Holiday in Salento: 8 things to know to organise your trip

Do you want to organise your holiday in Salento and need advice? In this article you will find all the information you need to better plan your trip!

In recent years, the number of tourists who choose to spend their holidays in Salento has grown enormously, becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, thanks to its many facets. Indeed, the things to see in Salento are so many, whatever the time of year. Whether you choose to take a summer holiday in Salento, visit in winter, or travel at other times, you will always find something interesting to do and see.

If you want to discover Salento in the best possible way, you cannot miss this guide with all the advice coming from the passion of those who live there.

Here are the things you absolutely must know to experience Salento like a true local!

1. Where is Salento located?

Salento is an area of south-eastern Apulia kissed by two seas: the Ionian Sea to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east. In fact, the name means “land surrounded by the sea”.

But where does Salento begin and end? The Salento peninsula includes the province of Lecce and the eastern part of the provinces of Taranto and Brindisi.

Despite being part of the beautiful Apulia, Salento is often considered a separate region, with many differences in history, language (dialect), traditions and cuisine.

Salento is truly a wonderful discovery: it doesn’t only mean sea and beautiful beaches, but also villages, towns, churches, artistic works and much more.

2. What is the best time to go on holiday in Salento?

Salento, when should you go there?

The best period to take a holiday in Salento is probably in summer, but it is also the most popular, which is why it is often too chaotic, especially in August. Actually, contrary to what many might think, every time is good for travelling in Salento! However, each season has its pros and cons for taking a holiday in Salento, let’s see them together:

Salento holiday in summer: pros and cons

  • Pros: summer in Salento is actually a lot of fun, the days are longer; you can enjoy the sea; you can do many outdoor activities only available at this time; there is nightlife everywhere you go; there are parties, concerts, festivals and events every night.
  • Cons: Salento in July and August may be too chaotic and not allow you to enjoy your holiday; you may not be able to stand the sultry heat; it is almost compulsory to make reservations at the beach or restaurant (otherwise you risk not finding a place); there is more traffic

Salento holiday in winter: pros and cons

  • Pros: the temperature is always mild and perfect for visiting Salento without the summer heat; there are fewer people; prices are lower; it is easier to find accommodation and life in general is quieter;
  • Cons: you cannot have a 100% beach holiday; there are fewer evenings and events; there are fewer connections between cities by public transport.

Salento holiday in spring and autumn: pros and cons

  • Pros: the temperature is pleasant, neither too hot nor too cold; you can experience the sea without stress; you can visit places of interest without chaos.
  • Cons: the climate, although mild, is always variable, it could be abnormally hot or rainy at any moment; there are fewer events than in summer; there are fewer services for tourists; there are fewer connections between towns.

3. How many days does it take to visit Salento?

Some people think that you can visit Salento in three days, others believe that a month is not enough. The truth is that there are many things to see in Salento and you could even live there and still not know them all! However, a week or even better 10 days may be enough to be able to visit the most important places in Salento without ever getting bored!

Spiaggia otranto

4. How do you get to Salento?

Getting to Salento is not difficult, there are various means of transport and connections between the main cities. The best way to get to Salento is definitely by plane, but let’s take a detailed look at the various possibilities:

Getting to Salento by plane

To get to Salento by plane, you will have to fly to one of the two airports in Apulia, which are served by the main low-cost airlines, such as Wizz Air, Easyjet and Ryanair, with almost daily connections to the most important Italian cities. The airports you will have to fly to are: Bari-Palese (BRI), about 170 km from Lecce, and Brindisi (BDS), about 50 km from the Salento capital.
From the airports, then, you can take the shuttles to the train station and get to Lecce, or you can use the bus connections.

Getting to Salento by train

You can also get to Salento by train with Trenitalia, which guarantees daily connections with the most important Italian cities. The station in Salento is Lecce, from here you can travel to the various cities by train, bus, taxi or car rentals.

