What to see in Santa Caterina, a seaside resort in Salento, part of the municipality of Nardò.
Very close to the fascinating village of Santa Maria al Bagno as well as on the shores of the luxuriant Porto Selvaggio, about ten kilometers from the more famous Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli, Santa Caterina is a small, cozy and guarded jewel of peace.
With a city and coastal landscape that tastes like past times, slowness and serenity, it is often chosen by the Salento people for a walk and a Sunday ice cream, but also as a place to stay; in particular, the locality of Santa Caterina is suitable
- To those who love the sea, but do not love crowded beaches,
- To those who want a foothold on the sea but want to explore the surrounding coastal areas,
- particularly if the surrounding coastal areas are unspoiled places with breathtaking natural landscapes.
But let’s get to the things we suggest you see and activities we suggest you do in Santa Caterina.
Rent a boat in its marina and discover the coves
From Santa Caterina you have the chance to rent a boat tours that will take you to discover the rocky coasts, caves and bays of Porto Selvaggio (here in Santa Caterina we are overlooking and very close to the Porto Selvaggio Natural Park, where we recommend a slow, careful visit and respectful).
Visit to the Watchtowers
All of Salento is dotted or, rather, bordered on the coast, by many watchtowers, some of which were also inhabited for a long time by the soldiers assigned to guard against invasions by sea, so they also have stalls and small areas of animal breeding, as evidenced by wildlife finds following excavations that demonstrate the life that took place in the watchtowers.
The most evocative watchtower in the territory of Santa Caterina is undoubtedly the Torre dall’Alto, which overlooks the Regional Natural Park of Porto Selvaggio, at a height of about 50 meters.
The place where it is located has a name that tells stories, different and legendary, that souds like “Cursed rock”: one of the legends behind the name is that from here the condemned to death were thrown into the sea, while a more widespread and more imaginative legend tells that a girl threw herself for the most common reason in popular legends: love.
The wind that breaks on the rocks has a sound similar to a scream, which the fishermen still hear and tell.
And perhaps it is only the wind and its noises that are the real historical root of her name.
Name aside, it is the surrounding landscape and the view that make a visit to Torre dall’alto and the Dirupo della Dannata (cursed rock) highly recommended.
Visit its highest point and the Liberty villas
Walk and relax in its city center
Its port is also interesting and lively, especially if you want to ask for information from associations that organize snorkeling, diving, sailing and trekking trips and activities.