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Sea Cities Unveiled: Apulia Snorkeling

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The southeastern region of Italy is known as Apulia or Puglia in Italian.  Because of the boot-like shape of Italy, Apulia is oftentimes referred to as Italy’s heel, hence the nickname “the heel of Italy.”  Being bordered by the Adriatic Sea on its northeastern shoreline and the Mediterranean on the southeastern and southwestern sides of the heel, Apulia is a popular destination for a wide variety of water sports, especially snorkeling.

Image by greenmarlin

The rocky coves, stunning shorelines, and turquoise waters that dot the coastal areas of Isole Tremiti in Gargano as well as the beaches of Manduria and Nardò in Salento offer some of the best snorkeling that you can find anywhere along the Apulia coastline.  Here are our top 3 picks for snorkeling in these areas:

Cala Pietre di Fucile, Isole Tremiti, Gargano – the Diomedeae or Diomedes Islands, which is the name the Tremiti Islands have been referred to in historic times, is second to none where dynamic snorkeling opportunities are combined with pristine beauty.  The island’s remoteness and sparse population (only 367 residents) means that you will have all the time you want to relax.  This popular, though rarely crowded holiday paradise is characterized by clear blue waters, hidden coves, and majestic cliffs.  Cala Pietre di Fucile is situated on the island of Capraia is perfectly peaceful and one of the most ideal Apulia snorkeling destinations.

San Pietro in Bevagna, Manduria, Salento – one of Italy’s most acclaimed beaches, San Pietro in Bevagna is characterized by lengthy shorelines comprised of fine, golden sands.  The waters here are very clear and uniquely beautiful hues of turquoise so anyone who has a penchant for diving and snorkeling will never want to leave this area.  Additionally, the guided tours of a shipwrecked vessels and the recently opened underwater museum has resulted in more visitor traffic to the area so it does tend to crowded here.

Porto Selvaggio, Nardò, Salento – if you are after 5-star resort hotels with fancy amenities and a lively nightlife, Porto Selvaggio is not the place to visit.  On the other hand, if you love the water and snorkeling, this is a must-see destination.  Porto Selvaggio in Italian means “wild harbor”, which is ironic because it is anything but, as far as lifestyles in the area are concerned. This stunningly beautiful cove is called wild harbor due to its surrounding nature, namely the pine needles rustling in the salty sea air, the rocks and crags of the shoreline, and the occasional wildness of the sea itself.

Hotels in Apulia

Eden Hotel - RoomEden Hotel – Isole Tremiti
Average Price: €59.25
Average Rating: 8.7

Hotel San Paolo - RoomHotel San Paolo – Manduria
Average Price: €82.00
Average Rating: 8.9

Blu Salento Village Hotel - RoomBlu Salento Village Hotel – Nardò
Average Price: €92.00
Average Rating: 7

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer anita choudhary

Anita Choudhary is a freelance writer and travel blogger based in New Delhi, India. She loves to travel and has traveled extensively in India. Exploring new places, reading and writing are her hobbies.


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