Introduction – The Salento
With ancient origins, a thousand-year history, diverse traditions and numerous natural beauties, Salento-the southernmost area of Apulia-has so much to tell.
This land, beloved by travelers from around the world, is known for its heavenly beaches, crystal clear waters, baroque towns, and quaint villages, but also for its authentic gastronomic traditions and dialects with Greek and Latin influences .
When we speak of Salento, in fact, we are referring to the southernmost geographical area of the Apulian peninsula, which, however, does not have well-established boundaries. As a result, there are many and varied customs and traditions one encounters.
But what does the word “Salento” mean?
The origins of the name “Salento”
The origins of the name of this land are still uncertain today.
According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the name “Salento” derives from the Cretan settlers who originated from the city of Salenzia and settled in this land and were called “Salenti.”
Another theory would attribute the origin of the term “Salento” to the Romans, who called the inhabitants of this area “Salentini.”
Despite uncertainty about the etymology, there is no doubt about its meaning: “land between two seas.” Salento is, in fact, the only Italian peninsula washed by both the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. The two coastlines (both breathtaking), differ in water color, type of coastline, marine life and much more.
The Salento Adriatic Coast
The Salento Adriatic Coast has characteristics that make it unique and different from the Ionian Coast. Its natural beauty, enchanting beaches and rich traditions create an unforgettable experience for visitors. Let’s discover some of the peculiarities that make this coast a fascinating place to explore.
1. Enchanting beaches
From endless stretches of sand, to small coves hidden among the rocks, the Adriatic Coast of Salento is extremely unique and varied.
The coastal landscape and the sound of the waves make Salento’s beaches the perfect place to relax.
The crystal-clear, turquoise waters of this coast are famous and highly prized for their transparency and brilliance.
There are many activities that can be organized along this coast: scuba diving, horseback riding, boat trips, surfing, and many others.
2. Reefs and sea caves
Not only the sandy beaches, but also the cliffs of the Adriatic Coast of Salento are popular: they offer spectacular landscapes overhanging the sea: real postcard views, even more striking when admired at sunset.
The Adriatic Salento is home to numerous sea caves; among the most photographed and well-known is the “Grotta della Poesia” in Roca Vecchia, a natural pool surrounded by limestone cliffs with caves and a tunnel connecting it to the open sea.
These are an ideal destination for those who enjoy peace and quiet, but also for those who love adventure and exploration.
3. Fascinating cities
Along the Adriatic Coast of Salento, numerous charming villages have sprung up that retain the authentic charm of Apulian traditions. In many of these cities you can see ancient archaeological sites, castles, fortresses and also many artifacts that tell the history of this peninsula.
Some of these towns were founded by ancient peoples such as the Messapians and Greeks, who influenced the local language and gastronomy.
The beaches of the Salento Adriatic Coast
Here are some of the most enchanting locations on the Adriatic Coast, which you absolutely cannot miss on your tour of Salento:
- Torre Dell’Orso
- Santa Cesarea Terme
- Specchia Tower
- Alimini Lakes
Many of the facilities affiliated with our association are located near these fantastic locations.