Extreme tip of Salento, Puglia and Italy, a treasure trove with monuments of the oldest European culture that you can only know by visiting the marvelous Santa Maria di Leuca. This city is a must-see destination for those who decide to discover the Salento and its wonders .
Much loved city by photographers, artists, outdoor enthusiasts and fan of history (and legends) related to classical culture, as we say in the article about the curiosity and the most beautiful legends of Salento.
Follow our advice on these three low cost (or entirely cost-free) activities that are a must do in Santa Maria di Leuca …
#1 – Excursion in caves
For the fans of nature and of its secrets, for those who want to discover the sea and bring home new knowledge and memories, the coast of Santa Maria di Leuca offers rocky scenarios that will leave you speechless. His thirty caves are made even more interesting by the names that were given them over the centuries.
One of this is the Porcinara, which was once a place of worship. Along with Punta Ristola, the Porcinara has for many centuries fulfilled the function of Messapic, Greek and Latin Sanctuary, finally making Leuca become a large area of worship for peoples with different cultures and religions.
About 150 meters away from the Porcinara cave there is The Devil’s Cave, accessible from the sea and from land. This name comes after the wind sounds and rumble that fueled the popular imagination.
La Grotta delle tre Porte (The Cave of the three doors) has three large openings leading to an immense cavity. On the northern wall of the compartment inside the cave there is a tunnel that leads to a ‘room’ called the “Cave of the child” where a child’s upper left molar was found dating back to the Neanderthal.
The so called Giants cave is very interesting for paleontology and archeology enthusiasts, because of the discovery dating back the period of Constantine II. The name of the cave is due in part to the bones and teeth of pachyderms found here, in part to the legend saying the bodies of giants killed by Hercules were buried here.
La grotta del drago (The dragon’s cave) looks just like the head of a dragon … and entering with a boat, you’ll live a very “Tolkien Tale effect”.
On the eastern side of the coast of Santa Maria di Leuca there are the Cazzafiri Caves (surf house, from greek) that thanks to the position of its natural arches gives wonderful play of light between sea and sun.
How and when to visit the caves?
Better to visit the caves located on the east with morning light and those located to the west in the afternoon because the effect of light refraction is much more intense and evocative.
#2 – To the Lighthouse
We give the name of a Virginia Woolf novel to this beautiful opportunity: an excursion to visit the characteristic (say even unique) port lighthouse of Santa Maria Di Leuca, located in the west side of the town, and from which, therefore, you can observe the Bay of Salento from a height of about fifty meters. To get there just follow the many road directions. This is also considered among the most beautiful sights of Italy, attracting a huge amount of photography fans.
#3 – Itineraries for biking enthusiasts
The lighthouse is also accessible along one of the many walk routes. The Leuca Promenade has the particularity to develop on a cliff on the rock anchored wooden walkway, offering the unforgettable spectacle of a thousand styles of villas overlooking the sea, before coming up to the lighthouse. The location is also ideal for children and beginners.
Then there is the possible itinerary said “the Menghe Channel” which extends for 300 meters on a vertical drop of 7.