taken the rugged Puglia coastline into consideration. This allows some truly unique destinations to make the list. Let’s see our pick of the top 10 beach towns in Puglia:
1. Gallipoli, Province of Lecce
Let’s start with the city of Gallipoli in the Province of Lecce. We love this location as there are beaches on the shore and if you book a hotel that’s close you can just walk to the beach.
Not only is Gallipoli great for beaches but you get a whole city full of ancient buildings and awesome attractions. Gallipoli is a great base to explore the region and it’s one of the best beach towns in Puglia.
The main city beach is called Spiaggia della Purità and it’s a unique location as you will have the historic center of Gallipoli right behind you. We absolutely love this beach but if you get bored you can easily travel the shore south or north of Gallipoli and find countless amazing beaches very close.
The beautiful town, the local beach, and the opportunity to visit many other beaches make Gallipoli a great pick when you are looking for a beach town in Puglia.
2. Torre dell’Orso, Province of Lecce
Another pick from the Province of Lecce and it’s not the last one either. As you will see on our list, Lecce has some of the best beach towns in Puglia. It’s the southernmost province of the region after all.
Torre dell’Orso is a very popular resort town in Puglia. People love the local beach. It’s a big patch of sandy beach with shallow water. Many families prefer Torre dell’Orso for the laid-back atmosphere. You can have a truly relaxing holiday here.
3. Polignano a Mare, Province of Bari
One of the most famous seaside towns in Puglia. Polignano a Mare is well known for its main beach and lovely old town. It’s a tourism hot spot that fills up during the summer and sees regular visitors even in the off-season months.
We absolutely love Polignano a Mare and the best thing about this town is that it’s located on the Bari to Brindisi train line. You can visit or stay at Polignano without the need to rent a car. Great pick!
The main beach, called Lama Monachile, is a dramatic opening in the heart of the old town. On both sides, you have the huge cliff walls with buildings on top and in the middle, you have a tiny patch of amazing beach. It can get crowded but if you arrive early you can find a spot on the beach easily. It’s an impressive sight that makes an appearance on many vacation photos that people take home.
Even if Lama Monachile is full you get a chance to visit Lido Cala Paura which is a unique beach of its own kind. It’s built on top of rocks and there is even a small natural pool that’s shallow and perfect for children. Both the locals of Italy and the tourists that visit the country love this beach. Our opinion? Although Lama Monachile has all the views, this is a better beach as you have more space.
Considering how easy it is to visit Polignano a Mare it is certainly one of the best beach towns in Puglia. Whether you stay here or just spend one day it’s a town you shouldn’t miss from your itinerary.
4. Castellaneta Marina, Province of Taranto
Castellaneta Marina in the Province of Taranto is a true beach resort town. The coast at Castellaneta Marina is one huge stretch of sandy beach. It’s a prime location if you are longing for a beach vacation.
Free beaches and Lidos line the shore of Castellaneta Marina. You’ve got plenty of options as you explore the coast. You can find everything from sun loungers to kitesurfing rentals. The whole atmosphere is about relaxing and recharging at the beach.
The only downside of this place is the location. It’s a bit far from everything and you’ll definitely need to rent a car if you want to visit. Regardless we absolutely love the coast here and the sandy beach seems almost endless. It goes on for kilometers on both sides and you can even walk to other towns on the sand. It’s a crazy place akin to ocean beaches in the US. Castellaneta Marina gets our vote as a nice beach town.
5. Torre Lapillo and Porto Cesareo, Province of Lecce
Two towns at one pick? What’s going on? Well to be honest Torre Lapillo and Porto Cesareo are so close to each other we can look at them as one place. You may get a hotel in either of these towns and visit all the beaches that are available in both.
The coast is lined with awesome beaches and natural dunes between the two towns. You have so many options that you might as well visit a different beach each day. Of course, all of them have crystal clear waters and great amenities. Beach bars, sun loungers, and a general resort feel are a given in Torre Lapillo and Porto Cesareo.
The location for these towns is also great. If you rent a car you can easily explore the Salento peninsula. Any of these two towns are a great pick when you want a base in Puglia that has awesome beaches.
6. Campomarino, Province of Taranto
Campomarino is a great beach town in the Taranto province of Puglia. It’s special as the beach here doubles as a natural zone. You need to traverse a small area of dunes in order to reach the shore.
It’s a very beautiful place and these dunes create a secluded coast. The coast is sandy and the water is always crystal clear. We absolutely love Campomarino and love the dunes. They are very unique and they add a lot to the beauty of the environment.
There are also tons of other beaches up and down the coast from Campomarino. It’s an amazing beach town in Puglia where you can relax and forget the mundane weekdays.
7. Foce Varano, Province of Foggia
The seaside town of Foce Varano is located in Northern Puglia. It’s in the Province of Foggia and it’s a beautiful destination. The beach is long and sandy. It’s full of bars and free places where you can swim or enjoy the sunshine.
The town itself is inside the Gargano National Park which is a natural wonder in itself. This guarantees that you are in a nice environment.
There are a lot of opportunities for hiking, sightseeing, and camping in the area. This is a perfect town for those who are looking for a more active holiday and want to explore the Gargano National Park.
8. Peschici, Province of Foggia
Do you want to feel a bit like in Amalfi whenever you visit Puglia? Peschici is a beach town in Puglia where you can feel like that. Just as Foce Varano this destination is located inside the Gargano National Park as well. It’s built on a hill on the coast and it has all the charm that you would expect from an Italian hill town.
Add to that an amazing beach with views of this beautiful town and you’ve got one of the best beach towns in Puglia. It’s actually kind of a hidden gem as well. Many people spend their time in Southern Puglia meanwhile you have towns like Peschici waiting for you to explore in the Northern parts of the region. Don’t miss this one!
9. Santa Cesarea Terme, Province of Lecce
If you are looking for a truly unique beach town in Puglia then Santa Cesarea Terme might be the one for you. It has a rugged coastline with huge cliff walls and great views. In fact, it’s mostly known for the thermal waters that originate under the town.
You can try the warm springs and there is even a sulfur pool built into the cliff wall. We loved the sulfur pool it’s such a cool location for a beach.
There is an artificial beach which you can reach via some stairs. The bottom of the cliff wall is built out to accommodate sunbeds and tourists. It’s definitely a unique spot to jump into the water.
10. Punta Prosciutto, Province of Lecce
Finally, we’ll close this list with another great pick from the Province of Lecce. Punta Prosciutto is one of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia and it’s an amazing place for a holiday. The coast is lined with great hotels where you can step out to the beach first thing in the morning if you wish.
We loved Punta Prosciutto and in retrospect, we were a little bit disappointed by only booking 3 days in this wonderful town. Of course, you get the usual downside of a resort town as there aren’t that many things to do. However, if you rent a car you’ll get easy access to the rest of Puglia to explore and do sightseeing trips.
Puglia is full of amazing beach towns
As you can see from our list of the best beach towns in Puglia, the province is absolutely filled with amazing places. The Province of Lecce takes center stage due to the long stretches of sandy shore and great tourist hot spots. Other regions are not far behind as there are great beach towns in almost all provinces of Puglia.
Even though our list is about the best of the best there is still a lot more to discover, especially if we consider inland towns as well. We love Puglia for its charming towns, beautiful countryside, and superb beaches.