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Marina di Pescoluse, the beach of the Maldives of Salento

Marina di Pescoluse (Puglia – Italy), guide to the visit: what to do and see among its attractions.
Where it is, the surroundings, how to get there and the weather.

We are almost at the end of the “heel of Italy” where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas converge to challenge each other to the sound of crystal-clear waters. Right here, just west of Santa Maria di Leuca, the coast opens into a large beach with fine white sands: it is the beautiful beach of Pescoluse, already internationally recognized for years and awarded several times by the Blue Flag.

It is a strip of sea with such extreme charm that it has been nicknamed “the Maldives” of Salento, either for the transparency of its waters, for their gradual deepening as happens in the coral lagoons, or for the magic of the sunsets that here every evening is light up in a whirlwind of colors and emotions.

We are in the territory of the Municipality of Salve, a place that already expresses with its name the hospitality of a land kissed by the sun.

That it was nice to live here is demonstrated by the archaeological evidence that dates back to 60,000 years ago and which were found in the Montani Caves. In the surroundings of Salve there are also settlements of the Messapian civilization, as found in the Fani Lock and with the discovery of the settlement of Spigolizzi.

Salve, however, is a city founded by the Romans, around the third century BC.

Its position inland, a few kilometers away from the sea, was also maintained due to the raids of the Saracens, which effectively blocked the development of coastal settlements. Only in the 16th century was a watchtower built near the Pescoluse area, which took the name of Torre Pali.

Over the last century, the sea has increasingly catalyzed the region’s economy, and a beautiful beach like that of Pescoluse, at the time of the internet, could not fail to be at the center of a great boom in popularity and appeal.

The popularity of the “Maldives of Salento” has grown considerably in recent years so that the increased tourist flow has partially mitigated its extreme charm, especially in the central part of August and on weekends where the crowds of vacationers become overflowing.

However, thanks to the fact that the beach extends practically uninterrupted from Torre Pali (west side) to almost Torre Vado (east side) – over 5 kilometers of fine limestone sands, with candid-golden hues – it is therefore possible to carve out your own corner of paradise, especially in those stretches where the depth of the beach reaches around 20-30 meters.

The coast is made even more beautiful by the presence of a strip of coastal dunes, partially covered with Mediterranean scrub. It is a stretch of coast that has typical natural elements, which must be protected from the growing building and tourist pressure. For some time now, wooden fences have been defending the delicate ecosystem of the dunes, which, engraved by the erosion of car tires, could have suffered irreparable damage.

When to go

Since the beach is oriented along the east-west direction, there is no better time to come and observe the magic of the colors of the Maldives of Salento: being able to choose, however, the morning has the advantage of generally having the calmest sea, since the land breeze blew in the night, a wind from the north, which can ripple the waters only offshore.

Another topical moment is sunset, when the waters of the coast are colored with colors of countless shades: to see the sun dive directly into the sea, the perfect period is from late September to March, because in summer the sun instead sets behind the dunes. coastal.

Originally the Marina di Pescoluse was a small settlement developed with few roads: now it practically joins the neighboring Torre Vado.

The great tourist boom is also sealed by the new parish erected in 2004, a church dedicated to the “Blessed Pope John XXIII”, which now dominates the city “skyline” with its high sail-shaped bell tower. Inside we find a modern roof supported by wooden beams and interesting stained-glass windows.

In addition to the sea, the Pescoluse area offers the possibility of organizing interesting excursions: the hinterland is home to some megalithic complexes, the most famous of which is the Argentina dolmen, in good condition, and also the so-called underground carpets

The climate of Pescoluse is typical of Salento, therefore characterized by long and dry summers, but often breezy in order to make the high temperatures bearable.

The dominant wind is the north wind which, thanks to its blowing, keeps the coastal waters clean and fresh due to the phenomenon of “upwelling”, ie the call of fresh water from the depths of the Ionian, triggered by the wind from the north. On summer days it is easy to see the formation of mounds inside: these clouds are formed by the play of the breezes, caused by the convergence of winds blowing from the Adriatic with those from the Ionian, whose currents take on a vertical component that generates the clouds. Usually, the sporadic showers and cloud cover remain confined to the inland areas of Salento, without disturbing those who remain to relax on the beach.