Getting to Salento by coach

If you prefer, you can get to Salento by coach thanks to the numerous connections from the main Italian cities. The companies that usually serve the route to Lecce are: Flixbus, Itabus and Marino Autolinee.

Getting to Salento by car

To get to Salento by car, starting from the north, take the A14 motorway and continue to the Bari Nord exit. From Bari, take the SS16 Brindisi-Lecce highway and once in Lecce you can easily reach your final destination via the various provincial/state roads.

roca mare

5. How to get around Salento?

Although Salento does not have an extremely efficient public transport system, getting around is not difficult, especially in high season. Obviously, what we recommend in order to enjoy a carefree holiday in Salento is to travel by car or rent a car in Salento, but if you don’t have the possibility to do so, you can use the available public transport.

During summer time, there are many buses throughout the area, connecting towns and marinas. We advise you to check the Salento in Bus website for routes and timetables. In winter this service is not available, there are fewer connections, especially in the marinas. However, some destinations are connected by other public transport services: for routes and timetables check the FSE or STP websites.

In addition to buses, you can travel by train, but connections are limited. For routes and train times, check the Trenitalia website.

salento-in-bus - vacanza nel salento

6. Where to stay in Salento

If you are wondering where is the best place to stay in Salento, let us give you some advice! First of all, it is important to consider the type of holiday you want to take in Salento:

  • relax by the sea: do you want to sleep in Salento by the sea? Would you like to wake up, have breakfast and go to the beach without using your car? Would you like a quiet and peaceful place? Here are some of the destinations that we recommend in Salento: Torre Vado, Torre Pali, Marina di Novaglie, Lido Marini.
  • sea and nightlife: if you are a fun-loving person and you are looking for a place where you can have a night out without giving up your days on the beach, we recommend some of the liveliest towns to stay in Salento: Gallipoli, Santa Maria di Leuca, Torre San Giovanni, Castro.
  • culture: if, on the other hand, you prefer villages or towns rich in history and culture, but at the same time quiet and intimate to stay in Salento, look for accommodation in Casarano, Specchia, Alessano, Ostuni, Martano and Nardò located in the Salento hinterland.

If you want further advice on where to stay in Salento, contact a serious and qualified agency, so that you can get as much information as possible about the house and be sure of the identity of your intermediary. Booking through an agency will allow you to have a guarantee and not run into scams so that you can enjoy your holiday in Salento to the fullest.

7. Things to see in Salento

There are so many beautiful things to see in Salento, from Caribbean beaches to the most intimate, hidden and wild ones; from churches to splendid coastal towers; from villages to trekking paths; from museums to castles; in short, there is something for everyone!

Here are some things in Salento you absolutely must see:

Beaches, bays and coves

Among the most beautiful beaches in Salento are Torre dell’Orso, Roca and Grotta della Poesia, Torre Sant’Andrea, Alimini, Porto Badisco, Castro Marina, Porto Miggiano, Cala dell’Acquaviva, Marina Serra, Ponte Ciolo, Punta della Suina, Santa Maria al Bagno, Porto Selvaggio, Sant’Isidoro, Porto Cesareo, Torre Lapillo, Punta Prosciutto.

Villages, towns and cities

Among the places to visit in Salento, the small municipalities in the province of Lecce, and not only, are not to be missed: they are the guardians of history, culture, art and traditions. Among all the places to visit in Salento we recommend: Lecce, Brindisi, Otranto, Ostuni, Castro, Galatina, Nardò, Copertino, Leverano, Specchia, Presicce, Giurdignano, Maglie, Martano, Matino, Ruffano and Parabita. But if you love discovering little-known places, the list is endless!

matino borgo in salento

Castles

Among the things to see in Salento, we suggest the most beautiful manors, some located in seaside resorts, others by the sea. Which ones should you absolutely see during your holiday in Salento? The De’ Monti Castle in Corigliano d’Otranto, the Acaya Castle, the Aragonese Castle in Castro, the Angevin Castle in Gallipoli, the Carlo V Castle in Lecce, the Norman Swabian Castle in Copertino, the Aragonese Castle in Otranto and the Ugento Castle.

castello di castro - vacanza nel salento

Churches

Among the most beautiful churches in the Salento, we recommend you don’t miss the Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria in Galatina, the Basilica of Santa Croce in Lecce, the Sanctuary of Sant’Antonio a Fulgenzio in Lecce, the Church of San Matteo in Lecce, the Cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta in Lecce, the Cathedral of Sant’Agata in Gallipoli, Santa Maria della Croce in Casaranello, the Cathedral of Otranto, the Church of San Domenico in Nardò, and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca.

Basilica di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria Galatina

Coastal towers

During your holidays in Salento, you are bound to see some coastal towers along the coast. These ancient constructions, which served as lookout posts in case of invasions, are truly fascinating monuments offering picturesque views of the sea. Here are some of the most impressive towers in Salento: Torre Santa Maria dell’Alto, Torre Uluzzu, Torre Squillace, Torre Cesarea, Torre Lapillo and Torre Colimena, Torre Vado, Torre Pali, Torre Mozza, Torre Suda and Torre dell’Orso.

Torre di avvistamento salento

8. Experiences in Salento

Visit Salento and let yourself be conquered by its countless beauties, we will guide you so that you can enjoy your holiday in Salento to the fullest. Among the many things to do in Salento there are some that are truly unmissable, here are our recommendations.

Boat Tours

Take a boat tour to the caves of Santa Maria di Leuca. Here you can join one of the organised trips where a guide will explain myths and fascinating legends about the caves. Alternatively, you could also rent a boat in Salento and tour the coast on your own.

Escursioni in Barca nel Salento - Grotta Verdusella

Trekking

Go trekking on the Cipolliane path, one of the most beautiful seaside hiking trails in Salento located near Ponte Ciolo. Go trekking or horse-riding at the Bauxite Quarry: a place of enchanting beauty where the red of the earth blends with the green of nature, reflected in the emerald green lake, creating a scenery so picturesque that it takes your breath away.

Grotta della Cipolliane - Il sentiero delle Cipolliane

Sunrise and Sunsets

Watch the sunrise from the Palascia lighthouse, one of the must-see places in Salento. It is the most easterly point in Italy and it offers views of extraordinary beauty: the lush vegetation embraces the white lighthouse that plunges into the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

  • Watch the sunset over the sea: you cannot say you have had a holiday in Salento without watching at least one sunset over the sea, particularly over the Ionian Sea. So treat yourself to this wonderful magic, particularly on the Ionian beaches of Salento.
  • Witness the meeting of the two seas in Santa Maria di Leuca: go to the Basilica Santuario Santa Maria De Finibus Terrae, nex to the Leuca Lighthouse, rest your gaze on the horizon, to the left of the harbour. If you are lucky, you will be able to admire an enchanting and stunning phenomenon, a unique experience to be lived in Salento!

Cosa vedere a Leuca

Salento festivals

Attend festivals in Salento: festivals are popular festivals of great folklore, where good food meets typical Salento music, such as the pizzica, creating events of pure fun!

Excursion by Ultra Light Plane

Take an excursion in an ultralight plane: ultralight planes depart from the Melpignano airfield, thanks to which it is possible to admire Salento from above in an exciting experience.

Esperienze Salento - Escursione in Aereo Ultra Leggero -

These are just some of the most interesting experiences to have during your holiday in the Salento: continue reading our blog to learn all the secrets of this wonderful land and learn how to experience Salento as a true local.

Are you looking for a structure in Salento? Browse our categories!

Team HDSalento

Team HDSalento

Articles by the HDSalento team

Table of Contents

Personalized vacation?

Do you have specific needs and would you like to be assisted free of charge by one of our consultants? Click below and request a personalized quote!

Hai bisogno di Informazioni?